“You have to see where I’m sitting,” I said to my daughter after collecting her from the lobby of Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa in Kota Kinabalu. We were visiting friends who live near the luxury resort and they had just dropped her off after a play date.
While she was off with friends, I stayed put on the resort to enjoy a 2.5-hour Indulgence of Time treatment (aromatic bath, massage and facial in a private villa—I’ll tell you more about it later) at CHI Spa. Then, I thought I’d park myself in a prime viewing spot to watch one of Malaysian Borneo’s famous sunsets—glass of wine by my side—at the Sunset Bar, located on its own little private island (pictured above).
They were offering a two-for-one drink special, lucky for me, because my daughter and I eventually spent the next several hours here chatting on our comfy lounge bed. I actually brought my computer with the hopes of working a bit, but how can you with a view like this?
Sunset Bar is accessible to resort guests only during sunset hours for a good reason. It is widely-regarded as one of the best places in Kota Kinabalu—some say in all of Malaysian Borneo—to watch the sunset. I would have to agree, especially with kids in tow. It was nice to have this perk available just steps from our room.
Unlike other parts of the world, the sunset in Kota Kinabalu seems to linger a bit. The sky slowly changes color and the sun sinks below the horizon at a leisurely pace, which makes booking a sunset cruise (available through the resort’s STAR Marina) another awesome option.
A round of Malaysian satay and dips, comfortable seating, extraordinary ambience and good conversation is exactly our speed these days.
I read that sunsets in Kota Kinabalu are so spectacular because:
- The sun appears larger closer to the equator.
- Malaysian Borneo’s air quality is quite good.
- Tropical humidity forms dramatic clouds that accentuate color.
Where we live, the sun sets rather quickly. Here, it’s quite a show.
Kota Kinabalu sunsets are so beautiful that even local residents say they that never tire of them.
If you have a life bucket list, you should add this sunset to it. Guests of Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa have an exclusive viewing spot where you can see it in a luxe environment at the water’s edge.
Sitting here at the Sunset Bar while witnessing such a spectacular event… I couldn’t help but feel like I have already lived a full life. It was a definite pinch-me moment.
Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
No. 20 Jalan Aru
(60 88) 327 888
Top photo is courtesy of Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa