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“Gayana Eco Resort review”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2013

A special and unique hotel - we had a great time. Truly relaxing. The rooms over the water are lovely - sunny and roomy with quality furnishings - the bed in particularly - just wish there'd been a mirror in the main room!
The food was fabulous too. Loved the breakfasts in particular and the organic veg. The locally farmed fish was a treat.
Our 10-year-old loved the Marine Ecology Research Centre - but the day long activities you seeon the website need to be booked in advance and paid for separately as extra so bear that in mind.
We loved snorkelling and also went kayaking through the mangroves and hiking through the rain forest at the sister resort Bunga Raya (do take a guide - you get to see so much more.)
There were a couple of slight negatives. The infinity pool at Gayana wasn't infinity and closed at 6pm which meant no early evening swimming.
We weren't given enough info about activities or facilities when we arrived. e.g. We did not realise we could eat at Bunga Raya in the evening and get a boat back until the end of our stay when a guest told us!
There is also no boat back from KK between 6pm and 10.30pm - one at 8.30pm would be good. Otherwise we would highly recommend Gayana (unless you have small kids). And watch out for the monkeys! Always keep your windows shut - we had a hungry Macaque try very hard to get in via the balcony!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Sonia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2013

We have just returned from a 4 night stay in the Gayana Eco resort at the end of a 2 week holiday in Sabah. The views, especially from the Ocean villa, were spectacular, sitting for the 'sundowner' cocktail at 6pm was breathtaking. The staff were superb- polite, smiling, quick to help. Snorkelling from your own veranda straight into the sea was a novel experience, and they are making a great effort to re colonise the coral as much of it has been destroyed in the past. The kids really enjoyed the MERC - marine research centre, which has a touch tank, auditorium with video screening, and small marine tanks depicting the marine life around Sabah.
Downside - like all of Sabah the drinks - especially wine - was expensive. The two restaurants worked out as pub type priced food but excellent quality- try picking out your own supper in the Alu Alu seafood restaurant and choose how is it cooked.
Overall a really good experience, and the family agreed!

Room Tip: Ocean views - the best. Lagoon or jungle views, still lovely large rooms without the outlook.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Pip P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is our family's birthday month trip and our second time to Kota Kinabalu. This time, we chose to spend our time in 3 hotels, Le Meridien, Shangri-la Tangung Aru and Gayana Eco Resort. The prices of the three hotel are from around RM330 to RM850 and RM1210 per night. From the price, you can see that Gayana was the most expensive one and so do our expectation. However, it was disappointing and could not be compared to Shangri-la hotel in all aspects especially the room and service standard. The room in Gayana is dirty, the floor is full of dust and the toliet wall, glass and shower are all not clean. Many things are not well functioned, both the room door and balcony door are not well functioned and easy to open or lock. Arrangement is poor too. Although I have booked the room well in advance and pay RM160 extra for my second accompanied child (while it's free in the case of the previous two hotels), Gayana had not arranged the extra bed and stuff for my kids until I reminded them. There are no kids facilities and even kids menu with food that are suitable for my kids. We are so bored and borrowed DVD from the hotel counter. Some DVD are not available, one was found to be broken and one not played smoothly. Wifi was also not stable inside the room. The only good thing is the good location and natural environment. I really regret spending my kids's birthday date there which they felt bored there and missed the previous hotels.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank lcy830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

An excellent location within a marine park and built on stilts over the sea, with well equipped chalets; the larger ones have outside verandahs, and those facing the sea have direct access to the shallows. It is peaceful and the well organised; making this stress free travel. Stress free, but not cheap, especially considering the added service charge and Government tax on optional items (F&B, outside tours and on-site scuba diving). You pay a premium to stay there, but you do get what you pay for. Getting there from KK airport is simple; a pre-paid taxi ride from the airport to the check-in desk at Jesselton Point ferry pier, and then a dedicated ferry service. Gayana and the affiliated Bunga Raya offer cross signing for restaurants, and the food at both is very good. We found all the staff to be excellent, friendly and helpful, and some exceptional (lots of thanks to Mr Santos who mostly sits at the mainland reception (but does appear to supervise resort-wide), and who lent cash from his own pocket to pay an unexpected charge when we came up short after an outside excursion). Nice points included (unsecured) wifi service which covers the entire property, complimentary beer and soft drinks from the daily refilled room mini bars, bottled water at any time, free first drinks at happy hour in the Latitude Bar, complimentary kayaking and snorkelling, Marine Research Centre tours, and (sweaty) uphill jungle walks. On site scuba diving (at a premium price) is well run; KK can't compete with other locations in Sabah for water quality or the variety of marine life. However, the on-site daily fish feeding of the 200lb groupers makes up for this and shouldn't be missed, and for the brave there's the option of jumping in to swim with the giants. The only minor question mark (which is noted by others on TripAdvisor) is the housekeeping service, which can be eccentric. Not a big thing, and easily fixed with a word to the friendly housekeeping staff to top up amenities or towelling. Being close to nature also brings some small hazard from occasional visits by a family group of macaques, which will run off with any items left in the open as they scavenge for food among the huts. A well run property offering value and quality at a price to match.

