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“Just as good the second time around”

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Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera)
Ranked #8 of 91 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Christchurch
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Just as good the second time around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2008

Our family group recently travelled to the Sutera Magellan for the second time in 3 years. We had so thoroughly enjoyed the previous experience that it was with some trepidation that we returned. We stayed for 12 days and with the ages of our party ranging from 40s to 80 years old we all found that the resort lived up to and exceeded expectations. The reception staff were always pleasant but often slow, as others have commented. We had an issue when the online booking site we used had quoted a rate 200 ringitts a night less that the rack rate of the Sutera. It took a bit of convincing the reception staff that the rate on our booking slip was correct! The concierge staff, as noted in other reviews, were outstanding. Our ocean-view rooms were all well maintained and well stocked with towels and toiletries. The beds were comfortable and the air-conditioning a welcome feature. The carpets are stained but this will be remedied next year when the hotel will undergo extensive renovations. We used the free internet connection on a daily basis, without any glitches at all. We ate at Spice Island (twice), Ferdinands (twice) and frequently at Al Fresco and the cafe at the Marina complex. The service and food were universally excellent. Our happy hour orders were remembered by the second day of our holiday (and we are not big drinkers!) as were our names. With the family occupying 3 rooms at the hotel, the staff managed well to correctly charge back our meals and drinks to the correct room. Nothing was ever too much trouble even when the resort was over-run with 200 boisterous Australians on a junket. We took the opportunity to dive, used the gym and spent many hours around the excellent pools. The location is one of the highlights of the resort. Watching the amazing sunets was a favourite. I am at a loss to understand why anyone would prefer to stay in town surrounded by noise and some very average restaurants when you have the ambience of the Magellan as an alternative. We had a great time and will be back.

  • Liked — The overall ambience
  • Disliked — The reception staff
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnaChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,539 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (591)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2008

My family and I (two kids 8 and 10) came to The Magellan for the second part of our vacation (first 6 days were in Kuala Lumpur)
When we arrived we were taken to our standard room but found the beds too small for all of us. Long story short - the reception staff couldnt or wouldnt help us, but the assorted concierges were AMAZING and we ended up with a suite with an ocean view.
Asidef from that our stay was great and we enjoyed everything about it. We will be going back.

  • Liked — View from the room
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank advano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2008

Our travel agent recommended the Magellan Sutera (got good discount), but having read comments on Trip Advisor, I chose to limit our stay to two nights. We were glad to have done so. Not that every aspect was awful, but it was simply not inspiring. Here's my list of good and bad things:

Good things first:
+ Ferdinand's, the Italian restaurant, was excellent, even by Tokyo standards (which I personally think of as THE Culinary Pinnacle in the world); thanks for the recommendations on Tripadvisor!! We had two soups, two risotto/pasta dishes, and shared a main course (lobster, the only local thing that is served here), and were impressed with the size and quality of the dishes. The meat that accompanied the pasta was a little overcooked, but otherwise all plates were delicious. The wines by the glass (we sampled all four) were also unexpectedly good. A nice diversion from the buffets we were served elsewhere on our tour.
+ We had full ocean view from our balcony, and were able to witness an impressive sunset. Hotel management apparently tried to overcome the "lack of privacy" issue mentioned by some reviewers, by hanging flags over the balcony handrails. Effective and inexpensive solution!

Now the drawbacks:
- reception: We asked for a King size room bed (as requested) but were told that none was available. Smiles of reception staff was by the book, but did not convey friendliness or readiness to bend over to make you feel happy.
- outdated: In general, facilities in and outside of the room were outdated and in good need of refurbishment. E.g. the wood panel/window that divides the bathtub and the living room was hanging askew; carpet, wallpaper, tiles, toilet, towels etc. were clean, but not spic and span (stains, etc), and what bothered me most was:
- ants tirelessly marching on the tiles in the toilet. At least some entertainment while you're on it!
- shower: waterstream too weak.
- beds: definitely too small, even for my size (156 cm, and NOT obese); not comfy. pillows and towels were OK.
- breakfast: the Five Sails is sooo huge and impersonable. You have to stand in line to get seated (not good if you are in a hurry), despite free tables available(staff not efficient). When I was about to pack some pastries as a breakfast package (as we were running out of time), we were told that this is not allowed. Dear waitress, would you rather please clean up the tables first, so that guests do not have to wait in line to get seated, so that they do not have to rush and thus be in need to pack some food, before reprimanding something no other hotel I have stayed at forbids???
- Power outage: We were greeted by a friendly letter in our room that announced power outage the next day from 6am to 6pm. Thus, the aircon was out when we awoke the next morning. Although it is not that hot early in the morning, the air is very humid, so considering that most activities do not start before 8am, maintenance work should be completed between 8am and 4pm.
- Not a place for a couple desperately in need for vacation; but seems to be an adequate place if you are travelling with kids, due to the sheer size of the facility.

  • Liked — Ferdinand's and Manukan Island (private beach to snorkel)
  • Disliked — size (lack of coziness), ants' marching parade in the toilet
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tawanaanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KL
Level Contributor
187 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2008

I have stayed more than 30 nights on business (sometimes 5 days at a stretch) at this hotel over the past 8 years but have not gone there the last 2 years or so. Nothing much has changed except it seems to really pull in the foreign tourists (particiularly from Korea).

As the result, it was quite crowded, and even finding a table for breakfast can be challenging. Do expect kids to run smack into you, and people to cut you off at the buffet and learn to tolerate the noise.

The staff are as pleasant as can be expected but show that they are stretched. The service level is patchy, particularly when the crowds are big. The have LAN connections in the room but you won't find any details or a cable. It is "still under testing" after 3 years - and still free, but either bring your cable or get one from housekeeping.

On day 2 of my stay, the housekeeper forgot to replace any handtowels in my room. Do be careful, and make an official complaint as this hotel has in the past, charged me for items after I checked out. I have email correspondence relating to towels, and even better - food eaten by someone I don't even know after I checked out. My bank told me the hotel uses your credit card data to back-charge this way. Yes, they reversed these charges, but only after I spotted them and protested loudly.

So, stay there, but keep your eyes open. The le Meridien downtown is far nicer and newer. If you want a 3 star, cheaper place in town, do consider the Promenade. If you really want luxury, go to the Shangri La, preferably Rasa Ria (there are 2 Shangs in KK) which is away from town.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Noise, crowds
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank KT785
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2008

We stayed here for four nights in a standard room. The room had a beautiful view over the bay and pool which made watching sunset a pure joy.

The room was clean-ish (there were some old stains on the bed covers and on the carpet but nothing which really fazed us) and a good size.

The BREAKFAST IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I've never seen such an incredible variety. We would go back just for the buffet every morning. There was Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, English, pretty much everything you could think of. It was just a shame we got food poisioning from a trip to the markets so that we couldn't enjoy the buffet every day we were there.

The big downs to this place:

- the Airconditioning is set to suspended animation in the lobby and restaurants. We had to carry jumpers despite it being 40 degrees outside

- the wine collection isn't worth mentioning except that the $60 bottle we bought had turned sour (but no one would believe us). I'd recommend BYO'ing

- you can smoke EVERYWHERE. Lobby, restaurants, by the pool. Difficult if you come from a country where smoking is a pass time no longer acceptable in public places

Do remember to bring clothes to cover up in though. Remember that there is a large Muslim population and walking around the main town in short shorts and skimpy top will draw looks. They are too polite to say anything but it will remove the glances.

  • Liked — The location to the town
  • Disliked — The smoking and the shocking wine
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BrisbaneRunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2008

On arriving to The Pacific Suera, having pre paid for family room and breakfast with a British web flights company. Taken to the room to find 1 super king size bed. No beds for my two children. I was informed by reception there would be a bed charge of RM215 per bed per night or we could hire another room. I have never heard of this extra charge before! It certainly wasnt mentioned when booking. The Hotel is expensive for all drinks including water. Sterile attmophere would not recommend.

  • Liked — Clean
  • Disliked — Bed to soft
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MtHoye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2008

We have just arrived home after 6 nights at Sutera Harbour Pacific Hotel. This is a fantastic Hotel; the staff are so friendly, everything is very clean, the food was wonderful. We booked a junior suite and it was well worth the extra cost, for the added space and the complimentary drinks at sunset (thank you Esther!)
We took the tour to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehab Centre and took the Colonial Tour in the afternoon. Loved it all. We also went out to Manakan Island for the snorkeling and beach BBQ. I recommend this tour highly. We were very well looked after with water, soft drinks, and loads of food not just BBQ. Make sure you take a waterproof camera as the fish are very friendly and the water is very clear- you'll get good shots!
We both felt quite sad to be leaving Sabah and have made a pledge to return next year.

  • Liked — clean rooms and bathrooms, beautiful views
  • Disliked — could not fault anything!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank PerthJo_Ann
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)

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#3 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#5 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#6 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#6 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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