Gaya Island Resort

Hotel

Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort

Hayes & Jarvis Rating
TripAdvisor Review
1268 Reviews

Distinctly Borneo

Just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island Resort is located on the beautiful island of Pulau Gaya and reached by the hotel's own speedboat in just 10 minutes from Jessleton Point pier. Offering guests a taste of traditional Sabahan architecture blended seamlessly with contemporary luxury design, relax in your spacious villa and soak up the tropical jungle scenery that surrounds you. There is plenty of wildlife on Pulau Gaya, so make sure you visit the nature centre and take a walk with the resident naturalist Justin, if you are lucky you may see wild proboscis monkeys. Meanwhile under the water you will be greeted with a variety of tropical fish at the coral reef just to the side of the arrival jetty, complimentary snorkelling equipment can be hired from the watersports desk on the beach.

Ideal for couples and families, the resort features a range of attractions such as its marine conservation centre, kid’s club and extensive activity menu for young and old.  Meals can be enjoyed at a choice of two restaurants and drinks at the Pool Bar and Lounge. Savour world cuisine at Feast Village where Japanese, Korean, Malay and Western flavours can be enjoyed alongside spectacular ocean vistas. Alternatively savour fine seafood and sea views at the Fisherman’s Cove for a refined experience or enjoy private dining at the Tavajun Bay. To round off the resort’s offerings, the Spa Village provides a completely Sabahan experience with its unique mangrove setting and holistic treatments using local ingredients.

  • Luxurious boutique hotel
  • Spacious villas with beautiful views
  • Accessible only by boat
  • Nature trails and superb snorkelling

Hotel Features

Hotel Category

Luxury

Location Type

Away from it all

Main Facilities

  • Diving
  • Fitness facilities
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa facilities
  • Watersports
  • Wifi

Accommodation Type

  • Boutique
  • Eco-friendly
  • Hidden gem
  • Luxury Collection
  • Off the beaten track

Board Basis Options

  • Full Board
  • Bed & Breakfast

For Families

  • Babysitting
  • Family Entertainment
  • Kid's Pool
Location Highlights

Gaya Island Resort

  • Away from it all
  • approx. 30 minutes by road and boat from Kota Kinabalu Airport.
1268 Reviews 80% of travellers recommended this hotel

Traveller ratings

  • Excellent 685
  • Very Good 352
  • Average 161
  • Poor 53
  • Terrible 18

What to Expect

  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness

Reviews

Jan 20, 2018

Very average

Beautiful hotel in stunning surroundings, but: 1. Marketed as a nature resort. It is not. The main attraction for us of the conservation areas were effectively shut as the boat was not able to reach the bay due to low tide, a fact not passed yo us until we asked about the trip 2. The only nature things to do seem to be a very small information centre and a short guided walk around the grounds which is massively oversubscribed and worthless. We saw more wildlife from our balcony 3. The buffet restaurant is ok for breakfast but dinner is awful. The fish restaurant which we were told is good was closed for both nights of our short visit as it was booked for a wedding. This left us just the Japanese restaurant which is fantastic but not a cheap option 4. The bar area by the pool is uncomfortable and the service dreadful. We waited over an hour for food here one lunchtime. And when my husband's chair collapsed out from under him there was no checking he was ok, helping him up, or replacement drink. Dreadful service Such a wonderful hotel to look at with great rooms could be so much more. Better trained staff, better maintenance of the communal areas, and better communication with guests. And sort out how the place is marketed as it could be a great beach spot for families but is awful for nature seekers.
Jan 20, 2018

Such great potential - but sadly the details let this hotel down

We are currently staying in Gaya Island as part of a nature tour of Borneo with a 3 night stop. We arrived in KK at 5:00 from Mulu which I have to say was a superb experience and transported to the small office by the Jessleton Jetty. The greeting was low key, no welcome drink or towel, a very lacklustre attempt at a welcome which really set the tone for the stay. The office was cramped and the seats stained, we were advised to take a walk until the boat arrived, not great customer service! When the boat did arrive it had a broken engine and we had to wait for another one! Once at the hotel, the ambience and views are stunning and really something special so we felt a little more comfortable. After reception (again no towels or welcome drink) we were requested to follow a lady to our room..long hill climb and plenty of steps..we were exhausted! The rooms are magnificent, huge wet area with bath big enough for an entire family! I had arranged diving for the day after our arrival and had paperwork to complete, a young lady spoke to me on the phone and I'd arranged to meet her on my way to dinner. However she came to the room and even though I hurriedly wrapped a dressing gown around me she insisted on waiting until I'd completed the paperwork! This was followed with probably 5 phone calls from various staff members..all we wanted to do was relax and settle in! Ok we went to dinner, to thier feast restaurant..its like a Granada service station! The service is not good and there are plenty of culinary tastes, but not enough of one variety to make a meal of one style. Malaysian cuisine was absent too! Next day we went diving I the national park, the service from Borneo Dream was fantastic, professional and great diving. As an experienced diver I was pleased to see an emphasis on good safety and marine conservation. After the fiasco at the restaurant the previous night we had booked the Japanese restaurant..now this is superb too, a great experience, expensive but definitely worth the cost. We were informed the fisherman's cove restaurant was closed to a wedding..so our choice is limited and were going Japanese again tonight. The jungle walk is ok for a walk, the guide knowledgeable but with 15-20 people there was no chance of seeing wildlife! A number of advertised nature trips are not operating, we especially wanted to see the bay with the turtle conservation but now that's not possible as the trio is cancelled! So now we're sitting around the pool instead of discovering nature. By the way a chair collapsed while I was sitting enjoying a beer, both legs breaking..i managed to save my beer! If you want a nice seaside resort with great views then this is a great choice. It's not a great place to discover nature!!There are simply too much emphasis on Sunseekers. This hotel has so much potential, such beautiful views and great ambience..its lacking in the detail that elevates it to a great resort. Staff need to interact with customers and need more empathy. Hotel trimmings, chairs, fabrics and beaches need to be better quality and better maintenance. From being a place that should have been one of the highlights of our trio through Myanmar, Borneo and The Maldives it's proved to be a considerable let down and no where near the standard of the hotels we have stayed at so far!
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Gaya Island Resort

Facilities

Swimming Pool

Overlooking the beach, the Gaya Island Resorts 40 metre lap pool features floating cabanas and a wading pool for children. You can also enjoy drinks from the poolside bar.

Spa Village

Set in the mangrove forest, the spa village features six treatment rooms, outdoor decks and space for yoga. A range of treatments are available each utilising only the finest fresh local ingredients. Children below the age of 16 are not permitted in the Spa Village.

Classes and Activities

Enjoy a range of creative classes and activities including Malaysian cooking, dance and Borneo craftwork and immerse yourself in Malay culture. For children there is a storytelling session full of local tales and folklore.

Fitness Centre

The resort offers a fully equipped gym with weight-training and cardio equipment. Alternatively enjoy a brisk walk or a jog around the resort grounds with the sounds of nature.

Mount Kinabalu View

Sunset Cruise

For a wonderful sunset and a relaxing and romantic evening take the Sunset Cruise, on a 64-foot yacht. You will enjoy light refreshments on board and why not finish the evening off with dinner at Fishermans Cove Restaurant? This is bookable and payable in resort.

Library

The Library has a wide variety of literature available.

Sports & Entertainment

Discover the natural wonders of Borneo and enjoy guided natural walks through the jungle whilst for those that want to enjoy the ocean a wide range of water sports and activities can be organised including diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, yachting and kayaking, among other opportunities. In addition golf and yoga are available.

Gaya Island Resort

Room Types

Suria Suite

Double and Twin: max 4 adults and 1 child

The Suria Suite is a luxurious two-bedroom suite which sits on the hillside and has stunning ocean views. The ground floor consists of a lounge, dining area and outdoor deck. The bedrooms are located on the first floor and both come with en-suites and an outdoor bathrub on the balcony. 

Size: 188sqm

  • Air Conditioning
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • In Room WiFi
  • Ironing Facilities
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Separate Shower
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Kinabalu Guest Room

Kinabalu Villa

Double: max 2 adults or 2 adults and 1 child

Kinabalu Villas provide the best views in the resort over the South China Sea. The silhouette of Mount Kinabalu can also be seen on a clear day. All feature an outdoor veranda with day beds, a large open bathroom fitted with an oversized bathtub and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Some connecting rooms are available for families.

Size: 47sqm

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Sea View
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Balcony

Canopy Villa

Double: max 2 adults or 2 adults and 1 child

Canopy Villas are set amongst a tropical mangrove on a gently sloping hillside within walking distance from the beach. All feature an outdoor veranda with day beds, a large open bathroom fitted with an oversized bathtub and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Size: 47sqm

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Villa Interior

Bayu Villa

Double: max 2 adults or 2 adults and 1 child

Bayu Villas are set amidst lush rainforest on a hillside. All feature an outdoor veranda with day beds, a large open bathroom fitted with an oversized bathtub and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Some connecting rooms are available for families.

Size: 47sqm

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Gaya Island Resort

Food & Drink

Feast Village

Feast Village is an all day dining restaurant that offers a range of cuisines from the Asia-Pacific area. The open kitchens showcase a bakery, Japanese/Korean, Asian and Western cuisine. Feast Village is located by the lap pool with stunning views of Mount Kinabalu and the surrounding beach.

Restaurant

Fishermans Cove Restaurant

Fishermans Cove is a beautiful fine dining restaurant located on the resort's rooftop and serves fresh seafood with breathtaking views of the sea and Mount Kinabalu. This restaurant is only available for children over 12 years and a smart casual dress code applies to all diners. Gentlemen must wear long trousers and shoes.

Omakase

Omakase is the hotel's Japanese restaurant and is split over two levels with stunning views over the bay.

Pool Bar

Pool Bar & Lounge

The Pool Bar & Lounge overlooks the infinity pool, the perfect place to relax with a refreshment. Light lunches and refreshments are served throughout the day.

Tavajun Bay

Tavajun Bay is a tranquil private beach set in an enclave, a short five minute boat ride from the resort. Open daily for lunch between 12:00 and 15:00 and for beverages until 17:00. You can also arrange private dining here and gourmet picnic baskets.

Board Basis Options

Bed & Breakfast

An extensive buffet breakfast is served at the Feast Village Restaurant.

Full Board

Breakfast is served at the Feast Village Restaurant while lunch can be enjoyed at either Feast Village, the pool bar or Tavajun Bay. Dinner is served at either Feast Village, Omakase or or Fisherman's Cove. Both lunch and dinner include three courses plus mineral water, tea and coffee.

Gaya Island Resort

Family Friendly Facilities

KuRi-KuRi Kids Programme

Keep children entertained with KuRi-KuRi meaning 'play' in the local Bajau language. Half day programmes are available to keep young adventurers occupied with activities and games designed to nurture creativity and educate about the natural surroundings. Programmes are suited for children aged between four to 12 years of age.

Pure Activity Centre

The Pure Activity Centre is designed to satisfy all ages with everything from adventure sports, environmental education and children's activities available. Here you will find a games room with X-Box and Nintendo Wii stations, computer terminals and recreational areas for outdoor movies and other activities. Tribal games can also be enjoyed here.

Children's Swimming Pool

Located next to the main pool there is a small children's section.

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