Sabah hotels can be ultra-luxurious or basic to meet your budget, from 5* resorts to jungle lodges and comfortable guesthouses. You can find Sabah deals by booking packages in advance. For a relaxing holiday book into one of the hotels in Sabah that has its own luxury spa. The spa at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru Resort, for example, uses traditional Asian therapies and has a Yoga Pavilion and private plus couples treatment rooms. When not relaxing in the spa or on the beach, take a trip on a sail boat or trek through the forests to spot some wildlife. Or spend time underwater on a dive to check out the stunning reefs and marine life. The capital, Kota Kinabalu, is on the northwest coast of Borneo, watched over by towering Mount Kinabalu. KK, as it is often known, is a popular gateway for tourists entering the area and a destination with a number of attractions in its own right.
Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia. Together with Brunei, Indonesian Kalimantan and Sarawak it makes up the island of Borneo. Sabah used to be a British colony during the late 19th century until the early 20th century and was previously known as North Borneo. Sabah achieved independence under Malaysia in 1963.
Nature and Wildlife
Sabah holidays are perfect for nature enthusiasts and eco-tourists. Scout for monkeys in the jungle, look out for the Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world) and visit nature reserves to see Asian elephants and Borneo’s famous Orang Utan. The island of Sipadan is a great place for spotting the green and hawksbill turtles that collect on the island to mate and nest. Divers can look out for barracuda and trevally in their hundreds, as well as manta rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. The abundance of marine life at Sipadan gives the island the reputation of being in the top ten dive sites in the world. Try diving at the Turtle Cavern, Hanging Gardens, Barracuda Point and South Point.
Kinabalu National Park
A Sabah holiday should include a trip to Kinabalu National Park, the location of Mount Kinabalu and Malaysia 's first World Heritage Site. The park boasts a huge variety of flora and fauna including wild orchids, butterflies and the Rafflesia flower. Mount Kinabalu is 12,455 feet above sea level.
Poring Hot Springs has a network of trails and a canopy walk as well as the hot spring water that the area is famous for.
Located in Semporna, in the Celebes Sea, 35km south of the Sabah mainland. Sipadan was formed by corals growing on top of an extinct volcano which rises 600m up from the sea bed. The island is home to a dramatic variety of marine life with more than 3,000 species of fish and coral in its ecosystem.
Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
Pay a visit to Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary in Sandakan which was established in 1964 to rehabilitate baby Orang Utan orphans. Visitors are allowed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close to Orang Utans in their natural forest environment from a viewing gallery and feeding platform. Trekking in the mangrove forest can also be arranged.
Tanjung Aru Beach
Located around 6km from the capital, Kota Kinabalu. It is perhaps the best spot to watch the stunning nightly sunsets that turn the skies bright red and orange. Visitors can eat at the food stalls or visit the seafood restaurants that line the shore.
If you’re looking for a package holiday Sabah offers something a little off the beaten track. Holidays in Sabah are a treat for the senses, in particular the food is varied and delicious. Try local favourites and diverse dishes influenced by China, Malay and Thai flavours such as soto, ngiu chap and rojak.
Hotels and Resorts in Sabah
Sabah Hotel Shangri La Tanjung Aru Resort 5* has 492 rooms and suites in two wings, the Kinabalu and the Tanjung. The resort’s Kinabalu Wing Seaview rooms and suites give wonderful views across the sea and also towards Mount Kinabalu. Rooms in the Tanjung Wing overlook the South China Sea. Sabah resorts provide all the creature comforts you need while more basic accommodation can get you closer to nature.
Sabah is warm and sunny year-round but its equatorial tropical climate means scattered rain is frequent. The average annual rainfall is 2000 mm. Cooling breezes along the coast bring temperatures down to a pleasant range (between 21C in the highlands and 32C in the lowlands) and the area is largely sheltered from dramatic monsoon weather by Mount Kinabalu. Temperatures on Mount Kinabalu can drop to below freezing the further up the mountain you venture. Holiday in Sabah in the rainy season, November to January, when prices can be lower and it may be easier to pick up cheap holidays to Sabah and Sabah Late Deals. The best time to visit for the weather is between May and September.