Relax and Unwind: Gaya Island


If in need of a warm and short break somewhere far away, we’ve got THE best option for ya, it’s called Gaya Island. A biodiverse jungle and marine wonderland (tho Philippines still remains our favourite), this Borneo island is a little gem minutes away from mainland Kota Kinabalu, in Sabah. The island has no inhabitants other than those staying at the only two resorts in the island, and that’s the only way to access it.

Borneo is in many occasions overlooked by backpackers, who most of the times would be more tempted to vacation in other islands in Thailand or Indonesia. Fools! Malaysia has so much to offer.

We stayed 4 nights at Gaya Island Resort, and we felt like King & Queen. For starters, prices for a westerner are affordable here, but considering you are in a five-star resort, you are in for a treat. A 5-day holiday all-inclusive was about £700/ person.

Rooms are like suites, we had a bathroom with his and hers sinks, a bathtub that fitted at least 4 people (2 sitting next to each other) and a shower that fitted 10. Not to mention a walk-in closet and an extremely comfy extra-big bed…

Coffee could have been better and food at times could get repetitive considering there is nowhere else to go, but the resort has managed to create different atmospheres and you can indulge yourself into a BBQ night one day, immerse yourself into an izakaya evening or pretend you are at a fine dining restaurant on another night. There’s also delicious snack type food (hello fried calamari!) that you can indulge by the pool.

And the poo! An infinity pool overlooking a beautiful calm beach that you can reach straight away, just few steps from the pool. Could we ask for anything else?

There is wifi everywhere and a meeting room/ library and a gym, for those who can’t fully disconnect from the outside world.

In addition, there’s plenty of activities on offer. From snorkel and diving trips to mountain walks and early morning yoga, the options are vast. Not to mention a necessary #treatyoself day at their renowned luxury spa. Something worth your dollah, not to be missed.