Kota Kinabalu is the perfect tropical getaway with beautiful beaches, postcard islands and the very popular Mount Kinabalu at your doorstep. Stop to take a break here and you might just fall under the spell of this beautiful and lively capital situated on the northwest coast of Borneo.
Only having a weekend to experience everything Kota Kinabalu has to offer (or if you really want to sound local ‘KK’), we decided to split our time by spending the first night out of the city and instead surrounded by nature at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.
Checking into the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort
When we touched down in KK we were greeted to a large grin and a handshake before being ushered into a private luxurious van waiting to zip us away to the resort. This was a first for us and before we could take it all in refreshing towelettes were provided, bottles of cold water awaiting in the armrests and an abundance of snacks to cure our hunger after a day of flying was exactly what we needed – oh, and did we mention free WiFi during our entire drive?
30 minutes later and we pulled up to the gates of the largest resort we have ever stayed in! Located on Pantai Dalit Beach, set amidst a nature reserve, this place is one of those destination resorts where you never need to leave.
Having a private beach just for the guests, multiple pools, water slides, day spas, an abundance of restaurants and so many activities going on you just want to do them all – and don’t worry even with a one night stay we still managed to tick a few off.
Our Ocean Wing premier double room was beautifully decorated with a wide open plan that could easily be a luxurious apartment. If there was one thing to take away from this room is the sheer size will ensure a very comfortable stay.
Included were two double beds, a sofa, large desk for editing some vlogs, a dressing room and a large bathroom. Featured was a big TV & a much needed coffee machine and thats before you take a walk outside. The balcony was enormous and featured an oversized bathtub and a large circular daybed. Our room was sea facing which meant non stop stunning panoramic views over the ocean!
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria is divided into two wings – the
Garden Wing and the Ocean Wing. There are 326 guest rooms in the Garden Wing, ranging from standard rooms to speciality suites, featuring large living/dining areas which are perfect for large families coming on vacation.
The Ocean Wing (the wig we stayed in) is designed to be the more luxurious of the two wings and features 173 Premier Rooms. An additional hotel lobby, swimming pool/jacuzzi and breakfast restaurant are dedicated exclusively to Ocean Wing guests. These are the perfect rooms for couples & honeymooners.
Where wildlife, the ocean & leisure meet
Kota Kinabalu is the perfect place to come and exploring Borneo’s incredible wildlife, rainforests and marine life. If you are wanting to escape city life and unwind for a short weekend break or a lengthy beach holiday than we have found the perfect spot!
Wanting to add some adventure to your stay?
Looking through all the adventures we have been on, one activity seems to always arisep and that is parasailing. Ever since popping our parasailing cherry in Bali we keep coming back to it and I am sure we will do it again.
If you are afraid of heights, this was my stepping stone into moving right up towards skydiving in Dubai. So I would highly recommend anyone with a fear to start here.
Our first teppanyaki experience
There are plenty of options when it comes to dining at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria, with a choice of five restaurants and two bars offering a huge range of Western, Asian and local Malaysian dishes.
However, when we found out there was a Japanese restaurant serving traditional teppanyaki style food, nothing else was even considered. We have never experienced this style of cuisine and easily made it the obvious choice for dinner.
Our Chef provided a menu of multiple dishes but we opted for the Vegetarian course. Let me tell you if you have never had teppanyaki before, the experience itself is so compelling you can almost forget to eat your starters.
Check the vlog out, words can’t describe this enough.
Breakfast with a view
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and this resort knows how to put on an epic breakfast.
Waking up at the crack of dawn, we met our ranger in the lobby and set off for a trek through the Bornean jungle. Hiking 90 metres above sea level, crossing canopy walks through the treetops, seeing snakes along the way was all worth it when we made it to the top and were greeted with a spectacular view of Mount Kinabalu.
At the look out point the staff had organised a delicious breakfast of pastries, fresh fruits from the local market and much needed mugs of hot coffee – what a memorable to start our morning!
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Room Tour
As always we film everything we get up to on our travel adventures. If you want to see a room and hotel tour and also what we got up to – check out our video below and make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
You can book a Ocean Wing Premier Room from AUD$394 per night twin share.
Flying The Nest was welcomed as a guest of Shangri-La, however as always all opinions are our own.