I had to be harsh when reviewing Gaya Island resort as it was the final of 4 stops on our honeymoon tour of Borneo. We decided to go for ultimate luxury to finish our stay and booked 5 nights here. Had we not stopped at some of our previous hotels I may have scored it higher but I have to use them as a comparison.
This was one of the more expensive aspects of our stay and I don't feel it was the best way to spend our money.
The staff were faultless and of course paid us a little extra attention due to us being on honeymoon. I did, however, feel more attention was paid to certain other couples and families staying at the resort that clearly had a lot more cash available to them then ourselves, but I guess that's the nature of the business. We originally upgraded to the food package thinking we could save money this way but after a day we realised that unless we ate three course meals at all times of the day this just wasn't going to pay off so we cancelled it.
The food was very nice. We treated ourselves to a private meal on the beach which was beautiful and I would definitely recommend it for some extra romance. Families are restricted to the buffet area which is still amazing, with cuisine from all over the world.
We went to the private beach a couple of times during our stay and it's well worth a visit, particularly if you want someone a little quieter and enjoy a swim in the sea.
Our room was incredible! Very luxurious with a fantastic view. I loved the huge bath tub! The hotel grounds itself definitely needed more time to grow into itself. There was a lot of empty space between room that needed vegetation to grow around it to hide the foundations. The ponds were also a little low on water which made it look a little scruffy around the edges, but I'm sure this will be fine in time as it had only been open just less than a year when we went. We didn't do the nature walk, simple because we had spent two nights in the rainforest lodge in Danum valley and there was no way it was going to compare.
I was starting to feel a little cabin fever after 5 days as there isn't much to do except sit and sunbathe, which is lovely if that's what you want I guess.
Like I say, if we hadn't been to places such as Danum Valley and Kapali / Sipadan then this probably would have been rated much higher but for value for money it just doesn't compare experience wise. I had to be honest. (really I would have liked to give it 3 and a half as it was good, just not very good).
- 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