Gaya Island Resort

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

The hotel

Just 15 minutes from the mainland, this resort features a house reef and provides some spectacular views of the ocean and the haunting slopes of the mountain beyond. Set within a marine park — a natural conservation area — the island boasts an onsite marine centre aimed at rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles and a wildlife centre dedicated to the protection and preservation of proboscis monkeys. The treatments at the tranquil spa reflect the cultural healing traditions of Sabah's many indigenous people. Discoveries, authentic experiences and a sense of intimacy with the natural world prevail throughout the resort offering travellers and families an escape that is distinctively Borneo.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Scuba Diving
  • Restaurant
  • Bicycle Rental
  • Snorkelling
  • Anniversary and special occasions
  • Families
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Internet Access
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Where is it

Lying on the shores of Pulau Gaya, against the hillside and amongst the lush landscape of an ancient rainforest. Transfer time approximately 30 minutes from Kota Kinabalu Airport to the Gaya Lounge at the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and approximately 15 minutes to the resort by boat. Guests need to arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled boat transfer.

Hotel information

120 villas and 1 suite. All with an outdoor terrace, spacious bedroom, flatscreen TV with satellite channels, an open bathroom with oversized bathtub, double dresser, writing desk and safe. Bayu Villas are situated on the hillside and offer 47 sq m of living space, spectacular views of the surrounding tropical mangrove or rainforest and sleep maximum 2 adults. Connecting rooms are available.

Full Board option: includes lunch: appetiser, main course and dessert at Feast Village, Pool Bar and Lounge or Tavajun Bay. Dinner: appetiser, main course and dessert at Feast Village, Omakase or Fisherman's Cove. Beverages include house mineral water, tea and coffee.

Canopy Villas are located amongst tropical mangroves, set on the gently sloping hillside with a beautiful outlook, offer 47 sq m of living space and sleep maximum 2 adults.

Kinabalu Villas offer fantastic views of the South China Sea, 47 sq m of living space and sleep maximum 2 adults. Connecting rooms are available.

The Suria Suite is located on the sloping hillside and offers 188 sq m of living space, divided into two levels. The ground floor features a spacious living area, private dining room, TV room, powder room and a pantry, opening onto an outdoor terrace. The first floor is divided into 2 bedrooms, each with a separate en-suite, walk-in wardrobe and vanity area, and opens onto a private balcony, equipped with its own outdoor bath. The Suria Suite sleeps maximum 4 adults.

  • Free Nights: book by the 15 Dec '19 and stay for 3 nights, pay for 2 for stays completed between 1 Oct '19–30 Sep '20.

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable. 

     

  • Booking Bonus: book by 60 days or more prior to travel and adults receive up to 15% off the accommodation cost between 1 Apr–19 Dec '19, 6 Jan–23 Jan '20 and 3 Feb–31 Mar '20 when staying 3 nights or more.

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable.

  • Booking Bonus: book by 31 Mar '20 and adults receive up to 10% off the accommodation cost between 1 Apr–19 Dec '19, 6 Jan–23 Jan '20 and 3 Feb–31 Mar '20 when staying 5 nights or more.

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable.

  • Booking Bonus: book by 19 Dec '19 and adults receive up to 10% off the accommodation cost between 1 Oct–19 Dec '19.

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable.

  • Booking Bonus: book by 60 days or more prior to travel and adults receive up to 20% off the accommodation cost between 1 Apr–19 Dec '20, 6 Jan–10 Feb '21 and 22 Feb–31 Mar '21 when staying 3 nights or more.

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable.

Omakase (open for dinner; serving Japanese cuisine in 3 different omakase-style dining experiences: teppanyaki, shabu-shabu and nabe). Feast Village (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; dynamic open kitchens offer Japanese/Korean, Asian and Western selections). Fisherman's Cove (open for dinner; serving seafood themed dishes. No children under 12 years. Dress code: smart/casual including full-length trousers and smart shoes). Pool Bar and Lounge (open all-day; serving light refreshments). Tavajun Bay (open for lunch). Private dining. 40 metre swimming pool. Spa Village*. Its PURE activities programme also provides an array of cultural and natural experiences that include jungle walks, yoga, snorkelling trips and cookery lessons. Marine Centre conservation efforts include coral reef restoration and a turtle rescue programme. Wildlife Centre conservation projects include the preservation and rehabilitation of the rare proboscis monkeys that reside on the island. Water sports centre*. Complimentary WiFi. Concierge service.

2 nights between 1 Apr-19 Dec '19, 6 Jan-23 Jan '20 and 14 Feb-31 Mar '20.

3 nights between 20 Dec '19-5 Jan '20 and 24 Jan-2 Feb '20.

* Denotes local charge.

Please note: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department have introduced a Tourism Tax on accommodation across the country. A flat fee of RM10, approximately $2.34, will be taxed per room per night on all types of hotels and accommodation options. This tax is solely for foreign tourists and they will be liable to pay directly to the hotel upon check-in. 

Sabah Parks Conservation Fee: a fee will apply to each guest, including children, payable at the end of your stay. Fees are MYR 30.00 (approx £6) on the first night and MYR 20.00 (approx £4) for each additional night, subject to change.

