We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unique and enjoyable experience!”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here for 6 nts in March. We had booked a Mangrove Villa but when we arrived and checked into our room we noticed a really bad smell outside the door. On reporting this to reception we were promptly moved to an Ocean Villa and later advised that the problem had been caused by the breakdown of a pump on the grey water tank under the boardwalk. They said this happens quite a lot! (So why is a permanent solution not found?). The Ocean Villa was very nice but close to the renovation work being done on other Ocean Villas which wasn't really a problem. Only on a couple of occasions did the work get a bit too noisy.
The best part of our stay was being able to snorkel direct from our villa. There were lots of different colourful fish species to see. The breakfast at Macac restaurant was great with a good selection of dishes to order from the menu plus a buffet for fruit, cereals, toast, breads, pastries etc. We found the quality of the food in general to be good.
Drinks at the Latitude Bar at sunset were good and the view was magnificent.
We took the opportunity to visit Bungaraya, the sister resort to Gayana, which is located about a 15min boat trip away around the other side of the island. It was beautiful, but almost deserted. We enjoyed an early dinner there and appreciated the good service and friendliness of their staff.
The Gayana Eco Resort staff were also lovely and very friendly. The Marine Ecology Research Centre is well worth visiting and doing a great job to save the coral and giant clams.
There are quite a few monkeys around but we find these amusing rather than a problem.
The rubbish in the water wasn't really a problem whilst we were there. However, on the morning of our departure there was a high tide (higher than we had seen all week) and it had brought with it a lot of rubbish. We felt sorry for the staff who had to deal with it. The management should invest in a purpose built watercraft to deal with this.
There was a 'red tide' on another day when we were there. None of the staff that we asked seemed to know what it was. The water went a reddish brown colour for about 18 hrs. Finally we asked the dive master and he said it was a 'red tide'. On googling this we found it is a regular occurrence in the waters off Sabah at this time of year.
We left feeling very relaxed and would consider visiting again one day. Management just needs to concentrate on maintenance issues and addressing the rubbish problem (which is no fault of the resort - the powers that be in Kota Kinabalu should be addressing the cause).

Room Tip: Ocean Villa rooms are well located. The Palm Villas looked lovely too but are a lot more expensive.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Redruby15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TomasAndersen, General Manager at Gayana Eco Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, feed back is immensely important to us, how else can we improve ourselves!
We are really pleased you enjoyed your time with us. Yes our waters are not always crystal clear, as some contributors have mentioned on Trip Advisor. However we now have a new net catching what is floating around our resort and two dedicated boats running around the clock picking up rubbish. I am pleased to say with the departure of North East Monsoon our sea is looking picture perfect with visibilty of more than 10 meters.
We hope to see yo again.

Best wishes.

Tomas

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (478)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

236 - 242 of 478 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2013

Gayana is not only a luxury resort...it is a luxury resort with attentive service and staff that truly cares.
We stayed at Gayana for 2 nights 3 days in February 2013 and the experience was pure bliss. The resort is a boat ride away from civilization. It is designed as an eco resort and the resort premises and surroundings offer amazing nature walks and even jungle treks. During our stay we jungle walked, snorkeled, took morning yoga classes, kayaked around the island and had a picnic at a private beach. It was amazing and most of if free once there.
Don`t get me wrong, this was not a cheap stay. But once mentally ready for the pricey package, we thoroughly enjoyed the infinity pool, the pool bar, private beaches and our beautifully designed bungalow.
Note that as Gayana resort is only accessible by boat, if you stay there you will have to budget for their pricey restaurants as well. The resort has three restaurants ( one pool bar, one lunch / buffet dinner venue and one fine dining venue). All of them have good food but are quite expensive. Our restaurant bill at the end of the stay was higher than the accommodation bill!
If you go to the resort with kids, they will have an amazing time. Aside from the facilities that the resort offers, they also have a great kids club with various activities for kids of all ages.
All in all, we were happy with our stay! We also were impressed with their staffs responsiveness and positive attitude, which is not necessarily a prerequisite at luxury resorts.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank longyani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Stayed at this beautiful resort for 2 nights over easter weekend - wow what an amazing place! it was just myself and I friend looking for a relaxing weekend away from Singapore and we absolutely loved it. We booked a lagoon view room which is just amazing. You have your own balcony, big bedroom with lounge chair and a big bathroom with a huge shower. The rooms are very clean and beautifully decorated. We also did the 2 hour massage and scrub package at the spa which was lovely. The only down side fo us - and you may not want to read this - was that there were medium-big sized rats living in the suspended ceilings in the bedrooms. We had a rat run across the floor and up the curtain on the first night. We moved to another room on the 2nd night and yet again - another rat in the ceiling! But this one wasnt so shy - it ran along the bed head without any worry about us! We complained to management the next day again and were told that they do have problems with rats being so close to the jungle. Which is totally understandable - I just hope they take care of them before the next guests arrive. Overall I really dont want to ruin this resort for you as it was blissfully beautiful and the seafood restaurant was amazing. But do look out for your in room rat!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GhostSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Spent 3 nights here. The booking was efficient and dealt with quickly. Our lagoon view room was lovely, clean and with a huge bed. It's a great place to chill and do nothing as there isn't that much to do. I would recommend you take your own wine as prices are a bit extortionate. If you are a vegetarian the menus at both restaurants are a bit limited. Food at both restaurants are good and breakfast is delicious. We did book to go on a half day walk but at a price of £30 per person cancelled it as it seemed a bit expensive given what we had paid for the room. We told 3 different people we were cancelling it but they still came to find us to go on the trip! Do visit the Marine Ecology centre as its part of the resort and funded by your stay there, they are doing great stuff. Don't expect to do much other than relax, eat, drink and look at the view.

Room Tip: We chose a cheaper "lagoon view" room but didnt feel we had missed out on anything
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ZoeBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank RickyLeung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank yychan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Gaya
11.8 mi away
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
2.7 mi away
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
#2 of 92 in Kota Kinabalu
2,186 reviews
3.1 mi away
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.1 mi away
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
#11 of 92 in Kota Kinabalu
1,404 reviews
2.6 mi away
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
#6 of 92 in Kota Kinabalu
1,503 reviews
2.7 mi away
Hotel Sixty3
Hotel Sixty3
#1 of 92 in Kota Kinabalu
714 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Gayana Eco Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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: $220 - $437 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Preferred Hotels, Booking.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Evoline ltd, Orbitz, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Gayana Eco Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gayana Eco Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Gayana Resort
Gayana Eco Resort Malaysia/Pulau Gaya

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing