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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
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Reviews (3,929)
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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.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 378toni378
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank billbir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
2  Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
3  Thank SueFraAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
5  Thank Nick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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