Bunga Raya Island Resort
Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo
Set on a picturesque island off the coast of Sabah in Borneo, Bunga Raya is a stunning and secluded island hideaway. Framed by a crescent of white sand beach in a tranquil bay, and backed by centuries-old virgin rainforest, Bunga Raya is rather special.
At a Glance
'Bunga Raya' is the Malay Bahasa word for 'hibiscus', the country's national flower, and each villa is named after a different variety
For complete privacy, opt for one of their Tree House Villas reached by a jungle walkway high up among the tree tops, and with incredible views across the bay
Bunga Raya boasts a stunning jungle spa, which is set high up in the rainforest and accessed by its own suspended bridge
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a wine buff, then venture down to Bunga Raya's own award-winning wine cellar, which is considered to be one of the best stocked wine cellars in the whole of Malaysia
With a stunning mountain backdrop Bunga Raya is the perfect retreat for the more active traveler, with amazing treks and hikes on offer in the most beautiful surroundings
I had the most amazing spa treatment in one of their over water sala's down by the beach, or if you prefer visit their jungle spa for a treatment in the heart of the rainforest.Victoria Hogg
If you want to challenge yourself, take on the 4-hour trek through the jungle to Gaya Island Resort.Scott Dunn team
Situated on Pulau Gaya (Gaya Island), just off the coast of Sabah's capital, Kota Kinabalu, Bunga Raya Island Resort is a luxurious and laid back property. Boasting stunning accommodation and a beautiful location on a white sand beach with a rainforest backdrop, Bunga Raya is the ideal spot to end your adventures in the wilds of Borneo.
Each villa has been hand crafted by local tradesmen. Terraced into the hillside, the design reflects traditional Bornean architecture, with local timber and simple but stylish soft furnishings, all blending seamlessly with sophisticated modern comforts. Private balconies offer wonderful vistas of the beach below and the South China Sea beyond.
Bunga Raya boasts some fantastic dining options, including the Pantai Grill with its laid back, beachfront setting, the Longhouse, an alfresco restaurant serving authentic local cuisine and The Koi, a modern European bistro offering the largest wine selection in the region; there is something to suit every taste.
The resort has a large infinity pool with stunning views and a beautiful jungle spa, where each pavilion is entwined amongst the natural boulders and rainforest. For those feeling adventurous, there is a zipline through the rainforest. It is also possible to explore the local area with a guided jungle and mangrove walk, looking out for the amazing flora and fauna that cover the island, from tropical hardwood trees and forest flowers to hornbills, monkeys and lizards.
There is also plenty to see and do on the beach and in the sea. There are non-motorized watersports such as kayaking and hobie-cat sailing, and there is great diving and snorkeling on the reefs that surround the island. The PADI Certified Dive Center, located at the resort's nearby sister property, is fully equipped to address the needs of both the novice and experienced diver, and the local waters are home to a myriad of species, from sea turtles, giant groupers and clown fish to colorful corals, trigger fish and occasionally the majestic whale shark. The nearby Marine Ecology Research Center is a must-visit for those interested in the underwater ecology of the area, where you are able to actively participate in restoring the vibrant life back into the ocean, with their coral and Giant Clam projects.
Bunga Raya has 48 private villas. All of the villas have modern amenities, including air-conditioning, LCD TVs and an in-room safe. As an extra treat, they all also feature a complimentary minibar (excluding wine).
The Superior Villas are scattered throughout the hillside above, with a mix of jungle and sea views. The Deluxe Villas have even more space, and allow you to enjoy the splendid island views from your bedroom or extended lounge. Plunge Pool Villas are sea-facing, and offer a good-size private plunge pool. The Treehouse Villas are ideal for honeymooners, accessed by a jungle walkway to your private hideaway, with an intimate outdoor Jacuzzi or plunge pool and a comfortable lounge.
The two-bedroom Deluxe Suites are ideal for families, with king-size and twin bedrooms, surrounded by lush jungle with views of the South China Sea. The three-bedroom Deluxe Suite is perched at the highest point of the property, with jaw-dropping views of the sea. This unique two–storey hilltop retreat has an expansive master bedroom with a giant bath and two downstairs bedrooms with a wrap around deck and an indulgent plunge pool.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Bunga Raya and they will love the Robinson Crusoe setting. There are no specific facilities for them except babysitting, however there are family-friendly accommodation options including the two and three bedroom suites.
Bunga Raya has two restaurants. The Longhouse is the resort's main restaurant, serving local and international dishes in an alfresco setting. The Pantai Grill is on the resort's sandy shores, offering delicious meat and fish, as well as relaxed options such as salads, burgers and pizza. For something rather special, enjoy a private dining evening at The Koi Wine Cave, which houses over 4,500 bottles, or in the Pavilion, a romantic setting by the beach.
The resort has a lovely infinity pool, with beautiful views towards the sea. There is also a gym and heavenly spa.
Whilst Bunga Raya is the perfect place to simply unwind, there is also plenty to keep you busy should you wish. The resort's nearby sister property has a Padi Certified Dive Center, and it is also possible to snorkel on the rich coral reefs around the island. There are non-motorized watersports including kayaking and hobie-cat sailing, and beach games such as volleyball and football.
Make the most of the wonderful rainforest setting with guided nature trails and canopy walks. For an extra adrenaline rush, the resort also has its own zipline through the trees. Guests are invited to visit the nearby Marine Ecology Center to learn about the local eco-system and the ongoing conservation and restoration projects. It is also possible to participate by joining in the coral replanting project.
Location & Directions
Gaya Island, Sabah, Borneo
Bunga Raya Resort is located on Gaya Island, a pristine coral reef island off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo.
When to go
Like the rest of Malaysia, Sabah’s climate is hot and humid. Expect temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s throughout the lowlands. The state’s rainfall averages about 300cm annually and though it rains throughout the year, the heaviest rainfall generally occurs between October and January. At higher elevations the temperature is refreshingly cool, dropping to colder temperatures at night. Mount Kinabalu has its own climate and, above 3500m, temperatures can drop to freezing.