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Bunga Raya is a romantic property on Gaya Island, off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. The property - named after a beautiful hibiscus flower - is a secluded island hideaway, framed by a a white sand beach and lush jungle. The private wooden villas have been hand-crafted by local tradesman using natural materials and terraced into the surrounding hillside, reflecting the traditional simplicity of Borneo's architectural style. The resort has a relaxed atmosphere with stunning views out to the beach and South China Sea from its villas and infinity pool. It also has an excellent spa and can offer private dining experiences near the beach for a truly romantic experience.

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Rooms

The resort offers seven villa types, all spacious and well-equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning, satellite TVs and safes. The entry-level Superior Villas offer views of the ocean or jungle from private balconies, and at 70 square meters provide ample space for a couple. Deluxe Villas are more spacious, featuring a separate living room that can be converted into a second bedroom, making them ideal for families or friends, while Plunge Pool Villas offer a touch more luxury with their own pool.

For complete privacy, the romantic Treehouse Villas are accessed via a jungle walkway and are partially hidden by trees, making them ideal for honeymooners. They also have a Jacuzzi or plunge pool. The two and three bedroom Deluxe Suites are ideal for families, while the opulent Royal Villa has two bedrooms and a secluded location surrounded by jungle and looking out to sea. With its own butler, chef and housekeeper, two plunge pools and a private stretch of beach, this is unmatched luxury.

Location

Bunga Raya is located only 15 minutes by speedboat from the city of Kota Kinabalu. From the resort, guests can trek through the surrounding jungle, kayak through nearby mangroves or take a snorkeling trip out to the nearby national marine park.

Food and Drink

The resort has two main dining options. The Koi is housed at the resort's heart and takes its name from the large koi pond located behind the restaurant. It serves as the main dining outlet, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a modern European Bistro style. The Koi serves daytime snacks around the pool area and also has private dining cabanas close to the beach. The Pantai Grill is a more laid-back, oceanfront dining venue and has a nightly beach barbecue with a choice of meats and seafood grilled to order. The resort often has live music here, creating a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

Families

The resort is primarily aimed at couples and adults, but families are also welcome. The resort allows one child (under 12) with an extra bed in the Deluxe Villas. As there are no connecting villas, families with small children should look at the larger multi-bedroom options.

Honeymooners

Bunga Raya is a great place for honeymooners and those looking to celebrate in style. The romantic Treehouse Villas are a great accommodation option with their private Jacuzzis or plunge pools and their secluded setting surrounded by trees. The resort can assist with romantic private dining experiences and offers couples treatments in the spa, while the concierge team can assist with extra touches to make each stay personal and special.

Facilities and Activities

The resort has an excellent infinity pool and a small gym housed within a separate timber structure surrounded by trees. The spa has private treatment rooms and spa pavilions offering a variety of massages, scrubs and facials using traditional Western and Asian methods. Kayaking, diving, jungle trekking and snorkeling from the beach are all activity options during your stay, with the resort even having its own PADI diving center.

Our opinion

Bunga Raya is one of our favorite beach destinations in Borneo. The spacious villas, great service and sweeping sandy beaches offer a truly tranquil island experience. The resort also has the benefit of being close to Kota Kinabalu, providing a luxurious end to a wildlife tour of Borneo.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.