While planning our Malaysia trip we also wanted to return to Kota Kinabalu, short KK, on the island of Borneo, where we had stayed four years ago at the Hyatt Regency. We thought this time around we wanted to try the Le Meridien, situated in the heart of KK and stayed twice for two nights each - before and after our trip to Miri, also in Borneo, in the state of Sarawak, while KK is located in Sabah. We are members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program and used points on both occasions.
Our flight with Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu was eventless. In the arrivals hall we bought a taxi voucher to our hotel. It cost 30 MYR (ca. 6.95 Euro or ca. 9.40 USD).
At the hotel the car doors were opened for us and we were warmly welcomed. The gentleman at reception was friendly and efficient. He assigned us a nice room on the top floor. It was in good condition, but showed some wear and tear.
Our room was very large with city views. The color scheme was brown, gold, beige and red. The furniture was comfortable and classic in style with a large king sized bed, comfortable chairs, wardrobe and a large writing desk. There was also a mini bar and 24 hours in room dining available. The TV was too small. The channel selection was good with regional and international channels.
The large bath room had a separate bath tub and shower, a sink, a mix of Cinque Montes & Le Meridien own branded amenities, a toilet and bidet.
We enjoyed the room very much and the bath room was also to our liking.
We had visited the hotel for cakes and coffee, when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency for years ago and saw some changes in the public spaces. The Circle Restaurant is smaller now and the lobby ceiling is traditional Malaysian. The gift shop and reception are still to the left. There is also a tour desk in the lobby. More about that later.
The Le Meridien also has the Lounge, Flame, a steak house and the Solace Spa.
During both our stays we used in room dining. Wines per glass started from 28 MYR (ca. 6.50 Euro or ca. 8.75 USD) or a bottle from 150 MYR (ca. 34.70 Euro or ca. 46.85 USD), starters from 22 MYR (ca. 5.10 Euro or ca. 6.90 USD) and mains range from 30 MYR to 90 MYR (from ca. 6.95 Euro to 20.85 Euro or ca. 9.40 USD to 28.10 USD).
We had a la carte breakfast incl. for example pancakes and French Toast, juice and milk for 101 MYR (ca. 23.40 Euro or ca. 31.55 USD) or dinners, like Spaghetti Bolognese, Nasi Goreng and Hainan Chicken. It was never more expensive than 140 MYR (ca. 32.40 Euro or ca. 43.75 USD). The service was always prompt and friendly.
During our first stay we were also invited to the management party. I went alone, because my better half wasn't feeling well enough to go. I attended very short, trying the delicious snacks and drinks. Everyone seemed to know everyone, so I felt a bit left out and lonely. Next time either both of us are going or I'm going to give it a pass.
When we checked in the second time around we were surprised we didn't hear anything like: "Welcome back." It had been only three days earlier that we had checked out. The receptionist tried to sell us upgrades to breakfast or club lounge access.
We refused politely. The experience left a slightly bitter taste.
Our room on the 9th floor had roughly the same size and set up as the one on the 12th floor. It had less storage space, showed more wear and tear, but had a larger shower cubicle. Overall it was as comfortable as the other room with the same view over the city.
We wanted to book a city tour with the tour operator in the lobby. At other hotels, for example the Miri Marriott, the Napasai Koh Samui, Thailand or Kempinski Ajman, United Arab Emirates, we could easily charge tours to the hotel room, but payment was immediately required here, so a bit disappointed we went upstairs again to get cash. The city tour was 100 MYR per person (ca. 23.15 Euro or ca. 31.25 USD).
The tour itself was great. We had a driver and a guide for ourselves. We saw the Menara Tun Mustafa, the Atkins Clock Tower, the Sabah Museum, a Buddhist temple, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque and many other things. We learned a lot and Jessel, our guide, was a good source of information about the history of the island and own experiences growing up and living in Sabah.
Check out was a pleasant experience. It was fast, efficient and friendly.
Overall we enjoyed staying at the hotel, because the food is high quality, the rooms comfortable and the staff friendly. We have also heard of renovation plans.
We would have only wished we would have received some form of recognition for staying a second time within in a few days at the property and think it would be more convenient for other guests as well to be able to charge any tour bookings to the room.
We would stay here again, but not during our next visit to KK, because we would like to experience other hotels in the area and even try the Hyatt Regency KK again too.
Would we recommend this hotel to a friend? YES!
Would we stay again at this hotel? YES, but this depends on what's on offer at the other hotels in KK.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu is a contemporary 5 star hotel, strategically located at the heart and city center of downtown Kota Kinabalu across the fresh and handicraft markets and Kota Kinabalu waterfront. Overlooking the sea, Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu features newly renovated rooms, leisure outdoor pool and sundeck with sunset pool side bar. Convenient within easy walking distance of other local attractions like Gaya Street in less than 10 minutes walk, retail and entertainment facilities in less than 20 minutes walk like Centrepoint, Suria and Imago Shopping Malls. Enjoy access to local art gallery, golf courses and other island excursions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Hotel Kota Kinabalu
- Meridien Kota Kinabalu
- Kota Kinabalu Le Meridien
- Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Sabah