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Reviewed 17 July 2011

For a 5 day trip to Kota Kinabalu, we had 4 nights to stay at Le Meridien. We were on a hike up Mt Kinabalu (see our review on Trip Advisor). So we stayed in Le Meridien for 1 night, then up the mountain for the next night, then returned to Le Meridien for 3 more nights. Why did we chose it? Because there was a fantastic offer (stay 3 pay 2) and it was a Starwood Preferred Guest hotel.

Location: The location is fantastic. Its right across the road from the Philipino markets, where you can get Nasi Lemak, Mi Goreng, and a variety of seafood and chicken wings. The strange thing is that there are really only 3 areas. 1 which serves Nasi, Mi and other staple carbohydrates, the next which serves only BBQ chicken wings, and the last area which is seafood. There is nothing else! But there are about 6 chicken wing stalls, 10 seafood stalls, and they all serve IDENTICAL fare. Nasi and Mi are very cheap, about 3-4RM a plate. The seafood is notoriously expensive here. We paid up to 35RM per prawn. The hotel has a Saturday night seafood buffet for 88RM per person which looked fantastic, but we didn’t go.
It is also situated next door to a shopping centre, but I wouldn’t go shopping in KK unless you absolutely need to. There is nothing to buy in terms of fashion, electronics etc that you can’t buy in Australia or anywhere else, for that matter. The closest cinema is 500m away, or less, and it is adequate (Cathay Cineplex). We ended up going a touch further, to Suriah Sabah (5 minutes by cab, North along the coast) where we saw a movie. Seats etc were comfy but the shopping centre was nothing special.

We went to the South Sea Sanctuary massage day spa (a review of which will follow from my girlfriend soon) and that was only 2 minutes by hotel shuttle.
The hotel is about 15 minutes to Tanjung Aru which is where you go to get access to another market stall style food area. That costs RM20 to get to (about A$6.50)

Room: The first night we stayed in room 914. On the door there was a sign stating that it was a room for a SPG member. We didn’t really notice anything unusual or out of the ordinary with this room. The following 3 nights after the climb, we stayed in room 933 – this was a slightly upgraded room, not an SPG member room, and had a view of the bay. It was bigger than 914. The bed is comfy enough, no complaints. It was a full king, rather than 2 singles put together which is good, and everything was clean. Service was good, and they were quite good about tidying things up. There is ample space for your bags, a nice armchair and desk to do your paperwork/writing etc.

There is wifi and Ethernet internet. It costs A$11 (35RM) per day for usage, and is not really that high speed. Its average speed. But its fine if you need it (which we did).

The bathrobes are tiny. They didn’t fit me (5 foot 11, 82kg) at all. My girlfriend thought that they were even on the small side for her, for a robe. She’s 5 foot, and 45kg so I don’t know who they would fit!

The bathroom itself is a good size. There is a shower which leaked water all over the floor due to a poor bottom seal, but not a big deal. There is a bathtub (didn’t use) and they give you a good amenities kit, including a toothbrush, earbuds, etc etc. It was one of the best amenity kits I’d seen from a hotel.

Food:
We only tried the breakfast 1 morning and it was fantastic. It only cost 88RM for BOTH of us to have the buffet breakfast. They had everything. Chinese porridge, Western “bacon” (Not pork), Indian breakfast, custom omelettes, fruit shots, and lots of other cool things. I liked the make your own juice machine, and they had really nice danishes and even had a dessert bar for breakfast! The coffee is also a nice surprise – being quality Illy plunger-style rather than the usual average filter coffee you get in hotels. All in all, very impressed.

We had room service one night after our Mt Kinabalu climb, and it was ok. Nothing special at all, and the “ham” (substitute) is pretty ordinary. But you should just try to avoid it if you’re used to Australian Pork products. I would recommend not getting the burger – the club sandwich is better. As usual, its very expensive for what you get – but you expect that with room service.

Service:
The service is good. There is nothing out of the ordinary here. We had a very attentive concierge called Melvin. He was terrific, and always seemed to rush to come to help us at all times. Other than that, service was adequate. The girl in the small convenience shop (next to concierge) was very friendly, and eager to help. She made us feel welcome and seemed quite happy! Well done.

