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“enjoy an occasional luxury after so much effort ...... is good !”

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Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Ranked #11 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Reviewed 17 May 2010

A great place to rest and relax, enjoying all the comforts possible and imaginable.
For all people who want to do sports instead, there is a beautiful gym and can do various outdoor sports.
I particularly liked the pool bar is beautiful order a cocktail while taking a bath in the pool!
The staff is very kind, the beach is long, the garden is very nice and you can choose from many restaurants where to eat, I recommend "The Penyu" there is plenty of choice at the buffet!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Pearl_of_Labuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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788 - 794 of 1,404 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2010

My wife, kids (ages 10 and 7), and I spent four great nights at the Nexus Karambunai. The resort is set on a long and secluded beach with calm waters. It was typical for us to walk on the beach with just ourselves and sand crabs which made artistic constellation-like patterns in their wake. When we weren't at the beach, we are often at the pool which had separate areas for different ages of kids. It didn't take long for my children, however, to find the pool bar where they ordered fruity drinks. At some resorts, the pool bars are intimidating for kids, with smoking and drinking adults on the stools but not here (at least not this time).

The room was beautiful, large, and comfortable, sleeping the four of us easily. We also had a view of the ocean, and from the way the buildings were constructed I imagine all the rooms have an ocean view.

There was a good range of activities available for us. We booked a snorkeling trip through the hotel and we rented bikes that allowed us to take a long bike ride. Other activities like kayaking are also available, though we didn't do that. One should note that there were few bike paths and we found ourselves riding on the roads with some passing trucks and cars. It was okay, but if your kids are not great on bikes, it can feel treacherous. The snorkeling trip was good, but the Nexus is about a 30 minute drive from the pier so that was the downside of its secluded location.

The food at the Nexus was very good and reasonably priced for a resort. We found ourselves eating at the buffet restaurant every night. As with most resorts, it's hard to find other eating options, but the Nexus was especially removed from other possibilities unless you wanted to take a cab into town.

I listed this hotel highly for value because I got an incredible deal on its website. It was running an offer of RM999 (roughly US$280) for four nights so basically US$70 per night. I don't know why it offered such a low rate and I haven't seen it again, but we ended up spending more for food and drinks than we did on the room.

For a quiet, peaceful location for a family or a couple, I would recommend it.

R

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Rexetersg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2010

Have read "Better Options Elsewhere" review and agree wholehartedly.

We stayed in the 2 brm spa suites at around the same time. The suites are quite nicely laid out, new and fresh, but the whole deal has the feel of being a bunch of privately owned rooms/villas that are still in the "guaranteed income" phase of the investment plan, which means that the resort management are trying to flog them as hotel/resort class to get the punters in, when in fact they are too far separated from the resort grounds - by the golf course and some vacant land - to be practical. So, yes, also experienced either the half hour turn-around van trip to the main resort, and the 25 minute beach walk - the latter not bad, but would prefer as a desire than a necessity.

Definitely also experienced the public transport rip-off. I perceive an organised scam going on here.

The resort shuttle into town is reasonably good value - about MR24pp return - timetable is limited by comparison to other resorts - but again, the return trip is only to the main resort, and there is no organisation to get people to the spa suites. It would be a relatively short extend to the current bus route to get you there direct, but failing this, at least have the bus driver communicate with the resort staff to have the shuttle vans ready. We ended up back at the resort in pouring rain and it seemed to the staff like it was a new idea that we wanted to be elsewhere within the "resort" than on the spot.

The beach, I thought, was OK - not so much rubbish, white fine sand and by and large safe for kids, although jellyfish were around. Some kids got stung. Beach gear hire - RM120 for an hour of a Hobie Cat - I thought was high.

Breakfast was on par for comparable resorts. Otherwise, dining was OK. The waterfront restaurant - Italian themed - was mediocre, but OK, and the waiter got huffy when we asked him to split the bill between families.

The staff were overall very nice, but not assertive. I witnessed another guest - complaining at the transport desk that she and her husband had arranged for a shopping trip in town with transport in and then a return to the resort a few hours later and the driver hadn't turned up for the return trip - being met with blank stares and the "if I ignore you, you will go away" body language - which worked.

If I could make one recommendation on the spa suites to make them worth the money -two rooms in other KK 5-star resorts are well within range - it would be to make them fully self-catering to enable a quiet family getaway - they are fitted with a full kitchen, i.e. four-ring stove, full size fridge - even a garbage disposal. There is, however, no cutlery, crockery or cookware to make it function. Supermarkets in town are more than adequate. But, then this would obviously not suit a management plan of directing the customers to all of the more expensive resort options - at a distance.

Would I do the same thing again at Nexus Spa Suites - No. Is it an opportunity lost by the Nexus management to create an option for a great family holiday - Yes. Have been to KK a number of times and there are better options out there. Suggest pick something closer to town.

Am I recommending this to a friend - well, yes, because it is far from a hell-hole you would never want anyone to experience. I will, nevertheless, be giving them a very detailed objective opinion on what to expect.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Lurid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2010

Just returned from a 7 night stay. We stayed in an ocean panorama room with a great view of the sea. The setting of the resort was great - a long beach surrounded with hills covered in rain forest, which stretched right down to the beach.
Checked in quickly and efficiently. Food was good in the main restaurants, we ate in Penyu, and Kingfisher and one night in olives, (Fantastic in there but you do pay a bit more). Happy Hour every night from 3pm till closing time at the various bars and such drinks were all half price. This proved to be excellent value. 3pm to 5pm was at the Sunset Bar, 5-7pm at the Poolside Bar (with live entertainment), 7-9pm at the Lobby Lounge and 7pm till closing time at the Bar/nightclub. The hotel runs a shuttle bus to the city of Kota Kinabalu (KK) about every 2 hours, with the last bus returning at 9pm. The cost was 24RM per person return. Change your money at the airport in KK, you will get a better rate and you will get more for you money. If you go to one of the shopping centres in town the hotel rate is 4.7 to the pound, one more tip, and yes the drinks are overpriced make sure you take a few bottles with you just to keep in the fridge in your room for a night cap. We organized our own trip to the Sepilok, which is an orangutan rehabilitation centre. We booked well in advance with air Asia and including taxis to and from the airport, entrance to the orangutan centre, we under up spending about 100 pounds English money. My partner and I had a fantastic time at this destination, a holiday is what you make it, and we meet great people (Australian). Nexus is a holiday for relaxation and we certainly manage to do this at this resort.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rugbyboy59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2010

Have read through some of these reviews and, while I think a couple are a bit harsh, they are generally on the mark.

I would like to stress that we found the staff at the Nexus resort quite good. The problems here largely rest with management. We stayed in the "newly opened wing of 2-bedroom duplex Pool Villas and 1- and 2-bedroom Spa Suites". If you look at the photo on the Nexus website's home page, this is literally 2kms to the left of screen. The taxi from the airport didn't even know it was there and mistakenly took us to the main resort. It is a 20-25 minute walk down the beach from the main resort. and, in short, there is nothing wing about it.

It is a completely separate property that is basically a housing estate with three multi-storey buildings at its hub surrounding the one pool. These buildings house the "spa" suites. The "spas" are normal bath tubs, fitted with 4 spa jets. But the key issue with this "wing" is that it has an identity crisis we couldn't figure out. It has no reception area - we initially thought we were being ushered into a timeshare briefing when first entering the ground floor spa suite that has been turned into a makeshift reception area - and a very limited kitchen located by the pool.

The spa suites, and presumably the pool villa suites which are single storey and form the rest of the "estate" ,are designed to be self-contained. (By the way the "lap" pools are about 10 meters long and a bit over a meter wide, jammed between the villa and side fence - so practice your tumble turns!) Yet you are given no cookware, crockery or even cutlery.

The whole resort is quite isolated - it takes 30-60 minutes to get into town depending on traffic, which can get very congested. Thus, the consistent impression we got is that the resort management was relentlessly trying to take advantage of our isolation by forcing us to use as many resort services, including catering, as possible and charge exorbitant prices for even the most minor service - eg internet access at Nexus - 6 ringgits per half hour/internet cafe in town - 1 ringgit per hour.

As one other reviewer has suggested, the biggest rip off is taxis. Again, because you are isolated, if you book a taxi through the hotel, they will charge fares well in excess of normal taxi fares - eg we found a taxi driver in town and arranged for him to come an pick us up and take us to Mt Kinabalu - fare 120 ringgits. The quoted price for a taxi organised by Nexus - 260 ringgits.

But it doesn't end here. The confusion the staff were thrown into when I told them I was expecting a taxi not booked through them had to be seen to be believed. It was like I was all of a sudden talking Swahili. The staff were reluctant to cooperate with me in ensuring the taxi knew where he was going instead, farcically, getting one of their own taxis to come instead. I had to get them to send this away and eventually to ours to pick us up. However, again, staff were obviously acting on orders to ensure guests use hotel facilities and services at all times and struggled to cope with a guest making their own arrangements.

