, , , , , , ,

Overwater Villas of Gayana Marine Resort

Due to its strategic location lies by the coast overlooking South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu has countless of tropical islands not far away from the city center. You can reach the island less than 10 minutes of boat ride from the city jetty. How convenient is it, right? If you are planning to have a short island staycation within the short distance of Kota Kinabalu but then, still giving peace and relaxation you are looking for, there are few you can opt for. One of them is Gayana Marine Resort

#1: Gayana Marine Resort

Rest serenely at the edge of a jungle on Gaya Island, Gayana Marine Resort boasts spacious and extraordinary water villas with wooden interiors and superior facilities. My husband and I booked to stay here before the commencement of last year MCO. Besides Gayana Marine Resort, they do have another sister resort, namely Bunga Raya Island Resort which is our next wishlist to experience. 

Gayana Marine Resort 02
#2: Register ourselves at their office in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal

The only way to reach this overwater bungalow is by taking speed boat provided by the resort at Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. All guests need to register themselves at the office in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal before depart to the resort. The boat transfer is scheduled to depart at 12pm and the boat ride takes about 20 minutes. 

Boat Transfer (Free of charge)
Check-in: 12pm
Check-out: 11am

Distance from airport to Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal: 15 minutes (Approx. RM10 with GrabCar) 

Gayana Marine Resort 05
#3: Crystal clear turquoise sea water and we're blessed with clear blue sky on our day of visit. 

The sea was calm and the boat ride was pretty smooth. Without we realised, we have arrived the overwater villas we're anticipated for. I have to admit that this is my first time overnight on one of KK's islands after living in the city for so long cause normally we only went for a day trip. Upon arriving, we're greeted with welcome drinks and friendly hospitality where they played the local music instrument to welcoming us. Feeling like a VVIP walking on a red carpet. 

Gayana Marine Resort 04
#4: Infinity pool overlooking panoramic sea view

There are 4 type of villas in order to cater different need of the guests; Rainforest Villa, Ocean Villa, Breeze Villa and Palm Villa. The most luxe of all would be the Palm Villa features private plunge pools, glass floors in the living room and double shower and tubs for two offering seaviews whereas Breeze Villa are great for a group of families as it comes with separate living rooms and two bathrooms. 

As for us, we booked the Rainforest Villa facing the lush green rolling hills of unspoiled tropical jungle. All the stand-alone villas feature a spacious open deck and fitted with upscale amenities such as:
  • Air-conditioning 
  • LCD/Plasma screen
  • DVD player
  • Minibar with fridge, kettle and tea & coffee making
  • In-room safety deposit box
  • Ironing facilities
  • WiFi within the room 
Gayana Marine Resort -Rainforest Villa 1
#5: Room fitted with top-class amenities to the highest degree of comfortable and convenience of the guest 

Gayana Marine Resort -Rainforest Villa 3
#6: Ideal honeymoon spot for the newly wed couple

Gayana Marine Resort -Rainforest Villa Bathroom
#7: Private bathroom includes luxury amenities and powerful hot rainshower.

Gayana Marine Resort -Rainforest Villa 2
#8: Private open deck with sun beds 

Due to its isolated and remote location which is completely cut off from the rest of the island, the only option for you to hunt for food is to dine-in at their restaurants. There no other restaurants, bars or even shops nearby. Hence, it's advisable that you can purchase some food and snacks earlier from the city's convenience store before departing to the resort. 

There are two restaurants available within the resort;
  1. Macac Restaurant - All-day dining venue serving Western fusion food with a distinctly Malaysian twist by the pool, including wood-fired pizza, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, salad and noodle soups.
  2. Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant - Open for lunch and dinner, serving fresh Chinese cuisines where guests can select their meal from the menu or even pick live seafood from the restaurant's tanks. 
During our stay here, we dine-in in both of the two restaurants where we had our lunch (first day upon arrival) and breakfast (the following day) at Macac Restaurant and dinner at Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant. Overall, we found the food was pretty decent and not bad but somewhat overpriced. 
Gayana Marine Resort - Macac Restaurant
#9: Macac Restaurant - All-day dining venue including where we had our breakfast here.  

Gayana Marine Resort - Macac Restaurant 2
#10: Macac Breakfast - Poarched eggs, grilled sausages, petit marinated sausages, hash brown, savory tomato relish and saute shitake mushrooms. 

Gayana Marine Resort - Macac Restaurant 3
#11: Freshly baked pastries and colourful fruits 

Gayana Marine Resort - Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant 1
#12: Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant - Open for lunch and dinner, this is where you can have fresh seafood from the fish tank. 

Gayana Marine Resort - Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant 2
#13: Our dinner at Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant - seafood fried rice paired sweet and sour fish

One of the special features of this resort that distinguish them from the rest is the establishment of MERC, a learning and educational centre to create awareness about the marine ecosystem due to increasing threats on the marine life. They even propagating Giant Clams and restoring damaged coral reefs on the island. What amazed both my husband and I was there is a spacious theatre hall on the island where they will play a short video regarding MERC and marine life. It's fascinating even for adults like us. 

Gayana Marine Resort - Marine Ecology Research Centre 1
#14: Marine Ecology Reseach Centre - Guests can get up close with sea creatures from starfish to bamboo sharks. 

Awaken to the sound of gentle waves lapping below in the morning and witness the stunning tropical sunset in the evening, we were completely immersed ourselves in once-in-a-lifetime luxury experience that pampering the body and enlightened the soul. This is why I always feel that our homegrown island resorts eventually can compete with most of the world-renowned island resorts in Maldives. Why travel so far away when you can experience in your home country Malaysia, right? Come and let's Cuti-Cuti Malaysia now! 

Gayana Marine Resort 07
#15: Final photo for memories before taking the free boat transfer back to the jetty at 11am 

The rates includes breakfast for 2

Proudly to announce that Gayana Marine Resort is now open for weekend stays starting from 19th March. For reservations and enquiries, kindly please contact this number 088-380390 or email them at rsvn.gayana@echoresorts.com.

[Credit to Oyster]
Read More