Gayana Eco Resort
Malahom Bay, Gaya Island (08 838 0390/ www.gayana-eco-resort.com). Set on the beautiful Gaya Island and part of a marine park, this resort has 52 overwater villas that will delight and captivate both young and old guests. At its heart, the resort is about protecting and re-generating our precious marine ecology and it features its own onsite Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC). Ideal for children, there is a touch pool where anyone can experience the harmless marine life found in the surrounding waters such as sea cucumbers, starfishes and conches. Kids (and adults) can also get involved in a variety of fun projects and activities at MERC, such as learning how to test water quality and getting out on the reef with an underwater camera.
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
Off Jalan Sepangar Bay, Kota Kinabalu (08 848 0888/www.nexusresort.com). Although this hotel receives mixed reviews about the state of its rooms, with many commenting that the hotel is becoming dated, still Nexus can boast a beautiful location and excellent service. The attention to detail from the staff is second to none. For kids, there is a wide range of facilities including a fun pool, a large toddler pool which is shaded in the afternoons and evenings by a large sunshade, and the Nexie Club, open for guests between the ages of four and 11 years old. The resort restaurants have a kids’ menu. Activities galore await both parent and child from batik painting and origami folding to horse riding and football sessions.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort
Pantai Dalit Beach, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu (08 879 7888/www.shangri-la.com). Voted fifth in Asia’s Top 10 Family Resorts 2014 by readers of the Australian-based Holiday with Kids magazine, Rasa Ria sits in a gorgeous tropical setting, where jungle meets beach. The Kids’ Club, for children aged between four and 12 years old, is possibly one of the best around, full of exciting and educational activities for the young ones to enjoy. You can try your hand at making musical instruments, listen to a story during their story hour, or learn how to weave coconut leaves. There is a nature reserve nearby as well as an orangutan education centre.
Sutera Harbour Resort
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, Kota Kinabalu (08 831 8888/www.suteraharbour.com). Escape from the hustle and bustle of your city life to the beautiful shores of Sabah. Sutera Harbour provides an array of activities for kids. The Kiddies Club is safe and secure and has both indoor and outdoor facilities that cater to your child’s needs. There are games and activities scheduled hourly so easilydistracted minds will always find something of interest. Take a dip in the custom-made kids’ pool for a splashing good time. Staff recommend the Glass Bottom Boat Cruise for an idyllic family outing. Jacuzzi, gym, sauna room, steam room and a fully air conditioned poolside Jungle Café.
Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort
Batang Ai, Lubok Antu (08 358 4388/www. hilton.com). Who can deny the beauty of nature especially when you’re smack bang in the middle of a forest, cocooned in Batang Ai Longhouse Resort? A four-hour drive away from Kuching, this child-friendly resort can provide babysitting services and cribs and it also has a playground and offers a range of family-friendly activities such as sightseeing nature walks and wildlife exploration. It’s an amazing experience to expose your little ones to and a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Permai Rainforest Resort
Jalan Sultan Tengah, Pantai Damai Santubong, Kuching (08 284 6487/6490/ www.permairainforest.com). Half an hour away from Kuching is Permai Rainforest Resort, set at the foot of Mount Santubong in the pristine Bornean rainforest. Permai Rainforest is the ‘nature in a resort’ experience you’ve been looking for. Stay among the cabin tree tops, relax by the beach and go for a trek where flora and fauna are in abundance. Additionally, activities such as night kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching, flying fox and treasure hunts will ensure that your older kids are having a great time.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort