If you’re looking to combine ecology and luxury, we’ve found just the place in Malaysia for you. Baroque Travel explores Gayana Eco Resort
There is nothing more pampering than feasting on organic food and enjoying a true eco-friendly vacation while being indulged in the utmost luxury. Nestling in the crescent-shaped Malohom Bay on Gaya Island, just off the coast of Sabah in Malaysia Borneo, Gayana Eco Resort offers an unrivalled marine and adventure experience. The island is surrounded by numerous coral reefs where guests can explore a magical underwater world.
Guests are accommodated in one of 52 overwater tropical villas with stunning views of the sea, mangrove forest or tropical jungle. Each villa is private and specifically designed in traditional Borneo style to enhance the soothing sounds of the sea below.
The resort has its very own Marine Ecology Research Center, which concentrates on the protection and regeneration of Gaya Island’s precious marine environment. This Center is the only one of its kind in the world that is located on an island resort and it propagates endangered marine life and coral reefs. With knowledgeable guides whose true vocation is marine conservation, guests enjoy numerous sea activities including kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving. In addition, the more adventurous can also go jungle trekking to learn about the unique environment located on this paradise island.
Aside from the wealth of knowledge one can accrue whilst on a stay to this stunning island resort, there are numerous relaxing activities and facilities. The resort’s Echo Wellness Spa combines the best of traditional Asian and Western philosophies in their beauty and wellness treatments – a welcome respite from more adventurous pursuits. Expert therapists incorporate indigenous plants, oils and ingredients from the Kerstin Florian range of products in various massages, scrubs and facials.
Dining is a delight at this eco-concerned resort, with numerous local and international dishes prepared in a choice of locations. The resort’s overwater Chinese seafood restaurant, Alu Alu, is open for lunch and dinner. Diners literally choose their meal from 28 glass tanks, or order from an extensive menu. The restaurant is committed to sustainable aquaculture, so only certain seafood is prepared. (They do not serve shark’s fin.)
A popular choice is to dine in private on the Alu Alu Restaurant Jetty. Alternatively, if you are staying in an Ocean View Villa or Palm Villa, you can choose to dine in secluded comfort on your own private open deck. It’s the perfect way to spend a romantic evening with the cool sea breeze and the sound of the waves as your only company.
After a full day of activities, even if you’re just laying on the beach or your private deck, the best place to wind down with a pre-dinner drink and snacks is at the Latitude Bar. Sabah’s sunsets are legendary, there is no better way to end a day in paradise.