Kota Kinabalu Hotels, Guesthouses and Resorts

Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu is plentiful and whether you’re looking for a simple budget friendly option or something a little more comfortable, you should find it easy to locate a hotel or hostel that’s right for you. The easiest thing in our experience is to stay somewhere fairly central so it’s easy to explore the city during your visit.


There are lots of choices for budget travellers and Kota Kinabalu is a very backpacker friendly destination.

The Akinabalu Youth Hostel is centrally located and has many rooms, from dorms to privates. A simple breakfast is included - usually toast with some butter and jam - and it’s generally clean with helpful staff and lots of tours on offer. Prices are from MYR25 per person per night and increase depending on what type of room you choose and whether you prefer air conditioning or are happy with just a fan.

Similarly Borneo Backpackers has a convenient location, and is located in the historic ‘Australia Place’. There are again, dorms and private rooms, and the shared social spaces are particularly nice for relaxing and meeting other travellers. Breakfast is included and all rooms here are air-conditioned. They have an in-house tour desk and a popular cafe on the ground floor. Rates start from MYR35 per person for a dorm.


In the mid range selection there are a reasonable number of hotels to choose from, most of which offer very good value for money.

The King Park Hotel is a 3* hotel, with 14 floors, meaning that a higher floor room will provide you with a great view of the city - friendly staff will happily try to accommodate your requests. It’s also possible to get some good views of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Rooms here tend to cost from MYR128 per night, depending on room type and also whether you’re travelling in high season.

Kota Kinabalu also has a popular Novotel, which has 263 rooms and is located in 1 Borneo Hypermall, a large shopping mall which is very handy to have on the doorstep and stocks everything you might need. This hotel has an outdoor pool and a jacuzzi, and is popular with business travellers as well as with tourists to the area.

Top End

Finally, if you want to treat yourself then Malaysian Borneo is a great place to do it - it really is surprising just how good a value some of the higher end accommodation can be compared with equivalents in other countries.

Bunga Raya resort is a famous Malaysian luxury resort, costing up to MYR8000 per night depending on the level of luxury you’re looking for. It has a luxurious spa, an infinity pool, its own dive centre and a fantastic on site restaurant.

On the beach, you can find the Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort, which has its own orang-utan sanctuary where you can see young orang-utans who have been rescued. The resort also boasts a pool with waterslides, a kids’ club and a beachside restaurant for all day dining.

All in all, there are at least ten good options in each price bracket in and around Kota Kinabalu, meaning you should have no problems booking the perfect accommodation. Most are bookable online in advance, which can make it a lot easier when you first arrive and all should be more than happy to help you to arrange any tours or excursions around the local area. Our recommendation? Enjoy some budget friendly luxury!