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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Something for everyone. Cater for all ages - baby to 100. Even the difficult teens there is heaps of exciting things to do (they are extra though). Food is good. The pools are great for young children and adults great. Looks over the beach - I did yoga each morning which was tranquil and peaceful. Staff are fabulous. Go to breakfast early to avoid the crowds. We had adjoining rooms - one for the kids and one for us. took the hotel bus into town to shop and experience the local food when sick of hotel food. Hotel entertainment was fun, We were there for Xmas so Santa came by helicopter - kids loved it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,479 - 1,485 of 3,823 reviews

Reviewed 17 January 2014

We stayed at the hotel for 10 nights. Great rooms, excellent facilities including a great gym, free wifi throughout the hotel,excellent staff and great food selections. Breakfast is crowded, but that is expected in such a big hotel.
Right on the beach with great pool area, mini golf course, tennis courts and lots of activities including yoga to do
Food is very good with different buffets every night and Shang Palace Chinese restaurant also serves very good food.
A very good Korean restaurant is 3 mins walk from the hotel and an 8 min walk along the beach brings you to a good Chinese restaurant, very cool bar and 40 very cheap places to eat dinner or lunch at a cost of RM 6 - 8 ( about AU$3). Great fresh juices at this place as well
A 15 minute drive to the city area at a cost of RM25 each way is worth a look with a lot of cheap mobile phones and accessories. The best restaurants are on the waterfront with about 10 to choose from. Very good and great atmosphere watching the sunset.
A great hotel. It is crowded with lots of kids, however apart from meal times still plenty of space to relax and be left alone.
Well recommended

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Damian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Stayed here with my wife and some friends for four days and would have loved to have stayed a lot longer. Food was great, staff were absolutely fantastic and welcoming and the complex is just perfect for relaxing with extensive pools suitable for young children and adults.

Room Tip: We had mountain with sea views and thought it was great but it is such a beautiful location I think...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank larrywa2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2014

First time at Tanjung Aru but been to similar resorts in Malaysia and Shangri-La hotels around the world. Arrived after Christmas and left on 2 Jan - peak period. The location is very close to the airport but noise is not an issue as it is outside of flight paths.

Stayed in a Kinabalu Wing Club room which was nice but nothing out of the ordinary. Good location of power points - even had one inside the safe. 2L of bottled water everyday and free wifi which was quick and reliable. The Aircon will shut off if your sliding door is not shut precisely align with a sensor. Wish someone told us about this as we were wondering why the Aircon was not working. Figured this myself after 30 mins of trial and error.

The common areas and grounds are well kept. But the toilet at the lobby was not particularly clean. Certainly not up to Shangri-La standards. The swimming pool is divided up by floating barriers between shallow areas for kids and an adults section. Other resorts usually have a completely separate area for adults only. Since we have young kids the big plus points are the water slides and play area which is like a mini water park. This was the highlight. There isn't much of a beach and being so close to the city, I did not expect much. If you want a nice beach stay at Rasa Ria - more popular with Europeans. Tanjung Aru is popular with Asian tourists and those with young kids. Beware the games people play with 'reserving' pool side lounges early in the morning.

Food is not particularly good but service is worse. This is especially so at Coco Joes where we had lunch on most days next to the pool. Extremely slow with orders and seems to not have a system. Simple dishes took forever (1 hour) while we watch others who arrive much later receive their food much quicker - yes, they ordered the same dishes. Maybe they expect a big tip to serve you quicker. Many waiters are inexperienced and poor in English. Simple requests are met with blank stares. Luckily I speak Bahasa Malaysia fluently. Don't bother with the lunch Buffett in Cafe Tatu - they had pasta or Asian noodle dishes. No sandwiches, rice or other dishes. Tea and drinks are extra. The Dinner Buffett on the other hand was good with a wide selection of international offerings and good value.

Went over to Rasa Ria resort for half a day to see the Orang Hutans and spend the day by the beach. Make sure you book a couple of days in advance including the shuttle bus. I was surprised that they allowed about 60-70 people at once on the viewing platform - quite a bit of jostling but we saw 3 orang hutans and a number of monkeys that came afterwards. After 30 mins, most tourist have recorded a few hundred photos and movies and tend to leave. About 15 of us stayed back and that gave a more intimate encounter. I have been to similar orang hutan rehabs in Sarawak and they cap the number of tourist at 20.

Rasa Ria itself has a different feel - more environmentally integrated and has a nice beach. The pool is more like a regular pool with only 1 water slide for the kids. If you want to relax then this is the pick but you are 1 hour away from town and trapped in the resort and their restaurants.

The proximity of Tanjung Aru to KK town allowed us to try a few local restaurants. I would recommend the Ocean Seafood restaurant. Taxi is fixed price to and from Tanjung Aru at RM30 regardless of distance within KK. This is particularly poor value if going to the domestic airport terminal as it is literally 5 min away. Unfortunately you have no choice. I would also avoid the hawker centre about 1 km outside of the resort. We walked there one night and the food was bad (I grew up eating hawker food).

Finally the Kinabalu Club is nice and the evening nibbles and drinks can be very crowded. From 4:30 to 6:30 pm it is for families - akin to feeding time at the zoo although the food is usually good and service as well. From 6:30 to 8:30 pm it's adults only. I liked the breakfast at the club they cook limited items to order. I would say the extra cost of club room is worth it. Avoid breakfast at Cafe Tatu - too crowded, head to Shang Palace where they have a similar setup with more spacious tables. Overall the breakfast is above average but not great.

Given we came at peak holiday season and paid USD450 per night, the value is not there. If you can get a good deal at other times, you may consider this. However I will probably not return as there are much better alternatives if you're after a beach / tropical holiday in Malaysia or Thailand.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
3  Thank PhotoMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Dear PhotoMD, your feedback is much appreciated. I am very concerned to learn of your dining experience at Coco Joes and have shared your feedback with my food and beverage team to address our service and quality issues which you have brought to our attention. Also, your comments with regards to the air-conditioning in the room is well noted. Please accept our sincere apologies for the poor Shangri-La experience you received during your stay - we will certainly strive for further improvement! Kindly email me directly at craig.powell@shangri-la.com if you would like to discuss in detail pertaining to your experience. Once again, thank you for staying with us and we hope to welcome you again.
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Apart from some food aspects, everything was perfect. Those issues weren't unreasonable .. being a Shangri La, i expected higher quality standards that what i could expect at a Novotel. Great kids facilities and the staff looking after kids superb

Room Tip: We got the best suite … great view, great comfort & standards
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
1  Thank Stewart K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Stayed 1 week, family of 4 in 2 rooms. Extremely slow check in, booked rooms not available, and had to wait for rooms. Smallish pool, limited poolside space, dirty beach. Rooms are clean. Very poor value. Cannot recommend.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
4  Thank Michael Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 January 2014

Dear Michael Y, thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have shared your comments with the team for their further improvement and we hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you again in the near future.

Best regards,
Craig Powell, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We stayed here from the 18th to 31st December and had a great holiday. We chose Tanjung Aru resort over Rasa Ria because we wanted to be closer to the city with more options of eating out. If you are considering these two Shangri-la hotels consider carefully what you want from your holiday and the time of year you plan to stay both have the plusses and minuses.

Tanjung Aru resort & spa is a great hotel but has been extended to almost twice its original size. No problem except for two areas, the main dining room and the pool. When we arrived the hotel was not full and we had no issues with either but as we approached Xmas and the hotel filled, there were. Firstly the dining room, where there is a splendid breakfast buffet served to suit practically any taste. The problem was being able to put together a hot breakfast within a reasonable time so that it was still hot when you sat down to eat. On several occasions it took more than half an hour! In their defence they did open up the Chinese restaurant where they offered the same extensive choice (sometimes) but this just didn’t give the same experience. The staff worked like bees trying to keep the dishes stocked but inevitably there were always one or two items that you stood around waiting for. In a nutshell the hotel needs a second dining room, it just cannot cope.

The swimming pool area was our second major issue. The pool itself is a beautifully large swimming pool which is attended by lifeguards who you could not fault for their attentiveness. A little over zealous I felt at times, but sensed they were just following instructions. It is sometime good to remember we go on holiday and have FUN. You can only play with any pool toys or balls in the children’s area which is NOT fun. The main issue was not the pool itself but the pool surrounds. Again, when we first arrived there was no problem getting a sun bed in the shade but as the hotel filled the only way to secure a bed in the shade was to have claimed it by 7 – 7.30 in the morning. There really are not enough shaded areas to fit the numbers at the hotel. If you are expecting to swim in the sea at the hotel, they have a miniscule sheltered beach which is not worth the bother. Besides the very attentive pool staff bringing your drinks and snacks, there was always ice cold water available at a couple of points around the pool. A nice touch.

Despite these two issues we had a great time and visited the sister hotel Rasa-Ria a good hour (when there is no traffic and there nearly always is) to an 1 ½ hours drive from the airport and a good hour from the city using the hotel shuttle bus. Initially we went to visit the orang-utan sanctuary which I have to say was disappointing (only 4 babies which you see feeding for 20 mins), then being told at the end that you needed to have booked the canopy walk, at an additional cost prior to your visit. At no time were we told this, so keep this in mind if you plan on going. However, disappointment over, we planned to use the facilities at the hotel. The beach is amazing and goes on forever with rolling waves you can have real fun in. This too is attended by vigilant life guards. Plus, there are sun beds galore, with shade and mattresses (luxury indeed) on the beach with buttons to press for drinks etc. There are plenty of sun beds around and near the pool too, doubles with canopies, on wheels, we were spoilt for choice. The actual pool is considerably smaller than Tanjung Aru but they have their magnificent beach instead. There is also a much greater choice of food outlets but as you would have to travel into the city to eat, this was a necessity. So the choice is yours, if you just want beach and a touch of pampering in luxurious surroundings, opt for Rasa Ria – you won’t be disappointed. If however, you want to experience a bit more of Borneo and get out and about and eat local food (really tasty and really cheap) you would be better opting to Tanjung Aru.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank BUGZYLONDON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Address: 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: £162 - £313 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 492
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A paradise for the senses surrounded by natural beautyA gentle breeze caresses your face as you wake to the sound of waves lapping the beach. The balcony opens up to an inspiring vista of sparkling coral islands and swaying of palm trees. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, bordered by crystal clear waters and lush vegetation Sophistication surrounds you in a lavishly decorated suite inspired by Borneo’s rich cultural heritage. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu, is a perfect tropical getaway, a luxurious tranquil retreat just a short drive from the city.Yet, excitement beckons as you set out to discover all Kota Kinabalu’s delights. Making your way to Kinabalu National Park, you are thrust into a jungle paradise of natural wonders, rugged landscapes and scenic beauty. From the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to the famous Orangutans in their natural habitat, it only gets more breathtaking every step of the way.The afternoon is spent exploring the picturesque town of Kota Belud. As Sabah’s largest and most popular open market, you find gems of all sorts, ranging from handmade handicrafts to mouth-watering local delights like natural honey.Back at the resort, you look forward to a sunset cruise, which departs from STAR Marina, to catch Borneo's famous sunset. Not long after, you wind down at Coco-Joe’s Bar & Grill. Lounging atop one of the beach-dining platforms, over cocktails and a delectable seafood tower, you continue to enjoy the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. A pampering session at CHI, The Spa rounds off the day. With treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, you lose yourself in an enchanted and indulgent journey, all on the resort’s private spa island.For every experience here, you are surrounded by natural beauty. And it all begins at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu

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