Bunga Raya Island Resort

Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo

On Request

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Bunga Raya Island Resort

Banga Raya is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. The boutique style resort is a tropical-paradise with no cars, towns or villages but there is a beach with white sand. The rainforest backdrop and endless ocean views will ensure you’ll feel miles away from the real world.

We Love
  • Each of the 47 private villas is rough-hewn and hand-crafted by local tradesmen, terraced into the hillside reflecting the traditional simplicity of the Borneo architectural style.
  • In Bayu and Palm Villas: minibar is complimentary including beer and soft drinks. It also has a plunge pool and an espresso machine.
  • All villas have Frette linens, minibar, 24-hour room service, Bose Wave and LCD satellite television system and complimentary WiFi Internet access.
  • Although villas are not enclosed, they offer a lot of privacy because of the trees.
Need to Know
  • Bring hiking boots and waterproof clothing. The walking trail can be very muddy.  
  • Tropical waters can sometimes have jelly fish in the water. If you are sensitive then bring a wetsuit or antihistamines.
  • The resort is a certified as family preferred resort for children from toddlers to teens
  • Being in the rainforest, it is generally hot and humid. Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Dress is generally informal. Light clothing is appropriate as Borneo has one season which is summer.

Stay The 47 timbered villas are tucked into the hillside rainforest. Built in Borneo’s simplistic architectural style they are carefully blended with sublime modernism. Luxurious and yet not ostentatious, they reflect the Malaysian characteristics of humility and respect, even when faced with nature. The result is a beautiful experience of a tropical rainforest and beach.

For those who wish to splash out can book the unique two-story hilltop retreat. Perched at the highest point of the property, this suite showcases jaw-dropping views of the South China Sea. It features an expansive master bedroom with a giant whirlpool bath and matching downstairs bedrooms with a wraparound deck and an indulgent plunge pool.

Dine Pantai Grill, the restaurant on the oceanfront is brilliant when the sea is calm and romantic to sit outside. Being outdoors, its opening is dictated by the storm, wind and the hotel’s occupancy on that day. The main restaurant is ‘The Koi’ with a pretty decent ambience; ocean view on one side and waterfall on the other. The hotel has been painstakingly training their staff and the quality of food and service; I am told has got better. But it depends on personal taste. The staffs are very courteous and always willing to help.

If you love wine then you should visit ‘The Gua’ or the cave with 2,500 bottles, an intimate bar, a private dining room and cigar bar patio.

Relax There is much to spoil you here, take for instance there is a spa, Jacuzzi, plunge pool and an outdoor swimming pool. Additionally, there are motorised and non-motorised water sports and opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving. If you get tired of the water, you can spice up your escapade by taking a trek into the jungle and explore the verdant beauty beyond the beach.

For major part of the day, my body has been covered with the oils of the indigenous local plants as part of the natural Borneo treatment. I don’t know if I look younger but I do feel that my skin is rejuvenated and my mind is relaxed.

I step into a cold outdoor shower then slip into an open-air hot tub. Suddenly there is a sense of relief, as if someone has pushed a release button to my built-up stress. I am in an oasis, enclosed by the floor-to-ceiling glass doors in a tropical forest. Jungle streams flow on all sides and the countless birdsongs create the sound track for an ultimate calm. I am in a hidden jewel of the Solace Spa.

Getting There

Kota Kinabalu is a short hop from Singapore, Hong Kong, Kaula Lumpur and Brunei. Arrive at the Kota Kinabalu airport and drive 15 minutes (2.5mi/4km) to Kota Kinabalu’s Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. Gayana Eco Resort is reached by a private boat from this jetty, in the South China Sea. The boat schedules are fixed during the day so ensure that your flight fits well with the departure time.

Scheduled Boat Transfer

  • Scheduled Arrival and Departure Deluxe Speed Boat Island Transfers from/to Jesselton Point Wharf is included in nightly room rate. Please check correct boat schedule (generally between 1300h and 1630h) before booking your flights. Boat schedule may change without prior notice.
  • It is strongly advised that guests arrive at the Check-In Lounge at Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal at least 15 minutes prior to boat departure.
  • For late arrivals/early departures due to delayed flights only. An out-of-schedule boat transfer can be arranged at no additional cost as long as flight details are forwarded with the reservation. Proof of documentation of flight details is required for verification purposes.
  • Private Deluxe Speed Boat transfers are available to/from Jesselton Point Wharf to Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa at extra cost (RM150 per way at the time of print).
  • Helicopter transfers can be arranged at time of reservations made.
  • Land Transfers: Approximately 20 minute vehicle transfer to/from Kota Kinabalu International Airport / Jesselton Point Wharf. Reservations prior to arrival are necessary in order to secure vehicle availability.
Bunga Raya Island Resort Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo