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“Gayana Trash and Sewage Smell Resort”
Review of Gayana Eco Resort

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Gayana Eco Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Pulau Gaya
Certificate of Excellence
Tainan, Taiwan
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Gayana Trash and Sewage Smell Resort”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Please look at the photos which have been attached to this review. They speak more than any written description.

Why would someone pay a 5-star price to be in a place like this? The resort has been grossly misrepresented. It doesn't matter where the trash comes from. The management doesn't care enough to put up sufficient barriers for it and they don't care that they continue marketing beautiful pictures of an eco-resort which actually has disgusting sea water. People are wasting their money at this resort. Why would you pay 500USD per night to go to a pool and eat in a restaurant when you were expecting to be snorkeling and feeding tropical fish all day?

Also, there is a basic plumbing issue in the rooms. Shower draining from an adjoining room bubbled up into our shower. The bathrooms also smell like sewage which also indicates the poor plumbing design. The smell of sewage is also present at the restaurant near the pool. We had to move our dinner table because of this. There is much more regarding the general disrepair of the place.

Instead of focusing on a new marketing plan, this resort should shut down and start over again. Now we know why we had to pre-pay at Jesselton Pier on the mainland, because we would have turned around on arrival at the resort.

Mark B

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
14 Thank Mark B
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, February 7, 2014
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your contribution ,I don't blame you for being dissapointed, so are we! As i have stated in previous blogs, during the North East Monsoon (Nov-Feb) we can sometimes be overwhelmed with rubbish from mainland Borneo and nearby stilt villages, while we attempt to pick up and clean the sea we will never completely succeed. There is no easy fix since it will take political will and a lot of education to rectify. Unfortunately you came during a really bad spell and this coincided with redtide (algae bloom) which made the sea even less appealing and quite smelly. Red tide happens when there is too much nutrients in the sea, this year is the worst in 5 years.
We are fortunate that our water is stunning 90% of the time, however during this time of the year floating rubbish cannot be ruled out.
I would like to highlight the effort we do do to the marine environment through our inhouse conservation program at MERC. 1) We propagate giant clams and release them back into the ocean after 4 years in our nursery. These creatures assist in filtering the water so vital to our environment. We are the only ones in Malaysia who have successfully propagated 7 out of 8 known giant clam species. 2) Restoring the coral reef through a coral replanting program. Not only do we restore the reef we continue to look after it years to follow. 3) We educate the local fishing community and schools in how to live in harmony with our unique environment. Only through education can we succeed in keeping our oceans clean.
As for the plumbing, I do need to check if any pipes have broken during the heavy seas. Being on stilts everything moves so a broken pipe cannot be ruled out.
Once again, I am truly sorry for the fact that you did not receive a tropical island experience.

Best regards

Tomas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
160 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Stayed only one night,resort has a Super General Manager who is really trying very hard.
Unfortunately the sea is full of rubbish and you don't feel like going to the sea.
Great place for families but beware sea is really NOT clean.
Very sad to see the beaches are dirty which is a major problem now at Indonesia,Cambodia,Vietnam and most parts of Thailand unless they educate the people to not to throw rubbish in the sea these countries will not have a beach by the end of next 5 years
Very very sad!!!

Room Tip: Try to stay close to the sea
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kucho26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014

It started off with a beautiful welcome room at the Jettison Jetty, in the quaint little town of Kota Kinabalu. The boat ride was short but fun ! From a distance we could see the thatched cottages and the serene waters surrounding the resort.

On reaching the cottage was comfortable and extremely beautiful , we loved it !

The food was good, staff courteous and setting romantic. The bar has a good location on the deck and as the sun sets the ambiance gets even better.

The infinity pool and the fish feeding session were added attractions. The Gayana Dive Shop has provisions for Kayaking, Snorkeling and other water activities which are available complimentary !

It was an absolute delight to sum it up.

Drawbacks :
1. The water under the chalets was dirty, but we saw them putting nets and cleaners
2. The place is on the expensive side
3. Very few meal options for pure vegetarians

Room Tip: Water Chalets are good and spacious , serene and peaceful !
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AbhayTilwankar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

Believe it or not, I am writing this from the resort while staying in my overwater bungalow. With the restful sounds of water lapping against the bungalow it should be an absolute pleasure but I am already thinking of better places to be.

I speak with my knowledge of the travel industry as a freelance television travel producer with more than 25 years experience. I have had plenty of opportunities to compare properties all over the world and in this instance was asked to independently review this resort for a top rated international travel blog, but I have now declined to do so as it would appear too negative for what is perceived to be a high standard resort. Instead I will provide some constructive criticism for the manager and others to assess.

My wife, my 4 year old boy and I are booked in for 8 days. We still have 3 days to go, so I guess we are in a good position to tell it how it is. To be here for this amount of time with limited activities is too long, unless if you want to do very little.

My tip is to stay a few days on the island, but don't expect an exciting 5 sparkling stars and don't believe all the marketing hype. This resort is young but has already seen better days.

I am not writing to be negative but instead to help make the resort better for future guests. It seems many of the comments made previously have been acknowledged by the GM but not been attended to. I believe they are mostly fair and accurate.

