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“Average hotel: decent rooms, poor service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu

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Hotel Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   75 Bandaran Berjaya, P.O. Box 11718, Kota Kinabalu 88819, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 92 hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Average hotel: decent rooms, poor service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We booked a night in this hotel returning from mount Kinabalu climb. We were pretty tired and looking forward to a nice shower. After checking in, we went to our room, which was spacious and quite clean for Malaysian standards. It all went downhill when we realised there was no hot water. We called reception to notify them/enquire about it, they just said hot water was broken so not hot water was available! No sorry- nothing. They didn't know when it would be repaired either! Obviously normally I would have just waited but returning from Kinabalu climb it was a big deal! We ended up having a cold shower...And hating this hotel for a moment!
A little later we asked for some travel advice on ferries to Brunei- which they had no idea about. We also asked if we could borrow an adaptor- they gave us one but it was broken. A couple of lights did not work in our room as well (in the bathroom, and one side bed).
On a positive side, breakfast was great and wifi was available in rooms.

Overall, ignoring the hot water drama (which was fixed a few hours later though we weren't notified about it), it was an average hotel and I would recommend travelers willing to get a decent room to pay the extra money and go somewhere else.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The structure looks as if it came from the 70s and the lobby and the main function room which also functions as the restaurant are from the same mold. Rooms are decent sized, mattresses could use an upgrade and the TV channels suck with only Aljazeera to keep you updated on the news. No in-room safe but there is a safe deposit box in the lobby.

Breakfast is purely for caloric consumption. Nothing to titillate the palate but nothing horribly wrong either. Protein comes from tofu or apathetic slices of chicken ham.

Demolition of a huge building across the road commenced at 8 am but this should be over within a week of writing.

The good: Within 5 minute walk from Welcome Seafood Restaurant which is a huge restaurant occupying the ground level of a shopping block. Order - mantis shrimp, geoduck and live fish. Forget about the house special noodle. I've had better from instant mojo.

Airport is ten minutes away and shopping centers are a ten minute walk away (but who goes to Kota Kinabalu to shop?).

Room Tip: Choose rooms away from the main street facing the hill behind for more peace and quiet.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We had quite a bad experience staying here. Our plans changed so we booked here last minute and in fairness it was reasonably cheap. Looked good online with promises of shuttle services to shopping centres and free WiFi. When we checked-in the clerk at the desk barely acknowledged us, seriously he didn't speak a single word. He handed us a room card and we had to ask him what room number, which he didn't actually tell us, just grabbed the card back off me and wrote on the top. I thought maybe he didn't speak English but i heard him speaking to someone later. When we got to our room the key didn't work so my boyfriend went back down to the check-in desk, still with barely a word the same clerk handed the key back. This time it worked but when we went inside the room was occupied by other people!! Awkward!! So we lugged our luggage back downstairs and told the clerk what happened, he looked a little mortified but didn't apologise or anything just looked at his computer, mumbled something to the other guy working at the desk then handed us a different key for another room.

The room was okay, fairly clean (by local standards that we're now used too) and spacious enough. We forgot to ask for a non smoking room (very difficult habit to get used too as it's not something we usually have to worry about), so the remnant smell of cigarettes once smoked remained, but after all the rigmarole and a long day we just sucked that up. After settling in I went down and asked a girl at the desk for the WiFi password and was simply told "not working".

The next day we needed to run some errands (and use the internet!) before midday checkout so we thought we would take advantage of the free shuttle bus to a shopping centre offer in our booking confirmation. We went down stairs and approached 3 hotel staff that were milling around chatting at the front entrance to ask about it, they seemed annoyed that we'd interrupted their conversation, and we were pretty abruptly told the shuttle bus only goes to the airport.

The hotel is located down some windy little back streets and the hotel overlooks the main highway, so it pretty noisy with the windows open. It is only a 10min walk to shopping centres and about 10-15min walk to the waterfront restaurants, markets etc. But everything is only a 10-15min walk no matter where you stay in KK so this doesnt really say that much.

We stayed at quite a few different places in Borneo, of various star ratings and this was by far the worst service of any. We're not fussy travellers and will usually tolerate a lot but when you pay for a nicer hotel you expect, at least, to be spoken to politely.

Room Tip: If your going to stay make sure if you are a non smoker to ask for non smoking floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for two nights. We were meeting our tour group here for a three week trip of Sabah and Sarawak. It did feel like a typical tour group hotel if that rings any bells for anyone.

The rooms were spacious, clean, had a good hot shower and good wifi which didn't require a password.

The breakfast was good and included a variety of bread for toasting, cereals, fruits, noodles, rice, baked beans etc and some very passable coffee (even the tea was good).

We had to pick up some supplies and some of the big shopping centers were a short walk away, as was the food court.

I would recommend this one looking for a basic stay in KK for one or two nights.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

This is a 3 star hotel, located at the fringe of the town centre. Location wise - major shopping centres are not at the doorstep but are within walking distance. The sunday main bazaar-Gaya street market is about 10 mins walk away and restaurants and fast food outlets are located at the doorstep. The hotel does have a shuttle service that will bring you to the newer shopping malls around town. This is an old hotel, recently renovated. What I liked about it is that compared to the newer hotels in town-the rooms are spacious, and have good fittings in the bathrooms. Rooms have coffee making facilities, hair dryer, the works. The rooms are clean and I slept very comfortably in the 2 nights I stayed there. I stayed on the 3rd floor facing the street and had no problems with street noise. Wifi is free, fast and reliable-I had no issues and was able to work at all hours of the day/night. The inhouse Tivoli restaurant was being renovated, so they had converted one of the ball room into a breakfast and dining area. Breakfast was adequate-buffet style, serving western and asian choices. It cannot be compared with a 5 star but there were enough choices to suit most palette-breads/cereals/fruits/cooked dishes/egg station. I had dinner there once-it was a company function and they might have made an effort but the black pepper beef and steamed seabass was very good.

Mr Ko the General Manager was a very pleasant gentleman, and eager to know guests views. I gather that the hotel business in Kota kinabalu is very competetive.

For the price I paid-about USD50 per night, I consider this a really good deal for Kota Kinabalu.

Room Tip: I had no issues with a room facing the street. My collegues had no issues either-we booked 10 rooms...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

The hotel is good in term of location, spacious room and services. During my 2nd night at the hotel, I slept alone,I was experienced something that unforgettable in my life!!!.. GHOST!!!

For your information, the hotel is among the oldest hotel in Kota Kinabalu, more than 30 years... a lot of stories behind that...

This is real and true!!

Absolutely, I will not stay again!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The room was spacious, neat & clean. The king sized bed was comfortable, and we appreciated having chairs to sit on. We only ate one meal in the hotel, which was a buffet dinner. Good food, but pricey. The hotel is located on an incredibly busy main road, so the rooms are noisy. We stayed on the 5th floor the first night, and then moved to the 9th floor for remaining nights due to the noise. Crossing the busy main road to get into the city centre is dangerous, and unfortunately there is no pedestrian crossing nearby.

Wi-Fi was non-existent. Did not work on either floor we stayed on, but worked well (fast!) in the lobby.

The reception staff are hit & miss, but Susan who works afternoon/evenings is fantastic. Super helpful & speaks fluent English.

Room Tip: Higher floors, and rooms located on the side of the hotel (not the front) experience less road noise...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu

Address: 75 Bandaran Berjaya, P.O. Box 11718, Kota Kinabalu 88819, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu Sabah

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