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“Stunning, perfect place to relax” 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   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence 2014
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Stunning, perfect place to relax”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

After readint the reviews I was unsure whether this was going to be 5 star luxury. However on arival we were definatly not disappointed, this is the perfect place to unwind. The staff cannot do enough for you, the food was delicious and the accomodation was extremly comfortable. I would definatly recommend this resort, we will be going back!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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295 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
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Hong Kong
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Gayana Eco Resort for 4 nights at the end of June to early July and found the resort a disaster - torn bedsheet, smelly toilet, broken (whole length) but glued uglyly back toilet counter, 1.5 inch nail protruding from the wooden deck, dangerously slippery steps on the deck, over-charged activity guides, bad arrangements (e.g. when pouring down with rain, the luggage pieces were left uncovered totally soaked in the rain), poor sense of even 3-star-hotel services - the staff were friendly enough.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

We have just returned from 5 days at Gayana and we had a wonderful time there.
8. The values that this resort stands for are so forward thinking and hopefully a leading example of how to be respectful to the environment without compromising on quality. For example - we loved the eco-farming of all the seafood items on the menus, using the BIOROCK to promote coral growth was simply brilliant also - and many more examples.
7. The food in the resort is top quality. If there isn't an item that you like they'll make it for you. The presentation and the flavours of everything we ordered was A1. Our kids (fussy eaters) were always accommodated. We ate at the seafood restaurant once - which was divine (if a little pricy) but mostly at the macac restaurant and room service. We loved the breakfast delivery by boat which was a lovely touch.
6. The MERC centre was a fascinating place. Our teenagers got excited (and this is rare) when feeding the turtles, touching the items in the touch tank and exploring the display tanks of different species. The staff working at the MERC are knowledgable and extremely friendly. They made it so much fun.
5. The nightly happy hour at the upstairs bar where they offer unlimited "cocktail of the night" and soft drink is a great idea. It brings together a lot of relaxed holidaymakers and makes for great conversation. (The first night we went there were a lot of screaming kids on the small pool table and we didn't want to return, but subsequent nights were great fun! - perhaps this could be an adult zone?) The view of the resort is perfect too - the best place for a photo of the rooms.
4. The Solace Spa - my husband and I had the best massage we had in a very very long time. (Yolanda I still want to bring you to Australia as I'll never get hands like yours!). I have an issue with spas that are so beautiful on the outside, have all the fancy extra touches when you arrive but provide a very average massage. Solace is small, pretty and peaceful but instead of all the hype, they have excellent, qualified staff who give you the best massage you'll ever have. (I had the 90 min Signature).
3. The location was so special. Being able to walk into the water from your room and go snorkelling and swimming with ease was such a treat. The water is crystal clear - it's not bright blue like Fiji or Maldives but it's still clear and we saw so many different species of fish. At night they light up the water below the walkways and there are so many things you can see. At daytime you see jungle on one side (with macac monkeys if you're lucky) and beautiful calm water on the other - the best of both worlds.
2. The quality of the rooms. We stayed in an Ocean Villa. The bed was extremely comfortable, everything was clean and modern and we loved the attention to detail. We had more than enough water regularly replenished and the minibar filled with unlimited soft drinks and beer was a really nice touch. (Our kids are so used to "don't touch the minibar it's expensive" -so to hear, "have as much as you like, it's all complimentary" was a joy for them). The amenities are very good too. (Maybe some fresh mild for tea and coffee instead of just the powdered creamer though would be good and a Do Not Disturb sign wouldn't go astray because sometimes the wonderful service is too much).
1. By far the best part of the holiday were the staff at Gayana. From the first moment you arrive to the fond farewells at the end, you feel like a friend. Everyone knows your name (I don't even know how!), they are genuine, happy and friendly. We felt appreciated for our patronage and that wasn't missed. From the general manager Tomas, who regularly circulates amongst guests, to every gardener, housekeeper, waiter, and front desk assistant - we were greeted and chatted to, smiled at and acknowledged. A special mention to Eduardo who addressed us by name every morning in the restaurant and offered us assistance with our daily plans. (A big thank you for our special farewell dinner on the last night with flowers and candles). The staff at the reception area are also lovely. There is an enthusiasm and pride of employment that we just haven't seen anywhere else. Another thank you to Fauzi (the big fella) who couldn't do enough for us. About half way in our stay I mentioned that I may like to upgrade to the suites on the last night as a special touch and I was told that there was no availabilty as they were undergoing maintenance. On the final morning I received a phone call (sorry if I was grumpy but I was asleep!) to advise that they were upgrading both our rooms to the suites as a complimentary gesture to give us a special treat before we left. What a surprise that was. The Palm Villa suites were built about a year ago (I'm told) and they are drop dead gorgeous. Firsty they're as big as a small house, with a lounge, two bathrooms, two televisions, the decor is six star with a coffee machine, BOSE sound system, glass floor for watching the fish, double monsoon shower, glass indoor bath with opening windows outside and the best part being your own infinity pool on the verandah. WOW what a treat.
Thank you for making our stay a memory that we will all cherish for a lifetime.

