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
From check-in at Jesselton Point, one feels immediately well looked after and that Customer Service is to prevail strongly in the hands of the Bunga Raya staff. The excitement only builds as the shuttle service first drops people off at the Gayana Marine Resort, enhancing the exclusivity of staying further around Gaya Island.
This carefully designed resort architected between jungle and unspoiled beach provides the perfect getaway and a heavenly mix of flora and fauna to be immersed within.
We stayed for 2 nights and crammed in what we could; complimentary canopy walk and daily Pilates along with kayaking and even some sun-bathing amidst sheer delight of being here.
The rooms/ apartments are spacious, well-stocked with complimentary items, beautifully finished and maintained regularly (including turn-down service).
Both dinners attended we were treated like their only guests; admittedly it was low season and practically empty, which only enhanced the experience. Breakfast with one of the resident macaques was an absolute joy, as was the ongoing sight of Hornbills flying overhead and the monitor lizard / wild boar owning the resort.
A naturalist’s paradise!
I stayed here some years ago with my younger daughters, this was well before my Trip Advisor interest. Now on a current business/pleasure trip through Kota Kinabalu it rekindled my interest and I am pleased to read all the positive the reviews.
Nice safe scuba diving around Gaya island.
If you like to pamper yourselves and can afford it I recommend this quiet place. If you need a bit more adventure you can explore the island by foot.
Idyllic island setting, private villas, very friendly staff and great meals - what more could you want for a relaxing holiday. OK the wi-fi is slow but hey its an island 20 mins fast boat ride from Kota Kinabalu. Yes the staff were not 100% spot on but they were always smiling and made you feel welcome. We were 2 couples celebrating a birthday and the whole package was perfect. Special mention of the lovely massage. Unlike previous reviews, we found the food at the Pantai Grill to be of high quality and superior to that on offer at The Longhouse. Indeed we were disappointed with the latter when told that both Beef Rendang and Pulut Hitam were not available - these are signature Malaysian dishes. The gym has to have one of the best views around. Very highly recommended.
Fantastic stay at the lovely Bunga Raya Island Resort on Gaya Island, just off Kota Kinabalu. Luxury accommodation and they really know how to look after their guests. The individual apartments are built on stilts in the middle of the jungle so lots of privacy, well appointed and spotlessly clean.
Excellent beach with white sands and good snorkelling right off the beach. Good restaurants.
Overall highly recommended.
Spent five days here after a busy two weeks travelling and Wow! From the moment you arrive on the jetty, you are taken care off! Nothing is to much trouble! Fabulous room with views over the bay (23)! Beach is white sand and deserted! Lovely large pool and waiter service! Buggy rides to get you to your room and around resort. Sunset cruise was excellent. Breakfast had a good choice and meals were very relaxed. Room was serviced to excellent level and turn down service was lovely to come back to. My wife had a massage and slept the best for ages!
If you have a reason to be in Borneo, choose this place for a chilled and relaxing time!