SHANGRI-LA’S Rasa Ria Resort & Spa sits between the Borneo jungle and the white sand of Pantai Dalit Beach a stone’s throw from Kota Kinabalu.
The luxury resort is not only is home to a championship golf course and the serene day spa but plays host to the Orangutan Education Centre where a school of baby orangutan orphans live as they learn to fend for themselves in a journey that will take them back to the bush.
There are two wings to the property with the “garden wing” and “ocean wing” recently benefiting from a $20 million refurbishment and the idyllic “ocean wing” boasting enormous guest suites finished with an oversized bath on the veranda.
“Among the most spacious in the region, Ocean Wing rooms are designed with the highest trappings of luxury and comfort,” the resort’s website explains.
“The rooms are beautifully decorated with restful earthy colours and natural wood inspired by the ethnic richness of Sabah.
“Set in acres of tropical gardens, the new swimming pool and its surroundings are designed to evoke an exclusive retreat for guests to revel in.”
There are 90 rooms in this wing, with all suites offering ocean views and sunsets that turn the sky pastel shades of pink and purple, with a housekeeper coming in during dinner to run a bath on the veranda to allow for a peaceful late-night soak to look at the sky and listen to the waves lapping against the sand.