Top 10 Staycations in Sabah, Malaysia: Discover the Best Local Getaways

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Families who are looking for recreation and relaxation activities need look no further than the diverse state of Sabah! For water babies, a visit to the islands of Sipadan or Layang Layang will be a treat, as you marvel at the underwater life. Or, if you would rather stay on land, Kinabalu National Park is a great spot to explore trails. Staycations in Sabah are the perfect way to regroup and feel refreshed without travelling too far from home, and there are plenty of properties that offer exciting activities. Keep reading to find out more about the best staycations Sabah has to offer!

1 Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu

Image of Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu

When envisioning Shangri-La, thoughts of opulence come to mind, and this beachfront property in Kota Kinabalu embodies that notion. Spanning 400 acres (162 hectares), the resort boasts a golf course, a forest reserve, hiking trails, multiple pools, and a private beach. Children are treated with utmost care and enjoyment, as they partake in engaging activities tailored just for them, such as crafting wooden planes and batik painting. They can also revel in the kids’ pool, open daily from 7am to 7pm. For an enriching experience, the Discovery Centre offers insights into conservation efforts and animal rehabilitation, while the Adventure Zone provides experimental play. As for adults seeking relaxation, they can indulge in one of six restaurants or four bars, pamper themselves at the full-service spa, or choose from a variety of chargeable and complimentary daily activities. Accommodations are spread across the Garden and Ocean wings, adorned with traditional nature-inspired decor. Regardless of the room chosen, guests are guaranteed exceptional views from the balcony and exclusive bath amenities.

Additional Information
  • Name: Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: Pantai Dalit, Tuaran
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Tennis court
    • Fitness centre

2 Hilton Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu

Image of Hilton Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu

If you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing weekend, then you won’t be disappointed by the Hilton Kota Kinabalu. As you make your way past the imposing glass facade, you will be welcomed into an expansive lobby dripping with crystal chandeliers. The rooms are luxuriously appointed with the plushest beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, and some with interactive TVs. Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast, then spend the day at the beach or lazing around the pool. End your day with a trip to the Rooftop Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy stunning views and a selection of fresh seafood, paired with a glass of delicious wine.

Additional Information
  • Name: Hilton Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: Hilton Kota Kinabalu; Kota Kinabalu
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Sauna
    • Fitness centre

3 Sepilok Jungle Resort; Sepilok

Image of Sepilok Jungle Resort; Sepilok

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway to reconnect with nature, the Borneo rainforest is the answer! Once a 5-room hotel, the retreat now boasts 60 different accommodation units, ranging from dorms to deluxe rooms. The resort grounds are graced with beautiful tropical gardens, lovingly cared for by owners John and Judy. Enjoy the tranquil sounds of chirping birds and, if you’re lucky, glimpse some Gibbons too! Spend your days lounging by the pool or soaking in the hot tub, and explore the lagoons by boat in the afternoons.

Additional Information
  • Name: Sepilok Jungle Resort; Sepilok
  • Address: Jalan Rambutan, Sepilok
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Bar
    • Garden
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Airport shuttle
    • Fishing

4 Kudat Golf & Marina Resort; Kudat

Image of Kudat Golf & Marina Resort; Kudat

This property in Sabah combines the traditional longhouses of the Kudat region with modern amenities. Guests can enjoy swimming laps in the 25 m (82 ft) pool, sweating it out in the sauna, or playing a fun game of futsal with their family. The guest rooms are fitted with timber furniture and come with a choice of garden, golf, or ocean views. Additionally, the hotel has taken a step towards being more eco-friendly by providing reusable glass water bottles in all the guest rooms, eliminating plastic waste from the oceans. With its prime waterfront location and excellent facilities, this hotel is the perfect choice for a relaxing staycation in Sabah.

Additional Information
  • Name: Kudat Golf & Marina Resort; Kudat
  • Rating: 3.0/5
  • Address: Off Jalan Urus Setia, Sabah
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Sauna
    • Fitness centre
    • 3 Golf course (within km)

5 Borneo Divers Mabul Resort; Pulau Mabul

Image of Borneo Divers Mabul Resort; Pulau Mabul

At this resort located on Mabul Island off the southeastern coast of Sabah, you can truly experience a blissful escape. Take a dive into the crystal clear water to explore the underwater life or take a leisurely stroll around the island’s hot spots. Although the island may be small, you will definitely not be bored as the resort offers excellent facilities such as pool tables, karaoke rooms, beach volleyball, and a spa. Moreover, the Water Sports Centre provides snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba certification courses. You can enjoy meals at the dining hall served by a chef offering a wide range of cuisines, and finish the day off at the Beach Bar.

