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“Gayana + Bunga Raya = PERFECT destination wedding venue” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Malohom Bay | Gaya Island, Pulau Gaya 88778, Malaysia   |  
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Special Price
50% Off 2nd & 3rd Night
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Gayana + Bunga Raya = PERFECT destination wedding venue”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2011

We chose Gaya Island, off the coast of KK in Sabah, Borneo, as the venue for our July 2010 "destination" wedding. We - and our 60 guests - stayed at Gayana Eco Resort for the majority of our stay ... but were married on the beach at Bunga Raya Island Resort (owned by the same people), just around the bay. We were transported by boat between the two.

Gayana was FABULOUS ... beautiful over-water bungalows, clean and picturesque pool, gorgeous tropical flowers/ gardens and lovely staff who knew most of us by name after only a few hours. Very personal service and an overall fantastic experience. Cannot recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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TomasAndersen, General Manager at Gayana Eco Resort, responded to this review, June 30, 2011
Hi Gillian & Gavin

It was an honor and privilege to be part of your wedding day, looking after you and your guest. We hope to see you back in Gayana for your 1st Anniversary!
Tomas
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280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2011

Go there if you don't mind swimming or snorkeling with plastic bag, used diapers, bottles!
The price of a Bayu Ocean View Villa is nearly RM2k, but it doesn't even equipped with a bathtub nor jacuzzi, it is just a simple spacious room!! Only specialty about this resort is the floating of many kind of rubbish over your doorstep.
The staff were friendly but the management has the attitude problem. They don't seem to feel sorry about the rubbish, they just tellall guests that the rubbish were blow from the other end, and it's the wind to be blamed. In other words "not our fault, you still can go into the water, just ignore the rubbish, if you don't want, it's just your choice, dun expect us to compensate"
The resort itself is nice and clean, but way too overpriced. GO ELSEWHERE, you can find much better resort in KK at that price!

Room Tip: expect lower than you won't get disappointed.
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Gayana Eco Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2011
I am truly sorry you did not enjoy your experience with us back in January 2011. I agree with you it is dissapointing to see floating debris in the sea, however I disagree when you state we do not care. Gayana Eco Resort is the only resort of its kind to house a Marine Ecology Reseach Centre as part of its establishment. We have succesfully spawned 7 out of 8 Giant Clams species known to mankind and have started introducing juvenile clams back into our waters. We are also running a very succesful reef restoration program around our resorts to ensure the longivity of our incredible marine life. Our so called "rubbish issue" is only a problem during North East Monsoon season (December to March) when the prevailing wind and current can carry it towards our shores. We deal with it daily, some is caught by our boundary net and the rest will be picked up by staff during the day. Once again I am truly sorry if you were here duing such a time, this makes our effort through MERC even more important. We believe only through education can we make an impact on pollution. What you saw in the sea is not Gayana's doing however you are right it becomes our problem. I wish you could see our waters today, not a piece of rubbish to be found and under water visibility close to 10 Meters.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2011

When I just left the resort I was thinking I totally had to write a review on this resort because it gave me and my boyfriend such a wonderful memory.

I stayed in an Ocean Villa, the room was perfect, clean and beautiful design with private balcony, deck and stairs connected to the sea. The view was superb especially during sunset. There was free wiki and free mini bar (lots of drinks, that we could not finish before we left). There was dvd player and we managed to watch some movies at night while having some wine. Theres just everything that you need or might need like safety box slippers luxury bathroom amenities etcetc.

One thing which really impressed me is that for those who stayed in an ocean villa or palm villa, you could choose to have your breakfast on your balcony and they would send your breakfast by boat and set up everything on your deck. I had breakfast with my boyfriend on the sea, which was really romantic and sweet.

The food was awesome, we had our dinner at alualu seafood restaurant. The next day we had lunch at the macac restaurant which was also great. But the food was a bit pricey.

The water was not crystal clear, but it is clear enough to snorkel. Many corals around their dive center and many many fish! Staff was super friendly and nice and I felt so warm. The infinity pool was absolutely awesome!!!!

They offered many free activities such as free snorkeling and kayaking. And they have a giant fish feeding session every morning at 9 and the fish were sooo big, you would be freaked out if you were in the water.

Last but not least, the resort offered free cocktails everyday from 6-7pm so you could enjoy free drinks while enjoying the view of the sunset orange sky, very thoughtful of the resort. Oh and remember to visit their marine center, lots to see. I adopted a little coral :)

I will definitely come again and recommend it to everyone I know who wants to go sabah!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, MA
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2011

We book the Pantai villa but the a/c is not working. So they later move to the better one with stairs down in to the sea. The room between both unit are mostly the same, except the other one has a better view and direct access to the sea and has more toiletries (toothbrush and shaving set to be exact)

Hotel Location : right on the water on Gaya Island

Room decoration / size : decorate contemporary Asian style, cozy and comfortable. Quite spacious and has a walk in balcony with sea access.

Room view : view of the lagoon, overlooking other villas.

Service : great service, has a good recovery service. Our first room has a/c broke down, the mechanic guy came to check and switch us to the other villa.

Price : Overpriced. Only breakfast is included with the accommodation. And the breakfast is really not meeting expectation. Price for food in the resort is expensive.

Sleep quality : great with down pillows

Swimming pool : overlooking the sea.

Facility : 2 restaurants, one serves western food, another serves Chinese with live seafood menu but very pricy. a lounge and swimming pool. Kayak rental and snorkeling is free.

TV : 31" TV with some international channels like CNN, Discovery, cinemax and HBO

Food : breakfast is very disappointing. It's on a set menu with 8 choices. I ordered the sea bass with potatoes puree' and turns out the sea bass is as big as a (super) thin slice of a mandarin orange next to a bagel-size potatoes purée. There is a self serve bread, yogurt, cereal and juices but not variety. The next day, I ordered Nasi Lemak which turns out to be (seafood fried rice) in a just nice portion.

We also get to look at the menu and price for appetizer is around 29 rm and main course around 49-69 rm which is very expensive compare to anywhere else in Malaysia.

Recommendation : bring your own snacks, mini bar here is also limited only some certain sodas. In room Tea and coffee is free and many choices of tea.

Room service : one page room service menu. Price is better than in the restaurant but not many choice. Serves 24 hours.

Wifi : fast and reliable throughout resort whether in your room or at the swimming pool or restaurant.

Note : during our stay, we took the speedboat to the sister hotel, Bunga raya. The only difference between the two is that Bunga raya has long stretches of beach and the villa is up hill instead of on the water. Inside the room, Bunga ray a has more amenity like iron and hair dryer. Other than that it's roughly the same. We still prefer to stay at Gayana because it's more cozy with better view and water is quite still instead of lots of waves at Bunga raya.

Diving/ Snorkeling : Visibility really bad, the sea doesn't look clean to swim in since it's so close to Kota Kinabalu shore.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

We had plans to travel to Egypt this March, so traveling to Malaysia was a backup plan for us. I do alot of diving so it was a easy desicion. The maldives proved way to expensive and we really wanted to stay over the water. To cover everything I will summarize,

> The service at Gayana was 6 star, perhaps even 6.5 star!
> The room quality was 5 star, yes the bathroom smelled a little occasionally, but folks these are built on top of the sea!
> The resort in general was between 4 and 4.5 star
> The water quality around the resort changes in as little as 12 hours, some days you have 10m visability, some days you have 2m, build a bridge :)
> Rubbish occasionally comes in from the surrounding area, folks this is Malaysia, and the sea gypsies around the corner do not help, the resort does everything they can to keep it clean. again build a bridge.......
> The chinese resturant is way out of place for me, i would have loved a traditional malaysian resturant on this resot
> The main resturant is fantastic, food is 5 star
> daily breakfast is 5 star, with the usual 6 star service
> The conceirge staff at the resort and on the mainland are BRILLIANT! they will organize all your day trips, recommend outings and tell you where and where not to shop in Kota Kinabalu
> The diving staff are great guys, and make the trip worth it. The diving around the island is average to good, do not expect Fiji reefs and thick lush reefs. However saying this, there is plenty to see and I will be going back here again this year. I seen a giant green turtle on my first dive!

All in all there will be things to pick here, and if your toffee nosed you will find it a little lacking. 3 or 4 nights at the resort would be plenty here but If you know how to make the best of a holiday you will love Kota Kinabalu and this resort. We spent 6 nights here and I fell in love with the place and will be making this a regular diving destination.

Finally Kota Kinabalu is an AMAZING city. It has the best parts of KL Malaysia and it hasnt brought over the worst parts. Once the locals know your friendly they will stop and talk with you. Some can be pushy about sales but they dont earn alot of money here so keep that in mind. Be firm when saying no thankyou and they will leave you alone. There are plenty of bargins to be had, we purchased a wonderful wood carving that was easily worth $1000AUD, and picked it up for 600rm.

Go to Sabah and Gayana you'll have a ball, Dont forget to ask for Big Ben and Medium Billy at the diving shop :)

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

Gayana Lived up to our expectations! All the staff at the resort were lovely, and couldnt do enough for us!prices were average for a 5star resort and the food was lovely!as you are on an island it was very quite and relaxing, they have a really nice infinity pool. They have ferries that go back to the main land and to their sister hotel bung raya which was gorgeous! The pool was huge, right on beach. The water was crystal clear, just idyllic! We didn't find people on the main land very friendly, so we stayed on gayana island. Breakfast was lovely and a lot of choice!our room which was on stilts in water, the room was clean and nicely done, free water everyday, clean towels and bedding, plasma and free Wi-fi. Every evening from 6pm the hotel held an hour of free drinks for an hour, great extra!!! The only downfall was the smell from the drain in the bathroom, so we kept the door shut!!!People on here mentioned rubbish in the water but they have a barrier up and clean the water twice a day there is not much more than be done! If you want relaxation, friendly service, lovely food and total paradise you must visit gayana or bung raya!!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
163 hotel reviews
Reviews in 145 cities Reviews in 145 cities
411 helpful votes 411 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2011

We stayed here one night whilst on a sea kayaking trip with Seven Skies (an Australian luxury adventure holiday company).

The staff were rather bemused by our form of travel and we were greeted by incredulous looks, but more importantly by cold, wet towels when we came ashore. The receptionist was so shocked by our arrival that she phoned our room later to make sure that we really wanted to leave in sea kayaks ... because there was a perfectly good boat that she could organise for us!

The resort is over the water on stilts, and there's plenty of fish to watch as you make your way along the boardwalks. The rooms are very comfortable, with all the creature comforts that you would expect.

If you're staying, make sure that you visit MERC (the Marine Ecology Research Center) where they are breeding giant clams and corals. There's a little aquarium where you can see the clams and learn a little more about them, and there is a 'touch pool'. And also, at the other end of the resort, they have some captive giant grouper that are certainly worth a visit.

There was a nice pool, with a great view out to sea. And the food in the main restaurant was excellent. The staff are also polite and helpful, although at times a little thin on the ground. The bar area was comfortable but service was rather slow and haphazard, and the music was too loud.

So, generally very good but a few niggles.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gayana Eco Resort

Address: Malohom Bay | Gaya Island, Pulau Gaya 88778, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gayana Eco Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gayana Eco Resort rests serenely at the edges of Gaya Island off the coast of Borneo. 52 over water villas designed to enhance the soothing sounds of the surf, while capturing the enduring vistas of Mt. Kinabalu on the distant horizon. At its heart is about protecting and re-generating our precious Marine Ecology, and the only property to feature its own Marine Ecology Research Centre propagating Giant Clams and restoring damaged coral reefs. Striking the perfect balance of forward thinking ecology and indulgent luxury which pampers both the body and the enlightened soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gayana Eco Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Gayana Resort
Gayana Eco Resort Malaysia/Pulau Gaya

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