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The magic of Borneo continues to unfold with tailored trails at Gaya Island Resort

YTL Hotels added Gaya Island Resort, a luxurious resort on the exotic tropical island of Borneo to the fold in the group’s Classic Hotel collection.

PULAU GAYA – As summer approaches, the ‘Distinctively Borneo’, 121-villa Gaya Island Resort is poised to take full advantage of its prime positioning on Pulau Gaya with the launch of new ‘Tailored Trails’ for guests. Located just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Gaya Island Resort is set within the aquamarine waters of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and surrounded by million-year-old forests and mangroves.

Almost marking its first year of operations, the resort has gone from strength to strength, with guests revelling in the property’s PURE experiences, each highlighting unique aspects of the Borneo culture. Days are spent snorkelling with the marine biologist in the house reef or exploring the lush jungle with the resident naturalist, where the elusive band of proboscis monkeys sometimes make their appearance; or winding down in Spa Village Gaya Island – first in the world to be set amidst lush mangroves. Come evening, guests can board the 64-foot luxury yacht for a Sunset Cruise and then delight in tribal-themed beach dinners or sample line-caught, sustainable fish at Fisherman’s Cove.

Further immersion into the distinctive culture of the region can be explored through the resort’s Tailored Trails of Borneo, a collection of four unusual tours which venture into the heart of the land, allowing guests to experience its rich tapestry of nature, culture and history. The Real Kinabalu provides an excursion into the countryside, going on a Dusun village walkabout then culminating with a nature trail at the Botanical Gardens at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. Alternatively, the Countryside Discovery offers exploration on two-wheels, an idyllic ten-kilometre bicycle ride taking guests over multiple adrenalin-building bridges suspended over rivers and into the very heart of a village home where local coffee and doughnuts cooked over a wood-fire await to be snacked on.

Culture buffs will love A Cultural Journey, which includes a visit to the local tamu to sample the fresh bounty of the land, then exploration of the intricate Fook Tet Kung temple and a church built in 1885. The popular Monsopiad Cultural Village is the final stop, where the history of the headhunters unfurls.

For an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime trip, The Lost World fits the bill. A helicopter spirits guests to the secret enclaves of the million-year old Maliau Basin, one of the world’s greatest reserves of biodiversity, where less than 50 percent of the terrain has been explored. Guests are given the opportunity to explore the rainforest with a licensed guide, observing rare and indigenous flora and fauna, before taking a dip into the cascading waterfalls of the Maliau Basin.

While each Tailored Trail of Borneo provides an insight into the myriad of charms which the land presents, guests may count on returning to the sumptuous luxury of their accommodation at Gaya Island Resort, where sometimes, just relaxing on the private beach of Tavajun Bay and looking at the majestic Mount Kinabalu directly ahead is ‘Distinctively Borneo’ enough.

Book Gaya Island Resort’s Distinctively Borneo experience to partake in an authentic journey into the beauty of Sabah. A minimum of four nights’ stay is inclusive of return scheduled speedboat transfers from Sutera Harbour Marina, daily breakfasts for each night of stay, the Real Kinabalu Trail from Tailored Trails of Borneo, the Gaya Snorkelling Exploration and the Guided Nature walk.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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