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“Great hotel to relax at” 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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Ranked #3 of 93 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great hotel to relax at”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2007

Hotel was great, just right for a relaxing holiday to destress and unwind. Read a few reviews on trip advisor and the reviews were not that good, was a bit worried as I had already booked accomodation. I also stayed in the wing of the hotel everyone bagged, but I thought it was fine. I think people are too fussy these days and picky. I travelled with my elderly mother and we were given a twin room with huge king single beds, The bathroom was amazing. We actually got a seperate shower, not those horrible ones in the bath. And the bath room didn't fog up with steam!!! We had a lovely sitting area and a balcony with a handy pull out line for bathers to dry on. We stayed in the Kinabalu wing. We had the best view from our room. We could see the islands and the city at night lit up.
We could always get a sun bed. The staff around the pool were great and entertained us with games etc. The price of the food was just under australian prices but 5 star. The alcohol was very expensive $10 for house wine and then add the plus plus (taxes)to it!!! Just follow the happy hours round the hotel then certain drinks are half price (including softdrinks).
One thing that did annoy us was not knowing about the events going on in the hotel. Apparantely we should of got a card with next days events with the turn down services. We only got the cards on the last 3 days which was a bit late as we stayed 10 days. And missed activites we would of liked to have done. We ate at all the restaurants and they were all good. We also ate out side the hotel in town and down the road.
Another thing that needs to improve is the massive steep stair case you have to go down to the main buffet restaurant. Family's struggled with prams etc and the nearest lifts were in the wings either side of the hotel. There should be a lift to get from the lobby level to the buffet restaurant/ pool level. We went a few times in from the back way to miss out on the steps.
I have a sister in a wheel chair and she would of been able to get around all of the resort. There were ramps most places even a little steep at times. She may need to take a long way around for so things like the hotel shop and buffet restaurant depending on what direction she was coming from.
Over all a good hotel. 3 star price for 5 star resort. I would go again.
Oh and shopping and Kota kinabalu was terrible not like Singapore or Dubai very diappointed.
Airport was terrible, old and hot.
Airline was Malaysian and I won't be flying with them again. Very old and terrible service from staff. The plane smelled

  • Liked — Great room
  • Disliked — Steep stairs to Buffet restaurant
  • Stayed February 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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2,335 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (507)
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Hong Kong
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the property from Feb 9-14 2007. We were booked in a Deluxe seaview room, but upgraded to an executive suite for 250 RMB/night. In addition to the apartment size room the upgrade includes access to the lounge where afternoon tea and evening drinks 5-7 are offered complimentary. You can also take breakfast in the lounge, but the selection is nowhere near that of the main restaurant. However, the lounge is much more relaxed and private. I found the upgrade to be good value, but would also like to add that the deluxe room would have been more than adequate for two people.

The staff kindly put flowers and desserts in the room for our first two nights. That was very kind and much appreciated. See attached pics.

We only ate at the hotel twice during our stay. We lunched at the poolside which servers standard NA fare, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The cost for two for lunch with drinks is about 30-40 usd. We also ate at the Italian restaurant one evening. The food was well done, but the service not up to high end restaurant standard. A meal for 2 with a bottle of wine was about 100 usd. Overall, the hotel restaurants are reasonable value by NA standards, but expensive for Malaysia.

We took the ferry from the hotel to Manukan in the outlying islands from the Beach Bums pier. I thought that 80 RMB for a 10 minute boat ride was a bit steep. It was worth the trip though.

We played mini golf - which you have to pay to hire clubs and balls. If I went again I would bring my own pitching wedge and putter.

The Tanjung Aru is the best of both worlds. You have the isolation of a resort, but can also take the short trip to the city.
Taxis to town are 15 RMB fixed rate and there are plenty of restos to choose from.

Keep in mind that this is a 500 room resort. There are families around. The hotel does cater to kids.

Overall my impression of the hotel was good. Although I enjoyed KK and the resort I would probably opt for something a little smaller next time around. The Tanjung Aru is a safe bet.

Happy travels.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2007

We booked this hotel for a week stay and we topped up extra bucks for an executive room. we were given a ground floor floor with extended balcony where we can sit & relax. the room also faced the sea that we enjoyed the sea breeze & sunset...
The hotel restaurants looked nice food was good too Service was good too.. You will need a cab to go to the city. Hotel provides shuttle service too

My only advice - dont try out the food centre near the hotel.. we had food poisioning that lasted for days. thankfully the hotel reception was so kind enough to allow us late checkout and consistently checking on us to make sure we were okay. We stayed in the room until 4pm (our flight was at 6pm).. very good service
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay & definintely will stay here again...

