Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jesselton Hotel - Oldest Hotel in Kota Kinabalu @ Sabah State [East Malaysia]

Choosing a hotel when i am travelling could be a rather tedious task, especially when you are journeying with others yet have the right to make the final decision. 

The charm of staying in Kota Kinabalu's oldest hotel proved to be too strong an attraction for me to reject even though there's a risk of elevated paranormal activities when it comes to age-old accommodation, and my companion is a renowned scaredy cat. 

Built in 1954 in the post world war 2 era, the colonial building has changed a number of owners and seen quite a few dignitaries before it was restored in the late 1990s to its present classic vintage style. 

In my opinion, its timeless decorations were limited and it seemed to follow the style of hotels in the 1980s / 90s; i was expecting massive retro elements going back to pre-independence.

The unexciting but comfortable hotel room. Before i forget, the hotel hasn't practiced key-card entry and entering the room is via the old fashioned way; a key! We conveniently forgot about it on numerous occasions and left it at the knob facing the common corridor.

A touch of modern amenity; the flat screen television! There's cable channels like National Geographic and Fox Movies Premium; i managed to catch the heart-pounding Oculus, the hilarious Starving Games and Lone Survivor, just to name a few. 

To power the lights required a few steps; switch on the light at the entrance to illuminate the room somewhat and then proceed to the lights panel beside the bed to switch the rest of the lights, which didn't include the bathroom! Maybe this is the element of a vintage experience as part of our stay. 

Mini fridge, complimentary mineral water, electric kettle for your complimentary coffee and tea sachets, hair dryer (in the dressing table drawer) etc; you know, your usual things to expect in a hotel room.  

Wardrobe with bath robes, slippers and most importantly, an in-room safe (that was screwed tightly to the cabinet) for your valuables. 

Washroom with a bathtub in classic marble style! I think i mentioned before that i seldom use the bathtub nowadays and am happy to have a rainfall shower instead. Why waste time soaking in water?!

Again, the old fashioned yet expected toiletries. Among them, i would only open the bottle of shower foam since i am particular with the type of shampoo and no, i don't use shower cap. 

The room in the day; Alex was most pleased with this hotel and gave high marks for the stay. He was so happy with the pillow; he asked the front counter if he could buy it! 

Window view; we were either not lucky enough to be facing the main Gaya Street or the superior room i booked didn't have that option.

Whatever the case, i am not complaining. Yes, the tentacles of Old Town Coffee were everywhere in Malaysia. Even though we were next to a busy road, noise was never an issue throughout our six-night stay. 

View of the lobby from the resident restaurant; Kudos which is currently ranked third on TripAdvisor Kota Kinabalu's restaurants. Breakfast wasn't included in our booking although we did dine there on two occasions. A review on Kudos would be up in time to come!

Free WiFi was available but the passwords (for each floor) were pasted only at the reception counter. Take a picture of it as i did and then refer to it when you have settled comfortably in the room. 

In all, we had a good stay in Jesselton Hotel despite the disappointment over the lack of character expected from a grand dame. Customer service from the staff was friendly and definitely helpful. Maybe just a feedback for improvement - have a map with notable attractions, famed dining establishments and the hotel in the center; similar to the charming French Hotel in Ipoh


69, Gaya Street,
Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, East Malaysia


S$77.15 a night (including taxes) via Booking through the hotel website is possible but i thought the pricing is significantly higher. 

For the summarised itinerary of the 7 days, 6 nights Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) trip, please click here

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