Our Favourite Places to Eat, Stay and Spa in Sabah, Borneo

Malaysian’s northern Borneon state of Sabah is a paradise for nature lovers. Containing one of the richest and diverse rainforests on the planet there is plenty to explore and lots of adventure to be had in the wild. From mountains to the sea, from basic to five star, there is something for everyone.
The Yum List however, is well and truly done with their backpacker years of travel. We’re not keen with going budget any longer, but we’d love to hear your recommendations. This list is definitely for those with a decent budget and for those who appreciate a little extra comfort on their travels. Here’s our favourite spots to:

Eat, Stay, Spa, Explore in Sabah, Borneo




Kota Kinabalu

Gaya Island Resort – heaven on an island as only YTL know how.

Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa – excellent location 10 minutes from city, 10 minutes from airport and direct access to the marine park.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa – three kilometre stretch of private beach and their own wildlife sanctuary with orangutans!

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu – central location and great sea views.



Four Points by Sheraton – great views and location. Starwood standards.

Eat and Drink


Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu Market – fun and very local.
Mai Tai Orchid Restaurant on the Waterfront – well priced, local feel.

Sunset Bar, Tanjung Aru – the BEST spot for watching the sun go down.

Peppino Italian Restaurant, Tanjung Aru – fine dining Italian.

Teppan-Yaki Kozan, Rasa Ria – live food show with your own chef preparing Japanese barbecue right at your table.

Don’t Miss Dishes, Gaya Island Resort – seafood, seafood, seafood.

Coast, Rasa Ria – fine dining on the beach.


Kristin’s List of Fav Spots to Fill Your Tummy




Kota Kinabalu

Chi, The Spa, Tanjung Aru – luxury on its own private island.

The Spa, Rasa Ria – drop in after a round of golf and get those kinks worked out.

Spa Village, Gaya Island Resort – another classically awesome spa by the team at YTL



Kota Kinabalu

Watersports – Shangri-La has their own marina and a comprehensive list of services, equipment and activities to go with it.

Favourite Activities at Rasa Ria – orangutans, beach, golf – Rasa Ria has it all

Gaya Island Activities – it’s all about nature combined with luxury.


Eco Sights of Sandakan

Culture and Heritage Sights of Sandakan



Mount Kinabalu
Beach in Sabah


Please share with us your favourite spots to Eat, Drink, Stay, Spa and Explore in Sabah.



  1. LOVE 🙂 my fav place to eat in KK is Little Italy, great house pouring wine and very delicious ravioli at decent price

  2. Sabah is one of the places in Malaysia I haven't been to yet. Thanks for the recommendations 🙂

  3. Fab list, looks like this has everything we could want from an idyllic holiday to remember! =)

  4. You forgot diving in Sipadan! 😀

  5. great list for Sabah! bookmarking this down for my travel there… 🙂

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