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“Gaya Island Resort, Pulau Gaya”
Review of Gaya Island Resort

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Gaya Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Kota Kinabalu
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Gaya Island Resort, Pulau Gaya”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Visiting Gaya island resort, feel like in the paradise. As the villa surrounded by nature. The service, facilities and food very excellence. Choosing this resort totally worth with your money. Sabah parks has move to the right direction by choosing YTL as their business partner.

Room Tip: Villa 821 &822 is the best location as we can view Kota Kinabalu city and Mount Kinabalu. It sit...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort- A walking resort!

Thank you for your review and on choosing Gaya Island Resort for your recent break. Me and team is happy to read that you stay was a favorable one and we all look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Again, thank you very much on your review and we wish you all the best.

Regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We had the most incredible five nights here. Sadly weather wasn't brilliant, lots and lots of rain but it didn't stop us having a wonderful time. Room was amazing, pool and beach were stunning, it was very quiet and relaxing. Loved it that we had loads to do. We really enjoyed the jungle treks and the spa treatment every day was amazing. I enjoyed the yoga too. The snorkelling was good but sadly my husband was bitten all over by jellyfish lavae, which we hadn't been warned about. Really put us off going snorkelling. But the thing that made Gaya Island so special were the staff, nothing was too much trouble, they were attentive without being in your face. We loved the food, the menu was limited but they would make anything you asked for! Chefs banana pancakes for breakfast were to die for. I would definitely suggest going full board - there is nowhere else to eat so it was by far the cheaper option. We also had the spa treatments built into our package. Would thoroughly recommend Gaya Island, would love to return!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KimOttridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort- A walking resort!

I would like to thank you very much on your stay and support. I have noted on your comment regards to jelly fish and I would like to share with your kind self that the presence of jelly fish over this side of the wide ocean is not a constant threat but we take precautions by notifying all our guests as of when we come across any spotting of jelly fish. I am very sorry on the inconveniences caused.

I also note, overall you had a relaxing and memorable time with us and I thank you on recommending Gaya Island Resort.

Again, thank you for your support and I look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

I've got a higher expectation for Gaya island (since the sea and beach would be much better) ever since we have visited Pangkor Laut last Christmas. We stayed at gaya island for 4d3n with a bunch of friends over the weekend. 12 adults and 7 kids. But my review is only based on us ..couple. We stayed at Bayu villa with the recommendation from our friend, the villas are nice and huge with swamp and forest view, just a short walk from the beach and the pool. No doubt that the sea is clear blue and a nice place to relax but when we went snorkeling i dont see much fishes and corals, although we have to pay extra RM40 per person for the marine park entrance fees.

The food is horrible, especially the asian cuisine. On our 2nd day lunch, because we are in the big group the manager advise us to have dishes with rice instead of ala carte from the menu. We agree to it but the food came out horrible, taste is not too good even the kids refuse to eat. Its not even a hotel food standard to me, it is like 'mamak' food. Dishes include fried rice, curry fish, sweet sour seafood, vege with the canned black bean fish??( which you normally have it with porridge) and fresh fruits. We didnt even finish our food. On the 3rd day we opt back to have ala carte western instead which is much better. Dinner buffet selection is very limited so we choose to upgrade our food to Fisherman's cove fine dining dinner for another RM200++ per person on the final night. Fresh seafood and good food, but for the price we pay they should at least paired it with a glass of wine.
Tried their spa, malay massage 80 mins for RM411 with tax. Very relaxing, thumbs up. But you have to walk uphill all the way to the spa village, they could have at least have a buggy or a shuttle like how they have it in pangkor laut.
If you are planing to hang out by the beach, remember to equip yourself with insect repellent, both my husband and i together with a few other friends came back with quite a bad sand fly bites on the back, arms and legs. We have been to many island in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and even Maldives this is the worst sand fly bites that we have encounter.
Overall i would say if the above mention has improve especially the food. i would rate this resort better as compared to 3star.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MelissaW10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Firstly, I would like to apologize on the poor lunch that you and family had on the second day during your stay. I have brought this to the attention of our Executive Chef and the kitchen team as a whole and assuring you that the recipes are re-visited and further improvements are made to avoid such a poor dining experiences to you and all our guests. Again, I am very sorry on the poor experiences.

I have also taken note of your comments on the rest of the areas for our constant improvements along the line, where required.

I also note that overall, other then above mentioned areas, you had a memorable stay with us and enjoyed the services offered.

Again, many thanks on your support and constructive comments and I look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We stayed at Gaya island for the second part of our honeymoon.
From arrival we were made to feel very special, I received a bouquet of roses and both a lovely signature welcome drink with cold towels.
The hotel is stunning, the idea is really great-the plush rooms are nestled in the jungle and are built on stilts so the jungle below is not destroyed and you are in among the wildlife.
Everything is a short walk away, the lay out is great but there are a few building problems i.e there are tiles, metal staircases and metal handles everywhere (for somewhere that rains so much this can be very dangerous) I myself had a few slips and falls.
But for a very new hotel this is the only thing I can fault, the staff were so lovely and friendly especially Rahman, Peter, Bowie and Aslan-Thank you :-)
The cleaners made me excited to come home everyday, each time on our return there was a different surprise! Our rooms were always cleaned to perfection but we also got little gifts on our pillows, champers,floral arrangments, rose petal baths, romantic music ect (could really get used to this treatment).
Highly recommend the nature walk, its a great chance to learn more about the wildlife around you and to take some great picture's.
Also the PADI try dive is a really good idea, if you don't want to spend three days learning the course or paying the amount it would normally cost they do a one day try dive for around £60pp.
Fisherman's cove is a very special restaurant, very romantic and a musical treat. Considering we are both veggies and it is a seafood restaurant we weren't expecting much but the chef created 5 incredible dishes for us and we were blown away :-)

Room Tip: Honeymooners get 20% off at the spa
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Abbyness1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings!

I would like to thank you very much on your support and on taking your valuable time out to share with us on your stay experiences here.

I am happy to read that you had a memorable time with us and enjoyed the services and facilities offered.

Again, thank you for your support and I look forward to welcome you back with us in future.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guangzhou, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 20, 2013

First of all, it's too close to KK. Imagine you're relaxing at the pool but looking at some
rusty cargo liners anchored less than 2000M away. And at night, the city lights.

Then the menu is very restricted with limited choices for Asians and vegetarians.
By the way, the price is quite unacceptable.
For example, a dish of fried mix veget at Suhetra Resort costs about 30 Rg while a cuury (
?????? ) veget at Gaya costs 90 Rg.

It is for tourist who have not been to other top beach resorts. Definitely not for those
who have seen the better parts of the world.

Room Tip: seal the gap at the windows in the bathroom so that insects can't get in
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Luke T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings!

Thank-you for your review and I would like to apologize on the overall disappointments that your self experienced as shared.

I would like to share that our FB prices in our outlets is comparable to similar properties in the area and we feel we provide good value given our secluded location and extensive facilities. We regret this was not of your impression and we offer our apologies.

Again, thank-you very much for your review and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in your future undertakings.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

We went to GIR in Feb 2013, we were a family of 4 adults and two children ( 22mths and 4yrs). We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a KK seaview canopy villa, due to the SLH offer. Our villas were beautiful, on stilts in the canopy - but a long walk up the hill.

This resort, as many have said is still in its infancy, with foliage still to develop over the concrete paths, however the resort is very well designed and feels intimate. The spa complex is gorgeous and don't forget your camera. I had a spa treatment and thoroughly enjoys my 3 hrs, which started with a foot massage on the villa balcony.

