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“Certainly not a hotel for couples!!”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
King's Lynn, Norfolk
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Certainly not a hotel for couples!!”
Reviewed 11 July 2014

My husband and I stayed for 5 nights at the beginning of July and was very surprised to find such poor standards for a Shangrila group hotel, it was full of kids who ran around the restaurant at breakfast, you couldn't get by the pool unless you went very early in the morning, we stayed in the Kinabalu wing on the 5th floor and felt the rooms were very "tired" chipped furniture and mould on the tiles and silicone in the bathroom. Having said this the staff were all excellent albeit a little slow, especially in the sunset bar. We went to the Raisa Ria for the orang utang trip and wished we had gone there instead of the Aru, Plus side was it is very close to the airport and a short taxi ride from the centre of Kota Kinabalu so able to escape the kids down town.

Room Tip: Kinabalu wing very quiet and away from the main pool and restaurant which was nice.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 378toni378
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (785)
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English first
High Wycombe
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

This was mine and my wife's 2nd visit to Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort. The location is as wonderful as ever and our club room had a great view over the grounds and the South China Sea. There had clearly been some changes, since we had last visited, which was several years before. There seemed to be a particular effort to make it more family orientated. This is fine if you are part of a family, but not a great attraction if you are a couple. Once open spaces, were now filled with water chutes and other items popular with children. Funnily enough, while we were there, we did not see many children and they were certainly not a nuisance. I suspect that the emphasis has been put on these family attractive items, in order to cater for the many Chinese, who were expected. Unfortunately, the issue of the disappearance of MH370, has caused a significant reduction in numbers from China.

The rooms were clean and well maintained and the club facilities were excellent. We had a wonderful time, and everyone was extremely friendly. The only comment I would make is that most of the hotel corridors are uncarpeted, but where they are carpeted, which was in our section, they were not always as spotlessly clean as the rest of the hotel. This may sound nitpicking, but this hotel is five-star and needs to maintain this five-star standard. This hotel is an excellent location for viewing sunsets. There is also a little jetty, at the end of the hotel grounds. From here you can pick up a boat to one of the islands for snorkelling and also sunset boat trips.I would thoroughly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: We went for a Club room with sea view and were very pleased with our selection.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank billbir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

My wife and I just returned from 10 days at the Shangri La with our two boys. Being a Golden Circle loylaty card member I have stayed at a number of hotels within the Shangri La chain and sadly this falls well short of my expectations. The staff were extremetly helpful and friendly, the rooms average, but the common areas such as pool and breakfast area were 'battlefields' in terms of overcrowding and noise levels. i found the experience overall a little stressful, not what you expect when staying in 5 Star and paying close to £8,000 for holiday. I felt particualry sorry for any couples or Honeymooners (stay away, certainly not a romantic getaway). so overall more a 3 star at 5 star prices. ps you had to literally pay for any of the activities!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We stayed at the hotel for five days at the end of June. It was not an enjoyable experience. The reception area is a disaster. There is not enough staff on the desk and service is very slow. The rooms are just okay but the public areas and corridors are very noisy. Breakfast is an unmitigated disaster. I don't expect to fight for food in a five star hotel but that is how it felt - every day.

I tried to change money using a pre-loaded cash card. I was told that I could take only 300 ringgits. When I tried to repeat the painful process on another day, I was then told that 300 ringgits was my limit for the whole stay. Shoddy and sub-standard.

My son enjoyed the children's play area around the pool but it was unsafe. The safety floor surface had lifted in a number of areas, exposing concrete underneath.

Now for the positives:

1) beautiful location;

2) the housekeeping staff are to be applauded. The rooms were cleaned quickly and to a very high standard.

Stay at the Rasa Ria - it is a completely different (in a good way) experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SueFraAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Checked out of Tanjung Aru yesterday.... and missing it already!

Ok - points as follows. Note that we were a group of 16 (9 adults & 5 kids):

Proximity to Airport - Very close - like 5 minutes in a taxi. Really fast. Air Aisa managed to lose one of my bags. The hotel got on the case straight away and supplied me a great 'emergency pack' to tide me over until my bag arrived. They could not have been more helpful.

Check in and check out - both very fast and easy. Large deposit (2500MR) held on credit card at check-in though.

Rooms - Always very clean, excellent turn down service at the end of the day. New bottles of water placed in room each night. We stayed in the Kinabulu wing, 7th floor, with great views.

Meals - Breakfast is fine. Not amazing, but a good spread of food to suit all tastes. Hotel was at capacity when we were there and breakfast gets very busy. Only had the dinner buffet once so cannot really comment. Most of our lunch and evening meals were either eaten beside the pool or in one of the other areas such as Coco Joes. Always good food and fabulous service. Kids loved the chips and the wedges. Remember to reserve the good outdoor seats / gondalas in good time as they are popular.

Kids Club - AWESOME - full on child minding service that the kids all enjoyed. Food all sorted and they also do themed ./ party nights so that adults can go out for dinner (until 10pm). Everyone so polite and friendly, and very secure too.

Pool - Split into five main areas - 1) Waterpark with various aqua toys, kids pool, and total of 4 waterslides. Heaven for kids of all ages. Great concept but needs major renovation. 2) Beach style entry pool - fabulous shaded shallow area for wallowing in all day. 3) Intermediate area 1 - good for the older kids and for general play - blow up toys allowed. Aqua Aerobics is also held in this area at 11am. 4) Intermediate area 2 - the largest area by far. No blow up toys allowed, but kids ok if accompanied by an adult. Has waterfalls and access to infinity edge. 5) Adults pool - no kids, no blow up toys.

Sunloungers - HEAPS of them. You do need to get in early though. Generally 8.30am and the towels start to get laid out. We were a large group though and did not have problem sitting where we wanted and together. You just need to plan ahead.

Staff - All so polite, so helpful, all the time!

Wifi - everywhere, free and no issues. I worked everyday form my iPad and it never let me down.

Extras:

- Banana Boat - 50RM per person for 15 minutes. Wasn't great....
Ice Cream Bar - Kids LOVED it....
- Snorkelling - AWESOME. We chartered a boat (only 300RM and hour for the whole thing) and went island hopping, snorkelling and had lunch. A fabulous day out and our whole group enjoyed it. Split the costs and it is next to nothing for your own boat and 2 staff.
- Sunset Cruise - Beautiful sail boat anchored just off the marina. Again AWESOME. About 240Rm per adult and about 150RM per child. All nibbles and drinks provided. Beautiful sunsets. The crew are so helpful. All the kids got a turn at steering the boat. 4pm - 7pm.

Orang Utans - Located at the other Shangri La Hotel (Rosa Ria) - its about a 6 hour trip including lunch. Again our group chartered a whole bus for maximum flexibility. Booking the trip was harder than it should have been but the kids loved it.

All in all a great place. Amazing staff. Very busy at this time of year. Highly recommended it with kids - not sure if I would go there for a quiet break though. We will return in a heart beat!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alhaurin de la Torre, Spain
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Good level of service but disappointing so far..... 10 more days to go.....
Fabulous location with wonderful views across the south china sea.
Gorgeous gardens, immaculately manicured. Club lounge breakfast disappointing, and coco joes beach cafe, poor selection of food, lack of taste in quesidillas and signature burgers.
Took 15 minutes to get a bottle of water, assuming you could get the waitress' attention.
Trying peppinos and the shang palace on the next couple of days, will review separately.

Room Tip: Any sea facing room
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank laurence_of
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 review, 9 July 2014
Hi laurence_of, thank you for your feedback. Please allow us to contact you during your stay to see how we can assist you further. Please write to me at craig.powell@shangri-la.com and I will see to having a member of our Shangri-La family contact you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Hotel staff was very friendly and helpfull with the kids. Rooms were good size and having also quite big balcony. Room cleanliness was good.

Pool area was great fun for kids. Also the water in here was cleaner than in the other Shangri La hotel where we visited.

Breakfast was good and food quality in general was also good. We mainly had breakfasts in Club floor, where service was really good.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mitzku
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 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 On the Beach 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 (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 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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