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“... a real family resort!!!”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“... a real family resort!!!”
Reviewed January 3, 2009

We are at present at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru. We spent Christmas and New Year Eve. Here are our comments:

Reception: friendly, helpfull... some do not speak English!
Room: nice, spacious, clean with a nice patio and sea view (Tanjung Wing)
Beach: approx. 20 metres... do not go to Tanjung Aru for the Beach!!!
Pool: Big, clean and full of children playing...
Restaurants: Shang Palace (Chinese) good food, good and friendly service - Cafe' Tatu: good food, good and friendly service - Coco's Joe: good food... unfortunately unfriendly staff - Peppino: do not lose your time, food is average, waiting time is very long, service average and far too expensive for what you get.
Spa: very luxury with very experienced and friendly therapists (Allfy is the best of the best!).
Excursions: do not go to river cruise...

So in general a nice place if you are travelling with children. Definitely not the place to go if you look for good food, relaxing atmosphere and all the typical Malaysian care.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Leo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2008

We just got back from one of the best holidays we've had from Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu.

We booked the Kinabalu wing Mountain room, which was ample for me, my husband and our 2 kids. The room was beautiful and spacious. We were lucky that it was a corner room, so it had gorgeous views of the mountains, the water village nearby as well as the sea. We spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the views. Room was very clean, as was the bathroom, with all the necessary amenities and more. Bed and pillows were very comfortable. The fruit basket was a nice touch too.

Housekeeping was more than excellent. They take pride in their evening turn-down service and their work was excellent.

Most of our meals were at the Cafe Tatu. Nice especially with the kids, a lot of choices of international cuisine. Choices changed everyday, but not by a lot. They have a stir-fry station at dinner which is quite nice. The pasta station was much loved by my daughter. Also had dinner at Coco Joe's (average) and drinks at Sunset Boulevarde (view is absolutely stunning).

The jetty was about 2 mins from our room, which made it very easy to travel to the nearby islands. Kids absolutely loved the snorkelling. Recommend taking some food along though, as choices limited on the islands.

The highlight for my kids was by far the kids' club. Very, very large, with a lot of top-of-the-range play equipment and very nicely furnished. The staff there were excellent, kids were always well-entertained with numerous activities. They especially enjoyed the Friday night Party!

All in all, probably the best beach resort we have stayed in. We are all very rejuvenated after the short but lovely holiday. Can't wait to be back there again.

  • Liked — Location, views, cleanliness and comfort
  • Disliked — Pricey!!!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank cheryl_l_glenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2008

A weekend getaway during a business trip. Took the advice of locals and booked here, and what a perfect choice it was. I just wanted a place to unwind and chill. The property is so large, that though there was a crowd around the pool at peak hours, there were plenty of spots to escape on the beach. Beautiful and lush grounds, well maintained, nice rooms and friendly staff. Loved it.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank beanie20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2008

My husband and I and 2 of our friend have just returned from a short 4 days trip to STAR. The hotel is huge and well-maintained.

We opted for Kinabalu Club Mountain View rooms. Its worth to pay a bit more to enjoy the exclusive club facilities. 2 suggestions to improve club facilities: (1) as soft drinks are being provided free-of-charge throughout the day, why the mini bar of our rooms (stock with same kind of drinks) are not free-of-charge? It’s not so convenient to go to the club to take the drinks to our own room every time. (2) the breakfast menu can offer more options. It seems that the menu is the same for everyday and we found that Tatu restaurant offers more varieties of food.

Our rooms are spacious and clean. We enjoyed a partial seaview though we didn’t pay for a full seaview room. The only complaint about our room is the housekeeping. Except for the first day, we were provided with 1 set of toiletries for 2 persons. It caused us inconvenient to call housekeeping everyday in order to get an additional set.

The location of the hotel is perfect. It closes to airport and only costs 15 ringgit to city. It’s much more convenient than its sister hotel, Rasa Ria.

Overall we enjoyed our stay in this hotel.

  • Liked — location, service
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Seapig18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth WA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2008

We stayed here for five days last week. Overall, it is a good hotel and we enjoyed the stay.
Likes
the resort is well-kept and well maintained. We stayed in the Kinabalu wing which was renovated a year or so ago. The room was nice and fairly fresh and housekeeping service was good, though there was nothing "special" about the room and it was quite standard for a 4/5-star hotel. No DVD or music player in the room. The standard of finishes (particularly the tiling in the bathroom) was pretty ordinary -- the tradesmanship is not good The gardens were lovely and there was plenty of space. Hotel at just over 50% occupancy but it felt much less
the buffet breakfast was really excellent and changed every day. Fantastic array of foods, lovely service and well-stocked right up to closing time (none of this "we say we are open until 1030 but after 930 we don't bother filling anything up and after 10 o'clock start taking stuff away")
the foyer is impressive and the bar was lovely, though the piano there desperately needed tuning.
The blue note bar/club is a really nice and attractive facility -- the only club I have ever been to where the drinks are cheaper there than in the rest of the hotel. It was a pity that the place is pretty much always empty

Dislikes
quite a few little things
the beds were like concrete. Housekeeping were very helpful at trying to soften it up with a second quilt underneath the sheet, but it was still not great. My wife woke up with great big red patches on her hips from pressure every morning. In fairness, we have found this in a lot of Asian hotels.
Room service was painfully slow. We like to have a glass of wine as we're getting ready for dinner in our room and I took a couple of nice bottles with us, but forgot the corkscrew. The hotel wouldn't put a corkscrew in our room but insisted we call room service to have our bottle opened and each time it took well over half an hour to have the Cork pulled -really annoying
It was nice to hear the sound of the ocean lapping in the resort, but the sea itself is pretty muddy and unpleasant. There is a village on stilts a few hundred metres up the inlet, and I can't imagine that their sewage and refuse systems are particularly efficient....
Kota Kinabalu is 10 minutes or so away. An hourly or so shuttle bus into town would be a really helpful addition that there is no other option but taxi at 15MR each way.
Some of the outlet food and beverages were very ordinary (but pretty pricey). the pool bar veggie burger was a triumph of Bland over taste and the Sunset Bar cocktails we tried were terrible but the same cocktails in the blue note bar were great.
We had booked a package which included a day trip to the orangutans which left very early in the morning. Our tour operator told us to get breakfast in the room as it was before the restaurant opened and it would not be charged. I rang reception to confirm this and was told it was correct, ordered the breakfast and of course........ was charged. They were quick to remove it from the Bill at checkout though.

Overall though we did enjoy the stay and found the staff generally to be very pleasant and helpful with fairly good English

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank PaulnJude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2008

We stayed in this hotel for the first 12 nights of our honeymoon and it was excellent. I don't think we've stopped raving about it and Borneo in general since we came back (september).

Rooms- we stayed in the Kinabalu Wing, on the club floor, sea view. The room was a good size, modern and very comfortable, with fresh fruit and a lovely view from the balcony. We had rose petals on our bedspread which was a nice touch. The bathroom had a glass window/wall looking out to the bedroom and on to the sea, which was great, but it did mean you had to close the blinds if you were going to the toilet! One thing which we loved was the turndown service, so when you came back from dinner your little slippers were by your bed, with the bedside lights on and the bed looking inviting! A small thing, but made all the difference!

Kinabalu Club Floor- absolutely 100% worth the upgrade. I wanted to do this as it was our honeymoon, and thought it didn't matter if we didn't use all the stuff that came with it. But in the end, the cakes are very welcome in the afternoon, after all. It was great to have soft drinks all day. I think having breakfast in the club lounge is almost worth the price alone. The view from the balcony is superb and it is relaxing; the drinks and snacks in the evening are fabulous, the only complaint there is that we sometimes filled up and had to wait until later to be hungry for dinner! The staff in the club lounge were absolutely faultless. They were not just polite, but genuinely friendly and kind. I would like to mention Johnny in particular who once brought me out a piece of my favourite cake when we missed it! Second to none service here.

All restaurants in the resort were good- but our favourite was Coco Joes, if only because you could hear the waves and sit right by the water. That's what I want from a tropical holiday! Food good all round- surprisingly good Bruschetta! Don't eat at the hotel every night as there are so many nice restaurants in KK and even at the food hall, just a walk along the beach or the road.
The sunset bar was lovely, they could perhaps put more staff on here as it did take a while to get a drink. But we saw the best sunsets we had ever seen here.

The pools are nice, one seems to be more for kiddies which is fine. Neither are massive but to be honest, there is so much to do in Borneo you are unlikely to be lounging round day after day.

We went to Sepilok, a trip of a lifetime. We heard one person complaining that it was rubbish and there weren't good viwes. True, you get a far better orangutan encounter at the Rasa Ria. But we wanted to see Sepilok to see the older ones and to see the work they do to help rehabilitate them. We took it as a visit to a rehabilitation centre rather than a viewing 'zoo'. You cannot fail to fall in love with the orangutans themselves.
I recommend the Kinabatangan River trip, overnight, which was the highlight. We saw a crocodile, monkeys, snakes, and a wild orangutan among other things. We will never forget the morning mists over the jungle.

The Klias wetlands trip is great as well, although I did see a massive spider in the toilets at the jetty! Got to expected I suppose!

Personally we preferred this to the Rasa Ria as it was more handy for trips and town. Not a huge difference in the hotel style etc either. There is a shuttle bus between the two so you can use both facilities if you want.

The hotel is highly recommended and Borneo would be the place I would come back to if I had weeks to live.

  • Liked — Staff, location, food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank alicejaneLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford upon Avon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2008

Stayed in the Shangri la in Oman and we were really impressed with that hotel but this was not nearly as good. Dont get me wrong, it is ok, rooms are big and clean and the grounds and facilities are good. However, the food was very average and so expensive for Borneo (ie UK prices). We tended to eat at the Mediterranean restaurant just up the road from the hotel - much cheaper and far, far better. It was packed with disgruntled Tanjung Aru guests!
Hotel great as a base for seeing the sites in Sabah but if you are just after a beach holiday stay in their hotel in the area - the Rasa Ria Resort.
Also, if you plan to see Mount Kinabalu and Poring hot springs dont go on an expensive tour - I recommend using Marcus a local KK resident who will take you on an amazing personalised tour of the area in his new Toyota for the same price. We got his deatails from the KK tourist info. His number is [--] or [--]. He also does trips to other local attractions!
Please, please also go to Sepilok Orang utan centre, such a worthwhile trip. They are so cute and you get to see them really close up on the feeding platforms. Bring walking boots if you want to go on one of the trails, and potentially see them in the wild, as they are usually muddy. The one at Rasa Ria was also great, the Orangs are a bit younger here and really characterful!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank acfdny
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 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury 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 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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