With my experience, firstly the staff. While they are very attentive, friendly and helpful they often seem to lack direction. The service is inconsistent and at times they hover around waiting to serve guests, on the other hand there were many times while around the pool area they seemed to be missing for long periods of time and had to be chased to get service. But these minor service standards issues can easily be improved by them by being more attentive.

The most concerning aspect of the resort is the general cleanliness of the ocean water. I have watched and stayed away from the water for 5 days (so far) as the water has become more putrid and unfit for any activity.

Now I understand there are fishing villages nearby and many people on the coast of Kota Kinabalu have different standards of cleanliness and garbage disposal but the problem is floating debris can be driven by wind and currents toward Gayana Island. This rubbish gets washed up onto the beach and around the bungalows with every incoming tide. While I have been told it is not a year round problem, what I came here for was to go scuba diving and snorkelling but I will not even go above the water on a canoe with this disgusting water.

In my time here I have not seen anything more than bags of seaweed being removed from the beach and I suspect it was going to the market to be sold.

For a high standard resort the beach needs to be cleaned daily, no matter who created the mess, even if it takes 1,700 bags a year.

As a suggestion the resort could invest in a hazmat type oil spill barrier to replace the white marker rope. It will at least stop most of the floating rubbish getting in. But many other resorts elsewhere simply collect debris regularly and clean the beach, not wait for the wind direction to change to send the mess somewhere else.

I am starting to feel like a captive. Unfortunately the 4 daily boat trips to and from Jesselton Point can be inconvenient. So another suggestion is to have the first boat transfer of the day earlier than 11am. It seems half the day is gone before even being able to get into town for the shops or sightseeing. On a positive note, the transfers are always well operated, fun and efficient with the power boat rides.

On another note. This may be named an "eco-resort" but the Macac's rule here, so expect to keep your doors and windows locked day and night unless you want your room ransacked by the little bad-mannered monkeys. It was our fault but a sneaky trouble maker snuck into our room while we were in and stole a packet of biscuits and as our reward snarled aggressively at us. But we were warned.

I have heard that a Macac relocation program will be happening soon to temper the problem a little.

The other surprise is how an environmentally friendly resort like this wastes so much power. We have regularly found after turning everything off when we go out during the day all the bungalow lights and 2 air conditioners are on again for hours and have been reset at below 20 degrees. My suggestion is to train housekeeping to turn off lights and set the AC to 23 or higher. I hate going from 30+ degrees C to what feels like freezing cold. Plus think of the cost and environmental savings.

Anyway I could go on and on, but there needs to be a good look at every aspect of this property including maintenance. If you expect European, Australian, North American, Japanese and Korean guests the resort must cater to their standard not lower quality Asian standards, otherwise comments here will be unfavourable. I would prefer to see 5 star ratings and nothing but good reports from now on, but I know you can't please everyone.

All the best and thanks for all the great experience, especially the wonderful staff.

Daniel M

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank danmarz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guangzhou, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Me and my bf when to gayana eco resort on Feb 2013 and its chinese new year!!!! I've read all the comment before i came here and obviously it was difrence well it is chinese new year and everybody excited and wish us. We done our registration in JP. The staff was very friendly and did explain to us a little bit 'bout the resort. We don't want to ask more cause we want to see if these comment are true or not. At 1230pm, we on board and its only took 15mins to the resort. We've being greet with the staff. She cute though(cause she chubby) & some of the guest was passed her not even reply her back! She kept smiling. The lobby very crowded but we've been lead to latitude bar. The view very nice and we all being served welcome drinks.
The room was very nice,got staircase to the water and lots of fish! I like the room. we've ask the front desk what the event for chinese new year and the lady in green shirt said tomorrow there will be a lion dance performance. She explain the boat movement will be too tight too and we decided to stay in the resort. On the next day, we went to macac restaurant for breakfast. Too crowded but we understand that peek season for them. After that me & my bf decided go snorkeling at dive center but too crowded by the group of chinese family. The front office too buzy with guests checking out and some of the guest asking 'bout the boat. We remember that we've being told that the boat will be tight schedule for the lion dance came in. We saw one of the staff being scolded by impatient guest who want to go to the sister resort. The staff apologies to the guest and explain to the guest but the guest didn't hear. Atlease respect to the lady, not shout at her. We left to our room. We did order room service cause we are too hungry after swimming. On the fourth day/our last day in the resort, we took the 11am's boat. Lucky not too much check out. You must/have to prebook for the boat check out other wise you'll be end up going out at 4pm don't blame the staff, they did call you in the room in evening time to ask which boat you want to take for check out on the next morning. My comment overall the service is good eventhough we are not being attend properly & i know what being in the service line and not forgot to mention that we've got our 'angpau', treatment for 2 person in the spa from their 'magic' tree. I hope i can come back and to see the chubby lady again. We forgot to ask her name.

Room Tip: I said take the ocean villa but if you can take the palm villa much more worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rachelt79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
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    • Cleanliness
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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
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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
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Helpful?
Thank Arun C
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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