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“Fabulous and Memorable Stay” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Special Price
35% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 97 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fabulous and Memorable Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

We stayed here for 3nights during my birthday last July and my hubby needed a break from work as well. We manage to get a competitive rate on a Singapore website for travel. I was not really expecting a lot as my friends who went there did not really rave about KK. However, they gave me an important advice which is to stay beach front. True enough, it would be a very boring vacation if we stayed in a town hotel so STAR is definitely the right choice. At first sight, I was not really impressed as I can compare the facade to Nirwana in Bintan however, my view changed as the days go by. The service, food, staff....definitely 5star service. The staffs greet you every chance they get. Room service was 24hours, DVD is also available, water activities is just right at the corner. You basically don't have to leave the place. We tried the scuba dive (1st timers), parasail, and flying fish (which I will never do again). One thing that I got disappointed about was Blue Note. It was a lovely bar however there were no people partying. They even played "Hotel California" as a party song..We went to town area and there were not much out there. One Borneo mall was ok but there was not much people making it very boring. Perhaps due to it's location. Taxi fare is a flat rate so I feel secure that I am not being cheated unlike Phuket. The only thing I enjoyed when I went to town was the cheap massage. We went to the this mall and had a massage. A lady was doing my hubby's feet and a man was doing mine. We paid for whole body massage but I did not expect that it will be the man who will do mine however, I was wrong ;-). I asked for a change of masseur(funny experience).

At any rate, Would I recommend STAR to friends, I most definitely will.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 26, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for sharing your kind comments. I have happily passed them onto my colleagues.

However, I note your comment regarding entertainment at Blue Note and will be reviewing with the team.

Otherwise, we are all delighted that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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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
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Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2009

We just returned from a 3D2N getaway to the resort (2A, 2C aged (9+,10+) and it was simply great! The transfer from the airport was arranged by the resort for a fee and service was fantastic and movement well-organised. We already felt welcomed when we were greeted upon arrival at the airport. It was a very short few minutes ride to the resort. We were greeted so warmly by the staff and I think even the manager! We were attended to like royalty and the welcome drink and wet towels were a lovely gesture. We had booked the Tanjung Executive Suite on the ground floor, with a balcony and a few steps leading to the garden and an awesome sea view with the islands a short distance away. The bedroom was huge and the living area and dining area large, giving all ample space to move around. The hotel staff managed to place 2 rollaway beds and still, we all had comfortable moving space.

The resort is sprawling and the greenery, landscaping were marvellous. It is so nice admiring the painstaking effort put in beauitifying the environment. It is so windy along the boardwalk surrounding the resort, and this was made even more relaxing with wooden swings.

We had meals at the Cafe Tatu (nice presentation and lots of variety for their buffet breakfast and beffet dinner), Coco-Joe's (lovely BBQ dinner by the waterfront) and the Shang Palace (great dim sum and chinese food).

The resort has its own Kids Club which allows parents to drop their kids off for some e-time, and other activities. There are tour agents to arrange for trips out for exploration. We arranged for Exotic Borneo (one of the onsite agents) to take us on a boat ride to Sapi Island. The organisation was well done, provided us with boxed lunches of BBQ chicken, fruits, salad, puddingm sandwiches, bottled water. The boat ride there was exhilarating but the island's sea was not clear so we didn't get to see any fishes at the beach. The sand was coral-laden and when the tides pushed us down, our limbs got scratched badly by the broken corals. The resort shop came in handy for guests to get everyday stuff, drinks, snacks, souvenirs.

One thing caught our attention though. Under a bridge that links one pool to the other, we saw yellowish liquid dripping!!! (see photo)...we wondered what it was???

And on 2 nights, we received room-to-room calls from strangers - twice at 9+pm, 10+pm the first night and on the second night at 10+,11+ and past midnight. Good thing my hubby called the front desk to block any calls to our room. We did bring it up to the reception when we checked out.

All in all, it was a great stay and we look forward to another Shangri-La resort stay!!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 26, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for your kind review.

I note your comment regarding someone calling your room at night and we are looking into how we can manage this.

Otherwise, we are all delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2009

Shangri La hotels all have a certain 'expectation' about them and the Tanjung Aru does not disappoint. We were there for our honeymoon & from start to finish it was an incrediable experience. We would highly reccomend the Club rooms, as the evening canapes & drinks are very good & a great way to start your evening. The whole hotel, rooms, ambience, staff & resturants are first class...The 'Chi' Spa was out of this world! After a 16+ hour journey it was exactly what we needed! We cannot reccomend this hotel & Borneo more!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 9, 2009
Many thanks for spending your honeymoon with us recently and for taking the time to share your kind feedback.

We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us and I have passed your praise onto my colleagues. We hope that we will see you again for your anniversary!

Once again, many thanks and our best wishes.
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Bath
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2009

I have recently returned from staying at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa with my partner. We had a superb room overlooking the bay and islands - the sunsets are remarkable. The customer service was outstanding even when the staff were flat out during breakfast. Whilst the restaurants were expensive the quality of the food was outstanding. The downside was the cost of alcohol. We arranged trips through the hotel and were catered for well. My partner has trouble with walking long distances and this was taken into account when we booked the trips.
The pool area was well sectioned off with plenty of activities for all ages.
The Spa provided excellent servie for the cost - it is comparable with Uk prices but worth every penny. If you want a cheaper massage go to the town on the waterfront.
The entertainments manager managed to get smiles from all ages, even the grumpy ones.
We misplaced our Nintendo and it was handed in by staff on the same day.
Overall it was the staff who gave that extra to make our trip special.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 10, 2009
Many thanks for staying with us recently and your kind comments. I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and will gladly be passing your comments onto my colleagues.

