We have 16 places to stay in and around Kota Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu is booming and this means every level of accommodation has had to up their game. Many new backpacker as well as five-star joints have popped up, and the older ones have undergone renovations, meaning several good choices are now available. Gaya Street and Australia Place remain the chief backpacker haunts, but a handful of new hostels and budget hotels in the Banderran Berjaya area are giving them a run for their money. The city centre of KK is small and all is walkable, so it really doesn’t matter where you stay.
Just remember, the question to ask is, “Does the room have a window?” Not only are the many windowless rooms soulless, they are often smelly due to the difficulty of airing them, even in the better hotels.
Fancy resorts are found a bit further out of town, and over on the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.