Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa
What We Love
- A five-star hideout between jungle and white sands, including breakfast, transfers and moreSelecting a bottle from a store of over 4,500 in Bunga Raya’s award-winning wine cellar
- Diving among schools of tropical marine life with one of the resort’s certified PADI instructors
- Retreating to a private spa pavilion for a relaxing massage using natural Kerstin Florian products
What To Know
- This resort is secluded; you'll have to take a short boat ride to get here
- Bed down in your own tropical villa
- The 80-foot infinity pool is the property's central feature
You might want to give a little thought to your desert island discs before you arrive at this hidden gem in Sabah, Borneo. Accessible via a short boat journey from Kota Kinabalu, Bunga Raya is the castaway dream, with a staggering white-sand beach to the fore and virgin rainforest as a backdrop.
Make like a luxe adventurer in one of 47 rough-hewn villas, each wrapped in tropical foliage on the terraced hillside. With masses of space and high-end amenities including Thann toiletries, Frette linen and BOSE sound systems, they’re not short on five-star comforts, but the simple timber and stone lets the tremendous scenery do the talking.
Bunga Raya may feel very Robinson Crusoe, but no need to fish for your supper. Dine on fusion Asian and Western fare at open-sided restaurant The Longhouse, which overlooks the 25-metre infinity pool, koi pond and waterfall. For spa relaxation, cross the suspended bridge to the resort’s hilltop sanctuary, and for all manner of leisure activities on land, water and treetops, this island playground is yours to explore.
How to Get There
The whole resort is stunningly beautiful but it is the smiling, friendly staff that make Bunga Raya exceptional.
The rooms are incredible with large balconies, huge comfortable beds & lovely bathrooms, there is so much attention to detail in the decor.
We stayed in October which was out of season and we loved that the resort was so quiet. The large pool was a highlight, with views over the beach and daily visits from hornbills to one of the poolside trees!
We ate at both restaurants but preferred the Longhouse Malaysian restaurant, the staff were very accommodating with dietary requirements and there was a fair selection of vegetarian food, just make it clear you do not want meat stock in meals as they are not automatically vegetarian. It would be much better if the menus made it clear which dishes are actually vegetarian (or which can be made vegetarian).
The staff do their very best to keep the beach clean of litter and it really makes a difference, it is a beautiful beach in a stunning bay with rainforest all around - perfect!
The best snorkelling area was near the jetty early in the morning and we were lucky to see a turtle. We would recommend a visit to the sister resort Guyana Marine Resort - the marine centre was interesting and it was great to snorkel over the planted coral beds. The boat transfer and the entry to the reserve are free.
In summary, Bunga Raya exceeded our expectations in every way - thank you to all the staff who made our 6 night stay so very special!
This resort was fabulous! We did the couples massage/facial and loved it. The spa staff - Tina and Kristin - were excellent. All the staff were amazing, especially Eduardo. We did the wine cellar tour and romantic pavilion dinner and zip line. Also - one of the best pools I have ever swam in! I highly recommend this resort.
no cars, beutiful views, great service, good food - we can only recommend staying here. Service is mostly great, nice spa (massages are best) and lovely chalet style rooms with all ameneties. Best if you want to relax as there is no nightlife to speak of.