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“Overrated hotel, 5 stars facilities but not services”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Overrated hotel, 5 stars facilities but not services”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I think this hotel is over-rated in tripadvisor.

Facilities- 5 stars facilitites, restaurants are ok but delivery of food was slow. Can access the outlying islands quickly by boat transfer at the pier of the hotel (at 65 RM for return). Lots of facilities for kids, including water park, shallow pool, and playroom, so good for families with young kids. Sunset is very nice but the pier was packed with lots and lots of noisy hotel residents.

Services-inadequately staffed. We arrived at noon and was told that we could only check-in at 2pm. Fine, we waited until 2 pm but it took more than 15 minutes just to get the key card at the reception. On arrival to room, we found that it is located on the ground floor facing the garden. We chose a "seaview room" when we booked the room, this was not what I paid for. I requested for a change to upper floor and was told that I need to wait for ANOTHER HOUR by a junior staff. The manager stepped in and gave us an upper floor room in 15 minutes time. Staff's English level is not proficient enough, which is a bit disppointing for a 5-star hotel. Not much smile from staff. And sometimes we were even black-faced (e.g. when asking the staff to come back an hour after for cleaning our room).

Room cleaning service is not professional enough, refilling some stuffs while leaving others un-refilled.

We asked for late check-out on the last day (extension for an hour from 12:00noon to 1pm) as our flight is evening flight. Staff at the reception said ok. But when we arrived our room, wet after swimming, at 12:05, we found that our key card could not access the room. We had to wrap ourselves in towel and went to the counter to fix it.

The hotel is very packed with lots of tourists, with quite some from package tour from Mainland China. Breakfast time wasn't really relaxing as there were lots of people competing for food.

I won't come back to this hotel again, unless with young children.

Btw, I went to the Island Sapi. It took just 10 minutes jetty from the hotel. However, the beach was packed with tourists, with plastic bottles on the beach and in the water. Some coral reef and fish but not very impressive.

I've been to the Shangri-la Rasa Ria, the experiences there was far better.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean view at the upper floor, the higher, the better.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chungtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Dear chungtravel, thank you for your constructive review. We have taken note of your concern regarding our service standards within the resort and have addressed these shortcomings with our team. Please accept our sincere apologies for the poor Shangri-La experience you received during your stay - we will certainly strive for further improvement! Kindly email me directly at craig.powell@shangri-la.com if you would like to discuss in detail regarding your staying experience. Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to welcome you again.
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (785)
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English first
Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We stayed at Rasa Ria then tranferred here. It was busy and a bit tired. needed a make over. Staff were very nice but not as well staffed as Rasa Ria. Quite a long way from town. Main restaurant shut at short notice for maintanance. Breakfast was a bunfight. Pools were good though and the staff were generally very friendly and extremely helpful, Given a choice stay at Rasa Ria. Its further out but a far nicer location.

Room Tip: Get an ocean facing one the others overlook the car park
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Frankie1693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We stayed at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru from 25/11/3 to 02/12/13. We've had a lovely time. Weather perfect, staff lovely and very helpful and friendly. Very close encounter with an orangutang at Rasa Ria, very lucky. Can definitely recommend this hotel and resort to anyone who wants a lovely holiday in somewhere a bit different.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lorraine2209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2013

We stayed here for 7 days. Not much to do in Kota Kinabalu. The hotel was fantastic. They cater for all ages. The breakfast is the largest, best run buffet we have ever eaten at. They have fantastic service & the kids are a priority. There is a comical staff member who is very entertaining during breakfast time. Children have their own buffet serving area (for them only)
Food throughout the day & night buffet are top standard.
There is a water park / slides in the pool area to keep the kids busy
If you plan on staying in KK this hotel (10 mins drive out of town) won't disappoint

Room Tip: We had a Tanjung executive suite sea view room. It was large, clean & very quiet
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

We choose this resort to celebrate our 1st Wedding Anniversary!!

Our room located at Tanjung Wing which was clean, tidy and attached balcony with sea view. Our bed is huge, comfortable & was decorated beautifully - full of red rose petals and a pair of swan towels. It’s just very lovely and romantic! We are really appreciated the arrangement. TQ.

The staff, the service and the whole resort were just excellent. Beautiful pool and fun water slides you shouldn’t miss it! Go to Sunset Bar for the best spot of sunset view which you would not regret.

We had our breakfast in Café Tatu, food are fine with variety choices.

Overall, this resort is suitable for everyone. We will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
4 Thank MichelleThien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Dear Michelle, thank you for your sharing your feedback and pictures with us. I’m pleased to know that you and your partner liked our special arrangement and enjoyed your stay overall. Thank you again for choosing to celebrate your special day with us and we look forward to your next visit!
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
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Albury
Level Contributor
86 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Enjoyed a 7 night stay with our 2 young boys (7/10 yo), we all loved the resort. We had 2 interconnecting rooms in the Tanjung Seaview wing. The rooms were very large with all modern facilities, beds huge and comfortable. We got a very significant discount for the second room. The seaview rooms both had a lovely view of the magnificent sunsets and the ocean and were very quiet. (Rms 411/412). Free wi/fi throughout the resort and rooms, worked excellently. Staff are fantastic. Our 7 yo left his backpack in the taxi when we arrived, the staff organised a car to take my wife back to the airport to track the driver down. Hotel reception staff met my wife at the terminal, and stayed with her for the next hour while they tracked down the taxi driver. We got the bag pack intact!

We ate at all the restaurants in the resort. Coco Joes was great for the kids, and they happily amended the menu for our fussy 7 yo. The ice cream bar was a huge hit with all ages. Shang's Palace served excellent chinese and asian meals, and was generally a quiet place for the evening. The buffet had nice food but was busy and pretty noisy most nights. Breakfast was great with heaps of choices and many cook to order items. Make sure you get there early as it can get VERY busy, don't get knocked over in the rush when fresh food is brought out!! Peppino's is very elegant and has a dress code. Italian cuisine, very nice, a bit expensive, but great for a night out without the children.

The pools and the beach are the star attractions. There are 3 pools to suit all ages, the water slides are terrific and kept all of us amused for long periods. The water bomb wars are great fun. The private beach is clean and despite some previous posts, I found the water quality not too bad. My kids spent probably 8 hours a day between the two. Happy hour(s) are 2 for one, with a good choice of cocktails and beers. The sunset bar is a must, get there early (before 6pm) to get a good seat for the sunsets, we were lucky and saw 3 very pink ones during our week.

Did the day trip to the Rasa Ria for the nature reserve visit. The Rasa Ria has an excellent beach, we all loved the smooth sand and the waves, but I wouldn't bother with the orangutan tour. It's not worth the money, and after looking at the animals for 10 mins you've seen it all. I felt we got a better view when we have seen these animals in a zoo!

Most rooms don't have DVD player, but you can hire one for 50 RM per day. You are better off buying a cheap one (90 RM) at any of the stores in town at the Central Plaza, and leaving it behind. They work fine on the LCD TV's.

The only minor criticism, is the pool side service. It doesn't really exist. I found it a lot quicker to just go straight to the pool bar and order drinks/food myself rather than wait to get the attention of the waiters.

Overall a great stay for my whole family, with lots to do at the resort, as well as the rest of KK. Resort staff are fantastic, and made us all feel very special. We will definitly be back again soon

Room Tip: The Tanjung Seaview rooms are large and offer excellent sunset views. Look for the 2nd room discount...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlburyAussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shangrila_TAH, General Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Dear AlburyAussie, thank you for sharing your stay experience with us and I am pleased to know that our colleagues managed to assist you in locating your missing backpack. It was a pleasure reading your personal take on our resort and we look forward to welcoming you to our resort again in the near future.
Sincerely,
Craig Powell
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

Soon as we arrived we were greeted with a very friendly smile and welcome at the front entrance

Front desk check in again staff very friendly and we were given cold towel and drink whilst we waited to check in

Our room was in the ideal spot as we could watch the sunset every night from our balcony and the view of the grounds ,palm trees and the ocean gave you that warm fuzzy feeling to say
Hey Wow you are in Paradise
Our room was very clean neat and tidy

The food again was fantastic with an incredible range to chose from catering for all
The only drawback was lining up to be served by this huge smorgasbord of food

The pool area was just idealic as the tropical surrounds and layout of this area was superb
They have an infinity pool which overlooks the ocean which is magic and they had water fountains around the pool area
Another great idea was they have a separate pool area and water playground for the children with an ice cream shop so they cater for both family's and couples very well

Dining one does not have to leave this hotel as everything is catered for with many fine resturaunt s to cater for most nationalities
We dined under the stars near the waters edge and had a seafood platter which was delicious
One night we had room service and our meal was brought on a foldout trolley with with white linen tablecloth and all the fine cutlery which was very nice

One has to catch a taxi if you want to go down town or to a resturaunt as its a long walk ten to twenty minutes away and very hot and maybe unwise to try in this tropical heat

There's lots to do as you can catch a boat and visit the small islands which are very close by
Play golf , have a massage,gymnasium,go shopping down town at the shopping centres or at the markets and of course you can see the orrangutans at the sister hotel which is a bus trip away
Or you can lay by the pool with a good book and just relax

This hotel is very hard to fault as we stayed a week and we had a fantastic time

Let them know its a special occasion for your trip and they will do there best to make your stay is a pleasant one
The staff are very happy and friendly and always greet you with a pleasant gesture and smile
Well done Shangri la you turned our stay into a very relaxing holiday

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank George D
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 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa 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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