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“Paradise personified”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 10, 2009

My wife & I have recently returned from a 13 night stay at th STAR, returning for the second time, after 12 months. I must say there have been some inprovements made, since we were last there.
Management have introduced a "Happy Hour" @ the Sunset Bar, where drinks are 2 for 1 & with one of dislikes being drink prices, this was a real plus. Also during the day, at the pool, there was a daily special on a coulpe of drink option & poolside snacks. Another welcome change. Putt- putt golf was now free of charge, as were a couple of other activities.
Service was great, right from the start, with Jessie doing a fantastic job at making us feel welcome at check-in, even though we made her walk from one end of the hotel, to the other, in her heels, as we took the option of upgrading our room.
The start of the day was something to look forward to, with such a spectacular buffet breakfast waiting for you. There was everything you could imagine, although at our first breakfast, my wife mentioned there wasn't any vegimite. Next morning, there was the ever smiling, ever helpful, Royston, with a plate containing some sachets of vegimite. This was the sort of service we received form him & Arif, all holiday.
Overall, the staff were always smiling & could do enough to ensure our holiday was enjoyed, and it certainly was. We're both looking forward till we can once again walk in paradice.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TasmaniaSuki
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 reviewResponded December 18, 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 am very pleased to learn that our beverage offerings and revision of leisure facility charges are being received positively. These have very much been as a result of listening to our valued guests.

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

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2,667 - 2,673 of 3,886 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2009

My partner and I stayed for 5 nights in early December in a Kinabalu Seaview room. We requestest the top floor (level 7) and were given one. The room itself was nice, but when we walked in it had that slightly mouldy/unaired smell (a bit like a caravan) which didnt give a good first impression. The bathroom was very nice, with a big shower and a deep seperate tub. The best part about this room was the balcony, and KK was suprisingly not as humid as i was expecting, not overly warm, so we spend many hours on the balcony.

The food - not too bad. Some meals were very nice, some were pretty average. I wasn't keen on the breakfast, and most mornings it resembled a mad house. They almost need to set up a seperate room/buffet and seperate the wings, it just isn't big enough.

That all said, I can not reccomend high enough Peppino's. It is the award winning Italian restaurant at the hotel. I won't go into too much detail, but the service was amazing, and food simply beautiful. You must try the Lobster Raviloli, and for $15AUD you'll be amazed at what you're eating.

I didnt find the food/beverage prices to be too expensive, remembering it is a 5 star hotel. The service was generally very good, with the occasional sour face popping up here and there.

As for KK itself, I wasn't very impressed. I've been to many Asian countries, and would put it somewhere in the middle of Bali and Phuket. More toward the Bali end unfortunately, as they don't seem to know what a rubbish bin is. We went on a day trip out to Sapi island and were devastated when we saw the ocean absolutely littered with rubbish, it really turned us off snorkelling in it.
So that said, we spent the entire 5 nights at the hotel, and bar a couple of short visits out, ate all our meals there and spent the majority of our time by their beautiful pools.

Oh another tip, all the cocktails/mix drinks are very very weak. I didn't mind it, but it annoyed my partner - the whole value for money thing :)

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tammy1983
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to post your feedback.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay, but have well noted your comments with regards to the room, breakfast and drinks.

Our air-conditioning has a secondary thermostat with the objective of ensuring the room temperature and humidity does not allow the room to get to the point of having any odour. I shall immediately be looking into this to ensure it is functioning correctly in all areas it should be.

You will be pleased to note that this weekend we are putting the finishing touches on an outdoor roofing project for Cafe Tatu. This will vastly improve the seating capacity of the restaurant in all types of weather and ensure that breakfast is a more pleasant experience at peak times.

The measures for our cocktails are standardized, so I will be looking with our Food and Beverage Management team at reviewing the recipes.

I will be passing your comments regarding the cleanliness of KK City and the sea to the appropriate local authority departments for their attention and action.

Once again, many thanks for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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Reviewed December 6, 2009

As has been said by many people already on this site: This hotel really is a very nice place to stay.

Let me start by saying: It is definitely advisable to upgrade to the Kinabalu Club room. We took a 'Mountain view' room in the club and it was worth every penny: the breakfast was great. The buffet featured a variety of foods, teas and fruits from around the world and was always kept stocked with everything so what you wanted never ran out. They also provided a cooked breakfast. After breakfast the room was converted into a lounge; there was complimentary soft drinks and cake available all day and it was a great place to just sit down and relax with a stunning view when it got too hot or when we'd been out for the day. From 5-7 beer and wine was also served with a buffet of snacks. The lounge was staffed by the nicest staff you could wish to meet who always seemed genuinely happy to see you. On the one day it rained they opened a cupboard and told us to help ourselves to books, magazines and puzzles to pass the day.

The room was spotlessly clean and had a very nice bathroom. There was a DVD player and a selection of DVDs to choose from. Our balcony faced Mt Kinabalu. I woke up early everyday to read on the balcony and watch the beautiful sun rises.

The hotel has 2 pools both with a deep end and play area for kids, one of which had a UV canopy. There were lifeguards on duty all day and plenty of places to sit. My wife and myself had a massage at Chi- The Spa- It was a beautiful setting and the massage was perhaps the best I've ever had

The restaurants are a little expensive but because I was could go in the Kinabalu Lounge I only ate there once or twice. The food was very good.

Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone going to Borneo.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank MGJapan
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Many thanks for staying with us recently and for sharing 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, particularly at the Kinabalu Club Lounge.

I note your comment on pricing. We are constantly reviewing our offerings and pricing based on feedback and have made some good progress in this area over the last few months, but your comment is certainly taken on board for our next review.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and warmest regards from all of us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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Reviewed December 4, 2009

When the only thing positive about a hotel is its proximity to the airport, that's not a good sign. I've stayed at plenty of Shangri-la's in the region and this one just doesn't deserve that brand name.
To start, the breakfast was a zoo, not a great way to start. I felt like I was back at high school cafeteria. Kids running around, staff looking harassed and food quality generally mediocre. They start running out of food 30 minutes before the breakfast even closed. One good thing to do is a trip to one of the outlying island. If we didn't spend a day at the nearby Sapi Island, this would have been a major disappointment of a trip..
I agree with other comments: the food is way over priced. The food price at Four Seasons in most other cities would be cheaper.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank steve2sg
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Greetings from Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

I am distressed to hear that your recent stay with us fell below your expectations.

I sincerely apologize that your experience at our Cafe Tatu was not favourable. We are currently extending the seating area by installing an outdoor roof area which we believe will immediately improve the peak time crowding issues. Meantime our Chef is conducting an intensive review of our buffet based on your feedback to ensure it is consistently at the required standards.

We have revised menus going into circulation early next year and will be doing the appropriate comparisons to ensure our pricing is where it should be.

Once again thank you for your feedback. I very much trust that we will have the opportunity of welcoming you back and demonstrating our usual high standards of Shangri-La service.

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Reviewed November 27, 2009

The hotel is one of the best choice in Kota Kinabalu. It is definetely a resort with many facilities and obviously attracts families. We had a room in the Kinabalu wing with a view of the jungle. The room was nice, nothing spectacular but spacious and clean. There was no flat screen TV, I was not bothered by it but I kind of expected it from a five star hotel. The breakfast was good, I enjoyed being able to sit outside. We ate twice at Coco's by the pool, lunch and dinner and they were both good, more western food though. We rejected eating at the italian restaurant since we are living in Europe right now. We did eat at the chinese restaurant one night and the crispy duck was excellent. I would recommend to eat there at least once. The pools are already, a bit too shallow but more children-friendly this way. There is a small beachfront where we went swimming, apparently there were some small jellyfish, one of the four of us got stung but it was not that dramatic. There was a sign saying that there is jellyfish and a bottle of vinegar but I had not seen it. The sunset bar is very cool, got some great pictures of the sunset. The highlight of the hotel is their award-winning spa, simply amazing. Great treatment rooms and really plush bathrobes. We all had massages on one day and my partner had another one, he did not really like the second specialist that much but it did not ruin the experience. In addition, they offer yoga and tai-chi classes and the yoga room is absolutely amazing, I wish I could always do yoga in such a room. We also went to the other Shangri-la to see the orangotangs, it was worth the trip. The main reason I chose the Tanjung over the Rasa-ria was the issue with the horseflies and when we visited Rasa-ria, I was happy with my choice of Tanjung. We returned to the hotel after we hiked Mount Kinabalu and we were given a room in the other wing, I think it was an upgrade, the room was larger and nicer, had a view of the sea and the pool but we were too tired to enjoy it and left really early the next morning. Overall, I enjoyed our stay there. It is not a luxurious, secluded place but it is the best option in the area.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dora Z
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Thank you for staying with us recently and for taking the time to write such kind comments.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us.

