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Jesselton Hotel

The Jesselton opened in 1954 as the first hotel in Kota Kinabalu and was named after the city's original name by the then British Governor. Until Sabah's independence in 1963, the Jesselton was the discerning choice for visitors and many prominent figures such as Lady Mountbatten passed through during these times. The hotel is now Kota Kinabalu's only boutique property and the colonial style is still retained in parts, such as the grand piano in the Mountbatten Lounge and old prints of the city in the halls.

With just 32 rooms it retains a personal feel and although it does not have extensive facilities such as a pool due to its small size, the Bella Italia Restaurant is well priced (and a change from the Malaysian buffet food available in most jungle/island lodges) and the hotel serves a good à la carte breakfast. The Deluxe rooms are recommended as they are much larger than the Superior rooms and are perfectly comfortable for a few nights stay in the city. The location cannot be bettered if you would like to explore the city, shops and restaurants which are right on your doorstep. If you are here on a Sunday morning the lively Gaya Street Fair is right outside.


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Tour ideas in Kota Kinabalu

Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Jesselton Hotel as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.

Location & places nearby

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • North Borneo steam locomotive day trip
      North Borneo Railway excursion

      North Borneo steam locomotive day trip

      North Borneo steam locomotive day trip

      Enjoy the unique sights and sounds of local villages, paddy fields, mangrove jungle and pristine coastal beaches as you while away a leisurely day in comfort.

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    • The Orangutan Sanctuary at Sepilok
      Baby orangutan at the Sanctuary

      The Orangutan Sanctuary at Sepilok

      The Orangutan Sanctuary at Sepilok

      The centre rehabilitates orphaned orangutans and those that have been held in captivity. It's set amidst dense jungle and you can take a walk into the jungle to see them in their natural environment.

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    Kota Kinabalu and nearby places