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“Excellent, well run hotel”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent, well run hotel”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

After much research on Trip Advisor I booked a 5 night stay in Tanjung Executive Suite to stay in on our way back from the UK to break the journey!
I am glad we choose this resort over Rasa Ria it is a 5 min journey from the airport and only $30R - Make sure you get your taxi paid for inside the airport :)
The check in to the resort took forever and the room we were allocated was central Room 212 it was overlooking the water slides so NO ocean view here - infact all rooms 200 - 236 avoid if you want a view of the sea - this didn't worry us as we were hardly in the room we were busy in the kids club or in the pool or on the slides.
I would say ask for your room number and location prior to confirming the booking if you are looking for view, I think the rooms in the Tanjung wing are nicer and have better views and seem quieter so if you wish for a quiet sleep book this side.
The room was excellent BUT not made up to the booking but the room staff remedied this by the time we got back from the pools, we stayed with a toddler and a 4YO so needed a bed and cot which fitted well into the lounge allowing my husband and I to have peace at night in our part of the room – worth booking a suite if you can afford it
As part of our booking we were able to access the Kinabla club which allows you to eat breakfast and free drinks during the evening period – we used the breakfast area once as we have noisy children we could not relax and eat breakfast without annoying others, the access to this club would be perfect with kids 8 years and older 
We ate in TATU every other morning and the food available was good BUT very busy! So if you have small kids try and see yourself near the kids buffett down the back of the room you will be away from other guests. The food selection was excellent something for everyone and very well serviced, I spoke to the head chef who was very nice!
We ate lunch at Joe’s most days which was excellent and if you wanted something specific for the kids they would make it for you – nothing was too much for the staff to help you with
We ate dinner as room service every night and this was excellent – Hot and delicious food the Asian foods were the best!

We also visited the other resort which was a huge waste of time and money, Yes it is more grand but the visit was a huge letdown. The rangers were rude unhelpful – led us up the path and then told everyone to be quiet and if you are not quiet then you will be asked to leave, we had 2 small kids and this is an impossible task! We went up and down within 10 mins! I would say don’t bother going costs 65 R per adult plus 10 R per child and 260 R for the Taxi rides there and back! The pool is not as nice and only one slide! I also think the staff are much friendly at Tanjung
Kids club is excellent well run, clean, staff are really helpful friendly and caring
Pools and slides are a HUGE highlight to this resort along with the staff they are excellent
The SPA is also amazing worth a massgae after a long flight
Overall excellent resort – the room location would be the only thing that wasn’t 100% perfect but I would recommend this place to anyone

Room Tip: If you don't want to see the waterslides make sure you don't get room 212 :)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank agent99oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013 via mobile

There's not much to add to all the reviews here, all correct, apart from there is NO adult pool. Everyone that is getting stress about kids in the big pool to the right of the bridge is wrong.
I asked two pool attendants if kids were allowed in there (before I took mine in) and they both said yes, just with an adult, not on their own. There are also no signs saying 'adults only', so before you all get off on your high horses, you are WRONG. (Having said that, it does have less kids in it if you're looking for a quiet swim).
Toilets for restaurants in KK that are shared toilets are very poor standard, we went to Gusto's Food and Wine and the wife had to pee in a hole in the Chinese restaurant next door. If you don't like that sort of thing, be wary.
The hotel charges a mandatory 30 ringit fee for a taxi to KK or the waterfront, which is a con, as the drivers only charge 20 or 25. Still, they know we'll all pay it which is how the get away with it. Just a bit cheeky that's all.
Hotel good, water slides great, food and drinks at hotel quite pricey.
Alan!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

From the moment we arrived we knew we had stumbled upon a gem.

We landed into Kota Kinabalu at 1030am and caught a taxi to the hotel, only about 45MR. We were checked in quickly and given our room straight away. Our room was set up as per our request with a King plus a fold out bed. This bed is large enough for two small children if needed. The concierge attendant explained everything about the room including connecting to the free WIFI

Later that afternoon I took my shy 4yr old son down to the Kids Club. The staff were so welcoming. They allowed him to just explore until he was comfortable with security photos being taken of both of us. The staff (especially Diana) really understand that it can take some kids a bit to warm up to their surroundings and parents are able to sit at tables and chairs around the room to watch over while using the free WIFI. The Kids Club has organised activities every hour and my son really enjoyed participating in the craft activities at 10am and 4pm daily.

