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Cheaper Luxury Deals in Kota Kinabalu – Review of The Magellan Sutera

For our Asia based friends, who didn’t get away over Chinese New Year, you’re probably now plotting where to go at Easter.  A popular choice is to head to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, located on the island of Borneo. Whilst KK enjoys tropical sunshine all year round, its ‘dry season’ runs from March to September, perfect for that Easter getaway break.

Kota Kinabalu is a gateway to a multitude of activities from visiting the orangutans to climbing the physically challenging Mount Kinabalu.  A popular choice for families with young kids is to stay at one of the two Shangri-La Resorts (Rasa Ria AKA ‘the one with the orangutans’ and Tanjung Aru AKA ‘the one nearer the airport’).  For those looking for cheaper options outside the Shangri-La, keep reading for Tiffany’s review of the Magellan Sutera.  To give an indication on price comparison, an Expedia search for 23-29 March, 2 adults and 1 child shows the Shangri-La Rasa Ria as HKD$2114 per night whilst the Magellan Sutera is nearly half the price at HKD $1124 per night.

Who:  One family of four + one family of three
Where: The Magellan Sutera, Kota Kinabalu
When: Oct 2012

Hotel Booking
Online through the hotel’s website.  We booked our flight separately.  Dragonair fly direct from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu.

Airport Transfers
We booked our own transfers but these were available through the hotel for a fee.

Location
The hotel is less than a 10 minute drive from the airport and 10 mins to the city centre.

The Room
We booked a 2 bedroom suite as we were travelling with a toddler and a 3.5 mth old baby

Facilities
Guests are entitled to use the facilities at both the Pacific Sutera, Magellan Sutera and Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club.  The Magellan has a nice pool but no beach.

Tiffany at MagellanFor Kids
The hotel has a man-made sandy area with slides and a climbing gym.  The Sports Club which also shares the property has a nice water slide.

Dining
The food at the hotel was good.  The large outdoor restaurant serving breakfast had a large variety of options and everything was fresh.  It was situated near the pool with outdoor seating and in view of the children’s play area.  The other restaurant we frequented was nearby but facing the ocean.  The cuisine there is Mediterranean with nice salads, good kids menu and fresh coconuts.  The restaurant at the Sports Club (sharing the property) was great as well.  They had both Asian & Western food

Excursions
We took 2 boat trips to the nearby outlying islands.  The larger island had a lovely beach. The hotel provided us with information on the boat trips e.g. timetables but we wandered over to the nearby marina to sort out payment and other details.  It was very easy to organise.

In Conclusion….
Others might prefer the Shangri La’s as there’s more for kids there but we loved the Magellan and found it very family friendly

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