Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Set on the edge of the azure blue South China Sea near Kota Kinabalu, the 29-year old beach resort has been a visited winner of the international awards for its outstanding hospitality, facilities and conservation ventures. With a picturesque setting close to the coral islands of Tunku Adbul Rahman National Park and other historic monuments, this is perfect for rainforest treks and devoted beach life.
Highlights: Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa features a private sandy beach and 2 outdoor pools set in lush gardens. The spa's open yoga pavilion includes a deck over the South China Sea.
Getting There: This beachfront resort on Borneo's northern coast is a 10-minute drive from downtown Kota Kinabalu and Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Price: The approximate cost for a room starts from 760 MYR.
Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Getting There: Located on the Pantai Dalit Beach on Borneo's northern tip, the resort is 12 kms from Tuaran Tamu.
Price: The approximate cost for a room starts from 400 MYR.
Gaya Island Resort
Around one hundred beautifully finished villas set in either side of the lush jungle foliage, atmospheric mangrove, or looking out on the corals and the blues of the nearby sea where high-end luxury meets nature at Gaya Island Resort, a serene getaway surrounded by sandy beaches and tropical rainforest. This 5-star non-smoking resort features an outdoor pool, yoga classes and a pampering Spa Village.
Highlights: The pool-side Feast Village serves the best of local and international cuisines from 3 large kitchens and offers wine from its private cellars. The rooftop Fisherman's Cove serves freshly caught seafood. Cocktails can be enjoyed at the Pool Bar Lounge.
Getting There: Gaya Island Resort is on Pulau Gaya, within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, off the coast of Borneo. It is a 10 minute speedboat ride from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal.
Price: Approximate cost for a room starts from 1050 MYR.
Gayana Island Resort
Only few resorts on the planet offer access to both an unspoiled tropical jungle and vibrant coral reefs. With the turquoise blue waters of the South China Sea before you, and the glimmering jungle behind you, you'll truly feel you have stepped into a flourishing world of tropical paradise.
Highlights: The resort's thatched huts perched above crystal blue waters are deceptively minimalist. Inside, you'll find all the modern convenience. You will awaken to the sound of gentle waves lapping below, while evenings promise a stunning tropical sunset from the privacy of your own terrace.
Getting There: Situated at the edge of a jungle forest on Gaya Island, Gayana Eco Resort offers free ferry rides from the Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal.
Price: Approximate cost for a room starts from 1250 MYR.
Borneo Beach Villas
Situated within the spectacular peninsula of Karambunai, a 4,000 acre eco-sanctuary that is tucked away, yet, in the midst of civilization – located just 30 minutes’ drive from Kota Kinabalu. Borneo Beach Villas will lure you in with its tranquil ambience of soft rippling waters and panoramic greens. Relax and unwind while you enjoy a step back to nature.
Location: Borneo Beach Villas, Off Jalan Sepangar Bay, Locked Bag 100, Karambunai
Highlights: Treat yourself to a stay in one of the 46 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring private pools and private spa tubs. Guests can catch a ride on the complementary shuttle, which operates within 3 km. Satisfy your appetite at a coffee shop/café serving guests of Borneo Beach.
Price: Approximate price for a room starts from 3000 MYR.
Magellan Sutera Resort
The Magellan Sutera Resort in Kota Kinabalu is a magnificent 5-star resort with 456 rooms and suites. The grand entrance is a majestic longhouse style lobby; an architectural tribute to the Rungus natives of Sabah. With fine timber furnishings and traditional handicraft artifacts, this resort is a favourite with families and couples and those seeking a relaxing, tropical holiday in Borneo. The suites are lavishly decorated and present fabulous views of beautifully manicured gardens or the South China Sea set against a backdrop of the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
Location: No 1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, 88100 Kota Kinabalu.
Highlights: Guests can exercise at the fitness center, watch movies at the mini cinema or enjoy a game of bowling at the hotel's bowling alley. Five Sails Restaurant serves a selection of breakfast and dinner buffets with unlimited flow of sparkling wine.
Price: Approximate price for a room ranges from 600 MYR to 750 MYR.
Manukan Island Resort
The Manukan Island Resort is a luxury private island resort. This serene retreat offers exquisite accommodation, sophisticated cuisine and unparalleled water sport activities in one of the most pristine corner of the world. Manukan Island is surrounded by a protected coral reef, and the island boasts a pristine rainforest and beautiful white sand beaches and it is one of the popular places to visit in Kota Kinabalu.
Location: Manukan Island, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Highlights: This resort features an outdoor pool, a restaurant and spacious villas with private terraces and dining areas. The resort offers a wide range of activities such as diving, snorkeling and trekking. For views of marine life, glass-bottomed boat rides are available.
Price: Approximate price for a room starts at 700 MYR.
Bunga Raya Island Resort
Bunga Raya Island Resort is a luxurious abode set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of 48 timbered villas, the resort is tucked away on a tranquil and hidden bay framed by crescent shaped white sand beach on one side and the century’s old virgin jungle on the other. This resort features spacious accommodations with a private terrace, featuring tropical jungle or South China Sea views. It also has an infinity pool and a hilltop spa.
Location: Polish Bay, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, 88778 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Highlights: Guests can relax in Bunga Raya’s sauna or exercise in the gym. Alternatively, a wide range of activities such as kayaking, snorkeling and jet skiing are available. Heritage walks and cultural day trips can also be arranged at the reception.
Price: Approximate price for a room starts from 1000 MYR onwards.
Beringgis Beach Resort & Spa
The sun, sea and sand are not the only attractions at the Beringgins Beach Resort. Enjoy the best in nature and adventure. Within hours, you can experience the tropical rainforest, the sub-zero temperature at the top of Mt. Kinabalu, the soulful look of the gentle Orang Utans, the thrills of shooting the rapids or the underwater fascination of one of the world's finest diving spot! Placed amazingly and serenely situated on a stretch of soft sandy beach that faces the wide expanses of the South China Sea.
Location: Papar, Sabah, Malaysia
Highlights: Barbecue facilities and laundry and car rental services are available. Beringgis Beach Resort also organizes tours to Kinabalu National Park, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and other attractions.
Price: Approximate price for a room ranges from 200 MYR to 400 MYR.
Grand Borneo Hotel
Grand Borneo Hotel has a colorful diversity of nature and indigenous cultures and luckily located below the hurricane spiral path. Kinabalu National Park which is listed as a World Heritage Site, is located 90 kilometers from the hotel and is popular among tourists who want to capture the peak of Mount Kinabalu. This hotel is part of the 1Borneo shopping center, the largest lifestyle stores in the area.
Location: TA-00-01 1Borneo Hypermall, Jalan UMS, Sabah, 88450 Kota Kinabalu
Highlights: The spacious air-conditioned rooms at Grand Borneo feature elegant design and furnishings. Each well-furnished room has tea/coffee-making facilities and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. To enjoy a good workout, guests can visit the hotel’s fitness center. Soul Out Coffee House serves a variety of international dishes.
Price: Approximate price for a room ranges from 118 MYR to 300 MYR.