Spent a fantastic 2 nights following a Mt Kinabalu climb. #1 by far was the quality and... See full review
Jul 4, 2013
There is a place, accessible only by boat, where all that nature has created, from sheltered coral reefs to protected mangroves, over thousands of years has been preserved by those devoted to its care. A place called Gaya Island Resort at Pulau Gaya.
Within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, Gaya Island Resort rests along the coast of Malohom Bay, a natural sanctuary nestled in the hillside of an ancient rainforest with a stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon. The resort's architecture respects Sabahan elements; its 120 villas and two-bedroom suite use local materials and blend harmoniously with the natural environment while villa interiors are designed with a contemporary elegance.
Yet this is more than just a beautiful beachfront resort in stunning surroundings; with its PURE activities, this is a place for the curious to actively engage or peacefully absorb all Borneo has to offer.
Seamlessly integrated within the mangroves is Spa Village, offering a rich tapestry of spa programmes that reflect the ancient healing practices of the region while restoring balance to alleviate modern stresses. Dining is a burst of freshness and flavour; exquisite, sensory and sublime.
Discoveries, authentic experiences and a sense of intimacy with the natural world all prevail across the land and seascape of this resort, with its youthful vibe and sun-dappled moments, offering travellers and families an escape that is distinctively Borneo.
Gaya Island Resort is committed to ecologically-sustainable practices to minimise the carbon footprint within its environment. Therefore, the resort is a walking resort and only minimal motorised vehicles are used for operational purposes.
Travel by air: Major airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and Royal Brunei operate direct international flights from major destinations around the world to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia operate direct flights to Kota Kinabalu. Those traveling to and from Singapore can connect directly to Kota Kinabalu via SilkAir, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia. The journey continues by land transfer towards Sutera Harbour Marina.
Land Transfers: For guests who require return transfers between Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Sutera Harbour Marina, arrangements can be made for a private vehicle. The driving time between Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Sutera Harbour Marina takes approximately 15 minutes.
Sea Transfer: From Sutera Harbour Marina, guests are transported via speedboat to Gaya Island Resort. Journey time is approximately 15 minutes. Return transfers: Adult : (RM140.00) & Child (2 -11 years old) : RM70.00.
From Sutera Harbour Marina: 0800hrs, 1000hrs, 1200hrs, 1400hrs, 1600hrs, 1800hrs
From Gaya Island Resort: 0900hrs, 1100hrs, 1300hrs, 1500hrs, 1700hrs, 1830hrs
One way private boat charters between 7am to 9pm - RM500 & One way private boat charters between 9pm to 7am - RM700. Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
Conservation fees will be collected from every guest upon check-out, as part of the preservation of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park where Gaya Island Resort is located. Each guest of the resort including children, will be required to contribute MYR30 for their first night of stay, followed by an additional MYR20 for each night thereof. Fees collected by the resort will then be transferred to Sabah Parks, and will go towards preserving the rich ecosystem of the region.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Located in Gaya Island Resort
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Situated on a hillside amidst lush rainforest, the villas offer a peaceful setting with leafy views ranging from the rainforest canopy to the tropical mangroves. Connecting rooms are available for families. **Maximum occupancy per room is 2 adults and 1 child below 12 years. Children accompanying adults will be on existing bedding. Breakfast for children will be on additional charge.
With views stretching across the South China Sea, and where the silhouette of Mount Kinabalu can be seen on a clear day, these Kinabalu Villas provide the best views in the resort. **Maximum occupancy per room is 2 adults and 1 child below 12 years. Children accompanying adults will be on existing bedding. Breakfast for children will be on additional charge.
Set amongst a tropical mangrove on a gently sloping hillside, these villas offer a beautiful outlook and are walking distance from the resort's pristine sandy beach. **Maximum occupancy per room is 2 adults and 1 child below 12 years. Children accompanying adults will be on existing bedding. Breakfast for children will be on additional charge.
Fitness center or spa
Doctor on call
Nearby points of interest
Mt Kinabalu: 35.7 mi
The 90 square metre Conference Room is centrally located at the resort amidst landscaped garden on the upper level. The venue is suitable for business meetings and private functions with a capacity of up to 100 persons. The conference room can be partitioned into two smaller rooms and one can choose from a variety of seating arrangements to suit a meeting or event. Audio-visual equipment is available upon request.
Savour a vibrant, interactive all day dining experience that offers the diverse cuisine from the Asia-Pacific region. The dynamic open kitchens showcase a bakery, Japanese/Korean, Asian and Western selections. The location by the lap pool offers stunning views of Mount Kinabalu and the surrounding beach.
Situated on the resort's rooftop, Fisherman's Cove offers exquisitely fresh seafood with a breathtaking view of the sea and Mount Kinabalu. A celebration of nature drawn from her bounty play chef, infused by the region's culinary arts and transformed by our chefs into a memorable range of experiences - a feast seasoned by sea breeze just for you.
Fisherman's Cove is a fine dining restaurant that serves only seafood cuisine. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed in this restaurant for the comfort of all our guests. A proper dress code is required with shirt, full-length trousers and shoes for gentlemen and smart casual wear for ladies.
Pool Bar & Lounge
Overlooking the resort's infinity pool and floating cabanas, the Pool Bar & Lounge with its al fresco location and natural light is the perfect place to relax with sundowners and light refreshments as the sun sets over Mount Kinabalu.
Set in an enclave at Tavajun Bay, a short 5-minute boat ride from the resort, this tranquil private beach is perfect for relaxing under the tropical sun, lulled by the gentle sea breeze.
Reminiscent of the sun-blessed Mediterranean coastline where vibrant flavours and simple presentation predominate, earthenware skillets kept warm over charcoal embers await for lunch where single dish meals that change daily is infused with local and international influences.
Select your beverage from the cooler display and settle down to dine on rustic logs or on a beach mat, wriggling your toes in the sun-warmed, pristine sand.
Guests can also choose to pre-order and personalise a gourmet picnic basket for an indulgent afternoon on this piece of paradise.
Terms and conditions
Rates quoted in currencies other than the hotel's base currency are subject to the rate of the international exchange. Rate may change throughout stay. Rate may reflect average nightly rate. Extra charges may apply. Incidental charges, such as room service, are not included in the rate.
The amenities and/or facilities may not be located at the hotel, but within a reasonable distance, and additional charges may apply for use. All information has been provided by this hotel and not by Orbitz
Spent a fantastic 2 nights following a Mt Kinabalu climb. #1 by far was the quality and friendliness of the entire staff. There were so many times when the staff went out of their way to accommodate and welcome (finding food after the kitchen
closed, assisting with returning excess bags to my room, greeting by name). #2 landscape/surrounding nature and design are beautiful. #3 abundance and quality of activities. I recommend taking advantage of the many daily activities, most of which are free. I paid the additional fees for the snorkeling experience and a private yoga session. The private yoga, though expensive, was perfectly catered to my needs due to the fantastic insructor, Xiu Lei. If you are a yoga fan and will be at GIR in the month of July, you are in luck! Also, make sure to take advantage of the free Nature trek with Justin and Jamie as you will learn and see a lot! I would be surprised if anyone is disappointed after a vacation here. The only negative is the cost: of the lodging, water transport, and on site food, however, I believe the prices are in line with other high-end resorts and in this case, the experience met and exceeded all of my expectations for the price-tag.
Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Snorkeling experience is 30 ringgits. The coral reef you visit is actually adjacent to the main hotel beach. You can borrow/rent snorkeling gear and easily explore on your own to cut cost.