Advice:

- Find a deal on the SPG.com website. Sign up to be an SPG member and you will likely get an SPG room (Who knows what that gives you) but can give you access to things like pay 2, stay 3 etc.
- Tip the concierge early, and you will get good service for the rest of your trip.
- Don’t eat seafood at the Philipino markets.
- The shopping experience in KK is poor. Don’t both. The centres are large, but lifeless, and shopping attendants seem relatively bored with their jobs, and don’t really seem to want to help you. Save your time and money and shop in Singapore, HK or even Australia.


All in all, we were very happy with Le Meridien in Kota Kinabalu. It was more than adequate for our needs, and was very comfortable. Its strength is in value for money. Considering that Shangri-La in the city was offering only A$700 per night accommodation, and we got the entire stay for 3 nights for A$500 then we were more than impressed. It was clean, comfortable, and had no problems. For the available options in the area, it is 5/5. Compared to other hotels that I have stayed at recently and loved its 4/5 (compared to W Hong Kong, Naumi Singapore). Hotels I have stayed at recently: Naumi Singapore, Empire Resort Brunei, W Hong Kong, Paramount NYC, Hotel Suba International Mumbai.

Room Tip: As an SPG, we got pay 2, get 3 nights.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank cwliew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexRiva, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2011

That was quite a review I must say and I am sure very useful to others. Thank you for highlighting the advantages of being a Starwood Preferred Guest as the SPG program has over the past several years won many awards as the best loyalty program.
I will be happy to meet you next time and discuss more on what the area has to offer for your next review.
Thank you again
Alex

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Reviewed 16 July 2011

We stayed here the night after summiting Mount Kinabalu and it was exactly what we needed. Comfortable bed, hot shower, good room service food, and best of all - a relaxing massage at the spa. Worth every ringgit!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Karlito1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexRiva, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2011

Congratulations on reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu it is great to know you enjoyed the rest in the room as well as a visit to our Solace Spa.
Hope to have you back for another climb or a visit to Sabah and all the destination has to offer.
Alex

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Reviewed 15 July 2011

We stayed at le Meredien in beginning of July 2011.

We fully enjoyed the stay and The Meredien is a true Meredien experience with high quality service and accomodation.

We can absolutely recommend this hotels.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Thodin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexRiva, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2011

Thank you for sharing your experience with others and happy as always to read a positive review
Alex

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Reviewed 14 July 2011

This hotel would have to be one of the nicest we have stayed in. We only paid for a standard room but chose to upgrade to a harbour view room when given the choice at check in. The extra cost was about $AUD16 a day. It was well worth it. The views were great. The rooms are very large and spacious. We arrived early in the morning and checked in immediately; they gave us a complimentary breakfast while our room was being prepared. The service from all the staff couldn't be faulted. The buffet breakfast catered to all tastes and was a good selection. The pool area is nice and relaxing and the bar sends water and fruit regardless of whether you order a drink. Every Wednesday evening guests are invited to cocktails and nibbles in the pool area hosted by the hotel managers. A PR exercise I know, but a nice touch. Returning from shopping the doormen welcome you back as if this was your home. Kota Kinabalu is still a growing tourist destination but this hotel made our trip just wonderful.

Room Tip: Pay the small extra charge and get a harbour view room. You wont be disappointed.
Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
Thank seahorsemama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexRiva, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2011

I like your review a concise summary of what we are all about at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu. Thank you for noticingthe aspects which make us a good choice for holiday makers.
Alex

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Reviewed 12 July 2011

Trying to ignore for a moment our $266 myr per night price tag for a suite room (yes, we got lucky) - this hotel is awesome.

Did I also mention our 266 cost included the club lounge (an intentional purchase that comes with your room booking)?

You would be mad not paying the extra few bucks for this. Free food and drinks (including beer and spirits). A 180 degree view from the 12th floor in leather chairs and luxury and no more than a room full of a dozen people. Breakfast was also included in the price with more selections than stalls at the local market!

I kid you not - all this for less than $100 a night (suite room was luck not standard).

You could realistically not spend a cracker on food or drinks each day. We had a big breakfast, ignored lunch, had beer & nibbles between 5 pm & 7 pm and then paid $3 myr across the road at the markets for a light dinner.

Service across the board was terrific.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Getgearatontrack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexRiva, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2011

Thank you for revealing the secret of the value for money our club level represent. And happy as well to know the service was good. Looking forward to having you back one day.
Alex

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