After climbing Mount Kinabalu we were very much looking forward to some pampered R&R at GIR. The start was great - we were warmly and personally welcomed by ''Yoyo'' who very informatively led us around the resort and ultimately to our room (note: it is a long hike and involves many stairs which normally wouldn't be problematic but as we were temporarily ''disabled' from our hike, it highlighted that anyone with physical limitations would not be able to stay here - electric buggys should be considered for those in need). She kindly pointed out the numerous 'design flaws' in the room so we wouldn't trip or bump into the poorly detailed room (only later did we discover on our own that the hot and cold taps were reversed on top, the lamp shade propped up by the wall, etc. - these on top of flaws pointed out to us). The setting of GIR is very special - rainforest as a backdrop and the South China sea with views to Mt. Kinabalu in front. The sea however is very polluted with rubbish. We shockingly watched another guest picking up plastic bags and other debris from the beach one morning. For being a one year old resort, it has not held up well which I can only assume means poor quality materials and construction as well as poor management. The pool area is mouldy with stained walls and obvious leaks that made one area of sun loungers appear as if they are sinking into the ground. Worse was the material on the sun loungers, deck furniture and even the reception area banquettes - so dirty, stained and disgusting. And now the food service. We politely asked for yogurt at breakfast 2 mornings only to be told that they were out of stock. The first morning we arrived at 10 am for breakfast which was listed as being open until 10:30. Most of the breakfast bar was depleted making us have to ask for anything. We had dinner the second night at the ''upscale'' Fisherman's Cove. We ordered a white wine which arrived warm and then took ages to chill once we showed the waiter how to immerse it in the wine bucket. My partner ordered the lobster bisque which was listed as including spinach tortellinis. No tortellinis were to be found in the soup. We asked the waiter who came back after talking with the chef only to tell us that they were out of stock (again). We tried ordering cocktails at the pool bar but both drinks, once finally delivered, were wrong. Sorry to carry on but for a SLH and at the price point they are charging, we expected much more. In sum, I think it is barely a 4 star property thinking it is 5 star. I would have shared our views with the reception staff upon check-out or with management but seeing that no one asked if we enjoyed our stay, I'm sharing our opinion here. We will not return.
- 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 walking 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