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“Meet all my needs...truly satisfied” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of NAK Hotel

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NAK Hotel
Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
PJ, Malaysia
1 review
“Meet all my needs...truly satisfied”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2010

I was sceptical at first because it doesnt have a fancy name to it...but i still gave it a try following the good ratings it received here. My 3 night stay was very good. Why? These are my top points of Nak:
i) The staff were really friendly and accomodating. They even helped me out with last minute booking of a day trip river cruise.
ii)The rooms are basic but clean and feels new. The bedsheets,pillows,blankets all feels clean. TV (with cable) aircond all new so in good working condition. Plus they provide co,plimentary bottled-water.
iii)It is located in the town so very convenient to walk around to get food, central market, bus, taxis,supplies,etc.
iv) The rooftop bar (BALIN) provide a really nice view of Sandakan Bay. U can have a relaxing evening with it's nicely selected chill-out music and also your bfast (if u hv it as part of your package) is at this bar as well.

But it is not all perfect, here are the reasons why:
i) During my second night I encoutered 2 croaches in the toilet. But this doesnt bothered me that much though because overall the toilet is really clean.
ii) On my final night, the locals were racing with really loud bikes at the coastal road which is near the hotel. They went on until like2am+ which means u can only sleep peacfully after that.

Actually, I would have given full marks for cleaniness and sleep quality if not becos of this 2 points here.

Overall - do go for Nak if you are looking for clean, conveniently located hotel, good friendly service with a budget appx. USD35/rm/night.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jlimtk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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314 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2010

My wife and I and our 2 adult daughters stayed at the Nak for 3 days. It is a lovely old building that has been nicely renovated with views over the harbour. Staff were exceptional in dealing with our queries and changes to our schedule. The rooftop restaurant was wonderfully relaxing after a hectic day sightseeing and the food was exceptional. Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bmh60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helz85
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2010

This hotel is perfect!! Its cheap, comfortable, great location, has an awesome rooftop restaurant, lots of history and probably the nicest staff I have ever met!! From the moment you walk in you know that you are in a very special place! We arrived at 9am in the morning on the flight from KK and they weren't expecting us until 2pm so of course they previous occupants of the rooms hadn't checked out and they hadn't had time to clean the rooms, but we were heading off from a wildlife river cruise and needed somewhere to store our bags and if possible clean up. They very generously allowed us to trash their lobby while we repacked our bags for our overnight trip and then asked if we would like to clean up/have a wash in one of the rooms that was to become ours but were most apologetic that they hadn't cleaned it yet. This didn't phase us, it was just great to have somewhere to wash our faces. We were then able to leave our bags securely in one room and they moved them into the other room that was ours so that they could clean, they even shouted us breakfast in the beautiful Bai Lin rooftop restaurant that morning. When we came back from our trip the next day our rooms were ready and they were absolutely perfect! Very basic designs for the main rooms (we had one double harmony and one tranquility suite) but the beds were comfortable and the air con worked well, they were very tastefully designed also. The bathrooms on the other hand were spectacular! Awesome shower heads and beautiful black and brown tiling with an almost fluer de lise pattern on them, a beautiful big blue painted chinese bowl that had been turned into a basin and a rustic wood table. The windows also offered a very nice view of Sandakan bay. On our first night in the hotel we decided to have dinner at Bai Lin, the food was very western but was also really good and they happily put together a pizza for me with the toppings of my chosing, the cocktails were also top notch and the big comfy couch chairs were very welcome after 2 days of trekking through the rainforest. The manager of the bar (who turned out to be the owners wife, the hotel has been passed down through family) came out to welcome us after we had had dinner and ended up telling us all about the fascinating history of the hotel and how it became what it is now which just made it all the more special an experience to stay there. The front desk manager was also a brilliant help, telling us exactly how to get to all the sites we wanted to see and even directing me to where to go to get a good quality new suitcase (as mine had broken) for a good price and she was extremely kind and friendly too. All the staff throughout the hotel were kind, friendly, generous and went out of their way to help us and make our stay enjoyable. The hotel is located right in the middle of Sandakan, it was previously on the waterfront but they have since reclaimed that land and built a road and a new waterfront area.

The only negatives I would say about the hotel are - no wifi in the rooms (roof and lobby only), the bathroom floor gets quite wet when showering because their isn't a screen but that would ruin the aesthetic a fair bit, in the tranquility suites there aren't any bedside lights and if the guy across the road yelling about which buses were leaving or whatever he is selling from 5am - 10pm would please SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP that would be greatly appreciated, but you will hear this kind of thing in most hotels in Sandakan - it is their way of life and far be it for me to judge.

I would go back and stay in this hotel in a heartbeat and I would highly recommend it to everyone going through Sandakan.

Also 2 side notes - if you are a backpacker looking for a place to stay this is a great option, the hotel was mostly young people (<35) backpacking and on the last day we gave the girl in the restaurant and the girl on the front counter a little koala toy each just as a small token of our appreciation and they both were so genuinely estatic to receive them that it just made the hotel experience all the more special.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Helz85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2010

After a month of traveling around Malaysia, my wife and I ended our trip at the Nak Hotel, just before heading back to our home. On our trips, we usually stay 2-3 nights in one place and then move on. As usual, our accommodations were of varied quality. Ending on a high note is a good thing. Rosy at the reception was extremely friendly and helpful, making sure all of our needs were met and answering any questions about Sandakan and the hotel.

One of the highlights of the hotel is the rooftop bar. It is a great place to enjoy a wonderful meal and relax in the evening. My favorite was the mushroom soup, made fresh by the chef. Don't miss it when you stay at the Nak.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hudson4689
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2010

My new wife and I spend a single night at the Nak. It was our last night in Malaysia. Rose, whom we met at the front office, went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that we felt welcome, had the best tranquility suite and a lovely stay as part of our honeymoon.

The rooftop bar is excellent. We enjoyed some excellent french wines and very good food - the experience was in no way traditionally Malaysian. It was very modern Malaysian. We had a great time.

Downtown Sandakan is quite busy, and we were accurately warned, so no surprises, that the "street alarm" would wake us in very good time for our departing flight. There were many exciting shops and sights at the bus station opposite the hotel.

As we essentially spent three times as much on our evening in the bar as we did on our accomodation, we found the value extraordinary. Facilities and fixtures were satisfactory, but our bed was extremely comfortable. The linen was high quality. Our room had many interesting pieces of furniture, including an antique carved drum and a clawfoot tub.

Many of the other guests appeared to be highly enjoying their self directed travels. Without seeing other rooms, if furnishings and fitings are similar to the room we occupied, this hotel could be on the way to becoming a quirky and comfortable retro hotel.

Rose, I would like to stress, went to great lengths, and succeeded, in ensuring our final night in Malaysia was memorable and enjoyable. Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank randk2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2010

A good little find in the middle of Sandakan, ideally situated for the restaurants. Be warned though, Sandakan has very little nightlife apart from a few bars on the waterfront, so it is ideal to have such a lovely rooftop bar at this hotel where the views were great, particularly at sunset.

The room was spacious as was the bathroom and it was all very clean. Air con worked well, but I would advise asking for a room at the back as the market starts quite early so the front rooms can be noisey.

We got a recommendation from the hotel reception for a seafood place right at the other end of town where all the fish are held in sea baskets and you choose what you fancy. A nice thing to do if you like your food cooked really fresh! Be warned though, taxis will overcharge foreigners, so find out from the hotel what you should expect to pay and barter before getting in any cabs.

We visited the English Tea Rooms for a bit of a treat to enjoy scones with jam and cream and proper English tea! This won't be every travellers idea of a nice way to spend the afternoon, but Sandakan is fairly limited on things to do and is very much a stopover town, so it is worth planning a few things to do to keep you occupied.

We stayed here the day before going to Turtle Island which is a must do in my opinion, my friend and I loved it! i'll review that separately though.

Overall a good hotel and excellent value!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kirstieyates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2010

We booked this hotel after reviewing a few of the guide books and saw it was rated 2* in a local guide. We were really pleased when we arrived and saw our room. The hotel was renovated in 2007 and I would rate the hotel as a good 3 star hotel. The rooms are a good size with air conditioning and nice bathrooms with a good firm new mattress. We paid RM100 (£20) a night with breakfast. The location is excellent, close to market and shops.

Without a doubt the best feature of the hotel is the roof top restaurant/bar. For some reason this has not been mentioned in many of the guide books. The bar is excellent. We went for sunset, and there are plenty of comfy sofa areas as well as high tables. There is a large selection of cocktails and mocktails, Tiger beer on draft and five international bottle beers. We didn’t eat in the bar but there is food available.

If you have had cocktails elsewhere in Asia these are fairly standard (save for 5* hotel bars), so while they were not what I would expect in London they are what we are used to as being normal in Asia. The three level roof top bar with amazing views more than made up for it – fine if you’re a beer drinking. If you like wine, whilst quite expensive, they had a good selection. Service was excellent and the bar wasn’t too crowded.

I’d definitely recommend this hotel if you’re staying in Sandakan. We used it as a base to visit the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. The hotel booked us a taxi to take us there. A brilliant experience. We also visited the English Tea Rooms on the hill above Sandakan, a short walk (uphill) from the hotel. A really nice spot for a drink or even dinner.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SamAndCrakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about NAK Hotel

Property: NAK Hotel
Address: Hotel Nak Jalan Pelabuhan, Sandakan 90708, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — NAK Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The oldest, purpose-built hotel in Sandakan. Family run since 1966. Retains the old and embraces the new - a hotel brimming with cultural detail and interest. Situated in the centre of town. Nestled among all the commercial buildings, banks, airline offices, and next to central market and bus station. Less than 2km from the jetty, and boat rides to islands such as Lankayan, Turtle island and Berhala island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
NAK Hotel Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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