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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Butlins of Borneo”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Kent, UK
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Butlins of Borneo”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2006

The title might seem a bit harsh, but unfortunately this hotel and many others in Sabah are geared for kids. Something we didn't expect at all. If you are after a peaceful holiday don't go to this part of Borneo. There are many organised activities which make the hotel like a holiday camp. It is "in your face" all the time especially when the pool aerobics starts up at 11 am for an hour with extremely loud music!

The hotel looks impressive and overall we liked the look of it better than the Rasa Ria, an hour away. However there is no air conditioning in the hotel open areas just in the indoor restaurants and rooms. This makes it very uncomfortable at night as the temperature didn't go down below 90 degrees.

The rooms are of a high standard, and we were in the Tanjung Wing even though we had booked the Kinabalu Wing. They were very comfortable with plenty of drawer and cupboard space. They had in-room safes, tv (but not with any good movies which was disappointing) and a good size balcony with towel rails and comfortable chairs. The air con. is also easy to change and you are not kept awake at night from noisy fans.

The restaurants at the hotel are extremely expensive and we found it a lot better to eat out of the hotel wherever possible. A meal at Coco Joe's cost us around £62 just for a bbq main course and a very small ice cream plus a drink each.

Cafe Tatu (or Cafe Tatty as we called it) had a lot of choice but it was just like Butlin's with screaming children, total chaos and lots of noise. We hated it and only ate there once.

The Shang Palace was ok but the food was quite greasy, so not the best chinese we have had in the Far East.

We found it better to pay for an upgrade to the Horizon Lounge where a buffet breakfast was much more to our liking. The ambiance was nice and peaceful (most of the time) with a relaxed atmosphere and much better service. It was well worth the extra money. You could also have tea & coffee all day long and cocktails (not actually cocktails but soft drinks) and canapes early evening.

The pool was very warm and kept very clean but was not big enough for the number of guests. The pool area was quite dirty and could have done with a good hose down each day, especially with the number of kids at the hotel spilling drinks and dropping food.

The beach was gorgeous with golden sand and warm water. However jelly fish were present on a couple of occasions and we therefore couldn't go swimming on these days. It was more peaceful on the beach.

The Spa was very good and reasonably priced. I had a foot and leg massage which included a temple & neck massage in with it. This cost about £20, much less than I have paid before in other Spa's around the world. The smells of the oils were gorgeous and very relaxing.

Hotel staff - mostly extremely friendly and helpful but some at the reception were not so helpful. We tried to book the Rasa Ria's Nature Reserve and was told that only 6 people were allowed from the Tanjung Aru each session each day and that the whole week was booked up. We also couldn't get on a flight to Sepilok as the flights had been changed and they were full as well. We didn't believe this and rang the Rasa Ria ourselves and found that they were not full at all! We then booked ourselves to see the Orang's and got a taxi to the Rasa Ria giving us time to have lunch before the tour. If we had gone with the hotel we would have had to have left at 10.30 in the morning for the afternoon session at 2.30 and hung around the Rasa Ria for all those hours. In that heat that was not the most sensible thing to do!

Our advice is to book as many trips and outings that you can yourselves rather than through your tour operator or the hotel. Prices are much more reasonable and you get more for your money.

  • Liked — The rooms
  • Disliked — The organised activities
  • Tips/Secrets — Have plenty of money as the hotel is very expensive
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
22 Thank Lisa_Birch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,585 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,031
    1,033
    332
    112
    77
See reviews for
1,237
1,353
88
152
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (777)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hangzhou, China
Level Contributor
214 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2006

I stayed with my fiancee 4 nights in last December. Visit was my 2nd to KK (7 months earlier was at Magellan). We stayed in Tanjung wing.

Hotel pros:
close to airport, room is ok (ours overlooking golf course, we had partial seaview) but nothing special, room service was fine even late night. There were plenty of sun loungers, and green area close to Tanjung wing was peaceful.

Hotel cons: swimming pool is small, as I prefer proper swimming, beach is almost non existent, breakfast is average level (ok I have lived in Asia and got used to 5 star level), we did not eat at hotel, as prices are on high side & we knew nice place where to have dinners. There seemed to be quite a lot children around, some minor disturbance.

KK pros:
visit to nearby islands is a must - we loved to swim there (lots of people snorkling there as well), easy to get there by boat in morning and back later afternoon. We liked small & quiet Mamutik and bigger Manukan, where you can buy snacks or eat as well. Food; we ate all dinners at Twinsky in city center, we liked it, it offers fresh seafood with good prices and you can select yourself fresh fishes, crabs, mussels, tiger prawns etc., which are prepared based on your wishes in Chinese/Malaysian style (they speak ok English and Chinese). You sit outside in plastic chairs, but you get there to enjoy excellent seafood. Overall KK has good access to Sabah, if interested in Mt. Kinabalu, jungle etc.

KK cons
city is pretty rundown, no interesting shops or activities. Seafront has some bars, which have been half empty during both of my visits to KK. I like to walk, so made walks on public beach area. It is uncleaned with all kind of rubbish & carcasses around. It would be quite nice, if cleaned properly!

We were just relaxing there, and for this purpose max 4-5 days is enough. Overall pleasant stay, but dont expect it to be 5 star as most reviews are saying.

