My wife and I had just arrived in Kota Kinabalu--for the second time in a month--after "roughing it" in the Danum Valley and a river eco lodge in northeast Sabah. To prepare for the looming long flight back to Canada we thought an uber-relaxing beach hotel would provide suitable preparation. The Shangri-la seemed a bit far out of town, so we opted for the Sutera Habour Magellan.
Our cab ride from the airport was just 10 minutes and suddenly we were cast into the jaws of One Big Resort--the Magellan and Pacific hotels hold about 700 rooms, and the Marina with its Olympic size swimming pool serves as an imposing border between the two.
This sprawling complex seemed even bigger when we strolled through the seemingly endless lobby and saw virtually no other guests. "Where is everybody?" we asked.
"We are now experiencing the recession, sir," was the rehearsed reply from all staff.
Gossipy cab drivers told us that all hotels were suffering, and the Sutera Harbour twin hotels were probably running at 20% occupancy.
Given this, it was no problem to upgrade to an oceanview room. The room was well-appointed with king bed, free internet, and a nice sitting lanai overlooking the ocean and swimming pools.
The pools, restaurants and perfect little private sand beach were virtually deserted so we soon grew accustomed to VERY good service from the pleasant staff. We particularly liked the small but sheltered beach and the beach sidewalks that snaked through the resorts and served as excellent jogging or bicycling paths.
We tried a couple of the hotel restaurants and weren't that impressed--expensive and predictable. Better to take the five minute free shuttle or 10 ringitt cab ride into town.
The Malaysian prime minister was visiting the hotel during our stay so the whole place was on maximum service alert.
Overall, we certainly had no real complaints during our four day stay. An intimate retreat? No. But for a mega-sized resort, the Sutera kept its standards high and certainly gets our recommendation if you are looking for a relaxing oceanfront stay still within the shadow of KK shopping and restaurants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sutera Harbour Resort is Malaysia’s foremost premier integrated property. The resort encompasses the luxurious accommodation of The Pacific Sutera and The Magellan Sutera hotels, a 27-hole championship golf course, Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, two Mandara Spas and a host of dining and recreational facilities. Sutera Harbour Resort is also affiliated with 5 other eco-destinations in Sabah managed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges including Kinabalu Park, Mesilau Nature Resort, Laban Rata, Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve and Manukan Island Resort. The resort also offers a luxury charter division, North Borneo Yachting and steam locomotive through North Borneo Railway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera And The Magellan Sutera)
- Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera) Hotel
- Sutera Harbour Hotel
- Sutera Harbour Kota Kinabalu
- Magellan Sutera