I do hope your friend has recovered from encounter with a jellyfish, which unfortunately are present at some times during the year and make it over the netting that we have installed and monitor. I note your comment on the flat screen TVs which are in all of our suites, but will be going into the rooms in phases.

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

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Reviewed November 24, 2009

We spent a week at the Tanjung Aru in Oct 2009. It is a massive hotel with lots of facilities.

Unfortunately my husband was sick for 4 of our 7 days (we hadn't eaten at hotel by that time so not their fault!) and we were confined to our room for a while. The staff were really helpful, from reception staff rearranging the nights we stayed, to the housekeeping staff making ensuring the room was as comfortable as possible.

Beautiful spa facilites - not cheap, but amazing location.

Would definitely visit again - hopefully without the illness!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fi-W-Scotland
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Many thanks for staying with us recently and for sharing your kind comments.

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

I do hope that your husband is now fully recovered and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Once again many thanks for your feedback and warmest regards from all of us.

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Reviewed November 23, 2009

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu after two nights in KL. At the Tanjung Aru resort we were taken to the Club Lounge to be checked-in. We stayed in a Ocean View room in the Kinabalu Wing with views across the beautiful gardens and out across the sea to the islands. The room comes with internet access and a well stocked bathroom. The mattress is very firm ( seems typical of many Asian hotels I have stayed in ).
We spend the next six days lazing around the pool and beach ( small in size but big enough ) and making a few trips into town in the evenings. The town is close by and taxi's are cheap and safe. Shopping in the town is basic....even at the Malls, dont expect KL type Malls in Kota Kinabalu as they are basically a collection of stalls with the odd brand ( Adidas, Nike and Mont Blanc ) shop here or there. I did buy a digital camera from a stall in the KK Plaza and the price worked out to be about $30's cheaper than here in Sydney. The Night Markets on the waterfront are more for the locals but do offer a range of locally produced goods. Didnt see any nice restaurants in town, just the usual basic Asian restaurants and the pricey and down-market bars/restaurants on the waterfront. We did go to Jothy's Fish Head & Banana Leaf Restaurant one night...its a basic decor place but the service and food was good.
We had the rest of our meals at the Resort. The buffet in Tatu for dinner/breakfast is OK, fairly standard format; not as good as the Sofitel in Shanghai or Raffles in Beijing. Coco's for lunch offered some nice options, veg spring rolls & satay sticks are a favourite; dinner was also good with bbq seafood etc. Peppino's was excellent, great pasta & desserts ( didnt try the meat dishes which included overseas steak cuts ), service was excellent, we went twice in a row!!
The service overall was excellent, very friendly, efficient and warm. Special thanks to Freddy who looked after us in the Club, the woman ( Tall with long hair ) who served us twice in Peppino's, and the waiters at Coco's.
We took the day trip to Shangri-la Rasa Ria to visit the Orang-utans. The resort has a bus that travels between the two resorts. This was a highlight of the trip. We spent the afternoon on the full-version beach at this resort and tried to have lunch there ( they forgot our order and when we did eventually get it it was fairly average, not up to the quality of Coco's. They staff did sincerely apologise which was welcomed ).
We didnt go on any trips to Mt Kinabalu or the outer islands but the resort offers a boat shuttle through-out the day to the islands and there are manyf tours to the Mount, including the odd taxi driver offerings day trips for around 250 RM....maybe next time.
Overall, great resort although the food out of Tatu's could have been better. I would recommend splitting your trip between the two Shangri-la's.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank ColinT62
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 reviewResponded December 18, 2009

Many thanks for staying with us recently and for sharing your kind comments. We are all thrilled that you enjoyed your stay.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed our friendly Sabahan service and I will gladly pass the comments onto my colleagues. However, I note your comment with regards to the bed. We would be delighted to arrange a mattress per your preference next time. Please do let us know if you are visiting any Shangri-La and we will make the necessary arrangement as well as noting it for future visits.

We have recently welcomed a new Chef to the team who is looking at constant improvement and variety on the buffet in Cafe Tatu.

Again, thank you for the kind feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back 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 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
#2 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: $217 - $504 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 492
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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