Photo: Quirky, but Valai is worth a look.

Photo of Valai HotelValai Hotel

Basic but ship-shape

Jalan Ibrahim Arshad, Kudat T: (0122) 788 1095 (0122) 788 1032 (088) 621 866 

Valai Hotel

Our rating:

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Like an ocean-going liner adrift on the high seas, the four-storey white and blue-trimmed Valai Hotel is conspicuous on the horizon.

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Photo of Valai Hotel
Rope signage enhances the nautical look, and rooms in this modest flashpacker are relatively ship-shape.

Newly renovated when we visited in July 2016, we could still smell the paint fumes. Simple interiors are stark and cabin-like with white painted walls and grey painted cement floors. Light streams in despite the odd window treatment: white painted boards are glued to the glass panels (we can’t fathom why); nevertheless, the metal framed windows can be opened and some rooms enjoy ocean glimpses.

Air-con and ceiling fans offer a choice of ventilation in the simply furnished rooms—it’s the bare essentials, with just a bed and a couple of metal chairs, with side tables added in the rooms that have space. However, the beds are very comfy and crisp white linen is clean. Ensuite hot-water bathrooms are a little strange, as many are later additions to the building and walls don’t reach the ceiling, cubicle-like. One room has windows in the bathroom without the odd panel treatment where it would be warranted for privacy. Even with (or perhaps because of) its faults we found the rooms appealing, but don’t expect much.

The rooftop restaurant (being built when we visited), will be a terrific spot for gazing out to sea. WiFi is free, but it’s bed only, no breakfast. The crew are super friendly and helpful, but English is a little patchy. The hotel is very easy to find if you arrive by bus — it’s diagonally opposite the terminal. We thought the rooms a little on the pricey side for the offer, but there’s not a great deal of choice in Kudat. Valai Hotel is fine if you don’t mind a few quirks, and the maritime theme is cheery—cruise on in.

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Walk-in rates at Valai Hotel

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Triple air-con share bathroom
68 ringgit
68 ringgit
Cold water bathroom.
Standard double room
78 ringgit
78 ringgit
Room: Triple air-con share bathroom, low season: 68 ringgit, high season 68 ringgit. Notes: Cold water bathroom.
Room: Standard double room, low season: 78 ringgit, high season 78 ringgit. Notes:

Where is Valai Hotel

Valai Hotel
Jalan Ibrahim Arshad, Kudat
T: (0122) 788 1095 (0122) 788 1032 (088) 621 866 
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º50'50.86" E, 6º52'50.37" N
Room rates: 60 to 120 ringgit

Map for Valai Hotel

Map for Valai Hotel

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