On the edges of Kota Kinabalu lies the largest hypermall in all of Malaysian Borneo known as 1Borneo built for those who just simply must get some retail therapy in during their Borneo trek.
Attached to this complex are two hotels, one of which is the very modern and very new Grand Borneo. Recently switching into private ownership from Accor and dropping the Mercure branding, the hotel is still finding its feet in the Kota Kinabalu hospitality industry.
Not quite a city hotel, yet definitely not a resort, this four star property while lovely is decidedly difficult to pin down into a category.
Recently staying at the property, I tried out the lead-in standard room, and at 22 square metres is fine for a short stay, but for those staying longer an upgrade would be recommended as the room does feel quite small with the inclusion of a King-sized bed.
Business travellers will be happy to find the desk is complimented by desk-height international adapter ports for ease of use- no scrounging under the table to find an outlet then discovering you need to call guest services for an adapter. Also the free internet is a nice touch, but travellers will have to bring their own ethernet cables.
Bathrooms are very basically stocked and feature a quirk I’ve been finding quite often, that is the wall between shower and bedroom is divided by a clear glass wall. So it’s probably a good idea to draw the curtains in the bedroom before a shower, otherwise the neighbours might see more than they bargained for.
Despite all the trimmings of a very utilitarian business hotel, it’s location at the edge of town is not exactly convenient, though a free shuttle operates to the city on a frequent basis, travellers will still find that a trip will take 15 minutes each way.
On the other hand, for tours and activities outside of town, the location means slightly less travel from the attractions in the more rural areas of Sabah. Leisure travellers will also appreciate its proximity to the large mall, with an exit in the lobby taking guests directly into the complex.
And did I mention the mall, which includes a cineplex, fitness centre, bowling alley, aquarium and a "restaurant lane" is the biggest in East Malaysia?
The spa in this megaplex is also partnered with Grand Borneo, which means package treatments for guests to sooth those weary muscles after a long day’s trekking.
Leisure travellers will also enjoy the semi-indoor pool, which can be found on the 3rd floor. With the pool covered, but the balcony area open to the sky, sun worshippers can soak in some rays while those wishing to cool down can swim in the shade or lounge under an umbrella.
The hotel’s service was impeccable, with check-in and check-out undertaken without a fuss, as was the service experienced in its breakfast restaurant and first floor lounge bar.Straddling elements of both the leisure and corporate sector, my stay left me undecided if this hotel was a jack of all trades- or a master of none.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X