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Hotels in Kota Kinabalu

The city of Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, is most famous as the gateway to the mighty Mount Kinabalu. Known for being the mountain with the tallest peak in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu is a climb not for the uninitiated - be warned that proper training and a certain level of fitness is required if you want to scale this 13,435-foot-high mountain without great physical misery.

But if you’re up for it, the long journey to the top offers much more than just an excellent workout for both the mind and body - you’ll also be rewarded with ethereal panoramic views at the summit.

To make the most of your Kinabalu vacation, though, staying in the right place is key. From the picturesque entrance to the mountain Mount Kinabalu Park, the climbers’ pit stop or base camp Panalaban (formerly known as Laban Rata) just a stone’s throw away from the summit, to the gorgeous nature of the nearest town of Kundasang, find your best accommodation fit with Skyscanner.

Where to stay

For the sightseers 

If you’re going up to Mount Kinabalu, you’ll have to enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mount Kinabalu Park first. This park is a mere 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu, and the commute to and fro can be done via bus, shuttle or car.

Once you’re at the Park, whether you choose to continue on to scale the mountain or just hang about enjoying the amazingly diverse flora, fauna and natural beauty around you is your choice. There’s plenty of accommodation options within the Park itself, ranging from luxurious hotels to budget hostels. 

For the hardcore climbers 

If you decide to continue your journey upwards, your next stop would be Panalaban base camp. A good 3,000 metres above sea level, Panalaban can only be reached with a hard 4-6 hour climb from Mount Kinabalu Park.

Here you’ll find more limited accommodation options that are mostly basic (as of February 2016), as most climbers stay here for only a brief period of time through the night. After a short break, you’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn to continue on to the summit. Expect a simple roof over your head, a meal and the possibility of a hot shower at the mountain lodgings here.  

For families and eco-tourists 

But those who’d prefer not to put their body through the physical strain of such a climb - or are travelling with young ones in tow - a possible alternative could be to stay at the town of Kundasang, the nearest one to Mount Kinabalu. Famed for its amazing natural beauty, idyllic vegetable farms and plantations, you’ll be able to enjoy eco-tourism at its best in Kundasang whilst gazing at the beauty of Mount Kinabalu looming just above. Numerous comfortable resorts and lodges are available in the town, as are homestay options.