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.

  • 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 (1154)
  • Very good (456)
  • Average (197)
  • Poor (60)
  • Terrible (27)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wow wow wow

Dec 8, 2019 Wonder867

7 nights in paradise . Location gives it an exclusive feel but we've been to places like this and never left a review so why am I writing one now.I can honestly say we found something special with the level of service we received. As you can imagin not everyone can be pleased with a buffet so if the chef has it in his fridge he will cook it for… Read more
7 nights in paradise . Location gives it an exclusive feel but we've been to places like this and never left a review so why am I writing one now.I can honestly say we found something special with the level of service we received. As you can imagin not everyone can be pleased with a buffet so if the chef has it in his fridge he will cook it for you or if it's in his power he will get it in for you, now that's amazing service and at no extra cost to you. They treat you like family and want to do their best for you. What's their best? Now that's up to you to let them in and found out for yourself. I would also say like a previous review look no further than GIR. I will be looking at other hotels owned by this company for future holidays in the hope that other teams are as special as the one they have here. We went on to the SLRR resort after and we're very underwhelmed and back to average service. GIR we will be back one day x x x Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent resort for relaxation & chilling out

Dec 7, 2019 LimCT168 Singapore, Singapore

Gaya Island Resort (GIR) is an exclusive island resort that provides excellent service and relaxing atmosphere to rest & relax. My family (four of us) spent 5 nights at GIR during the first week of December 2019 and our holiday there was simply fantastic. Right from Day 1, we enjoyed first class service from the very warm and hospitable… Read more
Gaya Island Resort (GIR) is an exclusive island resort that provides excellent service and relaxing atmosphere to rest & relax. My family (four of us) spent 5 nights at GIR during the first week of December 2019 and our holiday there was simply fantastic. Right from Day 1, we enjoyed first class service from the very warm and hospitable Executive Sous Chef, Dolis Mongulid at the Feast Village. Chef Dolis is ever so welcoming to everyone and he treated my wife, 2 teenage boys and myself like VIPs throughout our stay at GIR. The specially prepared seafood and meat dishes by Chef Dolis were delicious, amazing and refreshing as GIR uses only the freshest ingredients. We also enjoyed the banana with Nutella crepe prepared by Chef Dolis for breakfast. Restaurant Manager, Silih was equally polite, efficient and helpful throughout our stay. Also thanks to ever smiling Connie, Alice, Rafdi & many more for providing good and attentive service during our meals. What also pleases me is that GIR has a policy to procure their fresh seafood supply from only sustainable sources. We also dined at Omakase & Chef Ben entertained us with his culinary skills. We really enjoyed the teppanyaki dinner. Chef Ben, Sur and Chan are ever so attentive and provided good service, which to me is a trademark of GIR service seen everywhere in the resort. Chef Ben and his team at Fisherman Cove also provided us with an excellent meal and we thoroughly enjoyed the private and quiet ambience there. We also signed up for the 7 Wonders of Gaya program. Justin Juhun from GIR Naturalist team is very knowledgeable and he is such a great delight to be with. The day and night jungle trekkings were indeed very interesting and provided us with good exercise after our hearty meals. We spotted several species of plants, mushrooms, scorpions, spiders and insects, some indigenous to Borneo & we were quite excited when Justin spotted an adult viper (which was about to make its kill) during the night trekking. It is important to note that it is advisable not to trek into the jungle alone, without a guide, as there can be poisonous wildlife lurking nearby somewhere. Justin also brought us to see the nearby mangrove by kayak. Mangrove forest is one of the most degraded forest in the world where only 13% of mangrove forest are still intact in the world. I really admire Justin’s passion and mission to build another mother forest of mangrove by producing 5000 healthy mangrove trees. With the support from everyone, Justin shared that he is hopeful the project will run successfully. We also went snorkeling at the beach fronting GIR and there are many fishes and corals. The excursion to Coral Garden led by Sylvester at Pulau Mamutik was excellent and we enjoyed looking at the vast & beautiful coral garden and fishes there. If you’re looking for an amazing eco-holiday with excellent service and good food, I recommend GIR. Do sign-up for the all inclusive meal package as it was well worth it and fuss-free. Special thanks to GIR team for making our stay so enjoyable and memorable. Looking forward to our next visit to GIR. It has been indeed been an amazing holiday for us. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing customer service!

