Fiona Hagan, General Manager of Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa and Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club on the coast of Sabah, Malaysia, describes her resort as an “authentic luxury experience for guests”.
Fiona Hagan describes the luxury resort as “an experience” because it has so many component parts. “We have the nature reserve, we have the sea, and 85% of our staff members are from local villages. I describe it as a really authentic experience that is wrapped up in a luxurious parcel, comprised of the location, the services and the facilities.”
Built 24 years ago, the resort was run in sympathy with the environment, the wildlife and the local community from the outset. The site includes a 64-acre nature reserve incorporating a Discovery Centre where visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the region and the conservation programmes that exist to protect them.
“In February 2018, we stopped serving plastic straws,” Hagan says. “We used to do beach clean- ups and you would pick up 300- 400 plastic straws off the beach. We were the rst hotel actually to measure our plastic footprint.” Team-building is important to Hagan. “We take our housekeeping team and go for walks on Fridays up into the nature reserve; our security team go running together on the beach to keep t.” And the beach belongs to the resort. “There is nowhere else in Malaysia, or probably even in Asia, where you have a single resort on a three- kilometre beach.”
One of the truly luxurious aspects of the resort is the Ocean Wing that looks across the beach, where rooms have a bathtub on the balcony, and guests have access to a private swimming pool. And even if you’re not a golfer you can still take advantage of the exclusive Dalit Bay course designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer. “We have 64 species of birds, we have a family of otters, we have monitor lizards, and many of our guests now, even non-golfers, will go for a tour with a golf buggy.”
Hall 26a / Stand 117