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Manukan Island Resort Review

Tthe Manukan Island Resort is the only accommodation available on the island as there are no other resorts or hotels on this 1.5 km long island located just off the city of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

Managed by the Sutera Sanctuary Lodge group, Pulau Manukan is the second largest of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which is only a 10 minute boat ride from Kota Kinabalu.

Manukan Island Resort Review

Manukan Island Resort Sutera Sanctuary Lodge Lounge

As you make your way into Manukan Island, you will see a showroom and office of the Manukan Island Resort next to where you pay for the Marine Park entrance fees.

The island is a popular tourist destination, hence this area will be really bus with tourist coming in and out, so when you plan to stay here, you should take note of this. 

Manukan Island Resort Walkway to the Hilltop Lodges

The semi-luxury resort offers four different types of accommodation which are;

  • Four units of hilltop lodges
  • Six units of split-level hilltop lodges
  • Four units of one storey beach lodge bungalow
  • Six units of split-level beach lodges

On my work project here in 2009, I had the pleasure of being shown around by the staff of Sutera Sanctuary Lodge, as the resort was to be featured in a Tourism Malaysia TV commercial.

This allowed me to visit the entire resort to see the rooms, facilities and also the surrounding of the entire resort. 

Beach Lodge Manukan Island ResortManukan Island Resort Split-Level Beach Lodge

The Beach Lodges or bungalows are carefully located just when you walk in and turn right towards the main area of the island and are sea view and away from the main activity of Pulau Manukan.

However, when boat loads of tourist arrive, they will pass the beach lodges on route to the main area so the crowd can be a little noisy.

The Hill Lodges are on the other side so it is located in a more private area, with less noise and assured privacy for guests. 

Villa Manukan Island ResortManukan Island Resort Beach Lodges

The beach lodges are pretty much all made from high quality wood and glass and is surrounded by lush tropical plants which are well maintained by the resort.

Fixtures inside are pretty much basic and nothing to shout about. Hot water, Air Conditioning, Television are available.

Room unit Manukan Island ResortManukan Island Resort Hilltop Lodge Living room

Inside the Hilltop Lodges, the decoration is kept to a minimal. Wooden doors around with glass planes give you glimpse of the South China Sea at a distance.

Tropical trees grow high in front of the lodges so it is quite cooling. The balcony area can sit about four people as well.

Room at Manukan Island ResortManukan Island Resort Bedroom

The bedroom at the lodges are very spacious and comfortable though they are not your 5-Star hotel style setting. As everything is made from wood, you get a very cabin-like feeling staying here.

Bathroom Manukan Island ResortManukan Island Resort Bathroom

Bathrooms at the lodges single bungalow are simply amazing. It is like having your own little spa in there with an eclectic mix of modern, zen and Balinese.

The semi-open concept where the top portion is uncovered gives you the airy feeling. A bath tub sits amongst pebbled walls and tropical plants fill the mood here.

I would stay here if I plan to visit Pulau Manukan for an overnight trip though this place suits those who want to experience a luxury beach resort in Borneo but lacks time.

Therefore when you land in Kota Kinabalu, you can be at the resort in under an hour from the airport and check out the next day.

The Manukan Island Resort is also very family friendly as most of the lodges are large enough to cater to families.

A beach is readily available and there are quite a number of things that can be done while staying here at the resort.

The best thing about staying here is catching the amazing Sabah Sunsets that are seen from the sunset view point of Pulau Manukan, which requires a short trek.

Activities available at Pulau Manukan are:
  • Bird Watching
  • Sunset View Nature Trails
  • Scuba Diving 
  • Sea Walking
  • Snorkeling
  • Sunset Viewing
  • Trekking
  • Various Water Sports
  • Marine Conservation and Research Center
How To Go To Manukan Island?

There are two main harbours in Kota Kinabalu City, which are the Jesselton Pier and the other at Sutera Harbor, so depends on where you book your tour or package from, they will inform you which jetty to take. 
  • Sutera Harbour Sea Quest Watersports Center 
  • KK Ferry Terminal (Next to the Malaysian Royal Customs Department) 
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges Office
Lot G15, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah,
88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Telephone: 60 88 243 629
Fax: 60 88 259 552
Book a room at Manukan Island Resort

To find out more about Manukan Island, you can also read my other article on Pulau Manukan Island, which shares detailed information.

Manukan Island is one of the top tourist destinations in Sabah with hundreds of tourist visiting on a daily basis. There is also only one resort on this island, which is the Manukan Island Resort.


shloke said...

I LOVE the lush settings around Manukan Island Resort.

The Balinese like bathroom look relaxing and romantic to me :) Definitely a great place for honeymooners.


Shelyn said...

Ecolodge is always my first choice. Sutera Sanctuary Lodges is good enough for me. Nice review!

xplorer said...

hello david , i been here before but due to time constrain i don't have the time to fully xplore this place.This is my first time here and i love your write up on LAOS , i was there 8 years back and from your pic i could see some developement in LAOS especially around the TALAT SAO morning market.i love LAO and would like to visit there again

xplorer said...

will be adding you to my bloglist as i found that we share the same passion

Malaysia Asia said...

Hello Mylo, thanks. Unfortunately the Balinese styled bathroom comes at a cost. For a honeymoon on a rush maybe :)

Shelyn, thank you and I should check out Ecolodge next time around.

Xplorer, thank you for the visit and yes, Laos is really moving forward fast now. And yes, thank yo for the linking as I will do the same.

Malaysia Asia

Sumandak From the Land Below the Wind said...

I miss my home very much after read your blog...

Anyway, blogs are cool..

Keep it up..

Malaysia Asia said...

Hello Sumandak,

Thank you for the visit. Hope you get to go back soon.


Honeymoon bed breakfast said...

Good to see the resort consistently getting good reviews, it deserves it. I have been too many Four Seasons and for the price this is absolutely perfect. I am considering taking my entire family back because the accommodation and food are relatively cheap.


CathJ said...

So envy.. ^_^

eunice said...

What a lovely long post for Manukan resort. They should pay you for advertising cost! :D

Malaysia Asia said...

Honeymoon Bed Breakfast, thank you for the visit. Hope you have a great re-visit.

Cath, didn't you go here wen you visited Sabah?

Eunice, thanks and I wish they did :) Maybe other resorts might?


mat said...

how about the rates of the lodges per night?including packages or not?what kind of packages include?

Malaysia Asia said...

Mat, you best contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodges for the rates, usually they sell packages per person which includes meals. But better check with them.

mat said...

thanks for the info but im planning to visit island in sabah about 3D2N next month.ive already suvey the resort rates and the rates expensive for me.my budget only MYR2000 only.my fiancee want relax at that island and she refuse to go other placefrom that island.depend on my budget that impossible.im stuck.what can i do.any opinion?

Malaysia Asia said...

Mat, I suggest you contact Sutera Sanctuary directly. If not, there is an option to stay at Sutera Harbor and make daily trips to Manukan/Sapi Island. Otherwise, there is Shangrila Tanjung Aru which is quite nice too.