Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu
Resort, Hotel - Pantai Dalit, Po Box 600, Tuaran, 89208 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Pantai Dalit Beach | P.O. Box 600, 89208, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah - 4 St...
3 reviews from the community
Review of "Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu"
Hello Spring! Looking forward to the summertime, more travelling ...more reviews! :)
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah,Borneo is located in the Borneo rainforest and beside the sea with a private beach and stunning natural landscape of the lush green and gorgeous rainforest surrounding. Our stay was for 7 nights during the summer months of dry season (June) when the weather tends to be at it’s best, although we had rain a few days but is quite normal for Borneo.
The resort is an amazing place to stay and we enjoyed every minute of our time here so below is my review of what we experienced and hopefully this will give you enough information to make your mind up about which hotel to book for your trip to Borneo!
The ResortLocation: Kota Kinabalu doesn’t really offer much in terms of things to see and do, so we ended up spending a lot of time within the resort, although you probably wouldn’t be choosing this resort for the ease of locality but more for the beauty of the landscape. The nearest airport - Kota Kinabalu International - is around an hour and 45 minutes away from the resort and everything else requires a good hour’s drive or a flight – i.e. the Orangutan Sanctuary and if you haven’t pre-booked your transfer to the hotel, you will easily be able to find a taxi from outside the airport which will take you to the doorstep of the resort. This should cost around £30-£40 for the journey one way.
Arrival: Arriving at the resort, you will be taken past the security gates, through the stunning golf course and as you drive closer into the resort, you will be getting further towards the beachfront and the main entrance of the hotel and the lobby. The moment you step out of your transfer, the brilliant customer service begins from there. You will be welcomed with friendly faces and each new arrival seems to receive a traditional and customary “welcome gong” sound! – one of the musical instruments used for traditional dances - at the entrance of the hotel. Although the lobby seemed quite busy with new arrivals and people leaving, the large space made it less noticeable and the fact that they seemed quite organised, meant we didn’t have to wait too long to be given our room cards.Surroundings: Although there isn’t much surrounding and the nearest town is around an hour’s drive away, it is definitely worth visiting Kota Kinabalu Town Centre, which we did on couple of occasions, which has a few shops to wander about around, the Sunday Market where you can purchase souvenirs, and you could also stop by at “1Borneo” which is a big designer shopping mall. Since the taxi fares are so expensive, and there is nothing else surrounding the mall, you would be better of just heading towards the Town Centre and see what the local town looks like with its waterfront. But the hotel shuttle bus does stop at “1Borneo” before it reaches the town. We thought it was nice to leave the resort to check out what’s around, but other than that, there wasn’t much else you will find outside of it.
The hotel itself: The actual resort as a whole is really made to feel like a place of paradise minus the peak times during the day when it can get busy and noisy around the pool area and I wouldn’t say it’s one of the most peaceful resorts we’ve stayed at, but it is split into two wings – the Ocean wing and the Garden Wing. The Ocean wing is the peaceful side, mostly couples book into this one as opposed to families, and perfect for honeymoon - after paying a lot more however. Since we were not on honeymoon and didn’t want to pay more than what we were already paying, we decided to book for the Garden wing. During summer months, the hotel seems to have lots of people staying and is very family orientated with plenty of activities for adults as well as children. There is a free gym / fitness centre, a café selling fancy coffee with books if you just wanted to chill indoors or an ice-cream stall beside the swimming pool if you wanted to cool off and you could even treat yourself to coconut water served in the coconut and sip it on the beach. There is the beachside bar called the Sampan Bar where you can have your drinks before dinner while watching the sunset, listening to live music by musicians or enjoying the “Sunset Ceremony” (more below), there is also an indoor bar near the lobby called the Lobby Lounge also available with live music if you wanted to sit inside. In terms of transport, the hotel offers a shuttle bus service, but you have to book this in advance and it’s not the cheapest shuttle bus service out there but there will be a choice of either this or the taxi and it will cost us around MYR 40 per person (around £7.00 per person).Activities: There are lots of activities the resort offers where some have a fee and are actually quite pricey, and others you can just turn up to and join in. Some of the free activities were short and sweet, including the cooking demo with the chefs, usually at around 1.00pm and lasting around 30 minutes to an hour. It was nice turning up to these along with the taster at the end of the demo. The beach volleyball is also something you could attend beside the Sampan bar between 5-6pm – also a really fun activity. The “Sunset Ceremony” is something that takes place every other day around 6.15pm, and probably alters according to sunset – but this takes place beside the Sampan Bar and there is music, drums and fire dancing while you sip your drink. Other activities are chargeable such as archery, horse riding, cycling, hiking in the rainforest or you could use the luxury spa which we found very relaxing but depending on what treatment you choose (there is a large range) it can cost anything between MYR 250-600 (around £45 –£100 plus).