  • Liked — OK standard level room
  • Disliked — Room at Tanjung wing is not very spacious
  • Tips/Secrets — OK place for short holiday break, go to nearby islands for swim/snorkling
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
29 Thank Abramis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2006

Fabulous resort hotel. Large rooms which had everything we needed in it, great bathroom with bath and massive shower cubicle.

Lots of food choices.

No real beach but a great pool.

Loved it!!!

Helpful?
Thank woody255
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
55 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2006

I booked 2 rooms, checked in at 7pm but the staff told me that I had to wait because only 1 of the rooms is ready. This would have been acceptable if I checked in 1 pm, but not at 7pm. After further conversations with them for another 10mins, another check-in personnel stepped in and told us that both our room were ready. It appeared to me that the first person got it wrong.

The rooms were spacious, clean and well-maintained. The bed and pillows were comfortable. The bathroom and toiletries were top class.

Breakfast was good. However, the toaster behind us started smoking I'm guessing because of a piece of bread stuck somewhere. One of the customers alerted the staff who turned off the toaster and opened the window beside me to let the smoke out. Nobody apologised to us or offered any explanation.

The facilities, rooms and surrounds met my expectations for the price paid. Staff were polite but not trained to handle situations that differed from the standard.

  • Liked — Great place to wind down
  • Disliked — Service staff
  • Stayed September 2004, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank working4vacations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2006

The Shangri-La Tanjung Aru was a positive surprise for us after years of being disappointed with Shangri-La hotels elsewhere in the world. Whereas most Shangri-La's, particularly those in KL and China, have a weathered and beaten-in look (and certainly not in the league of "the finest hotels in the world" as their ad claims), the one at Tanjung Aru was fresh, alive and provided for a very relaxing holiday.

Rooms were spacious and well-appointed with lovely balconies. We stayed in the Tanjung Wing on the recommendation of another Tripadvisor review; this was important as it has undergone much more recent renovation than the other Kinabalu Wing. While it cost a little bit more, it was well worth it.

The resort had a very nice ease to it and had a fantastic location with its own promontory with private beach, and yet only 10 minutes from the airport and city (where we would recommend the Port View Seafood Restaurant significantly over the Ocean Seafood Restaurant for those looking to enjoy the region's catch).

Overall, a resort which we will certainly return to on any future trip to Kota Kinabalu.

  • Liked — Room quality and location
  • Disliked — May be a little on the large side
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay in Tanjung Wing
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Marms&Elms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2006

Stayed in one of their suites for 3 nights. I think it was in the Tanjung wing (it was near the pool). We had a nice time. I didn't need to go to town very often during my stay but I did think the RM4 for the shuttle was a little on the pricey side. I stayed at the Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort last year and their shuttle was free. Anyway for a party of 3 or more, a taxi is quicker and cheaper. The staff were friendly and service was good considering the hotel was fully occupied.

Avoid the Shang Palace at all costs - the food is really bad for a restaurant in a 5-star hotel. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, the prices at the hotel gift shop are ridiculously high. I stayed at the Nexus Resort Karambunai which is a lot further from town and the prices there were much more reasonable.

No complaints, but I personally much prefer the Magellan. I had wanted to stay there again but they were fully booked.

  • Liked — The friendliness of the staff
  • Disliked — Their Chinese restaurant, the Shang Palace
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid the Shang Palace if you want good Chinese food
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank HKexpat97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Alabans,England
Level Contributor
169 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2006

Despite contacting tavel agent and hotel direct with our room requirements. Had to wait allday before we could get our room.
Ist given a room that was uncleaned, then not what we asked for.
Eventually we got our room which was fine, but not 5 star class.
Food very bland, not a great deal of quality choice , flavour poor. No Bacon or Pork available. Complained, and was given smoked salmon, for breakfast and dinner each day. Food much better at sister Hotel though only 4Star. Service from staff wonderful.
The Beach was very dissapointing got stung by jelly fish, first morning. Rubbish and sewage from Stilt Houses washed onto beach and by sea side cafe. Smell off putting . Poll great early morning for swim but a bit crowed during day.
Visits to coral Islands fantastic, enjoyed snorkelling there. No Snorkelling at hotel. Sailing ok.
Enjoyed trip to sepilok to see orang-outangs, wonderful.
Enjoyed steam train trip, but that was because I tipped driver who let me drive it back, absolutely fantastic, took me back to my childhood.
Deap sea fishing very poor would not recomend.
We had a nice spot on Grass overlooking beach and sunset, which was lovely.
We enjoyed ourselves but definitely not 5 Star and Would never go back

  • Liked — Spacious Hotel Pleasant Gardens
  • Disliked — No real beach smaell and rubbish from sea
  • Tips/Secrets — Really 3star plus standard, but most staff great.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank mike_StAlbans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kota Kinabalu
1.5 mi away
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
15.5 mi away
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
2.7 mi away
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
#5 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,001 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.1 mi away
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
#3 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,344 reviews
11.9 mi away
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
#14 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,287 reviews
3.3 mi away
Hotel Sixty3
Hotel Sixty3
#1 of 91 in Kota Kinabalu
4.5 of 5 bubbles 629 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#2 Spa 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Expedia, Agoda, Hotwire, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La`s Tanjung Aru Resort And Spa
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Resort
Shangri Las Tanjung Aru Hotel
Shangri La Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing