Travel & Culture Malaysia
Tours Hotels & Events
The capital of Sabah, Borneo, this Malaysian city is a growing resort destination due to is proximity to tropical islands, lush rain forest and Mount Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu is a modern capital with a warm hospitality and long sandy beaches, paradise islands, virgin coral reefs, tropical rain forests; and the mighty Mount Kinabalu is only 90 minutes away.
Kota Kinabalu's location is absolutely amazing; and from the airport it is just a short ride to mostly any hotel. You find a world class sailing marina and championship golf courses as well as both first class holiday resorts and good hotels for the budget traveler.
And the food is varied in a way that only a state with 30 ethnic groups can offer. The flavours you will find are excellent and in KK, as Kota Kinabalu also is called, there are gourmet meals in restaurants for elegant dining, but you will also find wonderful tastes and textures in a bowl in a hawker?s stall at the night market.
Places to See
Atkinson Clock TowerAtkinson Clock Tower - built in 1902 in memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton, as KK was then called. He died of a tropical disease in the same year at the young age of only 28. The tower is on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, just a few minutes away from the city centre.
The Signal Hill Observatory is 10 minutes walk up hill from the Atkinson Clock Tower and offers a good view of the city center.
The Green Connection Aquarium - located 10min outside the downtown area by taxi. The best place to see the aquatic wildlife of Borneo without leaving the city. Help conserve Sabah wildlife by visiting here. Lots of things to see and do - touch a shark, stroke a snake, watch a turtle. Opportunities for interns & volunteers or simply to dive in the giant tank and feed the fish.
Sabah State MosqueSabah State Mosque - located on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.
State Museum - A quick guide to KK's history.
Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Akinabalu Youth Hostel, , Jalan Gaya. Two computers with free internet access, TV and DVD, and free breakfast. RM56 for a fan room for two with shared bathroom. Safe and clean with friendly staff.
Alpinehomstay, tel. 60 88 237727. They are located 5 minutes from the airport and city centre.Fully furnished.Modernly decorated. Free pickup from and to the airport.Free shuttle to the city centre.
Asia Adventure Lodge, tel. +60 138929995, , . Smaller hostel with a friendly family feel located right in the heart of town next to Internet cafe, banks, travel agents, supermarkets and nightlife, plus the colourful and deliciously diversified Sunday Market. Dorms RM 17 (fan) or RM 22 (aircon); Aircon Singles/Doubles RM 40/RM 58. Free Wi-Fi too!
Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge, tel. +6(088) 241 515, , Email : Borneoadventurecenter@yahoo.com. Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge is a budget hotel & lodge that offer backpackers rates. It has rooms for double, triple as well as backpackers dormitory beds. All rooms have fan, air-conditioning at night and either a common or an ensuite shower room with hot water shower. Facilities includes a self service kitchen equipped with refrigerator, microwave oven, stove, toaster, coffee making facilities, CCTV security, electronic card access system, in-house laundry service, Cable TV at the lobby, Wifi and Internet access. Rates inclusive of simple Breakfast (Toast with coffee/tea) too. Rates: Dorm. - RM21 per Person, Twin or Dbl Bed Room - RM55.00 per room.
Borneo Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 234 009, ,Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
.Centrally located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo Backpackers has already
attracted the attention of discerning travellers from around the world. Some
guests have already made return visits, and many more have vowed to return.
While guests originally come for the facilities on offer, such as clean
bathroom, toilets, pantry area, internet facility, laundry, cosy lounge area,
roof garden deck, 24 hours security, and a tour information counter. They return
for the service from our friendly, helpful and knowledgeable local staff. Rooms
available include airconditioned or fan Large Dormitory (10 Beds), Medium
Dormitory (4 - 6 Beds) and Private Rooms. Each room has small storage
compartment for personal items and has a fan or is air-conditioned. Rates from
US$7 per person per night.
Borneo BeacHouse Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 218 331. Enjoy the only BeacHouse (friendly, relaxed atmosphere) which offers the ideal vacation home to the leisure seekers and busy executives with abundant eco and nature sites. Details visit website
Borneo Gaya Lodge, tel: +6088 242 477. , Email : email@example.com. New Lodge at Gaya Street (the famous street-sunday market in the central of K.K)is just started in the end of year 2008. New bed sheet & linen, towel, and hot & cold drinking water are free here. A spacious living (carpeting floor) with LCD (Astro Channel), wireless internet access, books, a small kitchen with refrigerator, tour information and our friendly staff will make you feel warm here. No Curfew and 24 hours Security with CCTV and computerized lock door. Rates for fan & air-con room start from RM23 per bed. Private Dorm, Twin/Double Bedroom and Family Room with common toilet are available. Soon Twin/Double & Family Bedroom with private toilet will set up in the coming of Feb 2009. Booking online at website
Century Hotel Inanam , tel. +6088 380222, 012 8380268; Located at Inanam.
Spacious rooms, with TV and hot shower provided. 5 minutes drive from the
city centre, KK. The owners also operates their chicken rice right below the
hotel. Serves Hainan chicken rice and other varieties of food and beverage
throughout the day.
