Bunga Raya is one of the most beautiful places we've stayed. The surroundings are magnificent, with snorkelling right off the beach in front of the resort, really well kept grounds, and easy access to the sister resort or into town for a change of scenery.
Staff were lovely, and choice of activities were great. We took one of the tours to a nearby island for snorkelling, and it was a real highlight - as were completing the discover scuba diving course over at the sister resort.
What really let us down was the terrible management. Staff were really doing their best, but just weren't trained to the standards we'd expect for such an otherwise lovely place.
Without wanting to list all the issues in great detail - we were left horribly disappointed by the end of the trip and were upset numerous times throughout.
We pre-booked activities through the reservations department and received confirmation of our bookings by email, but all bookings were lost and until i re-forwarded the confirmations, staff were convinced we hadn't made any reservations and even when confirmed, they were very vague about times of activities, giving us conflicting details.
We were even sent off to the wrong island for our day trip - luckily we still enjoyed the place we hadn't selected.
Room service was so bad it was hard at times to tell anyone had been in our room, except that they'd cleared the towels without leaving a replacement and left a cupboard open with its interior light on for all our belongings to be in clear view from the path.
There were a number of blackouts during our stay - one of which lasted from afternoon through late evening, leaving us stuck in our stuffy room in the pitch dark of the jungle, and another lasting half the night which meant that we were unable to charge cameras or phones - or sleep due to the lack of air-con.
The worst part was this was acknowledged officially by no-one, no generic letter of explanation under the door, no apology and no efforts to make up in any way for the evenings lost to the blackouts.
This could be a really fantastic place if only they'd bring in a little attention to detail. With direct flights from Hong Kong to KK, this would be the ultimate weekend getaway for us. I am very easy going, but have received far superior service at budget accommodations - Bunga Raya is absolutely not living up to its potential.
I honestly hope they can pick up their game, as I'd love to return.
We stayed in August 2013, but have just created a TripAdvisor account now - and this is still bugging us, so we're adding the belated review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- As sensual and exotic as the hibiscus flower that bears its name, Bunga Raya Island Resort is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of 47 timbered villas, the resort is framed by white sand beach and virgin jungle. Hillside villas reflect the simplicity of the Borneo architectural style. A hilltop spa blends the finest Traditional Asian and Western treatments using restorative powers of indigenous plants and oils. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bunga Raya Island Hotel Kota Kinabalu
- Bunga Raya Island Resort And Spa
- Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa Malaysia/Pulau Gaya