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“Gorgeous Resort”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Having stayed here way back in 1990 and remembering how much my husband and I enjoyed our stay, I stayed here again a couple of months ago either side of my Mount Kinabalu climb. I was once again very impressed with everything about this resort hotel.
My girlfriend and I were treated like royalty. The staff were simply divine, always smiliing, always attentive and forever helpful.
The pool area is just sensational.Having been recently refurbished, sitting right on the oceans edge, it is a magical place to relax and read a book, laze away a day sipping daiquiries and taking the occasional plunge or paddle or simply lounging around and taking in the magnificent views.
The Sunset Bar is divine with large comfy sofas right on the beach. This is the place to be, right on sunset, watching the glorious reds, oranges and yellows as the sun sets over the horizon.
Also the Chi Spa Resort is divine and a must visit while there.

We stayed in both a Deluxe Kinabalu Club Suite (executive style) and a Standard Room before and after our climb. The Deluxe Suite gave us entry to the Kinabalu Club which was a lovely bonus; private, views across the resort, food and drinks complimentary. The hotel is just lovely and the rooms are tastefully decorated, most recently refurbished.

The restaurants throughout the resort cater to many and varied tastes, plenty of choice there.

Although I only stayed 4 nights I am definitely going back for a longer stay to just rest and relax.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank JazzyPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 6, 2012

Spent a week here in early Dec. Upgraded to the Kinabalu Wing. Slightly pricey but worth it. Got lovely breakfast on the 6th Floor every morning. We always sat on the balcony and just enjoyed the peace. The evening happy hour, or two, with a great snack buffet was fun. The staff in the hotel , especially the Kinabalu wing, were so attentive and genuinely pleasnat. Nothing was too much trouble. Pool was great with plenty of shade . Went down sunset bar one evening and the atmosphere was superb. Fanatastic place to unwind and recharge your batteries. Would go back tomorrow.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Stayed here in December for 1 week.

The positives:
-Beautiful resort
-Great pool. The lifeguards did a really good job of getting parents to watch their kids which I liked!!
-Friendly, helpful staff.
-The tour desk staff were really helpful- they gave us free maps of the area and we booked a tour to Mantanani island through them which was great.

The negatives:

- The lack of sunlounges, particularly in shaded areas. Understandably December was a busy period but if you did not get up before 8am (7:30 am on some days) you could not get a sunlounge in a shaded area (either under trees, shadecloth or umbrellas). Forget getting a sunlounge at all if you got up after 9am. People resorted to "reserving" sunlounges (by putting towel, magazines, etc.) the night before or really early in the morning and then went off somewhere for several hours.

-While there is free wireless available throught the resort there are no free computers for internet use at the hotel. We didn't bring a laptop or our mobiles with us on holiday so couldn't get access unless we paid RM15 for 15 minutes at the business centre (which is only open 9am-5pm). I would have thought this would have been free as it is at most hotels for guests to be able to check in online, print off boarding passes, print off tour bookings, etc. Rasa Ria actually have 4 computers guests can use for free (they give a time limit of 15 mins so people don't have to wait long). I think this hotel should do the same.

Tips:
Get to breakfast early- most days we ate around 7-8am and it was great. One morning we slept in a bit and went to breakfast around 8:45 and it was extremely crowded, lots of children pushing in to get the food.

Have a drink on a nice night at the Sunset Bar- gorgeous! Go during happy hour as it can be a bit expensive.

Book early if you want to see the orangutan's at Rasa Ria- these trips booked up really quickly.

Take mosquito repellent- the hotel shop only sells insect band things and not the spray on / roll on stuff. While not such a big deal for the resort itself, there were a lot of mosquitos around Kota Kinabalu and the rainforest areas.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EmMelb01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

This seems to be the main response from all staff when asked a question. We have stayed in many Shangri-La hotels and this was by far the worst. Staff are programmed to say No. As we are on our honeymoon we have experienced people going the extra mile but here at the Tanjung Aru we weren't given the gifts promised on booking.

The bathtub was dirty from the previous people, breakfast is a free for all unless you are there at 8am, drinks take an age to be delivered at meals and generally things aren't made easy. We have eaten out every night because of this and probably had betterw meals in KK itself where the authentic restaurants couldnt be more helpful. The bar closes at midnight so if you are like us and fancy a drink after dinner then its only room service that willl allow you to have a drink which isn't ideal.

We arranged our own trips as apparently they were too busy to fit us in however we managed to sort the same by ourselves with no issue - in fact great trips found by the Sutera Marina and cheaper if you don't tell them you are from the Tanjung Aru. In the mornings food has been left on plates from the night before outside rooms and by the Pool. Sun beds themselves are not easy to come by unless you are up competing at 7am! Not the Shangri-La's finest hour...

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank Fellows100911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Stayed here for 6 nights prior to Christmas for an end of 2011 wind down. What a great idea. Relaxed but very helpful, attentive and friendly staff. We were warmly greeted upon arrival and presented with a nice little welcome drink and cool towel at check-in. We were originally allocated a room on the ground floor, which didn't offer any views, but were moved up to a higher floor without any problems.

There is plenty of space around the resort with several restaurants of different cuisines servicing the resort. The recently renovated pool was a great highlight, along with the Sunset Bar. The prices of drinks at Sunset Bar may be a little bit steeper than at other hotels in KK, but it all pays off for itself as you lounge back in the comfy low sofas and watch the magnificent sunsets.

The buffet breakfast included in the room rate was excellent. A large selection of different cuisines, which changed everyday to avoid repetitiveness. Cafe Tatu, which services the breakfast also provide very good a la carte meals for lunch and dinner. I highly recommend the Borneo selection (for two) to get small samples of the local cuisine. They also have a grill/steakhouse located beachside however we didn't try that.

The rooms were large with plenty of space for 2 people. The furniture in both rooms had little signs of wear and the amenities provided are of a good quality. The English TV stations were limited for a hotel in Asia, although there are a couple of movie channels, but there are plenty of other things to keep you entertained.

The gym is large and well equipped with fairly new equipment for those wanting to keep in shape, and the leisure centre also offers plenty of activities such as volleyball, soccer, pilates, yoga, wine tasting, cooking classes etc at different times during the week. For more activities, the centre of town is an easy 10 minute taxi ride away and taxi's are cheap.

For those who are also considering the other Shangri-La resort, Rasa Ria....
During the stay, we took a shuttle to Rasa Ria to see the Orang-utans. I am glad that we selected the Tanjung Aru resort as the Rasa Ria is a lengthy 30-40 minute drive from anything. However, they did appear to have a few more resort activities advertised on the board. There is more beach with a greater range of water activities, but the pool is nothing compared to Tanjung Aru.

Overall, very happy with the Tanjung Aru Resort and will definitely consider going back there again.

Room Tip: avoid a room on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jetsetter_AU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Awesome resort, very large and lots of facilities / restaurants to choose from. A short cab ride to the restaurant strip, but really everything you need for a getaway is here. The kids club was awesome to entertain our 2 year old. You can leave your kids there if you want and go for a swim in the pool area outside and they will come get you if anything is needed.

Rooms were excellent, service ok (its a large hotel so sometimes room service a little slow)
Resort is a bit pricey compared to others but this is one of the best.

The private beach and sunset bar is unbelievable. You'll think youre a rock star

Room Tip: Ground floor
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank sydneysider99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

Located on the South China Sea, the Shangri-La impresses on arrival. Open air foyer greets you, with warm friendly service and smooth check-in sets you up for a stay at this oceanside resort.

The resort itself is well presented with a large pool and variety of resort activities onsite. The beautiful view (and sunsets) is the main reason to chose this resort around 5km from the main city of Kota Kinabalu. The sunsets are truly amazing and worth sitting by the pool/beach to watch each night. I did use the the resort activity centre to go to across the nearby islands for snorkelling, which was quick, friendly and the snorkelling was very good (beautiful parrot fish).

I selected an oceanfront room and whilst the building itself looks dated, the rooms were modern, beds comfortable and the air con cool. I found the rooms to be clean to a high standard and the housekeeping went the 'extra mile' to please me, topping up fresh fruit (complimentary) and attention to detail was notable.

The service from staff across the resort was excellent. On occasions, staff would remember my name and this was especially nice. I also found as I was travelling by myself the wait staff, especially friendly and attentive to looking after me. The selection of food at breakfast was sufficient and the quality of high level. I did not have any meals outside the resort and found the prices of the meal, including room service, very reasonable ($ AUD 25 - 30).

Whilst the hotel is close enough to the city centre, taxi are cheap (around $AUD 5 - 10 one way) to get from the resort to the shops and certainly beats walking in the heat. I had no issues getting a taxi from the resort nor the return (the Bell desk will give you a business card you can show the driver which I found helpful as their English can be limited).

This is one of the best hotels in Borneo and whilst it may not quite live up to 5 stars of hotels in this class, it certainly won't disappoint with its sunset, warm friendly service and plenty of activities (or none it all if you wish to chill).

Room Tip: Mountain view does not face the ocean at all
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Adrian_and_Susie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Address: 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: $210 - $423 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 492
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 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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