Gaya Island Resort

Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 - See map
Free Wi-Fi
8.5
Excellent
/10
(1,012 reviews)See what guests said
View7
Beach5
Housekeeping3
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Gaya Island Resort

"Ramesh went above and beyond to make us comfortable during our stay."

Paige - November 25, 2018

Bayu Villa Gaya Island Resort
Swimming pool [outdoor] Gaya Island Resort
Swimming pool [outdoor] Gaya Island Resort
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See map
Popular landmarks
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park 4.36 km
Sapi Island 4.39 km
Night Market 5.02 km
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque 5.03 km
Signal Hill Observatory Platform 5.13 km
Gaya Street Sunday Market 5.17 km
Mamutik Island 5.72 km
Manukan Island 7.03 km
Sabah State Museum 7.03 km
Poring Hot Springs 16.77 km
Nearby landmarks
The Zip Line 2.58 km
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park 4.36 km
Sapi Island 4.39 km
Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal 4.77 km
I Love KK 4.83 km
The Borneo Shop 4.84 km
Sword Fish Monument 4.84 km
Wisma Merdeka 4.86 km
Marlin Statue 4.86 km
Iwase Books 4.88 km
8.5

Excellent

Location rating score

Excellent location
Wellness
Everything you need for a rejuvenating retreat for both body and spirit.
Spa & Beauty
Massage
Spa
Workout and Leisure
Fitness center
Swimming pool [outdoor]
What guests are saying:Read all 1,012 reviews
Exceptional comfort
9.2 room quality and comfort
Exceptional service
9.1 rating for service
Exceptional cleanliness
9.0 rating for cleanliness
Fantastic breakfast
87% positive mentions

From meeting lovely Eva who welcomed us to the hotel all the staff throughout the hotel were exceptional and super helpful.

Alan | August 30, 2017

What makes this place special, though, is the warm hospitality and special attention paid by the staff.

Joanna | November 10, 2017

The chef organised fresh food each time we attended the buffet specifically for us.

Paige | November 25, 2018

Excellent Location and a place that treats you like a family rather than guest.

Shahril | January 16, 2020

Great getaway from the mainland and only a short 10 minutes transfer by boat.

Alan | August 30, 2017

The staff were lovely, the food was generally very good most of the time.

Lowenna | June 24, 2017

  • Airport transfer

  • Private beach

  • Currency exchange

  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms!

  • Air conditioning

Your dates are popular among travelersUsers are booking a place in Kota Kinabalu every 6 minutes on Agoda.com
Value for money7.7
Distance to city center8.2 KM
Location rating8.5
Nearest airportKota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)
Distance to airport10.7 km

Rooms available at Gaya Island Resort

9.2
Exceptional
Room comfort & quality
Canopy Villa
Canopy Villa
...
  • Room size: 47 m²/506 ft²
  • Nature view
  • 1 king bed
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Kinabalu Villa
Kinabalu Villa
...
  • Room size: 47 m²/506 ft²
  • Mountain view
  • 1 king bed
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Bayu Villa
Bayu Villa
...
  • Room size: 47 m²/506 ft²
  • Mountain view
  • 1 king bed
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Kinabalu Villa
Kinabalu Villa
...
  • Room size: 47 m²/506 ft²
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Single
Single
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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Twin/Double Room
Twin/Double Room
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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Villa
Villa
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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Standard
Standard
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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Room Assigned on Arrival
Room Assigned on Arrival
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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Suria Suite
Suria Suite
...
  • Balcony/terrace
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What people love about Gaya Island Resort

  • 9.6
    Exceptional
    Staff 

    "Nice chef and people let us enjoy a wonderful journey!"

    HUNGCHIEH

    |

    January 14, 2019

  • 9.6
    Exceptional

    "This place was beautiful, we were here for a wedding."

    Lowenna

    |

    June 24, 2017

  • 10.0
    Exceptional

    "I highly recommend this hotel for your hotel to Gaya."

    Shahril

    |

    January 16, 2020

Property ranking|Compared to 1,449 Kota Kinabalu properties
See all rankings
Room comfort score
9.2/10
Cleanliness score
9.0/10
Service score
9.1/10
Review score - United States
8.0/10
Better than
99
%
of Kota Kinabalu properties
Better than
97
%
of Kota Kinabalu properties
Better than
96
%
of Kota Kinabalu properties
Better than
96
%
of Kota Kinabalu properties
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Overall rating:
8.5
Excellent
1,012 reviews
Cleanliness
9.0
Facilities
8.5
Location
8.5
Read all reviews >
What travelers say they love:
The rooms were cleaned twice a day and were extremely comfor...
Paige from Australia
Group
More about Gaya Island Resort

More about Gaya Island Resort

This beautiful property opened in July 2012 and is situated on the Gaya Island with lush rainforest creating a perfect getaway. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the mangroves, canopy, Kota Kinabalu Mountains, tropical rainforests, and the South China Sea. All 121 rooms at this property feature modern amenities including a spacious bedroom, a writing desk, a flat screen television, a large open bathroom with an oversized bathtub, and an outdoor veranda with day beds. For leisure, guests can enjoy a day of fun activities, the spa, or unique dining concepts. Gaya Island Resort is a completely non-smoking property which assures an enjoyable trip.

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Most talked about facilities

Food & Dining
42 mentions
Beach
20 mentions
Swimming Pool
11 mentions
Housekeeping
5 mentions

What they offer

10.0
Exceptional

"The rooms and facilities are beautiful and very luxurious."

Joanna

|

November 10, 2017

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Nearest essentials

Distances shown are straight-line distances on the map. Actual travel distances may vary.
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Food and dining

Restaurants on site

Feast Village
Cuisine:Asian, Local
Fisherman's Cove
Cuisine:Seafood
Omakase
Cuisine:Japanese
Pool Bar & Lounge
No additional information available
Tavajun Bay
Cuisine:Local, Thai

What's nearby

Distances shown are straight-line distances on the map. Actual travel distances may vary.
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Property's guest policies

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Some helpful facts

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Property announcements

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Reviews of Gaya Island Resort from real guests

Overall rating
8.5
Excellent
From 1012 reviews
9.1Room comfort and quality
9.1Service
9.0Cleanliness
Agoda Reviews (716)Booking.com Reviews (296)
Rating via Agoda8.5
/
10
Cleanliness9.0
Facilities8.5
Location8.5
Room comfort and quality9.2
Service9.1
Value for money7.7
High score for Kota Kinabalu
Rating
9+ Exceptional (227)
8-9 Excellent (180)
7-8 Very Good (116)
6-7 Good (39)
<6 Below Expectation (34)
Time of the year
Mar - May (158)
Jun - Aug (124)
Sep - Nov (122)
Dec - Feb (192)
Don't miss out!Users are booking a place in Kota Kinabalu every 6 minutes on Agoda.com
All guests (716)
All room types
All languages

Show reviews that mention 

Showing 596 verified guest comments
12345
9.7
Exceptional
SUK from Malaysia
Family with teens
Bayu Villa
Stayed 1 night in January 2014

Staying in Gaya Island Resort is a MUST”

friendly staff, delicious food, comfortable room

I highly recommend people to stay at Gaya Island Resort! It is the best hotel in Kota Kinabalu. All the staff are friendly and nice. The room also comfortable and has nice design! Inside the room has a big bath tub and the room is comfortable. The breakfast also delicious and tasty. I recommend people who plan to stay here can try the Sinigang Steamboat as dinner, the seafood is fresh. You don't need to cook the meat or seafood yourselves. Just Sit over there, the waiter will serve you. Overall, I will stay at Gaya Island Resort again when I travel to Kota Kinabalu.

Reviewed January 18, 2014
9.6
Exceptional
I-Chun from Taiwan
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 1 night in February 2016

Lovely resort”

We enjoyed our short stay at Gaya Island Resort quite a bit. Since it's on a private island, it's very quiet and doesn't have the big crowds and busy feel that most parts of Kota Kinabalu seem to have. The staff is superb, always eager and willing to help and always smiling. We took the most "economic" room and we were already really impressed with the space. We really enjoyed the complimentary activities (yoga, meditation, nature walk). We didn't try the "fine dining" restaurant but the buffet style restaurant food is decent, and the Tavajun Bay private beach meal was quite delicious.

Reviewed February 15, 2016
9.2
Exceptional
regina from Philippines
Couple
Kinabalu Villa
Stayed 2 nights in January 2016

Very Nice Resort”

After all the hesitations from the reviews that I read, I finally booked myself and my husband for a 3-day stay at Gaya Island Resort. I did make the right choice! The place was really nice and clean! And the staff, my gosh is by far, the best staff I have encountered! Everyone was really courteous, always greets you with a smile and very accommodating. They also let us in our villa earlier since we arrived a bit early, free of charge. One other thing I liked about the resort is it encourages people to walk as form of exercise and does not really offer transportation. Our villa was a bit uphill and though it was a long walk to and from the resto and beach, we didnt really mind. For those who dont really like walking, I suggest you take the villas nearest to the restos, but the view is not that great. The view at the higher areas was AWESOME. Get the Canopy villa seaview and you will get to see the best sunrise ever! I was really awed and emotional when I saw it. Really, really nice! Two downside: the price of the food, specifically at Omakase. Food was great but not worthy of a USD50 rate. Not really 5 star-ish. And the garbage at the sea. Its definitely not the resorts fault but maybe because its pretty near the harbor thats why there were garbage at one side of the beach. Theres a side thats clean too though. Overall, I love this resort. We had really an amazing stay and will definitely come back if given the chance!

Reviewed February 03, 2016
10.0
Exceptional
Masturina from Brunei Darussalam
Family with young children
Kinabalu Villa
Stayed 2 nights in December 2015

FANTASTIC RESORT”

Friendly staff. Peaceful. Calm.

We were traveling with our 16 months old baby to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. We want to make it a ritual to celebrate our anniversary(ies) on an island like we did during our honeymoon. Gaya Island Resort captured our heart when we first saw it advertised on our local airline (Royal Brunei)'s magazine, Muhibbah. Which we decided to go and celebrate there. We chose Kinabalu Villa for our stay. Indeed, it is a magnificent view! Weather was hot yet calm during our stay. We could see Mount Kinabalu in the early mornings, lovely sunrise (captured this time-lapsed! love it!). Although, you have to climb up the hills to get to the villa, but for the best view, why not!! Hospitality from the staffs were fantastic! They even helped me to carry our baby (with umbrella) from the lobby to the jetty. All and all, we really enjoy our stay! We will definitely come back!!

Reviewed December 14, 2015
9.3
Exceptional
Robin from Taiwan
Couple
Kinabalu Villa
Stayed 3 nights in December 2015

Lovely staffs”

Service, activities and location.

We've stayed in the Gaya island resort for 3 nights. The warm welcome we have received upon arrival made us feel like getting home. The staff- Eugene is still an intern but has provided professional service, we could communicate in both English and Mandarine which made the check-in process much smoothly. Another staff-Jeff from pool bar is very friendly as well! As the resort doesn't has too many rooms, we don't need to share the private pool and beach with the crowd. And we highly suggest the activities which were arranged by the resort, especially the mangrove kayaking. The only con we would say is about the choice of restaurant, there're only 3 restaurants and a pool bar in the resort. However, the experience of dining is beyond average. The breakfast and dinner buffet were very nice, beside this, there're some room to be improved for the teppanyaki set menu. We've been travel a lot and seldom submit review to the hotels we've stayed. But we did enjoy the experience this time and would like to recommend it to everyone!

Reviewed January 02, 2016
8.8
Excellent
Alan from United Kingdom
Couple
Kinabalu Villa
Stayed 8 nights in August 2017

Away from the crowds ”

Great getaway from the mainland and only a short 10 minutes transfer by boat. From meeting lovely Eva who welcomed us to the hotel all the staff throughout the hotel were exceptional and super helpful. Room was great and the elevated position rewards you with stunning sea views. Plenty of choice for activities if you like to be active. Rashid and Jamie who took us on the mangrove kayaking and trek to the nearby Tavajun bay provided loads of useful information about the islands wildlife. Snorkeling close to the hotel jetty and to the coral gardens is a must! Also would recommend the sunset cruise and the sunrise breakfast on the beach. Thank Xi for getting up so early to prepare for us and for looking after us so well. Perfect end to a perfect holiday. If we have any niggle it would be the cost of the beer, the cheaper beer isn't always available so you end up paying £5 for a 330ml can. Also the soft seating in the bar could do with replacing as it was quite dirty. Oh and the spa was quite pricy but heavenly if you're on honeymoon or a special holiday and want to treat yourselves. Highly recommend Gaya Island Resort.

Reviewed August 30, 2017
10.0
Exceptional
M from Australia
Family with young children
Canopy Villa
Stayed 3 nights in December 2016

Christmas Magic”

Gaya Island Resort is an example of what a wonderful boutique hotel is. We had such a fabulous time. Our children had such a fabulous time, we want to return again next Christmas. My only real quarrel is that the Mainland Chinese visitors are not aware of global resort etiquette. We had smokers next to us and while the hotel was kind enough to move us (and upgraded our view), we were once again moved to another Mainland Chinese couple who were loud about their Chinese shows and general in room communication. We had to knock on their door to make them aware of how loud they were.

