Photo Flashbacks: Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Review 28

In 2012 we took a family holiday to Kota Kinabalu the capital of Sabah a Malaysian state on the island of Bornio.

We stayed at the beautiful Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa about 5 minutes drive from the city centre.

Back then I never wrote up a review of the resort on the Toddlers on Tour reviews blog (well actually I hadn’t created that section back then).  So today I thought I would review the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru through photos, using my Trip Advisor hotel review as a reference.

three photos from the Tanjung Aru Resort Kota Kinabalu

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My Review of Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa

This was the second time we had stayed at a Shangri-La Resort and I am a huge fan due to their impeccable service.  This resort did not disappoint.

We were greeted with a cool drink and towel.  Whilst checking-in we looked out to the pool, onto the neighbouring islands, before being escorted to our room.

view of pools from reception at Tanjung Aru Kota Kinbalu

View out to pools


Whilst the Hill View Room is their cheapest option it was by no means basic.  We had ample room with a large king bed, a double fold out couch for Lewis, tea and coffee-making facilities, bar fridge, and space to even fit our bulky pram.

king bed and fold out sofa in mountain view room

Mountain View room


In the mornings we headed down to one of the best breakfast buffets we have experienced.  It may not have had pork bacon but that was more than made up for by the:

  • dim sum trolley,
  • fresh vegetable shots,
  • home-made yoghurt,
  • kids own buffet,
  • activities corner for kids offering: colouring, blackboards and a TV with cartoons,
  • plus one of the members of staff would dress up to entertain the kids in the restaurant.
Buffet breakfast kids entertainment at Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Kota Kinbalu

Entertainment at breakfast


Most mornings after breakfast Lewis would enjoy heading to the Kids Club for the scheduled craft activity.  This kids club was probably one of the better equipped, organised and more welcoming than most we have experienced.

Kibds club at Tanjoung Aru Kota Kinbalu

Kids Club


The other thing Lewis (well all of us) like to do on holiday is hang out by the pool.

The pools here have something for all ages.  Toddlers have their own little water slide and a shaded toddler pool.

toddler splash zone at the Pools at Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Kota Kinbalu

Toddler splash zone


There’s another three water slides for big kids or those that are kids at heart.

three big waterslides

Three big waterslides


For those that really liked to get drenched, there is a tipping bucket or water balloon fights.

Tipping bucket at the pools at Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Kota Kinbalu

Tipping bucket

But if you want to get away from all the noise and commotion then there is the adults-only infinity pool.

Infinaity pool looking out to sea and islands

Adults-only infinity pool


My other escape was utilising the complimentary Yoga and Pilates classes held every afternoon at 5pm on the peninsula in the day spa (you can see the room to the left of the photo above) looking out to those islands.

In the evenings we would either take a short taxi ride into town.  Or enjoy a delicious meal in-house at Peppino Italian restaurant or the buffet where kids ate free with adults.

This really was a fantastic family friendly resort.  But just to let your know I also saw lots of couples enjoying the quieter more secluded areas throughout the resort.

What do you think?

Have I enticed you to Kota Kinabalu?

Tell me in the comments.

What's at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Kota Kinbalu

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NOTE: We fully paid for our own accommodation.  I’m just telling you about this resort because I really liked it!

About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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