IMAGINE an emerald-green forest paradise that hums with life, lined by sandy shores and a crystal-blue ocean with waters that sparkle for miles on end.
Well, that paradise is Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu, a spectacular five-star resort perched on a hill and surrounded by the best of both worlds – the unspoiled Pantai Dalit Beach and 400 acres of lush tropical forest.
While Kota Kinabalu in the east Malaysian state of Sabah has an abundance of stunning natural landscapes, Shangri-La’s outdoes one’s expectations of Borneo by offering both luxury and nature under one roof.
The resort’s 499 guestrooms assimilate the natural tranquility of its surrounding with the nature inspired interior décor. All this to better help you appreciate the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore from the comfort of your room.
In the Garden Wing, each room features a private balcony with two armchairs and a coffee table overlooking the forest, garden or sea. Whether it’s the Superior Rainforest View, the Deluxe Garden View, or the Deluxe Sea View you opt for, rest assured you’ll rise every morning to a beautiful backdrop.
Meanwhile, the Ocean Wing – which features all-inclusive suites for both couples and families – face the wind-swept seashore and is equipped with a private oversized outdoor bathtub so you can take in the crisp, salty air even while basking in the bath. The Ocean Wing Premier Rooms have the bonus of a private terrace overlooking the shoreline.
Naturally for a hotel that’s sandwiched between the forest and the sea, activities abound. Some of the water activities you can partake in are fishing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and parasailing; all hotel guests enjoy a complimentary hour of ocean kayaking and boogie boarding.
The 64-acre Nature Reserve is home to many species of flora and fauna that are naturally found in Sabah. While preserving the wonders of nature, the reserve also serves to educate guests of the beauty and uniqueness of the local biodiversity.
The Canopy Walkway offers miles of picturesque views of the sea on one side and the majestic Mount Kinabalu on the other. Guests can explore the Nature Reserve with the guide of a Resident Naturalist via the six nature trails – herbal, entomology, native, wildlife, canopy walkway and adventure.
Every Wednesday, the reserve hosts Wildlife Wednesday where the Resident Naturalists give a nature presentation of the day’s nature findings.
Get an adrenaline rush with the only double and longest zip line in Sabah as you race each other to the finish line. This attraction is coming soon to Shangri-La’s first Outdoor Adventure Zone.
If you’re more inclined to practice your swing than go bird-watching, the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club, an 18-hole championship golf course bordered by the Tambalang and Mengkabong rivers, offers a one-of-a-kind golfing experience with the silhouette of Mount Kinabalu as a backdrop.
If golfing doesn’t cut it to secure business deals, do it the old-fashioned way at the hotel’s board room. Despite its remote location, function room facilities like wireless Internet, audio-visual equipment, large projector screens, and teleconferencing facilities are available.
After a long day of trekking, kayaking, golfing, or meetings, the in-house spa provides much solace. Book a holistic herbal treatment based on time-honored Southeast Asian methods and feel those hours (and worries) melt away.
Tempted? Book a stay at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa.