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“Wow. Can't believe what a great resort this is”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 September 2008

We stayed here for five nights in April and were so pleased we did. Check in was smooth and we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to a suite. We asked to look at both and the room we had booked was fab but the suite had two bathrooms, a separate living room/dining room and a huge balcony. It also included breakfast and all the laundry we wanted doing. After travelling for a few days we welcomed this. We are glad we took this as there wasn't anywhere else handy to have breakfast and it was fairly expensive in the hotel.
The breakfast was vast and a choice of everything you could reasonably want for breakfast. Again the service was faultless.
The pool is large with lots and lots of sunbeds. There are many areas around the resort if you don;t want to sit by the pool and there was always plenty of space. This may have been because the hotel was not full, it's difficultto say as it was so large with so many sitting, drinking, eating areas, perhaps being full wouldn't make that much difference.
The bar and food service was great but a bit slow. I don't think for one minute that this was bad service, just done a little bit slower than other parts of the world.
The public areas as well as our room were kept amazingly clean and the only fault I would have with this hotel was the price of drinks. They were about four or five times dearer than the beach bar just ten minutes up the road from the hotel. If you go out of the front and turn right, and along to the food/night market area, it's a really nice bar. The food is excellent there too. We ate for about £1- £2 per night each.
We got a cab into Koto Kinabula one evening to eat. Please be careful. There was a large area with dozens of restaurants and tables, chairs where you are accosted every two feet and presented with a menu with hardly any prices. The only price was the soup which was twice as dear as the meals at the beach bar. We asked about the lack of prices and were greeted with a shoulder shrug and a plate of peanuts which we were charged £2 for. Needless to say we refused to pay and left the exact money for the two beers we had. Then we got a cab back to the beach bar. I doubt that we were the first people this happened to.
The absolute best thing about our stay in Borneo was our trip to the Orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sandakan. This was amazing and probably the best memory of any holiday.
We have serioulsy thought about going back to this hotel but it is a long way from England. and five nights was definatley just about right for us. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and doubt anyone will be disappointed with it.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LondonBobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,809 - 2,815 of 3,860 reviews

Reviewed 22 September 2008

My wife and I have just returned to NZ after spending 14 fabulous nights at this resort. From our arrival and check in to our departure everything was perfect for us. We stayed in a Kinabalu Seaview room on the 4 th floor. The view from the room and balcony was just amazing. The room etc was modern and spacious. It included a safety deposit safe. We have stayed in a number of hotels Bali, Thailand and Malaysia and found this 5 star hotel the best of all. The buffet breakfast provided everything and more. The staff throughout the resort were always friendly and helpful. We ate a number of times at Coco Jo's, although a little expensive the food was delicious. The drinks are also a little on the high side 23 ringett for a can of tiger beer. We never had a problem finding a space by the pool and enjoyed the daily visit by Rohan who dressed up each day in a theme costume eg Penguin, Ostrich, Monkey. Plenty of pool area for kids. Town is a 15 minute taxi ride 15 ringett each way. There are other suitable and cheaper eating places just down the road from the resort, a 5 minute taxi ride or a walk of 15 min (bit hot for that) There was a culture show on the night we went. These large restaurants are on the Tanjung Aru beach which links to the hotel. There is a 7 eleven store, about 8 min taxi ride to the Tanjung Aru Plaza, also a bit further (2 min walk from 7 eleven store) a local shopping area where I found the cheapest buying eg can of Tiger beer 4 ringett, and a little further down again a supermarket called "Sunny" which has everything including clothing upstairs. We did the trip to the Rasa Ria to visit the Orangutanns, this was well worthwhile. We would have no hesitation recommending this resort.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank ericandalison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2008

Before we went, we couldn't decide between this hotel and the Rasa Ria. Once there, we felt we chose the best one for us. We visited the Rasa Ria for one day (to go to the sanctuary) and felt that it was much more of a "resort" hotel with loads more children, pool area was packed and we had trouble finding sun loungers. At the Tanjung, the pool area felt much quieter and we never had problems finding beds by the pool. There is a beach, which is fairly small and man-made but our three children spent many happy hours on it and again there were always empty loungers. Excellent facilities for children, although kid's club only really suitable for toddlers. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and we found the food to be very good in all the restaurants. Service did tend to be slow but always very friendly. Spa facilities were excellent. Went into the town one night and it really felt like a place for back-packers ie didn't see any other European families with children. We flew over to Sandakan to see the orangutangs and spend a night on Turtle Island - what a fantastic experience, but you need to book before you go as there's limited spaces. Totally loved Sandakan and hope to go again one day (when the children are older) in order to climb Mt Kinabalu and will definitely stay at the Tanjung Aru again!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Jenningsburyhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2008

This resort has lovely rooms, excellent service, and beautiful grounds. The pool has a volleyball net and there is a ping pong table nearby, so we spent a lot of time at the hotel playing outside. The breakfast is excellent and the buffet dinner is also delicious (but expensive). The only downside to this hotel is that it is not located near the downtown area, so you have to take a taxi if you want to go anywhere. However, the resort is so nice that you might not want to leave. If you are looking for a big beach area, this hotel does not have one. The beach area is very small, but there is a public beach nearby (I didn't go there so I don't know how it is). I think the service and the resort landscape are the best parts of this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank il0veAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

We stayed at the luxurious Shangri-La Tanjung Aru resort for three nights on the final part of our tour of Borneo.

The resort is spread out over a large area and situated right on a beach. The airport is only a short drive away.

We had a Kinabalu Seaview rooms that overlooked part of the golfcourse and the beach with its tiny inviting off-short islands. The room was absolutely huge and extremely comfortable.

We travelled in to Kota Kinabalu one evening for a delicious Chinese meal, but the actual town itself wasn't particularly attractive and didn't tempt you to wander around after dark.

We ate in the hotel's Italian restaurant one evening and had a lovely Malaysian meal on the remaining evening.

Drinks in the bar were so expensive we tended to walk along the small road that ran parallel to the beach where there were several open-air shacks serving beer and food that were ridiculously cheap.

We didn't spend any time sitting by the pool as we were too busy sightseeing, but would recommend getting up at dawn and sitting by the pool for the stupendous sunrise over Mount Kinabalu. This we experienced by chance, as we had to be up early to catch a 6:30am flight to Sandakan. There is also a wonderful view of the mountain from the plane en route to Sandakan.

The orang-utang santuary at Sandakan should be a compulsory trip for anyone staying here, even though the day is extremely tiring. The trip there will remain in your memory for a lifetime.

We also had a wonderful day at Kinabalu National Park and the park headquarters where the vast variety of pitcher plants and other wierd and wonderful species not found anywhere else in the world will fascinate.

If you have time, take a trip out to one of the off-shore islands - we picked Sapi. A local boat from the beach outside the hotel will whisk you there in half an hour. It's worth noting that the beach outside the hotel is not particularly nice.

A fantastic destination.

  • Stayed: November 2006
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4  Thank Anne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2008

We stayed at STAR (ShangriLa Tanjung ARu) from 30 July to 8th August and had an absolutely wonderful holiday, I can definately recomend this resort in terms of facilities, quality and staff friendliness, especially if you are travelling with kids.
My husband and I and 2 year old daughter stayed in an Executive Suite in the Tanjung wing which was absolutely huge! Two bathrooms, two TV's, lounger & dining area all beautifully appointed.
Our friends with their 2 children aged 2 and 4 stayed in a Seaview room and also found the quality of accomodation excellent.
Our rate included breakfast which was a massive buffet with excellent food. Normally the quality of food is compromised at buffets but this was not the case with almost anything you could imagine on offer.
The kids club was fantastic and you can also borrow bikes to ride around the resort on. Pools are great!
The only thing I would say is try to have your breakfast included in the rate and then go outside of the hotel for other meals as prices are a bit steep. First beach is only a 5 minutes walk along the beach front and you will find well priced beer, cocktails and asian/seafood and italian restaurants. Pina Coladas at first beach about 13-16 MYR ($5 AUD). Yum!
Make sure you get over to one of the islands to go snorkelling...
Please feel free to ask me any questions as I researched the trip allot on trip advisor and am happy to pass on all I have learnt! ENJOY!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank anhaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2008

This was a lovely hotel, clean spacious and relaxed but just overpriced. It wasn't so much the cost of the rooms - which weren't cheap for this part of the world. It was the extras that were the rip-off - the restaurants, breakfast, bars etc were very expensive.

If you were happy to stay in the resort ,the location was fine - but being closer to town would have been good.

There is however a great food market just up the road which is walking distance where you can get some great, authentic malay food for not a lot of money - and which tasted so much better than the chinese restaurant in the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank HBomb1
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 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: £157 - £378 (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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