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Reviewed January 27, 2013

My family stayed her for 2 weeks over Xmas and had a really fantastic time. We stayed in a suite with adjoining twin room in the new wing. I don't normally write travel reviews but this time we thought it important to recognise the resort for our wonderful holiday experience.

The resort is great having a big kids club with a daily schedule of interesting activities and lovely ladies caring for the children. My kids loved Cool Zone and still ask to go there now we are back in KL?!

The selection of restaurants and food was of a very high standard similar to our experience at their Rasa Ria resort. Breakfast was wonderful with an enormous selection of food depending if you wanted western or asian food and lots of variety for all cultures. It even had a little kids buffet at their height so they could get their own food which my kids enjoyed. Every morning at breakfast there was a very entertaining and friendly "character" to greet the kids and adults so it was lovely to get people in a happy mood from the get go. We tried the Italian restaurant and the buffet restaurant for Xmas eve (which we thoroughly enjoyed as they had the traditional fare for Xmas) and we ate by the pool most days which had a good range of salads, pastas, pizzas etc. My only regret was we missed out on trying the seafood platter that was available down by the beach so next time! It looked impressive.

The gym was great with lots of machines and never very busy even over this holiday period. Pool and slides were a big highlight as was the ice cream parlour by the pool! We didn't use the water balloon fight activity but seemed a lot of fun. The beach though not what I'd like to swim in was relatively clear but it was kept quite clean as much as possible given the amount of floating debris that washes to the coastline. The staff kept cleaning and it was alway clean and full of interesting shells for my kids to pick. I was surprised how many good shells did wash up. So my kids had fun playing by the beach every day and having the pool as an alternative.

However it's the quality of the staff that is really to be recognised. We were always greeted with a smile and there was nothing they would not go out of their way to help with. In particular because we stayed over Xmas with our 4 kids we had brought Xmas presents for everyone and had the gifts placed around a pot plant we had in our suite. I explained to my kids this was a "Sabah" Xmas tree with the intention of buying a little tree in town. Surprisingly we didn't find a small tree during our shopping trips downtown so eventually the kids got used to it. Out of the blue we received a call from housekeeping to ask if we we're in to receive delivery of a Xmas tree. We were a bit surprised and asked if every suite was receiving one due to Xmas etc. However we were told only our suite was receiving a tree as our regular housekeepers had noticed the sad gifts around the pot plant and as we were there for such a long time they had asked their manager if it would be possible to arrange a Xmas tree for our room. I was so completely amazed, overwhelmed and impressed with their initiative, kindness and thoughtfulness in thinking of this for my children who were so, so happy to see a lovely big tree with lights glittering and their gifts placed where they should be. So a big, big thank you to Rukinah, Rozainah, Francis, Roger, Frankie, Ahmad, Gabriel and the housekeeping team (I told you I'd write about you!) for showing such beautiful Xmas spirit and true Sabah hospitality and kindness to our family by this very special gesture and for the wonderful job maintaining our rooms. We were totally blown away by this and it really was the icing on the cake for our holiday so I really do hope that management take notice and recognise and reward such fantastic staff as they really are the faces and hearts of your resort and brand.

So as you can see we had an excellent time at the resort. Sure there's always some maintenance opportunities at Malaysian resorts eg. the astro turf by the slides were getting worn or I did find a screw loose on the baby slide wall from constant wear but as soon as I informed the staff they were on it immediately. Even when a waiter accidentally pulled the tea bag onto my hand that was rather hot, it was not from bad attitude or neglect and purely an accident. So well done to the management team for building such a great team of staff.

The other highlight of our trip was the island visits which thankfully Trip Advisor reports had helped with! We arranged the boat trips via concierge (rather than the tour desk as it was pricier) and as we had our own snorkelling gear only paid for the ride over to islands and return. We visited Sapi and Manukan the first time both different. Hard to believe such islands with beautiful crystal clear water and lots of sealife could exist just 10-15 min from the mainland. Just wish people would not throw their rubbish into the water and desecrate this beautiful place - even spotted a nappy stuck in the coral reef! Sapi has 2 beaches divided by the jetty and lovely clear water beaches and decent snorkelling even my 7 yr old was able to go out as was not rough nor too deep. Manukan has one very long beach so more open and has a resort on it so quite busy. The islands get busy with lots of visitors local and tourists so take your pictures as soon as you arrive before the hordes get there, mind you it's busy and it makes for a bit of atmosphere too. We tried the BBQ lunch organised by the boat operators and were pleasant surprised by the quality, quantity and variety of food provided. Lots of vegetables, fried fish, satays, prawns, chicken, sausages, rice, noodles, fruit and cake along with pepsi and water for RM45 per adult. You didn't leave hungry and it was lovely to have our own table reserved with linen too! Definitely worth doing the day trip to the islands and lunch and just chilling out. Our boats went from the Sutera Harbour jetty and the operators are down there if people want to go directly rather than through the hotels.

We did go to the local zoo but unfortunately not a lot to see except the Proboscis monkeys but they had a very entertaining animal show with birds and snakes which made up for the lack of animals to see. We couldn't stop laughing throughout the show. The only downside was that the ticketing and prices depended on which country you were from so even though we reside in KL and have i-cards we were still charged for coming from Australia.

Lastly when we didn't eat at the resort we took a taxi ride (all at RM30) to KK for dinner and had some great seafood dinners down there. The locals can give you tips on which are most popular and cost effective. We stumbled on one place by chance after reading Trip Advisor and came across a big under cover restaurant area with restaurants all selling lots of varieties of seafood etc. Was hard to choose but so interesting to see and try out.

So definitely recommend the resort, the boat trips to the islands and trying the local seafood restaurants. We had a fab time and would love to go back, in fact we even had thoughts of retiring here!!!

Room Tip: We were in the renovated wing of the resort. Would have been great to get the suites on ground floor facing the pool/slides or the bigger ones at the ends with nice balconies as close to pool, kids club and breakfast restaurant.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Jason747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We were a bit wary of booking this hotel due to numerous reviews about it being busy and full of families, however, we had a lovely relaxing stay. Yes there were a lot of people there but it is a huge hotel so we had no issues and were pleased we took the chance to stay there.

Originally we booked a Kinabalu seaview room but on check-in we were upgraded to the Tanjung wing seaview room - which was a ground floor room which we loved as we could just walk out onto the lawn and had the most amazing view from our own patio to watch the incredible sunsets each night.

Huge room with very comfortable bed, beautiful bathroom. We had no issues with the free wifi connection. Breakfast each morning was a huge choice buffet style, this could be busy but if seated outside (smoking area) this was not an issue. Food was very good.

We ate at Coco Joes for 2 nights (out of the 7 we were there) and the food was good - think Australian prices for food.

Pool and grounds are beautifully kept and very attentive service from all staff.

We chose this hotel so we could be close to KK city yet still get away from the hustle and bustle to relax in a peaceful environment and this is what we got. We would recommend and go back one day. If it was good enough for William and Kate (who we missed by a few hours) then it is good enough for us.

To stock up with drinks and snacks for the room go to City Grocer in Suria Sabah Mall - while you are there also check out the view from the food court.

T

Room Tip: We liked the ground floor room in the Tanjung wing - this wing is closer to restaurants, shops and pool.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank szjam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Spent 5 nights at this lovely resort staying in the Club Room. Definitely get spoilt with lovely cooked breakfasts and evening drinks with buffet style finger food. They couldn't do enough for you. You could also eat breakfast in the buffet restaurant - but it was always so packed - you had to wait or they sometimes used another restaurant as the overflow and sent couples there but it didn't have the same range of food available. It didn't matter what time you went to breakfast it was always full. The infinity pool was lovely- they had lifeguards -and had a section of the pool adults only. The sunset bar is the place to go after a day around the pool to catch a glimple of the sunset. There are plenty of beach chairs & umbrellas in various locations which is a bonus. It definitely is a place to go to relax and have a great time. Would definitely go back. Also must go and see the Orangutans at the Rasa Ria resort.

Room Tip: Club rooms well worth the money.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ros039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Go to Sabah back and forth many times since i was a child, this resort is i most visited in KK. I love the chinese restaurant inside, but some facilities are too old... not even say that almost triple the price than 10 years ago. Resort is the best one in KK city, but not worth the whole place. You can save the money to go some kinds of paradise island.
從小時候家庭旅行到現在去了很多次,但價格越來越貴,設施依然老舊。在KK城市裡可以選擇交通便利或者較為有趣的實惠住宿,便於在節省多一點錢去住離島、潛水、還有在雨林和山谷裡探險。

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kriisliao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I stayed her with my husband on our honeymoon in september 2012. The hotel itself is lovely well kept very clean and staff are very friendly.

Fruit drink on arrival was a lovely touch. We were told that £100 would be charged to our account in case we have any payments added to our room. We did not have any payments on our room as we had loads of cash. we were told this amount would be refunded back to our account however this took four months!!! i had to email twice to get them to process it so be warned!

Otherwise couldnt fault it. Breakfast was fab, so much choice, had every kind of food you can imagine. Lots of restuarants within the gorunds which are all really good. Esp the italian!

Pools were clean and grounds were so well maintained. We loved the volleyball activities which was so much fun.

We also took the bus to the rasa ria is a must. the highlight of my holiday seeing the orangutans!

Overall a great holiday!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank imo1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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