Here is my pick for the Top 5 hotels in Kota Kinabalu city. My selection is based on hotels being located within Kota Kinabalu city. This makes it very convenient to get around, find a place to eat in or arrange for a trip outside the city. Most of all, they are comfortable to stay in and affordable.
Without exception, the hotels listed here are well managed establishment of international standards. It is always advisable to book early, especially during year end and the new year. Chinese New Year comes around in February, and that is a major festival in Sabah.
Top 5 Hotels In Kota Kinabalu
1. Le Meridien Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Located in the middle of the city, next to shopping malls, entertainment night spots and the UNHCR market which focuses on handicrafts of Borneo. Staying in this hotel offers an outstanding view of the South China Sea, and you can go for a stroll on the waterfront. Near Jesselton Point if you wish to go island hopping, or scuba dive around the islands of Kota Kinabalu.
Modern and spacious rooms, comfortable and inviting. Restaurants, lounge and bar, live band, outdoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and a business centre. Rooms come with coffee/tea making facilities, LCD television with satellite television, wireless internet, In-room safe, refrigerator and complimentary toiletries. For dining, Circle Restaurant at Lobby-level overlooking esplanade and the sea, serving Buffets, á la carte menu and high tea. Rumba, a Latin Bar and Grill, with wide selection of wines and cocktails,and live performances. The Lounge offering afternoon tea, cocktails and other beverages, and live entertainment in the evenings.
2. Imperial International Hotel
This is a favorite of many of my friends from out of state visiting Kota Kinabalu on business, or on vacation. The main reason is due to its location. Like many hotels in Kota Kinabalu city, it is conveniently smack in the city centre. Exit the lobby and you are in Warisan Square shopping mall, cross a side street and you get to Centrepoint shopping mall. Night-life, try the Waterfront just opposite the hotel, lots of restaurants and pubs. Great view of the sunset.
Not as comfortable as Le Meridien, being lower priced and the rooms are smaller. While this hotel sometimes get mixed reviews, none of those who I know have stayed have any complaints.
3. Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Located facing the South China Sea, a short walk to the Waterfront, Warisan Square, Centrepoint shopping mall and the handicraft market. You have a wide selection of the type of rooms available, and the buffet and high-tea is popular with the locals. Personally, I like their cheese and chocolate cakes.
My wife and I had our wedding dinner here, and the wedding suite was gorgeous. The standard rooms are pretty much ….standard, as is the junior suite. Still, the service is good, as is the food. Really, try the hi-tea or buffet. If you want to stay in an apartment for your visit to Sabah, they operate condos and hotel apartments in the city.
4. Beverly Hotel
I had the junior suite while I stayed here, so if you can, get the junior suite. It has got a little balcony and a day bed in the junior suite. The downside is the hotel is a long walk from city centre, and I didn’t really enjoyed the meal in the Chinese restaurant. Karamunsing Complex is across the road from this hotel, as is Palace hotel.
5. Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
This was probably the first international hotel in Sabah, and has a unique atrium. Walk into the lobby at 2am in the morning and you will see what I mean. Well known for its buffet, even better known for its fun pub, Shenanigan. The Chinese Restaurant is well known for its dim sum. The service is good, taxis readily available and right next to Merdeka Shopping Centre. Across the road is Little Italy, a very popular Italian food restaurant. You can also take a walk along the harbour at night, and the sound of the sea is soothing.
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is closest to Jesselton if you want to go island hopping, or scuba diving. There are many spas and reflexology centres along the way, great if you have just gotten back from Mount Kinabalu.
What About Other Hotels?
What about other hotels like The Pacific Sutera? That goes on another list. This list is for hotels within the city, and within easy walking distance.
- Imperial International Kota Kinabalu
- Le Meridien Hotel
- The Crown Borneo Hotel
- City Mall Kota Kinabalu
- Where To Stay In Tawau
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