We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (4,183)
Filter reviews
4,183 results
Traveler rating
2,351
1,193
394
142
103
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveler rating
2,351
1,193
394
142
103
Show reviews that mention
All reviews kinabalu wing sunset bar kinabalu club cafe tatu coco joes star marina chi spa water slides borneo lounge horizon club sister hotel pitch and putt kids club infinity pool club room life guards mountain view
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
439 - 444 of 4,183 reviews
Reviewed April 16, 2017

Having deliberated about booking the under-renovation Shangri-La Tanjung Aru or Magellan Sutera resort for a while, it was with baited breath that we arrived at the Tanjung Aru Shangri La after a delayed flight from London.

Accessing the airport from the hotel is very straight forward, buy the voucher from the taxi kiosk for 30 ringgits and within ten minutes, you are being greeted at the steps of the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru. Check in, although a little slow, is efficient. What is more telling though, is the much fabled can do service offered by most hotels in Asia, is highly evident at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru. Without any prompting at all, upon hearing that our luggage had been delayed on the flight down from KL, the receptionist calmly took our luggage details, passed them to the concierge who managed to track them down for us. Before we knew it, we were reunited with our bags with the minimum of fuss. I should also add that before the bags arrived, the receptionist had also arranged emergency wash kits for us which they provided to guests whose luggage had gone astray. A most wonderful service provided by both the receptionist and concierge. Big tick.

As for accommodation, we were staying in the under renovation Tanjung Wing, which was the biggest cause for concern. Pleased to say though that both the hotel and contractors managed the renovation work so that disruption was kept to a minimum. We only had one instance where we saw the need to complain and our complaint was dealt with sympathetically and resolved to our satisfaction.
The room itself, (suite on the fourth floor,) was extremely well appointed and serviced regularly to a very high standard. A standard that we expected from a hotel such as the Shangri La. Wifi, (free,) is available in all public areas and is excellent.

Pool facilities are very good, and policed well by the hotel management. (On occasion, we saw the odd Chinese tourist trying to use the facilities without paying. They were swiftly ejected.) In particular the slides are well looked after and we all enjoyed playing splatapults, chess, table tennis and of course, the coconut bowling. We never had any trouble finding loungers with plenty of shade, (watch that fierce Bornean sun!) but once the renovations are complete, I think that the potential to have a morning bun fight would be quite high.

Breakfast can be taken in the Executive Lounge, (if on the Executive Floor,) and other meals in the main restaurant or alternatively in the on-site Chinese or Italian restaurants. We tried breakfast in the Executive Lounge, (good service and quieter,) but found the variety in the main restaurant to be better. Note though that although it is called a restaurant, the term canteen may be more appropriate. Very, very busy with lots of families and wandering children.

Of a night time, we tended to avail ourselves of the services provided in the Executive Lounge, which were very good. Excellent service with a good selection of canapes and drinks. Should add the caveat though that between the hours of 16.30 and 16.30, families are allowed in their with young children. I have no issue with this as it’s well published, but if you enter between those hours, expect a chaotic kindergarten. Without children, far better to visit later for a more calming environment.

We took dinner in the main restaurant on two evenings and found the cost of the buffet to be horrendously high. Far better to go for the al carte option. You may have to wait a little longer but at least the dish will be fresh and it’s far more affordable. We also ate in the Chinese, (never again-woeful experience,) and Peppinos, the Italian restaurant. Peppinos, despite offering a limited menu, was a pleasant experience and should be recommended.

Aside of the Sunset bar, (go at least once for the stunning sunset, and be sure to book either a table or lounger,) evening socialising is limited to the Borneo Bar in the main lobby. Again, quality of service and drinks supplied is of a very high standard and the evening entertainment was always very good. We just found the whole experience quite sterile though. Would have preferred an outside bar area where we could relax after dinner.

Clientele at the hotel is probably around 80% Chinese, 10% Korean and 10% European/Australian. Yes, the Chinese do have some strange habits but on the main, we found them to be quite friendly. Also remember that we’re in south east Asia and people do have different customs to normal western habits-please respect this. If you don’t like it then maybe you’re holidaying on the wrong continent! In addition to this, there are sooo many children here. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, forget it. Look elsewhere.

To finish, I’ve save the best till last. The staff and their wonderful Bornean smiles. Not once during our seven night stay did we meet any member of staff that gave us cause to complain. They are all so polite and accommodating. Too many to mention individually so thanks to one and all.

Would we return? Not in the short term. The world is a very large place and we still have the pleasure of looking forward to exploring it all. Would definitely use and recommend the Shangri-La chain, but Borneo….maybe we’ll be back to visit the orangutans with grand children….

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank MisterB65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2017

Dear MisterB65,

Thank you very much for choosing to stay at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa during your recent visit to Kota Kinabalu.

We are delighted to hear that you had had such a wonderful time here and thank you for writing this very generous and comprehensive review of the resort.

I am concerned, however, about your feedback about Shang Palace. Can you kindly send me an email via tah@shangri-la.com as I am most interested to hear about your experience at the Shang Palace.

We wish you many happy travel adventures ahead and hope that we will have the chance to serve you again soon. From all of us here, we wish you sunshine and Bornean smiles wherever you go.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong,
Director of Communications,
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2017

We upgraded to the Kinabalu Seaview room with Club facilities.
The entire accommodation was top class and with access to the Club room for breakfast, and evening cocktails and finger food was all we needed after days out sightseeing.
The staff on hand made everything so comfortable, and nothing was too much trouble for them to cater for our needs.
We must thank Johnny for his most welcome arrival messages about how best to use these facilities, and his excellent attention on our last evening check out.

Room tip: Take advantage of the Club lounge facilities for a quiet evening after a busy day sightseeing.
Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ken W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2017

Dear Ken W,

Thank you very much for this amazing review of the resort!

We've got all of us here grinning from ear to ear, especially Johnny and his team up in the Kinabalu Club Lounge.

We hope we will have the great pleasure of serving you again very soon. Until we meet, safe travels always.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong,
Director of Communications,
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2017

We had the best family holiday here. The kids club is excellent and my 8 year old niece could not wait to go back every morning. The pool is awesome though a bit too deep, the duty manager is lovely and Johnny and his team at the club lounge are excellent. Highly recommend and would definitely go back. Only regret is wish we had booked for a longer stay.

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
Thank shonee2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2017

Dear sir/madam,

Thank you so much for this amazing review and for your wholehearted recommendation!

We're so happy to hear that your niece had enjoyed the Cool Zone kids club so much. I'll be sure to let Julia and her team know right away! I'll also send this along to Johnny and his Club Lounge team. This will put big smiles on our faces today.

We'd be so thrilled to welcome you back to Kota Kinabalu. Until we meet again, sunshine and smiles always.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2017 via mobile

If you are considering this hotel because of any preconceived notions that you may have about luxury with the Shangri-La brand you should definitely think twice.
The customer experience excellence that is traditionally drilled into staff in this franchise is very hit and miss in this property.
The property is currently undergoing some renovations and perhaps there is no General Manager here to execute what one might typically expect.
This is a family resort with an emphasis on families and kids.
This location seems to be very popular with Chinese folk currently and I would estimate that up to 80% of the occupants during our stay were Chinese families and groups.
If you like the beach you can take boat ride to one of the surrounding island for a fee.
The Good:
The location is stunning with picturesque views out across the water to a group of islands that surround this property.
The gardens are lush and tropical and beautifully manicured and the evening sunsets are magnificent.
There is a small man made beach which provides a nice respite from the pool crowd.

The Bad:
We had booked a room that included use of the Horizon Club which meant we checked in there.
While we were being escorted to the club for check in it was explained to us that the name had been changed from Horizon to Kinabalu to change the expectation.
That because this was a family resort that children were encouraged to use the club unlike in A normal Shang club lounge.
We were left in the club to be checked in by Mark who was either deeply distracted or hated his job as there wasn't an ounce of warmth or welcome.
After check in we decided to grab a quick drink in the club lounge before going to the room.
All of the tables in the lounge have glass table tops and every single one of them was filthy.
There were food crumbs on the seats and carpets at each table and it appeared that the same filthy cloth had been used to wipe and smear each and every table top.
Their was a young female staff member who made zero effort to acknowledge or serve us and so I asked her if she worked there.
When she said she did I asked her if anybody cleaned the tables and she replied that breakfast had just finished. It was 2pm!
It was explained to us that evening drinks in the lounge ran in two shifts, the first being for families and the second was child free.
We arrived just before the start of the second shift to find it resembling a food hall.
It was packed with families that had filled their plates and tables with everything and anything that was on the buffet to feed their children dinner.
The buffet was then closed for thirty minutes so that it could be replenished.
There are two swimming pools in the resort, one for children and one supposedly for adults.
It is pretty crowded with limited places to sit as only around 50% of the lounges provided any shade.
It seemed that many people took their books and belongings to the pool area to secure the shaded seats early in the morning and then left them there all day preventing anyone else from using them.
At 10am on our first day one of the staff clearly didn't enjoy the sound of birds or waves and had plugged their iPod into the PA system at the pool and were cranking out their favourite pop hits.
There is a bar called the "Sunset Bar" which is strategically located to allow you to enjoy an evening drink while taking in the stunning sunset.
We used it only once as it was very popular and crowded.
There was one barman frantically trying to serve everybody while other uniformed staff members looked on.
At sunset I tried to take a picture of the view on my phone and was quickly told by one of the not so busy staff members that I couldn't stand where I was to take my pic as it might impede someone else's view.
When I asked him why their view had priority over mine he just asked me again to move.
In a country where average salaries are incredibly low and in a resort where the room rate is not, a lack of bar staff shouldn't be your experience.
On day two we decided to try breakfast in the restaurant after our experience the night before in the club lounge.
It too was packed to the rafters and extremely busy with families and kids.
The room was a pretty good size however the fit out is tired and dated.
Overall:
It all depends what you want. We clearly didn't research this place enough before booking and that's my fault.
Based on many of the reviews for this place many people love it.
We did experience some lovely staff members however the negative experiences tainted our overall stay.
As a couple trying to have a romantic break we were definitely in the wrong place.
It wasn't cheap at over S$400 a night and I'm fine with that if I get value and we didn't feel like we did.
The location is stunning and has so much potential to provide so much more of an experience.
If you want a family themed resort and large crowds don't bother you then this place might suit you but if you are considering this place based on the Shangri-La brand name and any previous experiences that you may have had with this brand elsewhere, like us you could be disappointed.

Date of stay: April 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
5  Thank Droid59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2017

Dear Droid59,

I have read your review posted here and am very concerned to learn that we had fallen short of your expectations.

On behalf of my team here, please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you had experienced during your stay. We are committed to providing our guests with the highest standard of services and facilities but I realise from your review here, that we had fallen short of our goal in this instance.

I have shared your review with my colleagues here and we have already begun to review our policies and procedures at the Club Lounge, the pool and the Sunset Bar.

I genuinely appreciate your willingness to share your experience and sincerely hope that you will allow us the opportunity to serve you again in the near future.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2017

A family friendly resort. Set amongst beautiful pristine islands. Incredible views with an amazing sunset.
Many different free activities and games are inclusive during your stay . One does not need to leave the resort as all is provided. Buffet breakfast and lunch are nutritious and delicious. Everything at your doorstep.
Kids club is great and the staff are wonderful with kids.

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
Thank nassoumahb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShangriLa_TAH, Director of Communications at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2017

Dear nassoumahb,

Thank you so much for this amazing review of the resort! I can't wait to share this with my colleagues. I am certain that this will put giant smiles across many faces because we strive to exceed guests' expectations daily and it's very rewarding to read reviews like these.

We do hope to serve you again soon.

Until we meet again, safe travels always.


Yours sincerely,
Claudina Wong
Director of Communications
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews