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“Would never book this hotel again”

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Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
Ranked #8 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Staff was not very helpful. We booked river rafting through the hotel, the hotel staff confirmed the booking and told us to meet the tour guide at 5:20am. We waited for almost 30 minutes, at the same time we asked the front desk to check if the tour guide is coming. The tour guide came at 6am at the end and telling us he knew we booked river rafting at 5:45am, which is not the night before. This is really ridiculous because we trust the hotel and don't want to bother to look for tour guide but the outcome was awful. The staff in the resort are rude especially in the fitness centre.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank Blanor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 1, 2013

Unfortunately not what we expected for a 4.5 star I would probably say its a 3 star. Overpriced accommodation, meals and drinks.
Our experience was appalling at check in we told Zetti we had two rooms booked but she said we had three and said until she sorted it out would take payment on our credit card for the extra room as it had been booked it must be paid for. We insisted we had only booked two but we asked her if perhaps she could release the room and try to sell it she said they were pretty quiet so unlikely. We then wandered off to try and find our rooms haven been given no guidance of where lift, breakfast etc was. We found our rooms only to discover the kids room had a strong musty smoky smell and ours overlooked the golf course not the sea as we had paid extra for. There is no privacy with the bathroom and toilet divided by wooden slat windows next to the bed. Also I had paid extra for a folder bed for our daughter which wasn't there. I went back to reception and Zetti told us she would have the bed brought in and the room we were in they called a sea view even though it overlooked the golf course as it had sea glimpses to the right. She offered us to move in a few days to the other side but there would be no balcony.
We went down to dinner worrying about the $2000.00 we had to pay for extra room. Initially we were given breakfast menus and so we discovered where breakfast was and it stated on the menu available until 11.00am. Service was very slow even though there was only one other table and it was around 10.00pm but we were offered complimentary soup from Simitra who was our delightful waitress. Sadly we only encountered her once more she is definitely an asset making us feel like long lost friends even giving cuddles. We went past reception on our way back to our room and enquired if anything had been sorted about the extra room and Zetti said she would call us. Our daughter was tired and wanted to go to bed but it still hadn't been delivered. We called house keeping and it came not long after.
Our floor was non smoking but smelt terribly of smoke and we saw staff smoking in the passage cupboard along with guests in the hallway right under the non smoking sign! We went down to breakfast the first morning at 10.25 and we were told we were too late but could quickly grab something off the left over cold items to take to out table before they were taken away. We explained we were told breakfast was until 11.00 but we were told the same thing, no finished. My husband was by this time not too happy and the manageress came over and said we could order hot food off the a la carte menu but there would be a charge. By this stage we were wondering what we had checked into! To her credit the manageress checked out with reception and confirmed their was confusion when checking in and she was sorry and there would be no added charge. I'm sorry I didn't get her name as she also came to our aid a couple of days later when they said we had to pay for cappuccino. They have coffee machines around and you have to get your own tea & coffee we didn't realise this at first as we were used to being served by previous hotels but when my husband went to froth the milk they said it is a side order and to be paid for but he could have un frothed milk for no charge. He politely declined and the Manageress had seen what happened and brought him a cappuccino saying she agreed it was ridiculous to charge. Most mornings there would be a fifteen minute wait in the que for eggs.
We called by reception as we hadn't heard from Zetti to find she was not in that day so we asked for a late check out as we didn't arrive till 9.00pm and were leaving on same flight. They said sorry they were at full capacity. We had limited funds on our card because of the extra room and also room deposit they take for services so we were keen to sort out. The following day we saw Zetti and asked what had happened and she informed us no problem we didn't have to pay for the extra room they had a new girl on the day of the booking. No apology was offered and the amount wasn't lifted from our card.
We had several issues with room service firstly not answering so we ordered through reception a bucket of ice at 5.00pm only to get a call at 11.30pm to see if we still required. We went into the night club as we were given drink vouchers it was the most disgusting dingy musty smelling room we walked straight out and tried to give vouchers away but they didn't want them either they found the same thing the night prior.
The pool is in desperate need of maintenance with tiles missing and the it took me five goes to find a Lounge that wasn't broken on one side of the back. The beach is very small and I wouldn't recommend it my daughter got badly stung and still has scars. Not knowing what she had been stung by and as she was very distraught we were quite upset and worried and called over the pool attendants for help but they thought it was funny our daughter sobbing uncontrollably and a staff member walked off and returned with no urgency with vinegar. We went to the chemist and they explained what it was and gave us tablets. It gave her grief on the plane and for two weeks after we got home and she still has scars.
We walked to the entertainment centre past the Marina which was sadly full of rubbish. There were charges to play pool and ping pong! We went to the bowling alley which was fun and had no problem paying for that. We decided to go to an island and were advised to go to the largest one but it is definitely not Cottesloe! You can't stand as it is rocks not sand and snorkelling has limited visibility. We met other Aussies on the Island and they too were very disappointed.
We found the concierge Houston very helpful and all our taxi drivers booked through the hotel were friendly.
We enjoyed the Al Fresco restaurant although we had a problem when we went with friends there were 10 of us and the meals came out staggered with a 40minute gap from first to last meal so as I was sitting next to birthday girl didn't feel comfortable starting so my meal went cold while waiting. I asked four times for the manager and it was 20 minutes before he finally came. I told him how disappointed we were and we had asked staff three times what the issue was and no one came back to us. The restaurant was quiet but I could only see one person in the kitchen. I must say Johnson the Manager made every effort to rectify our disappointing evening and we ended up having a lovely evening. The food was lovely.
I think the Hotel is tired and run down but could be spruced up and I'm sure with some training staff problems could be rectified. Unfortunately for us it was a very disappointing experience. We had stayed in KL on the way with Shrang Ri La and there was no comparison. I think this gave us high expectations as the Resort was our pinnacle but turned out a huge disappointment.

