Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah


In the post before this, I have mentioned that there are 02 Shangri-La in Kota Kinabalu (KK), oh yeah, but there is another Shangri-La which, is not  Shangri-La but used the Shangri-La's name since donkey years ago....and of course, the hotel is also donkey years old and yours truly won't ever stay. But let me say here, that they are not affiliated any way at all with the Shangri-La..OK ?

So, the other actual Shangri-La hotel in Kota Kinabalu (KK), is called The Shangri-La Tanjung Aru or fondly called as STAR ( short abbreviation for S - Shangri-La , T - Tanjung - A - Aru, R - Resort ). This hotel, STAR is located just minutes away from the airport, so it is in the city itself as opposed to Rasa Ria, which I said, like the end of the world :p

Even though being near to the airport, you can't hardly hear any noise from the planes taking off or landing, even though you can see them, so you are definitely safe.

Now, again with the Shang in KK, this hotel has also 02 wings, one is the Tanjung Wing and another one is the Kinablu Wing. Tanjung Wing is the nicer ones with nicer rates of course ;p

We stayed at the Executive Seaview Suites, but I saw the Deluxe rooms which are equally nice and the sizes are great.  Even the rooms at the Kinabalu wing are acceptable in terms of sizes and view. Just that they have the mountain view, which if you like the greens, shouldn't be a problem , right ?

So lets see the Suite :

As you come in.... the living area.
I like hotels that anticipate that we may receive guests and actually have a bigger dining table, instead of putting a table for 02 ?
 Spacious living hall with ample seating for guests, if you are expecting.
 The other view of the room from the bedroom area. If you need another room for 2nd bedroom, there you can see the connecting door.
 The bedroom...with a King Size bed.
 Another view of the can see the door to the main living hall.
 Room comes with a easy to cook instant noodles in the cup :)
 Nice size bathroom...with separate shower stall and bath-tub
 I felt that this is fascinating !!! there is a note pad next to the WC...of course, there is a phone there, and just in case if you need to write notes while doing your business ? hahahahahahha
 A view from the room of the small golf course for putting ? or what do they call it ? 
 The same view but as the sun begin to sets down....
As the hotels are in blocks, so in between there's this garden where you can also walk around....
 That is the bar area where you could see a gorgeous sun set....very famous among the locals, but mind you....quite pricey .
 There is no actual beach at this hotel, so its the sea directly.
 a far away view of the Sunset Bar.
 The hotel has done up slides at the pool area... wooohooo !!! fun time !
 Pool area......
 This is actually man made beach...then you can see the other end is the Spa Area...
 Infinity pool...
 Kids would love the slides !!!
 A secluded Spa area...just for the serenity

I can't help but to load this pic....look at the prawns !!! The food came from the Dinner Buffet counter....So value the money !!!  I think I want to go back to the hotel :)

So....that's the hotel...what do you think ? which one is better ? Rasa Ria or STAR ? :)

OK, my 02 cents worth conclusion :
  1. It is soooo for both Corporate Business and Leisure Travel 
  2. Imagine, if the husband / father has a meeting there, the kids would be happy at the pool and the wife at the spa
  3. Location is also just right...not really into the city, but yet, still near to the city if you want to have a life in KK
  4. Price , yes, on higher side , but this is KK, most hotels are on higher side. 
  5. Yes, I love both the breakfast buffet and dinner buffet :) 

So my friends, go and try...I have given you 02 Shangri-La for KK. See if you would like it ......or not :p



Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Hello folks....

Life has been busy for me, gosh...I just can't wait for summer to be over....... Anyway, want to share with you , the hotel that I stayed at Sabah, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria. Shang has 02 properties in Kota Kinabalu (KK). I will blog the other hotel in another post.

Now, Rasa Ria is actually situated slightly outside the city...well, its not really far, per se, if you live in Kuala Lumpur, the hotel would be in say Subang, then if you live in Zone 1, London, the hotel would be in Zone 4, or maybe get the drift ?

So , its about 30 minutes driving from the airport, depending on the traffic..oh yeah...KK has traffic jams too !!!!! and when I stayed, I said that this place is at the end of the world.

OK, lets go to the room. I stayed at the Deluxe Room ( apparently ) at the Garden Wing....the hotel has 02 wings, one is the Garden Wing and another one is the Ocean Wing.....yes, Ocean wing is the higher end rooms, with higher rates and nicer rooms etc etc etc. Those staying at Ocean Wing has extra perks too....they have another swimming pool !!! and get to use the common pool the one Garden Wing guests would be using. Ocean Wing guests also, would have to check in at the that wing.... oh well, anyway, at the end of the day, if you just want to stay at the resort, minus the extra pool , sharing the same beach, then just take the room at Garden Wing.

This room is a Deluxe room, facing the Garden....this hotel is kind of funny. They have few floors that if you look, they are actually , the facade is facing the sea, but because they have trees that blocking the view, it is called the Garden View and they charge you lower for that. Oh yes.....rooms with Ocean view , Sea View, Pool view, generally are higher in terms of rates.

As you enter......the view of the room
A seating area...which is like a split level ?
Remember I said about the Garden View ?? well, this is the view from my Balcony :)

And if you turn to the right, you would see more rooms where no trees would block their views and their rooms are called Deluxe Sea View :p
Lets go back again, you would see the whole room.....spacious I feel, the hotel has a child policy where you see the sofa / day bed kind of thingy below ? you could use it for your child....
then can add in 01 Extra Bed if you wish, but I feel it would be quite tight....unless rearrange the seating area, then add in one there. 
The beds are not exactly "Single Size" , so in actual Asian may be able to share the bed wit 02 children below 12.
A sunset view from the pool area....
btw....the hotel has a policy that no smoking is allowed by the pool area unless at the BAR at the garden area.
 Ample lounger and nice beach there too....

By the way, the hotel has an Orang Utan Sanctuary just along the beach. They have timing for feedings, for petting and etc. So children would actually love it....I think it is only free for in-house guests but chargeable for outsiders. I am not sure, this, you would have to check.

Remember I told you how far this place is ? and the driving there is not the "oh so nice and pretty kind of view " driving....its dark, some part of the roads have no lighting , so if you plan to stay at Rasa Ria, plan to eat there too...yes, it's is kind of scary to drive out to town using that road. The locals would tell you that there used to be some Tribes' graveyard and etc etc etc *spooky*

BUT, yes minutes from the hotel, there is this Seafood Restaurant called "Salut" ..... fresh seafood that you can just pick and choose, so if you must go out, just go to Salut and back..... try these items below :
The prawns were juicy and succulent !! Fresh from the pond.
 I love these with with the sweet and sour sauce. 
You can't get this in Peninsular Malaysia...don't know why.

So, my friends....... let me recap on Rasa is a place if you want to rest and just do nothing, laze by the sea, the pool. I have met few Europeans that came back every year, just to have their chill out sessions. Not just Europeans, I saw Japanese, Koreans ( oh yes, I forgot....the resort is surrounded by a Golf Course too ) , enjoying the sun and the services.

Last but not not so famous summary would be :
  1. Definitely a family / kids friendly place
  2. Could be pricey on certain months
  3. A nice place for honeymooners ( check out the Premier Room at the Ocean wing )

But then again, you may like it , or you just may don't......



Muslim Food in Hong Kong

OMG !!!! I don't remember being this hard to get Halal, clean, decent food when I went to Guangzhou, China. But somehow, god, it was rather hard to get in Hong Kong.

This is my first time with the kids to Hong Kong, so we had to feed them with rice, noodles along that line, you know ? If Hubby and I, we don't mind just eating bread the whole week we were there or east Sushi like what we have done before.

I have actually a list of the Muslim Restaurants but to find them was madness. We actually found this street called Sugar Street, nearby Sogo in Centrepoint, with loads of Indonesian restaurants which they claimed to be halal, but it just didn't feel "quite right" if you know what I mean.

Luckily we found 02 places that we frequented quite a bit when we were there.

One is on the Hong Kong Island, and is called :

The location is very easy. Go to Times Square. In front of Times square, there is a Sasa. From SaSa, walk towards the corner watch shop. Cross to the right then walk just like 10meter then you can see the signboard. Go into the grilled door, take the old fashion elevator to 1st floor. So in directly, it is the row of shops opposite Times Square.

It is parallel with the Tram rail.  This restaurant serves Indian food with Halal cert. Food was nice and tasty, even have value for money lunch buffet. Set dinners are also served. Best part, they do delivery services. So if you think you don't want to go all the way to Times Square, just call them up .

Second, we went to this another place.... to me, when ever there is a Mosque, meaning there would definitely be a Halal restaurant nearby. This is at Kowloon, at Tsim Sha Tsui.

The mosque....very beautiful.

OK, the restaurant is called Spice. Location would be next to Miramar Shopping Mall. So, any landmark would be, to go Miramar Shopping Mall and the place is just next to it. Its called Knutsford Terrace. They have pubs and bars there too. So, few choices as well. But of course, the halal one would be this. Located on the 2nd floor, it only open for lunch and dinner. For dinner it is open from 6pm onwards.

I suggest for you to make reservations first for dinner as they are very famous for their food. More pricey that the other restaurant but the place itself, is like a "happening" place after working hours.

Some of the meals we had over the period we went there. :
Pineapple fried rice

Lamb Briyani 

Very expensive Roti Canai or Roti Prata....HKD25 per piece.....

Crab which was expensive too, but my son has expensive taste :p

Fancy something local ? Morning glory or Kangkung in Hong Kong.... 

The full address for the restaurant.

and....they also have another restaurant, mainly Indian food at this address. I didn't go as didnt want more of food....but just FYI.

So, these are my 02 choices of Halal Restaurant in Hong Kong. Unless, you go to Stanley market which is quite far....then, in terms of locations, these 02 would be perfect to cater while you are in Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.

Happy eating !


Harbour Plaza North Point, Hong Kong.

We had a summer break recently....a hot one, but its OK, as it is Summer, so unless you want a cold summer, then head to Oz for the winter, isn't it ?

So, we went to Hong Kong.... mostly to get some shopping done and also to hit the Disneyland....oh well, nothing to shout about the Disneyland, maybe because I have been to the ones in States.

We decided, or rather, I decided to stay somewhere a bit out of the town....reason being, the rates would be more reasonable plus, you won't get those ruthless holiday crowds and more of corporate people. But I thought wrong. This hotel still has tourist as they wanted the branding.

We stayed on the Hong Kong Island.. the hotel is right in front a MTR station, which is the Quarry Bay.  From Central station, I think it is the 5th stop if I am not mistaken. It is at a residential area, opposite the hotel , there is a Welcome Supermarket, so can get your stuffs, then the small lane behind, there are 7-elevens and also McDonald's. So if you want a place to retreat at the end of the day, you would find peace over here.

and because I am what they call it as 02A+02C ( 02 adults and 02 children ) , I opted for their one bedroom suite / family room. It consists of 01 bedroom , living area, dining hall, a kitchenette .

As you come in, this is what you are going to see :

Further in....the working table on the left and the living hall.

Kitchenette on the left hand side as you come in.....thankful for the big fridge and microwave. They also have a stove, but meant for long stay guests. If you need the pots and pans and etc, you may ask from them directly. I think there is a certain charge for it.

The dining area....and cabinet. See on the right hand side ? that's also a can store your shoes there. In the room there is another chair and at the working table also another chair. So you can make up to be 04 chairs for a family of 04 .

Further to the right is the loo....small but adequate. No Bath tub but good shower.

Good of the hotel to actually provide things for 4 persons. Some hotels even knowing its for 4 persons, they still provide things meant for 02 persons only.

Then opposite the bathroom is the main bedroom. 

Just a queen size bed....and the room comes with its own TV too.

Other view of the room, from the master bedroom.

Remember the living hall ? the sofa is a Sofa Bed. So, its very easy isn't it ? for a family of 02 Adults and 02 Children ?

They also have a nice pool.

Both kids and adults' pool go up the pool area, you must climb these flights of steps !!! serious !!!!.... 

While some people may not like the hotel due to the area, which is further out....I find that it is OK for my family and I. First of all, its value for money, and the area is very safe. I am going to summary it as :
  1. Good for both  corporate and leisure travellers.
  2. Few categories of rooms to pick from 
  3. Adequate facilities as a hotel 
  4. Lobby may not look impressive but the service is good. 
  5. Location is safe especially for tourist
  6. Have supermarket, convenience store and McD , plus Starbucks 
  7. The only negative is for those who wants to be in Central may not like it, but then again, if you want to be in the hype and buzz of the city, do stay at Kowloon instead of Hong Kong Island. 
So there, yes, if I ever go Hong Kong again, with my family, this hotel would definitely be a choice. Oh well, this is is my 02 cents worth of experience, for you may like it, or you may don't :)