When you picture Malaysia, no doubt one of the things you picture are beautiful, tropical beaches. And what’s the best way to enjoy a tropical beach? Definitely with one of the best resorts in Malaysia!
In this article, I help you find the perfect holiday resorts in Malaysia. We also don’t just cover resorts by beaches. You can also find options for luxury resorts in Kuala Lumpur and other urban areas.
So whether you are looking for cheap resorts in Malaysia, the absolute best 5 star resort in Malaysia or the best eco resort Malaysia, we have you covered.
Here is our list of the top resorts in Malaysia!
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Comparison Of The Best Resorts In Malaysia
Check out this comparison table to find the best resort in Malaysia.
|Four Seasons Hotel
|The Danna Langkawi
|The Datai Langkawi
|Shangri La Rasa Sayang
|Hard Rock Hotel
|Mutiara Taman Negara
|Tuna Bay Island Resort
|Laguna Redang Island Resort
|The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort
|Shangri La Rasa Ria
|Gaya Island Resort
|Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
|Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa Sarawak
|Japamala Resort by Samadhi
Top 16 Best Resorts In Malaysia
In no particular order, below we provide reviews on our recommendation for the top 16 resorts in Malaysia.
Address: 12 Jalan Pinang, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
If you’re headed to Kuala Lumpur for your honeymoon, then look no further than the Grand Hyatt. The Grand Hyatt is a 5 star luxurious resort making it a great choice for couples looking for the best resort in Malaysia for honeymoon couples.
This romantic resort in Malaysia has fantastic views of the Petronas Twin Towers and is right by the Convention Centre. At the Grand Hyatt, you are in the heart of the Golden Triangle shopping and entertainment district with only a 400 metre walk to the Pavilion Shopping Mall and 500 metres to the Petronas Twin Towers. However, with so many great facilities at this luxury resort in Malaysia, you may never leave!
Facilities at the resort include a day spa, 24 hour fitness centre and a stunning freeform resort style swimming pool which is surrounded by tropical greenery so that you’ll never know you are in the heart of the city.
This nice resort in Malaysia also has three different restaurants serving Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and western cuisine. For fine dining with fantastic views of the city lights, try the hotel’s signature restaurant, THIRTY8 or for more casual dining, try Poolhouse or JP Teres.
This top resort in Malaysia has a variety of hotel rooms on offer, including 411 guest rooms. Guest rooms have excellent city views thanks to the floor to ceiling windows and also include tea and coffee making facilities, large TV and bathtubs in the ensuite.
For couples wanting the ultimate luxurious honeymoon, go for one of the suites. Suites have a large spacious lounge area, huge bathroom and a second toilet. The bathrooms are huge and include a good bathroom tub to relax in after a day of sightseeing.
Other features of this best resort Malaysia has includes a 24 hour front desk, luggage storage, free wifi throughout, airport transfers (at additional charge) and business centre.
For the best hotel in Malaysia, you’ll want location, location, location! The Grand Hyatt is located in the heart of the city, so you are never far from anywhere you want to go. The facilities here are also first class!
Honestly, it’s hard to fault this resort. Perhaps the only negative is with first class facilities and luxurious guest rooms; you may never leave to explore what’s on offer in Kuala Lumpur!
For couples wanting a city getaway in one of the best luxury resorts in Malaysia, the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is an easy choice.
Address: 145 Jalan Ampang, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Another fantastic resort and spa Malaysia has on offer is the Four Seasons Hotel. Once again located in the Golden Triangle, at the Four Seasons Hotel you’re in the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur.
At this Malaysia best resort you’re never far from anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. The Four Seasons Hotel is only 280 metres from KLCC Park, 280 metres from the Petronas Twin Towers and 500 metres from Avenue K.
This hotel has great facilities including a 24 hour fitness centre, sauna and a stunning lagoon style swimming pool. This best holiday resort in Malaysia also has 6 restaurants (from fine dining to casual) as well as 24 hour in-room dining available. The on-site restaurants and cafes serve a range of cuisines including Chinese, middle eastern and western food.
