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“A great place for families” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Price
35% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 97 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A great place for families”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

I have been to Kota Kinabalu for several times and stayed in this resort more than a decade ago. The resort is nicely renovated, especially the stores and health club, though I didnt use the facilities in the latter. Stuffs are very nice and very helpful, and this is what makes the whole trip different. The location is good, you can travel to the downtown at a fixed rate by taxi, for food or shopping. But we did not dine outside as there are a lot of choices simply in the resort, and there were main disappointments from the major shopping places like Centre Point, KK handicraft Market and Gaya Sunday Market. Yes, there are a lot of food choices, those from a la carte menu are great, especially the Shang Palace. I would also recommend fish and chips and lasak from the cafe and poolside. Their breakfast buffet is ok, the dinner buffet, however, is not good. The food choice of the dinner one is very limited and like repeating the same stuff from the breakfast, except the equally-not-much-choice seafood bar. The pool is clean, and the environment for the activities is good, there were really people joining, which is great. Finally, here comes the major disappointment from the room. We stayed in a sea-facing seaview room from the Tanjung wing. Trees are just too tall, which is okay as they just cannot cap the growth of trees. But minus the vegetation factor, the seaview room is still technically a garden view room. The interior of the room is very worn, another let down. Overall, Tanjung Aru is worth another a stay, as long as you are spending most of your time out of your room, and with kids with you. And one final thing, the Chi Spa is priced a lot higher than its Bangkok counterpart, I am neutral to this and just for your information, and they do not give you a full treatment time. One more additional thing, they have wifi in most part of the resort area, but only cable-driven broadband in the guest room. I bet they should equip them as well with wifi for the future guests' convenience.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 14, 2009
Many thanks for staying with us recently and for sharing your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay.

We are doing an intensive review of our Cafe Tatu dinner buffet based on your feedback to ensure it is consistently at the required standards. I note also your comment regarding the spa treatment. I believe there may be some issues as to how we communicate the elements of the treatment and I am addressing this with the team.

Once again, many thanks for your feedback, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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2,505 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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Ireland
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

Stayed here for 3 nights after spending the previous 7 in the Rasa Ria. It was fabulous. Service was wonderful despite a minor hiccup at check-in. Staff in the restaurants were second to none. Particularly "Ainon" in Coco Joes who knows what amazing personal service is - engaging and personal and highly professional. The food was great - not overpriced for a 5 star hotel in my opinion and if you want to pay less go into town it's only 15 minutes away..We loved the Chinese "Shang Palace" and CocoJoes...portion sizes were huge and the fare was truly delicious. Drinks are a bit cheaper than at the Rasa Ria. Free Yoga and Tai Chi which was wonderful. Beach is small but lovely and safe. Really loved this hotel. My only complaint is the charge of 15RM for 15 minutes on the internet in the Business Centre - even checking your email for 5 mins costs 15RM - I thought this was a bit mean as it's free in the Rasa Ria and is a nice courtesy.
Best of all for me the excellent level of service continues after you check out - I left something in my room after check out and emailed the hotel when I got home ...housekeeping emailed me back immediately with a photo of the item as found and offered to post it to me at no cost to me... WOW! Now that's 5 star service in my opinion! One of the best hotels I have ever stayed in for service and standards. Highly recommend a split stay with the Rasa Ria.

  • Stayed September 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
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, October 13, 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. However, I have also taken note of your concern with regard to our internet charges at Business Centre and will keep it in view for our next management meeting when we review our rates for all outlets.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Albany Creek
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

We have just come back from celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary at this amazing resort. We had 10 days of luxury and pampering. The staff went to amazing lengths to ensure our actual anniversary day was perfect. They decorated the bed with rose petals, left gifts for us and had an Anniversay cake delivered to our room.
This is our third trip to Kota Kinabalu but our first time staying at the Tanjung Aru and we will certainly be returning to this resort.
The resort is only a RM15 taxi ride into the city where the food is cheaper than at the resort however, I don't think the food is too overpriced at the resort for what you get. It is worth the trip to The Waterfront to dine, if only for the experience.
The shopping is also just as good as in Kuala Lumpur - where we also spent some time.
KK has really gone ahead in the past 3 years since we were last there. There are new shopping centres, a fly over and many apartments near the waterfront. Their new airport, which has only been open for a year and is still being worked on, is now the second largest in Malaysia.
A must do is take the free shuttle bus from the city to 1Borneo shopping centre. This centre has only been open for 12 months and is enormous. It takes about 30mins to get there but you get to see some of the countryside on the way.
I would like to congratulate the management and staff on their true professionalism - they are a credit to the hospitality industry.

  • Stayed September 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 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, October 13, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to share your kind feedback.

We are all delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and congratulations again on your 40th Wedding Anniversary. We hope that we will see you again during 41st!

