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“Eco Friendly”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Eco Friendly”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

The best place I have ever stayed! Amazing setting on stilts looking out to sea and accommodation and service to match. Added bonus to have access to the sister resort Bunga Raya, situated in the next cove back in the jungle.
The Eco message is well portrayed, but is not rammed down your throat. We planted new coral and got interesting information in the tour of the facility. An excellent short break for three/four nights.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Nick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stayed here at the end of our trip and found it more or less perfect. It was quite quiet, but the service was great and very professional. Food and facilities all very nice. As noted by others, there can be a little bit of detritus floating on the water near the rooms, but nothing too awful.

The massage treatments were very nice. The pool was great except for our 3rd and last day where the filter had stopped working or something as it was noticeably grotty. Not really a resort for the beach, but for pleasant, sophisticated chilling out, it was great.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cairoken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cyprus
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We stayed at the villa in May 2013. I would say that the management does every effort to make the resort a 5 Star "Maldive look" but there are some things that you have to consider going there. The water is very dirty due to the winds blowing in this region specially in winter time November - March. As we've been told by management the water is clear only in June - August. The little pieces of corals can harm you skin - so always wear lycra while swimming. The personnel are still not very well trained (they can come to you room even if there is "please do not disturb" sign or just come by with the boat to look that you are fine. Afternoons the watel level goes down which makes not possible to climb the stairs to your house! The Chinese restaurant serves local farm fish by the price of the fish grown on the Moon (120 EUR per kg).
Everything else is just perfect - very romantic ambience, great interiors, privacy, expat manager who really tries his best, wood oven pizza....and glass bottom floor!
If you like to have a glass of wine while looking at sunset this is the place to go (just remember to take your own drinks from KK as like in all Malayasian hotels they are extremely expensive).
I would recommend the place for romantic getaway for 3-4 days.
Good luck!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Remote yet the overall quality and details for the money charged seems a bit out. The facility is outdated though the staffs work very hard to keep us a memorable stays. No beach and water is somehow not as crystal as other private islands nearby. On certain hours, there are lot of flooding rubbish surrounding the sea of resorts. They try hard but I won't go there again. Rating Average is to praise their superb attitude on turning the shortcoming or it would be a Poor.

Room Tip: Go some where else if you have that amount of budget.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ahsangje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We visited Gayana Eco Resort for 2 nights as part of our honeymoon. Our travel agent had pre-arranged (and we had pre-paid) for transfers to and from the resort. Having flown into KK from Sandakan on the day we were due at Gayana, we were met at the airport by 2 sets of people both wielding name boards with our names on them. The first was a rep from Gayana, the second a driver from Wildlife Expeditions, who we had been on trips with prior to this and who had provided our transfers to date. A great debate ensued between the two of them regarding who was going to take us to the jetty, during which time we were totally ignored. The Gayana rep informed us that she would take us but that we would have to pay again for our pre- paid trip. To Wildlife Expeditions credit, they took us at no extra charge. Not a good initial impression of Gayana.

On arrival at Jessleton Point, there is a check in office for Gayana and Bunga raya resorts. It was clean, air conditioned and complimentary cold drinks were offered to us. The check in process was effortless and the staff here were delightful- an altogether better experience. Our bags were dealt with from this point on and the next we saw of them was in our room. The boat transfer was excellent, the staff aboard were fantastic and extremely friendly and helpful.

The resort itself is beautiful. The rooms were big, clean and exceptionally comfortable. We were in a rainforest villa, which is larger in room area than most, but does not have direct access into the sea (a minor issue given the ease of access to the sea anyway). There was a large private terrace at the back of our room with views of the rainforest (as would be expected!).

The restaurants were excellent. The Alu-Alu restaurant (Chinese and seafood) was delicious and a special mention should go to AK and also to Saidizam (who was also one of the guys on the boat) two of the waiters who were utterly charming. The wine list was ridiculously priced even by Malaysian standards- you have been warned! We wished we'd stashed some of our left over wedding wine in our suitcases for such an eventuality! The Macac restaurant was also excellent (the laksa is highly recommended). Breakfast, also served at the Macac was delicious. My husband was quite enamoured by the sea bass hash (despite the slightly odd addition of a pineapple ring). Drinks at the Latitude Bar were pleasant (and the first one is free). The entertainment provided by a guitar playing and singing duo was slightly bizarre..

The infinity pool is small but brilliant. The kayaking and snorkelling was great and free. The tropical fish were incredible.