The main area of the resort, revolves around the swimming pool, which is well suited for kids as there are cabanas in the water - allowing for the young kids to run and play in the shallows. Steps head from there up into the bar, and down to the beach. There is a pool bar - thanks to the waiters for letting the kids have the pineapple cores. The bar, and cabanas are lovely, and the resort is beautiful in the evenings. The space between swimming pool and sea is less than 10m, so its great for keeping an eye on kids.
We only ate in the main restaurant, and sadly this is where the resort lets itself down. We have travelled extensively and stayed in other SLH hotels, and sadly the service in the restaurant does not match this SLH group standards (the Maldives by far is the best we have had.. if you are considering a honeymoon I would go there). We were told it was because it was not peak season, but I can't imagine how they would cope during peak season. Firstly breakfast - one day we waited 40mins for coffee to be served, staff would roam around but not take orders, or if they did would seem to forget about it. The breakfast consisted of a selection of pastries, fruit, smoothies followed by menu for hot, but this seemed to be irregular and whilst other tables got the full set, we were left waiting or asking repeatedly. We chose to have a picnic one day and because of rain had this in our room, it was 45mins late and items were changed, without notification. It was only after phoning to inform them we were waiting that it arrived.

Dinner was a similar affair in that they took your order for a main, but of the 4 nights we were there they only had 30% of what was on the menu - surprisingly no prawns, lobster, shellfish ( they are on the sea, and adjacent to the large fish markets in KK); one breakfast not even porridge or yogurt was available, the hotel manager claimed this was because of the catering contract... if this is changed it would thoroughly enhance the experience of this hotel. But if you are going to have waitered menus - make sure the menu reflects whats available, otherwise the waiters are already apologising before you've started.

We went snorkelling a couple of times, however one day it was raining ( spitting I would call it - coming from the UK), however the dive guy said we couldn't snorkel as it was too dangerous - this was a farce, people were still swimming and the sea was very flat. Snorkelling was good - good corals and range of fish. Far better than on any of the smaller KK islands which you can access direct daily from KK. there is a broadwalk which allows access to the corals , rather than wading from the shallows - this acts to help protect the reef.

For kids the resort was good, and babysitting was provided. Walks in the jungle are available, but having just come from Sukau rainforest lodge we did not do any walks.

Great views of Mt KK if you get up early are a real treat.

Overall a lovely hotel, and I would consider going back in a few years, but would be looking for the restaurant service to improve.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank madagascan_butterfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, January 6, 2016
Thank you for your feedback on your stay at Gaya Island. I can see from your review that your stay was far from your expectations and apologize for the various shortcomings and inconveniences which you experienced.

These are far from common occurrences and certainly not representative of our usual high standard of service, facilities and upkeep of the property.

Rest assured I have been through your feedback with our team and analyzed where opportunities for improvement lie, how we best achieve that task and will be acting swiftly to see it through

I understand your disappointment but sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you for a return stay in the future to rebuild your confidence in our brand and resort.

Warm regards,
James
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013 via mobile

Attentive staff, great service, we absolutely loved our stay here. We selected the full board package which we would thoroughly recommend as you can get some great add ins including fine dining every night if desired!!
We loved the fisherman's cove restaurant but be aware it is seafood only!
The spa was beautiful but suggest you don't go in the evening as some treatments are outside at a time that Mosquitos are most active.
Overall we loved out stay and will be recommending to our friends

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelingTristan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirinjit, General Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort- A walking rain-forest resort!

I would like record my highest appreciation on your review and support. I note that overall you had a relaxing break with us and enjoyed the services and facilities offered.

Again, thank-you very much on your support and till we meet again, our best wishes to you, family and friends.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaya Island Resort

Property: Gaya Island Resort
Address: Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park | Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Pulau Gaya 88000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gaya Island Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gaya Island Resort is located on Pulau Gaya, the largest of a cluster of five islands that form the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a natural conservation area off the coast of Borneo, close to Kota Kinabalu. Gaya Island Resort has a unique setting: the land is fringed with a golden sandy beach, rocky coastal outcrops, and surrounded by coral reefs. The hilly island landscape is covered with lush tropical rainforest and an abundance of flora and fauna. And to complete this perfect setting, visible in the distance, is the stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu. The guest villa exterior respects Sabahan architecture uses local materials and blends harmoniously with the natural environment. The interior living space is designed with contemporary elegance to create warmth, comfort and a serene indoor setting. Gaya Island Resort is committed to ecologically sustainable practices to minimise the carbon footprint within its environment. Therefore the resort is a waling resort and only minimal motorised vehicles are used for operational purposes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gaya Island Resort Malaysia/Pulau Gaya

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