Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 20

Luxury Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia @hyattregencykinabalu

BZFLAG Travel - Contributor Asia, Best Luxury Hotels, Luxury Hotel Review 47 Comments

I just came from a day tour in Dinawan Island when I checked in at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu on my birthday, May 4. It was my third night in Kota Kinabalu, and after an entire day of snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking, staying in a world-class hotel with a view of the sea is the best way to relax and recharge.

Luxury Hotel Review Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 1

Photo from Hyatt Regency Kinabalu website

As I entered the hotel, I was warmly welcomed by its Assistant Manager for Public Relations, Ervina Masduki, who I have been corresponding with since January. She assisted me during check in, gave me my keycards, and told me to meet her in Nagisa Japanese Restaurant after I drop my bags in my room.

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As the first international chain hotel in the state of Sabah, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu has been around since 1979. It is strategically located in KK’s entertainment and business district, making it accessible to shopping centers, government offices, tourist spots, and the airport. It has undergone a few major renovations through the years, but its topnotch level of service and hospitality has remained the same. Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is also a consistent recipient of excellence awards from booking sites and Malaysia and Sabah Tourism Boards.

Private double rooms start at around $104 in  | |  | .

For the best daily rate guarantee, book through their .

You may also check out the reviews on . For other luxury hotel reviews, click here.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE PROPERTY

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Hyatt Regency Kinabalu’s strategic location on the waterfront area provides guests with sea view rooms a breathtaking view of the South China Sea and neighboring islands. The hotel is also the perfect place for taking those amazing sunset photos.

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 6

Aside from the view, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is also an ideal spot for tourists who wish to see the rest of the city. With its proximity to Suria Sabah, Local Handicraft Market, Gaya Street Sunday Market, Jesselton Port, and other tourist attractions, it makes driving around efficient and seamless. Currency exchange is also not a problem as numerous money changers are found in Wisma Merdeka, which is right next to the hotel.

5 Things I Learned From Traveling Solo Abroad For The First Time 12

As mentioned, the hotel just had some renovations. One of their newest offerings is , described as “Kota Kinabalu’s only residential-style, multi-functional premium event facility.” During my stay, I was lucky to be invited to a meeting and events showcase party where Hyatt Regency Kinabalu re-introduced their meeting and event spaces and also launched The Residence.

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Photo from Hyatt Regency Kinabalu website

THE STAFF

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Back when I sent my proposal to Ervina about writing a review on Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, I knew that I am in good hands when I arrive in their hotel. She immediately accepted my request, and was kind enough to adjust my preferred dates so I will be there on my birthday.

I felt like family during my entire stay, especially when Ervina invited me to the showcase party and even gave me a 10:00 p.m. checkout so I could still use the room until the end of the event. During the party, I was able to meet Arifin Darmawan, the General Manager, and Bennett Peter, the Executive Assistant Manager. They were very welcoming, asking me about my stay and what I think of their hotel.

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With Arifin Darmawan, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Kinabalu

As for the rest of the staff, I was very impressed with how attentive they are of their guests’ needs. There was a problem with my bathtub on the first night, and they immediately sent housekeeping to solve it when I called. Everyone was very friendly, greeting me with smiles on their faces whenever they would see me in the hotel.

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THE ROOM

I had an entire sea view room all to myself, one of the 288 contemporary styled rooms of Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. I was quite surprised of its size, as it was really spacious even for two people. There was even a workstation, where some welcome treats and a note were waiting for me.

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 10

The bathroom was split into two, with the toilet on one side and the bathtub on the other and the sink on the middle. There was an ample supply of bathrobes, towels, and Portico bath products.

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 12

THE FOOD

Ah, the food. Everything I tasted here is still fresh in my mind up to this day. I was able to dine in Tanjung Ria Kitchen for breakfast and lunch, and in Nagisa Japanese Restaurant for my birthday dinner.

Click here for a complete review of Nagisa Japanese Restaurant.

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 14

Let’s talk about first. As one of Kota Kinabalu’s best restaurants, it has a halal certified kitchen that offers both local and Western cuisine. Buffet spreads from breakfast to dinner is available here, as well as a la carte servings.

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Breakfast time!

As you can see, it didn’t fail to impress me. I was overwhelmed with the various choices in front of me, and they all tasted delicious. I wanted to try everything, but it was just not possible. But whatever I was able to taste made me believe why people rave about this restaurant.

For lunch, I wasn’t able to make it to their lunch buffet. So I decided to order their signature dish, Oxtail Assam Padas, and it did not disappoint. Just look at that beautiful masterpiece!

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Ervina told me that other restaurants also serve this dish, but Tanjung Ria Kitchen’s version is still different and quite difficult to mimic. This is so popular that even the Prime Minister of Malaysia would have this delivered to his place whenever he is in Kota Kinabalu. The meat is so tender, the sauce is so rich, and the serving is so huge for one person. This is definitely a must try when you are in Kota Kinabalu.

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As for , it is the only Japanese restaurant in a five-star hotel in the city. I was so happy to have my birthday dinner here, especially since I was tired from all the activities I did during the day. This is what we had:

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Appetizer

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Edamame beans

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Mixed tempura

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Nagisa Maki – the restaurant’s specialty, made of grilled eel (unagi), avocado, and egg rolled in sushi rice

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Horenso No Ohitashi (simmered spinach)

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Ginadara Nabe – hot pot codfish and vegetable broth

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Birthday dinner

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Lemon mint iced tea

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Homemade green tea ice cream

Everything was really good, and I will not run out of positive things to say about this restaurant. It was also so thoughtful of them to give me a birthday cake to wrap up our hearty dinner.

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AMENITIES

Outdoor swimming pool with private cabanas, fitness center, Mosaic Cafe, Shenanigan’s Fun Pub, The Lounge

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 35

INSIDER TIPS

1. Ask for a sea view room if you wish to have a view of the South China Sea and the beautiful sunset. Otherwise, city view rooms are also available.

2. For currency exchange, visit Wisma Merdeka which is a right next to Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. One of its entrances is just a few steps away from the hotel’s entrance.

3. Order the oxtail assam padas. I swear, you will not regret it.

4. If you happen to visit Mosaic Cafe, don’t miss the rainbow latte. It’s the first of its kind in Kota Kinabalu. Homemade ice cream in various flavors are also available.

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Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 37

Luxury Hotel Review- Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 38

WHAT TO DO AROUND/WITHIN THE AREA

1. Shop or watch a movie at Suria Sabah, one of the nearer shopping centers to Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. Movies are relatively cheap here compared to the Philippines, so I took the chance to watch Captain America: Civil War here.

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2. For souvenirs, visit the Local Handicraft Market. Don’t forget to haggle. If you can speak Malay or know someone who can, your chances of getting a discount are higher. If you speak Filipino/Tagalog, even better.

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3. If you are in KK on a Sunday, go to Gaya Street for Sunday Market. I was there during weekdays so I missed this.

4. For those who want to visit the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, go to Jesselton Port. It is a short walk from the hotel. You may also arrange trips to Dinawan Island and Tagal Tinopikon Park with .

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Dinawan Island

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Suspension bridge in Tagal Tinopikon Park

5. There is also the Mari Mari Cultural Village if you want to know more about the culture and lifestyle of the different tribes in Sabah. You may visit the nearby Wisma Sabah and inquire in any of the tour companies inside.

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Note: The hotel stay is sponsored by Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, but the opinions in this review are my own.

Special thanks to Mr. Bennett Peter, Mr. Arifin Darmawan, and Ms. Ervina Masduki for the beautiful accommodation, and to everyone in Tanjung Ria Kitchen and Nagisa Japanese Restaurant for the delicious meals.

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Comments 47

  1. The only time I can have the luxury of a five-star hotel is when traveling with family. And what I’m most excited about is the buffet breakfast! The one Hyatt has looks like they have a wide and varied selection of buffet!

    1. Hyatt Regency Kinabalu’s buffet spread is really varied and delicious. Your family will definitely enjoy staying there! 🙂

  2. i find the hotel really nice (as per the photos you’ve shared and so as how you describe it as well). Also, the food!!! I bet you really enjoyed everything there. I wonder if how does their maki tastes?? ha! I love makis, don’t judge me if I asked. (giggle) Anyway, as for the things to do around the area, glad that you are able to make rounds around the place. You’ve mentioned that if we know tagalog, the better the chances of getting discounts. Can they really understand more tagalog words? Just wondering, though.

    1. Hi Zwitsy, the Nagisa Maki was really delicious and huge. I can’t describe the taste but everything blended well. As for the Tagalog part, my friend says that most vendors are Filipinos (hence the name Filipino Market) who are from the Mindanao area so they speak the language. I was with a Malay friend when I shopped so I was not able to speak Tagalog. I will be back there next year so I will try to do that. Hope you have the chance to visit Hyatt and KK!

  3. Looks like a great hotel for a few days stay! You had me at the oxtail stew, that looks so soooo good! Isn’t it great to have a sunset view in your own room? Now I want to go eat japanese food.

    1. That oxtail assam pedas is really to die for! You should definitely taste it when you visit KK. And yes, I had to wait for the sunset before leaving my room. 🙂

  4. What an amazing view from the hotel room, I don’t think I would leave if I ever stayed here. The food looks absolutely delicious and the room price is not too bad either

  5. That looks like you had a great stay! The views alone are stunning. I have never been to Malaysia but I hear great things about the food. I would love to try the Negisa rolls and oxtail!

  6. Wow!! What a fantastic stay! That view is breath taking and the food looked so delicious. I am so jealous!

  7. These pictures are beautifully made! I love how the meals were prepared and where you stayed is lovely. I would totally visit 🙂

  8. Love the look of Nagisa the Japanese restaurant! Sushi is my favourite so I’d be very happy to go there for my birthday too 🙂

  9. This is such a beautiful hotel. I haven’t been to KK yet but I wanted to visit the place. Like you, I se to it to visit at least one international destination and as many local destinations in a year. Having worked in a hotel, I see that Hyatt Regency KK is really of highest standard, based on your description. Service is good if they are always out to see to their guest’s comfort. I hope to visit this hotel, too, someday.

    1. Hi Claire!

      Hyatt KK is really beautiful and they have added and improved the property. Food is also awesome, and location is very strategic (right next to a mall, walking distance to tourist spots). I will be back there in March 2017 and I hope you get to visit too!

  10. The hotel looks really amazing! A good staff is very important. I’m glad that was all very positive! Your photos are great. They give a really nice overview of the hotel and the room. Love the swimming pool! I would definitely also go to see the Suspension bridge in Tagal Tinopikon Park.

    1. Hi Carola, Tagal Tinopikon Park is a must visit. You can check my tour review about it, and hopefully you get to go there soon!

  11. The food at Nagisa looks amazing <3
    Those views are incredible, too, It sounds like a real bargain at that price!

    1. Hi Jess, the food being served in Nagisa is really delicious. Be sure to get a sea view room when you visit to get that spectacular view!

  12. I view from the hotel is amazing. I always love it when I get free fruit in the hotel room too.

  13. Beautiful hotel. The price of the hotel is not like that of the more expensive five star hotels ranging $300 and up. I mean, $100+ is a good price. I am sold.

    1. Hi Robert, it really is a great bargain, especially with its central location in the city. Hope you visit someday!

    1. Hi Sheena,

      Hyatt Regency is indeed a lovely hotel in Kota Kinabalu. Check them out when you visit! 🙂

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