On the down side- while the resort claims to be 5 star and the accommodation certainly reflects that, unfortunately the service doesn't quite match and lacks a little finesse and consistency. An example- we asked for fresh towels and soap at reception, a few hours later these still had not materialised resulting in a second phone call. The towels duly arrived, but no soap and the dirty linen was not cleared away.

On our penultimate day we asked the reception desk to confirm our transfer to the Rasa Ria for the following day. We were told that as it was Sunday they would see to it the following morning. We went to reception on the morning of our departure and having reminded them about reconfirming our transfer were informed that no onward transfer had been arranged (despite us having pre-paid vouchers for Gayana resort to provide our transfer). A lengthy debate ensued whereupon finally a transfer was arranged- step forward Wildlife Expedition tours who saved the day yet again.

This episode was completely unnecessary, took far too long to resolve and left us feeling as though we were in the wrong and were not valued customers and unfortunately soured our otherwise generally positive experience at the resort. Perhaps the staff need to take a leaf out of the Shangri-La hotels book of customer service which is frankly amazing. We write this review from the Rasa Ria resort which has restored our faith in the hospitality industry.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank rdr30
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 review, May 15, 2013
Thank you for your review of your stay, I am pleased it was a positive experience by large. I shall look into the transfer debacle, as you said, completely unnecessary!
I shall not hide the fact that not all my staff speak fluent English. This can from time to time result in a communication failure. We use feedback such as yours to better ourselves so once again thank you.

Best wishes and a happy honeymoon.

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

If you really want a different hotel experience, Gayana Eco Resort will provide it. You can stay in wooden chalets which are built right over the (in restoration) coral reef. Choose to have breakfast (delivered by boat) on your private deck and you can share it with the myriad colored coral fish that swim in shoals under your feet. A glorious way to start the day.
In essence staying at this hotel is an amazing experience, as long as you enjoy swimming with fish, snorkelling, diving and island living. There are free and frequent boat trips to the mainland and the hotel's sister resort, Bunga Raya. Actually I'd recommend staying for, say, 4 days at the Eco resort and then 3 days at Bunga Raya as these resorts have a different feel to each other - Bunga Raya has rooms scattered amongst the jungle and a huge beach with lots going on. Gayana Eco resort is laid back and more secluded and has only a tiny beach at low tide.
I'd recommend you choose an Ocean Villa for the best experience. Being able to relax on the deck over the coral fish and then walk down the steps into the warm water and snorkel around the bay is just a stunningly beautiful way to spend your day.
Then, in the evening, join everyone in the open air bar to watch the sunset before wandering across to the good quality restaurant perched over the ocean.
Inside the Ocean villas you'll find a large bathroom and walk in shower, supremely comfortable bed, chaise longue and TV, daily replenished fridge, good air conditioning and plenty of soft towels. The decoration is not 5 star, it is a wooden chalet after all, but it is comfortable.
Breakfast is superb, whether you eat it on the verandah near the infinity pool or on your deck. Good variety of food and cereals, decent coffee and freshly cooked chef's special pancakes - delicious.
We heard reports of rubbish in the bay brought in on the tide but there was very little when we stayed in June. Apparently the amount of rubbish depends on the season - the winter storms make it troublesome through to the spring - but in the summer the bay is quite clean.
If you're lucky you'll see some local wildlife - monkeys come down from the forest backing on to the resort and there is the occasional lizard and snake to be seen. One of the best features is the Eco Centre where you can see how the resort is doing its best to restore the corals in the bay and learn a lot about the local underwater fauna.
Hats off to the staff who are incredibly helpful and will do everything they can to please. They helped making our stay one of the most enjoyable holidays we've ever experienced.

Room Tip: Choose the Ocean Villa chalets fronting the ocean for the best experience. It's well worth the e...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Zenglander
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 review, May 15, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I agree when Gayana shines (which it often does) it really is a superior experience which is not easy to find anywhere else.

We hope to be welcoming you back one day.

best wishes

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Me and my husband stayed at the resort for 3 days, and during this time we went snorkeling, scuba diving, took a tour of the MERC facility and adopted a coral, and visited the sister resort Bunga Raya. The experience can be related to a fairy tale- All the staff are passionate and dedicated to what they do, and the service was friendly and welcoming. We also had the opportunity to meet with Thomas (Manager) who shared his story of how the resort came to be what it is today. The hotel room was kept in top condition, and although there was rubbish floating about on the water, it was obvious that this is for the most part out of the resorts control, but it was fantastic to see the staff making an effort to pick up what trash they could from the ocean. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer to experience what the sister resort had to offer in regards to its activities, however we would recommend Gayana Eco Resort to those who want to get in the water and see what it has to offer - the experience is unforgettable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gabriella G
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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