Spent a total of 7 days here on the second leg of our honeymoon. Originally booked in Tanjung Aru but changed at the last minute when we found out about the renovations happening at the Tanjung Aru.
Taxi from airport was 30RM, taxi desk is on lower level at the airport, fixed price, pay at counter and then take voucher out to the taxis as you exit the airport on the left. Check in was nice, turned up and were taken through the reception to the lounge bar and the receptionist took all our details and then we were given a welcome drink while she went off to sort everything out. She returned shortly with our keys and breakfast vouchers. We got to our room and it was very nice, Bath is a bit small but décor, fixtures and fittings all nice and clean. Luggage wasn’t far behind us.
The resort itself comprises of the Magellan hotel, the Pacific hotel and the country club. You can use facilities at all 3 areas and also the golf club although I never went there. The Magellan seems a bit more top end than the Pacific but both have nice facilities. Magellan pool area is small but nice and the loungers and towels are nicer than at the Pacific. The pool hut also give you cold bottles of water and pop over with cold towels and water melon every so often which is nice.
Small man made beach area in front of the pool also, but jellyfish warnings and muggy water so doesn’t see a lot of use.
Waves pool bar was our favorite over at the Pacific and the staff there are really great. We chatted to them daily and they helped us learn Malay and were really good fun. The chicken satay on the lunch menu is really good and they have a Happy hour also 3-5 I think. In the evening they have a BBQ dinner which we ate twice. The food was superb and really good value. It’s all cooked to order and if the weather is nice you have a table set up on the sand overlooking the harbor which is nice. Service at waves was spot on.
Ate at the Al Fresco restaurant at the Magellan and while the food was nice we did have a problem as my wife’s food didn’t arrive with mine, I shared my Pizza with her and we asked a couple of times where her Lasagna was but it didn’t arrive so as I had finished and it still hadn’t turned up and we were going into town we canceled the meal. Shame but I guess it happens sometimes. They have 2 for 1 happy hour here I think it was between 6 and 7 and is nice to watch the sunset and have a drink or two with a nice view.
Breakfast was served in the 5 sails restaurant each morning and was OK. They were not very quick to replenish items that run out such as the eggs Benedict which seemed really popular when they were on the menu but had to ask a couple of times as they had run out and were not replenished.
Due to a back injury I couldn’t work out but checked the gym out anyway and it was large with lots of equipment and nicely air conditioned. They also have a Bowling alley at the Harbor country club I think it was about 30RM a game. It’s a good set up with about 10 lanes and all the equipment is in really good condition and looks quite new. It can get chilly in there though as the air con is quite heavy so take a cardy or jumper with you.
We also did the 2 island with lunch snorkeling trip with the company based at the harbor. They also have agents in both hotels selling the excursions in the lobby. Trip itself was OK but had to change snorkels 3 times as they were dirty and you could see mould inside the mouth piece which was quite concerning. We stared off at Sapi which was quite good snorkeling and then on to Manukan for lunch. The lunch food was good but unfortunately a bit cold despite us getting there at 12.30. Manukan island is not so good for snorkeling and the water in general suffers from a lot of litter which is a shame. The tour is worth doing but check your equipment.
You can use the internet at the business centre for 18RM for 30 minutes or if you have your own laptop or wi fi gadget you can sit in there and use that for free, just ask them for a log in password.
Also visited the Rasa Ria resort to see the orangutan’s, Roy at the concierge desk was very helpful and phoned up and booked for us and arranged transportation. It works out to hire private transfer for 180RM and had to pay entrance on top of that but well worth it. We also went to the Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary which is a flight away and we did this as a two day excursion booked with our travel agent and found that the Rasa ria was better as it’s not so busy and the feeding platform is closer to the spectator area so worth the visit. Our Sepilok tour included cave and river nature cruise but If you only want to see the orangutans I would suggest that the Rasa Ria ticks this box nicely and no need to get the flight to Sabah.
We both had a massage at the spa at the Magellan and although not cheap it was very professional and the spa is really nice and staff very professional. You will get cheaper treatments outside the hotel but not the quality or surroundings.
Rooms were generally good and clean. Air con nice and not too noisy. Nice balcony area outside also. News paper delivered every day. Only grumble here is that it clearly states in the directory that an iron and ironing board can be found in each room and this is not the case. We had two rooms and I had to ask for an Iron to be delivered to both. Then had housekeeping keep calling me asking if I was finished with it. The hotel charges enough money and should splash out on making sure an iron and ironing board are in each room and in good repair. I had to send the first ironing board back as it had wonky legs and was useless.
Our travel agent didn’t tell the hotel we were a honeymoon couple but when we did they quickly sent up someone to dress the room with ribbons and rose petals and also sent us a nice cake with congratulations on it.
Every night at turn down they would leave a little box with a couple of cornflake cakes in and a bookmark and also some postcards which was nice.
Out and about
Went out to the waterside a few nights to eat and drink. Taxi in was 12RM. Good restaurants and bars in one location and easy to get to and from the hotel, the Thai restaurant was quite good, ate at the Kohinoor also which was OK but nothing special and the pizza restaurant was quite average. The Loft bar was good and quite reasonably priced. The Irish bar had a great band on one night, bald singer who made fun out of himself a lot and was really funny and musically pretty good also. If eating outside in this area you will see cockroaches running around but that’s just the area. Also beware that outside of hotels in general toilets like other places in Malaysia and Borneo are a bit hit and miss. Most share a toilet down an alley which is quite grim. The Irish bar, the loft and Thai Orchid restaurant all have pretty decent toilet facilities, sounds a bit trivial but if you’ve never been to places like this in Asia before you will thank me for this information when you get there trust me.
In Summary I was pleasantly surprised with the Magellan. We did have a couple of hic ups but all in all I’m happy to forgive these in light of the excellent helpful and friendly staff and little extras bits at turn down and poolside and the food and service at Waves. Would stay here again and would recommend.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.