We reserved two nights at Bunga Raya to top our two-week trip with some luxurious relaxation.
The location was amazing and our bungalow was just beautiful, located at the edge of the jungle, but still having an ocean view. We spent an entire day by the pool and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing.. There were a number of small things that made us feel the staff wasn't very well trained to operate a high-level resort. As the place was opened only 15 months ago, some of it may have been teething problems.
The level of service varied a lot. Sometimes it was really good and sometimes very amateur. Just small things, such as ordering two cappucinos and getting only one, not being offered more bread/water/wine at dinner, not finding a waiter around to take us to our table, having the buggy driver dump water from the rain covers on our laps, etc.
The Koi restaurant of the resort was also a mixed experience. Many of the dishes on the dinner menu were very nice and fine dining style. I had delicious beef carpaccio, red snapper and mushroom soup. Also my husband's prawn dish was great. But on the last night there I chose beef tenderloin, expecting something special. I was surprised when I was presented with a huge plate with about a pound of meat, plain French fries and ketchup! I would have loved it on any other day, but that night I was expecting something very different. It would help to unify the menu - or have a separate section for the more hearty dishes.
They were also doing some landscaping at the resort, so part of the lawn just outside the restaurant was covered in sand and there was a bobcat just standing by the footpath - an eyesore. And nobody seemed to be in any hurry to fix it.
The infinity pool was beautiful, but there were also leaves in the pool in the morning and the person in charge was just sitting in his booth reading a book. And on one morning, we had to wait an hour for pool towels being shipped from the mainland.
Don't get me wrong - we had a lovely stay. Maybe it the resort had been less expensive, I would have been happier. But considering that this place was more expensive than our 5-star honeymoon hotel in Mauritius, we expected the same level of service.
- 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