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“Very Good - But.........”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
218 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Very Good - But.........”
Reviewed June 1, 2008

We stayed at this hotel for 8 nights from May 13th 2008 in the upgraded section called the Kinabalu Wing in a sea view room.

I would like to say first of all this is not a true 5* hotel, but, I'm not saying its bad in anyway but its just lacking that something special. For example we also stayed at the Mandarin Oriental in KL during the same trip which is a true class act.

Right, I would strongly advise upgrading to the Kinabalu wing as its obviously newer than the rest of the hotel and thus in better condition. We walked round the corridors of the standard wing and they resemble a concrete car park...... Second reason is for the breakfast which is fantastic...... Thirdly is for the use of the Kinabalu lounge, i have put this last for a reason. Yes Bryan and his team provide a very good service with nice touches like remembering your name etc and the idea of free evening drinks is appealing but the complimentary beverage time is from 5 till 7 which can mess up your day a little as you gotta get back to the room and change earlier than you normally would to get there in time, also the dress code is rather strange! Jeans and a T shirt are acceptable but tailored shorts arn't? But, this is a very sociable lounge and we met some very nice people and got merry together every night :-)

The hotel in general is very pleasant with the grounds kept in very good order. The restaurants are very good too, Our favourite was Shang Palace and Cafe Tatu where it holds a seafood night every weekend which is very tasty. The beach is kept very clean so is the pool area and staff are extremely helpful. The sea is lovely and warm and we would advise doing the island trip from the jetti at the hotel - Here you will find the crystal clear water and powder sand.

The room was well kept and clean, we were expecting a sea view from the bath but its actually a window into the room so you can look out of the balcony but still a nice touch.

One tip we would give is when your ready for some lunch wander down the foodcourts just outside of the hotel where you can eat authentic Malay food which is very good at a fraction of the hotel prices - For example, in the hotel you will pay 39 MR for 12 Satays which are ok - Down the foodcourt we had (ready for this) Chilli Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken, 12 Satays, rice and chicken noodles washed down with the best fruit smoothies around for 26 MR and its excellent.

There are also some restaurants and bars on the beach where we had some drinks which are also very good.

The town is pretty well developed and cheap - I would recommend trying the Koh I Nor on the seafront also the fish restaurant where they serve the best king lobsters.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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9 Thank Dame2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Birmingham, UK.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2008

The moment we stepped off the bus from the airport we felt like we were in paradise. We were welcomed by a "Borneo bong" and the sound of the traditional Malaysian beats.

We were told the Tanjung Aru had been recently renovated, and this was clear. Our room at the Tanjung Wing (ground floor garden view) was absolutely superb! Gorgeous furniture, amazing bathroom with big separate shower, and a huge comfy double bed.

The staff were very friendly, would always says hello even when just passing in the corridor. They were very organised and even knew of the 3 trips we had booked with different companies.

There were a variety of restaurants, reasonably priced (although much cheaper outside of the resort). The room service was excellent we had breakfast brought to our room every day to eat on the balcony. We are glad we did room only because we could eat and drink what we wanted when we wanted.

The pool was very large. We went parasailing which was great fun and a good way to see the whole resort. The beach is small but never busy, and very clean with lots of sun beds available around the resort (towels available free of charge).

We also found the Blue Note night club on the last night (walked passed it somehow every evening!!). On our first evening we went to the bar on the bay where there was cultural entertainment which we loved and set our holiday off to an amazing start.

As a guide we spent approx £50 per day for all our food and drinks for the 2 of us, this was all at the resort.

The town is 15 minutes on the shuttle bus which runs frequently throughout the day. If you are big alcohol fans we would advise doing this at the beginning of your holiday for some very cheap booze!

Overall we absolutely love the Tanjung, and would definitely go back again it was very relaxing. If we had to complain about anything it would be the expensive drinks and noisy children but neither ruined our time at the Tanjung Aru.

After staying here we went to the Rasa Ria for 6 nights, if we were to compare like to like (Garden rooms) we would definitely go back to the Tanjung as the Rasa Ria is in a desperate need of a face lift! (Ocean Wing is a amazing 6 star different story....)

  • Liked — The ambiance around the entire resort at night, the room, the staff.
  • Disliked — Screaming kids in the day by the pool, expensive alcohol.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank specipeeps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2008

Stayed 4 nights here had a great time its what you would expect from a shangrila hotel as is the bill when you check out ouch!

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank redchad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2008

I've not said in a resort like this for years and year, in fact since I was about 13!

Some people love the fill on resort thing - family by the pool, eating in the hotel's restaurants, getting involved with the activities - but this was not for me.

Luckily, the hotel has its own jetty with hourly speed boat services out to 5 islands in the neighbouring national park. If I'd not been able to easily escape this hotel it wouldn't have been much fun.

That being said, the rooms were fantastic and very comfortable. Each has its own balcony with views either out to see or across to Mt. Kinabalu.

I wouldn't come back here, I'd much rather stay next time in a more independent eco-lodge somewhere more remote, but this hotel is very convenient. An excellent place if you want no hassles, but not somewhere to go if you value space, tranquillity and an authentic experience.

  • Liked — Great rooms
  • Disliked — Too many screaming kids
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank EmmaHongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Shangri-la for 9 nights at the beginning of May and through our travel agent had an upgrade to a seaview Kinabalu Wing room which was just perfect. The hotel is very comfortable, the rooms are spacious, there are excellent sporting amenities, two lovely pools and beautiful grounds with plenty of shade. Children are well catered for but their presence was not intrusive. All the staff are very friendly and helpful and the service is excellent.

Eating in the hotel is far too expensive and even adding breakfast to a room only booking is a ridiculous price. Eating around the pool is just bearable on the pocket but if you are willing to put up with cost, the choice of restaurants is very good and the evening buffet at Cafe Tatu extensive but in relation to 'in town' prices it is not even reasonable, especially for alcohol and soft drinks. There are two restaurants withing 10-15 minutes walking distance of the hotel that are far more reasonable and for the cost of a taxi at 15 ringgits each way into Kota Kinabalu there are plenty restaurants to choose from at the harbour front area or elsewhere. We found one unbelievable value one from an advert in the Sabah Magazine - Ang's Hotel Restaurant (Fatt Kee Coffee Shop) at 28 Jalan Pantai, opposite Wisma Merdeka Shopping Mall. Don't be put off by the appearance of the restaurant as the food is freshly cooked to order by three chefs slaving over very large hot woks and the feisty lady who takes the orders will explain the menu or adapt dishes to your taste. No alcohol is served (the mug of chinese tea is very good) but the food is delicious and the cost unbelievably cheap (3 dishes, rice and tea between 2 persons = 24 ringgits!!).

Trips organised by the hotel are also pricey but fortunately we took the advice of another couple, given on this website, to contact an independent trip organiser and we found him to be charming, knowledgeable and much cheaper than the usual operators. Anyone who might be interested can contact me for further details as we would highly recommend him.

  • Liked — The seaviews, sea breezes, extensive gardens and the sunsets.
  • Disliked — The cost of food and drink
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Linda_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2008

We stayed at the STAR for 4 nights in May 2008. The hotel is just 10 minutes from the airport and from Kota Kinabalu in taxi, with the First Beach complex about 10 minutes walk away.

The hotel is stunning - a huge and very impressive reception, a koi garden between the room wings and very well kept grounds. We opted for a Tanjung Seaview room. The room was very contemporary with a very comfortable bed and everything you could need and expect of a hotel of this standard.

The hotel facilities were excellent with several bars and restaurants to choose from. The quality of the food was fantastic, particularly at Peppinos. There was everything you could possibly want at breakfast. Prices were similar to the UK, but this probably seems expensive compared to what you pay outside the resort.

The one thing that does let this hotel down is the service at reception. We arrived at about 3.30 to find that 2 of the 3 rooms we had booked were not ready, and we did not even get an apology for this - we were just told we had to wait. We had also prebooked a visit to the Orang Utan sanctuary at the Rasa Ria, but were not provided with any information when we went to confirm that it had been booked. For example, were were just told to get on the bus outside at 10.30 but were not told that we needed to purchase tickets at reception. We also asked if everything bought at the Rasa Ria could be put onto our room bill and were told yes, but they did not tell us that this did not include the sanctuary which needed to be paid for in cash. Luckily these minor points did not affect our stay significantly but for others they could ruin a wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tonks28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2008

Having spent a couple of days in Sabbah on a Kinabatang river/jungle 'trek', our party of 6 were ready for some luxury! The Tanjung Aru sure stepped up to the plate and on arrival, the hotel is stunning.

We did have a some initial disappointment as one of the rooms we had booked, bizarrely, was a "twin", though the rooms themselves (garden view upgrade option), were ultra modern and very comfortable (the King size beds were heavenly). The bathrooms likewise were excellent.

The pool was especially welcoming (after an energy sapping trek from Sabba) and once we had a pitcher of cold beer delivered from Coco Joes, all was well with the world again.

It is easy to recall the negatives when reviewing a hotel stay, though for me, the price of the hotel drinks were my main issue with the place. Getting on for £4 for a small beer is just too expensive, considering you can take a wander down to the vibrant ocean front and get x2 large 'Tigers' (served in ice buckets) for less.

Drink prices besides, the hotel is really very, very good.

The breakfast was excellent & plentiful - and having read previous posts, I have to disagree that finding a table was not a problem (not sure of occupancy levels though).

There were plenty of sunbeds at all times, the pitch and putt was excellent fun (though be wary of playing in the sun as it did bite us!), other facilities were also of a good standard and always available.

Food at Coco Joes was great & we had one meal at the signature Italian restaurant which was well worth the additional cost (the mushroom cappacino has to be tasted to be believed!).

We also took the opportunity to visit the sister hotel (Rasa Ria) and wonder at the orangutans in the sanctuary and based purely on the few hours that we were there, the Tanjung Aru would have been our preferred choice.

Like another previous poster, our key card failed every day and this was extremely annoying, though we were not a long walk from reception to remedy the problem.

Overall, you would not be disappointed with a stay here!

  • Liked — Room comforts
  • Disliked — Expensive drinks
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jonthebasket
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 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury 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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