Gayana Eco Resort

Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo

On Request

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Gayana Eco Resort

How many of you get a chance to caressing species such as starfish, sea cucumber or hold between your hands the hard, curved protective shell of a horseshoe crab? How many of us get a chance to plant a coral fragment to regenerate a damaged reef? And how many of us know that the unique physical feature of the body of the clown fish is coated with special mucus to protect it from the anemone’s toxic stings? The guides at the Marine Ecology Research Centre, MERC, near the Gayana Eco Resort have answers to these and more of your questions.

We Love
  • True to its name, this is one of the most ecological resorts in south-east Asia.
  • Rooms have ensuite bathrooms and shower. There is a fan but no air conditioning. Windows have mosquito nets fitted so you can leave them open.
  • Most of the seafood comes from the resort’s fish farm. MERC also runs giant clam breeding and coral restoration programmes.
Need to Know
  • Tropical waters can sometimes have jelly fish in the water. If you are sensitive then bring a wetsuit or antihistamines.
  • Being in the rainforest region it will be generally hot and humid. Keep yourself hydrated.
  • There are no motorised water sports on the island. The main activities are diving, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach.
  • Arrange your flights to fit with the boat schedule and keep the hotel informed of your arrival time.

See The experienced guides at the Marine Ecology Research Centre, MERC allow us to get up close and personal to some of the marine life and we planted a new coral. Supported by the Gayana Resort, MERC is doing a great job in restoring the natural coral reefs and protecting the Island’s marine life.

“The reef regeneration plan is like planting tree saplings to revive a burnt forest” says Sonja my guide, “to see marine life and the effect of the reef here you must try snorkelling. You might see Nemo and all his cousins” he chuckles. It’s a perfect day for learning and adventure for children and adults alike. One small step by you could in a big way towards environmental protection and regeneration.

Sleep The resort itself is located in a secluded cove of the island. The 52 villas with private balconies either have astonishing vistas of Mount Kinabalu or look out into the expanse of the South China Sea. I met a family staying at Jungle view villa who absolutely loved it because their children could watch lizards and monkeys. All the Villas are kitted out with Frette linens, organic Harnn bath amenities, powerful rain showers, and a mini-bar. Wait until you taste the handmade lace cookies infused with palm sugar.

Dine At sunset, all roads lead to the second-storey Latitude bar. Built on stilts and open sided, it is a perfect spot for sunset cocktails especially when the first drink is on the house. If you fancy something good to eat then try Alu Alu, resorts main restaurant. It is reputed to be the area’s best Chinese seafood restaurant and people travel from Kota Kinabalu especially to eat here. There is a great choice of seafood, fresh from the resort’s own organic fish farm but enjoy specialties such as grouper with Cantonese sauce or spiced soft-shell crab. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Macac presents western fusion food with a distinctly Malaysian twist. Located by the resort's swimming pool, it is easy to enjoy your meal while relaxing by the water. Be sure to try their pizzas, made in the wood-fired oven.

Relax The Solace Spa draws on a combination of traditional Asian and western treatments with the world-renowned Kerstin Flovian line of products. Solace's trained team of therapists puts these materials to good use, applying them in a variety of massages, scrubs and facials.

Gayana's PADI Certified Dive Centre allows divers of all skill levels to experience these underwater marvels, such as sea turtles, clownfish, coral fish, whale sharks, and many more vibrant species of marine life. For those not keen on diving can try snorkelling, non –motorised water sports available or perhaps take a canoe and paddle amongst the Mangroves, the nursery for many tropical fish.

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.
Gayana Eco Resort Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo