few months back, I planned a quick weekender trip for me and Ge in light of the Good Friday holiday. I usually plan our trips ahead, way ahead. :) I cannot afford to take last minute trips because we’re working on a budget and only have less than 2 weeks paid vacation days so I try to maximize our getaways by taking it together with a public holiday and/or a weekend.
This quick break though planned, came just at the right time. It was really a much needed off to rest and nourish the soul. I know that we just had our Taiwan trip last month and though it may seem that we’re having the time of our life, there’s also a lot of circumstances at work (and in life!) that we had to deal with in between. Ge and I have been working like crazy in the past months, no, in the past 3 years. There’s an overload of tasks, a lot of unpaid overtime and weekend affairs, and less growth (I know most OFWs all over the world can relate to this) that sometimes, I can’t help but feel really exhausted and unappreciated. But as we always say, we’re blessed to have been given an opportunity to work and serve Singapore. It may be a constant struggle but I believe that God is working with us and through us.
I thank the Lord for this quick weekend holiday. It was fun romancing with the husband at Gaya Island Resort in Borneo.
Borneo is the world’s 3rd largest island in the world and the biggest in Asia. Its territory is divided among 3 countries: Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. We traveled to Sabah — Malaysia’s one of two states on the island of Borneo (Thanks for the info Wikipedia!).
Gaya Island Resort is listed under YTL Hotels which owns and manages a prestigious collection of award-winning resorts, hotels, boutique experiences and Spa Villages, and SLH or Small Luxuries of the World that has an unsurpassed collection of over 520 hotels spanning more than 80 countries, which guarantees an exclusive hotel tucked away in some of the most amazing places in the world.
I first saw Gaya Island Resort in Agoda. They are offering quite a good deal at that time and so I decided to read more about the place. When I checked GIR’s official site, they were offering an even better deal for residents staying in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. Ooh la la, that also applies to us. We managed to save a whopping 40% discount off the package with accommodations, speed boat returns transfers and all meals included. That’s a steal!
It was my first time to experience such a 5-star luxe resort. And the VIP treatment started the moment we arrived at their private reception lounge in Sutera Harbour Marina.
Getting to Gaya Island Resort
The closest airport to the island is Kota Kinabalu. From the airport, we took a 10-min cab ride to Sutera Harbour Marina. The standard one-way fare is RM30.
From the Marina, we boarded a 15-minute speedboat transfer to Pulau Gaya. We experienced more VIP hospitality as we reached the paradise resort, every one of their staff is smiling and welcoming us, and each group of guest that comes has a designated staff that ushers guests in. We were greeted and assisted by Anneke, the light-eyed beauty who looks like Katniss Everdeen. :)
Our room was not ready yet when we arrived as their normal check-in time is at 3 PM. Anneke gave us a personal tour of the beautiful resort first and then we waited comfortably by the Pool Bar and Lounge as we take our lunch. We were told that all meals are eat-all-you-can as long as it’s under one bill. The husband’s face lit up! Hahaha!
Just before we finished our lunch, Anneke came back and told us that our room is ready. Woohoo!
Good thing we ate to our heart’s content, going to our Kinabalu suite takes a hike to the top most part of the island. We were catching our breath by the time we reached the door… and as I looked around, it was worth the effort and the burned calories! The view was incredible!
Our room was perfect – clean, comfy and has everything we need. I personally love the veranda with a couch and a bed. I can sit or lie down here watching the sunrise or reading a book all day, every day. :) The air is fresh, can literally see and hear the birds singing, and the ocean view was just so serene. Seriously, this could be our perfect rest house. I loved how they set up the villas within the rainforest, adorned by the trees but not destroying the jungle’s natural beauty.
Beautifully situated, Gaya Island Resort is set amidst lush rainforest with breathtaking views of the wonders created by nature over thousands of years. I like that they never run out of activities to keep their guests busy or entertained. There’s a ‘Weekly Activities Menu’ that sparks adventure and enthusiasm for the guests, with free activities such as Guided Nature Walk, Tavajun Trek, Borneo Craftworks, Yoga or a Movie under the stars. For extra charges, the resort also offers Snorkeling Exploration, Spa Village, Picnic by the Beach and Sunset Cruise.
We dropped off our things, settled for a while then went back to the main area to take more photos and savor the scenery. Enjoy more of the lovely Gaya Island Resort!