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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Overpriced and definitely not five stars!”
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 13 more sites!
Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Overpriced and definitely not five stars!”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Our family stayed eight days in the Guayana Eco Rsort. As it was high season, of course we paid a very, ..very high price. This five star resort , even member of the high-end reservation chain mr and mrs smith ( how is this possible???) raises your expectations upfront, not only bcs of its high prices for room and F&B, but also by its website and photos.

Long story short: This resort is outdated, worn out and absolutely not five star!

First and foremost, most of the staff are extremely nice . And some provide excellent service. However, it clearly lacks guidance, training and visible (!!) leadership. It seems as If like no one is in charge.
The rooms ( we booked three rainforest villas..) were very spacious , large bed, fine shower, but worn out furniture , hardly working internet and very poor reception of the tv. (Website: "complimentary internet and 32 LCD television "..).
The board walks are not maintained and most of the time pitch dark at night (dangerous?).
Animals are part of the environment you are in, Great, but monkeys could become menacing and aggressive. And to see a rat - like animal walking around the restaurant doesn't appeal to me.
The pool is great , But no drink or food service , and insufficient beds, seats around the pool .

Same situation in other sister resort Bunga Raya . To such an extent that guest of the Guayan are not allowed (!!) to go to the pool of the Bunga Raya ( upon arrival you are asked to stay on the - beautiful- beach where no seating areas are set up. They even told us one day it was not possible to go to Bunga Raya at all, as there was a private function. After heavy complaining we were "allowed" and of course found out there was no private function ..

Unfortunately this resort has no eye for service detail.
Example: Up until the eight day of our stay... we had to ask for extra plates etc for our family of 6 at breakfast..
The quality of food and beverages is mediocre and definitely not five star. Breakfast ok but basic and nothing compared to other five star resorts in Asia.

The hotel is apparently involved in an eco program But it's not visible .
Plastic floating around in the water, trash on the boardwalk, including poo of dogs or monkeys, trash on the beach, and feeding the fish are not fitting in this image.
However, the Marine Ecology Research Center is impressive and they do a super job. Worth a visit!

It looks like this resort is not suitable for those who have traveled around a bit, neither for those who wanna stay more than two days .
I have sincere doubts if this resort will survive, without significant investments or price reductions. We hope so for the staff members it will!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mhf1956
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, January 8, 2014
Dear Mr Marnix,

Thank you for your feedback on TripAdvisor which you and i have already discussed in great length. While i accept there are areas in which we can and should improve I also told you certain things were outside our control due to extreme high tide, such as the TV channels not being clear and our wifi being intermittent and part of our walkway lights tripping. Being on stilts over water with all our cabling running under our boardwalk the very high spring tide unfortunately affected this, a phenomenon which only happens a couple of times a year.
As I also explained to you we are in a national park where we try to live in harmony with the animals. This works as long as you do not feed nor antagonize them. One of our unique selling points is the fact that the wildlife is so visible. As for the rubbish in the sea this is indeed an eye sore and extremely disappointing. We fill more than 1700 bags of other people's rubbish a year (with the majority affecting us during North East Monsoon Nov-Feb). I am aware we do not always manage to retrieve all, especially when it gets stuck in and amongst the villas during high tide.
I am sorry you did not feel you got value for money while staying with us. I would have wished you took up our offer on transferring your family to Bunga Raya which in your case would have been a much more suitable resort to visit.
We pride ourselves in listening to constructive feedback from all our guest and if at all possible resolve any potential situation. Even though we did explain and present options for yourself these were not taken up which is a shame.

Having said this thank you for sharing your feedback.

Tomas K Andersen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

446 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    214
    136
    53
    20
    23
See reviews for
97
242
12
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We were a family of five who traveled from Perth and stayed at Le Meridien, Kota Kinabalu. One one of the days, the Managers offered us a deal to stay at Gayan Eco Resort for one night, due to 100 % occupancy at Le Meridien. We accepted the offer and did not regret it one bit. The check in staff at Gayana Resort, especially the lady named Nora was so friendly and always helpful. The food at Alu Alu restaurant and the other restaurant was very tasty and reasonably priced. Room service was always prompt and efficient. My daughter enjoyed her time at the MERC centre which was very educational and cherished the opportunity to replant a coral. The views from our wooden cabins were stunningly beautiful. The fish feeding tour was also a good experience. Thank you to all the staff at Gayana who made our short trip a memorable one.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Arun C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My new husband and I spent the first week of our honeymoon at Gayana resort in December 2013. it was absolutely amazing! We had the best time we could have hoped for. The bungalows were just gorgeous, the food was delicious, the service was absolutely outstanding. The natural environment is stunning, as is the resort itself. We couldn't have asked for more.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Leonie_M606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

We booked this hotel as an escape from noisy bustling Hong Kong, and with that respect ee got what we were asking for. Beautiful silence. The construction of the single cabins on wooden pilars give you an interesting view to the vast variety of beautiful and interesting fish of all colours sizes and shapes, they even have a 2m long fish is a basin ouside the hotel, which guests can visit.

Now for the downsides:
There isno beach, only a pool next to the bar (there goes the peacefulness) and of course your own little veranda, that every room has - only the expensive rooms have theirs facing the ocean though.
Service was also not at its best, but ok'ish. We got charged a wrong bill and after some hour long search during check out, while the last boat to the mainland was already waiting to leave, they waived the entire charge even though we did consume something at the dinner in question. Well handled.

All in all an ok experience, but felt the price was too high for what was offered. Still trying to figure out what was 'eco' about the resort ;-)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jan K
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, December 29, 2013
Dear Jan,

Thank you for your feedback it is always valuable to hear where our guest believe we can improve.
I must admit I am saddened to hear you are not aware of what makes us an eco resort.
With 5 full time marine biologists and an onsite marine center it should have been pretty clear we look after our marine environment and give back what mankind has taken. Propagating giant clams, restoring our coral reef and serving only fish from our organic fish farm allows us wear the "eco" mantle.
I hope your travels will bring you back to Sabah and Gayana Eco Resort in which case I shall personally show you our marine ecology research center named MERC.

I wish you all the best for 2014.

regards

Tomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
1 review
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Just visited Gayana Eco Resort for our honey moon. The resort is very nice and beatiful environment. The service are also excellent. Especially the lady at the receiption "Nora", her arrangement and reminder are very helpful. The gentlemen "Affenoy", "Hafiz" and "AK Ibrahim" at the bar are very friendly, giving us lot of advises on drink and teaching us how to play American Pool :).
Overall, this is excellent resort and I would love to visit them again soon
Thankyou very much.

Mr. Chan

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yu Him Perry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

Out of this world location, our first stay at an "eco" resort there was a lot to inspire about this place. "Eco" features included wonderful work being done at MERC (Marine Ecology Research Centre) on coral and giant clams. Beyond this there were not many characteristics to support the title eg evidence of recycling, solar power, environmental waste treatment. But that's OK I guess, still enough for the marketing. Staff were all great, kind, anticipating needs, very helpful. Food choices excellent, activities good, photo opportunities phenomenal. One last thing, there is a sister resort on the other side of the island (20 min boat ride away) which is where the advertised gym is located. Bit rough to charge 80 ringits to get there and back. Overall we were very satisfied and would recommend.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlare, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

My friend and I stayed here in July 2009. We had a wellness package. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It's a very relaxing place. You can feed the turtles if you want. The beds were amazing, the rooms spacious and clean.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MarijkeVdA
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
3.2 mi away
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
8.1 mi away
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
#14 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,304 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.7 mi away
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
#6 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,023 reviews
2.6 mi away
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
#4 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,379 reviews
2.7 mi away
Hotel Sixty3
Hotel Sixty3
#1 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.5 of 5 bubbles 642 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

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Preferred Hotels, Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Ctrip TA, Agoda, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly 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