Travelling to Kota Kinabalu? Fantastic! It’s a great part of the world.

Now you know you’re going, the next step is to book the best hotel in Kota Kinabalu city for you. That’s what we will help you with here.

Kota Kinabalu is a great place to visit. It’s known for its lively markets, gorgeous nearby islands, and of course, the gateway to the world-renown Kinabalu National Park where Mt. Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia, is found.

In this article, I will help you find the best resort in Kota Kinabalu no matter what your budget or what exactly you are looking for.

So whether you are looking for Kota Kinabalu resorts 5 stars, a hotel near Kota Kinabalu airport, or the best budget hotel in Kota Kinabalu town area, we have you covered with the best place to stay in Kota Kinabalu for you.

Here is our list of the best Kota Kinabalu accommodation as well as some information about where to stay in Kota Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu,: Swordfish Statue

Comparison Of The Best Hotels In Kota Kinabalu Sabah

In the following Kota Kinabalu hotel list, find all our top options for the best Borneo hotel Kota Kinabalu offers.

Where To Stay In Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia : Beautiful Infinity pool

Kota Kinabalu has been booming over the last couple of years and many backpacker hostels, five-star hotels, and lots of other options have begun popping up.

Older hotels and accommodations have also been undergoing renovations, which means there’s now a lot of great stays to pick from.

For main backpacker haunts, head to Gaya Street. There are also several hostels and budget hotels along the Banderran Berjaya area. You’d also find that there are lots of hotels in Kota Kinabalu city centre. Since the main city center is small, almost everything is within walking distance.

Now, if you’re wondering where to stay in Kota Kinabalu beach, there are fancier, more luxurious resorts with beach access but most of these are found further out of town, as well as in the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Top 12 Best Hotels In Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

Below, you will find full reviews of each of our choices for the best hotel around Kota Kinabalu.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort And Spa Review

Nestled in a nature reserve that overlooks the South China Sea, this luxury resort and spa offers guests a relaxing stay in elegantly designed rooms. Each room is tastefully furnished with a flat-screen TV, coffee/tea making facilities and a mini-bar.

Guests can also enjoy the views in the garden or sea from their private balcony and can choose from the resort’s deluxe rooms, superior rooms, and suite rooms. There are rooms great for families.

It also features an outdoor swimming pool, a golf course, an in-house spa, a restaurant that offers a wide array of international cuisines, and a beachside lounge and music lounge perfect for a relaxing drink after a long day of activities. There is a kids club.

Other facilities include shuttle service, airport transfers, and a 24-hour front desk where you can arrange tours and other outdoor activities.

This is our pick for the best beach resort in Kota Kinabalu.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

A lovely hotel complex set in a stunning location that offers magical views of the sunset. Impeccable service from the staff as well. It is perfect for families.

Worst Parts?

It’s a little far off from town, although there is plenty of food, activities, and shops in the resort.

Summary:

If you’re looking for a Kota Kinabalu beach resort, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort And Spa is an excellent place if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

This beach hotel Kota Kinabalu is near the jungle and has an exclusive private beach with beautiful sunset views. This 5-star hotel in Kota Kinabalu also offers guests a lot of great activities to do at the resort for a reasonable price.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Hotel Traveller Kota Kinabalu Review

This tourist hotel Kota Kinabalu is found right at the heart of the city centre. It’s just a quick 5-minute walk from Sunday Gaya Street Market, and the Filipino Market, and a quick 10- minute drive from Likas Bay Beach and Atkinson Clock Tower.

Room types are twin, deluxe, and family rooms, and all are air conditioned and fitted with satellite TVs, telephones, and en-suite bathrooms.

Tours and car rental services are available at the front desk. They also have an in-house restaurant, Wong Kok, that serves a wide array of local delights.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

This basic hotel Kota Kinabalu has a good location as it is located in the main city centre. Many places of interest, shopping malls, and convenience stores are just within walking distance.

Worst Parts?

Rooms on the first floor can be a bit noisy as it is at street level. But you can ask the staff for a room on one of the upper floors instead.

Summary: 

This Kota Kinabalu city hotel is set in a strategic location, it’s accessible to nearby restaurants and shops. It’s affordable, too.

Overall, this budget-friendly, cheap hotel in Kota Kinabalu is great value for money.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Hotel Capital Kota Kinabalu Review

Hotel Capital is a hotel near centre point Kota Kinabalu and just a quick 3-minute walk from Gaya Street with plenty of excellent dining options nearby like Little Italy, which serves authentic pizza and pasta.

Each room includes a flat-screen cable TV, ensuite bathroom, free wifi, with shower and free toiletries. Some rooms have a sitting area as well. Room types include standard rooms, deluxe rooms and suites.

Dry cleaning services are also available upon request, there’s also daily housekeeping and free luggage storage for guests.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

Excellent location. There’s a mall just across the hotel, and just a short walk to local bars and restaurants.

Worst Parts?

The rooms are a bit small.

Summary:

If you’re looking for basic, no-frills accommodation, and a convenient location in the city center, then this hotel area centre point Kota Kinabalu is one of the best mid-range hotels in the area.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Casuarina Hotel Review

Located in Tanjung Aru, this budget-friendly hotel near Kota Kinabalu International Airport is just a minute’s walk to Perdana Park’s musical fountain and a 2-minute walk to Tanjung Aru Beach.

All rooms are air-conditioned equipped with a mini-bar, a satellite TV, tea/coffee making facilities and an en-suite bathroom. Guests can also choose either from their double rooms, twin rooms, family or suite rooms.

If you’re travelling with family, the hotel’s family rooms are large enough, with adjoining sleeping rooms and a big bathroom. One can also arrange laundry at the 24-hour front desk, which also lends out hairdryers and irons.

There’s also a free shuttle service from the airport that runs between 8 am to 5 pm. Note that there’s still a service after that, but additional charges do apply. There’s also a complimentary shuttle to Kota Kinabalu town (this is subject to availability).

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

Has excellent access to the beach. Hands down, this is one of the best budget-friendly Kota Kinabalu hotels near beach.

Worst Parts?

The facilities are a bit dated but still work well.

Summary:

This Kota Kinabalu hotel near airport offers a nice view of Kota Kinabalu and a cheap accommodation Kota Kinabalu. Another bonus is that they offer a free shuttle service from the airport, too.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Mandarin Hotel Kota Kinabalu Review

Located in Gaya Street Sunday Market, this mid-range, Kota Kinabalu Sabah hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV, free wifi, an en suite bathroom, hairdryer and toiletries.

Daily housekeeping and laundry can also be provided at an additional charge. Room types are standard, deluxe and family rooms.

There’s a 24-hour reception that will be happy to assist as well, and guests can arrange car rentals and airport drop-off service. There’s also plenty of dining options nearby which includes local cafes and restaurants.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

This Sabah Kota Kinabalu hotel is set in a prime location, just next to Gaya Street where you can find a lot of restaurants and shops. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the hotel offers free airport transfers as well.

Worst Parts?

They don’t offer breakfast, but you can still find great small food places nearby.

Summary: 

Overall, this is a great place to stay at an affordable price. The location is right at the heart of weekend markets. Unique and delicious restaurants are just a couple of minutes walk away.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Gaya Hotel Kota Kinabalu (Gaya Centre Hotel) Review

Gaya Hotel is a hotel Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia that’s located at the heart of Kota Kinabalu’s commercial district. The hotel features air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, free wifi, and a mini-bar. For guests’ comfort, rooms also have an en-suite bathroom and toiletries.

Guests can enjoy either sea or city views from their rooms, and room types are standard, deluxe, family, and suites.

This mid-range hotel has an on-site restaurant that serves a daily breakfast buffet as well as all-day dining. Alternatively, there are also many restaurants and affordable eateries nearby.

There’s also free luggage storage, and laundry is provided with an additional charge. Other facilities include a souvenir shop, fitness center and a business center. Jesselton Point is also just 10 minutes’ walk away.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

Good location, with excellent views. This 3-star hotel in Kota Kinabalu is also a lovely place to stay because everything’s within walking distance.

Worst Parts? 

There’s currently a major construction site going on in front of the hotel, so expect noise during work hours. You can ask the staff to switch to a quieter room.

Summary: 

Overall, this hotel Sabah Kota Kinabalu is set in a good location at a reasonable price. The rooms are big and clean. The staff are friendly and helpful as well.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

The Pacific Sutera Hotel Review

The Pacific Sutera is one of the best Kota Kinabalu luxury hotels and boasts an Olympic-sized pool, as well as easy access to Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club.

Every room is fitted with contemporary decor, flat-screen satellite TV, a minibar, and an electric kettle. It also has an en-suite bathroom with a shower and toiletries.

Hotel guests can either enjoy the sea or golf-course view, and stay in one of their exquisite deluxe, family rooms or Suites.

There’s also an in-house restaurant that serves a daily breakfast buffet and all-day dining. Drinks and snacks can be accessed from the Lobby Lounge, Pool Bar and Breeze Beach Club.

This Kota Kinabalu resort hotel also offers relaxing Malaysian massages from their in-house spa and a 24/7 front desk that’s happy to cater to guests with their needs. Other facilities include a gym and a children’s playground.

The Sabah Museum and the IMAGO Shopping Mall are also just about 2 kilometres away from the property.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts?

Stunning location and view. The facilities are superb, and the staff is friendly and helpful.

Worst Parts? 

The wifi connection can be a bit spotty at times.

Summary: 

Overall, it’s a perfect place to spend a weekend getaway. Everything is wonderful ‒ from the staff and the facilities to the rooms.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Hotel Sixty3 Review

If you want to stay in hotel Kota Kinabalu, Hotel Sixty3 is just steps away from Gaya Street Sunday Market. Rooms of this mid-range hotel are elegantly decorated with modern furnishings and feature a flat-screen TV, air-conditioner, wifi, electric kettle, ensuite bathroom with shower and toiletries.

Note that some rooms also have separate dining and eating areas. Guests can either choose to stay in their standard, deluxe, superior or executive rooms and suites.

Moreover, several local eateries and popular restaurants are just a couple of minutes’ walk away. Hotel Sixty3 also has friendly staff at the 24-hour reception who are happy to assist guests with their needs.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

The rooms are spacious, and the hotel is in a good location, as it is walking distance to Gaya Street. The staff is helpful and friendly as well.

Worst Parts? 

The interior of the building looks a bit dated, but everything is well-maintained.

Summary: 

Overall, the rooms are big, clean and comfortable. Great location, as it’s near bars and restaurants and walking distance to everything.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa Review

Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa is located 10 minutes away from the city, offering guests luxury and relaxation at the same time in an idyllic beach setting. This hotel would be at the top of any list of 5 star hotel in Kota Kinabalu.

It features 498 contemporary-styled rooms and suites fitted with air-conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV, a seating area and en-suite bathroom with toiletries. Guests can stay in their standard rooms, family rooms, or suites. Breathtaking mountain or ocean views can also be enjoyed from private balconies.

This luxury resort also features an in-house restaurant where guests can enjoy their meals, and enjoy live entertainment and refreshments at the Borneo Lounge and Bar.

Adult guests can try out various water sports activities like surfing, diving, and swimming, while kids can enjoy the kids’ pool’s waterslides. Other amenities in the hotel include a golf course, and an in-house spa offering relaxing massages. There is also a great kids club/

The hotel has a 24-hour reception with staff happy to assist you with transfers and car rentals at additional charges.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

The hotel’s location is excellent and is one of the best Kota Kinabalu luxury resorts in the area. It’s just a quick 10-minute drive to the main city center. Impeccable customer service as well.

Worst Parts? 

Limited dining options. But you can always explore nearby restaurants in the area.

Summary:

If you’re searching for resorts near Kota Kinabalu, This Shangri La Hotel is terrific, from the food, facilities, ambiance, to the location. The staff is also friendly and helpful. Hands down, it is one of the best beach resorts near Kota Kinabalu. It’s also particularly recommended for families.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Borneo Beach Villas Review

Nestled along a 7-kilometre white sandy beach, Borneo Beach Villas offers guests beachfront accommodations with fantastic sea views.

The mid-range resort features an outdoor pool and an in-house restaurant where guests can dine. There’s also free wifi connection provided in all public areas.

Every room is furnished with a large living room, air conditioning, and a kitchen. In the Spa Suite, guests can enjoy a private steam bath and a hot tub. The Pool Villas, on the other hand, feature a private lap pool. There’s also a private balcony to enjoy the calming ocean views.

Other facilities include a spa, gym, and an on-site cafe and restaurant serving different dining options and freshly brewed coffee. There’s also a souvenir shop and information centre that provides sports rentals and other complementary activities.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

If you’re looking for beachfront hotels in Kota Kinabalu, then the hotel’s location is set right on the beach. Apart from the superb amenities, one can enjoy beautiful sunsets and a lovely beach to swim at.

Worst Parts?

The resort is a bit far from the city and other tourist attractions.

Summary: 

Borneo Beach Villas is perfect if you’re looking for a peaceful, and serene environment set at a private beach. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The staff is helpful and friendly as well.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Hotel Grandis Review

Hotel Grandis is located just within the city center,  right next to Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, and just within walking distance to nearby attractions like the Atkinson Clock Tower, Signal Hill Observation Deck, Filipino Market, and the Gaya Sunday Market.

This boutique hotel Kota Kinabalu features rooms either with sea and city views and every room is fitted with satellite TV, complimentary in-room wifi access, air-conditioning and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Hairdryer and iron are also available. Guests can either stay in one of their superior rooms, deluxe rooms, family rooms, studios, or suites.

This mid-range hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool, and an in-house cafe that serves a daily breakfast buffet, and all-day dining. One can also relax and listen to live music at the piano lounge or grab a refreshing drink at the rooftop Sky Bar.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

Friendly staff, spacious rooms, and conveniently located next to a shopping mall. Superb amenities as well.

Worst Parts? 

The swimming pool is quite small.

Summary: 

The hotel is adjacent to the Suria Shopping Mall. So, if you’re looking for a hotel near the shopping mall in Kota Kinabalu, then this is the best place to stay in the area mainly because of its location.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu Review

Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu offers guests accommodation overlooking the South China Sea. Every room of this 4-star hotel in Kota Kinabalu is furnished with a flat-screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, and an en-suite bathroom with a shower and toiletries.

Wifi is easily accessible throughout. Room types include deluxe and superior rooms as well as suites.

The property boasts an outdoor swimming pool, ballroom and meeting facilities, 24-hour reception where the staff can assist with airport transfers and currency exchange. Guests can also do their fitness routine at the on-site gym, or pamper themselves at the hotel’s salon.

Moreover, daily breakfast is usually served in Promenade Café, with a variety of food options, and there’s also live entertainment and cocktails offered at the lobby lounge.

Click here for more information.

Best Parts? 

The rooms offer a great sea view and a superb location. It is just right in front of the Anjung Seya if you’re looking for cheap, delicious seafood. There’s also a shopping mall that’s walking distance from the hotel.

Worst Parts? 

The hotel’s food choices are a bit limited, but you can always explore other eateries and restaurants in the area.

Summary: 

This hotel is ideal for a short stay in Kota Kinabalu, and one of the best Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia hotels in the area. It features luxurious rooms and bathrooms and the breakfast is superb as well.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Map Of Best Place To Stay In Kota Kinabalu

I hope you found this guide to the top hotels in Kota Kinabalu useful. While you are in Borneo, check out our list of the top things to do here. You can also find our full guide to Borneo here.

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