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“Wonderful retreat, pity about the food.”

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Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Ranked #13 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful retreat, pity about the food.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2009

Stayed at the new pool villas in this enormous resort. Had a wonderful time, the beach is gorgeous and empty, the view is spectacular and the villa was very liveable in. I even had people trying to work out whether they could recreate the building at home.

Pros:
Would definitely recommend the villa side. Much quieter than the main hotel, which was packed with tour package tourists.
Beach and sea. Gorgeous doesn't begin to describe it.
Staff at the new side are very eager to please and made up a lot for the inconsistencies of the hotel.
Spa. It's awesome and not too expensive. The extra facilities like hot and cold pools, sauna, steam room etc. were a bit dated, but the massage more than made up for that. Their ginger tea is lovely as well.

Cons:
The new side is well, new. This means they haven't really worked out how to transport guests there to the main hotel, which is the only place where you can get food if you haven't brought some of your own.
They also get all their supplies from the main side, which for us translated to not having any towels or floor mats when we arrived because they were waiting for the linen truck to come. It took them close to 6 hours to finally kit the villa out in the way it should have been kitted out when we arrived.
Food is overpriced and not very good. The concept seems to be Club Med, lots of buffets, but these are on top of your room rate and not cheap. Nor is the food very good, standard buffet food that has been left to sit on burners for much too long. There is a huge selection ... of bad food. We landed up having dinner every night at the Sunset Grill, which was ok and it was lovely to sit by the sea. But the menu is limited and you pretty much exhaust it by the second night, especially if you're in a group of four.

Recommendations - bring your own food. If you're staying at the main hotel, i'm not sure what facilities are available for cooking (I'm assuming a kettle and some coffee cups) but the villas have full kitchens (you have to request cooking utensils).

There was free internet but the cable is right beside the bed in the master bedroom - and the power point was on the opposite end.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank borninaugust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2009

This is a report on the NEW villas affiliated with Nexus Resort Karambunai. These are completely different from the hotel rooms in the main resort. The main resort also has other accommodation called "villas".

About 30-40 pool villas opened in April 2009. More will be operating in the next year or so. "Villas and Suites" are located and operated separately from the main Nexus resort. But guests have full access to the Nexus facilities and even check out at the main desk.

Officially, the villas and suites are located 2km from the main resort. They have a separate check-in and reception in one of the "suites" buildings. Guests are transported between the two locations by shuttle bus.

The pool villas have the WOW factor. Modern design with luxury fittings. Enter a large hallway then settle back in a huge lounge area with a high ceiling. Look out over the lawn and manicured gardens. Step out onto the back patio and relax in the outdoor setting. Take a dip in your villa's individual lap pool. Let the children splash around in the water features with aquatic plants.

Step back inside and admire the bedrooms. Lots of glass and mirrors here. Plug your laptop into the cable broadband point. Watch TV on great sets in the bedroom OR lounge room. Head into the light-filled bathroom and enjoy a shower beside the outdoors courtyard.

Step outdoors. Stroll 100m to the South China Sea. Gaze across the vast expanse of sand towards the rainforest. It's a stunning beach with few people on it. The white sand is great and the setting is wonderful.

The villa area has no shops, restaurants or large swimming pools. All of that is a short ride away by shuttle bus. The transport is free - but sometimes you may need to wait for a few minutes. No big deal - no need to rush anywhere. Relax.

Enjoy a complimentary breakfast at either the Penyu Restaurant (poolside) or Kingfisher Restaurant (beachside).. Explore a truly sumptuous buffet each morning. Lots of yummy cooked food. Hard to fault. Our kids even discovered chocolate doughnuts.

The main Nexus Resort also has beautiful grounds and quite a few facilities. The swimming pools are great! Of course, all activities and restaurants are expensive at this resort. Expect that. Plan for it. If you are staying for more than a couple of nights, then consider bringing supplies out from Kota Kinabalu. Use that fridge space!

The villas have nice kitchens but almost no utensils. There is a note stating that cooking pots can be supplied upon request. Far enough. Beer packs are also available (fair prices).

It's a long trip back into Kota Kinabalu. Better to come out here for the beaches and stay. Shangr-La Rasa Ria is nearby - well worth a visit to see the orangutan nursery and sample the resort's facilities. A couple of other villages are within 15-20 minutes. But make sure you have booked taxis in advance if you don't carry a mobile phone on holidays. Technically, you are obliged to book all transport via the "Transport desk".

So how much does this place actually cost per night? Hard to say. And likely to change greatly over time. The current official discount price is MYR 6000 per night. But does anyone actually pay the "full rate"? Book direct via the website and get a discount of 50-85%. Now it's getting affordable. Notice prices are generally quoted without tax included. With a bit of luck, the total cost should be under MYR 1000. That is affordable luxury. Worth a splurge!

The point is that the "tired" rooms in the main resort are only a few ringgit cheaper than the villas. And the pool villas are soooooooo much better. The only disadvantage is making the trips to and from the resort. Sometimes, we just walked the whole way along the beach past the golf course. It is a peaceful, relaxing walk. You hardly notice that it takes 20 minutes.

Highly recommended - Just factor in planning for self-catering or town visits.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank wandring1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maastricht
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2009

Overall, this hotel is a good place to stay and relax at the swimming pool and the beach.
About a 35 minute drive from the airport and situated at a beautiful bay, this 5 star hotel offers very good food and well equiped rooms.
However, I found the service a bit lacking. Several times, we had to wait a long time for the foods and drinks we ordered to be served. Since we were on holiday so with time on our hands, this was only a minor discomfort.
But what was more worrying was the service at the beach. My wife got stung by a jellyfish. At the beach there was a sign indicating that vinegar was available at the beach. However, when I checked the box that should have contained the bottle of vinegar, there was nothing there. While my wife was in serious pain, we had to walk all the way back to the swimming pool to get the vinegar ourselves. Staff said that the bottle at the beach was just being refilled, therefore not present. But when I checked the same box later that afternoon and again the next day, the vinegar still was not there. A bit shameful for a 5 star hotel!
All in all, a nice place to relax but the service could be better.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TimMaastricht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2009

1 We asked for an airport pickup for the four of us. For some reason we were collected by a company named Borneo Explorations with that name on the sign board, so we had difficulty finding each other. The bus was empty save for us and it would have continued to exceed the speed limit dangerously had it not been for the appearance of a police car. You should bear in mind that if we had been involved in an accident we would have looked to the hotel, and not the bus company for reparation.

2 When we arrived at the hotel nobody greeted us, or helped us with our bags. We were deposited in the lobby and then waited for 20 minutes to check in - not because the desk was busy - but because there was only one receptionist that was slow and clumsy.

3 Our guests booked separately from us, and like us they were surprised to discover that the "Total Price" on the booking confirmation made through the hotel website in fact did not include taxes as the manner in which the total was presented led us to believe. This put our room costs up by about one-quarter. Not welcome - had we known this we would have booked elsewhere. We will follow up on this as appropriate. In any event the feeling of being misled and/or overcharged began there.

4 The room generally was fine if not a bit mass produced and tired. The shower cubicle is mouldy and the shower head sprays in all directions save for where you want it to spray.

5 The staff generally are slow, inattentive and poorly led. Dejected is a term that springs to mind. In many cases we had to walk to counters to get service, rather than be offered service. Questions couldn't be answered, and when the answer wasn't there it was just made up. For instance, in the Malaysian restaurant we opted for a la carte, and when we asked if Rendang curry was available, rather than checking, we were told no, because the chef didn't have any sauce for it. There was silence when we asked how it was that Rendang beef was in the buffet counter. Just one example the service was, at best, lost and potted.

6 Your wine is over-priced and the monthly "special" carries no explanation of the country of origin nor the year so assessing whether its a decent pick isn't easy, although one can't help thinking that's intentional.

7 The waitress on the Saturday at Sunset Grill was asked whether tuna melt could be served without being melted and the answer, quite plainly, was "no". Quite why the waitress couldn't ask the chef, who is only 10 metres away, we cannot say. Probably because "no" is the answer the staff are most practised at giving.

8 We did, however, enjoy a good meal at the Olive restaurant on the Sunday evening. Between us we had two bottles of wine and three courses a piece. Perhaps the let down was being asked to vacate the restaurant at 2315 when it seemed that the staff were itching to knock off for the day.

9 Upon check-out the staff failed to apply the 20 per cent discount on the food bill that was agreed with anywhere near the vigour that they applied charges elsewhere. A shame that we had to ask for the discount, and after several phone calls and lots of calculator work it was applied.

All in all a very mediocre experience at a hotel that claims to be a great deal more than it actually is. Not a place that we shall recommend to anybody and nor a place that we shall return to. The over all bill represents poor value and we leave with a feeling of being ripped off.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sdfasd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kota Kinabalu hotels

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2009

As a submariner I live in cramped quarters with lots of guys for extended amounts of time. I eat the same food over and over, have the same conversations over and over, and never see further than 30 or so feet infront of me. So when we pull into a new port and get a chance to relax, its pretty easy to please us. The Nexus was a treat, the service was very nice and with grounds were beautiful. The room itself was a little frayed around the edges. Clean but the light switch control panel near the bed didn't work right and the carpet had a worn look to it. They did accidentally book us for one day too short, but they found us new rooms at a hotel downtown so I was very happy with the service other than that goofup.

I tried to make use of the activities there. The pool was beautiful and had a small area for the kids, there was even a giant chess set nearby. The horseback riding activity was promoted as a romp through the sand on horseback,but was really just a trail with a guy leading the horse by a line. The spa was amazing. We arrived early and spent nearly two hours in the sauna and hot tub and finished it in the relaxation room until I got my coffee scrub and swedish massage. The massage room was very unique. Made me feel royal, or at least spoied.

All in all, a good time.

  • Stayed March 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank achilleos2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malaysia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2009

Service at reception was not that great. Bell boy did not help with our luggage, I had to drag the luggage to the room myself. 1st day check in, kids used the bath, but could not drain the water, call to have it fixed, had to call twice before they fixed it. Staff at towel counter not helpful, I asked them to help me with a deck chair, they ask me to go get one myself. At the sunset bar restaurant, staff did not acknowledge me even when I call for service twice. Looked at me and walked away. Staff at Nexus Kids club, the look on the girl face is as long as the runway. Worst of all was, only on the 2nd day did I then found out that the room door does not close properly. Have to make like 5 to 6 attempts before the door close properly. Good thing nothing was stolen coz we had lap top, phone and stuff in the room. The bed linen had dust and sand on it. We stayed for 5 days but I was eager to get out after the 3rd day, had quite enough of it. Not worth the money that we paid for. The only good thing was the spa, that's about it.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gtbessant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2009

A bit of a journey to get here from the airport, but well worth the stay in the end. Nice rooms, and good water sport activities for those who enjoy it. Not the most elegant or trendy of resorts, but good value nonetheless.

  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mea98pkl
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

Property: 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
#4 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#7 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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