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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Best Western Kinabalu Daya Hotel
Oddly angled hallways and strangely placed lifts give Kinabalu Daya a certain '10-year-old's-Lego-project' vibe...
The Nak is a solid midrange hotel that's a fair steal if you're travelling as a couple or with friends, and nice value even if you're by yourself...
Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Very popular with international tour groups and Malaysian business travellers, this mammoth hotel near the south of the city is right on the foreshore and commands great ocean views...
There's a lot of competition in this price bracket in KK, but the Pantai still manages to rank near the top. With hot-water showers, neat and sunny rooms, it's a great value in a convenient spot.
Set in quiet gardens and brimming with facilities, including a playground for kids and a cruisey pub for grownups, Sabah's a favourite with Sepilok tour groups and Malaysia Airlines crew. Rooms meet or exceed international standards...
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
'If you can't undercut 'em, outclass 'em' seems to be the motto at KK's most central five-star venture, which just reeks of luxury, from the incredible views from the pool deck to the flat-screen TVs and DVD players...
The ‘D-apostrophe’ gives this downtown option a certain je ne sais quoi, but there’s nothing particularly boutique about it...
Hotel Shangri La
The Shangri La (not part of the famous worldwide chain) is a good business hotel for those who want a bit of comfort but don't want to pay international rates...
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Perfectly located on the foreshore, the Hyatt Regency is a big international-class hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, several on-site restaurants and comfortable rooms (some with ocean views)...
Seri Borneo Hotel
This clean, new hotel has everything you need without frills or fuss. It's an excellent choice in this price range.
The Jesselton Hotel
The oldest hotel in KK doesn't need to manufacture character – it fairly drips it, in a dignified if dated way. Mock-colonial wood and marble make you want to don black-tie formal clothes, and the single suite even has its own fishpond...
The Capital is a little long in the tooth, but it is well maintained and a decent value. There is little to distinguish it from others in this class except its convenient downtown location...
The Mark's Lodge
The word 'boutique' is written in fogged glass across the front entrance – just in case you didn't get the memo. This business-class hotel, located at Batu 4 (Bandar Indah) is a solid option for a comfortable sleep...
Swiss Inn Waterfront Sandakan
If you're in the mood for an essentially Western style waterfront resort, the Swiss Garden is where you want to be...
Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai
About seven kilometres north of the Rasa Ria Resort, you'll find this snazzy beach resort on Sabah's west coast. It's got a great 18-hole golf course, a good slice of sand, a lagoon-like pool, several restaurants and a spa...
Novotel Kota Kinabalu 1 Borneo
A real stunner, but stunningly far from the city centre.
The Pacific Sutera
While not as ‘old-world Asia’ as the stunning Shangri La, Sutera caters to big spenders with a cache of five-star amenities orbiting the vaulted lobby...
A three-star establishment offering comfortable but characterless Western-style rooms. Back in Agnes Keith’s time, staying here would have cost you just $8…
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Located in the city centre, this branch of the Hyatt chain is all corporate glitz – a good spot to take a businessman for lunch while enjoying impressive views out of a top-storey suite...
Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
The Shangri-La is a good choice for those who want to combine the attractions of Kota Kinabalu with the features of a tropical resort...
Akinabalu Youth Hostel
Friendly staff, fuchsia accent walls and trickling Zen fountains make this a solid option among KK's hostels, particularly if you find a quiet time to take advantage of the gratis internet and DVDs...
North Borneo Cabin
Right downtown, the Cabin offers large, light-filled rooms, clean showers and toilets and a spacious common area. It also offers free internet and luggage storage for while you're away in the jungle.