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Reviewed 11 March 2013

We spent 6 nights here after our rainforest expedition. It is really beautifully located and if you skip the pool with loads of people and go to the small beach instead, it is also rather peaceful.
Numerous restaurants with different kind of food and a SPA that is one of the best in the world and a breakfast containing everything you could possibly think of.
BUT -if it tastes, it costs..
The price level is generally very high and to be honest; the level of service in the restaurants isn't really all that perfect. People are very friendly but has for instance no knowledge about wine and gladly served a defect bottle and did not understand what the problem was and massacred a cork leaving us spitting pieces of it out.. The waiting time was also long sometimes. I wouldn't say anything about it if it was a local restaurant with prices in Malaysian level but...
I do recommend room-service balcony dining. Well worth the (rather low) price!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank UllaBella018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2013

Short stay for 4 days. what can i say....
staff - wonderfully helpful and tirelessly friendly....incredible patiences..
rooms - sigh...comfortably lavish
facilities - you just have to go there..you'll want to stay
service - fast, personal and efficient i'll give the place 5x5 stars....and no, I didn't get paid for saying all this...

Dubai..Melbourne..we're coming.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Pedas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2013

This was our third stay here but the last time was several years ago so we saw some changes in Kota Kinabalu itself. We stayed in a seaview room in the Tanjung Wing which i would recommend. Our initial room wasnt high enough so we swapped for a 5th floor room and weren't disappointed. The room was very large and had a wonderful big bed which was comfy. Bathroom was nice and always had plenty of toiletries left for us. The only downside was i think the air conditioning could have been more effective. The hotel has tried to think of everything though and even had a mosi plug although we were only left a few tablet (we brought our own so that was ok). However while we were there we didnt see a single mosquito.

We ate at several places in the hotel including the Italian Peppinos which was lovely, Shang Palace which is Chinese Muslim food and this disappointed really and also Coco joes which we also enjoyed. This is why i find it odd that someone has said there wasnt any choice but TATU and Coco Joes. We also had a few drinks at the sunset bar by the ocean. This is expensive but has long happy hours where it is 2 for 1.
Breakfast was extremely busy but is served till 10.30am. The choice was amazing and the hotel have several egg stations for omlettes etc, fresh yoghurt and yoghurt ice cream and anything you could think of. They even served dim sum. Also no matter how busy it was we were always found a table.

As regards cleanliness i couldnt fault it. It was spotless. Someone mentioned cockroaches but we didnt see any although on some of the outside corridors we saw several dead beetles which are nasty but expected in the tropics and we only saw these outside and not in the rooms or public areas.

The swimming pool is amazing. It is huge and has lifeguards as does the beach area. The adult pool is strictly enforced by them so the kids kept to their own pools. There is a problem here with people reserving sunbeds but if you don't do it you will end up without one so you have to do the same. Beware though as some guests are not averse to removing your belongings as we found when we only left them to eat lunch.
The beach is clean and we swam in the sea and yes occasionally first thing in the morning after a windy night we saw litter but this was around the jetty area and not the swimming area.
The gym is very large and has all the latest high tech equipment plus steam rooms etc.

The hotel also do trips, we went by speedboat to Mamutuk for about £11 each. This is one of the little islands off the hotel where you can snorkel. You used to be able to visit several of the islands but now the hotel only do Mamutuk.

We did get taxis into Kota Kinabalu several times which the hotel arrange. They used to do a shuttle bus but now only do this to the sister hotel the Rasa Ria. The taxi is 30RM each way which is about £6. We also went to the waterfront area where there are restaurants and an irish pub. Food and drink are both expensive in Borneo.
There is a restaurant up the beach called Sri Tanjung which is seafood. I recommend this as the food was lovely and the owner even took us back to the hotel afterwards.

We really enjoyed our stay here and have no hesitation in recommending it.

Room Tip: Choose Tanjung Wing in a higher floor.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2013

