The Jesselton Hotel
The Jesselton Hotel Rates and Deals
The Jesselton Hotel Kota Kinabalu Reviews
The oldest hotel in KK (colonial) with the most character Mar 31, 2012
We stayed at the Jesselton in March 2010, originally booked 3 nights but ended up staying for 4. It is the oldest hotel in KK therefore has the most character, what we really liked. Our original room had tiny ants in it so when we spoke to Reception they moved us to another one without any problem. They even checked that it was ok for us to stay on the street side but it was completely fine, not noisy at all.
After our first week in Japan we slept in the 1st day (had jetlag) and took it easy – had breakfast in bed for and just walked around town in the afternoon.
Old colonial style building and lovely rooms, they even have a bell boy opening the door ☺ the restaurant serves nice food, but strangely …. Italian (why!!??)! Breakfast was lovely and we also had a lovely dinner there on our first night. Reception was great, they helped with everything we needed - taxi, recommended a small company for our white water rafting tour. And we went with them… glad we did as the larger companies had massive groups so you don’t really feel the experience as pure and real. Although their coaches seem a lot more comfortable. Airconned etc ☺ We had a small minibus, without aircon, struggling up the mountains on the way to the river where we started our rafting trip, but this kinda just added to the feeling of adventure ☺ despite some discomfort I would not change it for the world. I’d go with the small company again – they were not so busy and on that day it was only me and my husband with the tour guide and 2 other guys who were there to help paddling and other duties. We had their undivided attention, which made it real special! March is in the dry season so rivers are more shallow – in rafting terms it was only level 3 instead of the usual 5, but it was enough for me ☺ I fell out once as it is. Because there wasn’t enough of us we missed out on BBQ but they took us to small restaurant where locals go (we didn’t mind, actually preferred that).
The train ride was a different experience, Borneo’s oldest rail line… you can imagine. The train was small and very full so we stood all the way, but you might as well as you’d stick to the dirty seat in the heat anyway. It was interesting though. The way back however was quite scary.. in the dark, no lights at all.. on ancient tracks that don’t really connect (you could feel when we rolled on from one to another)
My favourite part was when we got out of the boat after few miles and because we had to catch the last train and the river was slower than normal (dry season) we decided to travel the last few km by different (quicker) means…. There was an unused rail that was too old for trains. It took us to the last railway station where we could go to KK from. Our ‘vehicle’ was a small, wooden, manmade ‘trolley’ that a guy was pushing down the tracks by a long stick. (see the pics here). I just loved it… it was the most spontaneous and pure thing. We saw how the locals travel in areas where no car or anything else can go. I LOOOOVED IT!
At the railway station there was a few houses where locals lived… on stilts of course. The kids were running around very happy and seeing my camera they wanted to be photographed and made funny faces. So I decided to film them too, they just loved it and kept laughing at themselves on the video.
Next to the hotel is the tourist office if you need more info about activities in the area.
On the Sunday there was a street market right in front of the hotel selling all sorts of stuff.
The harbour is very close to the hotel too. One day we went on a boat trip - island hopping – to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a group of small gorgeous islands, great beaches, some wildlife, snorkelling and sunbathing
But I could talk about it forever, there is so much to do in the area… I’d love to go back. And.. I’d definitely stay at the Jesselton then.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The oldest hotel in KK May 05, 2010
I am a frequent traveller to kota kinabalu mostly on business. Know the city quiet well by now. Jesselton hotel boasts to be the first hotel in the city since colonial times. The location is excellent as its just on Gaya street famous for its sunday market. It has lots of amazing eateries; local as well as fine dine at walking distance. The atmosphere is very nice and quiet, but just walkable distance from night spots like cocoon and shenadigan. Not to mention the 24hr grocery stores and karoyke places across the street. I would recommend a dinner at the Bah Kut Teh joints which is traditional chinese pork stew. The steaks are good in "Texas" and lamb chops at "Upperstar".
About the hotel its nice and small with a italian fine dine with good wine stock next to the lobby. The staff uniform reminds of the colonial times. Housekeeping is good and rooms are quiet well done. Dont expect any good view from your room as its now surrounded by buildings. A nice english breakfast can give you a good start. the coffee is damn good.
The best thing about staying here is everything is at a stone's throw for you.
For backpacker's and budget traveller: i dont think it is something you guys should go for..there are enomorous value for money places around the corner.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
The Jesselton Hotel Overview
Located in the historic heart of Kota Kinabalu, short drive away from the city center.
Jesselton hotel is the boutique hotel in Sabah, a good choice for discerning businessmen and travellers. The hotel retains the serenity of bygone days, while offering all the conveniences of a modern hotel. Elegant yet comfortable, in the style of refined English Country house. 07/09fw.
Low rise building with unique architecture.
Bella Italia Pizzeria Ristorante Cafe serves Italian cuisine as well as local and regional dishes.
Deluxe room size is 30SQM with 1 King or 2 Twin bedded. Rooms are set in classy furnishings and equipped with a complete range of amenities and services such as IDD phone, bathrobe and sarong, minibar, individually controlled air conditioning, satelite TV, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee/tea making facilities, well lighted sitting area and room safe.
Medium and comfortable.
13 kms to the nearest airport (kota kinabalu), 3 kms to city centre.
The Jesselton Hotel Amenities