  • Liked — Everything...
  • Disliked — NOthing except the food centre near the resort
  • Stayed January 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2007

We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the resort, during our stay we found the hotel to be all we expected. We stayed in the tanjung wing which was worth the extra as the room was beautifully furnished with great views. The food in the restaurants was excellent especially the buffet breakfast. The staff really looked after us and was very friendly. The grounds were extensive and well maintained with plenty of sun beds although the pools were a bit cold and except for the children’s area there was very little shallow area for non swimmers. There was a small private beach which was netted preventing jellyfish entering. The only downside we found was that the hotel was full for the period we stayed due to the Chinese new Year, which meant breakfast time was very busy and food disappeared very quickly, you then had a bit of a wait for it to be replaced.

  • Liked — The sunsets
  • Disliked — The oriental travellers
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2007

After reading reviews from other travellers, we chose the Tanjung Aru for a stay of 5 nights.

We were fortunate enough to be given a DeLuxe Room with sea views, the room was so tastefully decorated and had a small terrace on the ground floor overlooking the gardens and sea. We arrived about 5.30 and the staff told us not to miss the sunset, it was spectacular.

During our stay we had breakfast included, which was a buffet, but I can honestly say I have never seen such a choice it ranged from salad bar, meats, cheeses, fish, to a range of Chinese and Indian food, the Great British Eggs, Bacon, etc, pastries. The same applied in the evening a huge choice and variety to suit all tastes and really well cooked. There was also an Italian and Chinese Restaurant, if you wanted waiter service and a beach side Restuarant open from 1000 am - 1100 pm.

The hotel offered endless recreational activities for adults and also had a really well run childrens club and of course Spa facilities. They also had a water sports centre with lots of trips to visit local islands, or fishing and there was a Golf Course a few minutes away.

My only advice to anyone going would be if you are fit and decide you may want to climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, you will need proper hiking boots, warm clothing, a torch and gloves. My husband who is 64 and really fit booked it the day before and the day he climbed only about 18-20% made it to the summit, I am proud to say he did, but he said never again!!!

Well enough said, it was beautiful and our Little Bit of Heaven on Earth for five nights.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2007

We stayed at the STAR for 7 nights from Dec 28th.
We were extremely disappointed in both the resort and KK and will not be going back.
The room we had in the Tanjung Wing was lovely - very modern fittings and we specifically requested a ground floor room which we got. Nice to have the lawn for our two young boys to play on.
Our main complaints about the STAR were the poor service and the shocking quality of the Kids Club. The staff at the Kids Club couldn't care less about the kids and do not follow the so-called 'program' they have set out. The office area and kids area are separated by a wall and so staff did not appear to keep an eye on kids. The staff just wanted to 'plug' the kids into Playstations and our two sons soon got bored and didn't want to go there. I noticed many parents staying in the Kids Club with their offspring - kind of defeats the purpose!
The prices at the resort were shockingly expensive and our experiences at the restaurant s were dreadful - avoid the Italian restaurant! We ended up going into town most nights and found a great Italian Restaurant called 'Little Italy' that was superb (for quarter the price).
KK itself is pretty run-down and not very inspiring shopping-wise.
The other BIG disappointment was the lack of a beach at the resort. The beaches either side of the hotel were filthy with rubbish - very sad to see.
We did enjoy going to the Rasa Ria one day to see the orangutans - well worth the trip and no problem for young children.
The housekeeping left a bit to be desired - especially when we had to wait most days til late afternoon for the cleaning to be done.
Overall, we were disappointed with KK and Malaysia in general. We are heading back to Phuket in May as we know we get better value for money and the Thai people have a genuine love of kids.

  • Liked — Beautiful room with view of South China Sea
  • Disliked — Poor service, particulalry in the Kids Club. Not 5* quality but definatley 5* prices
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2007

After reading all the nasty reviews about the Kinabalu Wing, I was surprised to find that they had completed the refurbishment and the rooms are absolutely fabulous.
It's a pity our trip got rained out but we'll definitely be back for more, this time with my parents! It's a great family resort with something for everyone.
The proximity to the city is a definite bonus when you're tired of the mediocre food at Coco Joe's or Tatu.

  • Stayed February 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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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
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 Spa 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 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Romantic 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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