Located about 30 kilometers south from Kota Kinabalu, you need roughly half an hour to reach the Beringgis Beach Resort And Spa.
After having tormented by KK’s city traffic, the route passes small Malaysian villages, the so-called “kampongs”, here and there it leads along the coast where you can overlook the sea. The road is well developed, as it is generally the case in Malaysia. Mostly you get over long distances quite apace – that is, of course, not driving with one’s foot down to the floor, as we like to do in Germany, a mentality anyway rather unique compared to other countries.
The first impression of the resort is promising: In front of the entrance building we find a lovely little artificial waterfall, the lobby makes a welcoming, open feeling and the young lady at the front desk greets guests with a radiant smile, which in Germany you would have to search for very long and yet would not find.
We have booked the cheapest room, but unlike in Kota Kinabalu two days earlier, there is nothing to complain about here. The room is not very big but attractive and functional, except that the sink is in the room and not in the bathroom. On second thought that’s really not so stupid either: if the apartment is occupied by two people, one can comfortably take shower or use the toilet, while the other person can brush his teeth, for example. If you can get along without luxury this room is well equipped for you, otherwise you should book an apartment or one of the 2 storey houses.
What we particularly like is the beautiful property which is located directly on the beach: A blooming garden, bordered by the individual guest houses with a curved pool in the middle. The plot has the shape of an elongated rectangle, and one needs two or three minutes to go from the lobby to the beach.
We explore the site and notice there are almost no guests around. Most of the deck chairs by the pool are free, even the beach is empty except for a few guests. Outside of the resort there is not all too much to see therefore we asume all the others have fled from the sweltering midday sun to their rooms. Apart from that, today is a Monday, and we guess on weekends most probably the place is bustling.
As it turns out, the operation manager is a German: Marc-Oliver Thiel, having been in Malaysia for 8 years and for 4 years (with a break) at the resort. His main task is to ensure that the staff – there are about 100 – perform their work reliably and to the satisfaction of the guests. He also picks up guests from the airport sometimes – the hotel offers such a service, of course. “Sometimes our guests mistakenly take me for their tour guide, especially when they are German speaking,” smiles Marc. “Then of course I am happy to help as best as I can.”
Marc is a lateral recruit in the hotel industry. He became acquainted with Malaysia during a diving holiday with his father, and he stayed here because of love. He is now married and has two children.
The resort is usually booked by guests for 2 to 3 days. “Only a few people stay for 2 or 3 weeks,” says Marc, “almost without exception, these are Europeans, which then usually opt for the luxurious and spacious 2-storey maisonettes.” Overall, the resort has 140 accomodations, with the 2-story houses convertable to two separate units if necessary.
The beach is not a private property of the resort, so the area is separated from the beach by a rope. The sandy beach has a very firm consistency, even convenient for jogging along the sea. In the water it provides a good standing, it feels a bit like walking on a fluffy carpet. There are no coral or rocks here, and you really need to go 20 or 25 meters, to have the water level at your waist. As for me, just a little splashing around is good enough for a first experience, as I do not want to risk a sunburn immediately. Afterwards I decide to relax by the pool, which in the afternoon I find partly shaded and meanwhile having attracted a few more guests.
We felt very comfortable at the Beringgis and regretted that we had already booked our flight and could only stay for one night – 2 or 3 nights would have suited us better, as we felt we could relax here wonderfully. We’ll be back!