Whilst Malaysia is not really a gay friendly country, you will be tolerated as long as you are not over the top with it and into public displays of affection. A few gay friendly hotels Kota Kinabalu Malaysia are available to be booked online.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Malaysia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Sodomy is a crime in the country, and social attitudes towards the LGBT community are shaped by Islam, the official state religion of Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. It’s known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beaches and waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.
Top Things to Visit in Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu is often known as KK both in Malaysia and internationally. It is a major tourist destination and a gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo. Kinabalu Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many other tourist attractions in and around the city.
- Manukan Island
- Tanjung Aru Beach
- Imago Shopping Mall
- Gaya Street Sunday Market
- Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Best Day Tours from Kota Kinabalu
- Island Hopping
- Day Trip to Mount Kinabalu Poring Rainforest
- Malaysia Kinabalu Park Private Day Tour
- Full Day Orangutan, Sunbear, Labuk Bay
- Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island Hopping
1. Hotel Hyatt Regency Kinabalu 5* – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu
Centrally located in Kota Kinabalu, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu offers spacious and elegant accommodation with free WiFi throughout. The property boasts an outdoor pool and 6 dining options. Handicraft Market and Night Food Market are within a 700 m walk away.
Furnished with contemporary decor, the air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and luxury amenities. Some rooms offer club lounge access. The en suite bathroom is fitted with a rain shower and a hairdryer. Guests enjoy city or sea view from the room.
Dining options at the hotel include Tanjung Ria Kitchen, which is Halal-certified and features local and Western cuisines in a contemporary, show-kitchen setting. Sushi and Japanese fare can be enjoyed at the award-winning Nagisa. Cocktails are served at Shenanigan’s Fun Pub & Terrace.
Experience five-star Sabahan hospitality at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, the premier choice for business and leisure travellers to Sabah, the Land Below the Wind. This luxury hotel in Sabah is a mere 15 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport, offering a central location in the heart of the city close to tourist attractions and stunning views of the famed sunsets in Kota Kinabalu. Unwind in one of our 288 spacious rooms and suites all exquisitely designed with sophisticated comfort in mind plus some of the best views in Kota Kinabalu including those of the sparkling South China Sea or the Kinabalu city surroundings.
Dining options at our three Kinabalu restaurants and bars are a food aficionado’s delight with some of the best food the city has to offer. Be it a dip in the blue waters of the outdoor pool, a relaxing massage at the Avantang Spa and fitness centre or a party at our Shenanigan’s Fun Pub, our Kota Kinabalu hotel in Sabah has it all for you.
The hotel is in downtown riverside within walking distance to the night market, the malls, and the pier. Although downtown Kota Kinabalu does not offer much excitement, the staff here will make you feel like returning to your own home.
It’s within walking distance to shopping malls, restaurants, the Todak Waterfront, wet market and the Filipino Market. Getting a taxi from the hotel was easy too, also e-hailing services.
The hotel is adjacent to the water and within walking distance of Jesselton Point, the Suria Sabah Shopping Mall (which has a Starbucks!), several restaurants, and interesting local markets.
The Hyatt Regency is located strategically right in front the Kota Kinabalu waterfront. It is within walking distance of the Jesselton point from which you get ferries to the nearby islands, the Philippine market, the seafood market etc. The rooms are comfortable and the furnishings and toiletries are quite nice. The buffet breakfast is quite nice. Being located in an Islamic country you won’t find pork products though. There is a small Indian section also. Like all good hospitality establishments it goes out of its way to please its guests
The Hyatt has a street side cafe serving very nice gelatos apart from coffee and the like. The a la carte section had a limited choice though and the buffet restaurant closed too early for our liking. The hotel has a seaside outdoor swimming pool which is not very large but still good for a cool dip after a day in the islands.
Spacious and clean room with comfy king sized bed. City and abit of sea view. Toiletries were provided but I personally feel that too many packaging involved. Go green!
Facilities: The gym is really well equipped and I love the old skool jacuzzi in the spa. Strong Wi-Fi. The lounge area at the 13th floor is the best spot to catch the spectacular sunset over a glass of drink.
How much does a room costs at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu?
Prices start 90 $/night for King Room. The Club King Room with City View is 160$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples.
Featuring Kota Kinabalu city view, this elegant double room is fitted with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. The en suite bathroom includes a rain shower and free toiletries.
Guests enjoy access to the Regency Club Lounge with benefits: – Daily continental breakfast – Evening drinks and canapes – All-day coffee and tea An extra bed is provided for triple occupancy.
Where to book online – Hyatt Regency Kinabalu – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu – you can find the best hotels deals in Kota Kinabalu during International Borneo Festival 2020 which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota Kinabalu on Booking.com or Trip.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
2. The Jesselton Hotel 3* – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu
Featuring colonial-inspired decor, Jesselton Hotel offers accommodations in the heart of Kota Kinabalu. Guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
It is 400 m to Atkinson Clock Tower and 450 m to Suria Sabah, while Signal Hill Observatory Tower is 1.4 km away. Filipino Market is 1 km from The Jesselton Hotel. Kota Kinabalu Waterfront and Oceanus Waterfront Mall are 1.5 km from the property. Kota Kinabalu International Airport is 8.2 km away.
Air-conditioned rooms at the hotel are equipped with a TV with cable channels and a marble bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. In addition to an in-room safe, tea/coffee making facilities and a minibar are included.
The Jesselton Hotel welcomes business and leisure travelers alike with a central location in the heart of the city and an array of selection for places to visit; encapsulating the full lifestyle of a city life within a tropical haven. Located on 69 Gaya Street, the hotel doors open to a Sunday Market which has become the place to go on for some retail therapy. Another great place to experience the culture and the livelihood of the Sabahan families on a Sunday outing.
The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from the Sabah Tourism Corporation office, KK Heritage Walk and Night Market, Shopping Malls and about a 20 minutes’ drive from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). The prime location also provides an easy access to a whole range of dining options including Italian, French, Western, Asian and fusion cuisines, which are all available within walking distance to the hotel. Experience for yourself this wonderfully inspiring one of a kind colonial jewel in KK!
The location is great. Right on Gaya Street where there is always something going on, on weekends (Gaya Market). Food shops within walking distance from the hotel. Do try the Vietnamese Restaurant, the local Kopitiam and small restaurant across the street behind the hotel.
The hotel is within walking distance in place to visit in Kota Kinabalu, and is also a safe place to walk around too. The hotel staff are very helpful and friendly too, with winning smiles. The room is tidy, clean and the bed and pillows are comfy for a good night sleep.
Located at the heart of Kota Kinabalu downtown, it is central to all other attractions within the vicinity. It is within walking distance to all the F&B areas, shopping malls, entertainment outlets and commercial banking districts.
The location is very central, just 10 minutes walk to the seafront and market. There are a lot of restaurants within 5 minutes walk including a nice Italian restaurant. There is also a nice cafe on the street corner where i had a good breakfast.
The room was comfortable and clean. I had a view over Signal Hill, there was some traffic noise. but not enough to prevent me from having a good night’s sleep.
The hotel restaurant was under restoration, but there are many places you can eat close to the hotel.
Rooms are spacious and clean , it has fast speed wireless internet connect including a safe box and comfortably supplied with all the necessary amenities. It is a heritage boutique hotel , nicely decorated with colonial furnitures and fixtures .
The location of Jesselton Hotel is very central , it is right in the centre of town where all the tourist spots is located . A mere 10 mins walk lead us to the restaurants alongside the waterfront boardwalk , harbor for the ferries /boats to take passengers for cruises or island hopping, wet and dry markets and the handicraft market.
There is a convenience store just opposite the hotel , and several food outlets and bars as well as shopping malls .
As our check out day happens to be on Sunday, the street in front of the hotel is closed for a market packed with all types of goods, food, live entertainment.
How much does a room costs at The Jesselton Hotel?
Prices start 65 $/night for Superior Double Room. The Boutique King is 81$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples.
This double room has air conditioning and minibar.
