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Gaya Island Resort

Malohom Bay, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Pulau Gaya 88000 Malaysia
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Traveller (3667)
360
Panoramas (18)
Pool & Beach (802)
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About

#2 of 2 resorts in Pulau Gaya
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Travellers' Choice
Gaya Island Resort is located on Pulau Gaya, the largest of a cluster of five islands that form the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a natural conservation area off the coast of Borneo, close to Kota Kinabalu. Gaya Island Resort has a unique setting: the land is fringed with a golden sandy beach, rocky coastal outcrops, and surrounded by coral reefs. The hilly island landscape is covered with lush tropical rainforest and an abundance of flora and fauna. And to complete this perfect setting, visible in the distance, is the stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu. The guest villa exterior respects Sabahan architecture uses local materials and blends harmoniously with the natural environment. The interior living space is designed with contemporary elegance to create warmth, comfort and a serene indoor setting. 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.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Beach
Canoeing
Babysitting
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Wifi
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Special diet menus
Poolside bar
Diving
Snorkelling
Entertainment staff
Airport transportation
Spa
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Head massage
Massage
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Concierge
Sun umbrellas
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private beach
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Safe
Minibar
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Bay View
Languages Spoken
English, Chinese, Malay
2106Reviews182Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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Hilary j wrote a review 26 Feb
Exeter, United Kingdom69 contributions66 helpful votes
What a wonderful place. We are so pleased that we were able to spend time here and I wish we had booked for longer. After our tour of the rainforest and a long overland journey, we were keen to have some time to relax. Gaya Island is the perfect place for this. Firstly a big thank you to Rozi, Terence and the team. They could not have been more helpful. I had requested a room close to the amenities so that we did not have too far to walk up the hill. We were initially given one quite a way up. However, we were offered another room and were able to move the next morning. No extra cost for what was essentially an upgrade. As always it's the little things, the eye for detail that matters and the staff have an excellent understanding of how service should be. I could not fault them. They walked that fine line of not being over friendly but very pleasant and efficient. We did not have an evening meal in the main restaurant but Rozi managed to get the pool bar to stay open for us when we arrived. Food here was good. A HIGHLIGHT of the whole trip was our fabulous meal at the Fisherman's Cove. Delicious, high quality cuisine. Not to be missed. Another great meal was the barbecue. A great chance to see the staff enjoying themselves and again the food was great. Our short stay meant that we did not take advantage of any of the activities on offer. Hopefully we will stay longer next time. Thank you Gaya Island. You have set the bar very high. I hope that other hotels we stay at in the future will be as good.
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Date of stay: January 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The Fisherman's Cove and the Barbecue offer wonderful food.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Katie wrote a review 24 Feb
Beijing, China1 contribution
I would only rate this hotel 3 stars. While it boasts a perfect location with easy access via private boat transfer and stunning views from the Villa Kinabalu, there's significant room for improvement before it can truly be considered a "luxury" establishment. The staff are friendly and helpful, but several issues detract from the overall experience. 1. Noise. Noise pollution is prevalent throughout the public areas, including the swimming pool, main restaurant, and Fisherman’s Cove. The only feedback I received from the hotel was “We have many big group and family travelers during Chinese New Year”. So that small group/couple/solo traveller’s’ expectation on a quiet holiday can be ignored? The lack of clear rules and management of guest behavior is disappointing. In one evening, we even resorted to room service to escape the disturbance. 2. So called “fine dining”. The fine dining experience at Fisherman’s Cove fell short of expectations. Despite being advised of the need for reservations and the restaurant's formal attire policy, we were surprised to find other diners in casual clothing - tank tops, shorts, speaking loudly when we arrived. And earlier of the day I was even worried I didn’t bring a decent pair of earrings - irony. 3. Swimming pool management. Standards regarding guest behavior and etiquette seem lax. Instances of guests hanging swimsuits by the pool and children playing with pizza pans by the sea detract from the luxury atmosphere. (I wouldn’t dare to order a pizza at the swimming pool bar for lunch anymore!) The day before we checked out, we even saw some of the guests were washing snorkeling boots in the swimming pool. A proactive approach from staff to address such situations would maintain the hotel's reputation and elevate the overall experience. Having stayed in several luxury hotels worldwide in the past years, I see many are really putting attention to maintain a distinguished image and adhere to “luxury” standards, not only making profit. I hope this hotel management sees and considers some improvement.
