Places and hotels to stay in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu isn't the most affordable city these days, what with the influx of many seasonal tourists. The most expensive seasons are 2 to 3 weeks during Chinese New Year, the summer holidays between mid July to mid September, and occasionally the year end.

These are super peak seasons, with hotels raking up to thousands / per night. To help, here are the Top 10 affordable hotels in Kota Kinabalu, with excellent location offering you the value for both worlds.

1. Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Hotel 
Located amidst the Warisan Square Complex just in front of the famous Kota Kinabalu waterfront, this is a functional and basic hotel with a winning location. Prices range from MYR 150 onwards for 2 pax however often do not include breakfast. If coffees and cakes could make up for it, there is a Starbucks Coffee House just right in front of its entrance.

2. Marina Court Apartments and Residences 
This does not specify a unit, but if you need one let me know I will lead you to a contact. Marina Court Apartments and Residences are at the prime location of within minutes walk to the handicraft market, waterfront and approximately 15 minutes walk to the Imago Shopping Mall. It also comes with free parking for those who drive into Kota Kinabalu. Perfect for groups, and families, the apartments and residences often come with complete kitchen, fridge and swimming pool facilities. Prices range from MYR 250 onwards.

3. The Loft Imago and Residences
The Imago Complex and Residences are famous for it being connected to a mall! If that is what you're looking for, especially to be connected to Kota Kinabalu's biggest and most vibrant mall, then the Loft Imago and Residences are scattered with options of stays and Airbnbs. In fact, these days they make up most of the listings on all these online agents so location is sorted!

4. Kinabalu Daya Hotel 
What used to be The Best Western Hotel, is now transformed to Kinabalu Daya Hotel a name local is more affectionate with. Located within the strip of Central Business District of Gaya Street, this hotel is a walk away to many of the eateries and mall around the area. Prices range from MYR 150 onwards.

5. Gaya Center Hotel 
Located right next to the Suria Sabah Mall, and within minutes to the Jesselton Point Jetty Terminal, Gaya Center Hotel is the few that is within the strip of Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, with rooms overlooking the sea and in spite all that is still one of the few affordable ones in Kota Kinabalu. Prices range from MYR 250 onwards.

6. Dreamtel Hotel 
With prices ranging from MYR 170 onwards, Dreamtel Hotel is a beautiful hotel located along Wisma Bandaraya within minutes of walking from Gaya Street. It is home to 100+ rooms and is also within minutes from the buses towards Kundasang, Tuaran and Kota Marudu. It offers delicious breakfast, and opens for lunch and dinner as well.

7. Klagan Hotel 
The Klagan Hotel is one of the few in Kota Kinabalu with featured Junior Suites and Suites that are fairly affordable and a complete function room. Some rooms enjoy the beautiful sea views, and is located within minutes to handicraft market and the waterfront.

8. Hotel Gaia 
This is a brand new hotel located along Gaya Street and is already gaining tract with local and international visitors. With its contemporary and native designs, this is a hit among young travelers and those who want value on top of being at an excellent location. Prices range from MYR 150 onwards.

9. Pantai Inn 
This newly renovated hotel is adjoined with a famous local restaurant name Thien Thien, making it a perfect place to easily grab food and drinks as well. This hotel is located along Gaya Street. Prices range from MYR 150 onwards.

10. Cititel Hotel 
Located within steps to the most famous seafood restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, the Welcome Seafood Restaurant, Cititel Express offers clean and basic accommodation with affordable rates, being right smack in city center. Prices range from MYR 150 onwards.

We hope this will help you sort out affordable accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, and if you need any help, let me know!

These photos are copyrighted to

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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