Gayana Eco Resort

Gayana Eco Resort

The Gayana Eco Resort offers five star luxury and total immersion in the natural splendor of Malaysia's wildlife on the island of Gaya.

View on map



Average rating: Unknown Tag: 'Review_Rating' out of 5 stars

A chilled towel accompanied by a refreshing drink welcome you to your stay at Gayana Eco Resort, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Eastern Malaysia. Gracious service and guilt-free holidaying are the hallmarks of this picture-perfect resort tucked into a private alcove.

All of the villas are built over the crystalline water on stilts. The villas featuring direct water access from their balconies come highly recommended, making it all the easier to slip in for a quick swim with the roaming schools of fish. The bathrooms are spacious with over-sized luxury towels and well-designed lighting that aims to flatter.

Gayana Eco Resort - Water at Your Feet

The on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC) boasts the world's only complete collection of the 8 giant clams of the world and is a working laboratory. Ongoing clam rejuvenation programs aim to replenish giant clams in the wild, while coral regeneration programs use broken coral branches as bases for regrowth.

Giant clams like the ones the resort is re-populating are the "kidneys" of the ocean, constantly cleansing the waters in which they live. Next on the agenda is the seahorse program where efforts will be taken to bring back the declining population. Visitors can easily spend a half day at the Centre learning about its various initiatives and browsing the tanks which house sharks, turtles, and many other components of the coastal ecosystem.

Gayana Eco Resort - Turtles

There's much more to do on-site at Gayana Eco Resort, ranging from a Jungle Trail which plunges you deep into the living forest within minutes of leaving your villa, to a wreck dive that's just a few finned kicks of the diving centre.

Grab a snorkel if diving is not your thing and explore the sandy shores with their clusters of giant clams, sea urchins, and anemones living among coral, along with clownfish, trevally, parrotfish and surgeonfish.

Watch also for giant garoupa that prefer to stay hidden along the bottom, although "Flicky", a young giant garoupa, likes to spend its time under the hulls of boats tied up at the Gayana dock.

After a productive but exhausting day of above-ground and under-water activity, let the gentle sound of rolling waves lull you into a deep sleep while the jungle sings its cicada songs.

Gayana Eco Resort - Luxurious Rooms

Breakfast is served from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the Macac Restaurant, named for the scores of Macac monkeys that descend into the resort in the late afternoon for recreation. Ripe fruit and well-made entrees are delicious and well-presented. We recommend the papaya with charred lime and vanilla syrup.

Gayana Eco Resort - Dinner by the Beach

Alongside the Macac Restaurant is an infinity pool the resort is justifiably proud of, with a view out towards the ocean and lounge chairs set around it.

The Solace Spa is a sanctuary staffed by soft-spoken staff with strong hands to knead those stubborn knots from tired shoulders and backs. An early reservation is recommended if you do wish the services of a masseuse during your stay. There is a wide range of spa services available for your enjoyment - from traditional Borneo "Urut" massage to papaya-pineapple based skin treatments and a Sabah Green Coffee Body Wrap.

Gayana Eco Resort - The Solace Spa

Lunch and dinner can be ordered either in the Macac Restaurant or The Alu Alu Seafood Restaurant perched over the water with a view back towards the resort and out towards the South China Sea. Live seafood, ranging from tiger garoupa and lobster to the mantis prawn and intensely patterned zebra snail are displayed in tanks to tempt the tastebuds.

Work off a good meal by paddling one of the resort's kayaks across the bay where the ancient mangrove trees proudly show their roots and make for a breathtaking sight.

The tranquility of the resort and the magic of being able to connect with the surrounding wildlife (including a wild boar named 'Joe') make it difficult to get on the boat heading back home.

General Manager Jonathan Wise and Guest Services Manager Alfonso Valirianus are always ready to cater to any whim, like a private dinner by torch and candle-light on the secluded beachfront with your personal BBQ chef and server.


Tim Wrathall
Jun 8 2009 8:48PM
5 out of 5 stars

This is great venue for a short stay to relax and unwind when passing through KK. Excellent accomodation, dining and facilities. Attention to detail and staff were excellent. Recommended for diving, s...

Read More »