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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
E.Sussex
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good,but....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2008

Just returned after a week at the Tanjung Aru. The hotel is efficiently run and well presented. Staff are courteous,willing and friendly. We upgraded to the Kinabalu Club. I would certainly recommend doing so as it is excellent value for money. We paid an extra 150MR per night in total,approx. £25 at the then rate of exchange. Other reviews have stated the benefits received by Kinabalu Club members,so I shall not repeat them.
It may be more helpful if I said why I only give this resort 4 stars and not 5. To my mind,a hotel does not deserve 5 stars just because it is efficient and the staff are friendly. That is what hotels are supposed to do ! It's the details that are important in this regard,and that is where I had a few reservations. Firstly,the pool is advertised as being open from 0700hrs every day. In fact,the deep pool never (and I mean that) opened before 1000hrs. It was cleaned for two hours prior to 1000hrs. No objection to cleaning the pool obviously,just to the timing. The temperature at about 0900hrs is 30Cand very humid,so getting in the pool is almost a necessity ! Secondly,bearing in mind there are three pools and a paddling pool;why cannot the deep pool be for swimmers (of whatever age). Too often,parents with little toddlers would bring their rubber rings,etc..and proceed to push their babies around in the deep end. The result was that swimmers were restricted in how they could swim. Thirdly,service by the pool for drinks etc.. was poor to non existent.
Finally,there is the issue of prices in the restaurants. These are exorbitant. We never ate at the hotel. One or two previous reviews have said that the prices were acceptable because that's what one would pay at home in the UK. The point is that it is not the UK ,but a developing nation. Would you get a loan from a bank in the UK and pay an APR of,say,500% on the justification that the loan sharks in a country halfway around the world charged that rate ?
I do not wish to end on a sour note. Overall,we enjoyed our stay at the TA and would recommend it provided the above caveats were borne in mind.

  • Liked — Good service generally,nice rooms.
  • Disliked — Pool arrangements.Restaurant prices.
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank mazeltav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Manchester
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2008

We stayed at the Tanjung Aru for seven nights after four nights at the Rasa Ria (and three on a tour). The hotel is very convenient for the airport, though you never hear the noise during your stay.

The welcome was wonderful, the staff very friendly and attentive. We were told about the upgrade to the Kinabalu Club, which we decided to take (200 ringitts per night), although it was in no way a 'hard sell' - you were able to say no if you wanted. The upgrade was, in our opinion, well worth it, and it helped make our stay. The view from our room was awesome, of the beautiful islands and the room itself was huge, with a great bathroom, and all the extras you could need (free safe, bathrobes, slippers etc.). There were also nice touches like the turndown service and a paper left in your room. The club lounge has a lovely breakfast buffet, with a choice of hot and cold buffet, as well as a menu with waffles, omlettes, french toast etc you could choose from. In addition, there are free drinks every night 5-7, perfect for a pre dinner beer! Wine is also included, which was great as wine in general is pretty expensive. The staff were great, and nothing was too much trouble, with one helping us to get in contact with a tour operator regarding a trip we had booked.

The pool area is great and there are lots of sunloungers. We didnt venture onto the beach, which is not as impressive as the one at the Rasa Ria. However, the Tanjung Aru does have the proximity to Kota Kinabalu, and we had some good trips into the city, bargain hunting (the souvenirs are much cheaper than at the hotel shops) and also for food at the Waterfront area.

The restaurants are good at the hotel, especially the Coco Joe's BBQ, and we enjoyed a nice (if not expensive) meal at Peppino's, but on the whole the choice was probably better at the Rasa Ria (but I suppose it depends what you like!) At both the quality was excellent.

We also had fun using the facilities such as pitch and putt and I had a great massage and facial at the spa - again not cheap, but amazing - you have your own private bungalow by the sea, where you can also take a turkish bath - beautiful.

From the hotel, we did a number of trips to the islands, to Kinabalu Park and white water rafting, all of which we organised ourselves, though there are tour operators on site. Overall, this is a beautiful and luxurious hotel to come back to after a hard days sight seeing!

  • Liked — Kinabalu Club, staff, spa
  • Disliked — Restaurant choice
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WebbalinoManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2008

What can I say, Shangri La Tanjung Aru was amazing. We stayed here for 5 nights in September 2008 and we stayed in a Kinabalu Seaview Room which we had upgraded to. It is worth paying a little extra to stay in the Kinabalu wing as it is newer and seems to be a little further away from the pool etc so seemed more peaceful.

We originally were given a ground floor room in this wing and I requested to change as there was no sea view being on the ground floor, any view was blocked with palm trees!! We were then moved to the fourth floor and had a great view, the only thing I would say is that the ground floor room was a good couple of feet longer than the rooms on other floors, so if you dont mind ground floor you do gain some extra space!! Both rooms we stayed in were absolutely beautiful, the bed was so comfy!! The turn down service is also a lovely touch!!

We eat on the resort a few times and all of the food that we has was of a very high standard, I would deffinately recommend the Italian "Peppino's", the food and service was outstanding! We also went to the Cocktail bar at Sunset and this is a really beautiful thing to do, the view is spectaular! It is expensive to eat and drink on resort, the prices are very much on a par with eating out in the UK. On other nights we eat off resort either by going into KK by taxi which is RM15 each way or we walked along the beach in the direction of the airport and there are loads of little hawker style restuarants that you can eat in very cheaply, dont be put off, the food was brilliant and most dishes were in the region of RM5-6.

