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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...
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.
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 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...
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...
Step In Lodge
This popular spot wins the award for KK’s smartest hostel with larger-than-normal bunk beds, comfy mattresses, real coffee at breakfast, and an excellent (not to mention knowledgeable) staff...
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.
This long-running backpackers is a bit cramped, but it's very popular, especially with younger travellers.
Summer Lodge feels like a bed factory, but it's got that social vibe backpackers adore – 'How long have you been travelling? Where did you come from/where are you going? Isn't it funny when foreigners do that thing they do? Fancy a drink?' The answer ...
The Holiday is a very friendly spot right downtown in the Segama Complex. It's showing its age, and hot water here is an on-again-off-again affair, but the folks at the front desk will make you feel at home.
Borneo Global Backpackers
Feels a bit like a warehouse, but nonetheless popular with the budget crowd. Located at the southern end of town. Ask about tours to Semporna and Sungai Kinabatangan.
Borneo Beac House (Backpackers)
Rooms are uber-basic, but it’s one of the only options around with self-service kitchen facilities, and there’s a supermarket down the street. Located near the airport (15-minute walk).
Sabah Oriental Hotel
A 5-minute drive from shopping at Gaya Street, Sabah Oriental Hotel offers views of Mount Kinabalu and Kinabalu City. It has 2 dining options and an outdoor pool. Parking on-site is free...