Perched on the northern tip of the island of Borneo is the Malaysian state of Sabah. This is a lush, mountainous state which boasts some extremely ancient rain forests, and a coastline that is endowed with many beautiful small islands, superb beaches and vibrant coral reefs.
The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, and within easy distance of the city are two magnificent Shangri-La hotels. They are both luxurious, but as different as chalk and cheese.
Closest to town is Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. Set amidst 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the South China Sea, the deluxe property is one of Asia’s most exotic retreats, yet only 10 minutes from the sprawling capital of Kota Kinabalu and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Facing the resort and minutes away by speedboat are five tropical islands and in the distance looms Southeast Asia’s highest peak, the 4,101 metre Mount Kinabalu, one of the world’s heritage site.
This resort, given its proximity to a protected marine park, is perfect for those who love to be by the water. It now boasts a brand new water play area, the first and only one of its kind in Borneo. The water play area comprises a dedicated section for toddlers, teenagers and an interactive area for all ages. Guests can expect to enjoy theme park quality water slides for adults and children measuring a total length of 100 metres. There will also be water battle stations with water balloon launchers, a 2,000-square-metre swimming pool with tapered shoreline for children and a Jacuzzi and infinity pool section for adults.
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is sequestered further away from the city on Pantai Dalit Beach, about 40 minutes from KK.
Set amidst a nature reserve Rasa Ria Resort is home to an eco-friendly championship golf course and the magnificent Spa at Dalit Bay. Unique to the Rasa Ria resort is the Orang-utan Education Centre where you’ll meet Sabah’s famous icon.
This resort is totally relaxing, but also has a number of sporting and adventure activities available. The 18-hole Dalit Bay Golf & Country club is a championship course where your concentration on the game can be distracted by the magnificent surroundings.
Although the hotel complex is contemporary in every way, it is a place where the natural ecology is extremely important and has a commitment to biodiversity conservation, so the group launched SANCTUARY, Shangri-La’s Care for Nature Project.
The genesis was an Orang-utan Care project that aimed to rehabilitate the most iconic species in Sabah. Today, a Nature Reserve has been established in collaboration with the State Wildlife Department with the aim of protecting a 64 acre ecological space to help facilitate rehabilitation programmes for endangered species of faunas endemic to Sabah.
Many guests spend time at both properties, so as to experience the great diversity of Kota Kinabalu in properties that are simply superb.