Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia

At a Glance

  • A resort with its own 64-acre nature reserve is a rarity - the 240 foot tree top canopy being an experience to remember

  • Enjoy the traditional dance show which takes place twice a week

  • A wonderfully luxurious end to any trip through the wilds of Borneo

  • Easily accessed from Kota Kinabalu and ideal for a family summer holiday

  • A great choice of restaurants and plenty of international standard facilities

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Best time to Visit

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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.

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Insider's View

Although a little more expensive, a stay in the Ocean Wing is very much worth it, with exclusive facilities and added benefits

Make sure you go to their Asian Restaurant, Tepi Laut Makan Street. It captures the nostalgia surrounding Malaysia’s traditional food stalls.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu or take a look at our itineraries to Malaysia


The Shangri-La Rasa Ria is a luxurious resort located on a sandy beach on the coast of Sabah, Borneo. With a plethora of facilities and activities, including a Kids Club and golf course, this is a great option for both families and couples.

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria is one of the few properties in Borneo that is able to offer a luxurious beach stay and a high standard of facilities, whilst still embracing the natural wonders that Borneo has to offer. The resort sits on a long stretch of sandy beach, surrounded by a 64-acre nature reserve and 18-hole golf course.

The resort is split into two wings. The Garden Wing is the largest, with 326 rooms. The rooms are all the same in size, with the key difference being the view, which will either be of the rainforest, gardens or sea. The suites offer more space, with separate living rooms. The decor is modern, but takes influence from area's heritage, with locally-inspired artwork and design. The Ocean Wing has 173 rooms, and offers exclusive benefits including pre-dinner drinks and canapes, and a complimentary minibar. The rooms here are larger than the Garden Wing, and feature outdoor bathtubs. The Ocean Wing also has its own pool.       

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria boasts a huge range of activities, as well as a free-form swimming pool and Kid's Pool. There are plenty of watersports, including jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, banana boat rides and stand-up paddle boarding. There are ocean kayaks, boogie boards and hobie-cats available free of charge. Land activities include horse riding, bicycle rides, golf, tennis and zip-lining. Should you wish to venture into the nature reserve there is a canopy walk amongst the trees. For younger guests there is an excellent Kids Club, and for adults seeking relaxation, there is a peaceful spa.       

There are a range of dining options to suit every palette, including Naan, which is renowned as one of the best Indian restaurants in Malaysia. Coffee Terrace is the all-day dining restaurant, serving a range of international cuisine. Teppan-Yaki Kozan offers delicious Japanese cuisine in a stylish setting, and the Oceano Italian Restaurant uses the best locally and ethically sourced produce to create their dishes. For local cuisine, head to Tepi Laut Makan Street. This beachfront restaurant is designed to feel like traditional shophouses and street food stalls, offering an abundance of Asian dishes. During the day, this restaurant also serves as the poolside bar, serving snacks and drinks. Nibbles and refreshing drinks and cocktails can also be found at the Sampan Bar and Lobby Lounge.     

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The Shangri-La Rasa Ria has 499 rooms, divided between two wings. The Garden Wing is the largest, with 326 rooms, and the Ocean Wing has 173 rooms. Rooms in the Garden Wing are 36 sqm, with either rainforest, garden or sea views. The suites are 72 sqm, and have separate living rooms. All of the rooms in the Ocean Wing face the shore, and measure a spacious 90 sqm, with indulgent outdoor bathtubs. The Ocean Wing also has added benefits including pre-dinner drinks and canapes, complimentary in-room minibars and its own pool. The decor and facilities are modern, with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi.        


The Shangri-La Rasa Ria is a great choice for families, with plenty of activities to suit all ages. Kids will love the treetop canopy walk and exploring the nature reserve. The resort has a great children’s pool, babysitting and complimentary kids club (for children aged 5-12), with activities including cooking, face painting, kite making and learning how to be a ranger for the day.


There is an extensive range of dining and drinks options available at the resort. Cuisines on offer include local street-food style dishes, Japanese, Indian and Italian. There are also two bars which serve snacks and refreshing drinks and cocktails.

The resort has a free-form swimming pool, as well as a children's pool and Kids Club. There is also a spa, which offers a range of treatments using natural products.



