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“tropical paradise with access to local people and culture” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
101 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“tropical paradise with access to local people and culture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

it is a beautiful place with several pools. While the hotel is quite secluded, we can drive out to the city and experience local food, and yes, the heat while you are eating. this is the second time we came to Kota Kinabula and we picked the same hotel to stay at.

the hotel is quite close to the airport and the city. even if you don't get a car, everything is very accessible.

we upgraded our room to the club level, and have breakfast and evening drinks covered. The hotel also has a Shang Palace, but the Chinese food is only so so. the staff at the club room, restaurant, the gym, and pool areas are very helpful and attentive. the gym is very big and well-equipped. it even has the TRX equipment. the air conditioning can be stronger though. the staff at the gym are personal trainers and they are very knowledgeable.

I got food poisoning on the way to Kota Kinabula, so I can attest to the fact that the bed is very comfortable.

Room Tip: a few years ago we stayed at the ground floor executive suite and we thoroughly enjoyed it. it is co...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chicbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,544 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (764)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru for 2 weeks, including a week over the Easter holiday period. What a fantastic experience! The children thoroughly utilised the pool and slides and even visited the professionally-run and friendly kids club - a first for my children. We enjoyed the activities on offer for adults. The yoga, pilates and aqua aerobics were brilliant classes, run by experts who easily rival my instructors here in London. The gym was well kitted out and clean. I loved the cooking demos. There is so much to do in the resort you could easily not leave.

We visited Mari-Mari cultural village, a great insight into the cultural heritage of Borneo, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and Klias River. All great experiences enjoyed by the whole family. The Rasa Ria experience was good, but over-priced for what it was. We also hired a car and really enjoyed driving around and into KK.

The vast and varied breakfasts were enjoyed by all. We were there at peak time and I can honestly say it wasn't half as busy as I expected it to be given the comments on here. Perhaps it was the fact we came down quite late (around 9am) and sat outside. My children looked forward to seeing the lovely Rohan at breakfast who always dressed up as an insane cartoon character and made them giggle.

We stayed in the Kinabalu wing which was lovely and quiet, being a few minutes walk from the pool and restaurants. The room was fine; clean and functional.

The hotel conveniently has a marina, allowing you to travel by speedboat to one of the gorgeous islands for snorkelling trips. A great and convenient service - we did hire a faulty piece of equipment but that was refunded back to us without question.

We ate out in the evenings - the hawker stalls at First Beach down the road are pretty good, the restaurants in Perdana Park (15/20 mins walk) especially Marisa Grilled Chicken were really nice, especially against the backdrop of the gorgeous musical fountains. Restaurants in town were plentiful too.

Tips - take light raincoats for the sudden showers, mosquito repellent for evenings and excursions, visit Sunny supermarket or the supermarket in the basement of Centrepoint shopping centre for cheap drinks and snacks to fill up your fridge and visit the Gaya St Sunday Market for souvenirs and a colourful experience.

I can't finish his review without mentioning the staff at this resort. They were all friendly, courteous, helpful and just so so nice. Special thanks to James (concierge), Rohan, Avila and kids club staff, and the chefs at breakfast who made my husband his special noodles every morning!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hadenoughoftherain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paphos, Cyprus
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2013

We spent three days here as part of a package and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having originally been booked into the Ria Rasa but given the option to move because of ongoing building works, we believe we made the right decision for us in that it is much nearer the town of Kota Kinabalu thus making meals away from the hotel a mucher easier proposition - a short taxi ride for MYR30 to a restaurant of your choice. Accommodated in the Kinabalu wing rather than the Tanjung wing meant a fair walk to our room from the central facilities, but this was the only real drawback. The room itself was spacious and comfortable with a good bathroom with all the usual amenities. An attractive balcony to our ground floor room gave a pleasant view over the gardens. The welcome and indeed the whole attitude of the staff could not be faulted and they could not do enough to help you. The extent and choice of the breakfast buffet was astounding and enabled you to have a large, but healthy, breakfast and thus keep you going until dinner time! We eat a couple of times in the evening at the Cafe Tatu and enjoyed the Borneo Rice Tafel on both occasions. Our other evening meal was taken at the Portview seafood restaurant on the coast road in town and, again, was thoroughly enjoyable.
The adult pool area at the hotel is great although to get the best sunloungers with adequate shade was a race first thing in the morning. However, once settled, the swimming and waiter service coupled with the beautiful infinity pool allowed one to totally chill out. Lunch time drinks at Coco Joe's bar gave one views of most of the outside public areas and the small beach, while in the evening and, particularly for the spectacular sunsets, most people gravitated to the Sunset Bar for happy hour drinks before and after the sunset itself. The number of lifeguards on duty at each location, including the beach,was noticeable and reassuring and the beach was kept spotlessly clean.
All-in-all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and most relaxing stay and we would happily have stayed for longer. I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel, particularly for those with children for whom the facilities are excellent.

Room Tip: If you have walking difficulties, avoid the Kinabalu wing because of the fairly long walk to the cen...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank timcyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

Came back from a holiday at Tanjung Aru Resort & spa after spending 4 days at the resort. It is amazing how well maintained the resort is and the facilities are superb. The staffs are so friendly and one of the manager that we met even offer to take us for a tour of the hotel and show us all the facilities available. The room maintaneace is fast and efficient. We love the sea front and the pool is lovely. If you bring your family with kids and we are sure the kids will love it.

Though expensive but your money is well spent.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wywy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2013

Wrestled with choice of Rasa Ria or Tanjung Aru and definitely made right choice. Could not fault our time there. We were encouraged by reading TA reviews to upgrade to club room, which was a great decision. We were booked into mountain view but were advised to request room 9626, on club floor at end of corridor which actually gives sea and mountain view, and it was fabulous. Club facilities are fantastic. However, although the breakfast in club lounge is more relaxed, cool and quiet, the choice in the main restaurant for breakfast is huge and with the choice of either, you can pick and choose either on a daily basis.

Also with the club lounge, you are able to use shower facilities, with drinks and snacks prior to check out after vacating you room if you have a late pickup.

The pool is fab, if I had children with me, I would find the facilities for them excellent. The adult only area is really lovely. The beach although small and the water a little milky, was not dirty or contaminated as some have reported. I saw not one piece of rubbish at all, I do not understand the bad reviews of this.

We did not use the hotel restaurants in the evening as we prefer to sample the club lounge snacks and drinks early eve then head out for a bit of local colour.

Trip to Rasa Ria to see Orangs was hugely disappointing. We took advice not to go to Sepilok as it requires flights and a whole day out of a short week, and is very crowded. So RR sounded great, however it is quite a long way, which incidentally made the RR hotel option seem very isolated from anything or anywhere. Prior to seeing the Orangs, you are forced to endure the most banal, self promoting video, which we felt demeaning, as it did not educate about how and why these creatures have become orphaned, ie: wilful removal of their habitat and killing of their parents for money. You are then taken to a platform to await their appearance which was almost an hour until they are offered food to encourage them, after which you are quickly escorted back to hotel, where you have to wait 2 hours for your earliest return shuttle. This of course is to encourage spending at the hotel on food and drink at extortionate price. All in all this was the only thing we felt cheated about. Being so remotely placed, I would not have liked to have stayed here as it would have felt restricted to walking out anywhere else in the evenings.

Trip to Klias river to see Proboscis monkeys and fireflies very good booked with Dive Down Below.

Trip to National Park, which included Hot Springs, Canopy Walk, lunch and Park, booked through hotel tour shop, was very good and informative. (Also lucky enough to have seen the rare rafflesia flower).

Overall, the service, the staff, the room facilities and maid service could not have been better, can only imagine those who review poorly, in some way must have deserved it by their own behaviour.

Any questions happily answered.

Room Tip: higher floors have better views because of vegetation, if kinabalu mountain view ask for end of corr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Snorkellbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

The water slides and water balloon game made the stay for our kids. We enjoyed the buffet breakfasts and dinners at Cafe Tatu - good range for adults and kids, and all very fresh. The interconnecting rooms in the Kinabalu Wing were not huge, but worked well for us, with pleasant balconies overlooking the sea. The accommodation was a splurge for us, and extras were similarly expensive - not outrageous, but one has to keep an eye on the bill.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mcfoleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stopped here for 12 nights in April and have nothing but praise for the hotel which is made even better by the attentive smiling staff. The drinks are expensive but it is 5* and you would pay as much in Europe if not more. If you use the happy hours/2 for 1 drinks it works out quite more economical.Also try and upgrade to the mountain club as the cost is offset by the free food and drinks as well as the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ChrisLeicester
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 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business 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 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

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