Melissa C. Koh

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Gaya Island Resort

Copenhagen

Who would have thought, that just 3 hours away from our island home, we would arrive to such beautiful clear water, pristine sand beaches, sheltered coral reefs, an amazing resort with stand-alone hill villas and uninterrupted views of Mount Kinabalu?

One morning, we woke up at 5AM to prepare for a sunrise breakfast. That was in itself a morning to remember! We witnessed the sun peeking through the horizon and had our eyes set on the first rays of light breaking through the clouds. It was amazing!

We also got to experience the wilderness of Borneo over the entire duration of our stay. The entire island resort seemed like it was fully integrated into the natural environment. We found a monkey just outside our villa on a couple of occasions.

The snorkelling and jungle trek was really good as we spotted a good amount, full of characterful inhabitants. I cannot believe I actually snorkelled given that I was (and still am) terrified of fishes but I guess this is one step to overcoming my fear(s). I feel so accomplished about my whole snorkelling episode.

Combining comfort and style, this island resort is integrated into the natural environment. Conservation and protection of the natural habitat seem to be the resort’s key focus. We witnessed a turtle being rescued and released back into the sea. It was so cute and yet heartwarming at the same time.

We were also taken into the mangrove swamps on our kayaks. It kinda felt like we were floating into a whole new world. I swear I almost burst into song.

We had the luxury of taking a 5 minute boat ride to the private Tavajun Bay one afternoon, where we enjoyed lunch and some quiet time by the sea.

At the end of our trip, we were treated to a mini retreated at the Spa Village where the beautiful space provided an idyllic location amongst the mangroves. Furthermore, we were offered a good variety of spa programmes from the hair mask to the cocooning body wraps and of course, the iconic massages.

I’m definitely adding this to my list of favourite short getaway locations with all that the resort has to offer!
Now that’s definitely starting 2017 with quite a bang!

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