Gaya Island Resort | Malaysia | If Only

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The outline of Mount Kinabalu provides a stunning backdrop for Gaya Island Resort - set on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Arriving by speedboat, guests enjoy a sense of discovery as authentic experiences and a feeling of intimacy with the natural world prevail. The land and seascape of this resort offers individuals, couples and families an escape that is distinctively Borneo.

Our Featured Offer

Sustainable Sanctuary in Sabah

Gaya Island Resort

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, Malaysia

star star star star star

Sustainable Sanctuary in Sabah

  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • 20% discount on accommodation rates
  • 50 minute massage per person
  • Extensive conservation & sea turtle rehabilitation programmes  

10 night stay

From £1,959 per person

At a glance

  • Luxury Hotel
  • 5 Star
  • 121 rooms



Villas are set against the hillside and are identical in terms of design and size, it’s only the views that differ. The Bayu Villas offer a peaceful setting with leafy views ranging from the rainforest canopy to the tropical mangroves. The Canopy Villas are located on a lower level, walking distance from the sandy beach, with a selection of rooms that are located closer to the resort's main facilities. The Kinabalu Villas have the best sea views of the South China Sea facing the misty Mount Kinabalu. Each villa offers a contemporary feel decorated with white linens, wooden floors, local ornaments and all the modern amenities any guest would need.

Offering upgraded space and luxury, the Suria Suite sits perched on the sloping hillside. This stunning two bedroom suite occupies two levels and offers glorious uninterrupted views of the ocean to the silhouette of Mount Kinabalu from a large outdoor veranda with daybeds and an outdoor bathtub. The ground floor of the suite features a relaxing lounge area, private dining room, a TV room, a powder room and a pantry which opens out onto an outdoor deck. The suite's first floor is completely dedicated to rest and relaxation with two spacious bedrooms that both come with separate en-suites, walk-in wardrobes and vanity areas - ideal for a group of friends or large families who are looking for something special.



Mount Kinabalu and offers a selection of Asia-Pacific and western cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner served from open kitchens. For a taste of Japan, visit the intimate Omakase, where guests have a choice of teppanyaki, shabu-shabu or nabe for dinner prepared by the talented chef. The rooftop terrace restaurant, Fisherman’s Cove, is where guests can enjoy fresh seafood in the evenings alongside and relaxing sea views - all in a peaceful and elegant setting.

The Pool Bar and Lounge serve cocktails, beer, wines and spirits as well as non-alcoholic drinks and light lunchtime snacks. For a special experience pre-order a gourmet picnic basket for lunch at Tavajun Bay, a 5-minute boat ride away, or enjoy one of their simple dishes, infused by local and international flavours, made over charcoal embers. The resort also arranges unique private dining experiences, set up around beautiful locations.



As well as two magnificent beaches, guests can trek through the forested trails, looking out for wildlife such as the proboscis and macaque monkeys, hornbills, mouse deer, pangolins and bearded pigs. There's non-motorised water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and PADI snorkelling and dive programmes and for those trying their hand at some deep sea fishing, the chef will prepare the catch and present as the evening meal.

Guests can also visit the Turtle Rescue and Coral Reef Restoration Centre, or try creating their own handicraft memento with the resorts craft work classes. Keen golfers can take the boat back to the mainland where there is a nearby golf course.



Set amidst lush mangroves, Spa Village is a tranquil hideaway. A rich tapestry of spa programmes reflects the cultural healing traditions of Sabah's many indigenous people. From the specialised rice scrubs and masques of the Kadazandusun to the age-old practices of the Bajau sea nomads, Spa Village is uniquely rooted in ancient tradition while seeking to restore balance to the body and soul leaving guests feeling totally relaxed.

In addition to dreamy massages, yoga sessions and soothing treatments, the spa also offers classes on the art of custom blending essential oils and creating homemade body scrubs.



Children are welcome at Gaya Island. Connecting rooms are available for families and in peak times there is a half-day children's activity programme (advance booking required).


Getting There

Arrival Airport

Kota Kinabalu International Airport


Approximately 30 minutes by car and speedboat from Kota Kinabalu International Airport


Borneo's year-round temperatures average between 27°– 32°C, and as with all tropical islands, climates are unpredictable and rainfall can occur at any time of year, often changing very quickly with showers turning to sunshine in minutes. The most popular (and drier) months to visit are May to September. Between November and March the rainfall peaks, although even at this time of year rainfall can be sporadic, and it’s difficult to forecast which will be wet weeks and which will be dry.