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Gaya Island Resort

Borneo, Malaysia

Gaya Island Resort is a luxury beach resort just off the coast of Kota Kinabulu on Gaya Island. With a lovely white sandy beach, views to Mount Kinabulu in the distance and a warm welcoming atmosphere this is an idyllic destination.

At a Glance

  • Gaya Island Resort is committed to ecologically-sustainable practices to minimize the carbon footprint within its environment

  • Beautifully situated, Gaya Island Resort is set amidst lush rainforest with breathtaking views of the wonders created by nature over thousands of years

  • Set amidst lush mangroves, Spa Village Gaya Island is a tranquil hideaway surrounded by distinctive island flora and fauna

  • The resort has two beaches - one on site and one just a 5-minute speed boat ride away

  • On clear days you can see Mount Kinabulu in the distance

Honeymoon, Adventure, Beach

Insider's View

Take the shuttle speedboat over to Tavajun bay for lunch and an afternoon snooze on the sandy beach there.

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

Spending the day at Tavajun Bay is an absolute must. Their local cuisine is delicious and with only a few dishes on the menu, it makes it easy to choose. The jungle does a good job at giving you some shade too.

Katie Kennard

Insider's View

Upgrade to the Kinabulu Villa for the best views.

Scott Dunn team

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Gaya Island Resort or take a look at our itineraries to Borneo


Gaya Island is a great resort just a 15-minute speedboat trip from Kota Kinabulu meaning you can be off the plane and on the beach within about half an hour! The resort is quite spread out with the main facilities located down by the beach. A few nights here before or after going to the jungle is bliss!

The style of Gaya Island is reflective of Sabahan elements using local materials to blend in with the natural environment. The villas have recently undergone a refurbishment and inside they now have a contemporary feel to them with fresh colors and amenities of a high standard. For the best views you will need to opt for a Kinabulu Villa which are located up a bit of a hill, but very much worth it for the amazing views across the bay. The villas have recently undergone a refurbishment so they are quite modern, but watch out for the mischievous monkeys roaming around!

Breakfast here is dreamy, especially their juice bar where you can blend all your favorite fruit and veggies into a delicious and healthy breakfast juice. Fisherman's cove is perfect for a romantic evening and tasty fresh fish. The main pool area is great and there is a nice deck area where you can lie on your sunbed and look out to sea.

Tavajun Bay is just around the corner and the resort has a private beach here. Take the shuttle boat over for lunch and spend the afternoon on a gorgeous beach for a change of scene.


There are three different villa categories here. Each villa is exactly the same in terms of design and size, it is just the view that differs. The Bayu villas are located on a low level and have garden views but they are closer to the main facilities. The Canopy Villas have partial sea views and are located on a slightly higher levels and the Kinabulu Villas have the best sea views.

Canopy Villa

Situated on a hillside amidst lush rainforest, the villas offer a peaceful setting with leafy views ranging from the rainforest canopy to the tropical mangroves. Connecting rooms are available for families.

Kinabulu Villa

With views stretching across the South China Sea, and where the silhouette of Mount Kinabalu can be seen on a clear day, these Kinabalu Villas provide the best views in the resort. Connecting rooms are available for families.

Bayu Villa

Set amongst a tropical mangrove on a gently sloping hillside, these villas offer a beautiful outlook and are within striking distance of the resort's pristine sandy beach.


Children are welcome to come and stay at Gaya Island. Connecting rooms are available for families and in peak times there is a children's activity program.


There are varied dining options at Gaya Island Resort. The main restaurant is Feast Village where you will enjoy a buffet style breakfast catering for many different tastes. The Fisherman's Cove is the place to head to for a candle lit dinner under the stars and some freshly caught fish. A new Japanese restaurant has recently opened where you can enjoy teppanyaki, shabushabu and nabe with views to die for. For a lunch time treat, take the shuttle boat over to Tavajun Bay and enjoy a delicious Malay lunch.


Gaya Island is more than a beach resort. Trek through the forested trails and explore the local ecozystems and look out for wildlife such as the proboscis and macaque monkeys, hornbills, mouse deers, pangolians and bearded pigs. Spend the day fishing and the chef will prepare your day's catch for you to enjoy that evening. Enjoy non-d water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling. If you are a keen golfer, you can take the boat back to the mainland where there is a nearby golf course.

Location & Directions

Borneo, Malaysia

Gaya Island Resort is located on the stunning Gaya Island on the east coast looking towards Kota Kinabulu with Mount Kinabulu in the distance in Sabah.

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.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Gaya Island Resort or take a look at our itineraries to Borneo

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