Nestled serenely on the island of Pulau Tiga 2.5 hours away by land and sea from Sabah’s capital of Kota Kinabalu lies the plush Borneo Eagle Resort — a cluster of 13 luxury contemporary villas opened in April 2018. The 21-acre verdant enclave is situated in the Kimanis Bay within walking distance of the first Survivor filming series site in 2000. The Resort faces the Crocker Range on the horizon with views of the majestic Mt Kinabalu across the South China Sea.
Borneo Eagle Resort is the only luxury resort on the island set against a backdrop of lush virgin jungle. Its main building design is inspired by the wingspan of the sea eagles inhabiting the island. The Resort is a stunning, ecological landscape of flourishing flora and fauna including 148 coconut trees. Beehives are introduced to encourage cross-pollination. Proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes, and hornbills are some of the wildlife spotted while marine life abounds with a diverse array such as the clownfish, pufferfish, sea turtle and the occasional whale shark.
Principal architect Karim Hussein from Arkitek A Karim Hussein was tasked with ensuring that the Resort integrated well with the natural environment, uncompromised in its design and construction. All 13 spacious sea-facing villas with their own courtyards are categorized according to three types: Pool (171 sq m), Coral (261 sq m) and Spa (288 sq m). Each villa provides super king-sized beds matched with comfortable pillow-top mattresses, premium bedding, and linen. A well-stocked minibar, water pitchers, complimentary aluminum water canisters, teas, a Nespresso Machine, in-room safe, alarm clock with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, portable MyFi, wireless internet, 55″ flat-screen TVs and Bose home theatre systems ensure guests are not lacking in comfort. The bathrooms are equipped with oversized mirrors, rain shower and toiletries sourced locally from natural ingredients. Digital wall panels control the lighting according to three moods: dinner, romance and evening. Guests wake up to sunrise unveiled by a remote control device. Artworks reflect the surrounding coral reefs and palm trees while lounge areas are fitted with elegant furniture and contemporary artworks including wood from the resort grounds transformed into artful pieces.
Guests can choose to dine or do yoga at the cheery patios with their own deck beds, outdoor shower, and individual plunge pools or indulge in spa treatments in the privacy of their own villas. A Personal Service Ambassador is assigned to each villa. To ensure that guests get the most of their stay, questionnaires are emailed to them, prior to their arrival, to indicate their dietary preferences and choice of leisure activities, and if they are celebrating a special occasion.
The open-air Eagles Nest restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a fine balance of Bornean and western dishes. The menus are based on the farm-to-table concept with seasonal ingredients and produce sourced from farms in the owning group. Complimentary evening cocktails are served at the Landing Bar. Room service or a gazebo styled picnic can also be arranged at scenic spots on the island.
A short canopy walks away is the multi-purpose room, ideal for a board meeting for eight or a private dinner, and a rooftop area for small events. The Sand Bar by the pool offers refreshments and lunch.
The nearby jungle managed by Sabah Parks provides ample guided trekking opportunities including trails to volcanic mud mounts and pools known for its therapeutic properties. The waters around the Island are ideal for diving, snorkeling, fishing, hobbie wave, and kayaking. The Resort’s fitness centre is housed next to a massive infinity pool with an area of 900 sq. m.
Villa rates range from USD1,200 to 2,000 inclusive of full board/activities and transfers from the city to the Resort.
Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility
Echo Resorts, the owning company of Borneo Eagle Resort and its sister properties, Bunga Raya Island Resort and Gayana Marine Resort, take a serious view towards the community and the environment. The group has embraced several initiatives such as the establishment of Green-Os (organic vegetable farm) and Borneo Eco Fish Farm by Bayu Aquaculture Sdn (aquaculture) based on the core principles of natural cultivation and sustainability using good farming practices without pesticides. The Marine Ecology Research Centre, adjacent to Gayana Marine Resort, was built to focus on reef regeneration efforts and giant clam propagation.
Gillian Tan, Owner Representative, explained, “We are not another luxury resort. We are a family company sharing our home and providing unforgettable experiences. We lead by example creating better relationships, involving our community and preserving the environment we live in. Borneo Eagle Resort is a clear testament to our mission.”
About Borneo Eagle Resort
Opened in April 2018, Borneo Eagle Resort is located in the Kimanis Bay on Pulau Tiga, a 30-minute ferry ride from Kuala Penyu accessible by a two-hour land transfer from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport or by a short helicopter ride. Borneo Eagle Resort showcases 13 villas, three food & beverage outlets, room service, a swimming pool, in-room spa treatments, a multi-purpose function room/rooftop and a vast range of recreational pursuits on land and sea.
About Echo Resorts
ECHO is the acronym for Ecology, Culture, Hospitality, and Ownership. The brand logo is represented by a tree of life, which symbolizes harmony with nature, our people, traditional culture and values. Formed in 2007, Echo Resorts is a family-owned and run business driven by strong family values with interests ranging from hospitality, environmental conservation, and wellness. Its first acquisition was the Gayana Marine Resort on Gaya Island off the Sabah coast in East Malaysia in 2007, followed by the Bunga Raya Island Resort in 2009 and Borneo Eagle Resort in 2018. The group also comprises the Green-Os (organic vegetable farm), Borneo Eco Fish Farm by Bayu Aquaculture Sdn, the Marine Ecology Research Centre; and the Bukit Harapan Home for disabled/autistic children and single mothers. Echo Resorts also owns Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, Bespoke Hotel, Alu Alu Kitchen, Echo Adventures, Swiss Wellness Centre, Klinik Gayana and Gayana Pharma. (PR)