Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel



Hostelz.com's Review

Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel is situated in the heart of Sandakan, just yards from the seafront. Spread over three floors, it provides the feel of a small hotel and a true backpackers pad with dorms and private rooms available. What makes this place special is the personal touch the owners seem to give it. On arrival, they are keen to greet each guest with tea and fried bananas and even sit down with you for a welcome chat. The building is very clean throughout and the common area is set up perfectly for chilling out and socialising with tables, a cushioned/bed area, and a Hi-Fi. Pancakes with syrup and tea/coffee are also included each morning and the hostel serves food throughout the day.

The Location

It is a three-minute walk from the center, right next to the central market. When you reach the center you will see a large McDonald's and a pedestrian street to its left, walk down this street to the end and turn right, the hostel is located twenty yards away on your right opposite the central market (which resembles a multi-story car park) -- the entrance is through a white gate next to a restaurant which leads up to the first floor of the block.

If coming by bus from another major town, you will likely be inconveniently be dropped off at the west bus station, fifteen minutes from the town center. Taxis operate from here. Ask to be dropped off at central market, where you will see the hostel on the road running alongside the market away from the sea.

Sandakan is not a great place for sights but serves brilliantly as a base for exploring the many natural and wildlife excursions that surround it. Plenty of cheap Malay/Indian restaurants can be found however most of the town does seem to shut up early around 9 p.m.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorms are very spacious and come with AC or fans although the latter only comes with two fans in a dorm of sixteen (the price, however, reflects this). Private rooms, which include thick single and double beds along with storage, are also available. Wi-Fi is very strong throughout the building and the bathrooms are clean and well maintained.

Common Spaces

The common space is what really makes this place. This is a large yet sociable room artistically decorated by travelers who have stayed here and includes a cushioned area perfect for relaxing; at the time of writing, there were also two guitars provided for guests to use. The communal kitchen also serves as the cafe cooking area; it is well equipped and feels very homey.


This hostel is a great traveler base, which the owners treat with a lot of care. It can, however, lack atmosphere purely on the grounds that Sandakan doesn't seem to draw the backpacking masses. With that being said, it's hard to find fault with this place. The staff can arrange tours to the Sepilok Oragutang Sanctuary, Kinabatangan River and Gomatong Caves, but as the bus station is only five minutes away, traveling to these places independently is quite straightforward and much cheaper.
by Chris
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
December 2013


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel" at No. 126, 1st Floor, End of Jalan Dua, Harbour Square 14.)


No. 126, 1st Floor, End of Jalan Dua, Harbour Square 14, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
5.838651, 118.120215
+ (60) 089 - 221 221
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