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“White man returns”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“White man returns”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

At the beginning of December we flew back to Borneo from the UK for a two week stay at the Tanjung Aru having stayed there last year for one week.
We were secretly dreading it as last years holiday was stunning so this would be aweful as perfection cannot be repeated?
WOW!
We were collected from the airport and driven too the hotel and immediately met by a dozen friendly faces welcoming us back it was overwhelming in a good sense.
We were looked after by Grace and several other staff our cases disappeared and arrived magically in our room some time later.
Bypassing the queue at check in and off for cool drinks in the club lounge and a very warm welcome from the staff there.
We were hot and bothered after a long flight and they kept us waiting saying our room wasn't ready.
After a short wait were we taken too our room.
No wonder there was a wait, they had specially decorated it with petals spelling out our 25th anniversary no mean feat even on a king size bed it was amazing and Grace then made us pose and took photographs which we now have forever a pleasant and thoughtful moment.
That is a good start.
We had the same seaview room as last year and super shower / bathroom big enough for ten.
The house keeping staff were super and kept our room spotless and folded the quilt down every evening and left thoughtful card messages which we especially liked.
We left a pile of dirty clothes on the counter awaiting the laundry for the next day. When we returned to our room this pile was neatly folded and stack this is beyond the duties of house keeping but it was never the less done. hey cheerfully waved and said hello each time we left our room.
This year we decided to upgrade too the club lounge instead of fighting past the very rude Chinese guests at the morning breakfast buffet.
The lounge was calm and pleasant and the staff were tremendous at all times catering for my demands for Earl grey tea with a smile and often witty banter.
The food was not to European/English tastes for the whole 12 days we were there it was distinctly catered for the Chinese who were absent from the lounge as it was mainly Australian, English and some Muslim families there during our stay.
As you would expect the lounge is there only to provide snacks and not a full meal, but, if you find something you like then the snack can easily provide a meal.
Unfortunately, we realised too late, that you can order from the menu any meal you wish if the snacks are not to your liking.
On offer was a small Continental style breakfast, cereals{only two to choose from}Chinese steamed vegetable parcels/ mostly these Chinese and accompanying dishes had fish in them.
We do not like fish so our choices were limited.
This was backed up by a lot of small cakes and sweet pastries, fresh fruit and cold and hot drinks.
A English fried breakfast is available from the menu, obviously bacon is not on the menu and is replaced with beef sausages. I really missed rice dishes and pasta, there was a small rice serving but that had fish in it.
It would have been nice if there was a beef meal e.g.beef chow mein or noodles on offer.
I mainly had omelette and it was cook very well to order.
The menu in the lounge is repeated each week, as a result the second week we ate out in the town or at Pertama Pantai (first beach) then when returning to the lounge we only needed a snack.
There are other places to eat within the hotel and you can order from the menu and eat in the Borneo lounge or Coco Joe's on the beach.
The hotel is well kept and clean the staff are amazing and it was difficult to get past reception as everyone wanted to ask how my day was and what I was doing. I did not mind as I was practising my Malay and they their English but say the same thing ten - fifteen times and not getting out of the foyer was a little tiring. I upped my Malay and shortened the conversations as you would in English and it only took five minutes to greet everyone on the way to breakfast.
It wasn't very crowded but the guests were mainly Chinese who are smokers, loud and disrespectful towards the staff. Maybe this is why we were treated in a calm pleasant manner as we were respectful ,did things for ourselves and spoke Malay.
Overall the Tanjung Aru is a clean well run hotel with superb staff and they provided us with a unforgettable experience how they are going to out do themselves for our next visit waits too be seen.

Room Tip: Tanjung Aru sea view rooms have the sunset views. Kinabalu mountain views have a cloudy view unless...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank David N
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 29, 2013
DearDavid, thank you for choosing to stay with us again and appreciating the efforts made by our colleagues during your stay. We have taken note of your comments on the variety of our breakfast menu at the Club Lounge and will work toward improving the selection to appeal to all nationalities. Thank you again for taking time to share your stay experience with us and we look forward to your return!
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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English first
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Spent 4 days, the service was excellent, the ambience was fantastic and there were great variety of food. My kids thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool and the beach. Will definitely come back here again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
1 Thank MacShake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

Hubby and I stayed here during our honeymoon in 2011. We quite enjoyed our stay. Our room was lovely. They have an amazing pool. We used to often swim at night. Weather was great. Had a treatment at th spa and it was amazing. Definately recommend ..

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Stayed 3 nights in this resort. Very beautiful hotel with pleasant staff. Location is very good and have a boat pier to other islands. Good breakfast but the dinner buffet was a bit disappointed. Very suitable for family joyful and relaxation.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FUNG E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We stayed 2 nights during a trip in Borneo. Extraordinary buffet, nice room en service minded staff. A beach bar with a view to never forget! :)
I will remember the Shangri-La chain. A happy customer!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Johan126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ilkley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Great place to stay,they will make your holiday special, very friendly staff. We will be back for a third visit, great staff, they realy put them selves out to help you and make your stay special. Left feeling we had really had a holiday

Room Tip: Enjoy the views and comfort of a wonderful room and bed
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
Thank stuart f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We had a fantastic time at the hotel ! Would not hesitate to recommend because our family meet with the highest of service standards and witnessed the most friendly hard-working and sincere staff at this amazing hotel.

Ms Ruini the housekeeper made my day in retrieving my lost earring...outside my room near a common lift no less.. Mr Majid F&B manager at breakfast pampered my youngest daughter with his understanding ways so much so that the sleepyhead refused to eat breakfast with us and insisted on eating breadrolls, waffles and pastries all through to lunch even!

Mr Russell and Mr Paul were charming and ever so helpful while Mr Gavin was exemplary in finding time to write to me in response to my feedback and taking out his time to ensure that all my concerns from being spooked by previous harsh online criticisms were all laid to rest.

From August to Dec, in a mere 2 months the online feedback went from less than positive to tributes of praise and compliments. Certainly I'm equally impressed as are the rest of the 8 family members from 4 elderly over 68years to 75 years to 2 teens of 17years to 19years to hubby and me being past 45years. Then there is the precocious 8year old who refused to leave the resort because of the water slides and the pool.

Wi-fi was impeccable and food choices aplenty, rooms SUPERBLY cleaned and housekeeper Lusini ever so thoughtful. He created and laid a "towel" bridge on the floor between the sofabed and the kingbed so that the child need not get her feet dirty whilst jumping back and forth from sofabed to our bed.

Little things like the complementary water with lime or lemon near the poolside, the great SMILING WARM FRIENDLY pool attendants and eagle-eyed waterslide attendants plus the fantastic ever happy water bomb? staff ANDREW and his friend made the happy times happier.

We actually scrapped off our day 3 and day 4 island hopping and mountain climbing schedule in favour of staying on the resort. The elderly , teens and child in all of us enjoyed ourselves tremendously on the beautiful resort. We did not see a need to travel to the sister hotel as all the fun was already at our doorsteps.

Mr Gavin has a young warm friendly service oriented team and indeed it is these SPECIAL kind people that made everything wonderful for my family.

We are most grateful and please thank everyone for us.

We took 4 rooms over a 4day stay ,room 9426, 9427,9428 to 9429.

Check-in & check out were a breeze! Thank you so much!

Room Tip: we stayed in the mountain view side, not much of view but rooms are clean, cooled and non smoking .
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com

Helpful?
Thank KimLee1968
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 29, 2013
Dear albkim68, many thanks for your glowing feedback. We arevery happy to learn that you and your family had a fantastic stay at the resort. Also, thank you for highlighting the efforts made by our passionate colleagues during your stay. Our resort team are dedicated to making your stay at the resort a comfortable and enjoyable one. All of us at the resort look forward to welcoming you back for another fantastic experience with us in 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.
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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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