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“Appalling Service”

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Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Ranked #12 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Singapore
2 reviews
“Appalling Service”
Reviewed 21 September 2009

I stayed at the Nexus resort service apartment for two nights with a couple of friends recently. We all unanimously agree that the service at Nexus resort is the worst that we have encountered.

(i) Although we booked an apartment for four persons, upon check in, only one key card was issued. When we asked the potter to give us an extra key card, we were told that they "ran out of key cards". However, when a few hours later we personally went to the reception to inquire if it was indeed the case that they had "ran out of key cards", the lady at the reception took out a stack of key cards from the cupboard and issued one to us. Either the potter did not understand English or he was just plain lazy.

(ii) Our second gripe was the resort's failure to provide us with any bath towels despite our repeated requests. Upon check in, we requested for towels as we noticed that our bathrooms did not come with any towels. The staff informed us that there was a "linen problem" but assured us that our towels would arrive in the evening. However, when we returned to the room that night, the towels did not arrive as promised. We had to call again before the towels arrived. On the second day, we encountered the same problems. The chambermaid when cleaning the rooms failed to replenish the towels. When we called in the mid-afternoon to ask for towels, we were again informed that they had a "linen problem" but that the towels would arrive within two hours. As you would guess, this promise was not fulfilled. I reminded the reception several times that afternoon/evening. In the end, I had no choice but to call the main reception of the main resort and asked to be put direct to housekeeping. When I asked the housekeeping manager if there was indeed a "linen problem", the person did not respond with a "yes". Within half an hour, my towels were delivered. Clearly, there was no such linen problem. The problem lay with the service staff.

(iii) The third issue we had was the irregular shuttle services that takes us between the service apartment, the main resort (where all the restaurants and facilities are) and the sports lagoon. As they are all between 5 to 7 minutes apart, it was not possible to go via foot. We therefore had to rely heavily on the internal shuttle service provided by Nexus. As they were short handled, we had to wait long periods of time for the shuttle service to take us from point to point. Our issue is not just with the length of time it takes for the shuttle service to come, but the fact that the hotel staff could not give definite answers (i.e. whether is 5 minutes or 30 minutes) as to approximately how long it would take. The timing of the shuttle bus was erratic and it was therefore hard to plan our schedules.

(iv) Upon check in, we were told that we had to pay for our entire stay in full up front (plus more to cover any charges that may be incurred). We were told that if we spent less than what we had paid, this amount would be refunded to us. We had difficulties trying to reason/clarify with the reception at the service apartment as they had problems communicating in English. We were finally told that we did not need to pay the amount up front but that they required a credit card. This was furnished. The lady however came back with a receipt which indicated that she had swiped the card for an amount which was more than a night's stay but less than our two night's stay. Not only did it appear to be an arbitrary figure, what shocked us was that they did so without informing us! They assured us that this amount was not in fact deducted but was sort of like kept in escrow. We didn't understand that. In the end, after much to-and-fro, this transaction was voided. This was however not the end of the billing saga.

(v) On our last day at the resort, upon checking out, the reception at the service apartment informed us that according to their system, nothing was outstanding from us, i.e. that we had fully paid for our stay on the first day. This surprised us as we had the impression that we had not paid for our stay at all. In the event, we took the shuttle bus to the main resort in order to clarify with the reception there. The system at the reception reflected otherwise - i.e. that we had not paid for our bills. We were glad that we made a conscious effort not to charge any tours/food to our room but chose to pay in cash instead as their billing system appears not to be entirely accurate.

We were all very disappointed with the service at the Nexus resort. We had seen a brochure where they marketed themselves as a five star resort and was therefore looking forward to the stay.

On the bright side, I would say that the service apartment is charming and nicely furnished. The private beach is also pristine and not crowded. The food at the restaurants (including the free breakfast) is also good. A downside though is that the resort is about 45 to 60 minutes from the city centre. As such, if you are looking to explore the Sabah city centre, this is certainly not the resort for you.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AllyTan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Brunei
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2009

Here's the email reply after our trip that we found out the website or the check-in staff didn't even bother to highlight twice the lower rates advertised in a local newspaper which we are qualified for:

We can not afford to sell all rooms at low rates. And I would reprimand a reservation staff if she converted our premium clients to our cheap promo rates.
We are sorry to learn that you won't be staying with us but are still glad that you will be back to Kota Kinabalu. You are right, Sabah has some great resorts you should try.
Enjoy your next holiday!

Brendan Wong
Director of Sales & Marketing
NEXUS RESORT & SPA KARAMBUNAI

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SY09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kota Kinabalu hotels

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
152 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2009

Our first trip to KK, and stayed here for three nights on a package which included golf for 2 adults, breakfast and lunch (at the golf club). Both of us are golfers so the golf package was of great interest. Overall, we found the staff good, the hotel location and grounds excellent and adequate things to do or relax. However, it was lacking the 5 star feel but we didnt mind.

We had asked for an airport pickup and there was a nice Toyota MPV waiting for us - very comfortable ride to the hotel. Check in was a bit slow and an area to improve. We had booked the Ocean view rooms and I had asked for a high floor, both good choices. The room was spacious, well equipped, free internet, large bathroom with shower cubicle and bath and a lovely balcony with a view of the ocean.

The good:
1. Golf every day - very pictureque course, loved it, and the staff there were great. Book a tee off time in advance. The concierge used to drop us in a golf cart (2 mins away) and after the golf we used to get dropped back directly to our room. A lunch after golf is a must do, and the serve one of the best peeper beef kway teow we have had in the region!
2. The beach - shallow, clear water and you can walk for at leats 50m in. A walk along the beach is wonderful in the evening - almost 4 km long.
3. Have a drink and or dinner at the Sunset bar. Limited menu but the best option in our view. Kingfisher was the other restaurant which serves Asian food and was not bad.
4. Jungle walk - sign up for this which starts at around 7:30 am. A pleasant guide will take you for a walk in a jungle trail ending at the top of a hill with a splendid view of the resort. Must do.
5. Get some wine with you - and enjoy it on the balcony in the evening.
6. The spa - very nice and worth a visit. Also has a gym nearby if you wish to use it.
7. Very child friendly (though we did not have children with us) - and lots of activities to keep them busy. Also have a playroom with minders.
8. A supermarket was a useful feature in the hotel as you could get your necessities (drinks, snacks etc.) there.
9. Helpful and good concierge and transport facilities.
10. Value

Room to improve:
1. TV - missed out on the Tennis because the cable channel wasnt working.
2. Food - a wider and nicer range would be good. The coffee shop by the pool was disappointing in terms of quality.

We went for a quiet time to relax and play golf and this was just the place. In fact we did not go to town on a visit and just loved the location. If you want to do touristy things then you need to do more research on that. I will go back with some friends again for the golf.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Asiaishome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 August 2009

The location of the hotel is excellent right on a beautiful stretch of beach. The grounds ae very well laid out and maintained.
The hotel generally is a little tired and could do with refurbishment. However the rooms are spacious and clean.
Our first impressions of the hotel were not good as the check in process was far from efficient and not overly welcoming.
Service throughout our stay was inconsistent. Towels and toileteries were missing twice from our room...first call to room service responded to within 20 mins but on the second occassion no response after 1 hour and I was compelled to call to reception in person to rectify matters.
Staff in the main dining area(breakfast buffet) were friendly and generally efficient but on occassions inconsistent. On balance not sure if I would recommend the hotel even though location and beach are excellent. It is quite a distance from the town and if shopping is your priority it wouul not be the best. If you just want to chill out for a few days by the pool or the beach and you can ignore the above negatives then this is for you.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JW396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Koroit, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2009

What a great resort ! We spent 10 wonderful nights at the Nexus resort and we had great service, great food, great facilaties, couldn't fault a thing. The staff were exceptionally friendly and made us and our four year old feel welcome. If you have the extra $$ We could recommend staying at the nexus club. The rooms are bigger, great views, king size bed and the breakfast and happy hour drinks and nightly buffet were fantastic - great if you don't want to dine with the rest of the hotel. In totally recommend the dimsum lunch in the chinese restaurant - our 4 yo boy couldn't get enough.
If all you want to do is sit by the pool, sipping your choice of beveridge and have your kids playing with others then this is your holiday. Happy hour from 5-7pm 1/2 price drinks !! The kids club was good - when we needed it, a little dated, but do kids care about that sort of thing ?
The borneo spa was great and my husband and I tried a few different treatments !!
Value for money it was great. We didn't realize how inexpensive to food and drink was compared to the resorts we have stayed in in the pacific region.
Did a day trip to kota kinabalu - was a lot of fun. Buses leave 4x a day for as little as $7 return. It was good that the resort is 45min north of Kota kinabalu - clean and not crowded.
Beach was lovely, great sunset - the water was 28-30 degrees and perfect.
Golf course is good - challenging and If you are a good golfer ( handicap below 10) I would recommend taking your own clubs as they don't have any mens stiff steel shafted clubs for hire. Ladies clubs were fine for me ( handicap 28). We even saw a monkey come out of the national park onto the fairway !
Overall a great holiday and we will definatly be going back again in the next few years.

Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank travel_mum_portfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
Melbourne
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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
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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
#5 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#8 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 & Spa Karambunai Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Nexus Resort And Spa Karambunai
Nexus Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Nexus Hotel Karambunai
Nexus Resort Sabah
Nexus Resort Karambunai
Nexus Sabah Hotel
Nexus Karambunai Hotel

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