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“Brilliant choice of KK hotel, can not imagine where bad reports come from.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia   |  
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Special Price
35% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 97 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sussex, UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Brilliant choice of KK hotel, can not imagine where bad reports come from.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Wrestled with choice of Rasa Ria or Tanjung Aru and definitely made right choice. Could not fault our time there. We were encouraged by reading TA reviews to upgrade to club room, which was a great decision. We were booked into mountain view but were advised to request room 9626, on club floor at end of corridor which actually gives sea and mountain view, and it was fabulous. Club facilities are fantastic. However, although the breakfast in club lounge is more relaxed, cool and quiet, the choice in the main restaurant for breakfast is huge and with the choice of either, you can pick and choose either on a daily basis.

Also with the club lounge, you are able to use shower facilities, with drinks and snacks prior to check out after vacating you room if you have a late pickup.

The pool is fab, if I had children with me, I would find the facilities for them excellent. The adult only area is really lovely. The beach although small and the water a little milky, was not dirty or contaminated as some have reported. I saw not one piece of rubbish at all, I do not understand the bad reviews of this.

We did not use the hotel restaurants in the evening as we prefer to sample the club lounge snacks and drinks early eve then head out for a bit of local colour.

Trip to Rasa Ria to see Orangs was hugely disappointing. We took advice not to go to Sepilok as it requires flights and a whole day out of a short week, and is very crowded. So RR sounded great, however it is quite a long way, which incidentally made the RR hotel option seem very isolated from anything or anywhere. Prior to seeing the Orangs, you are forced to endure the most banal, self promoting video, which we felt demeaning, as it did not educate about how and why these creatures have become orphaned, ie: wilful removal of their habitat and killing of their parents for money. You are then taken to a platform to await their appearance which was almost an hour until they are offered food to encourage them, after which you are quickly escorted back to hotel, where you have to wait 2 hours for your earliest return shuttle. This of course is to encourage spending at the hotel on food and drink at extortionate price. All in all this was the only thing we felt cheated about. Being so remotely placed, I would not have liked to have stayed here as it would have felt restricted to walking out anywhere else in the evenings.

Trip to Klias river to see Proboscis monkeys and fireflies very good booked with Dive Down Below.

Trip to National Park, which included Hot Springs, Canopy Walk, lunch and Park, booked through hotel tour shop, was very good and informative. (Also lucky enough to have seen the rare rafflesia flower).

Overall, the service, the staff, the room facilities and maid service could not have been better, can only imagine those who review poorly, in some way must have deserved it by their own behaviour.

Any questions happily answered.

Room Tip: higher floors have better views because of vegetation, if kinabalu mountain view ask for end of corr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,504 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (560)
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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Darwin, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

The water slides and water balloon game made the stay for our kids. We enjoyed the buffet breakfasts and dinners at Cafe Tatu - good range for adults and kids, and all very fresh. The interconnecting rooms in the Kinabalu Wing were not huge, but worked well for us, with pleasant balconies overlooking the sea. The accommodation was a splurge for us, and extras were similarly expensive - not outrageous, but one has to keep an eye on the bill.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Leicester
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stopped here for 12 nights in April and have nothing but praise for the hotel which is made even better by the attentive smiling staff. The drinks are expensive but it is 5* and you would pay as much in Europe if not more. If you use the happy hours/2 for 1 drinks it works out quite more economical.Also try and upgrade to the mountain club as the cost is offset by the free food and drinks as well as the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

My niece and I spent six days here and we absolutley loved it! The staff couldn't do enough for us, any request was handled promptly and efficiently. The rooms spotless and always had clean linen and towels.
Pool area wonderful, and the views to Island amazing.
The food in all areas was very good, far better than out of the hotel.

I do agree with some of the other reviews, that certain nationalities were extremly rude and bad mannered, not just in the hotel but on tours that we went on.

We would definatly stay here again, if ever in Borneo although disappointed with Koto Kinabulu, smelly open drains and dangerous walk ways and unhelpful people.

We also were disappointed with the bus trip up to Rosa Ria to see the Orangutans. Too many people pushing and shoving and overpriced for what we saw.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Currently staying in a Kinabalu club room. Everything is just amazingly spot-on. Service received cannot be faulted, from all staff. A nice surprise was a large slice of cheesecake with happy birthday written in chocolate waiting in our room on return of the day out for my partners birthday. We had a slight hiccup with a local tour company, and the concierge staff were onto the company within minutes. The views, the food, the service and the rooms are all Impeccable. Would certainly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Request a sea view room, you will not be disappointed
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
HK
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We choose Tanjung Wing sea view room. We check in at little late since the bedroom not ready. After got the bedroom, we find a part of TV / boiling pot no electric support. Even though someone check it and repair it, happen again!
Then we need to change to another bedroom. At midnight, the air-con out of order suddenly!! we feel so hot and ask someone to repair it!
It's really let me and my family so disappointed and unforgettable stay here!!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Dear KMMHK, on behalf of the team, please allow me to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience you experienced while staying with us. At Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, we are firm believers that our guests are the best source in guiding us in our quest for excellence and we hope this experience has not marred your expectations of Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. Thank you and we sincerely hope that you will allow us the opportunity to serve you better in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

I should start off by saying that physically this resort is beautiful and I had no issues with any part of the property. The rooms had everything you could want, newly renovated, the pool area was flawless, restaurants were very nice as was the food.

Now the negatives, first off check-in was sloppy and took a longer amount of time than usual however it was late (after midnight) so I can overlook this but what annoyed me was that they mixed up our rooms (I was with my wife and daughter & my parents had a separate room, both we got the double and my parents got the triple), so it complicated things. When I went to rectify this, the receptionist disappeared from 15 minutes into the back office without explaining how long she would be, so I just stood there waiting, not knowing what was going on.

Second, this was Easter week, so the hotel was very full, and I would guess that 80-90% were Chinese. Breakfast time was a cross between a plague of locusts and a stampede! There was a que most mornings and there wasn't enough staff present to handle the situation. Each morning, I had to go ask for coffee, salt/pepper shakers were empty or missing and pretty much all other condiments (sugar, jam etc) were also missing. As I said, it was Easter, so I presume the hotel is not like this at other times however it should be able to cope in such situations.

The final issue was with the Sunset Bar, which was beautifully situated on its own small peninsula to capture the full beauty of a Borneo sunset. There was zero management of this bar during our stay. If someone comes to the bar and purchases a drink, they should be able to sit and enjoy that drink while watching the sunset, without having it blocked by 50 chinese going camera crazy, with no drinks in sight. Also, seats were very few, yet one chinese family (husband, wife & small baby) took up 2 seating areas. Husband sat at high table on his own with bags on 3 seats, while wife and baby sat on the sofa/couch area. Here is a small suggestion, have someone at the entrance of the bar to seat guests (during sunset period), once all seats are taken, close it off, until someone leaves, so those that have paid for drinks can sit and enjoy them and the sunset without having the view blocked by a chinese camera club who are there only to take pictures and have not purchased anything!

A small note on housekeeping, first day we have face towels and dressing gowns/robes in the bathroom, after day 1 of housekeeping, these disappeared, not to be replaced during the stay!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Dear Chunky353, on behalf of the team, please allow me to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience you experienced while staying with us. Your comments are well noted as we strive to improve our products and services for our guests. Thank you and we sincerely hope that you will allow us the opportunity to serve you better in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Address: 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 495
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A paradise for the senses surrounded by natural beautyA gentle breeze caresses your face as you wake to the sound of waves lapping the beach. The balcony opens up to an inspiring vista of sparkling coral islands and swaying of palm trees. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, bordered by crystal clear waters and lush vegetation Sophistication surrounds you in a lavishly decorated suite inspired by Borneo’s rich cultural heritage. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu, is a perfect tropical getaway, a luxurious tranquil retreat just a short drive from the city.Yet, excitement beckons as you set out to discover all Kota Kinabalu’s delights. Making your way to Kinabalu National Park, you are thrust into a jungle paradise of natural wonders, rugged landscapes and scenic beauty. From the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to the famous Orangutans in their natural habitat, it only gets more breathtaking every step of the way.The afternoon is spent exploring the picturesque town of Kota Belud. As Sabah’s largest and most popular open market, you find gems of all sorts, ranging from handmade handicrafts to mouth-watering local delights like natural honey.Back at the resort, you look forward to a sunset cruise, which departs from STAR Marina, to catch Borneo's famous sunset. Not long after, you wind down at Coco-Joe’s Bar & Grill. Lounging atop one of the beach-dining platforms, over cocktails and a delectable seafood tower, you continue to enjoy the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. A pampering session at CHI, The Spa rounds off the day. With treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, you lose yourself in an enchanted and indulgent journey, all on the resort’s private spa island.For every experience here, you are surrounded by natural beauty. And it all begins at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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