Best Place to Stay in Kota Kinabalu

Best Place to Stay in Kota Kinabalu | Top Recommendations

After our Mt. Kinabalu climb, we spent a day going around Kota Kinabalu.

As suggested by travel blogs such as this, we visited the city’s top landmarks such as the Atkinson Clock Tower, the City Mosque, Tanjung Aru Beach, and the Sabah State Museum.

We also got to try Stall No. 6‘s fruit smoothie (see image below), and at the Gaya Street Sunday Market, we ate seedless rambutan, an exotic tropical fruit just like the salak.

Going to Kota Kinabalu (KK) soon? Here’s a list of the top places and areas to stay in the city.

Central Business District

Kota Kinabalu’s CBD is the best place to stay in Kota Kinabalu. It makes a good base for everything that the city has to offer. It is the best place to be if you’re interested in dining, shopping at markets and malls, and a self-guided walking tour to check out KK sights that are within walking distance.

The airport bus stop is also within the district, so if you want a cheap and convenient airport-hotel transport option, book at a hotel near the airport.

Here are three top-rated hostels within Kota Kinabalu’s CBD.

  • Homy Seafront Hostel has been given an “exceptional” rating by previous guests because of its location, staff service, and clean facilities. Let’s not forget the sea view!
  • Jk Capsule Hotel is only 180 meters from Imago Shopping Mall. It can get really hot in KK, so this is an advantage.
  • B&B@21 is near three KK landmarks: Atkinson Clock Tower, Gaya Street Sunday Market, and Kota Kinabau City Mosque.

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Image Below: Beautiful clothes displayed at a store in Kota Kinabalu

Central Business District Shopping Window

Tanjung Aru

Tanjung Aru Beach is the main tourist attraction in the area. While we don’t recommend the beach for swimming, it’s a good place to be to wait for the sunset or sunrise.

Tanjung Aru is for vacationers who would like a place with a seaside background. Below are three top-reviewed hotels in the area.

  • Dock In Hostel is a 15-minute walk to the beach. It’s close to restos, groceries, and even a 7-11. And according to one guest, complaints regarding unruly guests are acted upon immediately.
  • The Atelier KK is a newly built hotel. It’s near the airport, which makes it a perfect place to stay if you have an early flight the next day.
  • The Crown Borneo Hotel is one of the more established hotels in the area. It’s a cozy hotel that’s approximately 1.4 km to/from the airport.

Image Below: Sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach

Tanjung Aru Beach

Image Below: 3 layer fruit smoothie purchased at a stall in Tanjung Aru Beach

3 Layer Fruit Smoothie Tanjung Aru Beach