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“A short 3 night stay”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 7, 2014

I stopped at the resort for 3 nights arriving about 10 pm after a long trip from Melbourne via Kuala Lumpur.
Check in through the Golden Circle desk was prompt and easy but I was a little disappointed when I had to find my own way to my room.
I chose a Kinabalu Mountain View Room. I prefer this wing as it is well away from the pool and restaurant area and therefore quiet. On a clear day, the morning view of Mt Kinabalu is spectacular.
Due to my short stay, i only ate in Cafe Ta Tu which has a choice of either al a carte or buffet.
In the evenings I ate a la carte. The breakfast buffet is diverse and the service from the stall is very good.
The staff around the beach area, at the Ice cream bar and Co Co Jo's are great. A few drinks at The sunset bar of an evening are worth the view.
It is unfortunate that it has a very small beach, but it has a marina with boat access to the offshore islands.
It is also not good that there is no shuttle to town even though the shuttle to Rasa Ria goes through town several times a day. You have to use a taxi.
Still a very good resort but I prefer Rasa Ria.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank bigw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2014

Great hotel, good facilities and small enough to feel like you're an individual. One of the best pools I've been to in the world (gotta love an adults only area). Food was superb, especially at the Shang Palace. Sunset view was superb and the seafood platter at coco-joes was sensational We stayed in a garden room and it was lovely

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2014

We stayed for 5D4N and were quoted USD150/night ++ upon check-in for the Garden Seaview Suite. We were shocked to find out upon checking out that we have to pay USD 300/night ++ instead! We requested that they charge what was quoted and tried to argue that what was quoted during check in should be what is charged. However there was little time to argue as we had a flight to catch thus we paid the full amount being charged. We have stayed in this hotel many times and know it is expensive, however we never had this kind of service before.
During our stay we found a long curly black hair while having breakfast and Chef told us it could be from other guest that fell into the serving tray. The assistant manager of F&B offered us free drinks and food at the Sunset Bar for our trouble even though by staying in the Suite drinks and food are provided at the Club Lounge for free. We really feel that Shangri-La cheated us as they would not consider that we can pay based on the quoted rate at check in. This will be the last visit to any Shangrila's properties!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Anne G
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 reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Dear Anne G, thank you for highlighting your concerns with us. Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor stay experience you encountered. I will personally see to addressing these issues with the team for our further improvement. I hope you will allow us the opportunity to serve you again in the near future and for us to show you a truly memorable Shangri-La experience.

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Reviewed June 5, 2014 via mobile

Every single table in this resort rocks, while the staffs are happy to fix them, there were many drinks spilled...

other than that, everything is exactly what you expect from a Shangari-la, no more no less and certainly no wow and surprise. 

The location is remote and for some reason there is no shuttle bus service from resort, you meed to pay expensive taxi fare every time you go in or out of the resort.

The staffs here are generally friendly and do everything by the book, including restaurant staffs folding your napkins the moment you get up seats to grab food from buffet or something - don't understand why though...

Breakfast is OK, pretty much same food everyday so if you stay here for more than 3 or 4 days it becomes a bit repetitive. In the peak days (usually public holiday in China, Shangari-la is famous in China), the hotel is filled with people and breakfast time gets a bit chaotic - staffs still folding the napkins happily :p

There are plenty water sports to do here, but the beach is not so nice compare to other popular destinations, staffs at the Star Marina go extra mile to give you a good time - for the good review they ask you to write on the feedback card.

And forget about the sunset bar, the view here is same with any other tropical island but since it's so famous, it's usually filled with tourists from outside of the resort during the sunset hours, lots of photo takings, noisy and and some times difficult to get a table.

Finally a warning to travellers who can't stand kids running around, there are plenty here, noisy and messing around, you don't get a second of peace and quiet especially at breakfast.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank mMikeHuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We booked this resort as part of a package deal, we don't generally tend to stay in big resort hotels and prefer to book small boutique hotels, but the package was just too good to pass up so decided to book.

We had a Kinabalu wing mountain view room booked as part of the package but decided to upgrade to a club room when we arrived. It was 300 MYR per night to upgrade and we were lucky enough to get upgraded two levels to a sea view club room so were very happy.

The room was beautiful and the views stunning. We had a problem with our first room (9703) as the key reader on the door wouldn't work. They had people look at it right away but it was going to take a while to fix so they moved us to another room (9719). The views from this room were even better. If you want the fantastic sunset views then get a room on this side of the Kinabalu wing, ask for a room from 9713 or higher on the sea view side.

The room was a really good size and had a lovely little balcony. Everything was clean and tidy. However, if you looked closely in some areas bits of the room did look little tatty and were starting to show wear.

The room was cleaned to a good standard each day and you were given new bottles of water every day, two large bottles. The room was cleaned just that little bit better when we left a tip for the maids.

The only problem we had with our room, and I imagine that it would probably be the same in most rooms, is that the balcony doors not sound proof at all. We didn't hear any noise from the rooms either side of us when people were in their room. But there were several occasions when the people in the room next door to us sat out on their balcony until the early hours of the morning chatting, screeching, laughing and had kids who were making lots of noise. You could hear all this noise really clearly through the balcony doors and it made it quite hard to sleep. We complained on the first night this happened to reception as it was 1am. They sent security up and we watched the security guys through our spy hole in the door and they didn't actually knock on next door, they just stood in the corridor and listened then walked off. Now, you can't hear the noise from the corridor as they're out on the balcony, but as i said it was very noisy in our room. I wish the security guys had knocked on our room and came in to listen then gone next door to tell them to be quiet as the people ended up staying out on the balcony for several more hours. We had some respite the next few nights as they checked out and the room was empty, but then when more people checked in we had the same problem on our last couple of nights as those people also sat on the balcony at night, thankfully not as late. The balcony doors really need some kind of sound proofing/double glazing but I guess that would be a massive cost so probably won't happen, so just be aware if you're a light sleeper and have inconsiderate neighbours you may want some earplugs!

The club lounge was well worth getting the upgrade for. It was great having a quieter breakfast without being in the main restaurant. The evening food was lovely and a fair amount of variety. It was also nice that you could just go and sit in here at any time. We used it on our last day when we had checked out and sat in here rather than the star lounge as the club lounge was more comfy, and way quieter than the star lounge. The staff were always very friendly and helpful in the club lounge. Although we did find as the week went on they were not quite as attentive as they had been and I always had to prompt someone to order breakfast or ask for a drink, whereas initially they came and asked for our orders quite soon after sitting down. The one thing that did impress me was on the last day I was really unwell and couldn't come down to breakfast. My fiancé asked about breakfast to our room and the staff in the lounge prepared breakfast for me and let my fiancé bring it up to me, no charge so I didn't have to order rooms service which i thought was really nice.

The restaurants on site were all nice enough. I think if I was here for 10 days or 2 weeks though I would get very bored of the food here. There wasn't a massive selection of food in each restaurant and we found we were eating the same things a lot. Also, I was very surprised there weren't many Malaysian choices on a lot of the menus. Each place had a few dishes but I expected there to be a Malaysian restaurant or a bit more choice rather than just pasta, burgers or Chinese. Can't complain about any of the restaurants really, good decent food. Some dishes lacked flavour. Shang Palace was probably the nicest place for food as that was really good.

The sunset bar was fabulous for cocktails and a few quiet drinks. We went late afternoon and sometimes in the evening. Everyone heads there for the sunset and it's rammed but they quickly leave once the sun has set and it has a really chilled atmosphere. One thing to watch out for which gave me a bit of a shock was we saw a snake at the bar! The waitress said it was a sea snake and wasn't dangerous, apparently when it rains they come onto land, it was just weaving in between the boards and not bothering anyone really. I'm just terrified of them so was a bit of a shock for me, and made me a bit wary the next few times I went there.

The general resort is incredibly well kept and beautiful. Sunsets are amazing from here too. We didn't do anything other than lounge around all day, so can't comment on the activities. My fiancé did Tai Chi one morning and said that was good. We chose to lounge on the grassy area away from the pool as it was way quieter.

Service throughout the hotel was really good, the staff were very friendly and helpful.

My major disappointment came on our last day. I had previously enquired about late check out and they told me to ask on the morning of our final day. Checkout was 1pm and we just wanted to stay in the room until 4/4.30pm. On the day of checkout I was really ill was a bad stomach and so was really hoping we could get late checkout as needed to have somewhere to lay down and be near a bathroom. My fiancé went to ask about it and was told if we wanted to check out late then we would have to pay a full nights rate - £226 for those extra 3.5 hours!!! I was appalled by this. I have stayed in so many different hotels across the world, mainly smaller boutique ones but the odd big chain/resort hotel and I have rarely ever had to pay for late check out, and if i have it has just been a small fee of maybe £20 - £30. I think it is absolutely disgusting that they were asking £226 for us to stay an extra 3.5 hours. Especially as I was ill and needed somewhere to try and feel better. Given the room was free, and many other club rooms were, I doubt it would have been much of an inconvenience for us to stay a few more hours. This ended up leaving me really disappointed and soured my view of our stay.

This cemented my view really that big resorts are not for us. We have enjoyed our stay and did have a nice time and a much needed break, but any longer than a week and I would have been incredibly bored and fed up, particularly with the food. Personally I wouldn't stay here again as I would rather go somewhere smaller that provided a real genuine service and who went out of their way to help guests not look at any extra ways to grab money from them.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joebella
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 reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Dear Joebella, thank you for your positive feedback on our resort and also for highlighting your concerns for our further improvement. I have personally ensured that your comments have been shared with the relevant parties concerned. Please accept my sincere apologies for any shortcomings you experienced during your stay and I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you to our resort again in the near future.

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Reviewed June 4, 2014

Given a smoking room (could have but did not object - faint but obvious odour, especially at first) on the back side - quite a walking distance from main lobby, breakfast area; some shorter cuts to beach and up the end (Kinabalu Wing) that houses the MAGNIFICENT Shang House Chinese restaurant (go for the daily dim sum on your first day and you probably will every day!) Also an excellent 'up-market' Italian restaurant 'Peppinos' that offers two good value wine tasting flights - the Old and New World Flights - 4 x 50 mm 'tastes' for a very reasonable price given the quality of the wines offered. This is an older resort but maintained very well and its staff members are a real attraction - VERY friendly and helpful. To a man and woman they invited us back (good training) and several came out to wave us off. We visited the sister Shangri-La Rasa Ria, by transit coach, to see its recovering Orang Utans. We were a little disappointed there are only three at the moment - all young - quite (human) shy - one no show; one left almost immediately it arrived; the last kept his back to us - but that's wild life! Best check before you go if you are hoping for more. There are other alternatives but this is very safe. All good facilities at Tanjung Aru. Other than the Orang Utans we were content to stay in the resort as we were really after some mixed work (wi-fi excellent everywhere) and very restful R & R. This one is very near airport - 30 RMS taxi but heavily taxed for our late arrival from Kuala Lumpur (12.50 am x 45 RM ride). Recommended.

Room Tip: Ensure you have non-smoking and/or ocean view if that's important.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rodent_16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Stayed recently for two nights. To be fair to the hotel we arrived after an 18 hour journey plus the weather was poor, but unfortunately this hotel did not live up to the expectations created by other positive reviewers. I found the hotel to be more in the 4 star category rather than 5 star, something that other residents agreed with in discussion. The room we had in the Kinabalu wing were comfortable, (great beds) but lacked character and felt tired. it should also be noted that this hotel is close to the airport and consequently does suffer from aircraft noise at all hours, especially if you have a mountain view room! The staff were great!!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Thornpilot
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 reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Dear Thornpilot, thank you for your comments. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't find our resort up to your expectations. We recently celebrated our 30th anniversary in Kota Kinabalu and are very proud to be the first 5-star hotel in the Sabah to remain true to our Borneo heritage in terms of our traditional ethnic design coupled with our renowned Shangri-La hospitality. That said, thank you for acknowledging our staff for their warmth and welcoming hospitality and I do hope to be able to welcome you to our resort again soon.

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Additional Information about 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: $202 - $454 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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