If you decide to go into KK there are loads of great restaurants on the waterfront, most of them at really reasonable prices, we tried an Indian called "Kohinoor" which was lovley and I cant remember the name but we also ate at a Noodle place close to the Indian and they did the best Chicken Satay that I had had all holiday!

The facilities are great at the hotel, we never had a problem locating a Sunbed, we never used the beach as it is very small and we prefer the pool. We did take a trip out to the Islands and this is worth doing both for the beaches and also the snorkelling. I also went parasailing and I think that this cost me RM180 for 15mins, it is woth doing as the views are spectacular.

We also did the trip to the Sister Resort Rasa Ria to see the Orang Utangs, this is an amazing thing to do, you can take the hotel shuttle bus. When we arrived at The Rasa Ria I was very glad that we were staying at Tanjung Aru as I thought that the entrance wasnt as beautiful and also whilst the beach is lovely the hotel didnt feel as spacious. The Rasa Ria resort is also very isolated and you have to eat on resort.

I will deffinately be heading back to Shangri La Tanjung when I next go back to Borneo.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bunnyschnuggles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
59 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2008

Just 10 mins from airport, the recently renovated rooms are beautiful, from there, can watch the fantastic sunset. Friendly staff. Unfortunately, there is practically no sandy beach in front of the hotel. The sandy beach is just 70m long! The other sides are full of rocks. That said, you can easily take a scheduled boat ride (45MR return, 15mins journey, once an hour) to the 5 islands in front of the hotel. I saw nemos that are 10cm long! The corals are beautiful too (just snornel, no need to dive to see these, I was at Sapi island).
One recommendation, no need to pre-book the hotel limo, it is around 70 (or 80 MR), just go to the taxi counter at the airport, and the fare to the hotel is just 20MR.

  • Liked — The sunset, the views
  • Disliked — The beach (the lack of it)
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SIN T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2008

Sought out this resort for a relaxing 10 night stay after a 2 week visit to UK and Europe. One of the main reasons for selecting this part of the world was access to the Orang-utans (great experience had). Pre-booked a Tanjung Executive Seaview Suite direct with hotel a couple of months earlier as travel agents and hotel website could only offer the standard array of rooms/packages. The suite offered much more in living space/luxury than other rooms available since our aim was to spend quality time in the resort rather than adventuring out all day/everyday.

We had some initial doubts about selecting this resort after reading some previous Trip Advisor contributors that the resort was a regional hub for chaotic people with young families and the noisy downside that goes with it. This sometimes turned out correct particularly with the "breakfast scrum" at Cafe Tatu buffet and poolside afterwards. Solace can be achieved by strategic selection of seating. Resort appeared heavily booked during the first half of our stay but tapered off before we left - perhaps its "seasonal" . Service from the meal staff ranged from non existent to superb.

Having said that, the food was good - particularly Peppino's (Italian) and Coco Joe's (seafood). The room was very clean, well appointed and comfortable. The resort location, gardens and sunset views were excellent. Chi spa was indulgent which we highly recommended (not cheap though).

All in all we finished up having a great and relaxing time at Tanjung Aru.

  • Liked — Clean and comfortable
  • Disliked — Too many people at times
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank WinstonsCrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
190 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2008

Despite the years that have passed by we still remember for positive reasons the days we have passed at this nice hotel. The pool scene was very good. The pools restaurant and the sunset bar. What did disapointed us was the beach, as it was artificial and was infested by alforrecas. By then it had 2 different wings and we have stayed at the older one, which we remember for the big rooms despite very old fashioned.

  • Liked — size
  • Disliked — beach
  • Stayed August 2005, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pedro P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2008

Stayed in the Kinabalu Wing and used the club facility in September 08.

This was a much better part of the hotel to stay at for those wanting some peace and quiet as it's a little further from all of the activities etc. The rooms are excellent and what you'd expect for a 5 star hotel. We stayed in a suite which was lovely and quiet. Staff were very nice and helpful. We did have a few issues with our room/package but they were sorted out eventually.

I was a little disappointed with the beach, it was pretty small but at the time of year that we were there it wasn't too crowded so it wasn't such a big deal.

The restaurants in the hotel are fantastic, I would recommend Peppino's (and the quattro dessert!) The staff were so lovely. The same for the Shang Palace. I am a strict Vegetarian and have to be very picky with standard menu's but this was not a problem and the staff went out of their way to accommodate me and made me feel that nothing was a problem - better service and understanding that you would get in the UK :)

We done the Oran-Utan trip to Rasa Ria which was good but very crowded. If wildlife is something that you are really interested in the Rasa Ria may be a better choice for you as there's lots of different options there. If you want to see more of the Oran-Utan's then I would suggest that you do one of the full day tours. We seen them for about 15minutes during feeding time

We didn't spend much time in the town of KK, it wasn't that nice from what we seen but the hotel has everything you need! The hotel is very close to the town and the airport so that's very handy!

  • Liked — The location and the views, the SPA was amazing too
  • Disliked — The beach
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank travelight33
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

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 495
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 Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu

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