There is plenty to do at the Shagri-La Rasa Ria. There is a wide-range of watersports, including motorised options such as jet skis and water skiing, as well as land activities including horse riding and cycling. The nature reserve has its own canopy walkway, and beside the resort there is an 18-hole golf course.  



Katie Kennard (Staff)

Although its a huge setup, it doesnt seem as big as the Shangri Las Tanjung Aru. With stunning views out to sea and a huge range of activities to enjoy, including their Orang-Utan Sanctuary, hornbills, shops, five restaurants, half a dozen pools and a wide range of water sports, you are spoilt for choice. If you like your own space, the bedrooms in the Garden Wing have their own Jacuzzi pools and sun loungers on their balconies and a quieter pool area. You can also escape down to the beach for an even more tranquil experience.


Clare Barratt (Staff)

Rasa Ria has a prime beachfront location just outside of Kota Kinabulu. It is quite a big resort and is split into two wings Garden and Ocean. I would recommend staying in the Ocean View Wing as this allows you to use all facilities, whereas garden wing rooms are restricted to one pool for example. The beach here is lovely and stretched for quite a few kilometres and is a much quieter place to relax at than by the pool which is a bit busier the Ocean pool is quieter as the Garden one is more family friendly. Rooms are very spacious and offer a variety of views, the ocean is pretty much seen from all rooms although obstructed in most cases but the outlook is still lovely. You do of course also have the orang-utan sanctuary which is currently home to two young ones, so definitely make some time to pay a visit here. You can also enjoy some nature walks through the jungle too. There is quite a lot going on here and it feels less busy than Tanjung Aru located in the city and for a longer stay I would pick Rasa Ria over Tanjung Aru.


Victoria Hogg (Staff)

For those of you wanting to experience Borneo with a few more home comforts than the average guest house, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria is the perfect retreat for you. Set within lush gardens and right on a stunning stretch of beach overlooking the South China Sea, the Rasa Ria boasts luxurious accommodation, coupled with excellent service, making for a wonderful stay. Enjoy lazing on the beach, partaking in some beach volleyball, getting stuck into some watersports, or indulge in a spa treatment at the excellent and well-regarded spa. There is also an exquisite 18-hole golf course, as well as the hotel's own Orang-Utan Sanctuary. The new Ocean Wing is a firm favourite of ours, with more stylish bedrooms all with their own ocean-facing terraces. Boasting a fantastic children's club, this also makes for a wonderful family friendly hotel, with lots to keep the little ones entertained!


Olivia Smith (Staff)

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort is set on the fantastic Pantai Dalit beach surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation, including a unique nature reserve. It is here that you can encounter Sabah's icon, the fascinating Orang Utan, as well as a fascinating array of indigenous flora and fauna. Enjoy breakfast with hornbills gliding overhead and peacocks walking by before indulging in the magnificent Spa at Dalit Bay, a wide range of water sports, Rasa Ria's own catamarans for cruises and deep sea fishing, a challenging 18-hole championship golf course, ATV safaris, tennis, horse riding, a fitness centre and, of course, a fun-filled Kids' Club to care for younger guests. Our favourite rooms are the newly transformed Ocean Wing rooms, with smart new décor and a really tropical vibe. For those not wanting to venture deeper into the wilds of Borneo, the Rasa Ria is an ideal compromise if you still want to get up close and personal with the gorgeous Orang Utan.

Holiday Ideas

  • Family Fun in Malaysia and Borneo

    Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Kinabatangan River, Kuala Lumpur & Langkawi

    from £5300 pp inc flights & transfers for 14 nights

    • A fairly easy going itinerary, which incorporates some of the most family-friendly activities in the region
    • Enjoy the fantastic combination of wildlife, adventure and relaxation
    • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre offers a good chance of spotting Borneo's most famous inhabitants

Location & directions

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia

Rasa Ria Resort is set on Pantai Dalit beach surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation. Near Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian state of Sabah, which is perched on the northern tip of the island of Borneo.

How to get there

17-hour international flight (one change) to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. The hotel is 35-minutes from the airport.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu or take a look at our itineraries to Malaysia

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