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“Really enjoyed our stay”
Review of Hotel Sandakan

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Hotel Sandakan
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Really enjoyed our stay”
Reviewed 23 September 2012

Let's get this straight from the outset. Sandakan is not what you'd call a pretty city, by any means. If that's what you're after, go to somewhere touristy like Penang. Or Fiji. Or Phuket. We prefer to see life as it really is and that's what you get with Sandakan.

Now that's out of the way, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Sandakan and can't wait to go back. I made our booking for four nights at the Hotel Sandakan online, many months in advance, and received excellent communication from them. We were warmly greeted on arrival and got a room upgrade as it was our first time there.

We were on the eighth floor, with a view overlooking the city and the harbour. The view from the window is not pretty but it is fascinating (as well as being a stark reminder of privilege versus poverty). The harbour is gorgeous and at night, shows real beauty. We fell in love with the view.

Our room was of good size, with a very large bed (?king size), which was very comfy. There was air-con and free wifi in the room. We had a TV and a coffee making facilities but the coffee, tea bags etc costs so go down to the supermarket at Harbour Mall and buy your own!

The bathroom was nice, with a fantastic shower. Unfortunately the plug didn't work so we couldn't have a bath, and the clothesline was also broken, which made hanging up rinsed-out clothing a bit challening but we coped. The safe was broken but we didn't need to use it anyway.

Overall the hotel is really good if a little tired looking. The carpets in the hallway could do with an upgrade, and little things like the towels have seen better days and so have the coffee cups - little things like that, but these are minor quibbles.

Staff were efficient and discreet. The free breakfast was interesting! We tried hard to get out of our Western mindset for breakfast but I don't think I'll ever be able to have curry and rice first thing in the morning! I was able to have cereal, toast and tea though so I was quite happy.

Juan on the front desk made it very easy for us to book some tours and another staff member helped us hire a car. I'll do separate reviews for those.

For the price, we highly recommend the Hotel Sandakan. It's in a great location at the top of town and is an interesting walk down to the waterfront. We felt very safe everywhere we went (although we did feel very white, as there weren't many Westerners around), everyone was friendly and curious, and the people we spoke to and interacted with all had great senses of humour and were helpful and kind.

We would definitely stay there again. Forget over-touristy places, immerse yourself in the realness of Sandakan and its people. You won't regret it.

Room Tip: Nice & quiet on the 8th floor
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MsPraxis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2012

Room - Deluxe room upgraded with wooden flooring.. room spacious enough and can add more bed even though I got king bed. Clean and quiet. :)

Bathroom: Bathtub and shower together. amenties limited and got no toothbrush even a deluxe room. but toilet is clean

location: located in centre of the town. easy access to everywhere - nearby police station, sandakan municipal hall... but far a bit to Central Market. 10 minutes walk. Huhuh... easy access to public transport.

breakfast: available with limited choice. above average.

Value: good value and cheap. :)

Room Tip: in centre of town.. easy access to public transport and other place
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Kennyahm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2012

Stayed twice 1night then KJC (which was fantastic) then 2nights on return.

Worse hotel by far in our 4 week trip - all about same price.

I am going to try and write this and not sound pedantic and a moaner- yes it is a relatively cheap hotel so we weren’t expecting the Sheraton – please read my other reviews to balance this one.

Hotel run down, as someone else said the carpet smelt of damp and it needs make over big time- I agree!

First room had someones shampoo bottle and rubish left in bathroom otherwise clean.

There was a feeling of neglect and uncaring in both the hotel and the staffs attitude.

It is at one end of town with nothing of interest for tourists around it – 100 steps behind hotel to walk up to Agnes Keith’s house and cemeteries – but you only do that once.

We had rooms 7 & 8th floors overlooking city/sea you look into concrete apartment blocks 5-7 stores high that have never been painted so old stained concrete- see photos.
Rooms need upgrade, 1 safe didn’t work- no one ever came to look at despite being asked, clothes line didn’t work. Laundry prices exhorbant (and nowhere in town offering laundry service) – other things either missing or broken, bath water hot enough for shower but not bath – one room plug leaked so bath was a bit of a mission. Couldnt make a local call - reception didnt even know what a local call was! Got put though to 5 staff members and hung up on. Finally got told local calls were blocked from our room come down to reception- arugh.
Beds great, TV fine lighting ok. Fridge tiny.
Breakfast terrible - lots of food for Asian appetites but personally vegetarian duck (?) isn’t my morning nibble. Bread for toast stale. I asked for fresh – yes, yes right away 10 min later no bread looked at head waiter - and off he went, obviously hoped I would forget. Next day – stale bread again. Croissants one morning, but never again. In answer to my croissant query "Maybe we have tomorrow but maybe not." My husband gave up on the eggs, he never could work out what they did to them to make them taste so weird.

Had dinner one night as not much choice in SDK - unremarkable - service good.
Found eatting on sea front best lots of choice.
Fat Cat bakery in the next block is definitely the place for breakfast – and lunch afternoon tea etc!
But it opens around 9.30-10am

Brilliant young Concierge – he stood out as an example of good customer service- head and tail over the other staff. On return the lift button was pushed when you were 2 meters away big smile “how was your day?” On leaving for day: “Where are you going?” Followed by helpful suggestions

I would never stay here again, as friends we made at KJC said the best part of town is the street on the sea front (lots of eateries and the street behind it, clean and felt safer.

Room Tip: I wouldnt stay here! Had room over city husband liked seeing what was happening - see photos but I t...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Taukiri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Sandakan hotels

Bucharest, Romania
Level 6 Contributor
67 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2012

Arrived in the evening of 9 June at the Sandakan hotel for 5 nights. It is a big hotel,having a high standard. My room at third floor was very good, large, very clean, having all the necessary amenities (TV, fridge, coffee maker etc). Only 2 small windows can be opened (I always like accommodations where i can open large the windows), the view was over a street - nothing special. I had a good sleep in that large bed but the noise form the air-con was disturbing over night. Interesting that the second night the noise wasn't any more so disturbing - maybe I got used. The room door uses an electronic key. The hotel has a large restaurant. for breakfast they offer a rich and very tasty buffet. Actually during my Sabah travel the best breakfast - buffet was at the Hotel Sandakan!. As the hotel is located right in the center, it is easy to go around and as we had a car, it is a good starting point to make different day trips. A good place to spend some time is the English tea house, in the middle of a wonderful garden,. overlooking the bay. Close to that is Agnes Keith House - she wrote the best seller about Sabah "Land Below the wind" - I was lucky to find the book in a bookshop in Kota Kinabalu.. There are few Chinese temples in Sandakan worth for visiting for their beautiful architecture - for example the Puh Jih Shih Temple, also the Buli Sim Sim watervillage is interesting. Also it is close to the Sepilok Onragutan Center - which, sincerely, didn't impressed me much, then there is a crocodile farm, but more instructive is the War Memorial Park. I made also a day trip to BatuTulug caves - bats and ancient coffins, from the top of the rock there is a fantastic view of the surroundings and the most interesting day trip was to the Kinabatangan river for the cruise - beside proboscis monkeys, macacs and water birds, I was lucky to spot a little herd of pigmy elephants grassing near the water. Of course in Sandakan town itself you don't have much to do many days, but the Hotel Sandakan is a good starting point to explore the surroundings. I can only highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rose-Gul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Murren, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
156 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

we stayed here for one night. it's located on the hill above the town so a cab or 2km walk is needed to get to the centre. very good sized rooms and a great rate. free internet and great pool. not too touristic. alcohol needs to be consumed outside the a/c restaurant which is not a huge inconvenience.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank weemacs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012

Friendly staff, decent Wifi in the room, noisy aircon in my room, standard Malaysian breakfast buffet. No real complaints.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank JDisberger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Good location. Friendly very helpful staff. Service excellent. We found this great value for money. It was advertised to us as 4 star and everything about it goes with this until you get to the room which was very dated. Faded, fraying carpets, furniture, linen and smelt rather of cigarette smoke. In serious need of updating but otherwise this place was safe, friendly and good value. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank djk1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Sandakan

Property: Hotel Sandakan
Address: Hotel Sandakan Lebuh Empat, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Sandakan 3*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Strategically located at town centre, Hotel Sandakan is only 20 minutes drive from the airport and within walking distance to business district, tourist attractions, centre market & the new shopping mall.We have 105 tastefully furnished rooms with 14 suites. They are fully equipped with all amenitiesneeded for a restful stay including complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safety box, minifridge and color TV with satellite channels.Our Palm Café at ground floor which offers local Malay food & Western cuisine. The Palm GardenChinese Restaurant located at 1st floor serves Dim Sum & Chinese cuisine. We have variety of function rooms, with the most up to date facilities to cater all types of events, ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Sandakan Sabah, Malaysia

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