Top 10 Best Hotels In Sandakan

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Heading to Sandakan? Lucky you! It’s a beautiful part of the world. The next step after deciding to go is to find the best hotels in Sandakan. And that’s what we will help you with here!

Located on the north-eastern tip of Borneo, Sandakan is the second-largest city in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Tourists flock to Sandakan yearly, with many wanting to use it as a jumping-off point to get to Turtle Islands National Park. 

But there’s much more to do here than only visiting the turtles, including exploring caves, going to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and checking out the Buli Sim Sim Water Village.

A Buddhist Temple in Sandakan

So if you want to take a trip to this city on Borneo, then you’ll need a comfortable place to sleep that’s filled with amenities and facilities. And that’s where we come in!

In this article, I will help you find exactly where to stay in Sandakan no matter what your budget or what exactly you are looking for. 

So whether you are looking for the best hotel near Sandakan airport or the top resort in Sandakan, we have you covered with the best place to stay in Sandakan for you.

Let’s begin!

Comparison Of The Best Budget Hotel In Sandakan

NamesStarsPrice (USD)Top FeaturesBook
D North Star Hotel & Spa★★★$D’Northstar Bistro onsite, spa and massage services, WiFiClick here
Sabah Hotel Sandakan★★★★$Tropical rainforest location, eco-tours, free breakfastClick here
OYO 1030 Nak Hotel Sandakan★★★$Air conditioning, near Sandakan Harbour and shopping mallClick here
Sandakan Backpackers Hostel$Near Sandakan Airport, food and drink options, WiFiClick here
Sepilok Jungle Resort★★$Near tourist attractions, outdoor pool, telescopes for animal spottingClick here
Livingston Hotel Sandakan★★★$Outdoor pool, great town location, on-site restaurantClick here
Sepilok Forest Edge Resort★★★$$Near Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, private chalets, onsite restaurantClick here
Amanson sigNature Hotel★★★$Near food and shopping spots, great hotel service, WiFiClick here
Sandakan Hotel★★★$Event hosting, near the airport and business centre, affordableClick here
Sanbay Hotel★★★$Large rooms, great fishing location, on-site cafeClick here

Top 10 Best Hotels In Sandakan

D North Star Hotel & Spa Review

Address: 28-33, Jalan Utara, Bandar Prima Square, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: 9 kilometres from the centre of Sandakan, this hotel is surrounded by shops, banks and busy local life, less than 5 kilometres from Sandakan Airport. 

Room Types: Deluxe and family rooms, and suite

Top Features:

  • D’Northstar Bistro onsite is excellent for dining and drinks
  • Spa and massage services on the property
  • Several room options
  • WiFi is available

Situated around 10 kilometres from the city centre is Hotel D’Northstar, a three-star accommodation that is ready to welcome you with open arms. There are three room types here, a deluxe unit, a family room and a suite. You’ll have a choice of several bed options, as well as in-room perks like couches and cooking facilities. 

You won’t go hungry at the hotel. Sabah, Sandakan, has a bevvy of food and drinking options, but the D’Northstar Bistro is on-site and has a great menu. 

If you’re looking to pamper yourself, there’s also a spa service on the property that offers relaxing massages, among other things. 

There’s free WiFi at the property and parking is available. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

You don’t just have to go to the spa to get a treatment, they’ll also come to your room!

Worst Parts?

You’re further away from Sandakan’s centre compared to other places. 

Summary

Sandakan is a lively place and you’ll be immersed in the city by staying at Hotel D’Northstar. 

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sabah Hotel Sandakan Review

Address: KM1, Jalan Utara, P.O.Box 275, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Located right by the Jalan Sapi Nangoh highway 

Room Types: Suites, deluxe and superior rooms with different bed options

Top Features:

  • Nestled in a tropical rainforest
  • Four-star hotel
  • Eco-tours available through the property
  • Free breakfast

If you want a luxurious stay while you’re on Borneo, Sabah Hotel Sandakan promises you that. This four-star hotel is nestled right in a beautiful, tropical rainforest. You can take eco-tours with this accommodation, or walk around yourself and take in the scenic views. 

There are several rooms for you to rent, including deluxe and superior rooms with different-sized bed options. And if you want to put your stay over the top, there is also an executive suite available with a large bathtub. 

Rooms have a very high cleanliness rating, and the hotel staff are great to deal with. Each unit has air conditioning, a satellite TV, as well as a minibar and a coffee maker with tea options. 

You’ll get breakfast every morning with your reservation, as well as daily housekeeping and free parking. There’s WiFi on-site, as well as a restaurant and an events hall if you plan on hosting something. 

Take a dip in Sabah Hotel Sandakan’s pool, relax in its sauna and work out in the hotel’s gym. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

The hotel’s property is genuinely gorgeous as you’re surrounded by a dense rainforest. 

Worst Parts?

The WiFi connection is not the best sometimes, as it can be slow or spotty. 

Summary

It’s not every day that you get to stay in a tropical rainforest paradise, so here’s your chance!

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

OYO 1030 Nak Hotel Review

Address: Jalan Pelabuhan Lama, Pusat Bandar Sandakan, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Situated right by the Sandakan waterfront 

Room Types: Family suites, standard and deluxe-sized rooms

Top Features:

  • Budget accommodation
  • Air conditioning in rooms
  • Located right at the Sandakan Harbour 
  • Close to a shopping mall

OYO 1030 Nak Hotel is a cheap, three-star accommodation located right on Sandakan’s waterfront. You can rent either the family suite, a standard-sized room, or a deluxe one, depending on what size and bed options you need. 

Each room is hooked up with air conditioning, a private bathroom with free toiletries, a shower and a bidet, as well as cable TV, WiFi and complimentary bottled water. 

And just because this is a budget accommodation, doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on services like daily housekeeping and luggage storage. 

OYO 1030 Nak Hotel is in a prime location. It’s within walking distance of the Sandakan Harbour Mall, as well as food options like My Harbour and King Cheong. There are also food and drink choices on-site, which provide room service. 

If you have a meeting or need to get some work done, there are rooms available to use at this accommodation. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

The price to stay here is great, especially for the number of amenities you get in and out of your room. 

Worst Parts?

This is not a pet-friendly place, so your furry friend will have to stay home. 

Summary

You’ll get a great bang for your buck at the OYO 1030 Nak Hotel. 

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sandakan Backpackers Hostel Review

Address: Lot 108, 1st Floor, Block HS-11, Sandakan Harbour Square, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Situated right on Sandakan Harbour

Room Types:  Dormitories and private rooms

Top Features:

  • 15-minute drive from the Sandakan Airport
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Steps away from several food and drink options
  • WiFi throughout the property

If you’re on a shoestring budget, or just living a backpacker’s lifestyle, then you can stay at the Sandakan Backpackers Hostel. It’s right on Sandakan Harbour and this hotel provides six-bed mixed and female-only dormitories, as well as private rooms. 

Guests will have access to shared bathrooms, which have showers. 

There is a common area at the hostel with a fridge and TV, and there’s WiFi throughout the accommodation including in every room. 

If you walk three minutes from the property, you’ll find yourself at the Sandakan Harbour Mall. And you’re four minutes from the Puu Ji Shih Temple. When you’re hungry, you’re steps away from the Buhari Curry House and San Da Gen Kopitiam. 

If you’re travelling to the Malaysian part of Borneo by flying into the Sandakan Airport, you’ll only be a 15-minute drive from this backpackers hostel. There are laundry facilities, however you can’t park your rented vehicle here. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

This is a very cheap option relative to many other places in Sandakan. 

Worst Parts?

Like most hostels, you won’t have access to as much privacy, unless you rent a private room. You also have to share a bathroom with other guests. 

Summary

You know what you get with a hostel. By sacrificing a bit of privacy, you’ll save a lot of cash!

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sepilok Jungle Resort Review

Address: Mile 14, Jalan Rambutan, Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Steps away from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Room Types: Standard-sized rooms

Top Features:

  • Very close to tourist attractions
  • Outdoor pool
  • Telescopes for animal spotting
  • On-site food and drinks

As given away in its name, Sepilok Jungle Resort is right by the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. One of the most exciting things to do in Sandakan is to go to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and if you stay here, you’re within a very close walking distance from it. 

