Where do I begin?
The whole Shangri-La experience was unbelievable from start to finish, and not in a good way!!
It began with a clear instruction that we were to be picked up at the airport, 4 people with luggage. The transportation only had room for 2 people with luggage and therefore a second car had to be sent for.
Once checked into the Kinabalu wing with club access we retired to our rooms, after waiting for over an hour for the cleaning to be finished, well we would have if the door card system actually worked! Therefore both couples had to return to the club check-in to have the room cards reprogrammed. This continued everyday for the complete 12 day stay.
Once finally within our rooms, which were functional and adequate, if not slightly small and sparsely decorated we had to then call room service for water which housekeeping neglected to replenish, again this was to be a standard feature of our whole stay. Housekeeping continually failed to replenish any item used during our stay, this included; napkins, coasters, toiletries, flowers (we even had an empty vase with water in it for over 4 days) and other sundries used. In fact it seemed a policy that anything that was used was not replenished to stop you using it again.
We made enquiries with regards to trips and golf courses at the club lounge concierge and again were continually let down with their promises to come back to us and we constantly had to chase all our requests.
We eventually took a trip to the pool area to read and relax……..oh my god!! The pool area had two pools side by side and a children’s pool next to one of the larger pools. I can only assume this area doubled as a crèche, as the noise was deafening and whilst the resort professes 25 lush acres, it seemed all amenities were crammed into a 200 square metre area. Pool service was nonexistent and on one occasion we sat 7 hours without any offer of service and eventually used the hotel shop to get any drinks. You could not escape the noise and construction work was also going on at the new Spa, even though we were assured there was no work in progress. Coupled with the fact a conference was held during our stay and construction and dismantling continued past midnight.
Service was invisible and lackluster and on occasion the staff would actually enter into an argument if anything was questioned. We ceased to attend one bar after two nights of disagreements with staff.
Having travelled extensively and willing to pay for a 5* experience, this was one of the shoddiest and most mismanaged resorts it has been our unfortunate experience to encounter.
We ventured to Rasa Ria for a golfing experience at the Dalit golf course, playing in 30C+ temperatures with high humidity we were given two bottles of warm water with no cooler for the 18 holes, with no water stops en route nor any amenities to refresh. Within the Rasa Ria resort the service was even worse and we were charged for a breakfast even though it was a sister resort and we took no breakfast at the Tanjung Aru due to an early start.
In an attempt to show some positives, the food was good. Peppino’s and the Shang Palace were excellent as was Coco Joe’s. The Tatu buffet for breakfast and dinner were totally forgettable.
The Orangutan sanctuary at Rasa Ria is a must and worth every ringgit spent.
I can only recommend this resort for people with children who do not mind competing with a large East Asian clientele who certainly like to make lots of noise.
Even in the club lounge where children were not encouraged between 5-7pm for drinks this rule was not enforced and again represented a crèche on occasions with children roaming free.
In conclusion, this is certainly NOT a 5* resort and actually misrepresents itself on its web site where it purports to be a haven of peace and serenity. I have no issues with a resort that represents itself clearly and allows you to make an informed decision on the information given. We always research our bookings carefully and like the hundreds of hotels we have visited and were satisfied with, this was the most misleading and the biggest disappointment due to the name of the owner and the information given.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A paradise for the senses surrounded by natural beautyA gentle breeze caresses your face as you wake to the sound of waves lapping the beach. The balcony opens up to an inspiring vista of sparkling coral islands and swaying of palm trees. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, bordered by crystal clear waters and lush vegetation Sophistication surrounds you in a lavishly decorated suite inspired by Borneo’s rich cultural heritage. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu, is a perfect tropical getaway, a luxurious tranquil retreat just a short drive from the city.Yet, excitement beckons as you set out to discover all Kota Kinabalu’s delights. Making your way to Kinabalu National Park, you are thrust into a jungle paradise of natural wonders, rugged landscapes and scenic beauty. From the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to the famous Orangutans in their natural habitat, it only gets more breathtaking every step of the way.The afternoon is spent exploring the picturesque town of Kota Belud. As Sabah’s largest and most popular open market, you find gems of all sorts, ranging from handmade handicrafts to mouth-watering local delights like natural honey.Back at the resort, you look forward to a sunset cruise, which departs from STAR Marina, to catch Borneo's famous sunset. Not long after, you wind down at Coco-Joe’s Bar & Grill. Lounging atop one of the beach-dining platforms, over cocktails and a delectable seafood tower, you continue to enjoy the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. A pampering session at CHI, The Spa rounds off the day. With treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, you lose yourself in an enchanted and indulgent journey, all on the resort’s private spa island.For every experience here, you are surrounded by natural beauty. And it all begins at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Booking.com, Agoda and Travelocity so you can book your Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 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:
- Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
- Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
- Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
- Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
- Shangri La Kota Kinabalu
- Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu, Sabah