As an avid stay-cationer, I have my bucket list of hotels and resorts to stay in Malaysia. One of them is the Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu Sabah.

Located just 30 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city, the resort boasts stunning view of the South China Sea, sprawling beach and garden, golf course and 3 outdoor pools.

Our stay-cation this time was sponsored by my dear sister who booked us a family room. We reached the hotel at night and for a renowned resort, surprisingly the road leading to the resort was extremely dark with no lighting at all. Even when we reached the resort compound, it was quite difficult to determine the entrance to the hotel lobby due to the dim lighting and lack of road signs.

Checking in was a breeze and the valet even offered to park our car for us as the parking ground is quite far from the hotel lobby. Our room was located at fourth floor and it was probably 100m away from the lift, so it feels like! It was a huge relief to finally reached our room.

The family room is pleasantly spacious - basically family room are two rooms with a connecting door. The master room is fitted with a king-sized bed while the other room is appointed with two single beds. 

The master bedroom
The other room

In summary, these are the plus points of the resort:

1. All rooms are facing the sea - imagine falling asleep and waking up to the soothing sound of the waves crashing on the beach... We loved watching the sun rise and set from our balconies, and watching the blue, blue ocean from the comfort of our room. Bliss!

2. Spacious room - The room size is just right for our family. I love the ample space and the massive bathroom complete with vanity table, sink area, separate toilet (with hand bidet), bathtub and shower areas. 

3. The location - the resort is located by the beach and what a magnificent beach they have! White sands and blue ocean. It only takes five minutes to reach the beach and the sprawling beach ensured that everyone gets their space without ending up feeling crowded. I had the most relaxing time reading a book while enjoying the sea breeze by the sea. 

4. Entertainment - plenty of activities are offered at the resort for guests, from in-door games to cultural performance. For some fees, guests can also enjoy beach sports (beach volleyball, kayak, banana boat etc.) and horse-riding by the beach, while other amenities such as swimming pool and golf course is free for guests to enjoy. Other activities on the menu includes nature visits (guests have to sign up for the package) to see the wondrous of nature in Sabah. The resort does not leave out young guests when it comes to entertainment and even provided kids' activities at their Nexus Kids Club. The club offer packages of which at RM40++, parents can let their kids to explore a range of specially tailored activities (such as finger painting, fish feeding and other crafts making activities) while the adults get to enjoy their kind of activities.

5. Spa - My sister convinced me to try out the Borneo Spa and it was something that I did not regret. While not exactly the best massage I had experienced so far, it was quite decent and left me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. The ambience in the spa is also impressive and promotes a sense of serenity with soothing water sounds to calm frayed nerves.

However, I also noted some areas for improvement at the resort:
1. Breakfast at Penyu Restaurant - For a five-star resort, the buffet spread is something that falls short of my expectation. The egg station is limited in choice of ingredients and runs out fast, and not much variety of menu spread offered. We had to call the restaurant staff several times to have our coffee and tea served because they never seem to come to our table!

2. Despite having numerous activities on the ground, the promotion is very poor that maybe some guests are not aware of the various entertainment available.

3. In this Internet age, being connected is extremely important. Thus, it's really disappointing to find out that WiFi is not available in the room.

4. The room decor and furniture are quite dated (when I sit on the bed, I can feel the mattress spring poking through the thinning mattress) while the table lamp didn't work. It's time for East Malaysia resort operators to step up their game and refurbish the hotel rooms because this seems to be the general complaints when it comes to major hotels and resorts over here.

5. Inadequate umbrella and deck chairs at the beach for the beach-goers.

'Living area' in the master room

LCD TV are available in both rooms

Bathtub in the master bathroom

Master bathroom

Shower area in the master bathroom

Hotel toiletries

Mini fridge and tea-making facilities are also available in the room

Amenities in the cupboard
Overall, it is a rather overpriced resort considering the obsolete amenities and the poor food quality served. I think staying here once is enough since there isn't much exciting factor for a repeat visit.

Verdict: 7/10