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
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Families
  • Honeymoon
  • Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Internet Access
  • Anniversary and special occasions
  • Beachfront location

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.

  • 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 (1219)
  • Very good (466)
  • Average (199)
  • Poor (60)
  • Terrible (27)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A honeymooner's dream

May 26, 2020 phil221119 Belfast, United Kingdom

In the coronavirus era, this is the kind of place I would be happy to self-isolate in! My wife and I began our honeymoon here and it was wonderful from start to finish. The resort staff were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. As well as the daily banquets in the restaurant, drinks in the bar (pineapple juice was the best… Read more
In the coronavirus era, this is the kind of place I would be happy to self-isolate in! My wife and I began our honeymoon here and it was wonderful from start to finish. The resort staff were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. As well as the daily banquets in the restaurant, drinks in the bar (pineapple juice was the best we'd ever tasted) and sunbathing, we enjoyed an afternoon of kayaking in the mangroves with the very passionate marine biologist Justin, had a aqua dinner on the beach and a couples' massage. Just fabulous. Hope we can revisit in the future! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing Place

Apr 11, 2020 Fluffybunnies1 Perth, Australia

First star treatment from the moment we stepped out of the taxi and lead to our own private speedboat to Gaya Island. We were greeted by our hostess and shown around the resort. Our apartment over looked the beautiful bay, high up in the rainforest ( note, there is no transportation around the resort, so if you have walking difficulties choose a… Read more
First star treatment from the moment we stepped out of the taxi and lead to our own private speedboat to Gaya Island. We were greeted by our hostess and shown around the resort. Our apartment over looked the beautiful bay, high up in the rainforest ( note, there is no transportation around the resort, so if you have walking difficulties choose a lower apartment ) The food was great, from the breakfast to a private dining on the beach for couples This is not a place to take children, but a wonderful place to relax, snorkel, canoe and watch the local wildlife while taking in amazing views Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A beautiful Hotel

Apr 7, 2020 wrightyEssex Essex

We stayed here for four nights. The food was good with the Chef willing to prepare whatever you wanted, he would come to the table and ask if he could prepare you something different. Lots of Monitor Lizards around the Hotel, also wild pigs and Macaques. Went on a shuttle boat, just to the other side of the Island and listened to a talk on marine… Read more
We stayed here for four nights. The food was good with the Chef willing to prepare whatever you wanted, he would come to the table and ask if he could prepare you something different. Lots of Monitor Lizards around the Hotel, also wild pigs and Macaques. Went on a shuttle boat, just to the other side of the Island and listened to a talk on marine conservation and how they are replanting coral, sadly it was Jellyfish season so I did not go snorkelling, but the water was so clear you could see the amazing fish from the Pier. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Truly Amazing

Apr 5, 2020 Sue W W Whitby, United Kingdom

This place is a wonderful peaceful and luxurious haven. You truly feel special here as every member of staff has relaxed and superb customer service off to a fine art. Although the drinks and restaurants are a little pricey you always feel you have paid for quality in every respect. Food is superb in all the restaurants and each one has the… Read more
This place is a wonderful peaceful and luxurious haven. You truly feel special here as every member of staff has relaxed and superb customer service off to a fine art. Although the drinks and restaurants are a little pricey you always feel you have paid for quality in every respect. Food is superb in all the restaurants and each one has the stunning view of the beach and the bay beyond. Villas are arranged on the hillside and most have stunning views from the spacious balcony. They are very comfortable and the air conditioning is very efficient and very necessary as this country is extremely hot and humid. We did go in February 2020 and it was very quiet and felt very exclusive. We loved the BBQ on the beach with the local dancers and really loved the time spent with Justin the wildlife ranger. Being nature lovers we found him knowledgeable and passionate about his work with the mangroves and the rainforest around the resort. There is enough to keep you occupied for a week here if you enjoy activities but also an amazing and beautiful place to relax by the pool or on the beach. The resort accommodation and especially the staff are 5 star. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Small world of Luxury

Apr 5, 2020 travelwithchar17 Southampton, United Kingdom

Wow! Where do we start? We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of our Borneo holiday. It went above our expectations and beyond. The staff make this place and are absolutely amazing! They go out of there way to make sure you are ok and the reception team refer to you by your name. We booked through the website directly and I would definitely… Read more
Wow! Where do we start? We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of our Borneo holiday. It went above our expectations and beyond. The staff make this place and are absolutely amazing! They go out of there way to make sure you are ok and the reception team refer to you by your name. We booked through the website directly and I would definitely recommend this as they do a meal package where you get breakfast lunch and dinner included in the price. Otherwise food and drink is expensive compared to the rest of Borneo but this was a great deal. Eat at the pool bar the food is incredible! The tuna literally melted in your mouth. They have happy hour at the pool bar in the early evening and this is worth doing. When you arrive, you will be given a timetable of activities which you can book. Some of the activities are free for example snorkelling at the beach, movie night, guided walks and yoga. Some you have to pay a fee for. The ones we did and would recommend are mangrove kayaking, coral garden snorkelling and the BBQ in the evening. Unfortunately, there was an influx of jelly fish when we were there, so we couldn’t get into the water at the coral reef, however, the staff were amazing and we were refunded our money straight away. The boat trip was still a great experience though! Snorkelling at the hotel just off the beach is really good. There is plenty of different species of fish to see and there are a number of coral reefs. They have equipment to use there or you can take you own. You can get the boat from the jetty to go round to the other private beach. It is really nice there as well and we found it a bit quieter than the main beach at the hotel. The rooms are incredible and look out into either the rainforest or out to sea depending on which room you have chosen. They are very luxurious and include a walk in wardrobe, a huge bathroom area with double sink, bath and separate shower and separate toilet. The bed is big and very comfy. Each room has a balcony with seating. Just be careful of the monkeys stealing things! Overall I would recommend this hotel to anyone. It really is a hotel of luxury and you will not be disappointed. Judy Dench has stayed here as well! We can’t wait to return one day! Read less