South & Southeast Asia
Kota Kinabalu Hostels
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About Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu (often called KK) is a beautiful city in Malaysia and the capital of Sabah region. Kota Kinabalu is well known for its beautiful scenery (Mount Kinabalu and Pulau Sipadan), shopping malls, budget accommodation, good nightlife, and a lot of restaurants with amazing fresh seafood. Kota Kinabalu is easily reachable by all transports (flight, boat, bus, and train), but probably the best way is by air –- there are a lot of low cost companies that fly here from different parts of Southeast Asia. The airport is located only about six kilometers from the city center –- you can take a taxi or minibus.
Kota Kinabalu has a lot to offer, depending your tastes and budget. During your stay in Kota Kinabalu city, you should visit the old area to see the remains of its colonial past, including the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Garden and the Waterfront Markets. If you are into more outdoor activities, you should try to do water rafting (do a one-day tour that can be easily arranged in every tour agency in the city), dive in Pulau Sipadan (recognized as one of the best places in the world to do dive -– here you can see barracudas, sharks, turtles, and amazing reefs), or climb the huge Mount Kinabalu (more than four thousand meters high). There are a lot of tours operated by different agencies in Kota Kinabalu organizing trips to the summit (the average is two days/one night).
Kota Kinabalu has a lot of hostels available, where you can have a good time, and in most of them you can also organize your tours. Kota Kinabalu hostels are on a budget, but clean, friendly, and in a relaxed environment.
Hi, I'm Grace, the Hostelz.com local expert for Kota Kinabalu. Welcome.
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"Stay-In Lodge KotaKinabalu - The staff is friendly and helpful there and they provide you with free water and toast for breakfast; free coffee and tea. Laundry service was pretty cheap, too and they
Borneo Global Backpackers
"Borneo Global Backpackers is a nice and relaxed hostel that usually has the best price for a dorm in the city. There is free Wi-Fi in the whole building and nice communal areas. The reception has free computers with internet and you can arrange good deals for packages to Mount Kinabalu or to dive in Pulau Sipadan. Usually the breakfast is included and has coffee, tea, bread, butter, and jam –- basic, but enough for everybody. The Location...
"… after 21:00. * Advance booking is required (3 days prior to arrival) and subject to car availability. Facilities: - Television with Network Cable (Astro & DVDs) - Common area - Luggage storage area (FREE!!!) - Lockers (FREE!!) - Laundry Service (RM9.50/KG) - In-house Mini Library - Cafe Nearby activities: - Local restaurants/Kopitiam - Pubs/bistros/clubs - Fast food restaurants - International banks (HSBC, OCBC, Standard Chartered,...
"Borneo Backpackers is unexceptional as a hostel but draws many guests, particularly from other hostels, for its cleanliness. The Location The hostel is located in downtown Kota Kinabalu, about ten minutes' walk from the ferry terminal (where the ferry from Labuan docks, for those journeying east from Brunei or Sarawak). It is also close to several 7-11 stores, a local market, and a department store with a large supermarket in the...
Summer Lodge Hostel
"Summer Lodge Hostel is a great place to leave your bags for a few days whilst you go exploring Sabah, as Kota Kinabalu is the main place of passage for most. The Location The hostel is located next to a busy pedestrianised street with bars and restaurants in the centre of Kota Kinabalu. This street gets very loud at weekends when they have live music and karaoke. It is located just above the Pizza Hut on Jalan Gaya and there is a large...
Akinabalu Youth Hostel
"Akinabalu Youth Hostel is a clean, spacious, and kindly run hostel. Situated in the center of Kota Kinabalu, and amongst a handful of other backpacker type hostels, Akinabalu provides a comfortable retreat from the heat of the city and a welcoming atmosphere after a day of island hopping. The staff are organized and quick to assist with guest inquiries. This moderately sized hostel is secure and well monitored, with a staffer always...
North Borneo Cabin
"This place was extremely clean and comfortable." …"This place is extremely clean, has good character and friendly staff." …"… things elsewhere to be cleaned so that we didn't spread them to any other hostels. this cost us a fortune in laundry bills. the staff were very unhelpfull and unfriendly about the situation and actually found it quite funny. we know for a fact that they are doing nothing to resolve their infestation, and their...
"Highly recommend Step-in Lodge as excellent accommodation in KK -- it's in a great central location; great social atmosphere; beds, rooms and facilities excellent, fresh, clean, and comfy. Most of all, thank you to all the staff at Step-in Lodge -- very friendly and helpful. Very enjoyable stay. Lots of fun! Definitely love to come back and visit!" …"This is really a good hostel, its clean, well managed, friendly place." …"… continental...
Travellers Light Backpackers Lodge
"Friendly, quiet, no-frills, very basic accommodation. - At first, I thought Traveler's Light would save me some money. Unfortunately, they don't offer as much as the average hostel in KK. So when you add the extra fees that they charge, it ends up costing the same or more than other hostels. They offer A/C rooms for a higher price, but the bed only has a bottom sheet. So you must pay extra for towels, top-sheet, blanket. They do have free...
Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge
"Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge is a great place to put up your feet and relax, or organize your next big event in Sabah, Borneo. The staff are very friendly and the they are more than willing to help you with anything you need while you are here. The Location Kota Kinabalu is a fairly closely knit city so just about anywhere is a good location. The location of this place is just outside the city center but still just a five-minute walk to...
Red Palm Hostel
"Convenient and comfortable like at home - This hostel is located at the center in Kota Kinabalu, very easy to go everywhere. All the staffs always smile with kindness. Madam gave me a nice advice and arrangement to my local trip. Free internet equipment was very convenient for me. I really enjoyed stay at Kota Kinabalu. I'm sure I will be here again, and I recommend Red Palm Hostel to my friends." …"… well-appointed guestrooms feature shower,...
Borneo Tempurung Seaside Lodge
"Tempurung Seaside Lodge sits atop a small hill overlooking the vast South China Seas in the South West of Sabah. Just unwind, relax and enjoy the cozy, comfortable and casual atmosphere. It is here where dreams and reality converge! Tastefully built with a mixture of modern and traditional design amidst natural tropical surroundings, this 'jungle boutique' lodge offers arguably one of nature's perfect hideaways. The lodge boasts of its own...
"…Masada can accommodate up to 20 guests at a time. Various rooms are available to suit any traveler, including singles, couples and even families. Double-deck beds @ RM35 per person •Queen-sized b
D'Villa Rina Ria Lodge
"…At the foothills of Mt Kinabalu at Kundasang, situated on the Pinosuk Plateau 1500 meters above sea level is Mt Kinabalu Golf Club, the highest golf layout in Sabah. From DVilla Lodge to the golf cl
Borneo Gaya Lodge
"… wide range of modern amenities such as shopping complexes, trendy cafes, pub & lounge, clinic, saloon, money exchange shop, Air Asia Airlines center, public transportation to island/Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah Tourism Center, Atkinson Clock Tower, Signal Hill, Sunday Market, dry/wet market, Filipino market, cinema and others. No Curfew and we have 24 hours helpful and friendly receptionist, security with CCTV and computerized lock door....
D' Beach Street Lodge
"… brightly painted walls, quality mattresses & spacious balconies. Emitting its warm local ambience, D' Beach Street Lodge will give you the fulfilling experience that you deserve. Guests can sample local and well-known eateries such as “Bak Kut Teh” and “Laksa” all within walking distance. BB Café, which is located beside D’Beach Street Lodge offers refreshing beverages and can enjoy local live band entertainment every night. Free...
The Village Homestay
"Beautiful village gardens surrounded the house, guest can enjoy taking a stroll in the garden or even helping out feeding the chicken, what ever you like to make your stay here enjoyable and memorable. The Village HomeStay is located on ground floor of the double story house, consists of a good size living room and shared kitchen. Gardens with variety sort of tropical flowers and plants can be found around the house, a personal...
"Average facilities, great location, and helpful staff - We stayed here two nights. Originally booked a private en suite double online the same day, but because we booked close to our arrival they had given away our room when we arrived. We were shown a family room with 3 beds for same price, but no windows and AC leaking water all over mattress. Finally we settled on a 4 person dorm room, but paid for whole room. This room was comfortable and...
Victoria Hotel & Hostel
"… a private residence (Victoria House) offering backpackers style accommodation with a wide selections of rooms from male & female dormitories to private rooms with air con or fan. The rooms are clean and comfortable and we never compromise on cleanliness and security. Breakfast and free Wi-Fi are also available. We have a dedicated team of staff that are trained to look after you and your needs. They speak english, chinese, malay,...
PODs The Backpackers Home
"… 6-bed dorms. The PODs have mattresses on raised platform to give a Zen like feel. All rooms have individual fans, centralized aircond and universal power socket. Our dorms have double bunk beds equipped with locker. All designs and themes that have been put up are chosen as best to compliment and promote our eco-friendly theme, which is to be simple, and always go green. Less is best, and when traveling, respect the earth! Toilets and...
Seasons Street Lodge
"… and much much more! Clean and comfortable accommodation. It is nicely decorated and very modern. The property offers laundry service assist by housekeeping, travel information, no charge for baggage room and 24 hrs CCTV. Now we are offering Promotion for all the rooms. Please come and visit us in Sabah, the land below the wind. The ground floor of seasons street lodge has been converted into a local style & HK Style...
Asia Adventure Lodge
"… sunset at the Waterfront (10 minutes walk). The hostel provides a budget-like accommodation that is affordable for travelers and backpackers. The accommodation includes free breakfast, fast speed Wi-Fi, clean towel and linen. Open balcony is also provided for guests to interact with other fellow travelers or simply for a short rest.Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Other services are also available as you stay in our place such as...
"… your doorstep. The hotel offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Internet access - wireless, internet access - wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, fan can be found in selected guestrooms. To enhance guests' stay, the hotel offers recreational...
"H2 Backpackers is Capsules Style with each curtains for guests to have more personal space surely rest well and we provides affordable budget and valueble accommodation for backpackers and travellers
"…1).We accept credit/debit card and cash, Alipay payment upon arrival. 2).3 days advance notice for free cancellation. 3).Check In must be after 12PM & Check Out must before 11AM." …"You can ar
Trekkers Lodge Kota Kinabalu
"The best backpackers lodge in Kota Kinabalu! - I stayed there for one month and found it really great. I was stunning by the amiable staff (and yes, the owner-Alex- is really a good gentleman). I even got discount rate for my long-stayed period! Outstanding services and location - at the heart of Kota Kinabalu and just a walking distance to any of the main tourist attractions. I went to KK alone, but the truth is I never felt alone during the...
"Globetrotters Lodge is a new dorm-style accommodation catered to independent travellers and budget-conscious backpackers. We offer these facilities: - 24 hour reception service - Cozy living room - Free internet access (first 30 minutes) - Fan & air-conditioned rooms - Cold and hot showers - 24 hour secure access - Fresh linen & towels" …"We are strategically located in the middle of Kota Kinabalu City, within walking distance to shopping...
Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve
"… waterfall in Poring. It is more than 120 metres in height and takes approximately 2 hours trekking through the lowland tropical forest (3.4km). 3. Bat Cave - 30 minutes walk from the main entrance of Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve and along the way to Langanan Waterfalls. Take this opportunity to learn more about these creatures of the night. Poring Hot Spring accommodation offers a variety of options to suit all budgets...
"Nice comfortable place. The best thing about this place is Vincent, who runs it. He's really helpful, giving lifts around town and to the airport if you ask nicely. He'll also give you loads of free
Borneo Beachouse (Backpackers)
Tanjung Aru Beach
"…~ Survivor Island Gateaway ~ Diving at Sipadan & Mabul Island ~ Mount Kinabalu Summit - 2D/1N: ~ Mount Kinabalu Summit + Poring Hot Spring National Park - 3D/2N ~ Kinabalu National Park +
The Lavender Lodge
"It's worth the price - simple but clean with friendly staff." …"…There are different categories of rooms to suit all travellers. Our clean and comfortable rooms, exceptionally friendly and helpful st
Brahminy Kite Holiday Home
"… and 30 minutes by boat to the islands of Sapi, Mamutik, Sulug, Gaya and Manukan. A home away from home perfect for group trips & family vacations. Our 3-storey resort-styled villa is able to accomodate a maximum of 12 people. The holiday home features peaceful living and dining areas and 4 bathrooms with hot shower facilities. It also offers a kitchen with full-facilities which guest can use to do their own cooking. A chargeable...
"I just spent two nights at Hotel Holiday — Kota Kinabalu/Sabah from August 23rd — 25th, 2005. I had NO advance reservation — I just walked in on the basis of THIS Web site. The hotel was full by the
Borneo Adventure Center
"Poor hostel in dodgy location - Our first impression was already shocking because the area looks like a slum (even though not far from center). The room looked dirty all around and was crawling with ants. Very bad isolation so we could hear traffic noise all night long. The lady in reception was not helpful at all, for instance they wouldn't call the bus company for us to book tickets. Also we were supposed to have breakfast included but when...
"Our resthouse is located along the trunkroad and just 200 metre or 5 minutes walk to mount kinabalu park headquarters where mountain climbing start there. Consisting of 6 double/family room and 12
"…- Complimentary Drinking Water - Major Credit Cards Acceptance - Attached Bathrooms with Hot/Cold Shower ( Water Heater ) - Air Conditioned with Individual Temperature Control - Queen-sized Beds or
Mile 36 Lodge
"…Choose either the European, Contemporary or Local kampong styled rooms. * Very close to Kinabalu Park and easily accessible. You can travel to the Mile 36 Lodge by traveling along the main road
Kota Kinabalu Travel Tips & Suggestions
The only real good reason to travel here is to climb nearby Mount Kinabalu. And if you do, then don't book your climb through a middleman or tour company! Book directly from the company managing the lodge on the mountain, otherwise you pay too much. Having said that, the people are friendly. The price of a movie is only 8-11 ringgits ($3 usd). Plenty of places to eat (local & western chains). The bus system is cheap, but unpredictable. The taxis are a bit expensive -- one ride is the cost of a night at a hostel. There are lots of good, cheap hostels. The sidewalks are sketchy, dangerous, or nonexistent. It's not a good area of Malaysia for beaches or snorkeling.
The vast majority of the people in Kota Kinabalu are friendly and very few try to rip you off.
Staying for a night in Kota Kinabalu made me feel like I'm in a place surrounded by odd people. They seem friendly at first, but after a while they become scary -- the way they stare, the way they move. It's like they want you drawn into their world and then cast spells on you that would make you stay there for the entirety of your life.
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