If you’re wanting one of the best spa resorts in Malaysia, you’ll love the on-site spa and wellness centre. Open daily; guests can enjoy a range of relaxing treatments including massages, facials and body scrubs.
Accommodation at this Malaysia luxury resort is provided in either guest rooms, suites or apartments and can adequately accommodate up to 4 people. Each room makes the most of the location with floor to ceiling windows providing fantastic views across the city. All rooms include air conditioning, flat screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities.
Other features of the Four Seasons include a 24 hour front desk, free wifi throughout, airport transfers (at additional charge), business centre, on-site gift shop and florist and babysitting services (at additional charge).
Again one of the best resorts Malaysia has in terms of a central location. Plus the hotel provides fantastic customer service and has great facilities making it a great choice for people looking for the best resort in Malaysia for couple as well as families.
What’s not to love? The only hassle is for people who are driving and have to change lifts to reach their room from the car park and vice versa. But hardly worth noting to be honest.
For couples or families looking for a good value relaxing resort in Malaysia whilst still being in the heart of the city, the Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect option.
Address: Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, Langkawi
For those who want to relax away from the crowds of tourists, the Danna Langkawi is certainly a top 10 resort in Malaysia. Located on a private beach in Pantai Kok and nestled among the trees at the foot of Gunung Machinchang, the Danna Langkawi is a stunning Malaysia mountain resort where you will indulge in 5 star luxury.
Winner of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2019 Award, The Danna Langkawi is a 5 storey elegant hotel featuring colonial architecture with modern facilities. The exclusive resort in Malaysia is beachfront and has a stunning infinity pool, fitness centre and day spa. Also on-site is a range of dining options including Planter’s restaurant, Terrace, Straits & Co and The Verandah Lounge.
There are 125 guest rooms including rooms, suites or villas, with all rooms being beautifully decorated with wooden furnishings. Every room at this Malaysia resort hotel has floor to ceiling windows to make the most of these stunning views as well as air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, sitting area, flat screen TV and private balconies with either beach or mountain views.
For families or for those who simply prefer more space, this is one of the nice resorts in Malaysia which have the option of suites or beach villas. Suites have separate living rooms and bedrooms, whilst villas each have their own private infinity pool complete with a deck.
The Danna Langkawi also features 24 hour reception, kids club, wifi throughout and a business centre.
Despite its somewhat isolated location, the Danna Langkawi is close to some of the main attractions on Langkawi and is also only a short drive from the airport and Telega Harbour.
The landscape surrounding the Danna Langkawi is nothing short of breathtaking, here you are miles away from the main tourist hub, making it the ideal place for relaxation. Certainly a clear contender for the best resort in Malaysia 2024.
The Danna Langkawi is located away from the main tourist area of Langkawi, so from this Malay resort hotel, you won’t be able to walk to many nearby restaurants and shops. However a 25 minutes taxi ride will have you in the main tourist area of Cenang.
The Danna Langkawi is perfect for those looking for a private resort in Malaysia where the priority is to relax among a stunning landscape. With a private gorgeous beach in the forefront and lush mountain terrain in the background, you can’t go wrong. A great choice if you’re after the best luxury resort in Malaysia.
Address: Jalan Teluk Datai Kedah Darul Aman, Datai Bay Area, Langkawi
The Datai Langkawi is the top beach resort situated on the northwest tip of the Langkawi island in Malaysia. Overlooking the private beach of Datai Bay (which was awarded by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 beaches worldwide) and surrounded by 10 million year old rainforest, it’s no wonder that it has an amazing 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor from thousands of reviews.
This luxury resort Malaysia offers is focused on opulence and nature. This is a great choice if you are looking for the best beach resort with luxury villas in Malaysia where you can really get away from it all. It only recently reopened after a full refurbishment, so it’s like a new resort in Malaysia.
This hotel and resort in Malaysia has many amazing room types, including one or two bedroom beach villas, rainforest villas, or balcony villas; any of which is perfect for romance or families. Choose the Rainforest Pool Villa for your own private pool for extra enjoyment!