Reviewed September 04, 2017
9.3
Exceptional
Nyo from Malaysia
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 2 nights in February 2013

Spacious room with big bathtub”

Quite place suitable for couple

i would said is it a quite place for lovely couples~ Stayed 2 night and have a good times with my boyfriend.But there is few things you have to know before the trips : 1.check in at gaya lounges sutera harbour not Jesselton Ferry Terminal 2.Every 2 hours there is ferry to Gaya Island Resort,make sure you check the ferry departure time with the hotel.(have been waited 1 and half hours) 3.there is conservation fees to go in to the island RM20/day per person (will charged in you final billed) 4. Returned ferry for each person RM 120

Reviewed February 14, 2013
10.0
Exceptional
Paige from Australia
Group
Bayu Villa
Stayed 6 nights in November 2018

The staff were friendly and happy to help at all times. Resort always clean and absolutely stunning.”

The staff, in particular Ramesh the food and beverage manager. Ramesh went above and beyond to make us comfortable during our stay. The kindest and most helpful at all times! Ramesh remembered our names, dietary needs and bent over backwards every day! On our last day Ramesh organised a beautiful lunch for us to say farewell! Mary was also helpful and sweet and nothing was too difficult. Mary is always smiling and efficient. The chef - Agus was extremely accommodating to our dietary needs, being a vegetarian was not an issue. The chef organised fresh food each time we attended the buffet specifically for us. Anything we wanted was available. The service was impeccable from all staff. The resort was stunning and always clean. The rooms were cleaned twice a day and were extremely comfortable. Anything we asked for was provided instantly. I cannot wait for my next stay at Gaya Island! I’ve told all of my friends and family they must visit as honestly, my stay could not have been better.

Reviewed November 25, 2018
9.2
Exceptional
Paul from Australia
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 4 nights in December 2016

Ideal for a relaxing break.”

So close to Kota Kinabalu but once on the island you feel like you're in a different world! The staff could not be more helpful and friendly. Incredible variety of food for breakfast, lunch & dinner. I would like a few more free activities such as table-tennis or billiards. The resort could consider electric vehicles to be more eco-friendly in the future. Overall, we had a fantastic stay and will be back.

Reviewed January 01, 2017
9.3
Exceptional
Emmanuelle from France
Family with teens
Bayu Villa
Stayed 4 nights in July 2014

Litle paradice”

The friendly staff, the food, the room

We stayed at Gaya Island Resort 4 nights and it was a perfect holidays. The staff is very kind, always helpful and fun. From the checkin at the marina until the end of our stay everything was perfect. A must-do is the cooking class with the Chef to learn how to cook typical Borneo food. Don't miss as well the private beach and the Thai lunch there, the thai chef is just so nice and her food is amazing. Thank you again for these perfect holidays !!

Reviewed September 11, 2014
10.0
Exceptional
Irasema from Mexico
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 3 nights in July 2015

Wonderful Service Beautiful Location”

Spa, Location, Rooms

Had a 3 nights stay, at the begining I thought it was a bit expensive. However, was worth the price for the quality of service and the amazing place it is in Gaya Island. Nice and spacious rooms, surrounded by incredible nature. The staff was very friendly, even organized a cake for a birthday celebration even i did not arrange it in advance. The restaurants are also excellent, you have a seafood one with fresh selections, a teppanyaki bar with a beautiful view. Swimming pool, beach and outdoor activities such as kayaking, snorkeling diving, paddle board, all well arrange. Recommend this place for a romantic or relaxed few days gettaway from busy city life style.

Reviewed July 06, 2015
10.0
Exceptional
SU from Malaysia
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 1 night in October 2014

Excellent”

staff friendliness room cleanliness worth for money

It was a great stay. I went Gaya Island Resort on my birthday and the staffs gave me big surprises. They treat me a birthday cake and decorate my room with beautiful balloons and a card with every staffs birthday wishes. But I was quite upset too because it was raining heavily for the two days, and many activities have to be cancelled. Anyway, overall is worth to stay!!

Reviewed October 07, 2014
8.7
Excellent
manos from Greece
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 7 nights in September 2014

THEY TRULY CARE ...”

IDYLLIC LOCATION, STAFF ATTENTIVENESS, ACTIVITIES

Gaya Island and Gaya resort are highly recommended. why: 1. the location is idyllic, the island and the surrounding environment is superb 2. the staff is very attentive and always eager to do the extra mille 3. the activities can keep you nicely busy while exploring this paradise on earth 4. the room is spacious, well designed and decorated, and the resorts amenities are satisfactory

Reviewed October 06, 2014
9.7
Exceptional
Sara from Portugal
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 5 nights in May 2014

Relaxing, Romantic and stunning location”

Amazing location next to the beach and forest, beautiful resort and bedrooms and very friendly and attentive staff.

We had 6 amazing days at Gaya Resort. The location of the resort is just fantastic right on the beach and next to the forest, where we can go for nature walks and watch the wildlife. There are also lots of activites we could do, i.e. snorkeling, kayaking, diving, paddle board, or just relax in swimming-pool, or on the beach. The spa is also really beautiful. The rooms are really big and very clean, however, if you stay in any of the rooms on the back and on the hill like us, then the treck to and back to room is a bit tiring. It would be nice if there was a golf buggy service to the rooms! Good variety of food at the buffet. Unfortunately we could not try the grill restaurant as the dress code was close shoes and my partner did not bring any. Also the distance from the airport to the marina is 20 mins and then there is a speed boat every 2 hours and it only takes 15 mins to the resort, which makes it really easy and convenient. Overall, it was excellent and we highly recommend it!

Reviewed May 19, 2014
8.3
Excellent
Emily from Australia
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 5 nights in December 2015

Perfect mix of wildlife and luxury ”

Wildlife, free activities including nature walk and tajuven bay trek with Jamie, big bath tub.

Excellent. My only critique is that the meals are exorbitantly priced. Much preferred eating with the locals on the mainland at the night market where you can experience the culture and Malaysian food first hand. The resort makes it difficult to avoid purchasing their pricey meals as a 10 min boat trip back to the mainland is 140RM per person. Having said that, loved our stay at Gaya Island Resort and would definitely return!

Reviewed December 12, 2015
10.0
Exceptional
Stephanie from United Kingdom
Couple
Bayu Villa
Stayed 4 nights in October 2016

Fabulous Stay!”

What stands out most about Gaya Island Resort is the staff. Stunning setting apart, they cannot do enough for you. No task too big. They are simply lovely. The hotel is fantastic and so are the facilities. A wonderful stay.

Reviewed October 22, 2016
8.4
Excellent
Mathew from Australia
Couple
Canopy Villa
Stayed 2 nights in June 2017

A touch of paradise”

Very happy to recommend this resort a mere 10 minutes boat ride outside of KK. Rooms are beautifully set out although the walk to them can be tiring since they are built into the mountainside. The views are amazing throughout the resort and the private beach was the highlight. We were able to see bearded pigs, monkeys and enormous lizards. There are 3 restaurants with a buffet (125rm) the cheapest with a seafood and Japanese option as well. Be aware there is a dress code of long pants and collar for the higher end. Wifi is available via a personalised wifi device. All in all a beautiful resort that is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of Kota Kinabalu.

Reviewed June 23, 2017
9.0
Exceptional
Luke from Australia
Couple
Kinabalu Villa
Stayed 3 nights in October 2015

Beautiful eco resort”

Rooms, staff, facilities

Beautiful resort on great island. Staff were very good, rooms were fantastic, we had a kinabalu villa which had a stunning view. Only criticism was the buffet breakfast was quite limited compared with other 5 star hotels, and the water in front of the hotel pool is beautiful, but unfortunately the private beach they have there is a lot of rubbish in that area. They have staff cleaning it but it must be a catchment for the rubbish.

Reviewed October 08, 2015
9.7
Exceptional
Marta from Australia
Couple
Canopy Villa
Stayed 2 nights in August 2015

Amazing staff, beautiful rooms, stunning views”

landscape, views, ocean

I would highly recommend this place. Perfect for honey moons and gateways where you want to relax in privacy. We stayed in a Canopy Villa and Kota Kinabalu villa. Both were amazing however we preferred Canopy villa situated in a lush rainforest. Staff very friendly and amazing. Only 15 minutes by boat from Kota Kinabalu jetty. Overall amazing experience.

Reviewed August 31, 2015
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  • Excellent location
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
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