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“Great resort” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

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Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Pantai Dalit Beach | P.O. Box 600, Kota Kinabalu 89208, Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 97 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Hong Kong
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2009

We just got back and had a great trip - the resort, staff and facilities were amazing. I have never written a review but felt I should mention one thing to travelers. We were expecting a beautiful beachfront like Cebu and were a bit disappointed. There were signs for jelly fish and we did not see one person swimming the entire 5 days we were there. The water was quite rough and the beach chairs were way back towards the pool, not near the water at all. We were looking forward to a beach vacation with our 2 year old son.
that said, the pool is wonderful and the baby pool is the best we have seen in asia. The food was also the best we have experienced and we have traveled quite a bit. Overall, we loved the resort but would have liked to have known about the beach.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 4, 2009
Greetings from Rasa Ria Resort! Thank you so much for staying with us recently and for taking the time to post your review. We are pleased to learn you had a wonderful holiday with us here at Rasa Ria and that you enjoyed your dining experience at our restaurants. I can appreciate the comparison to the beachfronts in Cebu. The islands there are protected by a double barrier reef which gives a crystal clear water. Here in Sabah, we are facing the open sea and the wave action causes the sand to churn giving a murky appearance. Jellyfish are seasonal and are present in both Sabah and Cebu. Unfortunately, they were present during your visit. Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated.
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4,140 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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Mt Martha, Australia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2009

We arrived at the Shangri La Rasa Ria on 23 May, 2009 after dark after an airport transfer failure. It was such relief to arrive at the resort and be greeted by such warm and friendly staff at reception. We were seated in an open air foyer and served iced tea while being checked in. The resort appeared to be vast in size. There were many guests relaxing in comfortable lounges and armchairs. We had booked a king room, ocean view in the garden wing. We were shown to our room which was large, comfortable and clean. However the decor was a little tired and there was a distinct smell of cigarette smoke lingering. In the corner of the room was a raised wooden area. We were advised that it was a daybed?? Maybe a previous spa which had disengaged and covered up? A phone call was quickly answered with a staff member spraying the room with freshener. The bed was comfortable. We were asked if we would like to view a room in n the Ocean Wing. As during this period of the year they were currently running a special price of 30% discount. We were escorted to the Ocean Wing. It was a newer building and very quiet which appealed to us. The room was just what we were dreaming of. It was large and spacious. It was spotless and modern. The bed was comfortable and there was a pillow menu. It contained a table and chairs with cutlery and crockery provided. The large balcony had a double day bed and spa complete with electric screens for light and privacy control. The bathroom deluxe all the way complete with L'oocitane products. Each afternoon a plate of fruit and biscuits was delivered to the room. The turndown service provided an essential oil menu. The view was over the dedicated ocean wing pool to the sea. We ate in three of the resort restaurants, The japanese restaurant where we found the meal enjoyable. Naan Indian restaurant where we found the meal delicious, great ingredients, spotlessly clean. On our last night we ate at Coast restaurant. We arrived for obligatory sundowners. We asked if we could use one of the beachfront bures and were cheerfully obliged. We were seated in comfortable arm chairs under the thatched roof. We were supplied with a personal butler who expertly ferried drinks and platters of fine seafood back and forth from the restaurant. It was the most romantic experience. Sunset, warm breeze, impeccable service and cool music playing in the background. Two of the staff in particular exceeded in their service and hospitality. Their professionalism was exemplary. We remember Selinah and Sofry with immense fondness.
We went to see the baby orangutans at the sanctuary attached to the resort. We first watched a documentary and then walked a short distance into the jungle. This sanctuary is a type of nursury for orangutans too young to go to the Sepilok sanctuary. Once they reach a certain age they are then transferred to Sepilok. The time spent watching these babies sped past watching them play chasy through the trees and eating fruit for breakfast.
We also indulged in a massage at the Spa. This was just what we needed after hiking Mount Kinabalu. I have written a separate review for our trip to Mount Kinabalu.

  • Stayed May 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 4, 2009
Warmest greetings from Rasa Ria Resort! Thank you so much for staying with us recently. We are pleased to learn you had a wonderful holiday with us at Rasa Ria and that you thoroughly enjoyed your dining experience as well as enjoyed the natural beauty of the resort. We will continue to work with Sabah Wildlife Department to rehabilitate the baby Orang Utans and are pleased you enjoyed the experience. We have shared your remarks with the staff and no doubt this will spur them to do better each and every time. We look forward to welcoming you back to our resort.
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Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2009

Stayed there in May just for a day and booked the garden wing as the ocean wing was way too expensive for us. We were really dissappointed as soon as we entered the room. The decor and furnishings are extremely outdated, we just didn't feel like staying in the room at all. We had stayed at Novotel for a few days before going to Rasa Ria and the Novotel room was bigger and nicer than the room at Rasa Ria and so was the bathroom.

That said, the resort facilities were okay, although there isn't much to do. It was too hot and there are too many sandflies on the beach, so there were practically no people on the beach. Everyone pretty much lounges at the pool. We ate at the Coffee Terrace and the food was great.

All in all, wouldn't stay there again. Not worth it at the price, atleast not for the garden wing rooms.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 4, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently. Our garden wing rooms are regularly maintained and the setting makes it very difficult to be compared to Novotel which has opened just 6 months ago and is a business hotel next to a shopping centre. Our Garden Wing rooms are due for refurbishment in the near future and we are sure the new design will be well received. We do have a large variety of activities available in and around the resort including Spa, golf course, Nature Reserve as well as the usual watersports, kids activities, horse riding and All Terrain Vehicles. Sandflies are present as we are close to a mangrove sanctuary and this is their natural environment. Thank you once again for your review.
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piranha23
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2009

My wife and I booked 6 days at the Ocean Wing and it was one of the best vacations we've ever had. The level of service is unbelievable - every member of the staff seems genuinely pleased to help you and make your stay an enjoyable one. It's the kind of service where people smile with their eyes and not just their lips!

Our room was spacious and well laid out. Soaking in the outdoor tub on the balcony was one of our favorite parts of the trip. The bed was a little on the hard side but we're accustomed to a Tempur mattress so it may have just taken getting used to. We also liked being able to select a scent from a menu and have the room filled with pleasing aromas after they come to turn down the sheets. Lots of other details like L'Occitane toiletries, flower petals in the shape of a heart on the bed (we were celebrating our wedding anniversary), marshmallows and fruit baskets and complimentary desserts made us feel spoiled and pampered.

We never ran short of things to do - golf, ATV riding, parasailing, walking by the beach - but mostly we were content to just be lounging by the pool and relaxing. The rooms and pool area were WiFi equipped so I was delighted to be able to surf the net on my iPhone while lying on the deck chairs - perfect for an internet junkie like me.

One of the highlights of our trip was meeting the resort's executive chef at the weekly hotel 9 hole golf tournament (which is a brilliant way for management to interact with guests, btw). He was an extremely friendly and generous man and we enjoyed his company immensely. Although we already found the food at the various restaurants to be very good, he took it up a notch and invited us into the Coast kitchen where he set us up with a private table with a great view of the action and a superb tasting menu. Definitely a one-off, special, romantic experience and we can't thank him enough.

Speaking of the food, the prices are surprisingly reasonable for a place of this caliber. We ate at the Coast every day for breakfast (Eggs Benedict FTW!) and twice there for dinner. We also had terrific teppanyaki at the Japanese place (though I wish they had some a la carte options rather than just a few set menus) and my wife who normally does not care for Indian cuisine was so blown away by her dinner at Naan that she was hoping we could come visit the next day for lunch (no such luck - they're only open for dinner).

As we were preparing to check out, I accidentally knocked over and broke one of the beautiful wine glasses that they supply you with in the room. I was distraught enough to leave an apology note in our room and made sure to mention it as we were settling the bill. The staff member hesitated, smiled and said "Just one glass right? Don't worry. It'll be our secret".

How can you not love a place like this?

Photos of our trip are on my Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/piranha23/sets/72157617939565203/

  • Stayed May 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 22, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at our Ocean Wing and that our staff has exceeded your expectations. Our Executive Chef Glen had a great time as well during the weekly golf tournament and hopes to see you back for a return game. We are happy to be of service to you and look forward to welcoming you back to our resort. Your compliments regarding our service only spur us on to provide better service each time. We look forward to welcoming you back to Rasa Ria Resort!
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Brighton
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2009

Our whole experience at this hotel cannot be faulted. A small problem at check in was dealt with quickly and professionally, from then on it just got better and better. We stayed in the Ocean wing and the rooms are breathtakingly awesome. The balcony's and bathrooms are huge with fantastic toiletries.
Every member of staff you meet is pleasant and before long they are all on first name terms with you. Nothing is to much trouble to ensure you have the perfect stay.
The restaurants are great with lots of choice, our favourite was the Indian Naan Restaurant where you can get Lobster Massala for £12 - and its a whole de shelled Lobster!
You cannot go wrong staying here although it is out of town (a shuttle bus is provided if required but we didn't need to use it)
The wildlife sanctuary is well run and they currently have 5 baby orangs. You must do one of the walks to the top of the knoll to see the fantastic view of the hotel and Mt Kinabalu.
Thank you to Janifer, Nick, Cuthbert, and all the staff in Naan who made our stay so special we will definately be returning.

  • Stayed May 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.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 22, 2009
Thank you for your wonderful review! We are pleased to learn that you had an enjoyable and memorable time with us. We will continue to work with Sabah Wildlife Department to rehabilitate the baby Orang Utans and are pleased you enjoyed the experience. Glad to note that you enjoyed your dining experience at Naan restaurant as well and will certainly share your comments with the chef. Looking forward to welcoming you back to Rasa Ria soon.
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Victoria
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

Upon arriving at the resort it definitely has the 5 star feel, welcome music, welcome drink and cool towel. Only 5 minutes in however the res staff informs us they require a bond for the stay (normal for every hotel) and that this bond is for the full amount for our total stay even though we have already paid for it (definitely NOT normal). This was approximately $700AUD that they wanted to charge to our credit cards, having just paid for the holiday neither of us had this amount, so instead the staff decided to take all our cash we had on us for the bond. The problem now is that we are at a resort that is at least 20minute drive from the nearest atm, no cash and staff couldnt care less. Even after we transferred money to our credit cards and asked to switch the bond to credit card so we could have the cash back they refused. We had to pay for a cab to drive us to the atm so we could have money to pay for day tours.Very bad first impressions!
We stayed in a rainforest superior room, quite nice split level style, the nature centre is definitely a plus of this resort as is the fantastic beach. A tip for any couples planning to stay here - pay the extra and upgrade to the ocean wing as the pool is much quieter (no waterslide therefore no children) and you definitely get star treatment.
Our final impression of this property was the fact they tried to charge us for the breakfast when we checked out, informing us our 'agent' didnt pay for it. Well I am the agent and I did pay for it and made sure they took it off the bill!
Overall, the resort is lovely, food expensive and as you are a bit of a captive audience no much you can do about that. Expect to pay top dollar and pay for your room twice virtually with the bond policy, and you will enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 4, 2009
Dear Dee, Thank you for your feedback. We are most concerned that your experience was not as good as it should have been. We do normally obtain a pre-approval of a credit card for additional expenses however this should have been based on a reasonable amount of expected additional food and beverage charges. We are sorry that our staff did not extend more flexibility in switching the pre-approval from cash to credit card. We are also concerned that you were incorrectly charged for breakfast and have addressed this with our Front Office team. Please accept our apologies for the error. Although the resort is fairly secluded and remote, we are sensitive in our pricing so as to offer value for money. Alcohol is more expensive here in Malaysia but we are confident our prices are lower than most resorts in the region. Thanks once again for your valuable feedback and hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.
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England
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2009

This was a perfect holiday from the moment we arrived at the resort. We had a very warm greeting and our request for an upgrade to the Ocean Wing was efficiently dealt with and proved to be well worth the extra cost. The room was huge and beautifully furnished with every possible amenity. The balcony was almost as big as the room and had a large bath, day bed, table and chairs and stunning views. We also had use of the Ocean Wing pool that had plenty of sunbeds and was never very busy.
Without exception the staff were friendly, attentive and eager to help in any way possible without being intrusive or gushing. Our names were remembered and there seemed a genuine warmth from the staff and an obvious job satisfaction.
All the restaurants served gorgeous food with a wide variety and several offers to cook us dishes of our choice.
The Nature resort is a must with many activities on offer, all at a very reasonable price. The Orang utans were a real treat and we had a better view than many people who had been to Sepilok. The guides were most knowledgable and clearly loved their jobs and we learnt so much in the time we were there.
This was the best holiday we have ever had and intend to return as soon as possible.

  • Stayed May 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRR-GM, General Manager, Rasa Ria Resort at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 12, 2009
Thank you very much for your review. We are happy to note that your decision to upgrade to Ocean Wing was well worth the extra cost and that our staff took very good care of you. Glad you enjoyed sampling the various food on offer and that you enjoyed your encounter with the Orang Utans. We hope to welcome you back to our shores soon!
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Additional Information about Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

Address: Pantai Dalit Beach | P.O. Box 600, Kota Kinabalu 89208, 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 499
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is set on Pantai Dalit beach surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation, including a unique nature reserve. Here you'll meet Sabah's icon, the fascinating Orang Utan, as well as a remarkable array of indigenous flora and fauna. Unexpected encounters with hornbills who glide right overhead, peacocks walking by during breakfast, a friendly bear cat greeting you from a tree or the occasional wild rabbit, iguana or squirrel crossing your path are all part of the magic of this remarkable resort. Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa goes beyond the offerings of Kota Kinabalu hotels by providing numerous options for relaxation. This includes the magnificent Spa at Dalit Bay, a wide range of water sports, Rasa Ria's own catamarans for cruises and deep sea fishing, a challenging 18-hole championship golf course, tennis, horse riding, a fitness centre and, of course, a fun-filled Kids' Club to care for younger visitors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Rasa Ria Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri Las Rasa Ria Hotel
Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort
Rasa Ria Resort
Shangri Las Rasa Ria Resort
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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