During our Christmas/New Year’s trip to Borneo, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. We were able to use a suite upgrade and it was one of the best we have had. The waterfront location, excellent service, and suite were all excellent – but those were just the start.
Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu, 88991 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
+60 88-221 234
The Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is located in downtown Kota Kinabalu on the waterfront. The location is centrally located for tourists and near many points of interest. There is a shopping center, restaurants, markets and a ferry terminal all within walking distance. Travel by cab from the airport was only about 15 minutes and cost around $7.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted and escorted up to the Regency Club Lounge for our checkin.
The lounge offered canapés at night and a light breakfast in the morning with a mix of hot and cold items. There was enough to eat but for the minimal cost of breakfast in the restaurant it was no contest for us and we opted to eat our breakfast there. We were able to use a Globalist suite upgrade for the duration of our stay and we were impressed. We use our Globalist suite upgrades sparingly but at the Hyatt Kinabalu it was worth it.
Guest Bathroom/Living Room
When you first walk into the suite, there is a guest bathroom immediately off to the right-hand side. This is a feature we really appreciate as we are often traveling with friends or family members. If you invite others into your room it eliminates any awkward traipsing through your bedroom or amongst your personal belongings.
The big window in the living room looked out over the South China Sea and in the morning we enjoyed this beautiful view.
While we didn’t need a crib for Lucy, it was a nice gesture for the staff to have one waiting for us in the room when we arrived late the first night. The bedroom can be separated off from the living space with a closed-door. The bed was comfortable and each bedside table provided adequate outlets for charging devices. The windows in the bedroom and bathroom look onto a smaller alleyway and were quite dark which was great for sleeping but also made the room feel a little claustrophobic. The closet was walk-through and led into the bathroom; it could also be closed off by a pocket door.
The closet was spacious enough to store our luggage and had a set of drawers that allowed us to unpack during our stay and settle in. The mirrors opposite the closet are just mirrors, no hidden storage was behind the glass.
As I mentioned before, we opted to eat our breakfast in the restaurant. The selection was vast with many hot and cold options as well as a range of local Malaysian offerings, Chinese, Indian and Western. I will let the pictures take over from here (though I still feel like I could have added many more.)
Every morning we asked for iced coffee and every morning it arrived a little different from the day before depending on who made our glass of joe. Whichever way it arrived, it was always delicious. I particularly enjoyed the frothiness in this serving.
Unofficially, the hotel allowed Globalists to eat at the restaurant instead of the lounge once per stay but for a small add-on, about $15, the breakfast buffet was well worth it.
“The Lounge” is located near the entrance of the hotel lobby. This area was very modern, open and often filled with guests (though not when I took the photo). The lobby featured nightly live jazz music and packed the lobby.
The property is an urban location downtown across from the waterfront. Therefore the pool was relatively small, but while the cabanas were always full, the pool was never too busy. Lucy enjoyed the zero-entry pool and splashing around in the fountain jets.
Japanese Restaurant – Nagisa
The Japanese Restaurant was recommended to us during our stay and is considered one of the best in Kota Kinabalu (KK). We gave it a try for a late dinner the night before we departed. The restaurant was empty (possibly due to the time of our dinner) but the food was still fresh and the quality of fish was fantastic. The Nagisa Sashimi Sampler was my favorite, I highly recommend giving it a try if you find yourself dining at Nagisa.
Overall we had a wonderful stay at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. The property had been renovated to help keep up with its more modern nearby competitors, the Le Merídian and Hilton. These updates were imperative in keeping the hotel relevant. We encountered friendly staff throughout the stay at breakfast and in the lounge. The location for us was really the star of the show for us with its proximity to shops, markets and the ferries to the islands.
Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu or other properties in KK? What was your experience like?