Dec 6, 2019 Jollystitch

Enjoyed 3 very relaxing days at this resort. There staff couldn’t do enough, they were very attentive and engaging. Thoroughly enjoyed my stay was hoping to see the monkey and bearded pig but wasn’t lucky enough on this visit but did see a monitor lizard. The food was good but the beach barbecue was my favourite. The resort is expensive compared… Read more
Enjoyed 3 very relaxing days at this resort. There staff couldn’t do enough, they were very attentive and engaging. Thoroughly enjoyed my stay was hoping to see the monkey and bearded pig but wasn’t lucky enough on this visit but did see a monitor lizard. The food was good but the beach barbecue was my favourite. The resort is expensive compared to prices in Kota Kinabalu however I wouldnt hesitate to go back if I was visiting Borneo again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Outstanding hospitality

Dec 5, 2019 Hana_Tay Singapore, Singapore

1. Check in (+) hassle free at Jesselton Ferry Jetty. Staff was very friendly and speaks good English. She was also proactive in providing extra information. Our luggage were well taken care off from jetty to boat to room. (-) Only issue was we missed the office and had to call them to find it. 2. Speed boat transfer (+) 15 mins ride. PFDs were… Read more
1. Check in (+) hassle free at Jesselton Ferry Jetty. Staff was very friendly and speaks good English. She was also proactive in providing extra information. Our luggage were well taken care off from jetty to boat to room. (-) Only issue was we missed the office and had to call them to find it. 2. Speed boat transfer (+) 15 mins ride. PFDs were provided. Ride was safe. was dry when going to the resort. A bit wet when going back because of choppy sea. 3. Reception (+) there was a welcoming crew at Gaya Island Resort (GIR) jetty. They walked us to the lobby and provided a tour around the resort. They also walked us to the room. 4. Room (+) Big, clean and comfortable. Toiletries all provided for. Hugh bath. 2 basin. separate toilet and shower. Daily housekeeping. TV channels had good variety and reception. 5. Restaurant (+++) Kudos to all staff... from waiters to chefs. They were most friendly and made us felt right at home. food was great. 2 thumbs up. Food quality was good. Food variety - they try to provide lots. You can even request for things not in the menu and they'll try to provide. Outstanding service from Chef Dolis and Manager Silih. They provided excellent hospitality. We appreciated all their attentiveness. 6. Facilities. The gym was basic. Pool was big and clean. Main beach was shallow. There are some corals and fishes. Private beach was slightly deeper. 7. Activities. Nature walk was informational. Get ready lots of mosquitoes repellent. Stand up padelling and kayaking was ok. Borneo handicraft session was quite fun. We made beaded bracelet. Can be challenging for the eyes as beads were tiny. Overall: excellent quality stay. Recommendations: request for rooms nearer to the main building. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing Taste of Sabah, Borneo

Dec 5, 2019 chrismQ914CQ Newport Pagnell, United Kingdom

Thanks to Wayne and team for our warm introduction to Sabah and Borneo. So many people helped to make our stay memorable, and we really appreciate everyone’s kindness and support. • Chef Agus, Chef Dolis, Ramesh, Silih, Marneh, Ambang, Kornelius, Hafsah – we ate so incredibly well at the Feast Village and Fisherman’s Cove • Rafie – we enjoyed… Read more
Thanks to Wayne and team for our warm introduction to Sabah and Borneo. So many people helped to make our stay memorable, and we really appreciate everyone’s kindness and support. • Chef Agus, Chef Dolis, Ramesh, Silih, Marneh, Ambang, Kornelius, Hafsah – we ate so incredibly well at the Feast Village and Fisherman’s Cove • Rafie – we enjoyed your informative tours in the jungle and the Mangrove Kayaking, and it is great to see the contribution the team are making to conservation efforts • We had a lovely spa treatment and the sunset cruise was very relaxing • The front office team were very helpful, and special thanks to Ann and Jack for all their help • The Borneo crafts activities were interesting (and we did it on 3 days!) – thanks Suzy and Elmey We think you all know how much we enjoyed ourselves, and we look forward to coming back in the near future. Read less