Borneo is, of course, famed for its wildlife and unparalleled nature experiences; but Gaya Island Resort, just a brisk speedboat ride from Kinabalu Airport, is a truly unique place. With the magnificent Mount Kinabalu as a backdrop and with a privileged position within a protected nature reserve, your stay here is guaranteed to be a completely unforgettable adventure – you might even spot some of the more elusive tree-dwelling residents…
Gaya Island Resort is set within the prestigious Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Borneo and is ringed by golden beach and dense mangroves. There’s plenty of barefoot luxury to enjoy here, quite literally – this is a walking resort and the use of motorised vehicles is kept to an absolute minimum. Everything about Gaya Island evokes ‘paradise’ – from the Spa Village with traditional therapies to the wooden villas nestled into the hillside covered with rainforest.
Find an underwater utopia in the surrounding crystal-clear waters, home to the house reef full of schools of snappers, clown fish and other colourful marine life. The resort’s dive centre is PADI certified, and is an exhilarating way to explore the waters further. Venture out on your own snorkelling excursion, or join the resident marine biologist to explore this unique ecosystem. The Marine Centre is part of the resort’s commitment to sustainability and conservation, and works through Turtle Rescue, Coral Reef Restoration and Conservation Through Education programmes.
Immerse yourself in the Borneo experience and explore the rugged natural landscape of the island. Two wildlife trails transport visitors through the dense mass and tangle of trees and plant life that make up the rich habitat here, and the naturalist team nurture the wide variety of flora and fauna that characterises the island. The mixed dipterocarp forest and the extensive botanic reserve are testament to Gaya Island’s unique ecosystem and pledge to sustain the environment and the native wildlife.
The Proboscis monkey, distinguished by its large nose, is one of the world’s most endangered species and is endemic to Borneo. The rarely-sighted primate has been spotted around the resort, and recently some guests were thrilled to see a mature Proboscis monkey just metres away from the Spa Village! About 100 Proboscis monkeys live in the jungle and mangroves that surround Gaya Island’s nature trails, and spotting one of these distinctive creatures in their natural habitat is an iconic Bornean experience and a sight you’ll never forget.
After exploring the island’s rich natural habitat, admiring Proboscis monkeys and snorkelling the azure Bornean waters, a little relaxation might be in order. Head to the Spa Village, nestled amongst the mangroves and exuding a tranquil air of relaxation, for age-old therapies and treatments that reflect traditional Sabah methods. Whether you’re indulging in a relaxing massage, walking barefoot along the sand or venturing into the rainforest for a wildlife adventure with the resident naturalist, Gaya Island Resort offers an amazing and unique experience.
To experience Gaya Island Resort and catch a glimpse of the Proboscis monkeys yourself, get in touch with our Destination Experts today.