Gaya Island Resort

Gaya Island Resort is a luxurious retreat just off the coast of Kota Kinabulu in Borneo. Backed by lush green forest, and facing sandy shores and cerulean-blue sea, offering beautiful views towards Mt Kinabalu, this is an idyllic place to unwind.

Islands and Beaches, Borneo, Malaysia
Gaya Island Resort
  • Gaya Island Resort is nestled into a lush hillside, offering wonderful views over the sea towards Mt Kinabalu

  • Gaya Island Resort has plenty of exciting activities, including walks with the naturalist and kayaking through mangrove forests  

  • The Spa Village is a tranquil haven, with a focus on traditional treatments using fresh, local ingredients

  • The beach in front of the resort is sandy but slightly narrow, however the resort also has another beach only a 5-minute boat ride away with a restaurant and wider shore

With a relaxed atmosphere, plenty of activities available, and only a 30-minute journey from Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island Resort is a great location to start or finish any Borneo itinerary. The island lies within Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which is home to a number of coral reefs and plenty of marine life. The resort has two house reefs just off the jetty, which can be explored on guided snorkeling tours or at your own leisure.

The accommodation is located up on the hillside, with 120 villas and one suite. The design is sophisticated and modern yet retains some Sabahan elements, using natural materials. All of the air-conditioned rooms have spacious en-suite bathrooms with large bathtubs, and verandas looking towards the rainforest or sea, furnished with day beds.

Gaya Island Resort has a great choice of restaurants. Feast Village offers a vibrant atmosphere, serving a diverse range of international dishes. Fisherman's Cove is perfect for a romantic evening, offering delicious fresh fish and seafood. For an exciting and authentic Japanese dining experience, head up the hill to Omakase. The Pool Bar & Lounge is also a pleasant seafront spot for light lunches and sundowners.The resort has an enticing 40-meter lap pool down by the beach, and if you go in the opposite direction up the hill you will find the tranquil Spa Village, offering a range of treatments using local ingredients and techniques. The beach directly in front of the resort is on the narrow side, however the idyllic Tavujun Bay is just around the corner, and the resort offers shuttles throughout the day. The resort has a private beach here with its restaurant where lunch is a single dish meal made over charcoal embers that changes daily, or you can bring a gourmet picnic. Gaya Island Resort has its own marine and wildlife centers, providing an interesting and educational opportunity to learn about Borneo's biodiversity. There are some fantastic tours with the resort's naturalist, including walks in the rainforest and kayaking through mangrove jungles.

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Top tip:

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

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Islands and Beaches, 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.

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