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“great for relaxing”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“great for relaxing”
Reviewed September 18, 2009

Just completed 10 day stay here, and here is how I found it.
Check in was effortless, room was a slight disappointment, but maybe due to having just come from world class hotel in HK. Room was mountain view room- although it actually looked out over the pool. Some of the furnishings are a little dated and I was suprised at the old style TV. However the bathroom was nice and everything worked. You get free mineral water, left by the maid each day. The bed was comfy. Breakfast is buffet style and you can get just about anything from cornflakes to curry. It gets busy so best avoid peak times.The staff are excellent in all departments as you would expect.
The beach is small and has a few loungers on it. Most people stick to the pool, probably because there are no jellyfish in it, there are warnings about jellyfish in the sea. The loungers are probably the most comfy I have ever used.
There is a Spa onsite, it is wonderful, we had 2.5hr treatments there and they were as good as they get. There is a dive school, which I used and they were very good also. Boat trips to the islands offshore and watersports are available from the hotel jetty- much easier than going into KK. There is a brilliant gym onsite also.
There is a poolside restaurant called CoCo's, which sells simple stuff- try the yummy fish and chips. I only ate in the hotel once, there are 3 places within the hotel, the oriental place is nice but pricey. If you wish to eat outside the hotel you can walk down the road (10mins) to a great Hawker market for a very cheap meal (£3-£6 for two), or just beyond that there are 3 proper restaurants, the Tanjung Aru one being the best (it's the one that looks like an aircraft hanger with fish tanks). There is also a bar right by the sea.
Anyway back to the hotel, where nightlife is extremely dull. On Fri/Sat they have the Blue note night club which is very pricey and also very empty. They really do need to attract more people because it's a nice set up. On other nights there is only the main bar near the reception which was largely empty and no fun at all. Whether it's the prices or people just don't want to sit in a bar- I don't know, but it's a shame.
A taxi to KK is fixed at RM15 (£3), I went there nearly everyday and never had a problem.
You can book tours onsite, we did 2 and both were well organised, with good quality guides and transport.
So all in all a good place to stay, but if you want some excitement in the evening, you'll have to travel to the city, which isn't difficult at all.
One other thing, the sunset bar which opens between 5 and 8 is a great place to chill out after a hard day round the pool. The drinks are half price and you get to see a crazy fella messing about with fire- you'll hear him first. Also you can witness the who-has-the-biggest-camera-on-a-tripod-competition. But the Japanese will always win!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mr Steve-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 14, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to post your feedback.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, but note your comments on the room and nightlife. The rooms were renovated during 2007 and we are upgrading our TVs in stages throughout the resort. As to the nightlife, your comments are taken on board as we are always looking for a balance between peace vs entertainment!

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Perth WA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2009

We stayed 9 days in this hotel and were very happy with everything. The staff were exceptionally helpful and pleasant. Room service and cleaning excellent. The restaurants we used were excellent in food and service. Facilities, pool, tours and spa all excellent. I have nothing negative to say about our stay at this hotel and would stay here any time we return to Borneo.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank perthtraveller55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to share your kind feedback.

We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2009

We stayed here for 3nights during my birthday last July and my hubby needed a break from work as well. We manage to get a competitive rate on a Singapore website for travel. I was not really expecting a lot as my friends who went there did not really rave about KK. However, they gave me an important advice which is to stay beach front. True enough, it would be a very boring vacation if we stayed in a town hotel so STAR is definitely the right choice. At first sight, I was not really impressed as I can compare the facade to Nirwana in Bintan however, my view changed as the days go by. The service, food, staff....definitely 5star service. The staffs greet you every chance they get. Room service was 24hours, DVD is also available, water activities is just right at the corner. You basically don't have to leave the place. We tried the scuba dive (1st timers), parasail, and flying fish (which I will never do again). One thing that I got disappointed about was Blue Note. It was a lovely bar however there were no people partying. They even played "Hotel California" as a party song..We went to town area and there were not much out there. One Borneo mall was ok but there was not much people making it very boring. Perhaps due to it's location. Taxi fare is a flat rate so I feel secure that I am not being cheated unlike Phuket. The only thing I enjoyed when I went to town was the cheap massage. We went to the this mall and had a massage. A lady was doing my hubby's feet and a man was doing mine. We paid for whole body massage but I did not expect that it will be the man who will do mine however, I was wrong ;-). I asked for a change of masseur(funny experience).

At any rate, Would I recommend STAR to friends, I most definitely will.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Diwata2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for sharing your kind comments. I have happily passed them onto my colleagues.

However, I note your comment regarding entertainment at Blue Note and will be reviewing with the team.

Otherwise, we are all delighted that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2009

We just returned from a 3D2N getaway to the resort (2A, 2C aged (9+,10+) and it was simply great! The transfer from the airport was arranged by the resort for a fee and service was fantastic and movement well-organised. We already felt welcomed when we were greeted upon arrival at the airport. It was a very short few minutes ride to the resort. We were greeted so warmly by the staff and I think even the manager! We were attended to like royalty and the welcome drink and wet towels were a lovely gesture. We had booked the Tanjung Executive Suite on the ground floor, with a balcony and a few steps leading to the garden and an awesome sea view with the islands a short distance away. The bedroom was huge and the living area and dining area large, giving all ample space to move around. The hotel staff managed to place 2 rollaway beds and still, we all had comfortable moving space.

