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Gayana Eco Resort, Kota Kinabalu 
$$$$

Malohom Bay, Gaya Island
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Kota Kinabalu , Sabah
Malaysia
Tel: 60 88 442233
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
"Summer camp for everyone" best describes this island retreat inside the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Enthusiastic staff lead guests on kayak tours through the mangroves, swim with them along the reef, and show off the Napoleon wrasses and giant groupers that are saved by sea gypsies for this eco-resort's rescue and breeding program. New Zealander chef Michael Maguire, who trained with London's Marco Pierre White, turns out dishes that are anything but camp fare. A three-room spa with Jacuzzis and sea views offers exceptional treatments. And the 44 overwater bungalows—kitted out with Frette linens, organic Harnn bath amenities, powerful rain showers, and, in the mini-bar, handmade lace cookies infused with palm sugar—feel more Maldives than Malaysia.—2009 Hot List

When to go: February through June for clear skies.

Which room to book: Bayu Villas add extended decks to the South China Sea view.

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