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Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
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Reviews (3,956)
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Reviewed June 8, 2006

Well guy's just got back this morning after staing 10 glorious nights at the STAR, , ok on arriving, I was a little disappointed with the lobby area, we haved stayed at the Pelangi beach resort in Langkawi and for us their reception area was better, we were shown to the 6th floor for us to check in to our Horizon club rooms and to meet with the Horizon club staff ( more about them later ), on walking down the corridors to your rooms, there is no getting away from the fact that there is this smell of musty dampness and this smell does progess right into your room. The fact of the matter is that, the corridors and rooms are carpeted and with such high humidity you could not expect anything else, a tip would be to rip all the carpets up and install some local natural stone, anyway. The grounds are immaculate and perfectly manicured, the pool area's are great, no problems with kids and whats wrong with kids anyway we were all one once!. A lot of Japanes having fun but hey, isn't that what you are supposed to be doing when away on hols. Great little footy pitch and nice pitch and put, loads of activites for the kids and a great entertainer in Rohan a true comic and a lovely guy. Food, well, we were in the Horizon club for breakfast and evening cocktails and a lovely place to, great choice of buffet breakfast and really nice snacks in the evening and as much drink as you want, however, no one abused the fact. I suppose the only draw back is if you have youngsters with you, as they are not really encouraged in the evening and the dress code is long trousers for men and no shorts for women. The buffet by the beach is great value and fab choice with everything out of the sea you can imagine and very well priced, ie: huge tiger prawns MYR 13 each. The Shang Palace serves really nice Chinese food with very good sized portions, cannot really fault the eating places at all. Drinks can be expensive at MYR 17 for a small beer and MYR 21 for a cocktail. Try and have a drink in the Borneo lounge and have a chat with Reze the local barman, a great guy with a very good sense of humour and full of local knowledge.

The Horizon club staff must have a mention, Brian, Beatrice, Johnny, Thomas to name but a few, these are the warmest you will find anywhere, professional, attentive and most of all wonderfull people and they made our stay that much better. I am not going to gone about rooms, as some people on here have maoned about ie bed linen too hard, a hole in one towel, come guy's get a life. the rooms are more than adequate and with some of the very best sea views that you will get anywhere. Hope this honest opinion helps, by the way we did go to the RR to see the Orang Utans and on first impressions loved their reception, however, it stopped there and we are more than glad we plumbed for the STAR.

Jamie, Suzanne, Josh and Becky

Stayed: June 2006
6  Thank Jamesandsuzanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2006

What a wonderful hotel - couldn't agree more with last review from London - we also travel extensively and it has to be number one for us. We have just returned from 8 days there - only regret was that we didn't do more trips as we were in such paradise at the hotel. Apart from one person at reception when we arrived who tried to talk us into other options at more cost (even though they were included in what we were paying for - so be on the ball!), the hotel staff, without exception, during the 8 days we were there were overwhelmingly helpful and courteous, anticipating our every wish. Poolside service was excellent and fresh melon "kebabs" were brought round to cool you down, the international buffet in the main dining room was out of this world - everything you could possibly dream about - we had to force ourselves away every evening to try other restaurants (which are plentiful) and to avoid piling on the pounds! The deluxe room in the Tanjung Aru wing was vast with a big balcony, classy top-quality furniture, and a superb bathroom with huge walk-in shower.
We went on the Sepilok orang-utan trip in Sandakan and, although you saw a few more orang-utans than at the Rasa Ria Resort, it did mean a whole-day trip - most of which is spent flying and hanging around at the airport. Being a flight away also made it quite an expensive trip compared to the Rasa Ria alternative.
As for massages, lovely spa or alternatively massages by the pool/sea with the sound of the waves.
This is a lovely hotel for families AND a romantic hotel for couples - a nice balance, not too much of one or another.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
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10  Thank carolux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
london/england
121
Reviewed May 26, 2006

Firstly let me just say what ever you have read about this hotel in a bad content forget it because this hotel in my opion is the best i have stayed at,and i have travelled all over the world.
HOTEL...
2 hour flight from kuala lumpur collect your bags and in 10 mins you are in paradise,check-in was swift,the hotel staff are very freindly and helpful,there was 4 of us in our group and we stayed in the tanjung wing which for me are the best rooms to stay in.
The hotel layout is superb there is an excellent kids club 4 restaurants a nightclub open till 2am if you eat in the hotel try the shang palace or the buffet restaurant.
EATING OUT..
Just 10mins in a taxi will bring you to the waterfront of downtown kk here are a number of restaurants and bars which cater for all tastes...for example a meal for 4 people with drinks was around about £5 a-head,try the north indian restaurant or the fantastic noodle bar and just a 5 min walk you will find little italy a lovely little restaurant.
Just outside the hotel is beachbums which is very cheap for food and drinks and seeing as we were room only £1 for breakfast was excellent value.
ORANGATANS...
when you arrive make sure you book the trip to the rasa ria there sister hotel to see the orangatans they only take 12 people a day it is a must and the beach there is fantastic but thats about it for that hotel as a whole the tanjung has to be the choice to stay at.
It costs about £10 per person that includes transport there and back and entry into the orangatans bring some mosi repellelent,and the nice thing about seeing them is that there not behind fences,they have 6 babys there at the moment and you have about an hour with them.
After that the day is yours to spend at the hotel.
TRIPS....
If you do anything while you are here you must take the boat trip to manakun island,pick your towels up from the pool walk 2 mins to the marina pay about £5 each and in 10 mins you are on an island where you can snorkel with all kinds of fish it also has chalets that you can hire for £50 a night with your own private beach(heaven).
They also have a beach seafood barbecue from 12 till 2.30pm all the watersports you can think of a restaurant and a fresh water swimming pool.