This hotel could and should be a top quality class act. It is in a fabulous location in a quiet peninsula right on the coast, and yet it is only a five minute taxi ride into Kota Kinabalu, which is a city with its own airport making it perfect for access to other parts of Borneo for day trips. It is also part of the large Shangri La chain, and has some excellent staff working in it. It also has some great children's facilities, so for young families it is probably ideal. But... for anyone expecting a calm quality environment in a jungly Borneo it does not hit the mark fully, which is a great shame.
On a positive note, the room we had for two weeks in the Kinabalu wing was excellent. It had oa great sea view from a nice private balcony, and it was clean and modern with free WiFi access of decent speed. My only reservation is that as we were in a room on an internal corner the room next.To ours on the other side of the lift was on an angle so from there balcony they could see into our room and see our bed in its entirety, there should have been a solid dividing wall not trellis.for privacy They delivered a free local newspaper each morning, and the room had a decent bathroom, good air con and a comfortable bed. )housekeeping was random with what they did and when The fridge in the room is empty on arrival and this was a positive as you are invited to use it for your own items of food or drink which you can buy from local supermarkets. or the shop on site which was poorly stocked and very expensive. The outside restaurant even when only 5 other guests on two tables on our first evening was poorly organised with drinks taking on one occasion 20 mins there were lots of serving staff but they did not appear to know how to split up the tables and cover them, with a system so 3 staff would cover one table and totally miss others who needed help.
In addition we had no problem finding a sunbed on any day, though to get one in the shade we had to drag them from around the pool to a nearby shady tree- still not a big problem. There were lifeguards around the pools which was good to see, and the gym which is in the Kinabalu wing is really impressive- we used this on the odd day when it was raining in the morning.
The food quality overall was great, but it was also really pricey, so we found some really nice alternatives within walking distance, and two great places in Kota Kinabalu called Chilli Vanilla and El Centro, both very relaxed cafe style with a great atmosphere and great food (see tripadvisor reviews).
So it all sounds great, but...... it could be so much better.
Your first experience of the hotel is nothing more than a blatant attempt to get you to upgrade. The initial reception staff are simply sales people, who I can only assume are on some serious commission scheme. In our case we were asked to upgrade to a club room for a further £750, which after some 10 minutes of checking it turned out was not available anyway. Then we were shown an alternative upgrade to a room in the Tanjung wing which was older and noisier which was going to cost £250 more. We refused this but we're then told we could "upgrade" for free! We still refused and stuck with our original room, but later we were offered the use of the club room facilities but without a club room for the full upgrade price. No thanks, and you really don't want all that hassle on arrival at a five star hotel.
The main problem this hotel has though is its breakfasts. We envisaged the usual quality selection of food (which there was), but not the amazing caucophany of noise and the chaos of the restaurant. It is appalling for a hotel of this size to only have one restaurant for breakfast, and despite the best efforts of the friendly staff there were days when they lost control and even advised us not to leave the table whilst it was cleared otherwise we may lose it! The lady who finds you a table, Rosina, needs a medal, as any table not occupied will be taken over. The management are clearly aware of the problem yet there was not a single day when a senior manager showed his face to see the chaos first hand. Instead we were, as an adult couple, greeted daily by an insane costumed man speaking to us as if we were kids. We did see the chef who looked shell shocked and usually vanished after a couple of minutes.
The sunbeds themselves are top quality rattan sunbeds but we counted only six on the entire premises with mattresses. Why? This meant they were high uncomfortable and left a rather nice pattern like a tennis racket on your back if your towel slipped.
The beach here is also hugely disappointing - small with sandflies, and the sea its self is murky and almost fish free, so no snorkelling here.
Outside the hotel if you are into fitness you can run along the main public beach for around 2 miles which is great, and at intervals along the way there are a few restaurants and a good food court for cheap local dining. Also there is a fantastic new running track open to everyone (called Perdana Park) with water coolers, and it is only a mile away. At night this has musical fountains " dancing" and there are a couple of nice restaurants here, particularly the "Secret Recipe".
You can get a taxi directly from the hotel to KK for 30RM but once there you can find many taxis to get you back for 20!
We booked some awesome trips to see the orangutans at Sarawak, to go white water rafting at Padas (see u tube footage) and also snorkel and dive in the nearby national park- all booked on line prior to arrival through "divedownbelow" - check out their website. They handled everything very well, and the trips are great value.
So overall a great place to come to, a good hotel, but one that could be so much better if the hotel management could fix their problems, which have been highlighted many times before by other reviewers.

Room Tip: The Mumbai wing is more modern and away from the noisy pool area. Get as high a room as you can for the best sea view and brilliant sunsets
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Steve T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2013

Pros Staff very friendly. Gym excellent.swimming pool and children's play area excellent also
Cons Stayed Kota Kinabalu wing. Sea facing. Room somewhat tired. Mildew around shower.
Check in a nightmare.Service the.first week very hit and miss as they seemed unable to cope with numbers of people ( it was Chinese New Year ) First week breakfastsa "bun fight"",
Food ranged from excellent to mediocre. Unless you only drank in happy hour the price of a of a pint worked worked out to £11.
Would judge this hotel to be 4 star only.

Room Tip: Check all rooms before accepting.If you can afford it upgrade to " club" level
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank c_kerry778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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