There are many facilities and activities at the luxury Datai including three pools (one for adults, one for families and one for toddlers), water sports, spa treatments, wellbeing and holistic activities such as yoga, pilates and a tea, spices and herbs lounge, and many nature activities both for children and adults. There is also a 18-hole championship golf course for a sophisticated golf experience situated in one of the world’s most spectacular settings.
Like many beautiful resorts in Malaysia, the resort offers a diverse choice of restaurants, with four available to choose from, and two shops to cater for your needs. Depending on the room type, the room rates can include an à la carte breakfast and the minibar, and the beach villas also have a private butler service! Or book luxurious The Datai Estate villa for your own private chef!
When it comes to stunning Malaysia resort hotels, this resort is pure luxury in a gorgeous location.
This is one of the luxury Malaysian resorts where kids are welcome, but they are expected to keep quiet – even in the family pool! The Andaman next door might be a better choice for families seeking kid friendly Malay resorts.
If you are looking for truly the best luxury villa resort, Malaysia has to offer, this is a winner. Perfect for couples who want to get away from it all and be immersed in nature at a romantic resort in Malaysia.
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
The Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Penang is one of the best choices for seaside resorts in West Malaysia. This 5-star luxury resort is located on the end of Batu Ferringhi beach, just a short walk from the Batu Ferringhi Night Markets and lots of eating and shopping options.
This Malaysia top resort is beautiful and has two large wings, the Garden and Rasa. Almost every room has a balcony that allows you to enjoy the stunning vista of the hills and the sea. They both exude luxury and relaxation, with some rooms having extra privileges, such as balconies with private soaking tubs, lounge privileges, complimentary high-tea, pre-dinner drinks and snacks, an à la carte breakfast and a private pool. Both wings have room designs and services to cater for families of all sizes.
The beautiful grounds of the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang particularly stood out for me. They are large, green and spacious and lead straight to the beach. It’s rare to find this in a Malaysian seaside beach resort that is also very centrally located – you are usually swapping space for the location.
This luxury island resort Malaysia has includes some great pool areas as well as several restaurants, shops and a deli. There is also a gym, health club, wellness centre, a yoga pavilion, sauna, jacuzzi, tennis courts, a par-3 pitch and putt golf course and a gift shop.
The Rasa Sayang is great if you’re after the best resort hotel in Malaysia for kids, as the hotel has many family-friendly activities, and shares a kids club and cool indoor play centre, Adventure Zone, with the Golden Sands Resort next door. We found this a great place to stay with kids and the spacious grounds made it easy for them to let off steam without bothering anyone.
A signature activity for nature lovers is the 3-hour Jungle Walk. This early morning walk will let you experience the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest, taking you through the pristine forest and getting you up close and personal with the wonders of nature.
The attention to detail also stood out for me with things like a personalised welcome note on arrival. The buffet breakfast at the Spice Market Cafe was also pretty amazing.
This is one of the resort hotels in Malay – Penang with spacious grounds, great rooms, delicious buffet breakfast and the central location.
There are no individual villas. This resort hotel Malaysia offers just has hotel rooms and suites in the main buildings.
This is the best choice of five star resorts in Malaysia if you are looking for an option in Penang. It’s in a great location and the resort is beautiful. Close to the most luxurious seaside resort Malaysia has to offer.
Address: Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
The Hard Rock Hotel Penang is in the top 5 of luxurious Malaysia west coast resorts that are family-friendly. This fantastic resort in Penang brings the authentic Hard Rock experience to everything it does.
This famous resort in Malaysia, Penang is located directly on Batu Ferringhi beach – just a 30 minute walk (or a quick shuttle) from the main action of Batu Ferringhi. The resort itself has six food and beverage establishments, including, of course, the world-famous Hard Rock Café. Also on-site are gift shops to purchase Hard Rock merchandise.
Like most 5 star resorts in Malaysia, there is a huge range of room types here with some really quality options for families. The Roxity Kids Suites are the best family option and come with separate sleeping area for the kids, complete with PlayStation, toys, books, their own minibar and kids’ room service menu! The courtyard option also gives a private outdoor play area for your kids. These rooms are one of a kind.
Or maybe you’d like a room with direct pool access and a private pool dock? You can also book a rock-inspired studio suite, the VIP Rock Star Suite or the Kings Suite with a Hollywood King sized bed! All rooms have a 50-inch TV, BOSE Sound System and free blockbuster movies on demand.
Also on offer at this best Malaysia resort is ‘The Sound of Your Stay’ program, exclusive to Hard Rock Hotels. Try something different and release your inner DJ and mix the perfect set or grab a Fender guitar and rock out in your room. Rock ‘n’ Roll!
The facilities at this hotel are also perfect for families, with not only a kids club, but a teens club and infant club too! This means kids of all ages have a great space to hang out! There is also the luxury Rock Spa where mum and dad can relax and have a massage.
The outside area is even better. There is a huge pool lagoon complete with a fantastic water playground for the kids (with slides!), and poolside cabanas and a swim-up bar for the adults. There is often live music and activities out here too. You can easily spend whole days relaxing out here!
The Hard Rock is one of the resorts at Malaysia where absolutely everything is of a high quality – the rooms, the outside pool area and the kid’s clubs. One of the most unique resorts in Malaysia.
Unfortunately, this luxury getaway Malaysia offers is a bit removed from the main Batu Ferringhi area. Plus there are no room options for families bigger than four.
If you’re looking for good resorts in Malaysia for a family, the Hard Rock is a great choice for your stay in Penang as long as you don’t mind being a little away from the action of the main area.
Address: 12th Mile, Jalan Pantai, Pasir Panjang, Si Rusa, Port Dickson
The Lexis Hibiscus is located at the southern end of Port Dickson near the beaches at Blue Lagoon and Tanjung Tuan; just an hours drive from the Kuala Airport. This 5 star luxurious hotel is not only impressive in its size, but its layout is incredible and it’s definitely a stand out from other South Malaysia resorts.
It even had Guinness World Records for the most pools in a resort and the most over-water villas.
There are a crazy number of things to do at Lexis Hibiscus. For the kids, they will love swimming in their private pool or hanging out with their friends at Kidz World, whilst the parents will love the day spa and the whole family will have a ball in the karaoke room!
Other facilities at this best hotel in Malaysia include a swimming pool, beach and fitness centre – there’s even a photo booth!
When you’re hungry, there are plenty of dining options including a fabulous Japanese restaurant.
Other features of this 5 star resort Malaysia has includes a gift shop, tour desk, bike rental, free wifi throughout, archery and banana boat rides.
When it comes to accommodation at this Malaysia 5 star resort, there are a wide range of choice. You can choose to stay in one of the 117 rooms on land or one of the gorgeous 522 overwater villas.
And the best thing? All rooms come with their very own private swimming pool!!!! It’s an infinity pool that looks straight out over the water. There is also a couple of chairs and a small sauna. There’s nothing better than staying in an over-water villa with your own pool.
Each room has at least two king sized beds and the over-water villas have a great panel for viewing underwater. All accommodation at this most beautiful resort in Malaysia also includes air-conditioning, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and flatscreen TV.
All in all, if you are looking for the perfect Malaysia getaway resort with private swimming pool, this is the premier choice!
If you’re looking for Malay resort hotels where you can have your own private swimming pool with a view over the ocean – then this is it – amazing!
Many of the activities have an extra charge. We found the charges rather reasonable, but its something to keep in mind when budgeting for your trip.
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in an overwater villa with a private infinity pool, but couldn’t justify the price – the Lexis Hibiscus is the place to go! This is one of the best hotels & resorts in Malaysia and offers exceptional facilities at a great price.
Address: Kuala Tahan, Jerantut, Taman Negara, Pahang
The Mutiara Eco Park is located 4.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, in Pahang’s ancient forest in Taman Negara which is said to be the best tropical rainforest in the country. The Mutiara Eco Park is a gorgeous nature resort Malaysia has on offer for those wanting to stay in a jungle retreat.
The eco park resort has accommodation in either bungalows or chalets. Both types include basic amenities, yet all the modern day comforts. The bungalows are great for families or groups that want more room as they come with 2 bedrooms and a separate living area, dining room and kitchenette.
All 87 rooms at this top resort Malaysia has are suitable for 1 to 4 people and include air conditioning, LED TV and a private terrace with views of the Tembeling River or jungle. Some rooms even include a separate dining area and kitchenette.
This Malaysian resort has great facilities, including a restaurant serving local and western cuisine, wifi but only at the restaurant and a massage centre. There is also a mini market on-site for basic needs.
If relaxing within the resort isn’t enough for you, there’s a wide range of other outdoor activities which the resort can arrange including jungle trekking, canopy walks, mountain climbing and caving. You may even see some wildlife from your accommodation, with animals such as long tailed macaques, malkohas and porcupines regularly spotted.
The Mutiara Taman Negara is certainly something a little different in this list of resorts in Malaysia and is the ideal spot for people who want to chill out in the natural surroundings of the jungle.
This is one of the top 10 resorts in Malaysia where you can get amongst nature and unplug from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Being 4.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, it is a bit of an expedition to get here.
For those after one of the top resorts Malaysia has in a jungle setting, this is a great option. The Mutiara Taman Negara is the ideal place for guests wanting to relax in the peace and quiet of the jungle, whilst having the option for some outdoor adventure.
Address: Tuna Bay Resorts Kampung Pulau Perhentian, Kuala, Besut, Terengganu
When it comes to east coast Malaysia resorts, it doesn’t get much better than Tuna Bay Island Resort located in the Perhentian Islands. Situated on the south west coast of Pulau Perhentian Besar, the resort is surrounded by tropical jungle which remains relatively untouched.
Accommodation at this luxurious resort in Malaysia is in gorgeous chalets, each of which are either beachfront or otherwise only a minute from the powdery white sand beach. The 55 chalets each accommodate 2 people, have been furnished tastefully with wooden fixtures and include air conditioning, private balconies and sitting areas. For families, there are also interconnecting chalets.
The resort features a restaurant and has a range of recreational activities on offer such as snorkelling, fishing, jungle trekking, island hopping and diving. Of course, the highlight at this Malaysia nice resort is simply relaxing on the beach and swimming in the sea.
Guests can reach this island resort by a 45 minute speed boat from Kuala Besut Jetty, which is an hours drive from Kota Bahru Airport.
Whilst not necessarily a budget resort in Malaysia, for the location and facilities on offer, Tuna Bay Island Resort is certainly one of the most affordable resorts in Malaysia in terms of island getaways.
Located on a tropical island paradise and surrounded by crystal clear water – need I say more? Perfect for those after an island resort in Malaysia.
If you’re a traveller who likes the option of swimming in the beach or pool, unfortunately, there is no swimming pool here. Also apart from the interconnecting rooms, there are no rooms which can accommodate more than 2 people.
For the ultimate tropical island getaway, Tuna Bay Island Resort really does have it all. Spend your days swimming in the sea and lying on the beach. After all, isn’t this what island resorts are all about?
Address: C-O Lot GL-04 Lapangan Terbang Sultan Mahmud Kuala Terengganu, Redang Island
The beautiful Redang Island is a large resort island located on the east coast of Malaysia. The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort is the perfect choice if you are looking to get away from it all at a truly magnificent location.
Surrounded by the turquoise blue ocean, a powdery white sand beach and majestic rainforest, the resort isn’t quite a Malaysia private island resort, but it is focused on Malaysia sea resort accommodation by offering a barefoot luxury experience amid warm Asian hospitality.
Whether you are looking for a room or suite to suit singles, couples or a family, you’re spoilt for choice at the selection on offer. Perhaps you and a group of friends would like to book the incredible 5-bedroom private villa located on the clifftop, overlooking the resort and ocean below. Not only does this villa have its own infinity pool, but it also has an elevator, butler, breakfast chef and security!
