Beach in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Gaya Island
Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa
- Zipline through the jungle
- Relaxing activities
Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa is surely one of Borneo’s best beach destinations. You’ll get here on a speedboat from Kota Kinabalu. It takes about half an hour, but you’ll feel a world away from city life on this island paradise, surrounded by a turquoise-meets-emerald sea.
You’ll stay in one of the resort’s handcrafted timber stilted villas. Their vaulted ceilings make these already roomy abodes feel extra spacious. They’re luxuriously finished with marble and local stone and high thread-count linens. Some have private plunge pools, while the resort’s two Treehouse Villas are special secluded hideaways reached by jungle walkways. Families are comfortably accommodated in the two and three bedrooms villas.
If all this resort had was its beach, it would still make an excellent option for an island escape. But Bunga Raya offers much more to its guests, including its own PADI diving centre, infinity pool, a spa high in the jungle, ziplining and water sports. Hikes into the island’s dense rainforest to explore the remarkable range of flora and fauna are popular, too.
Dining is an informal affair here and unsurprisingly, the local seafood features prominently on the menus (although the wine list is unexpectedly extraordinary – there are 4000 bottles tucked away in the resort’s cellar). More often than not, there’s a beach barbeque to round off a perfect day on this tropical paradise.
When our day consists of snorkelling and sunbathing in the morning, jungle ziplining and hiking in the afternoon, a beach barbeque in the evening and a sleep in a luxurious villa nestled in the jungle at night, it’s safe to say we’re happy campers.