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Reviewed 13 January 2018 via mobile

After a bit of a rocky start we ended up having a wonderful 10 days at this hotel, which felt like a home away from home after day 3. The mark of a good hotel is how it deals with things that go wrong. A wonderful duty manager called Kevin organised to meet us in person to discuss the rocky start and from that moment on we settled in to a wonderful holiday. Pool area is a dream for kids. Food is excellent in particular the Shang Palace. The suite we had was beautiful, spacious, with amazing sea and sunset views and kept absolutely spotless every day. But what stays with you about this hotel is how the staff made us feel. To call out a few of the special people who made us feel like really valued guests were, Joseph, Mieda, Andrew, Kelly, Christoclay, Azure, Waite and the lovely singers who allowed my daughter Abby to sing with them! We even had some of the staff singing us off on our departure. What a special touch that we'll remember for a long time. We will definitely come back. Loved it here.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank Rachel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLa_TAH, other at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2018

Dear Rachel K,

Thank you so much for this lovely review of the resort.

We feel both honoured and humbled all at once. You have even taken the time to list down the names of our colleagues who have exceeded your expectations. They will be absolutely delighted to read this.

We'd love to welcome you all back to Kota Kinabalu one day very soon. Until we meet again, safe travels always.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2018

Spent a long week in this large resort hotel in a beautiful setting. Friendly and helpful but grossly disorganised staff and very little actually works. Breakfast and evening meal in the main restaurant are chaotic with large choice but many items running out every time. Food standard no more than fair. The Italian restaurant is superb but very expensive and if you are on half board, then you are not told when checking in that there will be no allowance for this restaurant. Chinese restaurant is OK and similar comments apply but Coco Joes is very poor and very disorganised particularly at lunch time. Large swimming pool and adult area is enforced, but loungers are very uncomfortable. Our hotel room needed updating. It is a great pity but in the final analysis the experience was poor and our recommendation is to avoid

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank APCLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Dear APCLondon,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this review of the resort.

I am very sorry to hear that our services and facilities have fallen short of your expectations.

Your feedback here is most invaluable to us because it highlights the areas that we can improve. We will work on improving ourselves immediately.

We appreciate your continued support and friendship.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

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Reviewed 12 January 2018 via mobile

Such a beautiful place. Not everything went to plan eg room not ready when we got there at 2pm told to wait an hour and a half. Given complimentary drinks though. All really tired after long flight Australia to Kuala Lumpur and then KL To Kota Kinabalu. Then room not ready still - after a bit of assertiveness we were allocated 1 of our 2 bedrooms (adjoining ). AS they were ground floor we asked if we could move to a higher level if possible for a better view . Answer was yes but would have to wait a further 2 hours.. but could keep the one room so we agreed. Well worth It lovely view and were given complimentary wine bottles that evening too .

Other small hitch was a workman started drilling near by at 5:30am the next morning .. after a phone call to service desk this stopped but it was an early morning wake up we didn’t need and it never happened again.
Complimentary fruit in the room that night too

The Kinabalu wing was perfect for us with two teenagers as it’s not far to walk to all the pools and away from little kids , but honestly I think either area would be fine . Sea view definitely worth the extra $.

Bit over the buffet breakfast after 8 days but a good range of food and staff who although very busy when asked for a specific request followed through promptly with a smile and with no issues at all.

Teenagers enjoyed the pool, soccer pool (a great hit hadn’t seen that before) and took part in a resort initiated water volleyball game.

Trip to nearby Sapi Island for snorkelling bit of a waste for snorkeling as low tide and not high visibility but to the staffs credit at the marina had been warned about this. Advice is to ask the tide levels for all the dates you are going to be there so you can plan to go out when the tide is the highest (we missed the higher tide dates earlier in the week)

Overall a lovely relaxing holiday with the children and highly recommended couldn’t fault the intention to provide excellent customer service and follow up.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Jssww
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLa_TAH, Director Of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2018

Dear Jssww,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this review of the resort.

We are delighted to hear that you and your family had enjoyed the holiday so much. Thank you for giving us a chance to rectify the shortcomings by letting us know about them right away.

It was our pleasure serving you. We'd love to welcome you all back again soon. But until we meet again, safe travels always!


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2018

I was going to sign up for the membership as I have used it before. However the disappointing experience deterred me from doing so. Not sure if I would be using Shangri-la anytime soon. May be it is the inability of the hotel to handle holiday volume, but the over-all quality of the service was far cry from the 5-star which I had hoped for. If not for the rush of reaching airport, I would have spoken to the manager of my ordeal which I will mention below, but I am not sure if I would have gotten anything other than a mere sorry. Most luxury hotels like Inter-con/Hyatt would probably give something complimentary or some sort of discount, but I guess Shangri-la corporate hospitality is different.
DAY1- Due to unavailability of staff owing to volume of guest, me and my family of 3 were carrying our own luggage to room; Luckily certain Mr James(Shangri-La, staff) found that absurd and helped us to carry our luggage, so thank you Mr James. Toilet had cobwebs. The fridge had nothing in it(no drinks, no snacks, no beer, absolutely nothing zilch). Ordered room service at 10:30 pm, food arrived at 12:15 mid-night despite 2 reminders, after I was about to call to cancel the food.
DAY2 – Went for breakfast; breakfast options were great, service was not. Could see several staff loitering around aimlessly but would not serve coffee if asked. I would go to the machine and serve myself else I would not get the coffee. Went outside for sight-seeing. Came back around 8 pm, shocked to see “Room was not cleaned”. Lame excuse given that may be we put “ don’t disturb sign”. No pamphlet provided which says “make your room”, so only way is to ask housekeeping to clean the room; obviously instruction was not followed. Room is eventually cleaned, balcony is not.
DAY3 – we find a small lizard on the bed, we let it go as we went out for sightseeing. We come back, room is cleaned; but shoddy cleaning at best.
DAY4- Service at a hotel bar(near the ocean) is extremely slow. Have to remind the waiter 3 times to get a drink. We go to the common area to have couple of drinks and watch pretty ladies signing. Order chicken rice. The rice comes half cocked. Luckily the waiter acknowledges that rice was spoiled and does not charge us for food. So thank you.
My next destination would have been Shangri-la Boracay but after this experience, I am not really inclined. When you premium, you do expect premium service.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Vikas1804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2018

Dear Vikas1804,

I read this review with much concern.

I am very sorry to hear that we had failed to meet your expectations.

We strive to pamper every guest with the Shangri-La hospitality so it is disappointing for all of us when we hear that one of our guest had left the resort any less than completely delighted.

We note your helpful feedback and thank you for taking the time to write this review.

Please do let us know the dates if you are going to Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa. We would like to help ensure your stay there meets the high level of quality service the Shangri-La is known for.

Thank you for your continued support and friendship.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2018

We booked this place on the recommendation of our friends in Singapore. To highlight the good points : This resort is clean & well-maintained. Service is friendly, from the Resident Manager to the barman, restaurant and cleaning staff.

What this place severely lacks, is the human resources over the peak periods when they are at full capacity. Drinks by the pool bar took over 40 minutes, and when challenged by staff, they bring them in 30 seconds with a "sorry, these drinks were made just now for you" when clearly they had been sat on the bar counter for a while (the ice had melted in all the drinks was how i knew). I know you are understaffed, but your staff dont need to resort to telling stories, do they?
Breakfast buffet is primarily catered to Koreans and Malays. Not much else for a guest from any other part of the world.

Rooms are ok, a bit tired-looking - expected some better furnishings as this is a Shangri-La property after all. Some rooms have water pump sounds in the bathroom, so this is something management need to look out for, and rectify.

For the same or better price, I would rather stay at a Club Med, where there is unlimited food and drinks, and the room quality is similar/same as the Shangri-La. Far more QUALIFIED and WELL-TRAINED frontline staff, and at a lower price. Unfortunately there is no Club Med in Sabah.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Steve_Mark2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Dear Steve_Mark2013,

Thank you for taking the time to write this review.

I am very sorry to hear that we had fallen short of your expectations and apologize for the shortfalls you had experienced during your stay here.

Guests' feedback is most important to us. We would like to begin immediate investigations into some of the shortfalls you have listed here but would appreciate more information. We will be most grateful if you can get back to us at tah@shangri-la.com.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

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