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“A noisy, overpriced airport resort.”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
129 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“A noisy, overpriced airport resort.”
Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

{+} Ocean access-of variable cleanliness.
Good internet access.
Clean rooms.
Working A/C.
Privacy shades.
Lavish public areas.
Bilingual staff.

{-} Disregarding of request for quiet top floor room.
Inconsiderate, noisy maids.
Lack of soundproofing.

  • Stayed November 2012
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Thank xerophytic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Stayed here for 10 nights and couldn't fault anything about the hotel, staff, food, amenities or location. Having originally booked to stay in the Rasa Ria resort was so glad we changed to Tangang Aru. After visiting the sister hotel we felt this one was a lot more peaceful and sedate which as just perfect. With a shuttle bus running between hotels it made visiting the Oran utang sanctuary really easy - well worth the 45 min drive. The room was not a great location Kinabalu wing and 5th floor the view was not great but that's luck I guess when you change hotels with 2 weeks to go. The sunset bar was particularly amazing watching the sunset with a few cocktails and then heading to one of the many restaurants was just right. I agree with other travellers the Italian was superb and you can see why award winning. I can't fault anything it was just perfect if I had to sum up in one word the highlight - it was definitely the staff they were outstanding

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank EmmaRomy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Partner and I stayed here in September 2012 with with another couple.
The hotel itself is best described as a large resort, with about 4 restaurants, several bars and large pools (including an elaborate kids water zone) as well as tennis, pitch and put.

Unfortunately from the outset we had a few issues with service.

We had arranged a hotel car pickup which was all smooth. We had travelled from Europe via Hong Kong, and were tired and weary, feeling the effects of jet lag, so the fiasco which followed at check in was a bit exhausting:

Three staff making a huge fuss over a total of 4 pieces of luggage was enough, but it got more intense. Check in took about 25 minutes, and the first question was to know when we were checking out, and what flight we were on that day. We didn't have the flight number to hand, and said we would deal with that later. Moving on, we did the usual paperwork. There was then confusion over which of the four of us were the "parents"... we are two couples, all in our early to mid thirties... we really thought the jet lag was hitting hard. Check in now seemed to be an ordeal and waiting followed, during which partner decided to try to speed it up and rummaged in the bag to produce our flight time on the check out day, and flight number. This was inputted into the booking system, and we were then asked did we want a wake up call, for 5am for our flight. We declined, saying we would set our own alarms. In-room breakfast was then offered for 5am on the day. We said that would be fine, thanks. For each of the 3 mornings of our stay, we then had a wake up call with breakfast at 5am, despite clearly confirming it was cancelled after it happened the first time.

After finally getting to our room we were a little disappointed. The rooms in the Tanjung wing which we were staying in were quite tired and in need of a good refurb. Bathroom in particular could have done with a good scrub down.

On our first morning, having being woken up by our unexpected 5am wake up call, our body clocks were having none of it and so, tired, but unable to sleep, we went wandering... only to find our travel partners already up at the pool. Evidently they were woken by construction work on a new marina which the hotel owned at 6am. They had complained and were told that construction would only occur between 10am and 5pm (so basically all day) but, were unhappy with the response of simply being thanked for bringing to management's attention. On further complaint there were told that there were no other rooms available at the time.

We decided to make the most of it, and hung by the pool to recharge our batteries on day 1. We also had another friend join us who we hadn't seen in some time, so we spent the day catching up.

The pool area was relatively busy, so we also headed to the hotel beach, which was quieter, and had a lunchtime drink at the beachside sofa areas. Our travel partners also decided to visit another nearby resort to check out their facilities, since the spa in Tanjung Aru was completely booked up for our stay.

Lunch from the pool bar was standard pool bar fare, and reasonable.
We had pre dinner drinks in the sunset bar, which is a lovely spot, though we did have some pretty heavy rain showers throughout or stay. This is certainly designed more as a family resort, with lots of kids activities... and the associated kids.

Day two, and 3 of us decided to go rafting up the mountains and arranged with the concierge. We were picked up early that morning for a 2 hour drive up to the mountains. Half way through, we stopped at Shangri La's other KK resort, Rasa Ria, and we had a snoop around - the overall consensus was that we were staying the wrong hotel! Rasa Ria looked to be a far better standard of hotel, more modern, clean and sophisticated, yet embracing the natural charm of Borneo. The hotel rate here was also FAR more reasonable than what we were paying in Tanjung Aru. The rafting was a reasonable experience, but not white water (though not marketed as this) with Grade 1 and 2 rapids.

Since we only had one day left, and didn't fancy packing up early and moving to another hotel, we decided to sit it out in Tanjung Aru. Our travel companions were then told a room had been available for them the day before, and the staff were unsure as to why they had not taken it - they explained clearly that they hadn't been informed it was available, They were brought to their "new" room, which sadly was directly above their old room, and still directly overlooking the construction.

Since our flight was early, we checked out the night before, dealing with the duty manager to explain that we were not happy with the overall stay. Our travel companions checked out separately and had a significant discount applied due to the inconvenience. We explained we were as unhappy, and had some services com't and a small discount.

We were woken on our last day, as expected, at 5am with a breakfast which was appreciated. We would have felt very hard done by if it didn't arrive when it was ordered and we were told we had cancelled it. We headed on our way with an overall disappointed impression of what should and really could be a fantastic resort.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TomInDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

This hotel is excellent as a resort. The swimming pools and water park are incredible. The kids club was by all accounts excellent and the staff there are very good. In fact all the staff are great. The location is fantastic as you are within 5 minutes walk of Tanjung Aru beach with its facilities although the vast majority of guests do not seem to avail themselves of this.

Two areas where this hotel let itself down. Firstly, maintenance. For a hotel of this quality, broken tiles in the bathroom are not acceptable. On the first day, a maintenance man came to remove part of the shower which the previous guests had obviously brought to the hotel's attention - he never returned it during our stay. Neither of these things were an inconvenience to us so we did not report them.

The second area was the catering. Breakfast, despite the hotel not being at all busy, was something the staff were having challenges with. The queue for an egg was 20 minutes long on the first day, although this did improve. You are never offered more coffee, you have to flag a waiter down and ask for some. This takes some doing. All the other meals are, as with all establishments of this type, phenomenally expensive. Room service was the best value, however the hotel struggled to get this right and we did not receive what we asked for, and we were overcharged. Thankfully, as mentioned before, the hotel is within walking distance of Tanjung Aru beach, which has cheap, good quality, local catering. Prices are literally 25% of the hotel's and the quality is fresher and better.

The in-room internet is flaky. It is much better by the pool.

Overall the hotel experience was very good and I would stay again, but I hope they get their maintenance sorted out and I would avail ourselves of Tanjung Aru beach for evening food as we did this time.

Room Tip: Kinabalu wing is far quieter than the Tanjung Aru wing
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MelbourneAnglo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen,Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Excellent first class hotel
Accomodation modern, comfortable and spacious. Worth the extra for a sea view room, the best being from a higher floor in the Kinabalu wing.
Staff fantastic, helpful and always smiling, nothing was too much trouble. Room service for dinner was exceptionally presented, and the Italian restaurant was the best I have ever eaten in.
Typical of the Shangri La chain, superb!! Facilities available for anyone checking out at miday but not leaving until later that day, lounge, showers, steam room,and complimentary coffee and snacks, and of course use of all the other hotel facilities. Every thought is for the guest right until the last minute.

Room Tip: 4th floor upwards, Kinabalu Wing has the best sea views, and is aquiter location than parts of the o...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tait57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 7 mights of our Honeymoon in October/November 2012 and we loved it. We had a lovely room, there was a lot of choice re food and the staff were fantastic. We felt it was a good quality hotel for a very reasonable price.

We particularly liked drinking cocktails at the Sunset Bar, playing pitch and putt and cooling off in the hotel's pool.

If you like to get off the resort then this hotel is ideal. It's 10-15 minutes to Kota Kinabalu's city centre and is only 10 minutes away from the airport which makes it a great base for exploring Borneo.

The hotel runs regular shuttles to its sister hotel to see the Orangutans but we opted to fly to the bigger sanctuary in Sepilok instead as a day trip.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seb28London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Had a lovely time at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru. We were left wanting for nothing - everything was taken care of, from amazing amenities within the resort (multiple pools, bars, restaurants) to the provisions in the room (tea, coffee, ice, toothbrushes, slippers).

The room itself was very large and the bathroom had a bath with a separate shower and a balcony with views of the ocean. We opted for an upgrade to the Kinabalu Club, and got a room on a higher floor and access to the Club, which included breakfast away from the masses, complimentary happy hour and drinks and snacks throughout the day.

The main pool was amazing - an infinity pool overlooking the South China sea. There were also separate pools for children, including 3 water slides.

The staff were very helpful and friendly.

The *one* gripe I had was that the resort was swarming with kids. As a kid friendly resort, this was to be expected, but it would have been great to have kid-free zones available (e.g the Kinabalu Club happy hour, enforcement of not allowing kids in the the 'Adult Pool').

Overall though, a wonderful, comfortable stay.

Room Tip: Opt for the Club Room upgrade! Very much worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PureGuava
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

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 495
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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