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“Lovely hotel great for kids”

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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, England
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel great for kids”
Reviewed May 15, 2006

I stayed here with my husband and 2 children 8 and 11 years for 2 nights. Prior to this stay we were at the Rasa Ria and moved here to be nearer the airport as we had an early morning flight. The hotel was a very good standard as you would expect but because it was so large did not feel as friendly as the Rasa Ria. My daughter said it was the best kids club she has ever been to. I had to blackmail her to come out of the club, and she came out for half an hour and then went back in. The kids club and staff were so child friendly. They had a great selection of activities for all ages from tots to teens. Our last day and night was a friday and the kids spent most of the day preparing a show for us. They loved doing this and made lots of friends. My husband and I had some real quality time together, but really missed their company. The club put on a kids buffet (for a charge) prior to the show and we had dinner together, slowly and unrushed. The hotel had a lovely small beach area. I prefered this beach are to the Rasa Ria in some ways because the water appeared clearer and there were no jelly fish. It was nice to stay at both resorts. I didnt rate the shopping in KK.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank poshcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2006

We stayed there twice, but read on WHY... not because it was so great!!!
The first time we stayd in Jan 04. We just came back from 3 days safari - tired and dusty and craving shower. We PREPAID 2 rooms for 3 nights (4 adults). We arrived at 5:30PM and were told that rooms were not ready! We sat in the lobby for almost 1 1/2 hours before being offered a room with a pull-out sofa INSTEAD of two rooms for which we paid! We refused as we wanted privacy and comfort! Finaly, around 7:30 pm, one room was made available, where all of us took turns taking showers. We went to swim in a pool while the second room was prepared.
We met a couple - woman had broken her leg because the steps leading to seashore restarant were not lit AND broken. The lounge chairs looked as if excavated from archeological site in Babylon - so old and worn out and DIRTY!!!
The sea water was full of floating garbage, the beach was unusable (dirty, muddy, water awful), their "aritificial" beach was a joke - just couple of trucks of sand dumped to form a mini-bay, water very murky.
The food was the only redemption of that place - it was actually tasty.
Upon return to Canada, we fired a complaint letter to Shangri-La headquatters in Hongkong. shortly after, we have received a letter with apology and a voucher for another 2 nights/2 rooms stay.
We had opportunity to use it the following year, and this time, the rooms were waiting for us, the manager personally escorted us into our (nice) rooms. The lounge chairs were replaced and the steps were fixed.
However, the garbage was still floating in the sea, and the beach was still unswimmable.
If you are looking for beach resort, go to Thailand or wherever but not to KK!!!
We stayed in KK only because we wanted to visit Sandakan (safari) and climb Mt. Kinabalu.
But I would not go there for seashore vacation.
Safari with SI tours was excellent!!!!

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank RonW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2006

As mentioned, I am a holiday snob, no two ways about it, I like luxury, end of. So I would like to take this opportunity to defend the STAR. We (husband and I) stayed for 10 nights mid March, upgrading both to a suite and the Horizon Club. Our room (on the Horizon Floor) was an ample size with separate bedroom and lounge, the bathroom had a deep bath and a walk in shower unit - toiletries replaced daily, extra's included a dvd, 2 tv's, fresh slippers each day, complimentary kimono or dressing gown and a bowl of fruit (which, being honest wasn't replaced daily as stated however I don't think this was quite enough to ruin our trip). Our experience of the Horizon Club was our Shangri-la, that little slice of paradise after a long day in the sun and a fab way to start an evening, ice cold air-con, a good selection of canapés and international brand drinks. I think if you were expecting to use the HC to fill yourself up on food and beer you have the wrong idea of it, it is in addition to your evening meal/drinks not in replacement. We found the staff to be attentive, polite and friendly and able to deal with queries in an efficient and helpful way. Breakfast was also brilliant, with lots of choice including local cuisine.

For a Londoner I didn't find the hotel prices extreme but I do agree, compared to outside the STAR, it seems steep but better in quality. Moreover, in particular the Shang Palace was excellent, both in taste and value and authentic - no MSG here thank you. A great recommendation was ‘Beachbums’ the bar across the way from the hotel – but be warned, make sure you have topped up on the insect repellent, especially if you sit under the trees.

We were however extremely disappointed with the beach, in size and cleanliness but the pool area’s more than made up. Subsequently, I don't think the litter in the sea can be blamed on the staff or hotel, more the shanty town close-by and perhaps the lack of ecology education available in Borneo.

I understand the 'taxi' issue but when your already paying less than a bus ride in London, I really don't see the point in haggling over pence. Plus, how else does a doorman make his salary up - did anyone see Hotel Babylon!

Overall we had a cracking time, meeting like-minded people out to enjoy the delights of Borneo fortunately from hotel with excellent standards. And yes, I know some people had issues but the hotel is huge and I shouldn’t imagine everyone has the same standards or taste so there will be irregularities. I would highly recommend the STAR and if you do have an issue, tell them, they will sort it out – I had an issue with a less than helpful customer service rep, which I told the management about, they sorted it and on our return had sent us a full report explaining what they did and apologising profoundly. Go, it’s a must!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank CountessB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2006

Stayed seven days in April 2006. Started badly on check in as there was a mixup with reservation. Staff not very helpful, really did not care too much. Baggage was left with concierge, as we were urged to go into town whilst room was being prepared. Baggage left at concierge desk - ? any security! On return several hours later we were finally shown to room, only to have to wait another hour or so before baggage arrived (after many phone calls). The staff that finally brought the baggage thought it was all very funny. We did not, as we had now been in transit for over twenty hours, were tired and in need of a hot bath!! Breakfast next morning was a delight, as it was every morning of our stay. The buffet was fresh and plentiful, with a vast variety. Some staff at breakfast were ultra friendly. The sea location was a dead loss, as the beach was hopeless for swimming or snorkelling, or even for walking. The nine hole pitch and putt golf course seemed to have lost a couple of holes! The restaurants were very overpriced for food and drinks, as were all the bars. Some of the hotel staff members were just fantastic, and would go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The hotel seemed to have a deal going with taxis - the charge into town was 15 ringgits - this was much less if you walked down the road and hailed a cab. Apparently the hotel gets a kick back of 5-10 ringgits. One of the main ringleaders of this racket (in charge of shuttles and taxis) is like a despot, and is infatuated with his immense "power", and not at all there for the guests. The five island tour is fantastic, well worth the money, but do barter - we used Beach Bums Agency at the Marina on the beach near the hotel - and managed to get them down to about 140 ringgits. The steam train ride was not worth the money - quite boring in fact. The orang-utans at Rasa Ria were great and well worth the trip, but again this was quite overpriced - we had to pay more because we weren't guests at Rasa Ria, even though it is a sister hotel with charge back facilities with the Tanjung Aru. The Shangri-La Tanjung Aru is definitely not a five star hotel - and definitely not five star staff - they certainly have a lot to learn. Sadly though, this is perhaps the pick of the hotels in Kota Kinabalu.

Stayed April 2006
Helpful?
13 Thank Travel1723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2006

I just returned from this resort 3 days ago and cannot say enough nice things about it. I was with two other families and we had 6 children, ranging from age 2 to 9. The baby pool is totally covered, as is the shallow area of the big pool, which makes it excellent for the kids to stay all day. The play ground is wonderful and right next to the pools, with a basketball court and volleyball court. If that's not great enough, the 'free' kids club (which is the best kids club I've been to ever...we've lived in Asia for 15 years and have tried a lot of kids clubs) is clean, new, filled with fantastic toys (X boxes for the older boys:) ) and the staff are really fun, lively and professional (not just free staff from housekeeping, but really qualified). The buffet was awesome, but I must say they did not change it much from day-to-day, which got boring after a few days, but given that the kids ate for free and each adult couple ate for $18 USD, I had little to complain about. The water sports were wonderful and at your disposal at all times. The staff were truly gracious and accomodated us every time we asked. The only bad thing was that I was alone w/o my husband for the first 4 days and my room was located at the farthest corner of the old wing and I had to carry two kids and all the bags a long way to the restaurant and pool, which was really tiresome. So you might want to reserve a room closer to the pool. The ground floor rooms had beautiful decks which had steps walking down to this huge lawn, where the kids loved playing! I hate writing this review b/c I loved it so much that I don't want it to book up as a result, because my family and I have quit 'checking out' all the other resorts and are happy to just go back to the Tanjung Aru Resort! I will mention though, that it's a family resort and if you don't like kids running around all over the place, you might want to try another resort!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank favisitor1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 21, 2006

stayed for ten fantastic nights in this hotel.Booked room direct with hotel on their web site got a great deal.
Priority check in when we arrived .A fantastic room in Tanjung wing.Large fruit bowl replenished daily,laundry included as well as our breakfast and evening meal.We could choose where we wanted to eat and pay extra if the bill was higher than the daily amount,it rarely was.
All the restaurants are fantastic and we recieved great service from all the staff.
At first we were unsure about this hotel but by the second night we could have stayed forever.
It was a truly magical holiday and we are returning again may 06 for 10 nights
the helicopter ride is a must do

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2006

Stayed 5 nites from end of March to early April and found the hotel above average in every aspect.

Our room was on the 4th floor in the newer Kinabalu Wing. Although the view did not face the South China Sea, we did have a wonderful of Mount Kinabalu looming over KK town on any clear sunrise.

Ask for a room in the Kinabalu Wing as opposed to the Tanjung Wing, reason being that the air-conditioning plant for the whole hotel is on that side. We were offered a special deal in the Horizon Club but we did not take it. Our room, a superior class was clean and comfortable with an excellent functional bathroom. Best thing was the shower, spacious and lots of water presure to cool yourself off after a long day in the sun.

Hotel was not by any means full when we were there and getting a sun lounger by the pool was not a problem. They have two medium-sized main pools and a round mini pool for toddlers. Lots of places to sunbathing and not just on the beach or poolside, since there garden grounds are rather extensive.

Staff were helpful and friendly but not obtrusive which is extra relaxing. All queries answered efficiently and accurately. There are daily activties which are free of charge to keep the guest boredom-free.

A good array of eating choices within the hotel but we managed to stay away for most meals since the options in KK town were cheaper, more varied. Newly refurbished Cafe Tatu is the setting for breakfast and is very well decorated. It also serves as a restaurant during the day and evening. I especially liked the non-alcoholic drinks they served in there.The poolside menu is good and servings of a good size, tastey! The resort provided beach dining and also beachfront barbeques next to Coco Joes. It looked tastey but unfortunatley did not tie in with any our dinner plans on any night, maybe next time....

There is a hotel shop which sells gifts and souviners as well as essentials for those last minute things. Prices are reasonable but of course prices are lower in town.

Did not use the water sports centre but they do have a great array for toys for you to hire. However, I did book a trip white water rafting from there on the Padas River. It was a great day out and essential for those who like an active holiday.

The Tanjung Aru is 10 minutes from the airport and another 10 into town. We found the taxis expensive compared to the journey time. Trip into town is RM15 with a 50% surcharge between the hours of midnight and 6am. The hotel runs a shuttle bus into KK town at 0800, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1500, 1700, 1800, 2100 and charges RM4 per pax return.

Overall the STAR is a great place to stay and especially laze around all day.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank HKGTHISTLE
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 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 On the Beach 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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