The resort is sprawling and the greenery, landscaping were marvellous. It is so nice admiring the painstaking effort put in beauitifying the environment. It is so windy along the boardwalk surrounding the resort, and this was made even more relaxing with wooden swings.

We had meals at the Cafe Tatu (nice presentation and lots of variety for their buffet breakfast and beffet dinner), Coco-Joe's (lovely BBQ dinner by the waterfront) and the Shang Palace (great dim sum and chinese food).

The resort has its own Kids Club which allows parents to drop their kids off for some e-time, and other activities. There are tour agents to arrange for trips out for exploration. We arranged for Exotic Borneo (one of the onsite agents) to take us on a boat ride to Sapi Island. The organisation was well done, provided us with boxed lunches of BBQ chicken, fruits, salad, puddingm sandwiches, bottled water. The boat ride there was exhilarating but the island's sea was not clear so we didn't get to see any fishes at the beach. The sand was coral-laden and when the tides pushed us down, our limbs got scratched badly by the broken corals. The resort shop came in handy for guests to get everyday stuff, drinks, snacks, souvenirs.

One thing caught our attention though. Under a bridge that links one pool to the other, we saw yellowish liquid dripping!!! (see photo)...we wondered what it was???

And on 2 nights, we received room-to-room calls from strangers - twice at 9+pm, 10+pm the first night and on the second night at 10+,11+ and past midnight. Good thing my hubby called the front desk to block any calls to our room. We did bring it up to the reception when we checked out.

All in all, it was a great stay and we look forward to another Shangri-La resort stay!!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank julianasim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2009
Thank you for staying with us recently and for your kind review.

I note your comment regarding someone calling your room at night and we are looking into how we can manage this.

Otherwise, we are all delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed September 8, 2009

Shangri La hotels all have a certain 'expectation' about them and the Tanjung Aru does not disappoint. We were there for our honeymoon & from start to finish it was an incrediable experience. We would highly reccomend the Club rooms, as the evening canapes & drinks are very good & a great way to start your evening. The whole hotel, rooms, ambience, staff & resturants are first class...The 'Chi' Spa was out of this world! After a 16+ hour journey it was exactly what we needed! We cannot reccomend this hotel & Borneo more!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Coolfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 9, 2009
Many thanks for spending your honeymoon with us recently and for taking the time to share your kind feedback.

We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us and I have passed your praise onto my colleagues. We hope that we will see you again for your anniversary!

Once again, many thanks and our best wishes.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2009

I have recently returned from staying at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa with my partner. We had a superb room overlooking the bay and islands - the sunsets are remarkable. The customer service was outstanding even when the staff were flat out during breakfast. Whilst the restaurants were expensive the quality of the food was outstanding. The downside was the cost of alcohol. We arranged trips through the hotel and were catered for well. My partner has trouble with walking long distances and this was taken into account when we booked the trips.
The pool area was well sectioned off with plenty of activities for all ages.
The Spa provided excellent servie for the cost - it is comparable with Uk prices but worth every penny. If you want a cheaper massage go to the town on the waterfront.
The entertainments manager managed to get smiles from all ages, even the grumpy ones.
We misplaced our Nintendo and it was handed in by staff on the same day.
Overall it was the staff who gave that extra to make our trip special.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GwynBath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 9, 2009
Many thanks for staying with us recently and your kind comments. I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and will gladly be passing your comments onto my colleagues.

I note your comment regarding our alcohol prices. Alcohol is subject to high taxes in Malaysia and all of the alcohol we serve is brought into the country strictly legally, which means we carry a relatively high cost to start with, compared to some of the local stand alone venues. That said, your comment is certainly taken on board and we are always looking for ways to provide more value to our guests. We do a happy hour at our Sunset Bar and a number of poolside beverage offers during the day. We are also launching a new range of drinks by glass that we have sourced with very competitive pricing at the end of this month.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
74 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2009

We booked ten nights here in August and were very happy with the amazing setting and quality of this hotel. It was everything you would expect a Five-Star resort to be and is a really special venue.

The hotel is set on the edge of Kota Kinabalu on a resort called Tanjung Aru (only 15 mins from airport). It is a secluded beach location with a fantastic view of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island, just minutes away from the shore. The pool and other facilities are very good and the staff put on plenty of activities through the day (aqua-aerobics, pitch and putt golf, craft activities). The staff are all extremely helpful and friendly and make considerable effort to look after you during your stay.

There are plenty of restaurants at the hotel, they are all of a good standard but I would also recommend plenty of trips to the other restaurants at Tanjung Aru (10 minute walk) and Kota Kinabalu town centre (10 min cab journey at 15 RM each way, £2.50). The cost of the taxi is more than offset by the savings on your food bill for the evening!

We would also recommend a day-trip to the sister resort of Rasa Ria to see the Orang-utans, which is actually less crowded than Sepilok. Rasa Ria is much further out from KK (45 mins) and has plenty of activites (and kids), but is a bit out of the way.

Therefore, my tips would include - do not do full board, but rather B&B (which is really good) and then explore in the evenings. Plus, get a sea-facing room if possible, which is stunning, whereas mountain-facing will just show lots of clouds on many occasions.

Thank you Shangri-La Tanjung Aru for a fantastic and relaxing experience

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Drschrebling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philipdewar, Resident Manager at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 1, 2009
Many thanks for staying with us recently and your kind comments. We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay.

Delighted to hear that you enjoyed our friendly Sabahan service and I will gladly pass the comments onto my colleagues.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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 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 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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