Dorms with ensuites
A big hello to Halo Hostel, fully renovated in August 2015, and one of several welcome newcomers to the hostel scene in KK.
The hostel is positioned above a handy and yummy Northern Indian cafe — so hello curry dinners, too.
At Halo you’ll find one of the cheapest dorm beds in KK, but don’t be put off — it’s cheap only in price. Rock bottom is the fan-cooled dorm for 20 ringgit. Dorms come in four and eight bed combos, for women, men and mixed, air-con or fan-cooled, and all with super clean ensuite hot-water bathrooms — some dorms have two. Yes, ensuites in the dorms. Smaller dorms are the same price, so if you prefer sharing with fewer people, request on booking. Private ensuite doubles and family rooms (double bed plus a bunk bed) are either fan-cooled or air-con.
The spacious and airy dorms are spotless and painted bright white, with pale wooden flooring. Metal IKEA-style bunk beds are sturdy, and top bunks have railings and secure ladders. Mattresses are a tad thin, but firm and comfortable. White make-the-bed-yourself sheets and fluffy pillows are provided, and towels can be rented for one ringgit. Large multicoloured lockers add spots of colour. Windows run along the front of the building, and can be opened to let in the fresh air. Some rooms have plain coloured curtains, and others a chintzy floral that your grandma would be proud of — a little out of place in the otherwise funky rooms. Each bunk has a reading lamp and power sockets. Toilet paper is provided in the ensuite, and there’s small wire baskets for toiletries. However, some of the ensuites are tiny and the shower is directly above the toilet.
Beds in the private rooms are made from recycled shipping pallets, with lighting underneath, which gives a lovely ambient glow to the room. For now they are very clean, but the pallets will make it difficult to clean underneath the beds, and the lighting will show up the dirt if they are not maintained. Privates are pretty bare bones, but starting at 55 ringgit for a fan room, are not a bad deal. The communal area is rather small, but has a comfy couch and large flat screen TV — and there’s always curry downstairs. Staff and the owner are really friendly. The free WiFi is fine in the communal areas, but doesn’t reach the third floor. A simple breakfast of toast and fruit is included, and a local buffet breakfast is available at extra charge — we would recommend going to one of the nearby cafes for some tasty local treats.
Bandaran Berjaya has a few dodgy looking karaoke bars, but a handful of new hostels and budget hotels in the area have begun its gentrification. We like the friendly atmosphere at Halo Hostel, but if you want to be super cool and in-with-the-in-crowd, more expensive but more hip dorm rooms are available at Refarer Hostel, just on the next corner. For more spacious family rooms nearby try Green Apple Boutique Hotel.
Halo Hostel is located in Bandaran Berjaya very close to long-distance buses and taxis, and a 10-minute walk to Gaya Street.
Address: Lot 70, Lorong Berjaya 1, Bandaran Berjaya, Kota Kinabalu
T: (088) 263 718;
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º4'35.17" E, 5º58'39.16" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm fan cooled||20 ringgit||20 ringgit|
|Dorm air-con||25 ringgit||25 ringgit|
|Dbl fan private bathroom||55 ringgit||55 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||75 ringgit||75 ringgit|
Fan. Air-con: 110 ringgit.
|75 ringgit||75 ringgit|
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Kota Kinabalu