Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu
Destinations,  Kota Kinabalu,  Malaysia

Embark on an Unforgettable Journey of Culture, Adventure, and Nature at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu [Review]

Nestled in the heart of Sabah, Malaysia, Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu is the perfect destination for travellers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. With its stunning natural surroundings and wide range of activities and amenities, this luxurious 400-acre resort offers a one-of-a-kind experience that combines the best of Malaysia’s culture, adventure, and nature. From exploring Sabah’s lush rainforests via the Rasa Ria Reserve to soaking up the sun and taking in the awe-inspiring views of the South China Sea, there is something for everyone at this exceptional resort. In this article, we will share more reasons to embark on an unforgettable journey at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu.

9 Reasons to Embark on a Journey at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu

1. Break free from the city and lose yourself in a vast resort enveloped by nature

massive resort

Where do we begin? Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu is such a massive resort that you will never run out of things to do or see while staying there. Spanning 400 acres, the resort features a 3 km private beach, a 64-acre forest reserve, and an 18-hole golf course, providing you with everything you need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With sandy beaches, pristine seas, and even a lush rainforest, those who love the great outdoors will find themselves in paradise. There are over 60 activities to enjoy during your stay, so get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

2. Explore the great outdoors in a huge forest reserve 

Rasa Ria Reserve

Sabah, a land of tropical beauty and cultural diversity, boasts an abundance of natural wonders. And true enough, among the many exceptional resorts in the area, Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu stands out for its acclaimed Rasa Ria Reserve. Situated at the base of the majestic Mount Kinabalu, this 64-acre tropical jungle oasis provides guests with an unmatched opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture, thrilling adventure, and breathtaking nature that Sabah has to offer. 

The Rasa Ria Reserve is home to a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, including over 100 species of butterflies, bird species, and indigenous wildlife, such as the endangered and protected Pangolin. If you are an avid hiker, you will love how there are multiple hiking trails inside the Rasa Ria Reserve. You may check their trail guides here. Apart from hiking, the Rasa Ria Reserve offers a range of activities for nature enthusiasts. Take part in bird watching, canopy walkway trekking, bee harvesting, sunrise walking (to see Kota Kinabalu’s beautiful sunrise from the summit), or even night walking with night vision goggles.

Discovery Centre

For passionate learners, head to the Discovery Centre to learn about Malaysia’s indigenous wildlife and plants through interactive exhibits. We brought our little Ally there and she was ecstatic learning all about nature! They also offer a Junior Naturalists program so that your little ones can fully marvel at the wonders of the natural world. 

Little Ally in Discovery Centre
Little Ally telling us everything she has learned from the Discovery Centre

3. Soak up the sun, sand, and the sea on a private beach

Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu Rainforest

Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu is more than just a rainforest retreat. This resort also provides you direct access to a private beach where you can see Kota Kinabalu’s famed sunsets, sparkling waters, and golden sands. It was quite a walk to the waves, but every step was well worth it. The expansive and immaculate private beach provides endless opportunities for fun and relaxation. We had so much fun playing with the waves, and even our Baby Aaron had the time of his life crawling around the beach. You could never go wrong spending the whole afternoon here!

Little Ally and Mama Joce having a blast under the sun

Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu - Sunset from the beach
Sunset from the beach

4. Bask in the gorgeous sea view from the comfort of your hotel suite 

balcony with views of the South China Sea

While we could have easily spent more time admiring the beauty of the beach, we knew that we also had to retreat to the hotel and recharge. Fortunately, our hotel suite provided an equally stunning view of the sea. We stayed in an Ocean Wing Junior Suite, which boasts an expansive balcony where you can get panoramic views of the South China Sea. The balcony also features an oversized jacuzzi to soak in as we basked in the gorgeous view from our suite. Should you wish for more privacy, the balcony has automatic blinds which you can shut off if needed. 

Ocean Wing Junior Suite

Inside the suite, we were greeted by a beautifully decorated space with soothing earthy tones and natural wood accents that celebrated the ethnic richness of Sabah. The hotel staff also provided us with delicious welcome snacks, which consisted of dried guava, savoury peanuts, and caramelised coconut pecan nuts. All were pretty tasty and were great to munch on as we relax in our hotel suite. 

Welcome snacks in the suites
Welcome snacks in the suites

If you are travelling with your family, you may also consider staying in the Ocean Wing Junior Suite Family Room. Luxurious and spacious, it consists of a king-sized bed and charming bunk beds for the children, as well as amenities that are designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. 

5. Enjoy less crowded swimming in a gorgeous private pool

beautiful private pool

If there is any advice we could give you, we highly recommended staying in one of the suites from Shangri-La Rasa Ria’s Ocean Wing. In addition to the stunning sea views, Ocean Wing guests are granted exclusive access to a wide range of luxurious amenities. With perks such as a personalised pillow menu and a private lobby for check-in, you can indulge in a truly extravagant experience. Furthermore, Ocean Wing guests have access to a beautiful private pool, which is significantly less crowded than the resort’s main pool, making it the ideal spot to capture some beautiful photos.

Mama Joce and her little bundles of joy

During our stay, we spent the entire afternoon swimming and were delighted to witness the beautiful sunset from this vantage point. The vibrant Kota Kinabalu skies during sunset were so picturesque that it seemed as if they were taken straight out of a painting.

Colourful skies from the exclusive Ocean Wing pool
Colourful skies from the exclusive Ocean Wing pool

Staying in the Ocean Wing would also mean that you will get to enjoy an ala carte buffet breakfast at the Oceano Moderno Grill. The setup is quite unique as it was a half buffet and half ala carte buffet, and to be honest, the food was amazing. You can order small portions of all-time breakfast favourites like Egg Florentine and Breakfast Steak. We also noticed that they had a lot of Korean food; the Japchae and Doenjang Jiigae were especially delicious. A fresh juice cart was another distinctive feature during breakfast, which a staff member pushed around. It added a lovely touch to the breakfast experience. Oh, and since you are already in Malaysia, be sure to try their Teh Tarik as well (with less sugar so you can really taste its flavour!). It does not only taste good, but really fragrant too. 

6. Indulge in a variety of sports and recreational activities 

Banana boat ride

You will never get bored at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu. Apart from spending time with nature, the resort also offers a wide range of scheduled activities for adults, young people and children. From relaxing yoga sessions and bicycle tours to fun water activities such as water polo and banana boat rides, this resort has everything for the entire family when it comes to entertainment. You can even go horseback riding by the beach! Scheduled activities change regularly so be sure to contact the hotel’s staff first for the latest list.

horseback riding

For those who want to truly relax,  you may also indulge in luxurious treatments at The Spa. Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and renewed, the spa offers a range of treatments that highlight the diverse culture of Sabah, using natural botanical and herbal products renowned for their therapeutic properties. 

The Spa

7. Tee off amidst Kota Kinabalu’s stunning scenery

 Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club

Although we know already that Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu is a massive resort, we are still in awe of how it has its very own 18-hole championship golf course. At the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club, guests can tee off with stunning views of Mount Kinabalu in the background. They provide a wide array of services and facilities for you to enjoy golfing in such an idyllic setting. And even if you are a beginner, you can take golf lessons from their resident golf professionals to improve your swings.

Golf courses for beginners
Golf courses for beginners

8. A safe haven for kids

fantastic Kids Club

For those travelling with children, Shangri-La Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu offers a fantastic Kids Club to keep the little ones entertained throughout their stay. In a safe and comforting environment, kids between the ages of 4 to 12 can enjoy playtime and participate in educational activities like Batik Painting, Mask Making, and so forth. Additionally, the resort provides a children’s pool complete with a mini playground where they can splash around and have fun.

9. Go on the ultimate culinary journey 

 impressive array of 10 dining outlets

In addition to the fun-filled activities available at the resort, Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu features an impressive array of 10 dining outlets, each offering some of the most exquisite dishes we have ever tasted. Indulging in these delectable treats was undoubtedly one of the highlights of our stay. From traditional Malay flavours to Japanese fine dining, the resort takes guests on the ultimate culinary journey. 

Oceano Modern Grill

Oceano Modern Grill

Oceano Modern Grill pays homage to the sea, offering fresh local seafood and high-quality meats created from imaginative combinations of ingredients and taste. We actually had a delicious breakfast there, but dinner with their ala carte Western food is even more amazing. We ordered the Meat Platter with medium rare steaks and words cannot describe how amazing the experience was. Even their Prawn Aglio Olio (prawns were incredibly fresh!) was so palatable as well. The best part? We got to enjoy these delicious dishes with some wine and a beautiful view of the sea through the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

Mouthwatering Meat Platter
Mouthwatering Meat Platter
Super fresh Prawn Aglio Olio
Super fresh Prawn Aglio Olio

Kozan Teppan-yaki 

Kozan Teppan-yaki

Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu also allows guests to indulge in a unique Japanese dining experience (Teppanyaki) wherein a seasoned chef prepares the food right in front of you. At Kozan Teppan-yaki, only the freshest ingredients are used, which elevates the experience even further. Our entire family loved every single dish prepared by the chef, but what we especially recommend is their Black Cod, Unagi, and Salmon dishes. They were exceptionally tasty!

The Eight

The Eight

If you are craving Oriental flavours, head over to The Eight and let their authentic Chinese menu with a modern twist give you an elevated dining experience. Every dish we have tried from this restaurant is noteworthy, and honestly, you can never go wrong with any dishes here. The Sabah Tiger Grouper Pot, Chilli Lobster with Fried Mantou, and Yam Basket with Kung Pao Chicken were especially great. 


Delectable Chinese dishes from The Eight

Regrettably, we were only able to try 3 out of the dining outlets at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu. We did try their in-room dining though, and as expected, the food was fantastic. You absolutely must try their Wat Tan Hor Fun (Cantonese Fried Flat Rice Noodles with Egg Gravy) – it was sooo delicious. All in all, we must say that Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu has one of the best dining experiences in terms of taste among all hotels we have stayed at. The standard is just incredibly high in all of the restaurants. In fact, we highly recommend staying for at least 4 days and 3 nights to fully experience the best of what they have to offer when it comes to food.

Beyond the incredible dining experiences, we had the most amazing time at Shangri-La Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu. The resort provided a wealth of opportunities for adventure and relaxation in the beautiful Sabah, from nature trails to breathtaking sunsets and unparalleled views. With its luxurious amenities, incredibly helpful staff, and phenomenal culinary offerings…it truly is a destination that delivers on all fronts, providing an unforgettable experience that leaves us eager to return.

Book your stay at Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu >

📍 Pantai Dalit, Tuaran, Sabah 89208 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
📞 +60 19-884 6929
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