Bunga Raya was the relaxing beachside holiday we were after. It's a small, friendly and quiet eco-resort, and we really enjoyed our stay. Things you may want to know if you are thinking of staying there:
- the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. We felt well cared for from the moment they greeted us at the jetty with a cool drink and towel, explaining everything we needed to know; to after we'd left when we discovered we'd left some items behind in our room and they couriered them to us.
- the rooms are lovely. Simply decorated and very spacious.
- the Malaysian food at the resort is wonderful and well priced. Cheap satay sticks by the beach for lunch each day (only 1 RM per stick!); great a la carte breakfast with amazing nasi goreng; lots of delicious and reasonably priced options for dinner each night from the Malay + Chinese menu at Koi restaruant. Such a nice change from other resorts where they charge a lot for food that isn't as authentic or tasty.
- we chose the 3 night package which included several spa treatments, all of which were wonderful. It was good value.
- the room comes with a free minibar of fizzy drinks, beer, juice, water, tea and coffee (from your own little espresso machine!) which is restocked once a day. A nice touch.
- there is a free cocktail hour each evening by the pool.
- free kayaks available - we had fun one day paddling over to see the little monkeys nearby
- there is a major shipping lane nearby, so the sea in the bay is not sparkling clean. Although the staff clean the beach often and remove rubbish etc, this is not the place to choose if you want to swim in the sea or snorkel. However, from your hammock or private deck the beach still looks beautiful.
- it can be rainy some times (we had a couple of days of heavy rain, but also two days of beautiful sunshine)
- the European-style food at the resort is not as good as the Malaysian food. But you're in Malaysia, so why not just enjoy the local food? It's excellent.
- one day about 40 Swedish tourists came for lunch, which probably tripled the number of visitors at the resort for the day. Only about 7 of the villas were occupied during our stay, so I guess they sometimes make ends meet by having tour groups for the day. But we didn't find it any problem having the tour group there as they were down at the main pool and we had our own private plunge pool so hardly noticed them - and the resort staff told us a day in advance that the group would be coming so we planned to keep away from the main pool that day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- As sensual and exotic as the hibiscus flower that bears its name, Bunga Raya Island Resort is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of 47 timbered villas, the resort is framed by white sand beach and virgin jungle. Hillside villas reflect the simplicity of the Borneo architectural style. A hilltop spa blends the finest Traditional Asian and Western treatments using restorative powers of indigenous plants and oils. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bunga Raya Island Resort And Spa
- Bunga Raya Island Hotel Kota Kinabalu
- Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa Malaysia/Pulau Gaya