Surrounded by golden beaches and backed by a hillside of ancient rainforests, Gaya Island Resort is an exotic luxury island retreat off the coast of Kota Kinabalu within the South China. More than a simple beachfront resort, Gaya is a place for the curious to actively celebrate and peacefully absorb all that Borneo has to offer—from its vibrant culture and pristine nature, to its local ingredients and warm hospitality.

Property Details

Only accessible by boat, Gaya Island Resort is a reflection of Sabahan elements, perfectly blending stylish comfort with the region’s natural beauty. All 120 villas are situated along forest-bounded Malahom Bay and feature interiors of spacious, tactile, and contemporary elegance. Bright, palatial bedrooms and giant en suite bathrooms lead to private outdoor verandahs boasting day beds and views over the tropical rainforests and mangroves, as well as the infinite sea and Mt. Kinabalu on the horizon. The single two-story Suria Suite is the premier accommodation at Gaya, a haven of luxury featuring a private dining room, pantry, outdoor bath, and butler service.

Upon arrival, guests can find comfort in knowing that a portion of each reservation is donated to Sabah Parks to support their effort in preserving the rich ecosystem of the region. Gaya Island Resort is also notable for being a walking resort so that their carbon footprint can be kept low. This structure makes for some beautiful walks along the sand and into the miles of forested trails, where an astonishing wildlife kingdom of primates and birds reside. The wildlife is found under water as well, with the fringing coral reefs and diverse marine life of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park astounding divers and snorkelers alike. Whether deep sea fishing near Mengalum Island, kayaking through the protected mangroves, enjoying yoga under the tree canopy, or embarking on a sunset cruise, it’s clear that time here is not measure by the minute hand of a watch, but rather by the rise and fall of the tide.

After a day of exploration, return to the resort for relaxing treatments at the Spa Village and peaceful poolside sundowners. The dining experiences at Gaya are fresh and flavorful journeys of the senses, enjoyed in any environment. Dine on a personal verandah, on a picnic at a chosen nook (perhaps the romantic beaches of Tavajun Bay?), at one of the resort’s three restaurants showcasing Western, Japanese, and seafood delicacies, or around the crackling barbecue pit on the beach as the sun dips behind the hills.

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