Room Tip: Ask for a room furtherest away as you can hear the trolleys from housekeeping on the walkways so the...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

We just came for a day trip to see the marine centre that focuses on breeding and recolonising giant clams, and also replanting damaged coral, a set up that would be the envy of many marine research centers and universities. The trip out and the food is relatively expensive, but since it goes to a good cause it's palatable. The visit including tour and coral planting and terminal fees was RM82.20 and thete's a set lunch at RM69; we ate a la carte at the Chinese restaurant which was RM205 for three of us. There's a pool side cafe which looks like it serves food. The resort itself has apparently grown up around and to support the marine centre. It's small on a nice way with accom huts over the water, but there are no facilities for kids so looks more a romantic getaway style. Certainly worth a look if you are interested in or care about the underwater environment.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

We went to Gayana Eco Resort for 4 days and 3 nights.

After 2.5hrs of flight journey from Singapore, 20mins drive from Kota Kinabalu airport to Jetty and 20mins ferry ride, we reached the fantastically located Gayana Eco Resort.

Location is amazing, even though it is some what close to the water village still it is fully secured. During high tide you can see star fish, Octopus, corals, Gaint Clams, many more other fishes just from your room’s balcony. They have a Research centre where you see different types of fishes and aquatic organisms. You can also touch few like Star fish or plant you own Coral. At morning 9 O’clock, they have fish feeding sessions, they feed small fishes to sharks (yes they have sharks in separate section in the resort), and they also feed BIG, I mean really BIG fish called the King Fish.
I read previous review on tripadvisor about building a wall to avoid debris and I think Gayana management has built a water fencing to avoid debris.

Pool, Spa and Lounge:
Pool, as they call Infinity Pool is build beautifully. The wall of the pool is built in such a fashion that it looks as if pool is connected to the sea and hence the name.
Spa is good and stuff is friendly. Slightly overpriced.
Lounge gives good view of South China Sea and the mountains. In evening there is happy hour from 6 to 7 where certain drinks are served for free. There is also a pool table in lounge. You will be greeted by Thomas at the lounge. Thomas (down to earth and friendly) manages the resort.
There is free WiFi in the complete resort.

The staff is very friendly and they remember your name till your complete stay. We are vegetarians, and we asked the restaurant guys to boils some vegetarian noodles for us and they did without any problem. Staff in Equipment section (i.e. where you get the equipments (non-motorized equipment - FOC) for snorkeling, scuba diving or kayaking or Jungle trekking – these are activities you can do during your stay) is also very friendly. Jess was very helpful and he taught me and my wife how to operate Kayak. Room Service is slow.

As mentioned on their site there are 2 restaurants, one has got Sea food, Chinese food and other one has got western food. There is slight problem for vegetarians. In breakfast as well most of the stuff is non-vegetarian (if you are a non-veggie then it’s good). People say it is slightly overpriced.

Bunga Raya Resort:
There is a free ferry which takes you to Bunga Raya from Gayana and drops back. Bunga Raya has got excellent beach, clam and clean. You go for swim or snorkel or use kayak or Jet Ski. They also have infinity pool at Bunga raya. We wanted to visit Sapi Island, but after coming to Bunga Raya we just dropped the plan as the beach was fantastic here.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

Rustic and very pleasant.

First time to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah located in East Malaysia. My friends and I had a fantastic time. This eco-friendly resort has plenty of activities to offer - must try snorkelling and kayaking. All within this beautiful serene island.

A real gem. You won't regret it. The breakfast spread is awesome is two thumbs up.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2011

After viewing pictures of this property I knew that it was the perfect place for me to pop the big question to my then girlfriend! From the minute we arrived on the boat I knew that I made the right choice. There are very few negatives that come to mind when I think about my stay here. Some of our favorites:

-Wake up early to watch them feed the giant groupers. This was UNBELIEVABLE! I never knew that fish could grow to that size.
-Grab some snorkels and forget about the time while swimming around their beautiful eco reserve. You will see everything from giant clams to little nemos.
-The perfectly cooked and mouthwatering sauces at the Chinese food restaurant at the end of the pier. Perfection!
-The free nightly cocktail and snacks at their bar
-Watching the sunset over the back of the breathtaking landscape of Mount Kota Kinabalu (try to get a room that faces this).
-Grabbing a DVD at reception after a long day and relaxing on their super comfortable beds before calling it a night.
-Talking to the dive master about his adventures throughout the region
-Taking boat tours to their sister property for lunch and a dip in their beautiful infiniti pool

There are only a couple of negatives but it would be great if they could be addressed by management:
-Put some thought into the music you play at the restaurant where breakfast was served. It was very dated and strange. They could also use some help on making the food more appetizing. After a couple of bad meals and mediocre breakfasts we only kept true to the Chinese restaurant.
-Put a little more effort into cleaning the beach in front of the infinity pool. A brief brush over in the mornings to clear some of the rubbish would do wonders.

Thank you for an incredible stay! We hope that we will be able to stay again in the future!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Gayana Eco Resort, responded to this review, June 30, 2011
Wow, thank you for those wonderful comments. Making guest happy is what we all aspire to do I am so pleased we succeeded with you.
You raised some very valid points where we can do better and rest assure they are all taken to heart.
We hope to see you back in Paradise in the not too distant future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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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