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“5-star prices with 3-star quality; need to upgrade breakfast”

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Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Ranked #9 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Not a bad hotel, but for the price you're paying, the service is poor, general maintenance and presentation needs seeing to, and food is mediocre and a poor introduction to Malaysian food.
Examples of cons: - had to DEMAND 2 rooms keys for a 2-bedroom spa suite unit; staff refused to provide 2 on polite request despite common sense that the 2 couples may want to move separately
- locked out of room for 1 hour after a long day out; had to walk to reception as we thought the key cards were demagnetized but it took 2 other phone calls and another 2 trips to reception to get the matter resolved. Apparently the lock in the door had a weak battery (poor maintenance again!). Meanwhile we had nowhere to wait except outside the room sitting on the steps in the dark with 2 elderly in tow.
- For about 15 mins there was no water in the room. We had to leave so we don't know when the water came back on, but because of that one of us was unable to shower before heading out.
- Breakfast was in the sun-filled Lanai which is completely unshaded and the glare and heat from the sun, mixed with the fumes from the omelette station made it uncomfortable.
- had to ask for the chef to come out and prepare eggs for breakfast. One serving of poached eggs in the morning was not replenished. Neither was the bread and butter pudding.
- they bar guests from cooking in the room despite having an induction stove. I had to question and prod reception before finding out that they provide microwaves on request.
- When I asked for 2 plates along with the microwave, they provided non-microwaveable plates that sparked as had metallic lining. What then is the point??
- swimming pool had sand in it that was not cleaned over our 3 day stay. Didn't observe staff cleaning the pool daily either. It's a basic pool, so not hard to clean.
- we had to ask housekeeping to come back just after the cleaning to mop the floor again as it was still sandy and sticky
- check-in was 1.5 hours LATER than the promised 2pm. Nothing to ease the wait as waiting area has NO aircon and few seats, many people were waiting around in the heat and the welcome drink was a small glass with no offers to refill.
- took more than 30 mins for the promised shuttle from the villas to pick us up from the Nexus main hotel. We had to ask another driver to send us as a favour instead. It wasn't even busy.
In short, there is no initiative from the staff whatsoever, everything had to be requested or demanded if the request initially refused. No warmth beyond politeness. Language may be a difficulty if you do not speak Malay.
- only 3 pillows on the King bed.
- one has to ask for toothbrush, shaving kits, conditioner unlike many other hotels that provide them already
- flies in the dining hall Lanai and I had to ask staff to take away a bowl of veggies that were contaminated
-housekeeping needs to clean out the nooks and crannies of the bathrooms to avoid the build up of grime. Bathroom sinks need to be unclogged as water was slow to drain out.

PROS: - long strip of sandy beach with clean waters ideal for swimming and long walks along beach with plenty of privacy, firm sand that makes it easy to walk on.
- shower in master room had steambath function, bathtub spacious with jacuzzi function.
- large spacious bathrooms. if you open the master room doors, you'll have a view from your bathtub.
- good view from our unit (435) to the sea, just steps away from the beach and pool. Quiet and private. No insects/mosquitoes.
- strong air-conditioning
- bottled water, house slippers provided along with umbrellas.
- good bedding
- poor meal options

So much that could be great about the place but poor maintenance and poor staff training have made it a 3-star place.

Recommend (for FOOD):
- If you have a car, head out onto the main road and take a 9 o'clock turn at the next two roundabouts, and drive on till you see Gayang Restaurant on the left along the hillside. Reasonable shellfish and fresh crab, prawns etc. Good freshly made drinks in jugs. Fish pricey. Overlooks a river and a hill makes for pretty scenery especially during sunset.
- Along the same drive you'll pass some roadside wooden stalls with seating areas advertising roasted coconuts 'Coconut bakar'. Stop for cold Coconut Pudding in the shell (big enough to share) and 'Lokan' - a type of clam freshly grilled in their shells. Delicious and makes a light, cheap meal. I recommend the second lot of stalls as not all puddings are made equal :)

Don't go to this resort if you don't have a car or for extended periods of time. You'll be severely limited in your dining and leisure choices. Or just be prepared to pay overseas prices when you could get the same for much cheaper in other parts of Malaysia.
For the price it's still cheaper than Sutera Harbour or Shangri-La if you're in a big group with a great view and beach. If you're travelling as a couple and can afford more, give this place a miss.

Room Tip: Room 435 had a good view from both balconies and a brief walk to reception for breakfast. Avoid pool...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank designfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed at Berringis resort and spa for 7 days which we considered a good value for money and chose to stay at this hotel for our last 2 days to experience a luxury property...What a Terrible mistake!
First we were not happy with their villas being so far off the main lobby area. We had to commute by shuttle just to eat at their restaurants or to go anywhere in the property. The service is worse than terrible. We asked for a independent villa and were asked to wait 3 hours. After 3 hours when we called, the person who was handling our request disappeared and no one had a clue. It took lot of calling to get changed to a villa Our evening was already ruined by then!

The independent villa was beautiful but sadly nothing worked! AC was not working, they came to check and asked us to shift again! we were aghast and refused. Second day the door handle came out! we could do nothing but laugh. Reminded me of money pit!!

food was terrible too! the buffet was chaotic and insufficient. At times you had to ask them to refill the servings! The food at their various restaurant was palatable but staff was rude and impolite!
The property is beautiful no doubt but it lacks everything else! I would not recommend staying at this place.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank mrinaliniruban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

Me and my partner stayed for 4 night at the nexus resort it was over the Chinese New Year the staff were very helpful treated like royalty the rooms are out dated and resort need a Little work but lovely place.really nice gardens and pool area, beach is ok 5 restaurants to eat at dishes cost about $15 Aussie dollar and cocktails $8 Aussie dollar a little expensive compared to the other places in Malaysia. Breakfast was great so many things to eat best buffet I have ever had the rest of the food (lunch and dinner) is ok not really traditional Malaysian food tho. lots of activities to do at resort. We went to the shangri la resort which was very nice as well but a lot more expensive for room and food but great place
I would stay at the nexus again :)

Room Tip: Beach view room or garden are both nice
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank casey8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

This is my second stay at this hotel since three years ago. It has always been over CNY with the family. You won't find a tip top hotel known for immaculate facilities and food...instead you will find a hotel with heart warming staff, home cook food and privacy. I have enjoy my stay here along with the family...they love it too! We had an ocean facing villa, great spacing in the room and bathroom, you will love the space. Also, the lawn outside, towards the beach, it is all yours....

The breakfast, as a Malaysian, I like the freshness and the combination of western and Asian cuisine.

If you want a resort which offers price for quality, this is it. Another bonus to note, every day from 7am onwards, you can join the local fishermen out at the beach. Give them a hand, help pull the nets in, listen to their stories, hear their struggle, witness their happiness. Meet some new friends!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank jasontancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

A beautiful location but really needs an injection of love and a general makeover across the site. The gardens are gorgeous and we loved the pool area and really enjoyed the beach. It would be nice if there were signs to remind people not to litter and to clean up after themselves AND staff dedicated to do a tidy up each day just to keep the area pristine. Waters were as expected cloudy at this time of year (Dec/ Jan) but we were told that it is crystal clear in June/July. Lots to do nevertheless. Had a golf lesson with the pro despite there being a tournament on when we visited (really appreciate you squeezing us in!). A special mention to our housekeeper who was so nice and the fishing guide! Lots of fun! Thank you Nexus Karambunai! We will be back!

Room Tip: All the rooms would have gorgeous views, I'd imagine, if the resort cut back some of the branche...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lenz88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2014

This place use to be wonderful...not 5* or even 4* level but years ago it was a beautiful place.

Sadly, it has fallen into a place of neglect with the new management. Luckily the manager is leaving next next month and hopefully it can regain its former glory.

The staff are as helpful as can be however without a incompetent captain all these years, this is a place to be avoided, at least or until new management can be put in place.

If you do decide to go here, please realize its not the staffs fault for a lack of services such as internet, lights or general maintenance. So please don't take it out on them. Instead you should contact management directly.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank 1traveller2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

Based on the very negative reviews we read about the resort, we almost changed our minds and booked another resort!!! On top of that, Nexus kept sending emails to inform us that for the period we were staying, the main resort would be closed off for a private function and that we would only have access to Lanai restaurant and the pool near our suite. We felt that maybe they didn't want us to stay there!

However, we decided to take the risk and continue with our plans to stay in the two bedroom spa suite (as the alternative, the Shangri La, was too expensive). We were travelling as a family of five adults and one baby. When we walked into the suite, we were instantly impressed. It was cool and refreshing, no sign of mosquitoes or bugs that were mentioned in some reviews. The view was breathtaking (especially at sunset!). The main master room was beautiful. The other bedroom was ordinary. I felt the place was clean and well maintained.

They only supplied four bath towels and when I requested for an extra two, they were brought to us with no problem. It wasn't immediate but I wouldn't complain about the wait time. I guess you have to understand with the layout of the suites, it's not like a hotel where there is staff and linen on each floor.

The pool downstairs was lovely. It was very busy at times but still pleasant and relaxing to use. The beach was very close by too, less than five minutes walk from our room. I liked how quiet this section of the resort was. We found no need to access the main resort which was quite far away anyway. We had a car so we ate lunch and dinner around the city of Kota Kinabalu rather than at the resort.

I found breakfast a little disappointing. There were lots of flies around and the food did not look very appetising. It was also very hot, no air conditioning if you sat inside and not all the tables outside had a fan.

We loved the long stretch of beach at the resort and the fact that it wasn't very crowded. My baby did not get bitten at all. I however, did but that was from the grounds of the resort, not from our room.

I think if we didn't have a car, maybe we would find staying at the spa suites a bit inconvenient but because we did, it wasn't really a concern for us.

My review is based on our stay at the spa suites, I'm not sure what the main resort and pool villas are like.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank kumquattraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai

Address: Nexus Resort Karambunai 100 Jalan Sepangar Bay, Kota Kinabalu 88993, 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#5 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#7 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: £83 - £270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai 4.5*
Number of rooms: 479
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nexus Resort Karambunai is set within 3,335 acres of unique & unspoiled beauty. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nexus Resort And Spa Karambunai
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Nexus Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Nexus Hotel Karambunai
Nexus Resort Sabah
Nexus Resort Karambunai
Nexus Sabah Hotel
Nexus Karambunai Hotel

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