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Reviews (4,008)
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Reviewed 13 November 2006

A little disconcerted by mixed reviews- but no need. I stayed here for a glorious week in October with my boyfriend and found it an excellent resort hotel. The reception on arrival was lovely with a welcome drink and cool towel to freshen up, and wonderfully welcoming staff.
The hotel in general and the room were immaculate. We stayed in the Tanjung wing, which is newly renovated whilst the Kinabalu Wing was being finished. Room was large and comfortable, witha huge balcony and lovely bathroom. We overlooked the pool area and childrens paly area, but were not disturbed by noise at all.
It is a family hotel, there are children, but not exessive amounts,and the pool and beach areas are large enough that you can chose a quiet corner. The beach is not huge, but is more than adequate- cleanand pretty with plenty of loungers, and the sea is perfect for swimming in as has a jellyfish net for protection.
The hotel is also conveniently located fo rthe town- 5 minutes by cab. We didnt eat in the hotel as it is very expensive, but found that there were plenty of other places to go- a gathering of cafes on the beach at the end of the road less than 10 mins walk away, or the Waterfront area a short (and cheap) taxi ride away. The staff were able to advise on places to go in the evening.
All in all, this hotel offered us a romantic break away, with excellent service, beautiful location, and we would recommend it highly.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Gignergirl43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2006

Stayed for 4 nights in the Tanjung Aru in early September. Could have been the time of year, but there were very few children so a different experience to previous reviews. We had booked a room in the tanjung wing based on reviews we had read and also knowing that there were renovations in the kinabalu wing. On arrival we were offerred an 'upgrade' to a suite in the kinabalu wing, however after taking a look we quickly declined (noise of renovations and very dated furnishings). Our room in the Tanjung wing was gorgeous- overlooking the green and a good seaview, lovely modern furnishings and nice balcony to sit out on and look at the sunset. We did notice that others would not have had as nice views so be specific with your room request would be my advice! There isn't a beach as such at this hotel, but we enjoyed sunbathing on the greens overlooking the sea. We also went on a boat to Sapi island, one of the smaller islands i think, and went snorkling there. Well worth a visit for a few hours anyway as the fish you see when snorkling are surprisingly good considering you're so near the beach. Food on the hotel was nice. We ate in pepino's italian restaurant twice and loved the food. As others have said, get the shuttle into town for while. Centre point has a couple of good shops and if you're looking for the usual sort of souvenirs the night market will probably have what you're looking for. The tanjung's location is good in that you're only 10 mins from the town and the airport and taxis are quite cheap (the fares are set so you don't get ripped off). We got taxis to and from the aiport rather than hotel transfers for about 20RM (4 Euro) and you can buy the ticket for the taxi at a booth at the airport before you get in the taxi. Overall we really enjoyed our stay there and would recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank O'Farrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2006

I stayed here with my wife and fourteen year old son for five nights in August, and thoroughly enjoyed it !

The hotel is a bit of a mixed bag because of the varied clientele, a mixture of tour groups and individuals travellers from all corners of the world. At times the pool area is full, and during the aerobics in the morning it is a little noisy. If you want a quiet pool, or are planning to spend all of your time by the pool, you may be disappointed.

However the main selling point of the hotel is that are thirteen islands within 10 miles of the hotel and an excellent speed boat services runs out to the islands from the resort. The islands feature excellent beaches, coral reefs (accessible with a snorkel and no training), and jungle treks. If that is what you are looking for you will not be disappointed. There are all so a good range of treks to be booked from the resort, some require an overnight stay and would therefore require a little planning in advance.

The Tatu restaurant is a buffet aimed at tour groups, it is hectic and the food is average, but it is good value. The other restaurants offer better quality and good service at a higher price levels. The Italian is excellent, and we had a very good barbecue by sea. Changs is not the best Chinese restaurant in the world, but it is perfectly acceptable. You can eat well, or cheaply, but not both !

On arrival we were offered an upgrade from a Deluxe room in the Tajung Ara wing to a suite in the Kinabalu wing - at a very good rate. As far as we could tell all individual travellers are offered an upgrade. We ended up with a two massive rooms and access to the Horizon club. The club is not up to the level of the lounges at business hotels, but it did provide a simple but quiet breakfast, and evening drinks.

The make up service was a little slow, room were often not tidied until 2pm or later.

This must be a difficult hotel to manage because of the mixture of tour groups on a budget and seasoned travellers expecting the usual high standard of five star service. I think they just about pull it off and would recommend the hotel providing you use it as a base to visit the islands and other parts of Borneo rather than a self contained resort. resort. If you want a quiet resort away from kids, it is not for you, but If you have teenagers they will find plenty to do.

One last bit of advice, do a bit of research on the Shangri-La web site before you arrive and decide what upgrades you will accept, and at what price.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
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11  Thank RallyMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2006

just stayed here for 5 nights. Had a faboulous time and stay!!! upon check in staff were helpful and very friendly and informative. Concerige staff were great!!!
we had booked a basic kinabalu hotel room but upgraded to next room type as we wanted the sea views. we were really pleased we did as we saw other rooms and views werent that great. we ate a couple of times in resort and could not fault food or service.
visited rasa ria to see orang-utangs (this was excellent and you need to book as soon as you book in to tanjung aru) and we thought our hotel was just as nice and was in a much better location being closer to town. the shuttle bus service was convienent and cost only 4 ringet per person. compared to australian standards this was cheap!!
we could not of asked for friendlier staff or better accomodation.
one tip is that if you have breakfast included and you are a little late in getting there insist you eat at cafe tutu as they may wish to put you into intalian resturant. they say it is exactly the same buffet but there is less of a choice in italian resturant.
i recommend this hotel and am definelty returning in near future!!

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank blinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2006

The title might seem a bit harsh, but unfortunately this hotel and many others in Sabah are geared for kids. Something we didn't expect at all. If you are after a peaceful holiday don't go to this part of Borneo. There are many organised activities which make the hotel like a holiday camp. It is "in your face" all the time especially when the pool aerobics starts up at 11 am for an hour with extremely loud music!

The hotel looks impressive and overall we liked the look of it better than the Rasa Ria, an hour away. However there is no air conditioning in the hotel open areas just in the indoor restaurants and rooms. This makes it very uncomfortable at night as the temperature didn't go down below 90 degrees.

The rooms are of a high standard, and we were in the Tanjung Wing even though we had booked the Kinabalu Wing. They were very comfortable with plenty of drawer and cupboard space. They had in-room safes, tv (but not with any good movies which was disappointing) and a good size balcony with towel rails and comfortable chairs. The air con. is also easy to change and you are not kept awake at night from noisy fans.

The restaurants at the hotel are extremely expensive and we found it a lot better to eat out of the hotel wherever possible. A meal at Coco Joe's cost us around £62 just for a bbq main course and a very small ice cream plus a drink each.

Cafe Tatu (or Cafe Tatty as we called it) had a lot of choice but it was just like Butlin's with screaming children, total chaos and lots of noise. We hated it and only ate there once.

The Shang Palace was ok but the food was quite greasy, so not the best chinese we have had in the Far East.

We found it better to pay for an upgrade to the Horizon Lounge where a buffet breakfast was much more to our liking. The ambiance was nice and peaceful (most of the time) with a relaxed atmosphere and much better service. It was well worth the extra money. You could also have tea & coffee all day long and cocktails (not actually cocktails but soft drinks) and canapes early evening.

The pool was very warm and kept very clean but was not big enough for the number of guests. The pool area was quite dirty and could have done with a good hose down each day, especially with the number of kids at the hotel spilling drinks and dropping food.

The beach was gorgeous with golden sand and warm water. However jelly fish were present on a couple of occasions and we therefore couldn't go swimming on these days. It was more peaceful on the beach.

The Spa was very good and reasonably priced. I had a foot and leg massage which included a temple & neck massage in with it. This cost about £20, much less than I have paid before in other Spa's around the world. The smells of the oils were gorgeous and very relaxing.

Hotel staff - mostly extremely friendly and helpful but some at the reception were not so helpful. We tried to book the Rasa Ria's Nature Reserve and was told that only 6 people were allowed from the Tanjung Aru each session each day and that the whole week was booked up. We also couldn't get on a flight to Sepilok as the flights had been changed and they were full as well. We didn't believe this and rang the Rasa Ria ourselves and found that they were not full at all! We then booked ourselves to see the Orang's and got a taxi to the Rasa Ria giving us time to have lunch before the tour. If we had gone with the hotel we would have had to have left at 10.30 in the morning for the afternoon session at 2.30 and hung around the Rasa Ria for all those hours. In that heat that was not the most sensible thing to do!

Our advice is to book as many trips and outings that you can yourselves rather than through your tour operator or the hotel. Prices are much more reasonable and you get more for your money.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank Lisa_Birch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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