Hotel

Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort

Hayes & Jarvis Rating
TripAdvisor Review
1694 Reviews
Guide Price £1,329 per person
Based on November 19 departure from London Heathrow flying with Malaysia Airlines, staying for 7 nights bed and breakfast in a Bayu Villa (2 adults sharing) including return transfers.
Our guide price gives you an idea of how much to budget for a stay at this hotel. The price will vary based on exchange rates, and your choice of room type, departure date, airline and cabin class, and any additional extras you’d like to add to your holiday.

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 hotels own speedboat in just 10 minutes from Jesselton Point.  This resort offers guests a taste of traditional Sabahan architecture blended seamlessly with contemporary 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 Gaya Island Wildlife Centre and take a walk with the resident Naturalist – Justin. If you are lucky you may see the endangered Proboscis Monkeys in their natural environment.

There are two house reefs right in front of the resort, snorkelling equipment can be hired.  Coral reef restoration, along with turtle rescue and marine educational programmes are the main projects being undertaken by Scott, the resident Marine Biologist and his team at the Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre.  Enjoy a guided snorkel trail to learn more about the fascinating coral reefs and the abundant marine life here at Gaya Island.

Meals can be enjoyed at a choice of restaurants and drinks are available at the pool bar looking out over the sea.  Savour world cuisine at the Feast Village where Japanese, Korean, Malay and Western flavours can be enjoyed alongside spectacular ocean vistas.  The Fishermans Cove offers fresh seafood and a western style menu in a refined, adult-only atmosphere overlooking the sea.  Omakase Restaurant specialises in authentic Japanese cuisine and private dining options can be enjoyed on the beach.

To round off the resorts offerings – The Spa Village provides a completely Sabahan experience with its unique Mangrove setting, many different holistic treatments and the use of local ingredients.

  • Traditional Luxury Resort
  • Spacious Villas
  • Accessible only by boat
  • Nature Trails and 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.
1694 Reviews 80% of travellers recommended this hotel

Traveller ratings

  • Excellent 993
  • Very Good 431
  • Average 190
  • Poor 58
  • Terrible 22

What to Expect

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

Reviews

Jun 15, 2019

Perfect end to a tour of Borneo

We spent a wonderful 4 days at GIR at the end of two weeks touring Singapore and Borneo to celebrate my 50th birthday. The hotel is beautiful and set in a stunning location with views of Mount KInabalu. Our room was fantastic and offered all the facilities you would expect from a hotel of this type, rooms are typically set away from the main hotel buildings ensuring peace and quiet along with beautiful rain forest and sea views. Three restaurants cater for all tastes and we particularly enjoyed the superb fish menu offered at Fishermans Cove and for a "different" dining experience, the Teppanyaki menu at Omakasi. Throughout our stay we were extremely impressed by the standard of service offered by all the staff, being greeted by name by smiling staff really does make a huge difference ..... as does being presented with a birthday cake form the restaurant staff singing Happy Birthday !! Thanks for a wonderful stay ... the perfect end to a perfect holiday!!
Jun 13, 2019

Wonderful team, Unique experiences, natural beauty!

Singapore, Singapore

Gaya Island Resort offers a luxury getaway for anyone who wants to experience abundant sun and sea within a national park/UNESCO site - in this case, a lush rainforest buzzing with bird calls and insect sounds, and a marine conservation area with beautiful coral gardens teeming with marine life. Add an excellent staff throughout the resort who mostly work as a great team to pamper their guests, delicious cuisine from the kitchens that use lots of fresh local produce, and you're set for a great time! Upon arrival at Jesselton Point after a 20 min cab ride from the airport, the nondescript GIR Lounge at Jesselton Point was easy to miss in the bustle of food stalls around. There was no clear signage indicating its location, especially for first-time visitors keen to catch the hotel speedboat. However, an observant porter transferring a rack of luggage saw me looking lost and enquired if I was going to GIR. He then added my bag to the pile and brought me to the small lounge where I was quickly checked in before being ushered on to the hotel speedboat. That was my first brush with the standout staff who impressed throughout my 4D/3N stay with a consistently high quality of service and care. Mostly everyone embodied this gracious culture, including those at the front desk, restaurants, spa, housekeeping, boat and activities people, and their managers. If you feel energetic, there is a range of daily activities to keep you busy. Some are complimentary eg. yoga, meditation, jungle walks and nature talks, swimming in the clear waters of the bay, working out at the gym, or visiting the marine conservation centre by speedboat; while others require a fee eg. snorkelling, scuba diving, mangrove kayaking, or leisurely massages at the Spa Village. If not, there's nothing to stop you chilling by the pool, beach or library, or in your comfortable, spacious, private villa in-between meals at Feast Village, Omakase, Fisherman's Cove or a special barbeque on the beach. Having said that, don't expect pristine surroundings. The luxury resort is, after all, carved out of primary jungle so there are definitely mosquitoes and bugs! You may also spot monkeys, listen to the noisy oriental pied hornbill perched on a tall tree near the wildlife centre, a giant flying squirrel that launches hunting trips from its hutch at precisely 6.54pm every evening (!), and even get to see a snake or two (or more!) within proximity of the resort boardwalk (although untrained eyes like mine would not notice them unless pointed out by the resident experts). So if you visit, go not only with a sense of adventure, but also a deep respect for nature (in the spirit of 'take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints'). A final word to fellow visitors: Do understand that there are guests who may be there just to relax, catch up on sleep, and enjoy the natural ambience; children who are privileged enough to accompany you also need to learn some consideration for others. There's really something to be said for resorts that do not allow children under 16 on their premises!
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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 Restaurant

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.

Fisherman's Cove 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.

Sushi in Japan

Omakase

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

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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