A buzzing gateway to picturesque tropical islands and spectacular mountains, Kota Kinabalu is sure to shoot to the top of your dream destination list. Our team was fortunate enough to spend a few days in and around the city, courtesy of our friends at Shangri-La Resorts.
Kota Kinabalu fast facts
Located in the Malaysian area of the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the north-west state of Sabah. Best known for its natural beauty, this seaside city also has an active nightlife and a sensational open-air night food market.
While not as well-known as other major Asian hot spots, Kota Kinabalu is just as easily accessible as similar sized destinations. The Impact Events team travelled in style on Royal Brunei Airlines directly non-stop from Melbourne and good connections also exist via Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Kota Kinabalu highlights
Mari Mari Cultural Village
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Mari Mari Cultural Village. Set up as a living museum, the village provides insights into the history, culture and traditions of Borneo life.
Kota Kinabalu is an active holiday-maker’s dream. Our team went white water rafting, took in a rainforest walk and visited the nearby idyllic offshore islands.
If you’re travelling in a group, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including several world-class golf courses, steam train rides, hiking at Mount Kota Kinabalu and various island adventure activities.
Night Food Market
Seafood is the staple diet of the city and quality restaurants are in abundance throughout Kota Kinabalu. A visit to the night market has adventurous eaters lining up to try the seafood at the famous Night Food Market.
For the fashion conscious among your group, Kota Kinabalu has great shopping options in and around the city centre. With several air-conditioned shopping centres selling genuine brand names at Malaysian prices, even the fussiest travellers can find a bargain here.
Luxury, service and convenience – the Shangri-La Resorts in Kota Kinabalu have it all. With two resorts on offer – Tanjung Aru and Rasa Ria – Shangri-La caters to any group’s needs or preferences.
Close to the city centre, Tanjung Aru is lively and bustling. The resort features extensive conference facilities, a fantastic spa retreat and easy boat access to neighbouring coral islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The resort is also a good option for adventurous, travelling families.
In contrast, Rasa Ria is more relaxed and spread out with access to an extensive beach area and within easy walking distance of the Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club. Located an hour north of the city, the resort features two large pools and sprawling lawn areas, perfect for functions. The easily accessed Golf & Country Club can also be used for functions or conferences.
Both resorts offer plenty of theme options for any group size, local dancers and fire performers on request – the showstopping tropical sunsets are free!
Our team was repeatedly impressed by the overwhelming friendliness of the locals. From our guides and hotel staff to performers and locals, everyone we encountered welcomed us with open arms. The people of Kota Kinabalu are incredibly proud of what their home has to offer and are eager to share it with international visitors.
Travel like a star
Ready to start exploring Kota Kinabalu? Get in touch with our team of experts today, and we can help you plan your next incredible team event.