There’s more to Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah, than being the gateway to Southeast Asia’s highest peak and beautiful marine parks. Kota Kinabalu, or fondly known as KK, is also famous for its friendly locals, breathtaking, fiery sunsets and local markets that sell freshly caught seafood and unique handmade handicrafts.
If you’d like to experience the best of Kota Kinabalu, Kokol Haven Resort is your ideal base, whether for island hopping, wildlife watching or road tripping. Scroll down to read our review of the hotel!
Location, location, location
Located on top of Kokol Hill about 2,700 feet above sea level, we knew the view from here would not disappoint. Early in the morning, as we were driven up to the hotel, we saw the hills cloaked in a blanket of mist, and as we got down from the car, the sound of cicadas greeted us. Ahh, we’re back in nature!
The main building consists of 12 suites overlooking the garden and offers views of Kota Kinabalu city, while the Rose Villa has 20 rooms overlooking the lush valleys and Mount Kinabalu from a distance. The resort is quite famous for its sunset view and this is explained by the throngs of visitors who would make their way up here from the city just to see the sunset.
Come sunset, fiery reds and oranges would color the sky, making the landscape look painterly. We believe it’s the best spot to see the sunset in Kota Kinabalu! So, if you’re wondering which room to get, decide on which view you would like best — gorgeous sunset in the evening, or misty Mount Kinabalu in the morning? It’s a tough decision to make, for sure!
The resort has a rustic design, with room decor such as Malay style wood furnishings that bring us back to our childhood days spent in our grandparents’ homes. It makes us feel at home immediately! Our room, the Executive Corner Suite is spacious. At 67 square meters, the room comes with a king-sized bed, a small “living” area with a sofa and flat-screen TV, and the room is equipped with all your tea and coffee needs. The room opens up to a large balcony where you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while enjoying the spectacular view of KK.
Our favorite part is waking up early for the sunrise. Gazing out to the misty hills is a relaxing experience and we’d totally recommend this resort if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city!
Surrounded by nature
Since the resort is quite out of the way from the city, you might be worried about the dining options. But fret not, the resort will satisfy all your cravings with its extensive menu. We’d highly recommend the oxtail asam pedas and nasi ayam penyet. They’re both delicious and filling! If local cuisine is not your thing, they also have a variety of Western dishes to choose from.
The resort is surrounded by lush greenery and it’s fun to take a walk around its compound and see just how many local fruit trees you can recognize. We saw trees of pineapple, jackfruit, langsat and durian!
Verdict: The resort has the best spot to see the sunset in Kota Kinabalu and it’s surrounded by lush greenery. What’s not to love? Book your stay at Kokol Haven Resort on Traveloka now!
See and Do
You’ll never run out of things to do in Kota Kinabalu. From local food spots to cultural villages, we’ve lined up some of the must-visit places, so you can go when you’re in Kota Kinabalu!
Drink and dine at the waterfront
If you only have a day in KK, here’s where you should go. The Waterfront is a famous hangout for both locals and visitors as it’s a one-stop dining and entertainment spot with sunset views and overlooking the South China Sea. The Waterfront comes to life at night, as it is not only a popular after-hours hangout, but also has plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Soak up some culture
Learn more about the indigenous culture of Borneo at the Mari Mari Cultural Village. The village features five different ethnic tribes in one village — the rice farmer Kadazan-Dusun, the longhouse resident Rungus, the hunters and fishermen Lundayeh, the cowboy and sea gypsy Bajau, and the famously feared headhunting tribe Murut — and you’ll get to see the various traditions of these tribes under one roof. Certainly a must-do if this is your first time in Sabah!
Skip the queue and get your tickets on Traveloka.
Go island hopping
Your visit to Kota Kinabalu is not complete without a snorkeling trip to the underwater world of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Snorkel and enjoy swimming among colorful fish, or just enjoy the beauty of the islands. If you’re lucky, you will get to see a friendly turtle among the colorful corals. Picnic at one of the islands, bask in the sun, and just relax!
Have a stress-free trip and book your island hopping tour on Traveloka!
With such a wide range of accommodation options across the country, it can be a challenge to pick the one that’s best for you. To be in the know when it comes to Malaysia’s stand-out stays, keep your eyes peeled for Traveloka’s ‘Super Stays’ posts, a bi-weekly hotel special featuring our top picks!