Once again, many thanks and our best wishes.
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Leeds
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
226 helpful votes 226 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

We stayed for 3 nights of our honeymoon in Borneo and rate the Shangri La very highly. We secured a bargain rate of around £60 per night by using the company's price match guarantee (very straight forward). The resort certainly surpassed our expectations.

The service was wonderful, little treats were included especially for our honeymoon. The food was delicious. There was a pretty cool VIP style nightclub, though sadly we only had time for a brief look in. The setting was romantic. Kota Kinabalu by the way is a surprisingly vibrant little city. The hotel's lobby, grounds, restaurants and bars were plush. The rooms were spacious with wonderful, sea views. We booked a cheaper garden view room, and apparantly had a 'garden view'. There was actually a wonderful surprise of 360 sea views and the local fishing stilt village just behind the garden! I had no idea that the hotel wasn't 5 star until I returned and found out on trip advisor. It seemed to meet 5 star standards for me.

However, in the spirit of giving a balanced review, there were a few less good points, though they made little to no difference to our enjoyable stay here. The room decor was perhaps not the best we have seen. The beach wasn't that enticing, there was rather a small stretch. Also, there were a lot of families. Perhaps if we paid the full rate we would have been a little disappointed by these things. As it was, we had a wonderful stay, the staff couldn't have done more to make us feel special and we will certainly return.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, October 14, 2009
Many thanks for spending your honeymoon with us recently and for sharing your feedback.

We are all delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and hope that we will see you again for your anniversary!

Indeed we are a 5 star rated resort and thanks to TripAdvisor for updating this for us.

Our private beach is unfortunately not a huge stretch, but we do tend to see our guests making good use of our extensive gardens to relax in and we are always very happy to set up seating areas and provide service in any part of the resorts grounds.

Once again, many thanks and our best wishes.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2009

Just completed 10 day stay here, and here is how I found it.
Check in was effortless, room was a slight disappointment, but maybe due to having just come from world class hotel in HK. Room was mountain view room- although it actually looked out over the pool. Some of the furnishings are a little dated and I was suprised at the old style TV. However the bathroom was nice and everything worked. You get free mineral water, left by the maid each day. The bed was comfy. Breakfast is buffet style and you can get just about anything from cornflakes to curry. It gets busy so best avoid peak times.The staff are excellent in all departments as you would expect.
The beach is small and has a few loungers on it. Most people stick to the pool, probably because there are no jellyfish in it, there are warnings about jellyfish in the sea. The loungers are probably the most comfy I have ever used.
There is a Spa onsite, it is wonderful, we had 2.5hr treatments there and they were as good as they get. There is a dive school, which I used and they were very good also. Boat trips to the islands offshore and watersports are available from the hotel jetty- much easier than going into KK. There is a brilliant gym onsite also.
There is a poolside restaurant called CoCo's, which sells simple stuff- try the yummy fish and chips. I only ate in the hotel once, there are 3 places within the hotel, the oriental place is nice but pricey. If you wish to eat outside the hotel you can walk down the road (10mins) to a great Hawker market for a very cheap meal (£3-£6 for two), or just beyond that there are 3 proper restaurants, the Tanjung Aru one being the best (it's the one that looks like an aircraft hanger with fish tanks). There is also a bar right by the sea.
Anyway back to the hotel, where nightlife is extremely dull. On Fri/Sat they have the Blue note night club which is very pricey and also very empty. They really do need to attract more people because it's a nice set up. On other nights there is only the main bar near the reception which was largely empty and no fun at all. Whether it's the prices or people just don't want to sit in a bar- I don't know, but it's a shame.
A taxi to KK is fixed at RM15 (£3), I went there nearly everyday and never had a problem.
You can book tours onsite, we did 2 and both were well organised, with good quality guides and transport.
So all in all a good place to stay, but if you want some excitement in the evening, you'll have to travel to the city, which isn't difficult at all.
One other thing, the sunset bar which opens between 5 and 8 is a great place to chill out after a hard day round the pool. The drinks are half price and you get to see a crazy fella messing about with fire- you'll hear him first. Also you can witness the who-has-the-biggest-camera-on-a-tripod-competition. But the Japanese will always win!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, October 15, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to post your feedback.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, but note your comments on the room and nightlife. The rooms were renovated during 2007 and we are upgrading our TVs in stages throughout the resort. As to the nightlife, your comments are taken on board as we are always looking for a balance between peace vs entertainment!

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Perth WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2009

We stayed 9 days in this hotel and were very happy with everything. The staff were exceptionally helpful and pleasant. Room service and cleaning excellent. The restaurants we used were excellent in food and service. Facilities, pool, tours and spa all excellent. I have nothing negative to say about our stay at this hotel and would stay here any time we return to Borneo.

  • 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
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 26, 2009
Thank you for staying 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 we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
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 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.
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 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business 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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