Additional Information
  • Name: Borneo Divers Mabul Resort; Pulau Mabul
  • Rating: 4.0/5
  • Address: SJ3, seafest marina seafest complex Jalan Kastam, Semporna
  • Services:
    • Restaurant
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • Garden
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Airport shuttle
    • Games room
    • Internet services

6 The Magellan Sutera Resort; Kota Kinabalu

Image of The Magellan Sutera Resort; Kota Kinabalu

Step into The Magellan, where the entrance draws inspiration from traditional longhouses and the property showcases timber furnishings and local handicrafts. This resort, overlooking the breathtaking South China Sea, is nestled within the sprawling 384-acre (155 ha) Sutera Harbour Resort. Immerse yourself in its offerings, including a renowned 27-hole golf course, a marina, and a delightful array of 16 dining venues. But that’s not all – enjoy even more entertainment options like a bowling alley, movie theater, tennis courts, and island hopping adventures.

At The Magellan Sutera Resort, luxury is our priority, taking care of all your needs. The rooms exude grandeur, offering magnificent views of the marina and the South China Sea. For an extra touch of exclusivity, consider the Magellan Club room, granting you access to the prestigious Magellan Club Lounge. Here, indulge in complimentary breakfast, evening refreshments, as well as coffee and tea throughout the day.

Allow us to make your stay truly memorable at The Magellan. How can I assist you further?

Additional Information
  • Name: The Magellan Sutera Resort; Kota Kinabalu
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: No 1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Tennis court
    • Sauna

7 Gaya Island Resort; Gaya Island

Image of Gaya Island Resort; Gaya Island

If you are seeking a luxurious getaway, the Gaya Island Resort is highly recommended. Situated on the beachfront within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, this resort offers accommodations in distinctive hillside villas. With a variety of dining options available, including Japanese and Asia-Pacific cuisines, as well as seafood indulgence, guests can also enjoy the casual pool bar. For a unique experience, a quick five-minute boat ride will take you to Tavajun Bay, a private beach exclusively open for lunch. Outdoor enthusiasts can visit Pure, the activity center, for exciting activities such as diving, fishing excursions, and nature walks. To enhance your relaxation, make sure to reserve a day at Spa Village, known for its expertise in ancient healing practices, for a truly rejuvenating staycation.

Additional Information
  • Name: Gaya Island Resort; Gaya Island
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
  • Services:
    • Restaurant
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Fitness centre
    • Garden
    • Terrace
    • Non-smoking rooms

8 Sutera Sanctuary Lodges At Manukan Island; Kota Kinabalu

Image of Sutera Sanctuary Lodges At Manukan Island; Kota Kinabalu

When you arrive at Manukan Island, which is part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, you will be delighted. The beach offers soft, powdery sand and the South China Sea’s turquoise waters are just steps away. The private suites and villa balconies provide the perfect vantage points for enjoying a private sunrise or sunset with your loved ones. You can also enjoy a range of water sports, relax on the beach, or explore the island’s diverse hiking trails. The resort features two beachside restaurants that serve all meals, including delightful barbecue buffets.

Additional Information
  • Name: Sutera Sanctuary Lodges At Manukan Island; Kota Kinabalu
  • Rating: 4.0/5
  • Address: Manukan Island
  • Services:
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Airport shuttle
    • Fishing
    • Family rooms

9 Bungaraya Island Resort; Gaya Island

Image of Bungaraya Island Resort; Gaya Island

Bungaraya offers a tranquil setting surrounded by a lush rainforest and features 48 traditional villas. Guests have the opportunity to explore the rainforest through various trails, experience the thrill of a zip line adventure, or embark on an exciting canopy walk. For those who prefer water activities, snorkeling and kayaking in the pristine South China Sea are available. If relaxation is the goal, guests can unwind by the infinity pool or indulge in a treatment session at Echo Wellness Spa. The resort’s all-day dining venue, The Longhouse, provides a delightful culinary experience, and underneath it lies an award-winning wine cellar where guests can enjoy wine and cigars by appointment after their meal.

Additional Information
  • Name: Bungaraya Island Resort; Gaya Island
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: Polish Bay, Gaya Island
  • Services:
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Sauna
    • Fitness centre
    • Garden

10 The Pacific Sutera Hotel; Kota Kinabalu

Image of The Pacific Sutera Hotel; Kota Kinabalu

Guests of The Pacific Sutera, part of the sprawling Sutera Harbor Resort complex, can enjoy countless activities for a fun stay. Hit the award-winning golf course, catch a movie at the theater or spend a day at the glow-in-the-dark bowling alley. For a more relaxed experience, lounge by one of the lap pools surrounded by tropical palms with your favorite book. To finish your staycation, pamper yourself with a trip to the Balinese Chavana Spa even couples can opt for a romantic treatment.

Additional Information
  • Name: The Pacific Sutera Hotel; Kota Kinabalu
  • Rating: 5.0/5
  • Address: No 1 Sutera Harbour Boulavard
  • Services:
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    • Meeting/banquet facilities
    • Bar
    • 24 -hour front desk
    • Tennis court
    • Sauna

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