Where to book online – The Jesselton Hotel – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu – you can find the best hotels deals in Kota Kinabalu during International Borneo Festival 2020 which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota Kinabalu on Booking.com or Trip.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
3. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa 5* – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu
Boasting 6 dining options, an exclusive Chi, The Spa and an outdoor pool with water jets, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa offers luxury beachfront accommodation in Tanjung Aru. Set 7 km from Kota Kinabalu, it features free WiFi throughout and free parking is provided.
Featuring elegant decor, the spacious rooms are fitted with air-conditioning, a seating area and a flat-screen satellite TV. Stunning ocean or mountain views can be enjoyed from private balconies with outdoor seating. For your convenience, the en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries and a hairdryer.
Dining options include Shang Palace, which specialises in Chinese cuisines. Live entertainment accompanies light refreshments at Borneo Lounge and Bar.
Located 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu International Airport, coral islands and the city centre, just 150-minute flight time from Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa is a tranquil retreat offering 498 beautifully appointed mountain and seaview rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, and a wealth of enjoyable recreational opportunities for families and leisure travellers.
The resort is home to Chi, The Spa, a luxurious private spa experience based on traditional Asian healing philosophies. The spa comprises of 5 single villas, 3 couples’ villas and an open Yoga Pavilion, all located on Pulau Bayu, the resort’s private island. It is one of the only two five-star spas in Kota Kinabalu.
The rooms were spacious and comfortable with a huge bathroom, toiletries are supplied. The room also had an iron, ironing board and hairdryer. The choice of breakfast was outstanding, every nationality was catered for
The rooms are absolutely immaculate, and cleaned every day, and the staff even come in the evening to turn the bed back, nice touch.
The gardens and outdoor spaces are fabulous. The gardeners work endlessly.
Breakfast is buffet style and offers a huge choice for all. For other meals through the day there are a choice of eateries. We had most of our meals outdoor at Coco Joes, lovely tasty food with a wide menu.
In the evening, it was nice to relax in the Borneo Lounge Bar, which had entertainment on most nights.
The resort is close enough to Kota Kinabalu to do things as well such as eating at the Imago Mall. The resort was a ton of fun. I went parasailing and visited Sapi Island from the Star Marina on the resort. The gym had nice equipment and was spacious.
The Star Marina offered many water activities from jet skiing to snorkeling. The breakfast food was okay except for the pastries, which tasted really good. All of the other food such as Coco–Joe’s Restaurant and the Sunset Bar appetizers were great.
The Borneo Lounge offered a relaxing place to unwind with a light snack and drinks accompanied by a great band playing easy going music and the sunset bar offered a great vantage point for sea views and that magical sunset. The pools are huge and the water temperature was always comfortable, there is a segregated adults only area which is strictly enforced.
The hotel itself is very good and I would highly rate the Tatu Cafe for breakfast as the selection is brilliant. Borneo Lounge and Sunset Lounge are great for drinks and they offer happy hour also. The poolside food was excellent and the portions were large – we ordered a Caesar wrap and nachos and they were huge! The pool is lovely and there are plenty of loungers.
The rooms are very basic, I wouldn’t say luxury exactly compared to the Shangri La we stayed in in KL however the bathroom is nice and most rooms had a balcony. The room was spacious. Pillows were too soft and not comfortable. The lifts are very old and a complete nightmare! The doors just close on people!
Overall this is a great hotel and I would recommend it, especially the facilities that the hotel offers however the rooms are in need of modernisation in my opinion. Views from the sunset bar are a must but it’s highly recommended to make a reservation for sunset as a lot of the tables are booked.
How much does a room costs at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa?
Prices start 133 $/night for Kinabalu King Room with Mountain View. The Tanjung King Room with Sea View is 220$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples.
Offering sea views and a balcony, this room features air-conditioning, ironing facilities and a flat-screen satellite TV. The en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries and a hairdryer.
Where to book online – Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa – LGBT Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu – you can find the best hotels deals in Kota Kinabalu during International Borneo Festival 2020 which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota Kinabalu on Booking.com or Trip.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
4. Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa 5* – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu
Located off the coast of Borneo on Gaya Island, Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa features spacious villas with a private balcony. The resort boasts an outdoor pool and 3 dining options. Free WiFi is accessible from the villas.
Decorated in wooden furnishings, every villa overlooks the jungle or the South China Sea views. It is fitted with air conditioning and a 42-inch flat-screen TV. Some villas have a private plunge pool. For your comfort, the private bathroom includes luxury amenities and a shower.
The Longhouse opens for daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pantai Restaurant & Bar offers fresh grilled seafood while The Koi Wine Cave houses a wide selection of cigars and wines.
Guests can have pampering treatments at the spa or exercise at the gym. Alternatively, a wide range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, snorkelling and jungle trekking are offered.
This discreet, elegant resort is luxurious – but not in the pristine, polished way you may expect – the luxury here is the nature, the amazing lodges and the food – but most of all the staff and the service. Every member of the staff went the extra mile to make sure that we were happy, relaxed and enjoying the peace and quiet. The Zip Line is excellent and made us smile and the massage is divine.
This is a beach resort off the coast of Borneo reached by a 10 minute private speedboat transfer. check in is done at the hotel’s efficient reception desk at the pier in Kota Kinabalu.
This is a secluded hideaway with a stretch of white sand on one side & jungle on the other.
Villas are set into the hillside, spacious & nicely furnished combining modern luxuries with rustic charm & a private balcony with views over the bay. Whilst there are a few beach bungalows close to all amenities, the hillside villas generally require a golf cart to get you around the resort.
If there’s a heaven then it must look like Bunga Raya Island resort I suppose. It’s a resort with a lovely private beach and spacious villas built on a hill next to the beach. All comfort is present at this resort. If the weather is good then the snorkeling is fabulous so is the relaxing at the infinity pool. Of Course the price for staying here isn’t cheap but you should give yourself this gift by staying here for a couple nights. The staff is most friendly, the villas are clean and very comfortable and the food is just great. We love this place a lot!
This resort is a beautiful sanctuary, located inside a national park, nestled in a wide bay the backdrop a towering jungle & the front, The South China Sea, gentle & calm during our visit, such an idyllic setting. Yes, there were jelly fish but it was delightful to see them actually, fascinating to observe them mingling with the other fellow sea creatures,and they would disappear quite fast too!
Walking along the beach towards the jetty just after sunrise was an unforgettable experience.I found larger fish swimming at this hour compared to later in the day when it was hotter. The tranquility, the peace, the view from the Pavillion at a time when other guests were still in their villas, were very special moments, the experience sublime.You simply walk out through the wooden gate, to the white sandy beach & into the crystal clear blue sea.
It was our first visit to Sabah and we will always remember the Sabahan hospitality that we received both in Bunga Raya and Gayana. It was for us a very deep and beautiful experience .Such a beautiful peaceful sanctuary.
How much does a room costs at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa?
Prices start 330 $/night for Superior Villa. The Villa with Private Pool is 597$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples.
Offering sea views and a balcony, this room features air-conditioning, ironing facilities and a flat-screen satellite TV. The en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries and a hairdryer.
Where to book online – Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa – Gay Friendly Hotels Kota Kinabalu – you can find the best hotels deals in Kota Kinabalu during International Borneo Festival 2020 which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota Kinabalu on Booking.com or Trip.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
5. The Last Frontier Boutique Resort – Gay Friendly Hotels Borneo
Set atop a 100 m hill overlooking the Kinabatangan Forest Reserve, The Last Frontier Boutique Resort is located in Bilit, and is located a 2 hour drive from the beautiful Sandakan.
This property features rooms that provide towels and bed linen. The en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries.
Guests can enjoy drinks at the on-site bar. At The Last Frontier Boutique Resort you will find luggage storage and lockers.
Accessible only via a 600-step staircase, the property is located adjacent to the Kinabatangan Forest Reserve. Guests will have access to some of Sabah’s most unique wildlife. Boat cruises and jungle-trekking activities are included in every stay.
How much does a room costs at The Last Frontier Boutique Resort ?
Prices start 180 $/night for Deluxe Double Room.
Where to book online – Lodge The Last Frontier Boutique Resort – Gay Friendly Hotels Borneo – you can find the best hotels deals in Kota Kinabalu during International Borneo Festival 2020 which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota Kinabalu on Booking.com or Trip.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.