The isolation from the main resort was annoying when we sometimes had to wait up to 15-20 minutes just to get a mini-van to pick us up to take us to breakfast or back again. The hotel also offers a limited shuttle bus service into town and, from memory, charged 24 ringgits per adult and less for children for the return trip. A one way taxi fare from town was about 50 ringgits so the resort shuttle wasn't much cheaper. And certainly far less flexible with, again from memory, a 5pm and 9pm return shuttle.

While the 2 bedroom spa suites were otherwise quite nice - the beds were very comfy - and ideal for families, there was hardly anyone staying at the "wing" during our stay. In fact, one positive was that the resort offered a basic breakfast served on the lawn near the beach when we first got there. It was quite pleasant yet, after a couple of days, a unilateral decision was made to stop this because there weren't enough guests.

The ghost town syndrome was most comically evidenced when we (2 families) hired some of the bikes that were stored by the pool area. Obviously none had been ridden for a long time because no less than 3 staff then spent 2 hours trying to get the bikes into some sort of working order. We rode to the "Lagoon Park" which is about 2kms further down the road and had a somewhat derelict flavour and looked like it saw little use.

I would disagree with some of the poor reviews about breakfasts offered in the main resort. They were typical of this type of SE Asian resort although I did notice "egg corner" seemed to be a hot bed of conflict on some mornings when people weren't getting their eggs just right (involving mainly younger well groomed females for the sociologists).

A big plus at Nexus is the gardens, which are expansive and very well maintained. The beach is quite nice but a fair amount of rubbish seems to drift in on the tide, which needed to be cleaned up daily. There were some jellyfish when we were there and the sandflies were diabolical!

The pools at the main resort were fine and overall the gardens provided quite a pleasant environment if you're just looking to vegetate, relax and read a good book. The resort also organises some activities, such as painting (for a price!) which the kids enjoyed. We didn't play, but the golf course looked great, with lovely flower beds and trees dotted around the course.




But, given the hassles we experienced, the management's none-too-subtle policy of relieving guests of as much money as they can while they can, their taking advantage of the resort's isolation, and cost, I'd have to recommend people look at other resorts in the region. We have stayed previously at the Sutera Harbour Pacific and, particularly as it shares facilities with the Magellan, was great and very handy to town. With a free shuttle bus!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank HongKongBilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2010

Our family regularly visits KK for holidays. We have stayed at several different places in and out of KK city - all good! This time, we decided to try a night at Nexus, as we had heard a lot about it over the years. Unfortunately, the whole experience was disappointing. In fact, we could not wait to leave! The problems started at reception when they had no record of my confirmed booking. None of the smiles, friendliness or welcomes that we are used to with Sabah hospitality. Rather, the check-in girl was blaming me for them not having our booking on record! Our room was quite a long way from reception and we walked in the sun with our bags to get there. We found out later that golf buggies are supposed to drive you there, but we had not been told about this at reception! We then caught a (very old) bus for the five minutes to the resort's lagoon. This was quite unkempt and dirty, with charges for using the limited equipment. Again, little hospitality shown. Back at the resort, we used the pools that looked very tired (like a lot of the rest of the resort). Our lower storey room was clean and well equipped, but quite noisy at night with the people above us. Far from a tranquil and relaxing evening! Next morning was not much better. Breakfast was appalling. My wife ordered a boiled egg and was almost sick when she started to eat it and found it was cold and all but raw! Most KK hotels have great breakfasts, but adults and kids found little to eat here. Funereal music of a depressing nature was loudly played during breakfast to make it even more of a grim experience. We decided to leave the resort early and were hit with the final insult. Booking a taxi in advance, it was then given to someone else by the door staff who had just arrived looking for a cab. We had to then wait for another, with an 80 RM charge for the 15 minute drive to One Borneo. Normally a trip of this length should be around half that!! I notice previous reviewers have also commented on the taxi rort here. Nexus has a great location and thee are many different wings and room types. This could well determine how good an experience a visitor might have. Obviously many people do rate Nexus highly - but will will not be going back.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank GWP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2010

My colleagues and I stayed for a total of 4 nights. We had 2 whole days of meeting any the remaining 1.5 days to visit places in KK.

We had very little time to utilized the facilities but the long beach is great. It is a peaceful getaway but do keep in mind that it is at least 35mins from KK town. Taxi to the nearest mall (1 Borneo) will cost at least RM140 to and fro. Most of us just hang around in the resort at night. Too costly to go anywhere.

Free internet connection in every room AND there is free wifi at the lobby and restaurants. Hotel staff were helpful. Rooms were very clean.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled on business
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Thank jayelle8
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
#8 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: £73 - £182 (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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