The modern state capital of Kota Kinabalu, or KK as is it's often called, is most peoples' introduction to Sabah.
The city was previously known as Jesselton, named after Sir Charles Jessel, a director of the British North Borneo Chartered Company who established the town as a trading post, although much of the city was flattened during the Second World War.
Rebuilt and renamed, Kota Kinabalu has some fine hotels and shopping opportunities at markets and stores. It is within easy reach of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, a group of five reef-fringed islands a few kilometres out to sea - of which Pulau Gaya and Pulau Sapi are the most popular, with good beaches and marked walking trails.
Kota Kinabalu is also the starting point for trips to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs.
Itinerary ideas 
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Kota Kinabalu. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Places to stay 
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Kota Kinabalu. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Kota Kinabalu, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0613.
Gaya Island Resort, Malaysian Borneo
What does Deluxe mean?
WEXAS accommodation rating
- EXCEPTIONAL: Ultra-luxury hotels that look to redefine the boundaries of experience, service and facilities (typically higher than 5 stars)
- DELUXE: Outstanding accommodation with top-of-the-range facilities and excellent service, usually in a fantastic location (typically 5 stars)
- SUPERIOR: A higher standard of accommodation with a better range and quality of facilities, often in a good location (typically 4 stars)
- STANDARD: A good standard of clean and comfortable accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities (typically 3 stars)
- BASIC: Simple accommodation with limited facilities that can be in remote areas where accommodation is extremely limited (typically 1 or 2 stars).
What does this price mean?
WEXAS price guide
£££££ typically more than £400 per room per night
£££££ typically up to £400 per room per night
£££££ typically up to £300 per room per night
£££££ typically up to £200 per room per night
£££££ typically up to £100 per room per night
Note that hotel rates can vary widely depending on factors such as season
The new Gaya Island Resort is located off the coast of Borneo on Pulau Gaya, near Kota Kinabalu,Surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with golden sandy beaches, …
Shangri la Rasa Ria Resort, Borneo
Perfectly arranged within 400 acres of tropical gardens on the shores of Pantai Dalit beach, the Shangri la Rasa Ria Resort is far more than your everyday beach …
WEXAS negotiates with a wealth of travel companies, airlines, cruise operators, hotels and tour operators to bring you the very best travel offers. For great value or a range of add-on benefits, review the list of offers below.