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“Spectacular setting, beautiful resort”
Review of Gaya Island Resort

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Gaya Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Spectacular setting, beautiful resort”
Reviewed February 28, 2014

We stayed on honeymoon and loved the place. Its location is fantastic, with so much marine wildlife around. The staff were all really friendly, helpful and relaxed. The restaurants are lovely, with the outstanding breakfasts being a particular highlight. Use of the Bunga Raya sister resort was a bonus, and there was plenty to do for 3-5 days. It's not cheap, but it made our honeymoon.

Room Tip: The Ocean Villa was beautiful with a spectacular view
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Staddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,153 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (314)
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Lower Sunbury
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014

We stayed here for 6 nights and as you take the speed boat from the main island you see rooms high up in the hill side amongst the trees. The whole area where the hotel is built is top quality as are the rooms. The higher up you are the better the view. Yes other travellers have said you can see the mainland but it does not describe itself as an island in the middle of no where, it says it is 20 mins by boat from the mainland so of course you can see it. This does not detract from how the hotel blends into the trees with nature walks, wooden decking walk ways across ponds and through forests.
We paid for the full board option which is worth it as you can eat in the alacarte for no extra and any snacks, there is no other way to get a meal unless you pay for a boat trip back to the main land.
Also if you do 6 days and full board we got a package that meant we both got a full spa treatment every day ! which was amazing as the spa is a beautiful tranquil place and the massages hurt but for the right reasons !
You do have to be fit and able to get around as there are a lot of steps and hills to climb.
Last note is, there is a second beach a 5 min free boat ride away, great bbq lunch and good snorkelling .....

Room Tip: If you are fit, the higher the better
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gail_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
1 review
Reviewed February 21, 2014

First of all we have been impressed about the nice architecture and botanical surroundings, but after we saw the hordes of uncultivated, barbaric tourists, which have been applied with Special low Price fares we were quite disappointed!
Furthermore the beach and sea are quite polluted. On reason could be, that the Resort is just opposite of Kota Kinabalu Harbour.
Additionally the aircon is sometimes too loud (probably Needs Sound dampening)!
Dining at fisherman's cove was fantastic, but the buffet at the feast village cannot be recommended.
Also the spa was wonderful and really advisable!
Staff in Restaurant and spa has been very friendly, but somtimes bothered by the crowdiness.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrSimon2014
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

We have tried both sister resorts, Pangkor Laut and Gaya Island Resort and were positively surprised by the rooms in Gaya which are a lot newer and therefore more modern and equiped with more comfort than Pangkor Laut. The service staff in Gaya was fantastic, very friendly and attending to every wish.

The only thing where we see potential for improvement is when it comes to food. We tried the Feast Village buffet which has a wide variety of foods but the single dishes taste mostly average. Maybe less would be more here, reduce the variety but improve the overall quality. Well, it is still a buffet. One example I would like to state, the BBQ at the buffet line was grilling tough lamb chops for the buffet and good looking skewers for the beach front diners.

Fisherman's cove on the other end was great tasting, but probably not quite at the level where it should be considering the price. A catch of the day (Seabass) that comes at MYR 250++ should have a bit more of a WOW factor than it actually had.

Be prepared to walk a bit, other than in Pangkor, Gaya Island has no shuttle services and some of the Villas can be rather far (15 min walk).

Also the weather will play a large role in your activities, the private beach was closed due to weather conditions which limits the possibilities of leisure activities quite a bit.

All in all a great experience and recommendable!

Room Tip: Even though you have to walk a bit, choose one of the rooms further out with seaview, we were at 801...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jonas_honegger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2014

My wife and I booked the resort as part of a trip around Malaysia for our wedding anniversary. We had three nights here, and stayed in a Kinabalu Villa. Prior to coming we were slightly concerned about the negative reviews the resort had received. However, I can only suggest that those reviews were either extremely unfair or their experiences were so far removed from ours, they may as well have been staying at a different resort.
The resort is on an island in the jungle, and the villas are surrounded by jungle on one side and the sea on the other. Despite this, the villas are luxurious and modern, and very spacious. The views are superb and the atmosphere of the resort is incredible; it is peaceful yet every whim is catered for and staff will go out of their way to assist. There are many activities on offer yet the resort is perfect for just chilling out and unwinding in a privileged setting. We also had a massage in the spa and it was the best treatment either of us have ever had.
We stayed over Chinese New Year, so there were numerous large groups of Chinese celebrating the New Year, but we still did not find the resort unduly busy. This is down to the incredible efforts of the staff to keep things moving along smoothly and efficiently. Some staff members consistently went out of their way to help, namely Litticia, Yati, Penadvent, Edith, Yuri, Ad, Az, Fissy, and Silih in the front of house and restaurant areas. If you take it in the context of the New Year, the service provided was exceptional. I was in the Mandarin Oriental in KL over 31 January - 3 February and the staff there were not as attentive as at Gaya Island, again possibly as a result of the peak season.
In sum, it was a special part of the trip for us, due to the location, the atmosphere and the privilege of being in such an environment. In addition, the staff made it a fantastic experience, and if you want an incredible experience away from City life, take the chance and go to the island. Quite simply, I have stayed in 5 star hotels around the world for business and pleasure, and this is the best in which I have stayed so far.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank rai1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014 via mobile

Amazing hotel with excellent personnel. Great rooms with magnificent view. One of the best spas in Asia but the breakfast and lunch is very poor, the choice is limited and the waiting time to have a coffee is unacceptable. There is an exception to this which is the Fisherman's Cove restaurant with great views, food and service. Do not go to this hotel if you want a secluded, quite place. Too many families with children around.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Antonio 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, April 12, 2014
Dear Mr Antonio,

Greetings from Gaya Island Resort- a walking tropical resort!

I would like to unreservedly apologize on the areas of disappointments as shared by your self in your review. I would like to share that our menus are now further enhanced on variety as well as on the services in the outlets are further improved.

Again, I am very sorry on the disappointments and we were indeed running busy with families during your stay and I am very sorry on the overall experiences that did not meet your expectations, as shared.

I look forward to welcome you back to Gaya Island Resort in future and wishing you all the best.

Kind regards,
Kirinjit Singh.
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Level 5 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014

We found this resort last year when it launched after traveled to Pangkor Laut Resort (Another YTL Hotels). First at glance, the resort is really nice which surrounding nature & wildlife environment. Guess what! It is located at the Marine conservation park area! Well, the location and panorama of the resort is really scenic, with two private beaches & beautiful garden view. Our rooms are allocated at the middle of the hill which located far away from the main facilities. The room amenity is good, clean housekeeping, comfortable bed, fantastic ambience and many more. For dining experience, the resort offers Feast Village, Fisherman Cove, Pool Bar, and Tavajun Bay. Well, our packages is not including Fisherman Cove Restaurant. The foods come with variety types of cuisines, from western to chinese, malay to japanese as well. But there are still need to improve for the food quality and the choices of the food menu, especially buffet! The menu didn't have any new changes and we almost ate the same cuisines on our travelling days! About activities, there're many things we can do at the resort, somehow likes snorkeling, diving, kayaking, swimming, nature hiking, and many more. Well, we did enjoy the activities especially the sunset cruise! We were onboard resort's 39 feet's Little Princess yacht and sightseeing at the tunku abdul rahman park area to wait for the sunset. That's a really exciting experience to enjoy the sunset view on a private yacht! Also, Gaya Island Resort is the best place to see the sunrise in the early morning!
Travelled on February 2014, with family.

Room Tip: Rooms no. 805-812 are good to see the sunrise, the Mount Kinabalu is just in front of your room!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicholas T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James_YTL, Manager at Gaya Island Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2015
Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you for this lovely review from your visit to Gaya Island Resort.

I am glad you had a wonderful experience and that you thoroughly enjoyed everything from the views through to our perfect and convenient location in Kota Kinabalu.

I have shared your comments with the team for them to enjoy also.

Thank you again, we look forward to seeing you back for another relaxing visit on your next trip to Kota Kinabalu

Warm Regards
James
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 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

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