Rooms and wings: The rooms are all along outdoor corridors looking out onto either the rainforest or the sea or garden view, and split into the ocean and garden wing. The garden wing offers views of the rainforest, garden or sea. Within our garden view room, we had a comfy super king sized bed, a sofa bed which can be used as a big sofa beside the patio doors looking out at the garden view and the balcony equipped with a mosquito burning coil if you were to sit out at night. They provide 2 large bottles of complimentary water in room, and replaced twice a day or whenever you finish, which just about fitted in the mini bar (it is an empty fridge so useful to fill with your own stuff), a kettle with coffee sachets, teas, herbal teas and creamers, and a bowl of complimentary fruit on arrival. In the bathroom, the marble shower was lovely, but there are no baths in the garden wing rooms. There are all sorts of toiletries in the bathroom, and enough towels for two. There is a safe, an iron and ironing board, and hairdryer. There is free Wifi which can be easily picked up from the room to the beach, it never drops out and seemed really reliable. The room is cleaned and supplies replenished twice a day – midday and evening within the times you have booked your dinner for. Basically this resort has a fully equipped room, with air con and a beautiful ceiling fan, and the room is decorated with a bamboo or wooden sort of theme to emphases the natural beauty of the rainforest landscape and constantly reminds you of the stunning location you are in.Room prices: When you’ve finally decided that this is the resort you would like to stay at during your time in Borneo, it’s time to start booking! You have a selection of rooms to choose from: The Deluxe Garden view room (Approx. MYR 850 per night / £152 per night ) and the Garden wing Superior Rainforest room (Approx MYR 960 per night / £172 per night) and the Garden wing Deluxe Sea View room (Approx. MYR1050 per night / £188 per night ) a bit more pricier but the most priciest and largest room of them all is the Premier Ocean Wing room (Approx. MYR 1250 per night / £224 per night) located separately on the Ocean Wing, with outdoor hot tubs. All the other rooms are the same size and the different room prices are based on a combination of the facilities inside the rooms and the views outside, and also the wing area. The cheapest room – the Deluxe Garden view room – which we stayed out – was around £150 - £155 per night, but the room really has it all, and that’s just the basic room.
Breakfast & Dinner: The complimentary breakfast buffet for all guests takes place at the Coffee Terace, the buffet dinner is at the same place as breakfast and the street food area called the Tepi Laut Makan Street with Malaysian food stalls preparing your food while you wait are the most popular places for food. The street food area was our favourite - it is all outdoor, even when it rains, but is covered with a canopy in the middle and umbrellas on other tables. There is also evening entertainment, such as traditional dancing and fire dancing while you eat at Tepi Laut Makan Street and at the Coffee Terrace which is a mixture of indoor with Air con or outside on the terrace, there is evening entertainment in the outdoor bit during some nights. You need to book a time for your dinner as the restaurants tend to get overbooked. For breakfast, you would just turn up and any additional bills can be paid straight away or billed to the room. Overall the food at the Rasa Ria was fab and never got boring!
Customer ServiceThe customer service at the Rasa Ria like most Shangri-La hotels, really is outstanding because if there were any problems that we had during our stay or any adjustments we requested, they did not hesitate to help and they did help sort out anything we required during our stay – there we experienced first-hand brilliant service. The staff were friendly, accommodating and chatty and there really isn’t a way it could have be better than how it was. Malaysia’s Trader Hotel, also a Shangri-La hotel provided customer service as outstanding as this place. They definitely do live up to the expectation of exceptional hospitality.
The only two negatives I can think of about this resort is that people still think there this is the nature reserve for the Orangutans on site, however the Orangutans were moved away last year. We met a few people at the resort who booked a year ago when the resort did have the Orangutan nature reserve on site – and were obviously disappointed that this was not the case when they finally arrived. We didn’t book that far ahead so we knew they had moved away, and to get to the Orangutan sanctuary from this resort is around 45-60 minute flight away to the other side of the island and would cost around £100 for the flights and the entrance. So that could be disappointing for a few people.The other negative is the price of things within the resort and the price of alcohol. Alcohol is expensive – less than a pint of beer costs £8.00 and a cocktail costs around £9.00 - but we noticed this in Kuala Lumpur too and it's most likely because the country doesn’t consume alcohol, so it may not be as readily available and so they up the prices. The bars were very pricey, but you have nowhere else you can have a drink so you end up spending out there anyway. Happy hour in the evening was a bonus however, so we could enjoy the drinks at half price, but there is only a small selection to choose from of these.
We enjoyed every minute of our time at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria however I do think spending more than a week at the resort may have starting leading to a bit of boredom and maybe frustration when you find you that you’re spending too much because of the extortionate prices at the resort. Overall, if you are going to Borneo, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and Spa is the place to spend it, and I hope my review shows that it really is a fun, entertaining, buzzing but relaxing resort to stay at!
Product Information : Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu
Manufacturer's product descriptionResort, Hotel - Pantai Dalit, Po Box 600, Tuaran, 89208 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Pantai Dalit Beach | P.O. Box 600, 89208, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah - 4 Stars, 3 Stars - 320 Rooms
Long Name: Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort
Type: Resort, Hotel
Rating: 4 Stars, 3 Stars
Address: Pantai Dalit, Po Box 600, Tuaran, 89208 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
City: Kota Kinabalu
Listed on Ciao since: 18/03/2010