Please note: The resort is committed to minimising its carbon footprint within its environment. Therefore, it is a walking only resort.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1140)
  • Very good (454)
  • Average (197)
  • Poor (60)
  • Terrible (27)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Absolute bliss

Nov 20, 2019 Rosh145 London, United Kingdom

This conservation hotel is not only very picturesque but also has all the little details that made our stay very comfortable. Our room was stunning (and large) with a sea view. I was told all the rooms the same size but some had different views. Would highly recommend booking one with a sea view. All the rooms have a large bathroom with 2 sinks… Read more
This conservation hotel is not only very picturesque but also has all the little details that made our stay very comfortable. Our room was stunning (and large) with a sea view. I was told all the rooms the same size but some had different views. Would highly recommend booking one with a sea view. All the rooms have a large bathroom with 2 sinks and a huge bath tub. The hotel pool is set right on the beach front and you gets sun all through the day. There are plenty of beach chairs as well as hammocks and beds to relax on. Breakfast is excellent with a selection of western and eastern dishes. Staff are very hospitable and accommodating. Ramesh (deputy manager) was particularly helpful and made our stay one we would never forget. I would definitely go back here. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great relaxation

Nov 16, 2019 boaster horsham

A mere mile off coast of KK - the resort is a beautiful resort hotel in idyllic surroundings. Check is at Jesselton Jetty where you pick up the boat. Why did we choose this hotel compared to others? The timings of the boat are frequent and allow an early check in and late departure. Bunga Raya did not. By booking through their own website we were… Read more
A mere mile off coast of KK - the resort is a beautiful resort hotel in idyllic surroundings. Check is at Jesselton Jetty where you pick up the boat. Why did we choose this hotel compared to others? The timings of the boat are frequent and allow an early check in and late departure. Bunga Raya did not. By booking through their own website we were offered a very good deal as we booked the night ahead. Great food - ate in seafood restaurant and beach bbq. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Island Paradise

Nov 16, 2019 YusriSafri Kuching, Malaysia

Came for a team building exercise with my colleagues. This is a beautiful resort nestled amid lush rainforest and sandy beach. Cafe, beach, bbq area, pool, lobby, rooms, everything us beautiful about this hotel. All the staff of the hotel are excellently trained in customer service, which made the stay even more precious. The room is large and… Read more
Came for a team building exercise with my colleagues. This is a beautiful resort nestled amid lush rainforest and sandy beach. Cafe, beach, bbq area, pool, lobby, rooms, everything us beautiful about this hotel. All the staff of the hotel are excellently trained in customer service, which made the stay even more precious. The room is large and beautifully designed. Food is excellent. The GM welcomed us at the jetty and proceeded to accompany us all the way to the cafe for welcome drinks. I cant thank him enough for the excellent hospitality. Special mention to Deborah, who served with a smile, and made us feel welcome. If i have one drawback about this resort, it is the wifi in the room which did not function. Wouldve given a 5 star if not for this. All in all, a beautiful place to relax and bring the family. I will definitely come back one day. Thank you Gaya Island Resort Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 2nd Visit Did Not Disappoint

Nov 14, 2019 Paul M Cardiff UK

My wife and I were amazed once again (This was our second visit in7 months). It's a wonderful place to be if you are seeking tranquillity We can't say enough good things about this hotel. They have done an amazing job from top to bottom. No detail has been overlooked. It is a testament to the fact that you can have a beautiful hotel in a… Read more
My wife and I were amazed once again (This was our second visit in7 months). It's a wonderful place to be if you are seeking tranquillity We can't say enough good things about this hotel. They have done an amazing job from top to bottom. No detail has been overlooked. It is a testament to the fact that you can have a beautiful hotel in a beautiful location and still set yourself miles apart with amazing staff and wonderful service. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel so special by Jack And Ann Everyone has a smile on their face and did everything they could to make us feel welcome. we were hotel guests but It felt like being part of a small family. They managed to fulfil our unexpressed wishes which translates into enthusiastic staff who can't do enough to help, taking pains to remember guests' names and deliver thoughtful, personal touches The food there was absolutely incredible. Chef Agus and Chef Dolis were extremely kind and attentive which is such an understatement. The staff there little miss dynamite Xia ,Liyana and Silih and last but not least our favourite bar staff Layla and George were also amazing and attentive to detail. Ramesh - here is a man who will move heaven and earth to make the guests happy. The villas are modern, clean and elegant, they are well serviced twice an day and should you have any problems speak to Medling who manages excellent housekeeping services. For those that want to embrace the wild side of Gaya Island and see what Borneo has to offer off shore in terms of nature and wildlife, nature tours are held several times a week by the resident guides from the island Nature Centre, who will take you on a tour of the surrounding jungle to try and discover more of the island’s animal inhabitants.(Speak to Justin who is indeed the Tree Of Knowledge and also known as The Jungle Man) As our bags were loaded into the speedboat at the end of our time at the resort, and we sped away from Gaya Island back towards the mainland, our hearts couldn’t help but sink with the slowly fading sun as we bid this small slice of paradise goodbye. As I said, I cannot say enough and could go on forever. But the bottom line - I recommend this hotel without reservation...to anyone...The service is intuitive, personal, bespoke and truly comes from the heart no request is too much. This is definitely a place we will return to again and experience peace, tranquillity and most importantly the beautiful people that work at this resort. Wayne would you please convey these compliments to your entire staff . It was truly a moving experience again . I know these things do not happen without a great deal of effort on the part of everyone, and I want you to know how much we appreciated all your hard work. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great stay at Gaya Island Resort

Nov 12, 2019 robert w Wassenaar, The Netherlands

We enjoyed a great stay at Gaya Island Resort. The hotel is beautifully situated and provides a feeling of being far away, yet is only 10 minutes by speedboat from Kota Kinabalu town. The food was great (chef willing to create some special dishes) and staff were all extremely helpful. Certainly a place to return to.