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“Pretty place, but noisy - terrible breakfast!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kinabalu Mountain Lodge

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Kinabalu Mountain Lodge
1 km before Kinabalu Park (from KK direction), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Sandakan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Pretty place, but noisy - terrible breakfast!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Stayed here for a night before hiking the trails around the mountain. The lodge itself is gorgeous, and our room - the 'Japanese Room', presumably because it sounds better that the 'Not enough head-height-to-put-a-bed-in-room', had mattrasses on the floor and was clean and surprisingly comfy.
BUT. The entire lodge is made of sturdy wood. This meant that every sound, from knocking mud off your boots on the back steps to chopping veg in the kitchen, vibrates through the entire structure! We didn't sleep a wink, and at 5am some ambitious group got up to prepare for their trek up the mountain, and the noise of them stomping past the room and getting breakfast was deafening. In the end we got up at 7am, and went for the breakfast I was looking forward to - eggs! Except, the staff had cooked all the eggs at 5am when the first group got up, and ours were just sitting there cold on the counter. Despite 'breakfast' officially starting at 7:30! So it was cold fried eggs and cold toast for breakfast. We asked for some water to take with us, and was told the earlier group had emptied the water filter's dispensor, and "It is very slow to refill." So, no drinking water available with breakfast either! Or to take hiking... this pretty much made up our minds, and my wife and I neer came back to this place. Which is a shame, as it is very picturesque - but may have saved us breaking a leg on the crazy 1km hike there from the road, which is cleverly concreted in the steepest sections, and therefore somewhat akin to trying to ice-skate uphill with a back-pack on...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Minnesota
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Think twice before staying here if you are climbing Kinabalu. We booked the "Japanese" room at Kinabalu Mountain Lodge following climbing Mount Kinabalu and soon discoveed it was a terrible mistake. Extremely tired from climbing Kinabalu, all we wanted was a hot shower and a chance to rest our legs. we had to haul our luggage up two flights of stairs to our room. The room was dirty and apparently Japanese means thin mattresses on the floor without a bed frame and a sloping ceiling. The sheets were dirty and had holes and everything felt very damp. Sweaty and dirty from the climb, we were informed that we could not take a hot shower until after 5:00 pm and you had to "rent" a towel! The walls were so thin you could hear people taking in surrounding rooms. It was so bad and uncomfortable that we left to find another hotel in Kundasang after only staying for 40 minutes. If you are interested in staying in the kampung, stay here, otherwise consider other options.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
malaysia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Me and my hubby were accidently booked this place because it was a peak season and we decided quite late to go to Kundasang...we booked through online (agoda).our impression we tought the staff were friendly,the room was spacious (for rm120 u can get 2 queen bed in a room,which is pretty cheap)..the living rooms is cozy and the surrounding area is quite nice..but the down side of this place is,its noisy (all made by woods btw) when people in other room talked,u can clear hear what they said...it is indeed a very cold place..no heater..owh yeah..shared bathroom...i would really recommend for backpackers who needs a cheap and short stay or reunion (since u can have barbeque outside) .but not really recomanded for families..

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

First of all, the reviewer below is correct. This is 'Kinabalu Mountain Lodge' and it's situated about 2 km OUTSIDE the park. This is NOT 'Mountain Lodge', situated INSIDE the park. Some of the reviews below correspond to the wrong place.

Now about the hotel. It's an isolated, nice looking, wooden chalet with a beautiful location on the flank of a hill. Taxi's to the park cost you 15 Ringit, to Kundasan 30 Ringit, to Ranau 60 Ringit. The place has everything to earn 4/5 stars, but:
- there's around 2/3 housmaides running around that are sometimes loud and not necessarily 'service minded'
- it can get cold up there (we went in FEB) and the fact that there's no heating + thin walls make can turn the house into a fridge
- the girls make dinner if you ask, but it's nothing more than a big bunch of noodles + veggies... We've had better. You can cook your own food in the kitchen.

Hope this helps.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Subic, Philippines
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

I really enjoyed staying here and visiting the park. I have read the other reviews and would first like to comment on some of them. A few of the reviews must be the wrong place. The lodge is not on the side of the road, I saw just one main building with a second that may of been a dorm for groups, and the lodge is about 15 meters higher than the driveway in front of it so it definitely in the mountain. As far as distance from the park,I used my Sony Ericsson w8 smartphone gps with the sport tracker app to measure the distances involved. From the edge of the main road to the entrance of the lodge property is 1.05 km. however the lodge is on the hill above you at that point and if you follow the driveway to the lodge add another 150 meters. (50 meters if you use the steps). The distance from the driveway to the park is more than the 1 km mentioned. However I do not blame the lodge. About 20 meters beyond the driveway is a highway sign saying the park is 1 km away. My gps shows the distance as 1.25 km with another 150 meters to the entrance gate where you pay the conservation fees.

The comments about thin walls very true. You can hear the next room as if there was no wall. The nights we were there the high temp was about 20c or 68 f, but dropped to about 15c or 58f overnight, the room was chilly but the blanket was enough. The included breakfast we had was eggs, beans and toast, coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Vegetarian dinner was great and cost 8 rm.
staff was always helpful.
It will be where I will stay if I go again to the area

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

We caught a local minibus from Kota Kinabalu and got off at the 1km mark to the Lodge. The walk to the lodge was ok, a little slippery in the rain. If you are planning on hiking the mountain, the walk is easy peasy. The staff were a little hit-or-miss - sometimes friendly, sometimes not.
The food was vegetarian and ok. Bring your own snacks.
There is little to do when there - there is a TV, books and obviously the surrounding area to explore.
Items that you think would be included in the price are not - extra blankets, heater, towel etc.
The staff can give you a ride to the base of the mountain (for a small fee of course), however the morning walk is fine if you are not carrying too much luggage.

If I were to do this again, I would stay in Kota Kinabalu and do a package climb - then there would be no need to fuss about transportation, meals etc.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

True, it can be a bit noisy, but everyone goes to sleep pretty early. We checked out 2 other similarly priced places and they didn't even compare to this place. It was clean, had delicious food, beautiful balcony, and a nice vibe. The other places felt cheap and rundown in comparison. And yes, it is a bit of a hike in. Beautiful though, if you have a good attitude about being dropped off in the middle of the rainforest.

It does have a lot of private rooms. After our trip up Kinabalu, we opted for the family suite with a cute private balcony, and two queen sized beds.

Tip- if you are prone to getting cold, try to rent the heater early. They only have one.... Also, try to have the first shower of the day at 5pm when they switch it on. Much nicer than the 7pm shower. If you arrive at a weird time and are hungry, they don't serve dinner until 7pm, so bring snacks or eat before. You can buy chips and noodles there for a small price.

Room Tip: Family rooms are best
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kinabalu Mountain Lodge

Address: 1 km before Kinabalu Park (from KK direction), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 75 Specialty Lodging in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kinabalu Mountain Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Kinabalu Mountain Lodge Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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