Shangri-La Rasa Ria
Set amid lush greenery upon a white sandy beach and with Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club at its back, Shangri-La Rasa Ria really impresses. The resort is one of our top picks because of the range of activities that draw upon local culture – and of course, the orangutans.
The resort boasts the usual facilities for kids – there’s a spacious kids’ club for children from 4-12 years old and a cool pool with a big slides – but it also allows families to get up close to one of Borneo’s most famous inhabitants. Jointly with the State Wildlife Department, Shangri-La operates a nature reserve and orangutan rehabilitation centre, where guests can appreciate the primate (feeding sessions occur twice daily at 10am and 2pm). Kids aged 5-12 years old can become ‘rangers’ and help out staff with preparing food for the furry-limbed creatures.
What’s more, the activities on offer to kids are quite unique – sure there’s batik painting and arts and crafts but there’s also learning how to shoot a blowpipe, taking pony rides on the beach, and experiencing traditional dances and games such as the feather ball game. Staying at this resort allows your child to learn a little about Sabah’s traditional cultures.
Finally, kids are well looked after at meal times. Kids under 12 years old can tuck into complimentary buffet breakfasts and dinners when dining with a paying adult. But if you prefer à la carte, the resort has some excellent restaurants including the popular Indian restaurant Naan and the Western restaurant Coast. You can find the resort’s extensive kids’ menu in all restaurants. Pantai Dalit Beach, Tuaran, Sabah (08 879 7888/www.shangri-la. com/kotakinabalu/rasariaresort).