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Reviews (3,996)
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Reviewed 22 May 2010

I stayed here a few years ago and I really rave about this resort to the point I have talked some close friends into coming with us this October which I booked a few months ago.

However I heard from a friend that is in the travel industry that it is scheduled for renovations from Sept to Feb. Mainly the pool will not be in operation. I was so upset I was not notified when I booked it over the phone. Why do most people that stay in resorts do most often laze around and use the pool on most days!!

I then had to ring up from Sydney to find out what is actually happening there and they confirmed the pool will be out of action and we could use their sister resorts pool which is 30mins away. If we wanted to stay at Rasa Ria we would but we don't. There is also no announcement or update on the Shangri-La website about the refurbishment if the resort.

Customers have a right to know!! Here is me introducing close friends to this resort i've been raving about and this happens and also to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Luckily I have found out and I had to change my flight details as we are now going to Golden Sands in Penang another Shangri-La chain. However it has cost me 495 to have the destination change from Kota Kinabalu to Penang and for Emirates to reissue the tickets. Now I know your probably asking why not stay in KK and stay another resort. I couldn't find anything suitable that was on par with Tanjung Aru since I've been raving about it to my friends that are coming and we didn't like Rasa Ria when we visited the resort to see the Orangutans. Hopefully Golden Sands makes up for it.

SO DO NOT STAY AT TANJUNG ARU If you want to use the pool like most people that want to stay there to relax, laze around and sun bake after FEB.

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3  Thank Gabeadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2010

Took my 80 year old mother for 10 days of perfection. The hotel was everything five star but maintained a holiday and relaxed atmosphere. The room was fantastic and well worth upgrade to the ocean view. Every single staff member were friendly and helpful and it was lovely that they were able to take the time to have a conversation with holidaying people. We ate at three of the four restaurants which were lovely especially enjoying the chinese one. What was a suprise was that the prices were reasonable. Getting a cab for the 15min to get to Kota Kinabalu was easy with the professional staff at the front steps. Will definitely be looking at a return visit.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mary1962perth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2010

Just returned from Malaysia, having spent 10 nights in this excellent hotel.
As you'd expect from Shangri-la the hotel is high class with smart rooms & very attentive & friendly staff. The location is picturesque looking out at the offshore islands & only a 10 minute taxi ride from Kota Kinabalu & the airport.
We were upgraded to a Tanjung Seaview Room which looks larger than the Kinabalu rooms but I can't believe any of the rooms will be bad. Although if you have a Kinabalu mountain view room you can only see the big mountain in the early morning (& at dusk on our last day).
Hints:
Happy hour at the sunset bar 5-8 I think & 8-11 in the main bar (2 drinks for 1)
For trips, Victoria at the Sabah Tours desk arranged a brilliant personal tour to Kinabalu park & Hot Springs for RM700 (£150) for 3, sounds a lot but our driver & guide were excellent even escorting us around the botanic gardens & pointing out the plants
If you're going to the islands walk along to the marina & see the 'Beach Bums' people who will sell you a RM45 (£10) ferry ticket which will allow you to island hop.
Good features about the hotel:
The pools (although they could do with some more beds)
Breakfast - Everything is available but it is expensive if not in your package
The staff - Friendly, cheerful & just the right level of attentiveness
The 'free' pitch & put
You can buy sandwiches etc. in the hotel shop at a decent price
The view of the sunsets at the sunset bar & the torch lighting
The Blue Note Bar is plush (but only seems to be open Fridays & Saturdays)
Not such good features:
A small beach & there are jellyfish (my wife & sister in law both suffered small stings)
Food & drink, especially alcoholic drinks are expensive
Lack of entertainment, if you stay in the hotel of an evening you only have the resident group of singers (not the worse we've heard but not really our thing!)
There are snakes (I saw a dangerous 1 at the sunset bar - The Rasa Ria has them too)

Talking of the Shangri-la Rasa Ria we did visit 1 day. Don't just go for the Orang Utans (even though they are fanastic) spend the whole day there as Shangri-la provide you with towels & to sign expenses against your room. It's RM25 (£5.50) return in the coach.
If you are trying to decide which hotel to stay,
Tanjung Aru - Good for trips, for the city, for the airport - basically if are having a busy hol
Rasa Ria - Much prettier (actually it's absolutely stunning!), lovely beach & sea, The Orang Utans are great but it's pretty remote - best if you are looking for seclusion.
I reckon you would spend more on food as you won't go out so much so Tanjung Aru is better for cost as even trips are dearer from the Rasa Ria

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank SUPERNELLO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2010

nice beach. nice facilities.nice staff
but rediculous taxi charge from hotel to airport

Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank Booleanboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2010

Facilities - 5 stars. From linens, to toiletries, to bathroom, to the pool
Food - 2 stars - I did not like the food, Curry taste is reall strong. Buffet breakfast had very limited options especially that they do not serve pork.
Beach - awful. :(

Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
Thank lyralee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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