Kota Kinabalu


Photo of Kota Kinabalu

About Kota Kinabalu

Gateway to the wonders of Sabah, one of Malaysia’s two provinces on Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is a lively tropical city. Perched on the coast close to the island’s north-eastern tip, it’s also an excellent starting point for an adventurous holiday, encompassing both the rainforest and the beach. Accommodation options include restful private villas as well as chic city hotels, with our pick of the best places to stay offering a superb base for couples, friends or families.

Explore Kota Kinabalu with an expert heritage guide, stroll from the Sabah State Museum to the Sabah Art Gallery, and admire the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. Keen golfers can play a round at the Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club or the Sabah Golf & Country Club, whilst shoppers will adore the Gaya Street Sunday Market and the bustling Night Market. Venture beyond the city to Kinabalu National Park, for wonderful bird-watching treks, a rewarding hike up 4,905m-high Mount Kinabalu, and beautiful Orchid Gardens. Gaya Island is a lush tropical paradise, whilst the five islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park are brilliant for spotting wildlife above and below the waterline.

The best places to stay in Kota Kinabalu can fill up fast during the school holidays, when Borneo is a popular family trip destination. Book your holiday well in advance!

The Best Places to stay in Kota Kinabalu

For City Style

  • The LUMA Hotel promises a stylish city stay, with sleek, design-led interiors featuring natural materials, soothing dark green walls and lots of plants. There's a hip coffee shop and cracking cocktails at JOJO Gastrobar, too. For couples, friends, families or business travellers.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.


  • Fly to Kota Kinabalu International Airport and continue your journey into the city by car or bus.
  • If you're confident driving in Asia, Malaysia is a beautiful destination for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Tropical and humid, Malaysia is a year-round destination. Temperatures hover around 28-33°C for much of the year, with the heaviest rainfall expected between September and November.



Monthly Weather in Kota Kinabalu

Best Hotels in Kota Kinabalu

  • The LUMA Hotel Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah) 115 rooms from £60

    Wildlife Area  -  Take a day trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, in the ocean in front of the city, to spot wildlife under and above the water
    Trekking  -  Clamber up Mount Kinabalu (4095m), marvelling at the flora and fauna of the jungle, to be rewarded with epic views
    Value chic  -  A chic, affordable choice for a city break, or the start of an adventure in Malaysian Borneo
    City Style  -  A design-led city hotel, opened in 2022, offering fabulous food & trendy interiors
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A hip, design-led hotel in buzzy Kota Kinabalu. Great for families, friends, couples or business travellers looking for slick, modern interiors with sleek, polished wood, green-painted walls and a minimalist vibe. Plus there's a trendy coffee shop & Asian eatery with cracking cocktails. See More

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