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Date of stay: February 2024Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Aurélien H wrote a review 16 Feb
1 contribution
An excellent stay with the very charming staff and environment. Rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, everything in the middle of nature!Rozilli at the reception was the best, she could help us arrange our checkout in the best way possible. We had a plane at midnight yet the transport boat was at 18h30. She saw our sadness and arranged a free of charge boat and a car at arrival to the airport. It felt really good to have someone as competent and willing to make our stay the best it could till the end. Bravo!
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Date of stay: February 2024Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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S Ng wrote a review 13 Feb
1 contribution
+1
My stay at Gaya Island Resort is full of fond and sweet memories. Expecting simply to have some peace and quiet, it turns out to be a fun-filled and inspiring stay. Not only is it near perfect in location, weather, facilities, food offering and room, but also a place dedicated to the divine mission of forest and marine conservation. The conservation team is highly admirable. All these add an extra meaning to a resort stay. Customer-centric staff deserves a special mention and I was surrounded by intense kindness of everyone. Coral garden snorkelling, forest trekking and mangrove kayaking are highly recommended day activities. Evenings are best enjoyed with sparkling star watching enclosed by the sound of sea waves. The noise level at the buffet restaurant during peak hours may be an area of improvement.
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Date of stay: February 2024Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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whyhebeach1950 wrote a review 3 Feb
Waihi Beach, New Zealand5 contributions
+1
This property is beautifully kept and the staff are exceptional. My wife and I spent 3 nights at this wonderful resort and it truly deserves it's 5-star rating. Our every need requested was handled with professionalism and promptly...especially the shuttle rides up the hill to the villa with the best view. A special mention to the staff: Rozi, Hani, Nazrin, Ben, Bata and Angel...they were all brilliant and made our stay very special.
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Date of stay: January 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Ruben M wrote a review Jan 2024
Brunei Darussalam162 contributions92 helpful votes
Went as a family - 6 adults - booked 3 units - the Kinabalu villas. All the villas are more or less of the the same design, facilities and floor areas. They are scattered along the waterfront and up the hill slopes. The prices change according to the location of the villas. Higher the villas - better are the views - and more expensive. 'We took the Kinabalu villas - on the top and overlooking the bay. Beautiful rooms. Great views. These villas have 4 units - 2 above and 2 below - all 4 fully independent with seperate entrances - with option of interconnecting doors. Pros: Fantastic ambience; Away from the noise and bustle of daily life. Good spa facility. Recreational facilities - Water sports, scuba diving etc can be arranged with pick up from their private jetty. Lovely poolside bar, good restaurants and very courteous and attentive hotel staff. Cons: This is an expensive place. Breakfast is part of the deal, but everything else has to be bought from their restaurants - standard 5 star prices. This island has no other eating places within reach (unless you have your own boat). The villas up the hill have access through roads as well as steps. These could be a challenge for people with mobility issues. A moderate level of fitness is required. If not, please opt for similar villas at the ground level ( which are also a bit cheaper) Suggestion to Gaya Resort: You should provide a fleet of electric buggies for the guests. It would add tremendously to the comfort of your guests.
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Date of stay: April 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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dennys34 wrote a review Jan 2024
Giessen, Germany3887 contributions958 helpful votes
+1
A wonderful hotel, and a great location on Gaya Island right in the jungle your own jetty with the fantastic reef or snorkeling there’s lots of animals around like monkeys lizards geckos the staff is super friendly. The breakfast is very nice. The rooms are big and bedding is super cozy.
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Date of stay: January 2024Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Aamir A wrote a review Dec 2023
Hong Kong, China56 contributions55 helpful votes
+1
This was our 3rd trip to Gaya Island Resort and it has been a delight each time. We stayed for a week in Dec 2023 as a family of 4 and this time our kids were old enough to participate in all the nature activities on offer (of which we did just about everything). See my earlier reviews for specific details but ultimately it’s the people here that make the experience wonderful. All members of the staff from front desk, housekeeping, concierge desk, water sports center, marine and wildlife centres and the restaurants are absolutely devoted to ensuring you have a great experience. I can start listing names but I’m sure I’ll miss someone and that would not be fair as everyone was wonderful. It’s the little things, like remembering your favourite drink or remembering that our kids always love the pizza at the pool bar so making it available at dinner even though it’s not on the official a-la-carte dinner menu. Or having a book about the wildlife at the resort (which you admired whilst visiting the wildlife center) delivered to your room personally signed by Pak Justin (the director of conservation at the resort and something our family will treasure). Or Dhiv recommending NGOs in Philippines focused on large marine vertebrate research that we could consider volunteering with. Frankly, the list goes on and that’s why we’ve always felt like part of a family here. Do know what you’re getting into though. For example food options are def limited compared to what you’d have staying in the city. Suggest bringing some snacks along with you. In short, cannot recommend enough.
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Date of stay: December 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Bring snacks with you. Do coral garden snorkeling and the day and night nature walks.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Maria C wrote a review Dec 2023
7 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
My family had a reunion at the Gaya Island Resort from Dec 4 - 7. I was impressed by the fabulous environment once stepped in the resort. All the staff were extremely nice and helpful. I would especially give my appreciations to Fiz & Chelsea who were very helpful in answering and making various arrangements during our stay. The staff of all restaurants we visited were extremely nice. We especially enjoyed the teppanyaki & shabu shabu dinners at The Omakase which were served by Ying & Rozanna. The resort is fantastic & their staff are excellent. I have no reservations in recommending GIR to anyone who is looking for a relaxing vacation.
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Date of stay: December 2023
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
2 Helpful votes
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Voyage32504984656 wrote a review Dec 2023
2 contributions1 helpful vote
The worst resort I've ever been to. The worst customer service(I requested a room change and waited outside in the heat for 2 hours, but instead they changed me to the wrong room, which was the opposite of what I requested.), the smell of cigarettes in the restaurant, deception of customers (Lies, excuse - They kept lying, so I found out the facts (coordinates) myself. during my vacation), and basic accommodations (broken facilities in my room, No manual, empty amenities, continued maintenance visits etc.) are also the worst. I am not sure that I was resting in there. Even if they give me money, I won't go there. I have a lot to say about them, but I can't write it all down because there isn't enough space. If they had just stayed quiet and not made excuses, I wouldn't have written this. They tried to provide other services, but we declined them because we didn't want to be here anymore. My money and time in there were such a waste. Recommended if you want to take great photos rather than just relax, activities. However, if what you want from this trip is not just photos, we recommend another resort nearby. The service there is on another level.
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Date of stay: November 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: No
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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PRICE RANGE
RM 844 - RM 1,169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
MalaysiaSabahWest Coast DivisionKota Kinabalu DistrictPulau Gaya
NUMBER OF ROOMS
121
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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GAYA ISLAND RESORT (R̶M̶ ̶1̶,̶6̶9̶4̶) RM 782: UPDATED 2024 Reviews, Price Comparison and 4,141 Photos (Pulau Gaya) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Gaya Island Resort
Which popular attractions are close to Gaya Island Resort?
Nearby attractions include Imago Shopping Mall (5.7 km), Tanjung Aru Beach (7.8 km), and Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (5.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Gaya Island Resort?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Gaya Island Resort?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Gaya Island Resort?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and a poolside bar during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to Gaya Island Resort?
Conveniently located restaurants include Mother India Restaurant, Ferdinand's, and El Centro.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Gaya Island Resort?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Gaya Island Resort have airport transportation?
Yes, Gaya Island Resort offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Gaya Island Resort?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Gaya Island Resort?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Chinese, and Malay.
Are there any historical sites close to Gaya Island Resort?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Monsopiad Heritage Village (14.8 km).
Does Gaya Island Resort have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the harbour view available here.