Room Tip: Balcony to get fresh air old building with musty stale smell
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JVJ666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHR-Management, Social Media Manager at Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera), responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear JVJ666,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We read the experience of your stay with deep regret, especially when you have made our Hotel your accommodation of choice.

We would like to apologise for the reservation error we have made which has caused you inconvenience during your time with us. All details mentioned on your thoughts of Sutera Harbour Resort have been noted. Please be assured that we take all feedback seriously as we continuously review ways to fine-tune our service to ensure better efficiency and quality of our service touch points. Your comments have been channeled to the relevant departments for further action so that we can work towards improving the overall experience for our guests.

We would like to clarify that Buffet Breakfast at both Café Boleh, The Pacific Sutera Hotel and Five Sails, The Magellan Sutera Resort are from 6.00am to 10.30am. Only In-Room Dining Breakfast Menu is available from 5.00am to 11.00am.

On a separate note, we believe the staff whom you have acknowledged in your review are Hussin from Concierge, and Selmah and Flo from Café Boleh. We are glad that you had experienced their personalised service that we aim to deliver to all guests. In addition, Johnson from Al Fresco, The Magellan Sutera Resort would be happy to hear of your compliments.

As our valued guest, we hope that you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again to Sutera Harbour Resort for a renewed experience in the future.

Best regards,
SHR-Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Had a 6 nights stay in a family room. Combining Scuba diving with Borneo Dream and a nice resort - NOT
Several service problem regarding room cleaning, wrong and late room service, problem in room and no feed back or attentative staff. Several complaints and a bunch of I'm so sorry while checking out. Not what you expect at all! So if you are up to spend money on 5*resort don't choose Sutera Harbour Pacific

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank HolmbergarnaSeoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHR-Management, Social Media Manager at Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera), responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear HolmbergarnaSeoul,

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us.

We regret to read of your disappointment on this recent visit and would like to apologise for a less than satisfactory stay. Rest assured, we take your feedback seriously and will be looked into by the relevant departments to make necessary improvements.

We certainly hope to welcome you again for a renewed experience.

Best regards,
SHR-Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We stayed at the Pacific Sutera and had an ocean facing room and you have great views from room - either ocean or other rooms overlook the golf course. Very friendly staff in the pool bar (special mention to Joans) and the restaurant beside pool. The hotel building may look a little tired on the outside when you approach, compared to its smart neighbour the Magellan Sutera, but is absolutely fine inside. It was very pleasant to sit at pool/beach area and watch sunset. The beach area is not big, and at times there was litter on beach & in water, and although netted, think it needs signage too, warning of jellyfish & the huge lizard I saw swimming in the water there one day, it climbed up onto the rocks, fascinating & beautiful, not sure if I would like to be in the water with it though! Both hotels have a lot of rooms and are very busy and do quite a good job for the amount of guests. There is reciprocal rights across both the hotels for swimming pools, restaurants, and gyms, just quote hotel & room number.

Can't rely on getting a seat in pre-paid (3 ringgit /person)shuttle bus that runs from hotel to city and return, even if you have booked! The bus services both hotels and leaves hourly & makes 3 stops in the city, it also picks up from these stops returning to the hotel, it fills up quite quickly both ways, and we were never successful in getting a return journey back to the hotel on the bus, and it left the hotel without us one day even though we had booked tickets & were on the list, so suggest waiting outside for bus, you can wait in the lobby & they ring a bell, but when we did this the bus was gone before we made it to the door! It can cost a bit in taxi fares (15 ringgit each way) if you are backwards & forwards to the town shops, markets and restaurants a couple of times a day. Nice restaurants on site but not cheap. Good selection at breakfast, however no fresh juices at breakfast buffet, juice tasted reconstituted, expected a bit better than this for what we paid!

Seeing the Orangutans at Rasa Ria Resort (about 30 minutes by taxi - just book at the concierge) was a highlight, they have 2 viewings daily morning & afternoon. The resort itself has a lovely ocean outlook and worth a look at too!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank melbournites50s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Spent a week at the Pacific Sutera wing with the family and walked away completely satisfied with our stay. Good value for what you pay. The staff were very attentive and welcoming... Special mention for Terrance at Cafe Boleh for his outstanding service. There is a courtesy internal shuttle bus provided to get to the Marina & Country Club wing and the Pacific wing so you can enjoy each part of this resort. They all have excellent pools and cafés and you can charge your bill to the room without hassle anywhere.
Families have a choice of two kiddies clubs to have their children minded. Our kids loved them.

Enjoy the sunsets each day on the shore with a Tiger beer and enjoy the view. The spa has an excellent array of massages and there is a gym in every wing. On the only rainy day we had we took the kids to the theatre for a movie. There is a bowling alley there tool Would be easier to talk about what this resort doesn't have!! Conveniently located near the city centre you will not have far to travel for your shopping needs. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view when booking. Ask for a level 9 or above room. Golf fans ask for the golf course...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Dusty D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Just arrived back from 9 nights at the Magellan (part of 3 hotels, Pacific Sutera and also Country Club. It is situated near the harbour and was really lovely. The location was right on the water with a view to the islands. The rooms were spacious and had a good sized balcony viewing the sea. Breakfast was huge and varied and there were various pools to swim in. The breakfast room overlooked the main pool. There were 2 others on the walk to the country club. The big surprise was the restaurant Al Fresco. They had happy hour from 4 to 7 which is good as the food and drinks are a lot more expensive than Bali - 24 for a cocktail (2 for one in the happy hour). The food here was the best. It was varied - local malay, pizza, salads, steaks (the lot) and it was really tasty. Beware fish head curry (it is big enough for 2/3 people) and delicious. Special mention to Benjie the concierge who told us lots of information and organised a couple of trips for us so thank you Benjie. The only thing I would say is that Kota Kinabalu has a long way to go before it can match Thailand, Philippines or Bali for cost. It is twice the price of these places and not so easy to get to as Malaysian Airlines only fly 1 time per week at the moment and its expensive about $1100 return. There is a fair amount of development being carried out and probably will be good in a few years time but it is very disconnected ie you have to get a taxi to go anywhere. The city itself is not enticing and no real shopping (they have a few shopping centres but not very sophisticated). All in all it was a very relaxing holiday and really beautiful hotel, the staff were wonderful and I have to say Al Fresco was the saving grace as we had plenty of meals there and the ambience is great (lots of salsa music).

Room Tip: Deluxe sea view
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank checkbeforeyoubook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Very impressed with the Sutera hotel,good value for money( less than half that we payed at another Borneo hotel during the same trip), large spotlessly clean rooms, helpful staff and beautiful pool overlooking the sea. I would recommend staying in a club room, worth the extra to sit and watch the spectacular sunsets from the club lounge with drinks and delicious snacks provided. You can also eat breakfast here if you prefer, although the main breakfast buffet is very good.The concierge in the club room is so helpful , booking trips and providing information. The hotel is part of a resort and you can use the pools and restaurants at the other hotels too. Take a walk along the seafront past the marina to Ferdinands restaurant at the Magellan hotel and prepare to be wowed at this gem, superb food and faultless service! Will certainly return to this resort.

Room Tip: Go for a Club floor room
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pommet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)

Address: 1 Sutera Harbour Blvd, Kota Kinabalu 88100, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#4 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#5 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#6 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#6 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: $125 - $325 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera) 5*
Number of rooms: 956
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sutera Harbour Resort is Malaysia’s foremost premier integrated property. The resort encompasses the luxurious accommodation of The Pacific Sutera and The Magellan Sutera hotels, a 27-hole championship golf course, Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, two Mandara Spas and a host of dining and recreational facilities. Sutera Harbour Resort is also affiliated with 5 other eco-destinations in Sabah managed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges including Kinabalu Park, Mesilau Nature Resort, Laban Rata, Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve and Manukan Island Resort. The resort also offers a luxury charter division, North Borneo Yachting and steam locomotive through North Borneo Railway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera And The Magellan Sutera)
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera) Hotel
Sutera Harbour Hotel
Sutera Harbour Kota Kinabalu
Magellan Sutera
Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera) Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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