We just loved spending the bulk of our days by the pool. The plash zone is great fun including the water balloon flights. The water slides are great and designed to cater for all ages from toddlers to adults without the fear of the kids ending up underwater.

The breakfast buffet is one of the best we have eaten at, my only complaint was no pork bacon. However i really loved the home-made yoghurt and freshly made vege juice each morning. e learnt to sit closer to the outdoor kids activity zone so that we could keep an eye on our son while we leisurely finished breakfast.

In the early evening I went and participated in the complimentary yoga or mat pilates. Thank you Ching. It made up for the fact that there weren't any cheap day spas nearby. I felt so relaxed I didn't need the massage.

In the evenings we tried the in-house Italian restaurant "Peppino", which served delicious pasta and pizza, and the buffet - I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh seafood being cooked in front of you.

We also ventured into town a couple of nights for dinner and a bit of shopping. Whilst it was cheaper to eat in town by the time you paid the taxi fare it worked out the same as dining in-house. Unfortunately the Beach Front Cafe (a short walk from the hotel) was closed for renovation during our stay.

We didn't take part in a lot of sight seeing though we did visit the Rasa Ria Hotel and the Orang-outang Rehabilitation Sanctuary. Much easy then going into the forest. We took our bathers and enjoyed the pool and ate lunch while waiting for the return bus.

Our final impression of the hotel on checkout was of the fantastic service this hotel offers. We had a very early departure and were given a breakfast box to take. It is these small details that turn a good hotel into an excellent hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Toddlers-on-Tour-Au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We as a family stayed here for 8 days in January 2013. We booked one room so we could check in early as we landed from Perth at 6:30 am. we found this to be a good decision as with the hot weather we were able to drop our things and head to the pool for a relaxing swim before breakfast.
The resort is a very peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of town. Service from everywhere around the resort was exceptional and could not fault anything.
As a family we used the gym daily which was very adequate and with the sauna and steam room it topped it off nicely.
Rooms are big and spacious and we had a lovely view with the sunset bar in the distance and from the balcony can easily witness the sun going down. We requested a sea view room in the Tanjung wing (room 240 and 241 connecting) and must say we were very pleased. If we had a room overlooking the water playground we would have asked to move as not so much to see. Overall this area was perfect for us.
KK I itself is a small version of KL. We found shopping to be not much different in price from home and found to only purchase one T Shirt.
Eating around the resort was great and we enjoyed Cocoa Joes and the international buffet one evening. Breakfast had a page variety of all foods and big enough to satisfy the fussiest eater.
Overal we were very satisfied with this resort and saw their sister resort briefly when visiting the Orangutang's. The Rasa Ria is approx 40 mins away from the Tanjung Aru and feels very isolated when you are out there. The resort I must say looks beautiful and if you plan to just stay out there would suit your needs but for us we prefer to have the quick option of getting into town to try the various eating options and shopping.
Thanks for our lovely time at the Tanjung Aru and would recommend the stay here to everyone.

Room Tip: Stay away from the water play area. Tanjung wing close to everything. Room 240 and any room on thi...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PKR068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

This was the ultimate place for my 2 and 1 year old to have some fun after we lugged them across the world. The views from the hotel are perfect over the South China Sea, allowing for a sense of calm when walking around outside. The hotel is modern and had free wi-fi, which is perfect when trying to keep up with work when so far away.

The kids club is great for the younger set, with a separate area for very young kids. It is right next to the pool area, so you can go here and let the kids run before the pools and water park area get going in the morning (usually around 9:30).

The pool area is the main attraction if you are here with your kids. The main pool is rather large and there is a bridge over the pool area that effectively is a divider between the deeper section and the shallow kids area. There is also a very shall kids plunge pool that is very good for the younger kids. However, the main attraction is the water park inside the pool area. There is an area that has a small slide (our 1 year old loved the slide) and sprayers, a splash zone, water balloon play area and three main waterslides. Your kids will not get bored being out in the pool area, though they may tired you out playing.

The rooms are modern and nice, though be aware that you will want to get something on the larger side if you try and accommodate more than one small kid in the room. If you have the club level then I would recommend eating breakfast up here as it is calmer and the food tended to be better here. Also, be aware that if you want to use the club level for dinner that it turns to adult only after 6:30 in the evening. If you have younger kids, then you will need to tweak the evening activities so you can get your food without being rushed and still have time for evening use of the pool area.

