Not for nothing but Kota Kinabalu was once named ‘Singgah Mata’, which translates to ‘pleasing to the eye’ – and it certainly still is, with Hilton Kota Kinabalu sitting sweetly in its centre. Within the hotel, you’ll find exactly the same five-star luxury that might be expected of its kind on the Malaysian peninsula – if not better – since it looks as polished and sharp as it did when it opened in late 2016.
All of Hilton Kota Kinabalu’s rooms are fitted with smart technology, such as automatic entry lighting, motion sensor lighting, and one of those incredible touch-sensitive light control panels that genuinely assists guests, rather than confusing them. These are best played with, of course, in the comfort of one of the hotel’s Executive Rooms or Suites (prices start from RM620 for a King Executive Room, or RM920 for a King One-Bedroom Suite).
Just as helpful is the access to the Executive Lounge that you’ll be given when staying in one of Hilton Kota Kinabalu’s higher-tier rooms, which comes with an hour’s usage of the Lounge’s meeting facilities. You’ll also be able to enjoy your complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails in relative peace while you plan your time in the city. On the other hand, perhaps you’ll be too busy rolling around your 82sqm One-Bedroom Suite and doing laps in the enormous bathtub by Enne Creations.
Do try and catch the sun at the hotel’s rooftop poolside, where you can request a reflexology massage as you kick back in a deckchair or one of the plush cabanas. Alternatively, head to the nearby Rooftop Poolside Bar & Grill (you’ll recognise it by the turquoise barstools and ornamental copper pineapples dotted around the space) if you’d like a sun-soaked view of Kota Kinabalu from up on high. So formidable are its burgers and grilled prawns, brought straight in from the South China Sea, that it should eliminate the desire to nip out to one of the city’s famous seafood restaurants.