Globetrotters Lodge (formerly New Horizon), tel. +6088 272796, , . Small, opposite British Council, just off Gaya Street, street market every Sunday morning, lots of cheap restaurants and banks nearby. Details visit website
Hamin Lodge, tel. +6(088)272008 , . Hamin Lodge in Kota Kinabalu is a unique boutique budget Hotel in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City. Services include Borneo Deco Hotel rooms in Kota Kinabalu, Exciting Borneo Tour packages, a Traditional Massage Spa, Restaurant and Bar. Fully air conditioned for comfort, rooms range from budget Hostel types of rooms suitable for backpackers to deluxe rooms with ensuite.
Hotel Holiday, tel. +6(088)-213116,. One of the best budget hotels in the city center. Offer 1mb wireless internet /hotspot, laundry, friendly staff, closed to tourist attractions. Room with air-con & private bathroom. Standard / Deluxe / Family Room at RM95 / RM105 / RM130.
Kinabalu Backpackers, tel. +6088 - 253 385,. Centrally located in Australian Place, Kinabalu Backpackers offers Dorms for RM 25, Doubles (Sleeps 2) for RM 65 a night -- all rooms have Air Cond. Free Breakfast, Free Coffee or Tea all day and Free Internet+Wifi, Airport pickup service.
Lavender Lodge, tel. +6088 - 217119 , fax +6088 - 218077,. This newly opened hotel is in the central business district of the city,within short walking distance to shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment outlets. The exceptionally clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staffs and affordable prices make the lodge favourites among international travellers. Details visit website
Megah D?Aru Hotel, No. 2, Jalan Kinabalu, Tanjung Aru Township, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia (located in the heart of Tanjung Aru Township), +6088 239 666 (firstname.lastname@example.org). checkin: 2.00p.m.; checkout: 12.00noon. Located in Tanjung Aru Township, less than 5-minutes drive south of Kota Kinabalu City centre, and north of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Its 72 rooms are well equipped, and the rates reasonable. RM128-RM188.
Stay In Lodge, tel. +6088 - 272986, . Clean and comfortable. Located right on Gaya Street, where the famous street market is held every Sunday.
Step-in Lodge, tel. +6088 - 233519, . Painted in a zany combination of purple and bright green, this is a cozy little hostel in the middle of the city, with very friendly staff. Toilets and shower stalls are immaculate. Rates start from RM25 per person for a dorm, air-con double RM80, including a simple continental breakfast. Details visit website
Summer Lodge,. Convenient central location with a nice lobby, free internet/wifi,
free breakfast, and very helpful staff. Clean, decent bathrooms, however dorm
rooms leave a bit to be desired (cramped, bed frames falling apart). As of July
2008: All rooms have aircon; 22 MYR/night mixed dorm; 28 MYR/night male or
female only, plus private rooms.
Tropicana Lodge, Room start from RM25 per person
Tune Hotels Kota Kinabalu, Recently opened no-frill hotel located within 1Borneo, East Malaysia's largest shopping complex. Far from city but free shuttle bus is available daily. Online booking only. Rate might as cheap as RM1 ++
Velvet Lodge & Lounge, tel. +6088 212196. Located in the heart of the city this clean new hostel offers Internet/wi-fi, laundry, friendly staff, simple breakfast and a funky patio lounge serving great meals and cold beer. Details visit website (Velvet Lodge closed down in mid 2008)
X-plorer Backpackers, 1st Floor, 106/108, Jalan Gaya, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, ☎ +60-88-538780 (email@example.com, fax: +60-88-538781), . checkin: 1400; checkout: 1300. Centrally located in the heart of town along the popular Gaya Sunday morning street market. Reservations can be made by phone, online or by SMS text message to mobile phone:+6012-8399328. Complimentary breakfast, free wifi, all rooms are air-conditioned. Dormitories, private rooms, family rooms available. Some ensuite rooms with attached bathrooms were recently upgraded. Rates start from RM20.00.
Hotel Kotajaya and Back Packers Contact No. +6088 222715, . Located near Sinsuran Complex, short distance to Centre Point, Api-Api Centre, Kompleks Asia City, and Waterfront bars. Budget rooms with private bathroom are available. Friendly host.
Impiana Mutiara Hotel KAMPUNG AIR, No.12, Jalan Perpaduan, Kampung Air, 88000 Kota Kinabalu. (in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center), ☎ +6088 231 991 / 232 992 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A budget hotel with 27 rooms. Every room comes with an attached bathroom with hot and cold shower, individual air-con unit and TV with cable channels. Reservations can be made online. Promotion rate starts from RM 65.
3 Star Hotels
King Park Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Masjid Lama, Bandaran Berjaya 88000 (in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center), ☎ +6088 270 500 (email@example.com), . checkin: 2.00p.m.; checkout: 12.00noon. One of the newest 3 star hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu (Bandaran Berjaya) that provides friendly service, convenient facilities and clean and affordable accommodation for leisure travelers or business people. This 14-storey Hotel features panoramic views of Kota Kinabalu city and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park from the upper floors. Offers online reservations. RM128-RM198.
The Pacific Sutera, +60 88 318 888 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The resort's indulgent living spaces are classified into Deluxe Golf View, Deluxe Sea View, Pacific Club Golf View, Pacific Club Sea View, Junior Suite, Executive Suite, Pacific Club Junior Suite, Pacific Club Executive Suite, and Presidential Suite. A 5-star resort that rests on the breezy seafront of Sutera Harbour. Rates start at MYT 400.
4 & 5 Star hotels
Grand Borneo Hotel (formerly Mercure KK), Grand Borneo Hotel, Tel: +60 88 526 888, mailto:email@example.com, https://www.grandborneohotel.com. Grand Borneo Hotel, a fast growing home-grown brand, makes its debut in the pulsating tropical wonders of Kota Kinabalu. This 325-room property of modern chic deluxe class forms an integral part of the largest mall in Sabah - 1Borneo Hypermall; an entertainment complex with over 400 stores of leisure, entertainment and culinary delights. This international class hotel caters to business travelers as well as holiday makers.
Sutera Harbour Resort (formerly Pan Pacific), Sutera Harbour Blvd, Kota Kinabalu, tel. +60 88 318 888, , . The resort property of Sutera Harbour Resort, features a city-style hotel in The Pacific Sutera and a resort-style hotel The Magellan Sutera. The property also features a 27-hole golf course, a fully equipped marina, 2 spas, sports facilities like squash, badminton and tennis courts and various other sport and leisure activities. About a RM10 taxi ride to town, or a 20 minute walk (if you're in good shape). The rooms are top notch with either a sea view or golf course/ Mount Kinabalu view in Pacific Sutera Theor a garden / sea-view from The Magellan Sutera. You can easily book trips to the islands, starting at RM 35. The Resort has a free shuttle bus going to town every hour until 21:00, as well as an internal shuttle that ferries guests between facilities. Cross-signing facilities mean that if you stay in one hotel, you have access to the entire resort. An internal shuttle takes guests between the properties, the marina and the golf club.
Berjaya Palace Hotel, 1 Jalan Tangki Karamunsing, tel. +60-88-211911. The
hotel blends old architecture with modern facilities. Hilltop location, 15
minutes drive from the airport.
Jesselton Hotel, www.jesseltonhotel.com 69, Gaya Street, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Tel:(6088)223333.Fax:(6088)240401 Jesselton was the initial name for Kota Kinabalu during the British colony. And this boutique hotel should not be missed. Built in the early 1920s, it has been one of the longest remaining quality hotels in Kota Kinabalu. Set right in the middle of Gaya Street, a street thriving with local shops and cafes, and walking distance to the local cinemas - sets off the charms of the local atmosphere. The Pasar Malam ('night market') and Sundays on Gaya Streets are a must-see. Many hawkers will set up shops along Gaya Street to sell their wares - food, toys or pets. Lots of vibrant colors and scrumptious smells along the strip. This hotel is within the city center district. Hotel has their own limousine, which is a British cab imported from the UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, 88991 (in the city centre), ☎ +60 8 822 1234 (email@example.com), . A 3- to 4- star International hotel but still has that exclusive feeling once you walk through the doors. Right in the heart of the city centre, a perfect choice for business men who just want to eat, sleep and work. This hotel has an impressive choice of restaurants, from their coffee shop serving Malaysian food, a Chinese restaurant with 'dimsum' or 'yum cha', a Japanese restaurant with Teppanyaki and a fresh bakery. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, and cafes.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort - 5 star - excellent facility, beautifully located on beach. Quality 18 hole golf course, excellent kid's club and has an orang-utan sanctuary where guests can see young orang-utans up relatively close. An excellent family resort, great pools with small but good water slide equipment. Excellent service, but drinks did take a little while to arrive. Good watersports activities. Coast Restaurant ok but on beautiful beachside setting. A 90RM taxi ride from the airport - takes about 40 minutes by taxi.
Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort, tel. +60-88-225800, . This is one of the oldest, grandest but possibly the most comfortable hotels in Kota Kinabalu. A 5 star hotel, the rooms in the old wing are confined inside the building and looks out to the pitch-and-put golf course. A tiny jungle is built in the middle of the corridor leading towards the hotel rooms of the old wing. Although as old as it may sound, the rooms are impressively larger than the new wing. The new wing, on the other hand, overlooks the sea or the swimming pool and is a bit more secluded for those who enjoy lazing out in the sun. A taxi ride from the Terminal 2 is about RM10, but to the city center is RM15. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel is available upon request.
Le M?idien Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, tel. (60) 8832 2222. 306 rooms. Gym, seaview pool.
Nexus Resort Karambunai, 30 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu. 485 rooms, eight restaurants, golf course, spa.
Promenade Hotel, Sdn Bhd 88000, tel. 60-88-265 555, fax 60-88-246 666. Features 451 rooms, swimming pool, gym, beauty salon and health spa. Also features two restaurants (specializing in local and Asian cuisine), two cafes, a lobby lounge, promenade floor lounge and a karaoke bar. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, hawker stalls, nightlife and cafes.
Magellan Sutera Resort, tel. 60 88 318 888, . The natural beauty that
envelopes this 5-star resort is rivalled only by the luxury it offers.