Rooms here are your typical size, and there are different bed options, including two single beds and a queen bed. Air conditioning is available on the property, as well as free breakfast and internet access. 

There’s an outdoor pool with seating options all around. Dine on-site at the restaurant and while your food digests, you can use one of the property’s many telescopes to spot wildlife. 

You can book tours with the jungle resort, including to the orangutan centre and the Turtle Islands National Park. For all the birders out there, since you’re in the jungle, you’ll see several bird species, including hornbills, while staying at the resort. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

This property is very serene and the outdoor pool provides a refreshing option after a day of exploring. 

Worst Parts?

The rooms are old, and the shower facilities aren’t the best. 

Summary

If you want a true nature experience in Sandakan, the Sepilok Jungle Resort’s location is very hard to beat. 

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Livingston Hotel Sandakan Review

Address: Jalan Utara Mile 4, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Not too far from several food and shopping options

Room Types: Deluxe-sized rooms

Top Features:

  • Outdoor pool
  • Located right in town
  • On-site restaurant 
  • Good-sized rooms

The Livingston Hotel Sandakan is a three-star hotel that’s well priced and located right in the city. It’s in close driving distance to several food and shopping establishments, and it’s only a 10-minute car ride from the waterfront. 

Air-conditioned deluxe-sized rooms are available for rent, with some coming with a large double bed and others with two singles. Each unit has a private bathroom loaded with free toiletries. There’s also a couch and a television in each room, and some even have a desk. 

You’ll also get either a city view or a view of the property’s outdoor pool, depending on the room. There’s a restaurant on-site as well. 

Staying connected online is possible at the Livingston Hotel Sandakan as there’s WiFi throughout the property. There’s also free parking and several reception services, including luggage storage, a 24/7 front desk attendant and room service. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

Having a pool at a hotel is always a fantastic perk. 

Worst Parts?

It’s not in the best location to walk to shopping and dining areas. It’s also farther away from tourist attractions compared to other places. 

Summary

The Livingston Hotel Sandakan is another great option that will house you right in the city while not breaking the bank. 

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sepilok Forest Edge Resort Review

Address: Mile 14, Jalan Rambutan, Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: A few minutes walk from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Room Types: Chalets, glamping villas and mixed dormitory 

Top Features:

  • Very close to the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve
  • Interesting private chalets and a villa
  • There’s a restaurant at the property
  • Close to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Boasting a list of private chalets that’ll sleep up to five people, Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is another fantastic option for those who want to stay close to the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Each chalet has a private bathroom with hot and cold water. The bigger chalets also have a bathtub and tea-making facilities. 

Want to try out glamping? If so, there’s a two-bedroom villa at this resort that’ll sleep up to four people. It is self-contained, boasting kitchen facilities, a living area, outdoor deck, a private bathroom and a plunge pool 

If you want to get the jungle experience but you’re on a strict budget, there’s a mixed dormitory as well. 

You won’t need to walk too far to get to the popular Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, and you’ll be able to dine on-site at the property’s restaurant. 

And just because you’re in the jungle doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected. There is free WiFi in select public areas at the accommodation. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

It’s in a fantastic location for outdoor adventurists. 

Worst Parts?

There is no WiFi in the rooms, only in certain public spots. 

Summary

You’ll truly feel like you’re at an outdoor retreat, so be prepared to make memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Amanson sigNature Hotel Review

Address: Lot 82 – 84, Block Mile, K, 4, Jalan Utara, Bandar Pasaraya, Sandakan, Sabah

Near:  A few steps from several shopping and dining establishments

Room Types: Double and twin rooms

Top Features:

  • Located very close to endless food and shopping spots 
  • Budget accommodation
  • Great hotel service options
  • WiFi throughout the property

Another prime budget accommodation in Sandakan is the Amanson sigNature Hotel. This three-star property is cheaper than most places on this list, but it has a lot of the same services available, including daily housekeeping, safety deposit boxes and a 24-hour check-in. 

Rooms are basic with different bed options, and each one has WiFi in it, as well as coffee and tea making facilities, air conditioning, free bottled water, a private bathroom with free toiletries and blackout curtains to ensure you get a restful sleep. 

You’re very close to several food options, including Pizza Hut, Tien Kee Restaurant and Kedai Kopi Istimewa. And if you need to do some shopping, a 7-Eleven is nearby, among many other businesses. There’s also a convenience store right on-site. 

If you’ve rented a vehicle, you can park it at the Amanson sigNature Hotel. And remember, there is a no-pet policy at this Sandakan hotel. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

You’ll save some money if you choose to stay here instead of a lot of other places on this list. 

Worst Parts?

You have to leave the hotel to eat or buy cooked meals.  

Summary

Malaysia is known for being a cheaper tourist destination compared to a lot of other countries, and if you reserve a room at the Amanson sigNature Hotel, you’ll know you’re saving even more money!

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sandakan Hotel Review

Address: Block 83, 4th Ave, Town Centre, Sandakan City Center, Sandakan, Sabah

Near: Twenty-minute drive from the Sandakan Airport, in the heart of the city

Room Types:  Standard-sized rooms and suites

Top Features:

  • Ability to host events
  • Close to airport
  • Walking distance from the business centre
  • Cheap option

Another money-saving move is to stay at Hotel Sandakan, located within walking distance of the city’s business centre. 

Out of 104 rooms at Hotel Sandakan, 14 are suites and the rest are regular sized. Regardless of unit, you’ll have a TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box, mini-fridge and internet access. 

Rooms also have a seating area and desk, with some having coffee and tea facilities as well. 

You can enjoy Malaysian cuisine and western food at the Psalm Cafe, which is located at the hotel. The Palm Garden Chinese Restaurant is also on-site, serving Chinese cuisine. 

If you’re planning on hosting some sort of banquet or event in Malaysia, you can do it at this hotel as they offer multiple function rooms. And if you organise it through the hotel, you can get catering for your banquet as well. 

Parking is free for hotel guests and there’s WiFi access as well. 

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

There are several food options on-site which can be very convenient. 

Worst Parts?

It’s not as close to the jungle tourist attractions as other places on this list. 

Summary

Hotel Sandakan has everything you need to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the city.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Sanbay Hotel Review

Address: Mile 1 1/4, Jalan Leila, P.O.Box 211 , Sandakan City Center, Sandakan, Sabah

Near:  Very close to fishing shops

Room Types: 58 rooms ranging in size, from standard rooms to suites

Top Features:

  • Large rooms
  • Great location for those who want to fish
  • On-site cafe
  • Well priced

If you want to hop onto a boat and head out into the sea to do some fishing, you’ll be close to multiple fishing shop options while staying at the Sanbay Hotel. This three-star property is a budget accommodation as well, boasting 58 rooms with a variety of different bed sizes, amenities and furniture. 

Some rooms have a nice lounge area with comfortable chairs, and others have multiple beds. Each room has air conditioning and complimentary WiFi. There are free toiletries in every unit’s bathroom, as well as a shower. 

Other perks include a desk, free bottled water, coffee and tea-making facilities and a refrigerator. 

There’s a garden on the property to check out, and you’ll be able to park your vehicle here free of charge. The Sanbay Hotel offers staple services, including daily housekeeping, laundry, luggage storage and safety deposit boxes. 

There’s also a cafe on-site, and you can choose to have breakfast served to you every day of your holiday.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

The price of staying here is very low compared to many other places on this list. 

Worst Parts?

It’s a budget hotel, so don’t expect anything too fancy. 

Summary

Sanbay Hotel will cover all your bases, from eating to getting a good night’s sleep. And, you’ll hold onto more cash relative to other places in Sandakan.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Map Of The Best Hotel Sandakan, Sabah

Best Hotels In Sandakan map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

I hope you found this guide to the top hotels in Sandakan useful. Read our list of the top things to do in Sandakan Borneo during your visit here or exactly how to get to Sandakan coming from Kota Kinabalu here. Or find our guide to the best things to do in Borneo here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.