Kota Kinabalu is one of the biggest islands in Malaysian Peninsula that is definitely worth visiting for its well preserved nature, white sand beaches and a totally relaxing vibe. It is a destination frequented by others due to the vast number of activities and things to do in the area from world class dive spots, natural wonders, beautiful beaches and a majestic mountain. Since we often have been to Kota Kinabalu and checked out where to stay and suggested by our fellow travelers, we decided to put together this guide that will suite every type of travelers from luxury to budget travelers such as couples, honeymooners, backpackers, family and others on the best places to stay in Kota Kinabalu. So Where To Stay in Kota Kinabalu?

Where to Stay in Kota Kinabalu

shangri-la rasa ria kota kinabalu

Shangri-la Rasa Ria

Set amidst a nature reserve at Pantai Dalit Beach, Shangri-la Rasa Ria Resort & Spa enchants travelers endlessly with its natural magic. Set on Malaysian-themed room perched on a hill has a spectacular beachfront view surrounded by 400 acres of tropical forest while you see catamarans across the bay during the day and be astounded with majestic  sun rises over the Mount Kinabalu on the horizon.

The resort is home to an eco-friendly golf course and a beautiful Spa on Dalit Bay. Unique to the resort is the Nature Interpretation Centre, gateway to the Nature Reserve where guests can meet the Borneo’s wildlife up close. A definite worth to stay place for families and couples in Kota Kinabalu! 

Shangri-la taman arun kota kinabalu

Shangri-la Taman Arun

Located just 10 minutes away from the city, Shangri-la Taman Arun Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu, is a luxurious, tranquil retreat surrounded by natural beauty that provides the perfect setting for an amazing tropical getaway. Sophistication surrounds you in a lavishly decorated suite inspired by Borneo’s rich cultural heritage. Guests can look forward to get refreshments at a nearby bar while soaking in the splendor of the famous Borneo sunset While lounging in one of the beach side cabanas and enjoying the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. Perfect for couples that wants an intimate and luxury vacation.

Gayana Eco Resort Kota Kinabalu

Gayana Eco Resort

Why go as far as Maldives? Gayana Eco Resort in Kota Kinabalu rests at the edges of a lush coral reef island off the coast of Borneo with overwater villas that are architecturally designed to enhance the sounds of the surf below while capturing the enduring vistas of Mt. Kinabalu on the horizon. With the sparkling waters of the South China Sea before you, and untrammeled jungle behind you, you’ll truly feel you have stepped into a vanishing world of tropical paradise.

mandarin hotel kota kinabalu

Mandarin Hotel

Mandarin Hotel is conveniently located at the city center of Kota Kinabalu. Albeit averagely priced, this hotel has great customer service, friendly staff and clean rooms. This hotel is situated about a couple of minutes walk away towards the jesselton point harbour which is convenient for island hopping and water sports activities. Not only is the location is nearby the harbour, it is also walking distance away from the weekend market for shopping souvenirs and surrounded by delicious restaurants & bars.

Jesselton Cabin Kota Kinabalu

Jesselton Cabin

If you are looking for a good hostel in Kota Kinabalu with the right price, Jesselton Cabin is located at the heart of Kota Kinabalu City and walking distance going to shopping and entertainment centers, restaurants. This hostel is also an easy access to public transport such as coach and ferry terminal whenever you want to complete your things to do list in Kota Kinabalu. This hostel boasts of clean, spacious and big rooms and offers separate restroom and bathroom for men and women. There are selection of fan or air conditioned rooms that has breakfast included.

Lavender Lodge

Lavender Lodge

For our trip in Kota Kinabalu, we stayed over at Lavender Lodge because of its accessibility and location. The hostel/hotel is located just across a great seafood complex area where you can dine and taste malaysian seafood cuisine. Lavender lodge offer great deals on rooms either you may be traveling single, couple or a group (with free cofee and toast for breakfast!). We loved the place since their staffs are really hospitable,friendly and mostly filipinos like us.

Hotel 63 Kota Kinabalu

Hotel Sixty3

Hotel Sixty3 is steps away from Sabahs’ most famous Gaya Street Sunday market,  a place with plenty of food outlets and shopping malls for convenience. As for the rooms, the rooms are spacious enough for two people where ensuite bathroom/toilet are huge as well. Everything on the bedroom is designed efficiently to provide comfort for your trip.

Hotel Eden54 Kota Kinabalu

Hotel Eden54

With its cool, minimalist decor and warm ambient undertones on rooms, Hotel Eden54 makes guests get luxury for less with its clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staff that make you definitely feel at home. A great value for money since this hotel is also nearby malls, shopping areas, restaurants and the harbour.

Pacific Sutera Kota Kinabalu

Pacific Sutera

The luxurious 5-star Pacific Sutera hotel in Kota Kinabalu features well decorated and comfortable rooms and suites for travelers that comes with contemporary décor and dramatic views of either the sprawling golf course or of the sea and nearby tropical islands. One can have a wonderful stress free time lazing around the hotel hammocks just by the seaside or take a dip at the swimming pool and beach to cool of the heat. There is also a hotel shuttle that takes guests to the city center to shop, dine and discover the city. A definite place to stay in Kota Kinabalu for rest and relaxation.

C'haya hotel kota kinabalu

C’haya Hotel

C’haya Hotel is a 20-minute walk from the tanjung aru beach. A beautiful property located just a 5-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport that offers guests elegantly fitted rooms with hardwood floors and wooden furnishings as well as comfortable room furnishings. The rooftop bar and pool is a great place to relax, unwind or see the beautiful bornean sunset.

Victoria Hotel & Hostel Kota Kinabalu

Victoria Hotel & Hostel

Affordable modern air-conditioned rooms at the Victoria Hotel & Hostel are fitted with a satellite TV, telephone and en suite bathroom with hot water supply for utmost comfort and relaxation. The guests luggage storage is provided at the front desk as well as sightseeing arrangements and car rental services are available at the hotel property that gives guests convenience for their holiday adventure.  This hotel is also surrounded by local restaurants which are all walking distance.

I hope these recommendations would come in handy when it comes to planning out your trip to Kota Kinabalu and deciding where to stay. If you are looking for more recommendations about where to stay in Kota Kinabalu or other places, check out other cool travel blog articles related below!

TeamCool is Mikhail Van Spencer aka “spencer cool” is an Online Marketing Manager based in Phuket, Thailand. Loves to travel, Likes to dress good, Down to earth, Adrenaline Junkie, “photographer”, “videographer” and a loving husband. A team wouldn’t be complete without a partner, Noreen Sheridan is a licensed nurse, a great medical sales representative, marketing person, GREAT COOK (she does really cook good food), likes fashion in general, beautiful inside out and a loving and understanding wife.