If you have anywhere in mind for a once in a lifetime holiday then this is the place for you i for 1 and my freinds will def be back for more.......

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
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21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2006

We are on honeymoon and currently 5 days through a week at the STAR, having come from a week at the Datai, Langkawi. The Datai is amazing (see seperate post) and coming from there to the STAR was a shock to start with. The Datai is perfect for honeymoon and very relaxing, and has an air of exclusivity (we are definate holiday snobs!) Had we come straight to the STAR then I dont think we would have felt like there was such a difference but the STAR is definately a HUGE resort hotel and caters mainly for groups and famililies. On the plus side the staff are fantastic and the gardens are very well maintained. There is no beach to speak of and the pool has been full of groups with glasses of wine and beer when we have visited.. unless you go early when you can get a good swim! There are lots of loungers and you can move then to the gardens to get peace but dont expect peace around the pool as it can be quite crowded.

We upgraded to the Horizon Club which I would definately recommend.. you get breakfast, afternoon tea and alcohol (wine and spirits) and canapes from 5-7pm. It has only been full on one night since we have been here and the staff are very attentive.

Make sure (if you like nice rooms) that you go for a room in the Tanjung Wing (you can still upgrade from here to the Club) I had e mailed the hotel to confirm that we would be in a refurbished room..the Tanjung Wing is the older wing but has recently had its rooms upgraded wheras the Kinabulu Wing (although the newer wing) still has super 70's rooms full of wicker furniture! We were put in a Kinabulu room which was very disappointing and in need of an upgrade, although we did get champagne, rose petals on the bed and a cake as we were on honeymoon. I complained and was told that the Tanjung Wing was full (with a group) and it was 2 days before we could move. We paid an extra RM200 (about £30) per night and were upgraded to a Tanjung Deluxe Suite.. WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!! The Tanjung Suites are fantastic and there is an excellent balcony/ loungers/ water feature outside. The suite has 2 bathrooms and a dining area with large lounge area and master bedroom with seperate TV etc. Compared to the Kinabulu rooms, it is like being in a different hotel. If you go for one of these, and do like peace and quiet make sure you go for the suites on the far corner, near the pitch and putt, not the ones on the corner near the swimming pool.

The Hotel does offer free broadband internet in all rooms.

So far as food is concerned, we have eaten in Cage Tatu which althiugh large and somewhat like a canteen was very good value for a set lunch. Peppinos (Italian) was fantastic food and had a lovely intimate atmosphere but was £100 for a meal for 2 including wine.

A few other points re KK..

THe shopping is not great if you like big modern malls although they are developing the city very fast and it will be a diffent story in 2 years.. you can however see all the local shops and bazaars and there is a plethora of electronics shops!

Car hire is not cheap (certainly not compared to Langkawi) and although husband called every company in the city, the cheapest we could get was a basic proton 1.5l shed for RM150 per day.

KK seems to come alive at night.. the Waterfront is worth a visit for bars/ restaurants and it seems to be the locals 'place to be'. Portview on the Waterfront is a huge Chinese restaurant.. and very authentic. We were the only non- chinese in there and for £21 we had the most fantastic meal of the holiday (all the seafood comes from the tanks in the enterance) At the other end is BED, a club type bar but there was a great band on and as we were there early (9pm) it was fairly quiet and mellow...

All in all, whilst I would go back to the Datai tomorrow, I am very glad to have visited Borneo and KK is great to see as a city that is on the cusp of developing into something rather good... but then it is likely to lose some of its charm along the way and that would be a shame.. it is great to see the water villages and the authentic Filipino markets by the port (but hold your nose, its a tad smelly!) The weather is far more clement than Langkawi.. very hot but not as humid and not so much rain...

So far as hotels are concerned, I think the STAR was probably the best option.. it is in a good location and has fab views of the islands (but I wouldnt rate the Tanjung Beach complex near the enterance) Hotels of top notch standard are somewhat limited. The Rasa Ria is out of town and has construction work, the Nexus is a lot quieter and in the jungle with a golf course but doesnt have the polish of the Shangri La's and the Sutera Harbour is more of a business hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
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25  Thank rpmoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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6  Thank poshcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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