How would you like to spend the day? Go diving in one of the 30 dive locations in the protected Marine Park, take a ride on the glass bottom boat, go windsurfing, kayaking or bodyboarding, or spend the day island hopping. On-land activities include jungle trekking, yoga, a pool, a karaoke room, a day spa and even a cooking class! There’s also a supervised playroom for the young ones. You will never be short on things to do at the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort.
Like most Malay luxury resorts, there are several restaurants available on-site. You’ll find it hard to resist what is on offer; a buffet spread of international and Asian fusion inspired cuisine, grilled seafood on the deck, or for special occasions, dine on a floating platoon in the middle of the sea. Feel like a drink? The Bayu Bar, with a chill-out deck located right on the beach, will quench your thirst as well as silence the hunger pains.
A massive selection of room types to suit your needs and wants, the huge variety of activities available, and the fact that you’re on an island!
As you’re on an island, there is no ‘city hub’ to visit. You only access the island via the hotel’s private boat or public ferry.
If you are looking for a beautiful resort in Malaysia for a luxurious island break with some friends or family, it’s hard to beat the Taaras Beach and Spa Resort.
Address: Pasir Panjang, Redang Island
If it’s all about location and glorious beaches for your top pick of the best resort in Malaysia, consider the Laguna Redang.
This top resort not only has great service, a huge range of facilities and great rooms, but it’s also on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The sand is just so white and the ocean so blue – you can’t go wrong here!
There is snorkelling right out the front as well as regular snorkelling tours and dives through the resort’s own dive centre. A Marine Park surrounds Redang Island with lots of great opportunities. You can also explore above the water in your own kayak.
At the Laguna Redang Island Resort, you’ll also find ATV rides, the opportunity to watch baby turtles, a day spa and a recreation centre with board games and pool tables and a disco and karaoke centre. There are many day tour options, including guided jungle treks.
One of the things we enjoyed the most was the great pool area with kids’ water slide. It’s perfect for anyone but especially families.
There are multiple restaurants and bars, including a great beach bar which is a great place to hang out in the early evenings with an ice kacang. We found the food very good. There is also a gift shop where you can buy snacks, clothing and souvenirs.
The hotel is straightforward to get to as they run their own ferries from Kuala Terengganu with its own check-in desk. It is located on Long Beach and there are other resorts, restaurants and tour desks nearby giving you options outside of the hotel for activities and food.
There are many room types. We highly recommend booking a sea view room – you won’t want to stop looking at the gorgeous beach!
The gorgeous beach, the huge range of facilities, the high standard of service and rooms and how well organised everything is. It’s an easy and beautiful place to visit.
The resort wifi is bad. Mobile reception is good though.
If you are looking for a well organised hotel at a great standard on an absolutely gorgeous beach, definitely consider Laguna Redang. It’s one of our favourites in Malaysia.
Address: Pantai Dalit Beach P.O. Box 600, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu
If you’re looking for the best east Malaysia resorts, you can’t beat the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa. It is a beautiful tropical retreat set on a pristine stretch of Pantai Dalit Beach and is surrounded by 400 acres of tropical rainforest. It is set within a nature reserve and is enveloped by its natural magic.
Your Malaysian-themed room or suite situated in either the Garden or Ocean Wing has tropical-inspired accents and is set on a hill, allowing you to take in the spectacular views of the beach or the surrounding rainforest. There are plenty of room types to choose from, including family rooms.
The resort is home to the Nature Interpretation Centre, entrance to the Nature Reserve. Here, you can meet Borneo’s wildlife, including several species of endangered animals.
Also located in the resort is an eco-friendly championship golf course and spa at Dalit Bay. For the water lovers, kayaking, windsurfing, jet-skiing and banana boat rides will get the blood pumping. You can enjoy a spot of horse riding, deep sea fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, coconut leaves weaving, bingo night and some fun beach games.
There is even a club for the kids! They can have a go at coconut bowling or enjoy the Sundown Games in the swimming zone. The animal lovers get to help the rangers look after the animals in the resort’s care. There is even a Family Fun Day on the weekend!
Now it’s time to eat. Do you want Indian or Italian? Or perhaps you feel like teppanyaki? Or maybe you just want to relax with a sunset cocktail in one of the two bars. Make sure you try the teh tarik – ‘pulled tea’ – at the Coffee Terrace.
Lots of activities to suit all sorts of travellers, including families with children.
This is one of the popular resorts in Malaysia, so can tend to get busy and may feel crowded to some travellers.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is one of the best luxury resorts Malaysia islands have to offer.
Address: Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu
Located on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Gaya Island Resort is tucked amidst protected mangroves, sheltered coral reefs and curled around the pristine sandy coast of Malohom Bay. This resort was awarded the Destination Hotel/Resort of the Year in 2018 by AsiaSpa rewards, and it is easy to see why.
The resort is dedicated to ecologically-sustainable practices to reduce its carbon footprint within the environment. A conservation fee (charged per person, per night) is contributed to Sabah Parks in support of their effort towards preserving the rich ecosystem of the region.
The collection of contemporary hillside villas offers a variety of views including mangrove forests, canopy, tropical rainforest, the outline of Mount Kinabalu and the South China Sea. There are three styles of 1-bedroom villas to choose from, all of which include a verandah with day beds. If you want to go the whole hog, book the luxurious 2 story, 2-bedroom suite. The villas have connecting rooms available for families, with two adults and two children allowed per room, with 2 more children allowed for an extra surcharge.
One of the highlights of the Gaya Island Resort is just a 5-minute boat ride away. Tavajun Bay is a private beach that is the perfect place to relax under the sun and be lulled by the sea breeze. Enjoy a lunch that is made over charcoal embers, or pre-order a personalized gourmet picnic basket for your trip.
Make sure to visit the Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre and Wildlife Centre and the 7 Wonders of Gaya to experience a distinctive journey of exploration through natural encounters within the resort.
You can also book to go snorkelling or diving in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park or set sail on a charter boat and go deep sea or leisure fishing. If you’d prefer to stay on land, have a swim in the pool, relax with some yoga or a massage at the spa or attend a complimentary Borneo craftworks class for a handmade momento.
The resort has a small variety of restaurants as well as a pool bar and lounge. For something extra special, dine on your personal verandah, have a picnic in a private spot or gather around a crackling barbecue pit on the beach at dusk.
The island is accessible via boat, and there are speedboat transfers from Jesselton Point on the main island available 7 times a day.
For those who love nature and animals, the Gaya Island Resort is perfect with its Marine and Wildlife Centres and 7 Wonders of Gaya experience where you may catch sight of the beautiful Proboscis Monkey or Red Giant Flying Squirrel.
If your accommodation is located on the hillside, it is a bit of a steep walk to your room, but worth the amazing view.
Gaya Island Resort is a nature lovers wonderland. You will be enchanted and amazed by the beauty of it all.
Address: Off Jalan Sepangar Bay, Locked Bag 100, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu
The Nexus Resort Karambunai is located 30 kilometres North East of Koto Kinabulu and is set within 65 acres of beautifully landscaped surrounds on the Karambunai Peninsula. Surrounded by 6 kilometres of white sand beach and a million-year-old rainforest, you are sure to have a memorable holiday.
The Borneo Villa luxury rooms are set in the village garden with views of either the beach or golf course. For a panoramic beachfront and sea view from your private balcony, stay in one of the Ocean Wing deluxe rooms. Or for a stay in the height of luxury, stay in one of the six Royal and Presidential Villa suites, all of which have a lavish living and dining room and their own private swimming pool and gardens that face the South China Sea.
You are spoilt for choice with how to spend your days. You can relax with a soothing massage at Borneo Spa or play a game of golf at the 18-hole golf course. The kids can play at the kids’ club and the kids’ pool.
There are also many sports and recreation activities for guests to choose from (at an extra cost) such as boat cruises, pedal boats, banana boats, ocean kayaks, snorkelling, jet skiing, water skiing, windsurfing, fishing lessons, nature walks, jungle trekking, horse riding, ATV’s, discovering Karambunai by bike, tennis, beach volleyball and soccer and relaxing beach massages. Or, if you just want to relax in the sun, choose from one of the 3 swimming pools or laze on the pristine white sand of the beach.