Room Tip: A sea facing chalet gives direct access to the sea and great views, but costs more.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank dlaynmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

From the moment we checked in ( at their office at Jesselton Pier) until the moment we alighted the boat two nights and three days later, we were looked after like friends! The man who joined us on the outward journey (I don't remember his name, sorry) provided us with interesting information about the cultural history of Sabah.

We were greeted on arrival by Diana. She was exceptional at providing us with the information we needed regarding our stay and is an asset to the resort!

The resort is well maintained and our villa (just near to the Macac restaurant) was kitted with all the necessities we would need for our stay, including an assortment of anti mosquito equipment to help prevent my allergy becoming an issue.

We had dinner once at Macac and lunch three times there. Service was good but they missed chances to up sell when we had finished drinks.

We loved the kayaking, MERC, and visit to Bunga Raya (sister resort) in order to do a canopy walk. (All included in your stay). On visiting Bunga Raya we realised that we had had the better deal as, although the beach there is pretty, you are in the jungle and there were sand flies on the beach. Unfortunately, my husband was bitten all over his back.

The staff at Bunga Raya were welcoming and allowed us access to all their facilities whilst we were there for the day. One member of staff walked us back to the jetty and informed us about water clarity and the squid in the sea.

On our final night we ate at Alu Alu, the Chinese restaurant. Three dishes with rice and a drink each came to about 150RM (£50). The food here was good but nothing to really to shout about. Our evening meal at Macac cost about 120RM and lunch ranged from 70RM and 100RM. So, although more pricey than mainland restaurants, it doesn't break the bank.

On our final day we checked out at 11am. However, we were made to feel welcome to stay and use the facilities until the four o clock boat arrived to take us back to the mainland for us to catch our onward flight.

Diana also was at the desk on our departure and waved us off. We had a lovely time at Gayana and will definitely be back some day... So please look after the place until we do!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank r0amingtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We spend 3nites at gayana's Ocean villa. It was quite disappointed. We booked through their website. Sending email of confirmation, but the reservation team keep sending us back (3times) regarding the purpose of our trip,(so they could make tis trip memorable) therefore I replied as this will be our honeymoon + 1st yr anniversary. Bcos of this, i was expecting some kind of special treatment (like flower deco in the room) But when we reached the room, NOTHING.
The water was cloudy & full of rubbish around. ( u'll see bottle, plastic & even an blown away big umbrella)
Fish feeding was great, 4big grouper!
MERC was fantastic, a must to visit.
Food was very pricy there, international prices BUT no international standard. The BFast buffet was so so, not much of choices. But bcos of we stayed at Ocean Villa, we entitled to have BFast at our own villa, served by boat. (Must try)
Last day of our trip, I was unwell, I rang up reception asking for some painkiller & some nausea pill but Diane, the receptionist told me that they did not have any medical kit. Instead she offered me to clinic in the town. I was very very disappointed, such a big resort, they do not have a first aid kit? It's really poor!
With the amount of money we spend in here, I personally think was not worthed. Staffs were unprofessional & poor standard of food. I would rather go Sipadan or even Maldives.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alice K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The bathrooms were not cleaned properly - the vanity top around the basin and the mirror was not clean on arrival and after 2 days of us being there and it still not being cleaned, I called in housekeeping and pointed it out to them. They did clean it then but the villas need a really deep spring clean and spruce up to get them looking good - water stains on the walls and ceiling around the air con unit do not look good and the floors always looked grubby.
Really dissapointing considering the fee they charge per night.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 170MishaG
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: $229 - $456 (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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