Sandakan Hotels, Hostels and Resorts
When it comes to accommodation in Sandakan there are a fair amount of options given the size of the town, but you will find options are generally most restricted than many other popular resorts and tourist destinations in Malaysia. It’s usually best to book in advance as pretty much all accommodation can be booked online, and it saves you from turning up and finding that you can’t stay where you want. There are a few hostels and resorts outside of the town, but most accommodation is centrally located, making it easy to find restaurants and bars in the evening whilst using Sandakan itself as a convenient base for daytrips in the area.
Accommodation in Sandakan offers good value for money and provided that you read reviews you can expect to find budget friendly places to stay that usually include a decent complimentary breakfast, good free wifi and clean facilities. Of course, there’s always the exception to the rule but this was our experience! Best of all, most accommodation has its own tour desk, or at the very least staff who will be more than happy to help you to organise all of the details of your trip – hostels in particular offer some great deals and excellent tours. If you turn up with your dates of travel and some ideas then they will happily plan out your itinerary for the duration of your stay which helps to take out all of the hassle!
Whilst the budget sector is probably disproportionately represented when it comes to accommodation in Sandakan, there are some decent high-end options.
In the town itself, you can consider trying the Four Points by the Sheraton, which is probably the most popular choice for luxury travellers or those looking to invest a bit more in quality accommodation. It has a great waterfront location with a bar that’s very popular for drinks at sunset and is also attached to the main shopping mall, right in the centre of town, making it extremely well located. Most rooms have sea views and they also have other useful facilities like a swimming pool, gym, restaurant and business centre.
There are a couple of mid range hotels that are worth looking at if you don’t want to stay in hostels but also don’t want to break the bank. The Swiss-Inn Waterfront is also centrally located and is a new hotel directly on the waterfront with modern and clean rooms. Meanwhile, the Tai Lee Hotel is another choice - it’s right in the centre of town and offers cheaper rooms that both the Swiss-Inn and Sheraton, but still has good facilities as well as helpful staff.
Finally, if you’re on a budget staying in Sandakan you’ll be spoiled for choice. We personally loved the Seaview Sandakan Backpackers hostel which is located on the waterfront, near to some great restaurants and from just MYR55 you can get a private room with a sea view and a private bathroom. Tours here are good value for money and the team are extremely friendly and happy to help. The price of rooms and dorms also includes a generous breakfast with toast and fresh fruit.
Sandakan Backpackers, confusingly similarly named, is nearby and is another good budget choice with a tour desk, free breakfast and free tea and coffee.
Other popular choices with backpackers in Sandakan include Harbourside Backpackers which is also nearby, as well as Hotel London and Hotel Seafront. Accommodation is all similar and all will help you to organise your trip without too much trouble.