|Sunset from Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru's Sunset Bar|
|The sun fades and the night begins|
|Mojito Passion and Lepa Lepa|
|Red wine with a view|
|No arguments here as to why it's called, "Sunset Bar"|
Sunset Bar, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu
Soft chill music sweeps the background and the calm sea ripples in the fading light. The occasional plane sounds landing at the airport nearby and as the bright orange ball drops closer to the horizon, the crowd grows at Tanjung Aru Resort’s Sunset Bar.
Sitting on its own island, the Sunset Bar is circled by rocks and water and shaded by coconut palms. A pebble floor supports a U shaped open bar, ceilinged with a traditional carved boat. The roof is high – protecting its occupants from the weather but encouraging the ocean-cooled breeze to pass through. A wooden deck rims the outer border and is lined with a double row of cushioned floor lounges that fan out to the sea. Choose to sit here, on high stools on the grass or directly at the bar and in earshot of the barman’s tale of the day. It doesn’t matter where you settle, views are guaranteed from every angle.
Finger food such as: grilled bratwurst; a local twist on the standard chicken wings with a Percik marinade; beef and chicken satay and; a Mediterranean add-on with Turkish bread and gourmet dips, are available for the nibbling, but by no means the star attraction. Beers from around the world, Aussie wines, French Bruts and Champagnes and, a handful of cocktails will satisfy your thirst. The Signature Cocktail, the Lepa Lepa (RM30), named after the boat hanging from the ceiling, is a sweet concoction made with mango and coconut. The traditional mint and rum based Mojito is given a local twist with the addition of passionfruit and renamed, Mojito Passion (RM30). A range of cigars too are on hand, from “The Humidor” menu at RM60 to RM200 per stick. But still, these goodies are just sideliners to the principal protagonist drawing the masses.
The allurement lies in the ever-changing beauty of the vista and the relaxed vibe setting from which to view it. Depending on cloud coverage, you might get a complete grand golden ball dip into the sea or a spectacular palette of hues ranging from flaxen to scarlet to lavender. As the sun descends, the heat picks up and sunglasses are donned. Cocktails are sipped more slowly and the slurps are soon replaced with the sound of cameras snapping. Chatter hushes to a low murmur as spectators breathe in the beauty of the transformation from day to night, many I believe, as myself, giving thanks for a chance to witness such splendour.
Go before 5pm to get one of the floor lounges with the best views of the glorious skyline and, stay after 7pm to take advantage of Happy Hour prices that continue until 11pm.
Reason to visit: chill vibe; a private island from which to admire the spectacular Bornean sunsets; incredible location for a hip cocktail party, product launch or romantic handholding.
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort
20 Jalan Aru
Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
+6 088 327 888