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“Top getaway resort”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We stayed 3 nights in an Ocean villa at this lovely resort and found it great. Staff were friendly and helpful, room was high quality, food at Alu Alu was extremely good. Snorkeling for us first timers was also a very good experience.

The only downside was possibly the lack of activities in the resort itself.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RickyLeung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 28, 2013

We had booked to stay at sister-resort Bunga Raya, but a generator fault right before we were due to arrive put an end to that plan. The resort management arranged for us to stay at Gayana instead. We’re not big water-sports people, so the prospect wasn’t super exciting, but as we were just hours away from getting on a plane, decided we’d give it a go.

We started in an Ocean Villa, which was a little worn around the edges. After one night we moved to a Jungle Villa, which appeared to be newer and felt more private with the deck facing the rainforest. Although the resort was about 2/3 full while we were there, it didn’t feel that way and we enjoyed the peace and quiet.

While we weren’t aware of many other guests, there seemed to be an incredible number of - mostly young - staff wandering around (the Bunga Raya staff were also on site). They were friendly, gracious, and well intentioned - but not always competent. There was confusion regarding our room booking and upon checking out our bill was wrong, but on both occasions these problems were quickly and happily fixed. Recent negative Trip Advisor reviews, particularly of Bunga Raya, appear to have been heard by management and it seemed like they are working to improve service. During our stay we filled in several questionnaires, which is a good idea, although we found it difficult to fill these in while the staff we were supposed to evaluate were hovering over us waiting to be given the completed form.

There was rubbish in the sea at high tide, however it is not the resort’s fault. They are doing what they can to deal with it, but are at the mercy of unfavorable tides and winds. The rubbish wouldn't prevent us from returning to or recommending Gayana, but it was enough to put us off swimming in the sea. The water looked very clear otherwise.

The food ranged from good to excellent. The breakfasts were a highlight of the day. We had enjoyable meals at both restaurants, although - contrary to other trip advisor reviews - we preferred Macac over Alu Alu. Our only complaint in this regard was that everything was incredibly expensive - perhaps 3 times the cost of an equivalent meal elsewhere. Yes, it costs more to bring food to the island, but it doesn’t cost that much more. It would have been nice if there was a store that sold simple snacks (e.g. ice-creams).

One thing to be aware of is that there are more boat transfers available than the website indicates, as guests can hitch rides on the staff boat which makes several trips a day. We had thought we’d probably make a trip into KK at least once, but once we got to the island it was hard to leave. By the time our stay came to an end, Gayana had won us over with its slow charm and we were sad to say goodbye. Despite that, we probably wouldn’t go back as we felt everything (accommodation, food, transfers, spa) was over-priced compared to other places we visited in Borneo.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank quassia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

.This was the start of our honeymoon to Kota Kinabalu, only staying for one night at the Gayana Island.

We book directly for the website and the staff we contacted by email where very helpful.

They collected us from the airport and took us to the ferry port. Where we were greeted by the staff at the habour.There is 3 time slots for boat transfers there and back.

Boat return is includes in the price and the unlimited usage of the non motorized sports equipment.

Don't know what everyone is going on about. Yes there is rubbish in the sea but that's not due to the resort itself didn't see anyone throwing rubbish into the sea. As this could be from mainland or from the close by Islands.
Yes, resort staff should clean up the mess by fishing out the rubbish.

But the stay itself was for me amazing, having your own little wooden deck and steps into the sea.

We stayed in the Ocean sea view. The room was clean and big with a very comfortable bed. A very large bathroom. Breakfast was brought to us by the Alang-Alang boat.
The view was breathtaking.
Staff here are very helpful.

The food was good and is cheap.

Its a place to get away from it all. Full relaxation.

As it's near the jungle, I would keep all food sealed as tiny ants are everywhere.

The sea was clean and we saw alot of clown fishes and other species.

There's a feeding time to see the big fishes that they have there at the resort. Which was amazing. Never seen fish that big before.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for time out.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank yychan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

As they only have villas in this resort (less than 25 in total), number of guess are limited.
Staff there is very helpful and responsive.
And it's really fun for snokelling, water is crystal clear in morning (not in afternoon due to high tide). Many fishy swimming around among carols near AluAlu restaurant.
Only two restaurnants, AluAlu and Macac. AluAlu seafood is good but not cheap. Macac's price is cheaper but food is not very good.
Overall environment is very relaxing and enjoyable.

Room Tip: ocean villa is recommended. lagoon villa face the pathway from reception and restaurant, you will...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JackSkellingtonG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We've just been to this hotel from 12 to 14 Feb. Yes, like some of the review said, there's lots of rubbish floating on the surface of the sea, especially in the afternoon. We stayed in Ocean View Villa. The sea view was beautiful. We could also see fish swam around the balcony in the morning. However, most of the fish were very afraid of people. So when we stepped into the water, they all swam away! Not much to see if you snokel just near the villa. Also the water is not deep enough for you to swim. What's the point of having direct access to the sea?
Though we felt disappointed about the ocean view villa, the diving/ snokelling area near the Chinese restaurant was really good. There were different kinds of fish swam near you. We saw Nemo and other colourful fish.
Besides snokelling and visiting the MERC, there's not much to do in this resort. They don't have Kids Club and SPA area seemed not open. It was said that the resort could arrange the boat to take guests to the other sister resort, but we were told that the booking was full when we arrived.
So bring your books or prepare something for yourslef to do unless you can snokel or dive all day long.
Food was okay. We liked the coconut pudding from the Chinese restaurant!

Room Tip: You can see rubbish everwhere in Feb (moonsoon season), so doesn't matter if it's ocean view...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank HKoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

rooms are nice but every thing else is far below expectation compare to the fees
many rubbish in the water, no staff ever tried to clean
rooms to close to each other
expensive restaurant
you can hear planes from kota kinabalu airport

Room Tip: avoid at all cost chinese new year period,
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank F B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We just spent one night in Gayana, but the experience was excellent and I will definitely be a return guest! At first, I reserved the Jungle View Villa which is the basic room type with reasonable price, but they upgraded us to the Seaview Villa without any request, we were surprised and very satisfied.

It is in a convenient location which is just around 5 minutes from the city center to the ferry terminal.

The room is very nice with a nice balcony, which allow guest to take sun bathing and jump into the water directly. Diving equipment is available in the room and you can also rent it in the diving center without any charge. But it is not good for people who looks for exciting water sport destination.

For dining, they don't have much choice, there are only 2 restaurants and 1 bar lounge.

Indeed it is a eco resort, which features with natural decoration, the eco laboratory center is free for entry.

In conclusion, it is a good place for relaxation and spend time with your couple for honeymoon.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pamela L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gayana Eco Resort

Address: Malohom Bay | Gaya Island, Pulau Gaya 88778, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Pulau Gaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Price Range: $249 - $468 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Gayana Eco Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gayana Eco Resort rests serenely at the edges of Gaya Island off the coast of Borneo. 52 over water villas designed to enhance the soothing sounds of the surf, while capturing the enduring vistas of Mt. Kinabalu on the distant horizon. At its heart is about protecting and re-generating our precious Marine Ecology, and the only property to feature its own Marine Ecology Research Centre propagating Giant Clams and restoring damaged coral reefs. Striking the perfect balance of forward thinking ecology and indulgent luxury which pampers both the body and the enlightened soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gayana Eco Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Gayana Resort
Gayana Eco Resort Malaysia/Pulau Gaya

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