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“Beautiful” 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
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2007

This hotel was amazing. Maybe it's just me and I'm used to budget hotels, hostels and camping but I could not believe the service provided. The setting was just beautiful and the islands a short boatride away are a must see, especially good for swimming. I was a little dubious about using the hotel beach due to the nearby sea village, the sea smelled a little of sewage so for swimming, I used the pool.

On the down side, my room was a little damp and smelled a little mouldy but not terribly and I've experienced far worse.

There was also good nightlife in the hotel and a bar that seemed to attract locals as well as hotel customers that gave it a friendlier feel than the lounge bar- can't remember what it was called.

The food was wonderful and the service couldn't have been better or the staff friendlier and eager to help.

Kota Kinabalu is a bustling city and great for shopping, not to mention friendly locals who will come and talk to you without hassling you.

It is also a must to go to Sandakan to visit the oran utan sanctuary.

I would return there in a second - if I could afford it!

  • Liked — the service was fantastic
  • Disliked — the room was a bit damp with humidity
  • Stayed April 2003, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
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2,505 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 (560)
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derbyshire
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2007

We could not have been more happy with our stay in this hotel. I was part of a party of 5, myself and my husband, my brother and sister all in our 20s and my mum. We noticed that the other guests were quiet even around the pool which we are not used to having mainly travelled to the carribbean and europe. The service was outstanding especially in the Horizon Club which was well worth the upgrade.
We only ate in the hotel a couple of times as it is so cheap to eat elsewhere but the food was lovely and though expensive for malaysia was not extortionate (the buffet was £14 each but had a huge selection of international and local food).
We ate at the first beach just down the road and had lovely food, we also ate in Kota Kinabalu (KK as the locals call it) and had lunch on one of the small islands, all our meals were lovely.
The happy hours in the hotel run from 5 until 11pm but you have to move to a different bar every 2 hours, the drinks are half price during happy hour and on ladies night there are free cocktails for ladies in the night club.
The band in the lobby bar are brilliant and are really friendly and welcoming.
The staff around the hotel are all amazing and couldn't do more to help, the room was cleaned really well and the toiletries were plentiful and very good quality.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Liked — the staff, the view
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Amsterdam
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2007

We stayed in this hotel in August and like other travellers upgraded to Horizon Club on arrival. We had to wait for our room despite our late arrival. This was not expected. However the room was very good and well supplied with towels and toiletries throught out our stay. The staff were excellent, always helpful polite and smiling. I think if the hotel has to raise its standard then Senior Management have to inject the additional ideas to make better use of the facilities. The hotel was rarely able to have the room cleaned by 15:30 each day. This could be an irritation when returning from tours or shopping in KK

The Horizon Club was excellent for quiet peaceful breakfasts but cramped /crowded during the free alcoholic drinks and finger food buffet in the early evening from 5-7pm. Also children tended to monopolise the two free internet access points. If staying at this hotel again I would again upgrade to the Horizon Club

Overall I was not unhappy with the selection of this hotel, except for the construction work being carried out on the new Spa facilities. Yes, noise was kept to a minimum, but you could still be disturbed by the noise from power saws and air tools as you sat near the pool areas. Ones view over the South China Sea Bay is blocked by the construction site boardings. One would need to sit at the "pitch & put" end of the hotel to avoid including the construction site in ones view over the Sea. That point was not made clear prior to my accepting the booking for this hotel.

  • Liked — The room size was more than adequate
  • Disliked — Daily late cleaning of the room
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2007

Another great Shangri-la, spent one week with family, nice Hotel, good rooms (Tanjun Suite) great service, the beach is little small and sometimes the pools are little crowded but for a family holiday is perfect, we suggest to go to the islends just a few minutes of speedboat from the hotel were you will have the possibility to swim with fishes and enjoy the sun, we suggest not to use organised tours but just catch a boat to one of the islandsjust bring a towel and sun lotion and you will have fun.
Try to have a B+B arrangement and ask for room service since they are very precise in delivering the breakfast wile the buffet is very crowded and will take some time to have your cappuccino ready ...
another suggestion is to try the Peppino restaurant were you really will taste some italian good standard dishes

  • Liked — space
  • Disliked — not much
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederikshavn, Denmark
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2007

Wauu - simply the best stay we have had on our vacation.
We also tried Shangri-La Rasa Ria and it only got the 2. place because of the distance to town.
If you take the distance away, they both are exellent and we look forward to come back next year.
Family Jensen from Denmark

  • Liked — The room, balcony and the service. (specially the check-in)
  • Disliked — The beach.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2007

This is a very nice hotel in a beautiful setting. It's very well equipped and caters for all age ranges and style of travellers, although if I were honeymooning here, I would be disappointed by the number of children around...not a problem for us though, as we had our own child with us and are used to the noise!

As with other reviews, it's well worth upgrading to the Horizon club - if for nothing else than to be able to have a civilised breakfast in peace and quiet (breakfast at Cafe Tatu was just awful - swarms of people and v noisy) but I would wait until you get there to book the upgrade, as it is much cheaper to do it on arrival.

Where we had a big problem with this hotel, though, was that it simply does not deliver what it promises. It claims to be a 5* resort but the fact is, it simply is not. An example of some, but not all, of our problems:

- to be told on checking in that our room had been upgraded but it wasn't quite ready but would be in 30 mins. We'd been travelling all day but could live with this. An hour and a half and much chasing later we were shown to the "upgraded" room which was actually the same level as the one we had booked but was smaller that than the one we had on our previous stay a few days earlier (we stayed for 7 nights over a 10 day period).
- my vegetarian husband consistently receiving his meals much later than myself and my son - one night we had actually almost finished our main courses before it arrived.
- no bed being made up for our son, despite our booking quite clearly requesting it in writing.
- woefully inadequate toiletry supplies in the bathrooms.
- barely acceptable housekeeping e.g. bath not being cleaned properly, taps left with handles hanging off, lights not working

We're experienced travellers and really are not whingers but I wouldn't expect ALL of this and more to happen during such a short stay - the odd hiccup of course is fine, but this went beyond that. Yes, we complained and the complaints were addressed without question but our point is that we shouldn't have had to complain constantly in order to achieve the standard that we were led to believe that this hotel delivered.

  • Liked — beautiful setting
  • Disliked — not up to the standard it claims to be
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2007

What a special place the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru is. It was just what I needed - to getaway and de-stress.

I stayed here for a week. Everything was fine and didn't have a problem at all.

Lots of outdoor activities and tours and can be organised through the hotel. We did the Sabah 5 Island Cruise. Interesting to see how the Bahsa people live. Not good to see that they still litter the ocean.

There is also a free shuttle bus that goes to the other Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort. We checked out there pool and also saw the Orangatan in there jungle environment. Be prepared with mosquito repellant and face towel as it is so humid and sweaty. Seriously i was soaked!

  • Liked — peacocks walking around - so beautiful
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2004, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business 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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