Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La

Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La

Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Lookouts
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5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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About
The Rasa Ria Reserve is a 64-acre tropical jungle nestled between two rivers and the South China Sea. With unobstructed views of Sabah’s iconic Mount Kinabalu - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - this reserve acts as a gateway to the lush natural landscapes of Borneo for hotel guests and the public. A list of activities is available at the Rasa Ria Reserve including Borneo Sunrise, Canopy Walkway and Junior Ranger Experience. Our insightful & knowledgeable rangers are available to answer all your questions and show you the best of what the reserve has to offer. The new development phase of Rasa Ria Reserve will see a continued strengthening of its collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department through its animal rescue unit, tree planting initiatives with resort guests and school students, and educational visits and projects for students to enhance their awareness and responsibility towards nature conservation.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
367 reviews
Excellent
217
Very good
97
Average
33
Poor
10
Terrible
10

whitfies
London, UK77 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
I’ve wanted to come here for something like 15 years and having been to many five star hotels in Asia, maybe I expected too much but on the way here we spent two nights at the Mandarin Oriental in KL which made this place look like a second division hotel.

Good bits:
The hotel is lovely - huge, but great setting and clean and plenty of pool space, no lounger availability issues, and the staff are super lovely. The grounds are well kept, the pools unbelievably warm (as is the sea), and at the Ocean Wing pool it’s calm and peaceful. Our room was nice enough, and had a balcony bathtub to watch the amazing sunset from.
We did a couple of trips - morning river cruise was ok - only saw sea eagles and didn’t catch any crabs but the night time fireflies trip was brilliant. Special mention to the West Ham fan guide who took us (sorry forgot his name) who was outstanding. We independently organised ourselves a trip to the other side of the island which I really recommend - we booked return Air Asia flights from KK to Sandakan (v v early start) and back for £87 for 3 !!! Then booked the excellent Anzar (WhatsApp +60 17-821-7605) who collected us, took us to breakfast, then to Sepilok Orangutans then Lapuk Bay Proboscis monkeys then lunch then sun bears then rainforest discovery centre canopy walk then back to airport exhausted.
We even saw 2 snakes in the hotel ground and umpteen other creatures.
The Teppanyaki restaurant was excellent and we mostly enjoyed the other a la carte restaurants.

Not so good bits:
We booked a garden wing room and were offered an upgrade at check in to Ocean Wing for £50 a night. We were told the room is 3 times bigger than what we booked, had its own breakfast area, and had a complimentary mini bar. If this room is 3x bigger, than garden rooms have to be cupboards - it simply can’t be true the rooms are 3x bigger. The “complimentary mini bar” consisted of 5 cans of Coke/Sprite and some snacks which are not replenished for the whole stay (policy not oversight). They did restock once for us when we pointed out this was a pretty mean upgrade benefit at a hotel of this cost. We had some minor room issues such as no bed for our son, only 2 towels provided, one tiny shower gel for 3, fridge not working etc. but these were fixed quickly. Oh and you get a fruit bowl but this doesn’t seem to be replenished either by policy but was after asking.

Check in took over 45 mins despite there being no queue before us, and we were offered no welcome drink or water. We were also given the furthest room which is an 8 min hike in the heat each way - make sure you ask which room you are being allocated.

Slightly incredibly (to me at least), a country with strong biodiversity and sustainability awareness, they supply all the shower gel and shampoo in the tiniest of disposable plastic bottles, despite having notices at the water dispensers by the pool how bad plastic is for the environment and how they have done away with plastic straws ! Come on Rasa Ria, follow Mandarin Oriental’s lead and get rid of the stupid tiny bottles. Just wondering what your Head of Sustainability is doing as I’m writing this…

Dinner was a bit hit and miss. The street food buffet is a fantastic concept with tons of choice, cooked to order for you. First time we went was at the weekend and it seems tons of people come here at the weekend and it was packed and chaotic. They told us they had no red wines, it took something like 45 mins just to get water after asking multiple times and some of the food inedible. We tried it a second time later in the week and it was quieter and better with none of the previous issues. Special mention to Alice (F&B manager) and Isaac who were super nice and really cared.

The pool bars are a sad affair - functional, empty huts devoid of personality or fun.

Good to know:
Entry price for a bottle of wine is about £40 and a small beer is £5. Check every dinner bill, especially if on half or full board - it felt like almost every bill had to go back for correction - one night it took 4 attempts to get it right. We were HB and you get MYR148 credit per person if you eat at the a la carte restaurants BUT this is only against the food part of your bill rather than the total bill which seems a bit mean. Check you’re being charged for child’s buffet rather than adult’s if eating with kids.
The beach is HUGE but deserted - no umbrellas/shade or loungers there and I presume this is because of the sand flies. We were super careful and didn’t get bitten but saw one or two people who had been feasted on and there are warnings round the hotel. We were told DEET is not an effective deterrent for sand flies and you need something else - not sure how true this is. The point is though that that massive lovely beach is rendered virtually unusable which seems to defeat the point.
Breakfast at Ocean Wing is part buffet, part a la carte and in the garden wing it’s all buffet.
The hotel is 1h from KK airport and is remote - there’s no eating anywhere else when staying here. It costs MYR120 transfer each way.

Overall I just expected more from a Shangri-La - I’ve stayed at Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Atlantis Dubai and a Rixos Premium in the last year and all exceeded this by a long way. Maybe my mistake for thinking this hotel chain positions itself as a competitor to those.
Written 18 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richard W
Norwich, UK43 contributions
Jul 2022
The early start is worth everything if you get the sun rise
Simply beautiful, the stuff of memories.
Written 12 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andertonarms
Preston, UK114 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Great guides, great education and great views. Be prepared to walk uphill. Remember the animals are wild, you might see them all or you might see none, that’s real nature vs a zoo.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike H
Singapore, Singapore6 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
Great location with a long beech. The service and food were excellent. We would recommend the Japanese restaurant and Chef Allen and The Spa and masseuse Elise. We will come back regularly from Singapore.
Written 3 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kunal Bhargava
Auckland, New Zealand12 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Great facilities - kids loved the pool. Excellent service - receptionist went out of her way to organise the perfect family room for us. Isaac and Tracy were excellent and super accomodating for our needs by the pool.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

smenne
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia173 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
We arrived at 3 at the hotel. The check-in time is 2. There was a long queue at the check-in. We waited 30mn standing to be told the room is not ready . The hotel is not full. Why can they not find a room? We are asked to wait in the lounge. They give us a drink and a small snack. We waited and wasted time instead of enjoying the facilities. Finally (4 pm)we got a room.
After that, everything was perfect. The staff is excellent. The breakfast very good, the room also very good.
If the Check-in could sort out their issue I would give the hotel 5 stars.

Written 17 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Navdeep
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Family
We enjoyed our stay at Rasa ria. Right from the checking in to seeing to our various requests the staff have been more than helpful. A special mention of Ms Aiyona at reception. Thank you very much.
Written 28 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SharonT
Sandakan, Malaysia6 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
Had an amazing week & would definitely return for another family holiday. Big shout out to Jenneyfer (front desk) for helping out with the rooms arrangement & all my inquiries! She’s indeed very informative & helpful with our activities bookings as well. Met another bubbly & friendly staff over our 7 days stay called Isaac! he’s such a gem :)
Written 1 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michellekft
Malaysia16 contributions
Mar 2021 • Friends
Went there during CMCO, it’s quiet and have limited activities that’s probably because of the SOP/pandemic, understandable. Breakfast is average. I must say they have the finest staffs(ALL of ‘em even their security guards) appreciate their hard work! Overall it was a great stay.
Written 17 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

four_season_traveller
Sibu, Malaysia129 contributions
Sep 2020
Friendly forest rangers guided us for a morning jungle tracking to reach the hilltop for a lovely sunrise view
Written 11 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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RASA RIA RESERVE BY SHANGRI-LA (Tuaran) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La

Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La is open:
  • Sun - Sat 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM