Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
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TravelPod Member ReviewsNexus Resort & Spa Karambunai Kota Kinabalu
Our stay in Nexus Hotel in Karambunai was good. Good food. Good amenities. People were nice. Even the beach was nice and quiet. It wasn't crowded in September so we really had the nice and quiet vacation that we wanted. The only thing is, we were bitten by insects in the hotel room. We stayed in 4 Beringin. We went home having a lot of small swollen insect bites.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai Kota Kinabalu
Not as good as it looks
The Nexus resort lies around 20 miles North of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. It looks great but it has problems. The rooms are brilliant, the staff are the best we have ever come across around the world. The food could be superb but the buffet meals were a bit too cold. The main problem is that this resort is a major convention centre and delegates often took priority over the hotel guests. It also created an unbalance of 'the sexes' as most delegates were male. This is a clinical hotel that lacked character which is a great pity because it is in a great position and could offer so much more. Next time we go to Sabah, we will stay in a different hotel.
Austin & Penny Orton
Nexus Resort is a perfect place to unwind and be pampered.
We have just spent 10 days at the Nexus Resort (Feb 2005) and cannot recommend it highly enough. We had booked at the Magellan Sutera Beach, but changed at the last minute because we wanted a beach to walk along. Although the Magellan is a superb hotel and adjacent to Kota Kinabalu, we much prefered the Nexus which is a 30 minute shuttle bus ride away, as it had everything we wanted and more.
The beach is around 4 miles long and we walked the whole length of it several times. On two occasions we actually bumped into another holiday maker!
The resort iteslf is magnificent and luxurious. The pools and retaurants are superb. We stayed in the Borneo Rooms overlooking the sea. Beutiful room, with a bed the size of a small tennis court! The gardens are beautiful and a pleasure to walk around.
The golf course is to die for and not too dear (£25.00 per round plus £5 for the buggy, £12 for club hire and £3 for golf shoe hire). The water hazards on 11 of the 18 holes come free as do the incredible views and the tropical rain forests that meet the fairways. The cousre is immaculate and the greens are superb. A true golfers paradise.
A massage at The Spa is a must and worth every penny, sheer luxury.
Excursions can be booked at the Travel centre in the Hotel
The service from every member of staff was superb. The Malay are the most friendly people we have come across. Their smiles and greetings will light up youir holiday.
The food is top class and varied to every taste. The buffets are great value. at £10 per head and as much as you can eat. Drinks are not as cheap as we expected, £2.50 for a glass of beer and £10 for a bottle of wine. However, we met people from other hotels on trips and learned that this is common in the hotels.
Although the Nexus is "out of town" don't be put off. The hourly free shuttle bus is there if you want it and when you arrive back at the Nexus after a trip, you will appreciate what a paradise it is!
Don't hesitate for a minute about staying at the Nexus, you will love it.
Steve & Gail from Harrogate England
Out of this world!
Retuned from KK yesterday, and couldn't wait to write a review and tell the world about this amazing place! My husband and i spent 10 nights at the nexus resort and absolutely loved every minute. The whole place is world class for opulence, cleanliness, service and natural beauty.
Flew out with Malaysia Airlines and would totally recommend this airline. Excellent.
On arrival we were given an Oceanview Deluxe room, which was huge with a large balcony, a spacious bathroom with large bath and shower big enough for two! The views from our room (8540) were breathtaking. The bed was much larger than a kingsize and very comfortable. Also the english TV channels were great. The rooms were cleaned and tidied twice a day with fresh sheets daily on the bed.
We would recommend very high sunscreen as we were burnt after just one hour in the sun wearing factor 20. Which gave us a brilliant excuse to spend a few hours in the sumptuous spa, having the sunburn treatment! What relief.
Restaurant wise, we loved the Noble House which is a chinese. Where a two course meal is around 20 gbp, which is very reasonable compared with UK prices. Also the evening buffet in the penyu is very good with a varied selection of quality foods to try. Room service is inexpensive and tasty, and the pool bar does delicious fresh coconut milk which is great fun to drink staight from the coconut! For a sophisticated evening cocktail with a wonderful cabaret singer, check out the colonial-style Horizon Lounge.
The pool area is superb, and there is always a friendly face to take orders for drinks and snacks, this service is also offered at the stunning beach, where it is a little more bearable in the heat as there is a sea breeze. The sea is gorgeous, clear and warm as a bath. There were no jellyfish or seaweed!
We loved being in Borneo in Feb as we were there for the Chinese new year period, which meant everywhere was decorated with red, lions, dragons, lamps and ribbons, it was great fun, we also saw a few lion dances, a tradition to ward off bad spirits in the new year.
There are also tons of bargains in KK for gifts and souvenirs, the supermarkets are ridiculously cheap for snacks and drinks. There are not many decent restaurants unless you are a seafood lover (which we aren't!) So it is best to eat at the hotel, where the standard is so high, you know you won't get a dodgy tummy!
You will probably read that the people of Sabah don't expect tips for their service, this is true, but it doesn't hurt to reward their excellent service, as they are so poor. Tips are always very gratefully accepted.
I could go on all day, as this is the best holiday we have been on. We would go back tommorrow if only we could. Go and see for yourselves!
A very special place
We were at Nexus 5-15 Jan. This is a very special place for nature lovers.We were in many tropical and equatorial places,but never saw such a beautiful well maintened gardens,grass-plots and ponds. We booked for borneo villa garden-view but were lucky to change it for sea-view.This is the best in Nexus.We had a patio with table and two soft chiars and extra view of a huge grass-plot with palms,beach and south-china sea.Everything is perfect there,accept for us, this sea.Water is very rough and not clear at all.We love to swim,but there it was like fighting every time.Locals said that in spring and summer is more calmer.For the rest, everithing was wonderful.We loved "Kingfisher"'s sea-food buffet - tons of shrimps,prowns,scallops,octopuses etc. every evening and 3 very good musicians who play "oldies".Special buffet dinners at "Penu" were also very interesting expiriens. And don't leave Nexus without Borneo massage.This is something ! And of course,people working at Nexus, from managers to beachcombers are extraodinary,very friendly and accomodating. Sabah people,that was may be the best part of our trip.
Truly wonderful resort
My husband and I visited Borneo over Xmas & New Year 2004/05.
The Nexus Resort was exquisite!
Rooms were very nice (we were in a Borneo Villa).
Good point - they leave you to stock up your own mini-bar, rather than fill it full of things you don't necessarily like.
Staff were delightful, very friendly and helpful - forever smiling.
The restaurants were brill - especially Olives - oh yes!
Don't get me wrong, we love to eat traditional cuisine, but this mediterranean restaurant happened to be the best there.
The grounds are beautiful for a stroll, especially at dawn as the birds come to life.
The private beach is lovely - there is something about being able to see Mount Kinabalu behind the hotel, along with the breathtaking scene of lush rainforest. Very eco-friendly too, as the hotel is well disguised and difficult to see from sea.
Neither of us are golfers, but if you are, then this course must be up there with most beautiful.
The Spa is another high point, very relaxing and again staff are superb!
The pictures don't do it justice.
Very reasonably priced too (compared with the UK). Don't misunderstand - not cheap - but for the same standard of service and quality, excellent!
The trip to the jungle is a good overnight event - visit the orangutans, see the proboscis monkeys and a whole range of other wildlife.
To sum up - we have probably stayed in other hotels that are as nice, but with this hotel there appeared to be nothing that required attention, anywhere. Plus, there is something to be said about having welcoming locals.
Altogether a fab destination.
One of the best Hotels I've neen to
Where do you start. Amazing!. This hotel has to be on one of the best beaches I've seen. In the last 7 years my wife and I have been to 15 different places around the world and this is as good as you would expect in Dubai! The place was packed full yet you never saw many people. If I'd asked the hotel to clear everyone off the beach so we could walk along hand in hand on a deserted beach, I didn't have to. We walked to the next hotel (5 miles ) one day and only saw 2 other couples and a beach cleaner. The best rooms are the Borneo Villas ( upstairs) Unless you can afford a presidential villa which have their own pool.
We were there over Christmas and New Year 2004/2005 and the Tsunami had just hit on our 4th Day. It didn't effect the holiday just made everything a little more meaningful. The gala Dinner on New Year was the best ever. They made the entire ballroom into a Jungle Complete with streams, waterfall, full canopy and bamboo All for one night.
The food is great, The med restaurant - Olives - is excellent - probably about £100 for 2 including wine which is a bit dear. But your on holiday so who cares.
If your looking for lively then this is definately not for you. The pub / nightclub is called Darling Darling and has a part time DJ mixed with a live local band. ok if you like that sort of thing
The main reason we went was to relax. We had 5 different massages but try not to do the detox one if your sunburnt. They are all excellent as is the Spa. If your planning any trips a must see is Sepilok - the oran-utan rehabilitaion centre. but best was the jungle trek, but be warned it's a flight to Sandakan and then a 3 hour drive at 30kph over a dirt track to get to the rivers - but one of the best experiences I have had in my entire life. It make you wonder why we all sit in traffic jams in pokey offices. They seem to have their priorities in a better place than us.
In summary, long haul from Scotland (Edin-Heath-Kuala-Kota) but well worth it. People are the most friendly in Asia. Good exchange rate. Great Beaches. Undefinable jungle beauty. But total pampering luxury from the hotel when you get back from the jungle shed!
If you have thought about going to Borneo, stop thinking - do it - you will not regret it
Fantastic resort the nexus
My partner and I went to borneo in september 04 for the first time, what a place. I must add that the nexus resort was fantastic and the staff very freindly. This has to be the best resort I have ever stayed having travelled around the world. The facilities were great, the 3 pools very clean and well equipped with sunbeds and fresh thick towels available for your use. The beach is 6km long white sand and water so warm its like having a bath. As for dinning a choice of five restraunts to choose from with the finest dinning I have ever had and very reasonable prices approx £25 for three courses with drinks for two people. It also has a top range spa facility which is a must. And I reccommend the 4 wheel drive excursion booked through explore borneo via the hotel. All in all a fantastic holiday finished off by staying a 5 star resort what more could anyone want.
Nice, but not for us!
We stayed at the Nexus Resort from 3 - 16th November. We booked with Virgin Holidays after our orignal booking had to be changed due to Hurricane Ivan devastating the island of Grenada. We only had the choice of Nexus or The Magellan Sutera and chose Nexus because of it's beautiful 6km stretch of beach as we love long beach walks. Maybe we should have paid more attention to the fact that it was a 40 minute transfer (as opposed to 10 minutes to the Magellan) from Kota Kinabalu but when booking didn't realise that there is very little between Nexus and the town. All of the excursions that we did meant that our days out were long and the journey from resort to KK became quiet boring, particularly when the traffic was heavy. It could take nearly an hour to return from town when dropping off guests at other hotels.
The Nexus is a genuine 5 star resort and the majority of the staff are really sweet and helpful. We arrived very late at night and all the restaurants were closed so room service was the only option to eat. We used the service a couple of times and it was quite good. The only 'down' side was the price they charged for cans of coke! The exchange rate was approx 6.45 MYR to the £, in the resort shop (which closed at 9pm) coke was 3MYR (double what it cost in town) on room service however, it was 9 MYR per can. In addition to this charge there was another 5% goverment tax and a further 10% service charge added. When including a tip for the nice young man that brought the cans, this was quite a surprise (nay, shock) when we got out bill! A point of note.....EVERYTHING at Nexus, without exception carried this extra charge so what appeared to be a 'reasonable' charge for spa treatments became quite pricy when including a tip. The spa and treatments were very nice too.
We had an ocean view room on the 5th floor. These rooms overlook a small lagoon (where we occasionally spotted a 3ft monitor lizard) and the ocean. The room was really lovely although lacked storage space. The bedding used is top quality as are the towels. The room was cleaned to a very high standard every day. The bathroom was lovely with a bath and enormous shower, bathrobes and slippers were also provided. I did find seeing some guests wandering around the resort in hotel bathrobes slightly bizzare? There was a tv although with limited channels. The balcony was nice but chairs out there were not the most comforable to relax in.
The Nexus proudly display numerous awards for both the hotel and it's food and although we didn't try all the restaurants, we found the food distinctly average. The Beach BBQ was expensive and not very good (and boy do those sand flies bite!) I ate a la carte in the Kingfisher and my husband had the buffet, again it was pretty average. The Mediterranean was very dear and there was hardly ever anyone in there. The prices in the Chinese restaurant were roughly 4 x the price of eating in a great Chinese in KK before adding their 15%.
The Lobby lounge in the evening was lovely with a very good house trio providing laid-back entertainment. Darlin, Darling also had a good band playing more up beat music most nights but with only a small number of guests in there, it lacked atmosphere.
Once of the problems that we encountered was swimming in the sea. We asked a member of staff on the beach if it was safe as we'd seen 'vinegar stations' on the beach. Despite being told it was safe, we donned snorkels and masks and within seconds saw jellyfish the size of footballs. The sea was SO warm, it would have been lovely to swim there but wasn't prepared to have my holiday spoiled by a sting from a jellyfish. The walks on the virtually deserted beach in the early morning were fantastic but remember to take a bottle of water as the humidity really takes some getting used to.
We'd been informed that there was a meditiation platform high on a hill at the bottom left hand side of the beach that you could watch the sunset from. It was a very strenuous climb to the top of the hill....no meditation platform though! When we returned after a 90 minute walk, we were told 'oh, it may be being renovated'.
Virgin do not have their own rep at Nexus and use Exotic Borneo staff instead, they are not based at the hotel so you need to make an appointment to see them. This is not the fault of the hotel obviously but we have many issues concerning our level of service from them that we will be taking up with Virgin holidays.
We took a trip down to the lagoon park to go water skiing, there wasn't a soul there apart from staff who willingly got a boat out for us. When I stepped into the water, it was almost hot BUT looking underwater found it like thick pea soup. It was so revolting that I stayed out while my husband skiied.
Nexus provided a shuttle bus into KK which was 40MYR for a return ticket compared to 70MYR for a taxi one-way. Unfortunately, the last shuttle returned from KK at 7pm so if you wanted to eat out, you had to do so early. We managed it a couple of times and used a taxi once. There are some fab restaurants in KK, we tried Thai (so good we went back a second night), Chinese and a Sea Food restaurant. All very good and about a 1/4 of the cost of hotel food.
In summary, Nexus is a lovely although very isolated resort which is fine for a laid-back chill out holiday. It was too large for us and we found the humidity difficult to get used to. I guess it will be the Caribbean next year then?
Become jungle VIP's!
We stayed at the Nexus Resort, just outside KK in May 04. Our stay was bliss and I cannot recommend it enough. If you are looking for a restful and laid back time, then the Nexus is the place for you. The resort has a large golf course, but not being a golfer, I cannot confirm how good it is. I can however vouch for the rest of the resort. Set on its own private 6km beach the hotel and grounds are vast, but stunning. We booked a garden cottage which was very well equipped with all the usual 5 star amenities and fridge (can be stocked reasonably in the hotel shop). Our balcony overlooked the rain forest and well tended gardens and being a quiet time of the year, it seemed, we were not overlooked by any other guests. The service at all the bars and restaurants, there are four, was first class and the standard of food excellent. We favoured the King Fisher Restaurant for evening meals as it was open to the night air, but strategically placed fans kept diners cool. Both buffett and Al la Carte are available. Entertainment is laid on at various times and venues throughout the hotel, as well as games and leisure pursuits for all to join in, if desired. During our stay there was an excellent house band to entertain each evening in the 'Darlin Darlin' Fun pub, or for the more sedate, a further vocalist performed each evening in the Horizon Lounge. The temperature is a constant 30 degrees morning, noon and night, which I loved, but the humidity is high and takes getting used to. The tropical sun is also very hot, so drinking plenty of water and constantly slapping on the sun tan lotion is a must. The Nexus also has an excellent Health Spa and Gym. Reflexology specialists also tour the hotel pools and beach area offering guests this service. At the end of our holiday we flew up to stay on Turtle Island (only 1 star accomm, so expect a culture shock) plus visit the Sepilog Orang-utan Rehab Centre. Both of which I would highly recommend. Sightings of Orangs are not guaranteed, but we were lucky in seeing over 8 of these wonderful and entertaining creatures. Sabah, although a very long flight from the UK (16 hours, via Brunei), certainly delivers. The people are charming and courteous and that alone would take me back to Malaysia, the rest is a bonus!