Sabah, Borneo

It is rare to be able to stay at a resort that allows you to enjoy the highlights of the country you are visiting without having to travel further than its grounds. Sabah’s remarkable natural attractions include a complex rainforest, glorious beaches and stunning wildlife, especially the orang-utan – found only in Borneo and Sumatra. You will find all three and more at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu.

The temptation to do nothing more than laze about the pool vies with the desire to go horseback riding, play golf at the championship Dalit Bay Golf and Country Club, cruise to the nearby islands on the Rasa Ria catamaran, bump along the great outdoors on the resort’s organised all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safari, windsurf or hike on a trail through the secondary forest of the Nature Reserve. All this ensures your enjoyment, while the well-appointed and recently refurbished Garden Wing rooms complements your stay and allows you to relax and rejuvenate in the outside bath while watching the sunset over the South China Sea.

If you want to be closer to the city life and island activities, then the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa is the perfect setting. Set amidst 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the South China Sea, the deluxe property is one of Asia’s most exotic retreats, yet only 10 minutes from the sprawling capital of Kota Kinabalu and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Facing the resort and minutes away by speedboat are five tropical islands and in the distance looms Southeast Asia’s highest peak, the 4,101 metre Mount Kinabalu, one of the world’s heritage site.

Despite its largely undiscovered charms, Sabah is easily accessible. Direct flights from Kuala Lumpur only take two and a half hours as well as from Singapore and Hong Kong. Direct flights also link Kota Kinabalu to Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Osaka, Shanghai, Kaoshiung, Manila, Perth, Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei and Kuching in Sarawak.

www.tourismmalaysia.co.nz