Lagoon Park is 4.2 kilometres away and a free hourly shuttle is available.
To whet your appetite, you can choose from several on-site restaurants ranging from a casual restaurant, poolside bar, outdoor grill, or a pub to top off each evening with great entertainment by a powerhouse band.
To top it off, there is a regal 1200-seater Grand Ballroom (the largest pillar-free ballroom in South East Asia!) and a selection of meeting rooms which will suit any function or meeting requirement.
Located in a stunning location, you have the best of both worlds with a gorgeous beach and tropical rainforest. There is also plenty of activities to keep everyone busy.
The location is pretty isolated. It’s about 20 minutes to the nearest shopping centre and 40 minutes to the city centre. The resort offers shuttle services to the city 3 times a day at an extra charge.
The Nexus Resort is a fantastic place for travellers who want it all. Here you have the stunning beach and rainforest, numerous activities to keep everyone entertained all in a luxurious setting.
Address: Sungai Melinau, P.O. Box 1145, Mulu, Miri
For a change from the typical beach resort, the Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa Sarawak is a hidden resort in Malaysia that can be found in the tropical forest of Borneo. Located just 5 minutes from Gunung Mulu National Park, it is the only 5-star hotel in Mulu, and it will leave you with enchanting memories that you’ll never forget.
Emulating authentic Borneo longhouses, the immaculate rooms and suites (that can house up to four guests) are suspended on walkways within the forest. With deluxe beds, spa-like bathrooms and private balconies, you’ll be in a haven of relaxation.
There are so many amazing activities to choose from. Walk the world’s largest tree-based canopy walk, explore the Showcaves, go mountain climbing, visit a nearby village, try your hand at fishing, or perhaps take a longboat cruise down the river.
Being so close to the Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you have an endless choice of exploration. For a day of relaxation, the Balinese-style spa has pampering treatments, personalised yoga classes and wellness advice. Additional amenities at the hotel include a yoga studio, an outdoor pool, a restaurant and a bar. If you want to host an event at the resort, such as a wedding, there are two event venues available, along with several outdoor spaces.
Contemporary luxury and traditional elegance coexist harmoniously at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa.
The seclusion. The rainforest. Exploring the Gunung Mulu National Park. And even though it is secluded, it is still quite close to the Mulu Airport.
Whilst the seclusion is the best part, it’s also the worst. If you’re looking for a resort that is near a bustling city or beach, this forest resort is not for you.
The Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa has to be the best forest resort in Malaysia. The stunning landscape and fantastic exploration activities will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Address: Kampung Lanting, Pulau Tioman, Kampung Genting, Tioman Island
Known as a boutique resort, and one out of three Samadhi Retreat properties in the country, Japamala Resort offers guests intimate accommodation nestled in an 11-acre lush tropical rainforest. As an eco-luxe resort, it offers guests an experience of living close to nature, yet offering a touch of luxury.
This exclusive resort offers rustic village-styled villas and chalets situated in one of the breathtaking spots in the property. Its wood cabins include air conditioning, flatscreen TVs, iPod docks, tea/coffee making facilities, and a minibar. All of these cabins also have verandas and indoor showers. Meanwhile, upgraded rooms include outdoor showers, bathtubs, hot tubs, and kitchenettes.
Guests will fall in love with the open-air restaurant that’s built on stilts over the sea. Similarly, there’s also a lovely eatery overlooking the beach. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, bar, spa area with hot tub, fitness centre, and massage are also offered. Fun activities, like diving and hiking can also be arranged.
This is a beautiful resort set in a secluded island atmosphere, great service from the staff.
The location is pretty secluded. You need to take boat transfers in and out of the resort.
Overall, this resort offers guests a unique blend of nature, captivating scenery and great service. Staying here, it’s as if you are in your own little slice of paradise in Malaysia!
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If you are planning the perfect Malaysian family getaway, check out our top 10 best resorts in Malaysia for families here. You can also read about Malaysia’s best beach resorts here and find our ultimate article to planning your trip to Malaysia here.
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