Also, if you do elect to use the main dining area for breakfast, you will want to get there around 8 or so in the morning since it starts to get very crowded and hectic as it gets closer to 9. Also be aware that it can be very difficult to get a seat by the pool that has an umbrella since many people are claiming these by 7:30-8 in the morning, so if you want a shaded seat get to the pool very early and then go eat and lets the kids loose in the kids club.

Room Tip: I would recommend a room in the Kinabalu wing for those wanting some quiet. While it is not directl...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuwait
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

It was the ideal resort for a family stay.
The sea views and clear sky are so beautiful and peaceful.
The resort pool is ideal for both parents and children, especially the water slides the whole family had a blast riding in them ((:
I loved the daily aqua class it was fun doing such activity while the kids are swimming safely.
The kids club is full of activities for the children while we enjoy the great service of the spa.
The Breakfast buffet was great full of variety and with great service tending even to our special request.
It was a real joyful and peaceful stay that we did not even leave the hotel for the whole stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MoMy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed at Tanjung Aru in Dec 2011, we had such a good time, without a second thought, we booked again for Dec 2012. It's a nice short flight from Hong Kong, and just 10 minutes by car from the airport to the hotel once you arrive. Hotel had someone picked us up, we were 7 (4 adults and 3 children) two nice vans were waiting for us. Within 10-15 minutes we arrived with a fabulous warm welcome at the entrance of the hotel. It felt so good to be back !

Then we were brought straight to the Club Kinabalu Lounge to check in. Johnny was there to greet us, and such a warm "welcome back !" from him and the rest of the staff.

We arrived at noon, and we were given our TWO rooms already. All requests I asked for were accommodated. Early Check in, and connecting rooms. We booked two club kinabalu seaview rooms.

We arrived to our rooms, all ready and set. Nice seaview. Kids went straight to the water park and beach to play.

Throughout our stay, staff were superb in service and attitude. Never can do too much for you. As long as you ask, your wish is granted.

The lounge now improved in their arrangement, 4:30-6:30pm, the buffet/drinks session is set for families. By 6:30-830pm, adults only, so if you want quiet time, you can go in the second session.

Food always changed in the lounge each day, the food quality and variety were very good. I think it's such a good value to book Club rooms to get the meals in the lounge and drinks all day all complimentary.

The staff in the lounge are always giving us top service. After a day of hot sun and beach and swimming, we enjoyed the privileges of the lounge everyday. So full each afternoon, and then off to eat dinner at 8:pm each night ! Diet plans are in order the moment we got home !

We did the North Borneo Train this time with the kids. The trip was so unique and special. Glad we did it. Truly not a visit to KK if you didn't do this. The food was surprisingly good on the train,
If you book it with Victoria, the travel agent on the hotel property, they will include transfers to and from the hotel to the train station. Otherwise, you have to arrange your own taxi.

We also booked a private luxury yacht through Seaquest, this was the highlight of our trip. Snorkleling, swimming off the back of the yacht, the stunningly beautiful luxurious yacht was so amazing. Expensive, but we are so glad we did it. We will definitely do it again next time.

We got late check out for ONE room on Dec 31 as our flight was at 7 pm. The hotel had a nice van to take us back to the hotel.

We did massages in the Chi Spa, I must say this was disappointing compared to last year. The service and therapists prior my arrival (questions answering) and during the treatment.... lacking attentive service and sort of "lazy" in attitude. Not worth the money this time.

BEST thing about the hotel is that kids eat free in the buffet when one adult pays, one kid eats free. This saves a lot and it's great for families. The Cafe Tatu did get a little TOO busy on Dec 29-30.... we stayed in the lounge instead. We did eat at Peppinos'.... amazing food. Much better than last year. Coco Joe's - still same problem... food takes WAY too long to arrive on the table. at least waited for 30-45 minutes for the soup to arrive, and the pizza is cold and the steak was overcooked.

A few names to mention that made our stay this time more special- Zarina (you are the best!) so nice to see you again. Johnny, thank you for taking care of us in the lounge.
And Elaine of sales department, thank you for all your time and taking care of us before and during our stay.


We will definitely be back again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katetam
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
#2 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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