I note your comment regarding our alcohol prices. Alcohol is subject to high taxes in Malaysia and all of the alcohol we serve is brought into the country strictly legally, which means we carry a relatively high cost to start with, compared to some of the local stand alone venues. That said, your comment is certainly taken on board and we are always looking for ways to provide more value to our guests. We do a happy hour at our Sunset Bar and a number of poolside beverage offers during the day. We are also launching a new range of drinks by glass that we have sourced with very competitive pricing at the end of this month.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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London
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

We booked ten nights here in August and were very happy with the amazing setting and quality of this hotel. It was everything you would expect a Five-Star resort to be and is a really special venue.

The hotel is set on the edge of Kota Kinabalu on a resort called Tanjung Aru (only 15 mins from airport). It is a secluded beach location with a fantastic view of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island, just minutes away from the shore. The pool and other facilities are very good and the staff put on plenty of activities through the day (aqua-aerobics, pitch and putt golf, craft activities). The staff are all extremely helpful and friendly and make considerable effort to look after you during your stay.

There are plenty of restaurants at the hotel, they are all of a good standard but I would also recommend plenty of trips to the other restaurants at Tanjung Aru (10 minute walk) and Kota Kinabalu town centre (10 min cab journey at 15 RM each way, £2.50). The cost of the taxi is more than offset by the savings on your food bill for the evening!

We would also recommend a day-trip to the sister resort of Rasa Ria to see the Orang-utans, which is actually less crowded than Sepilok. Rasa Ria is much further out from KK (45 mins) and has plenty of activites (and kids), but is a bit out of the way.

Therefore, my tips would include - do not do full board, but rather B&B (which is really good) and then explore in the evenings. Plus, get a sea-facing room if possible, which is stunning, whereas mountain-facing will just show lots of clouds on many occasions.

Thank you Shangri-La Tanjung Aru for a fantastic and relaxing experience

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 2, 2009
Many thanks for staying with us recently and your kind comments. We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay.

Delighted to hear that you enjoyed our friendly Sabahan service and I will gladly pass the comments onto my colleagues.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Winchester
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2009

Didn't get off to the greatest start when pre-booked airport transfer didn't turn up and eventually on arrival at hotel to be told our booking had been cancelled. A few emails to agent in England and them talking to the hotel resolved the issue but did tarnish our 10th wedding anniversary slightly. With respect to the hotel management they did eventually send complimentary Moet & Chandon champagne, chocolates and a bottle of red wine - thankyou !
Ignoring the first 24hrs, I have to say that we were very impressed with the hotel and I agree with other reviewers that it is a LARGE 5 star hotel and therefore is not going to be very quiet or provide complete pampered luxury. What it did provide was excellent facilities that kept both ourselves and our 5yr old son busy. The pools were never overcrowded and in fact one of them was usually very quiet and maybe used by a few adults only. The pool with the shallow child area was more lively but I wouldn't say that noise was ever intrusive for anyone sunbathing nearby. We enjoyed the free use of bicycles, table-tennis, badminton, petanque, tennis and pitch&putt which can often be chargeable at other resorts we've stayed at.
We stayed in a Tanjung Wing executive suite which was great as it had a seperate living area where my wife and I could chill once our son was in bed. We highly recommend club lounge which served breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktail hour. This was never busy and the service was fantastic (as it was all over the hotel). Our son was able to use the complimentary internet access whilst we had a refreshing cup of tea and tasty cakes !
Food wise we split our time between the evening buffet (about £15/adult and son was free) and also had room service where our son would usually have a pizza, I'd have a malaysian dish and wife would have another main course. This worked out about £25 for all of us which I thought was fairly reasonable. The evening were usually started off with a happy hour at the sunset bar (about £8 for 2 gin & tonics, £3 for 15 pieces of satay chicken/beef) where we watched some fantastic sunsets and the daily ceremony of light the torches. Great fun for the family.
One final mention should go to the kids club. We normally don't make use of these as we our on holiday as a family and want to be together. In this case we struggled to get our son to come out of the club. We felt very happy with the quality of the staffing and the facilities they provided . He was happy to pop in and out of the club and check on us sunbathing nearby.

In summary, a good family hotel that offers a great location, great facilties, good food and drink options and excellent staff.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 2, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and providing your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and congratulations again on your wedding anniversary.

I do regret that the accounting issues with your agent created a bad start to your holiday. However, I am glad that we were able to rectify the situation and ensure you and your family had a memorable stay with us.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and warmest regards from all of us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Doha, Qatar
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

Lovely hotel, mostly up to the usual Shangri-la chain high standards - BUT ONLY HALF A SPA! What kind of major international 5 star "RESORT AND SPA" hotel has no basic spa/beauty treatments such as manicure, pedicure or hairdresser? There were some sophisitcated and expensive spa massage treatments available, but not being able to have the most basic treatmemts at this level of hotel is unacceptable. It seems that there had been these facilities at some stage in the past, but neither the reception/ concierge staff nor the spa staff knew when this service stopped, when it would start again, or where I might find a good local alternative. I was really looking forward to a bit of pampering whilst my husband went scuba diving, so this did very much spoil my stay there. If you're not hoping to use these facilities, then it is a super hotel with good restaruant food and wine.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 1, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for sharing your feedback.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and we trust that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon.

I apologize that our current spa offerings did not meet your expectations. During your stay one of our ground floor spaces was closed off which is in fact being made into a nail bar and will be open from mid September. We should have done a far better job of recommending alternatives and giving you information and rest assured I am addressing this with the team.

Once again, thank you very much for your comments.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Romantic 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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