The ideals of a desert island paradise are often hard to find in reality, so you know it’s special when you do. The Bungaraya Resort isn’t perfect, but it certainly ticks enough boxes to fulfil a lot of those desert island dreams. Just off the coast of Sabah, on the northern shore of Gaya Island, and sheltered by a huge horseshoe-shaped bay, Bungaraya is an oasis of calm and picture-postcard vistas; somewhere to tune out from the noise of modern life and connect with Borneo’s extraordinary coast.
Each villa feels private and serene, surrounded by greenery with views over the hillside and beach. Relax on private balconies or secluded sands, or with treatments at the spa. Time here isn’t all about relaxation, however - many of Gaya Island’s true treasures lie in it’s adventures. Dive or snorkel beneath the crystal-clear waters, charter a boat to explore the bay, trek into the island’s jungle interior or through the canopy, and even soar over the treetops on a zipline.
On the northern shore of Gaya Island, bounded by dense jungle and a picture-perfect tropical beach, this gorgeous resort is just offshore from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
Snorkelling and diving
Boat trips, kayaking and paddle-boarding
All the villas are spectacular, but the plunge pool villa felt really special. We were able to properly unwind. The sunset cruise was incredible.
Discover what to expect from staying at Bungaraya Resort
The waters around Sabah’s coastline are teeming with life. From glittering shoals and rainbow flashes between the coral to sea turtles, rays and even Black Tipped Reef Sharks, snorkelling and diving in these waters offers extraordinary encounters. For those who prefer to stay above water can charter a boat out into the bay, or kayak and paddleboard nearer to the shore. Even when you’re not on or in the water, it’s hard to tear your gaze away from the idyllic horizon.
Even the most adventure-hungry among us need to take time out once in a while, and when we do, we want to take it in a place like Bungaraya. The balance is just right, with enough contemporary convenience to create a sense of gentle luxury without detracting from the unspoilt beauty of the landscape. Relaxing at the resort is smooth and refreshing, and when you feel like a little more activity and adventure, it’s right on your doorstep. Staying here really allows you to reset your sense of wellbeing without feeling stagnant - perfect.
Relax in secluded comfort on your villa verandah, in your plunge pool or by the main infinity pool overlooking the sea. Head out on the water in a chartered boat, or on a kayak or paddleboard, or venture beneath the waves to snorkel over the coral. Trek into the jungle, wander across the canopy walkway, or soar through the trees on a zipline. End the day with a sunset cruise and a glass of wine or two from the resort’s impressive cellar.
Explore an untamed habitat concealing endangered animals, rare birds and plants with mysterious medicinal properties; all before steeling away for a remote island retreat.