• Mount Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu Holidays

We love exploring the five unspoiled isles of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park; hiking through mangrove swamps on Gaya, snorkelling with rainbow-hued fish on Mamutik, sunbathing on Sapi’s white sands, relaxing on developed Manukan, or escaping to rocky Sulug for secluded peace and quiet.

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in north western Borneo and is commonly referred to as KK. This coastal city is partly surrounded by rainforest and great place to exlpore bustling markets, with a modern boardwalk, beaches and the waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque.  Kota Kinabalu is also the gateway Kinabalu National Park which is home to 4,095 metre high Mount Kinabalu.

Not many cities can say they are just minutes away from sandy shores, exotic islands, virgin coral reefs, and tropical rainforests, but Kota Kinabulu can.  

 

Destination Highlights
  • Unspoilt beaches
  • Mari Mari Cultural Village
  • Mount Kinabalu
  • Diving

Our favourite hotels

Our favourite places to stay are below. We know everyone is different, so if you can’t see something you like, we'd be more than happy to help.

Dining on the Beach

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort and Spa

Borneo

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,699 pp

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort and Spa
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa

Kota Kinabalu

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,299 pp

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa

Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,199 pp

Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

Gaya Island Resort

Kota Kinabalu

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,999 pp

Gaya Island Resort
  • Mari Mari Cultural Village

    Discover Borneo’s tribal culture on this fascinating tour through the jungle, stopping at dwellings along the way. Explore the traditional homes of the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus, and Dusun tribes and have a go at fire-starting, bamboo cooking, rice wine making, and blowpipe shooting. Then watch a dance performance and taste some tribal delicacies.

  • Diving

    Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a great diving location for beginners and experts alike. Don’t forget your underwater camera to snap reminders of your encounters with rare marine life like blue-spotted rays, scorpion fish, bright blue starfish, sea fans, cuttlefish, and mantis shrimps. There are plenty of dive centres based in Kota Kinabalu.

  • Climb Mount Kinabalu

    Malaysia's tallest mountain at 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu and Kinabalu park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can climb the mountain in a couple of days and there are two different trails available to reach the summit.

  • Valerie, Destination Specialist

    Valerie

    Destination Specialist

    "Book an excursion to the Kinabalu National Park, there are over 5,000 species of plants here and if you are feeling adventurous you can also book to climb Mount Kinabalu itself."

Types of Kota Kinabalu holidays

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends what you're looking for. If you want to be close to the restaurants and bars of the city and are not bothered about a beach then the Le Meridien Kota Kinbalu is the best choice as you can walk to all of the amenities. If the beach is your top priority then the Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort has a fantastic private beach and plenty of activities within the hotel to keep you busy. If snorkelling is your thing then head to the Gaya Island Resort which has its own reef just off the arrival jetty.

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