Just a short flight from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu is a destination in Malaysia most skip but one you really do not want to miss. Known to the locals as KK, this city is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of Borneo.
This coastal city is partly surrounded by rainforest and used as a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m high Mount Kinabalu. Famous for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beautiful beaches and the waterfront Mosque – this Malaysian city is worth a visit.
During our recent travels through SEA we had the opportunity to spend a night in KK at the newly renovated Hilton Kota Kinabalu – one of the most beautiful business hotels we have ever stayed at.
Checking into the Hilton Kota Kinabalu
The first thing that struck us immediately as we entered the hotel lobby is the stunning chandelier that completely takes over the high ceiling. The hotel’s main reception area is absolutely huge and a destination within the hotel itself. The size is almost unnecessary as check-in was speedy thanks to the friendly staff who greeted and escorted us to our room.
Our one bedroom suite was by far the largest we have ever stayed in at in any business hotel so far – this was an apartment not a suit! Included were several spaces from an office, guest bathroom, dinning room, bedroom and walk in closet to an ensuite.
To fill the large rooms were a king bed, double sink bathroom, large bath with accompanying shower and two TVs spread between the lounge and bedroom. It was the best place to relax and feel at home after 1.5 months jetsetting through Southeast Asia.
Other than the home comforts you would expect from Hilton, a notable feature was the motion sensing technology that controls the air-conditioning and lighting. No keycard is required once you enter the room, just yourself – the lights and air conditioning will just turn on automatically as you walk in. Similarly, when going to sleep, you can turn off all the lights with just one button by the bed (we need this new technology for our place back in Australia)!
The Rooftop Pool & Restaurant
We would have to say one of the hotels best features is the rooftop. With a pool surrounded by comfy sun beds and views of the city below – we could have spent our entire visit to KK on this rooftop.
Also located on the top floor, the Rooftop Poolside Bar & Grill was our choice of dining for the evening. Once we arrived we were told that this was the only restaurant with a wood fire oven in Kota Kinabalu – so clearly we went for the pizza, which we can most certainly recommend.
Speaking of food, unfortunately our departure was at ridiculous-o’clock in the morning so we didn’t have a chance to try out the complimentary breakfast. However, just before we left we heard a knock at the door and a chef from the kitchen had brought us up a packed brekkie-to-go – such a nice touch, which we devoured in the car on the way to the airport.
What to See
Signal Hill Observatory Platform: For the best views of the city skyline and the stunning coast you need to make the climb up to this spot! The stairs that lead to this will take you 10 minutes, but it’s not a difficult climb at all.
KK Waterfront & Times Square: These are the two main entertainment areas in the city. If you are looking for a place to eat these are the spots for you. A part of the KK Waterfront is the KK esplanade and it is a great spot to catch some beautiful sunsets and take photo ops of iconic things like the Marlin Fish landmark, fishing boats, water taxis, and the Gaya island in the horizon.
Atkinson Clock Tower: Located near Signal Hill, this was built in 1902 in memory of Francis George Atkinson and it is one of the surviving buildings after the Allied Bombings.
Sabah State Mosque: The largest mosque in Sabah. They say that its dome and minaret are decorated with real gold.
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque: Pictured below, it is deemed as a ‘floating mosque’ and it is the 2nd main mosque in Kota Kinabalu. As you can see, its architectural style is absolutely stunning.
Hilton Kota Kinabalu Room Tour
As always we film everything we get up to on our travel adventures. If you want to see a room and hotel tour and also what we got up to – check out our video below and make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
You can book a One Bedroom Suite from AUD$323 per night twin share.
Flying The Nest was welcomed as a guest of Hilton Kota Kinabalu, however as always all opinions are our own.