It is a truth universally acknowledged that Malaysians love snagging a great deal. Every year, we have about four nationwide grand sales and everyone goes crazy whenever they see the word “SALE!” OR “DEALS!” in their favorite store.
What if you want to squeeze in a shopping session (or two) during your staycation? Stay where you shop, of course! Not inside a shop (LOL), but at hotels that are literally within walking distance, which means you’ll be able to get there first thing when it opens or be the last to leave without worrying about how you’d get back to your hotel. Whether you’re looking for a budget stay, a luxury retreat or something in between, these three hotels fit the bill:
$ – Grand Borneo Hotel
Kota Kinabalu’s Grand Borneo Hotel is connected to 1Borneo Hypermall, Sabah’s largest lifestyle and leisure shopping mall. The mall has all kinds of shops to choose from, including many well-loved brands in fashion, dining, beauty and bookstores. And best of all, after a long, satisfying day of shopping, you can easily return to your room to rest.
The hotel’s cozy, contemporary accommodations are fitted with modern amenities such as WiFi access and flat-screen TV with cable channels. If your arms are aching from carrying your shopping bags and your feet are sore from all that walking, then sit back and relax in the hotel’s jacuzzi, which will soothe away your aches and pains.
For all you night owls who love to have fun all through the night, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied, as the mall has several entertainment options that are open until late, such as a bowling alley, a cinema and a karaoke lounge. So knock down some pins, catch a midnight show or sing your favorite tunes all through the night!
See & Do
Looking for a different scene besides the usual trendy shopping malls? Go old-school and check out Kota Kinabalu’s local markets, such as Gaya Street Sunday Market or Filipino Handicraft Market. With knick-knacks and curios galore, you can sharpen your haggling skills and rise to the challenge of getting the best price. How low can you go?
Make like a beach bum and spend the day island-hopping off the city’s coast, where soft sandy beaches and thrilling beachside activities await. From Grand Borneo Hotel, it’s a 20-minute drive to Jesselton Point, where you can purchase tickets and board the speedboats that will whisk you away to the island paradises of Manukan, Sapi and Mamutik. Read our guide to island-hopping in Kota Kinabalu for some handy tips!
Being a coastal city, Kota Kinabalu gets a fair share of local fishermen’s fresh catch. So if you’re a seafood lover, indulge in a heavenly seafood spread at any of the top seafood restaurants in town. Our top picks are Welcome Seafood Restaurant, Sri Tanjung Seafood Restaurant and Suang Tain Seafood Restaurant. If you want it any fresher, you’re going to have to fish it yourself. 😜
Rates start from: RM141 / night
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$$ – Hatten Hotel Melaka
When you stay at the stylish 4-star Hatten Hotel, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to where to shop, as the hotel has three shopping malls close by. There’s Hatten Square right below the hotel, a small maze of shops with a range of F&B options so you won’t have to venture far for a meal. It’s also right next door to Mahkota Parade and is connected to Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall across the street via a covered pedestrian bridge.
The hotel’s spacious rooms have a modern aesthetic, complete with plush carpets and polished wood furniture. Each room is fitted with two LCD TV sets, complimentary internet access, a separate living area and a contemporary bathroom with a marble finish and rain shower.
Hatten Hotel also features state-of-the-art facilities, including a gym, sauna and steam room for you to sweat it out and a rooftop pool with a stunning view of the city skyline that’s perfect for an evening dip.
See & Do
Do a tour of Melaka’s museums to learn more about its long history beyond the textbooks. A couple of our favorites are the famed Melaka Maritime Museum, housed in a reproduction of a Portuguese sailing ship, and the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum, set in an impressive replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s elaborate 15th-century palace. Luckily, most of them cost RM5 or less to enter for Malaysians – read our guide to Melaka’s museums for more details.
You’ve probably gone on the Melaka River Cruise before, so why not take things slow and go on a stroll or cycle on the Melaka River Walk instead? Here, you can take your time to fully enjoy the picturesque views, including the restored buildings that have been revitalized with colorful murals by day and at night, the brightly-lit kampung homes of Kampung Morten. There’s also a section of the walk that goes through a small mangrove forest.
No trip to Melaka is complete without sampling the mouthwatering variety of street food at Jonker Night Market. From fried quail eggs and fishballs in curry to cendol and gula ketuk (hard candy that’s manually chiselled from a pan), you’ll want to try a bit everything. Bookmark our list of must-try dishes before you go!
Rates start from: RM239 / night
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$$$ – JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
Indulge in a shoptastic staycay at JW Marriott – located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s shopping district of Bukit Bintang, it’s just the place for you to lounge in luxury in between retail therapy sessions.
Trust us, you won’t run out of places to shop, as the hotel is connected to the chic Starhill Gallery and right across from the trendy retailers of Pavilion, while Lot 10 and Fahrenheit 88 are just down the road. Browse through top designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Coach or more wallet-friendly brands like Uniqlo and H&M. Nearby, there’s Low Yat Plaza, Sungei Wang Plaza and Berjaya Times Square, which are famous for cheap threads and the latest gadgets.
JW Marriott’s rooms are tastefully furnished and designed to meet your every need, with a flat-screen TV and cable channels, free WiFi and a marble bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. The personalized service is also sublime, as should be expected of a 5-star hotel. For a well-deserved pampering session, head to Starhill Spa Village, the hotel’s full-service spa, for a relaxing spa treatment.
See & Do
George Town may be famous for its street art, but Kuala Lumpur also has a fair share of street art hidden in plain sight. You can hunt for these eye-catching works of art around Central Market and Petaling Street, as well as a few on Jalan Raja Chulan and one on Jalan Gereja by well-known street artist Ernest Zacharevic. Can you catch ‘em all (on camera)?
Get a change of scenery and wander around a garden in the city at Perdana Botanical Garden. The park features a wide expanse of trails, gardens and playgrounds, including a Deer Park and the KL Bird Park. It’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon, especially with kids!
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) used to organize guided walking tours around the city, but unfortunately, these have since been discontinued. However, that shouldn’t stop you from going on a self-guided tour around the city’s cultural and historical landmarks to learn more about our capital’s history, such as Dataran Merdeka, Masjid Jamek and KL Forest Eco Park. (Psst…a lot of these places have Instagram-friendly backdrops to get your #OOTD on. You’re welcome.) You can still access the maps and routes used for the walking tours here.
Rates start from: RM670 / night
Quick, book your stay at these hotels on Traveloka now to get a head-start over other shoppers!