Gaya Island Resort, our paradise

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I love this snap of how the reefs are flourishing under Gaya Island Resort (GIR). When we saw the resort, we gladly extended our Sabah vacation by another 2 nights 🙂
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Our Holiday actually started with GIR’s guest concierge at Jesselton point (jetty).
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20min ride to our resort, and 3D2N of clear water and white sandy beach 🙂
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… VILLA on the hill!

As our speedboat nears Gaya Island Resort, we can see the villas dotted over the hillside. Heightens everyone’s anticipation.
Gaya Island Resort accomodation

Are you in the mood for a vacation already? From jetty to lobby, the kids had a sneak preview of what will greet us over 3D2N. Green foliage, surrounded by South China Sea, and different tones of green and blue water.
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One word, RELAX. Pure bliss.
Wherever you turn, you are greeted by the pool, trees, beach and sea, or on a good day Mount Kinabalu!
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Spacious tall ceiling Lobby, a cool respite from the heat outside.
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Our room is perch on the hillside, enveloped by foliage. We can always laze on the couch and admire the landscape, but alas wet monsoon season means the cushions are seldom dry 🙂

Just imagine, you and your darling holding hands, sweet embrace. With the waves or crickets forming a background symphony, this idyllic lifestyle is my kind of Romance
Gaya Island Resort for family

Spacious villa (we got connecting rooms), hall leads straight to bathtub.
Gaya Island Resort photos

Love the fruity shampoo and body lotion (Orange and Mangosteen flavours), smells nice and really refreshing. We got the sea and pool, but I was wondering why kids still need the bathtub. I could not resist copying the kids in their bathtub, too bad Mummy was too shy to join in.
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Holiday essentials. Snacks, 4G (complimentary with every room)
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GIR is actually targeted at honeymooners, but families are welcome too. Pavement are suitable for strollers, but you might wish to choose a unit nearer to lobby (ie meal venues)

The only mode of access on Gaya Island Resort is walking, it is only 1200 steps every day to and fro from our room to lobby haha.
With the good meals over breakfast, lunch and dinner, I console kids we need to exercise. The GIR car plate is exclusively for staff hee hee.

I actually left a feedback for Gaya Island Resort to provide bicycles for guest 🙂
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..POOL, Jump!

Video (Link) : Ready to dive into the pool?

The pool always look inviting, from any angle!
Gaya Island Resort swimming pool
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.. MEALs with a view

We are not joking when we mentioned all meals offer a glimpse of South China Sea. Truly Awesome, as kids will be fantasizing about next Fun beach activity. Sand castle, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking, or just lepak (relax) on a hammock.
Breakfast Gaya Island Resort

Breakfast and dinner at Feast Village, intercontinental choices.
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Friendly staffs were very prompt in responding to our needs (for hot water, extra blankets).
From the dining establishments to the receptionists, smiles greeted us everywhere, guests are treated like Vips.
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Japanese Teppanyaki at Omaksae. Our chef delighted us with his skills, and we were rewarded with delicious and tantalising Seabass, chicken and beef.
Gaya Island Resort Japansese food
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While we are not exercising, we dabble in relaxing trinket. Kids were entertained for 2 hours! There is something therapeutic about stringing beads together 🙂
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We start and end this post with water activities, which are the highlight of our stay 🙂
Next, we will share GIR’s Private beach (Tavajun Bay) and snorkeling at their house reef.
snorkeling Gaya Island house reef

Do pop by Gaya Island Resort Website and Fanpage for the latest updates. GIR is part of Small Luxury Hotel boutique chain, Website and Fanpage.

(GPS 6.018763, 116.047324 )

Gaya Island Resort allows you to do everything, or simply just relax. We could not ask for a better way to chill and relax after 5D4N of activities in western Sabah. Do pop by our Sabah itinerary and photos below:

Sabah 8D7N itinerary
– Sabah Day 1 – Street food discovery
– Sabah Day 2 – White Water Rafting!
– Sabah Day 3 – Twin Islands Hopping
– Sabah Day 4 AM – Desa Cow Farm
– Day 4 PM – Kinabalu Park
– Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring + Waterfall + Canopy walk
– Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort – Luxury Villa
– Day 7 – Gaya Island Resort Family Activities

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album :
Day 1 and 2 – Klagan hotel, White Water rafting
Day 3 – Water sports, Island hopping
Day 4 – Desa Cow Farm and Kinabalu Park
Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring and vicinity
Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort
Day 7 – Snorkeling and private beach
Day 8 – Hiking, Home sweet home

*All expenses on Gaya Island Resort had been sponsored.

Sabah family itinerary

Presenting our Sabah family itinerary. To be honest, Sabah never crossed our minds when we were planning for seaside vacations. Philippines (Cebu and Boracay), Indonesia (Bali) and Thailand (Krabi) are the more popular options.

As our kids are now older and more active, we wanted a sporty and adventurous itinerary for them.
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Under the sea, high up in the mountains. Island hopping, snorkeling, hiking, white water rafting and even flying fox. These activities are all available within 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu city center. We were sold at a Tourism Malaysia exhibition 🙂

…… ……8D7N, A trip of many firsts.

Island Hopping with kids. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park consists of 5 islands, all 20 minutes from Kota Kinabalu city.
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Parasailing, Banana boat and snorkeling. I had always wanted my family to be adventurous 🙂
Parasailing Sabah
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We even did a flying fox between two islands Gaya and Sapi! (Coral zipline).
sabah coral zipline

Exploring Kota Kinabalu city on foot.
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Food, glorious Food. Seafood in East Malaysia is even cheaper and fresher than West Malaysia. Generally, we still prefer street food from West Malaysia and Singapore, but we still had fun hunting down some of the famous food in Sabah (生肉面 pork noodle, pineapple bun etc).
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White water rafting is one of the highlights for us. Rapid along Kiulu is milder, and harder to topple the boat. Nevertheless, it offers thrills and spills for my family 🙂
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Enough of water activities, we headed up the hills. Majestic view of Mount Kinabalu.
Mount Kinabalu

Summary of locations in West Sabah. (A-City KK, Island hopping), (B- White Water rafting near Tamparuli), (C- Kinabalu Park, Desa Cow Farm), (D- Poring Hot spring, Canopy walk, waterfall)
sabah map

Desa Cow Farm is up in the mountains. From certain angles, and with the low lying clouds, we might believe this is a valley somewhere in New Zealand. Kids were eager to feed the hungry animals or taste some fresh ice cream.
Desa cow farm

Garden Lodge is our bungalow at Kinabalu Park. This lodge is huge, enough for 3 families and it even come with a fireplace! (pricey tag of RM 3000 per night!)
kota kinabalu Garden lodge

After a refreshing night (where temperature drops to 15 degrees, we drove to Poring Hot Spring vicinity.
Over 3 hours, we did a mini hike, cross a tree-top canopy and enjoy some fish spa at the waterfall. We did not soak ourselves in the hot spring but kids did enjoy some swimming at the pool (non hot spring).
Sabah poring hotpring

The last two nights of our vacation is spend on luxurious Gaya Island Resort. From our boats, we could only marvel at the magnificent villas constructed on hillside.
Gaya Island resort

Every meal on Gaya island offered us a glimpse of South China Sea. We just need to take our time to enjoy our cuisine 🙂
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Guests will enjoy Gaya Island’s swimming pool or snorkeling at their house reef. We love both!
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After all the hiking and walking from the earlier part of our itinerary, Gaya Island Resort offers an opportunity to relax and enjoy some slow moments. Massage and spa indulgence for Mummy at Spa Village.
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Disclaimer.
1) All expenses on Gaya Island Resort had been sponsored.
2) Amazing Borneo Tours provided some discounts for our itinerary.

Do pop by our Sabah itinerary and photos below.
Sabah 8D7N itinerary
– Sabah Day 1 – Street food discovery
– Sabah Day 2 – White Water Rafting!
– Sabah Day 3 – Twin Islands Hopping
– Sabah Day 4 AM – Desa Cow Farm
– Day 4 PM – Kinabalu Park
– Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring + Waterfall + Canopy walk
– Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort – Luxury Villa
– Day 7 Gaya Island Resort Family Activities

More photos have been uploaded on our Fanpage album :
Day 1 and 2 – Klagan hotel, White Water rafting
Day 3 – Water sports, Island hopping
Day 4 – Desa Cow Farm and Kinabalu Park
Day 5 – Poring Hot Spring and vicinity
Day 6 – Gaya Island Resort
Day 7 – Snorkeling and private beach
Day 8 – Hiking, Home sweet home

I hope to climb Mount Kinabalu with Boon Wee (perhaps with Boon Kang too) in a few years time 🙂