Looking like a castle, on a hill and facing the enchanting Borneo’s tropical rain forest is none other than the leading green hotel in Kota Kinabalu-Sabah, The Palace Hotel!
This majestic 4-star hotel is not only conveniently located 15 min away from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport but also at 10 min walking distance from the city centre, where you can find shops, pubs or just have a pleasant walk along the marvelous waterfront, which is very characteristic of the city.
Don’t forget that in order to soak in the beauty of nature, there is the possibility to have an interesting 300 meter trail for trekking enthusiasts just right behind the hotel.
This rain forest walk may also be mini but it definitely offers an insight of flora and fauna found in most popular forests of the region.
While enjoying a relaxing exploration time around the hotel you’ll soon discover their organic vegetable garden, where it’s beautiful products are taken and used every day from the amazing Tangerine Restaurant, which I most definitely advice!
Growing their own veggies not only offers the opportunity to reduce the amount of pesticides used in the garden but is definitely a guarantee of healthier and fresher products;
this practice doesn’t only positively affect the amazing tasty food you’ll find at their Tangerine Restaurant but it also is a great solution which serves to the whole staff as bonding time and team effort.
If you guys like me are very much into Sustainable Tourism, which is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, society and economy then you’ll find my choice at The Palace Hotel in Kota Kinabalu absolutely perfect.
This Hotel really is a deal, with all its services, position and a natural lush green beauty given from the stenographic hill, you’ll really feel you have finally found your castle and I’m sure you’ll not be wanting to abandon it any soon!
The Hotel itself has 5 different room-types: Standard Room, Superior Room, Executive Club Room, Deluxe Room and cherry on top the Palace Suite.
I went for a very nice and comfortable Executive Club Room on the 5th floor, where I could enjoy the view of the mountains and of the lush green forest extending to the horizon.
Needless to say that the staff is so amazing, that decided to surprise me with an upgrade on the last day moving me to the majestic Palace Suite…I couldn’t have asked for more honestly!
This was a massive gesture considering that there are only 4 exclusive Palace Suites overlooking the lush tropical greenery hill, where each suite comprises of two luxurious bathrooms to complement its master bedroom and a modern living room suitable for entertaining guests or as in my case showed to be the perfect place where I could have a nice and stimulating working space where to focus.
Between the facility services a real bow down goes to the Fitness Center, offering the latest Life Fitness exercise equipment ranging from dumb bells, treadmills, leg press and multi extension equipment among the others. And after a full exercise session you really may want to use the inviting steam bath facility where to relax your sore muscles and enjoy the rest after the hard work gym routine.
The Palace Hotel Fitness Centre is located at the pool level and also offers the perfect solution for a complete gym- steam bath and Swimming Pool experience providing the full package all at the same floor reachable within few meters.
In fact, a beautiful eye-catching 40 feet long swimming pool facing a tropical ambience of a lush green forest where to sunbath or have a colorful-iced cocktail looks to me the perfect way to end an afternoon, maybe also enjoying one of those famous orangey sunsets tones very famous and characteristic of Kota Kinabalu’s sky.
What if I also said you that if you aren’t still relaxed enough, you could just hit the Jari Jari SPA and forget about the rest of the world and contemplate your perfect stay at the Hotel and reeeeeally wish you’d never ever have to leave The Palace Hotel!
Talking about leaving, before I forget I have to absolutely mention the The Giftaway shop, very at handy located at the Lobby Level so you can’t absolutely miss it;
Perfect to get some mementos and gifts for your loved ones just before your departure, without having to stress about it or fear you won’t be able to find anything interesting;
in just a few minutes you can find and take home attractive items to commemorate your visit to the Palace Hotel and make all relatives happy!
Mentioning happiness just made me come straight up to my mind something that really made me very happy: food. Yes people, Food!
As I was mentioning previously, The Tangerine Restaurant which has been recently renewed (showing great taste of the owners) is also displaying very interesting modern art pieces all around the hall, giving it a unique stylish look complementing the beautiful open-space view of the window facing the lobby.
This touch has proved to be the perfect solution to unify those spaces enough to let in a lot of light but also to give it their own magic atmosphere introducing it as a separee chamber defining two distinct areas.
Going back to the food, the restaurant looks as good as its food tastes!!
In fact every day operating form 6:30 a.m. – 12:00 midnight daily, you can delight yourself with delicious dishes which draw inspiration from worldwide making it the perfect place for all nationalities!
In fact the Tangerine Restaurant very rich flavors of Hong Kong Canton cooking and Western styled food are blended with a special touch of localized cooking.
The Restaurant with an open kitchen concept is spacious and provides a casual setting and a choice for terrace dining overlooking the swimming pool, where diners can enjoy the tropical atmosphere back-dropped by a lush forested scenery.
The open kitchen is extended to the pastry corner where a selection of cakes and pasty delicacies are available to compliment your meals.
Every day, a special show and performance takes place at 6.30pm at The Tangerine Restaurant, showcasing the traditional Sabahan dance performed by professional dancers which not only entertain the guests but make you feel part of the experience itself by inviting you to join them and get in touch with the original Sabahan roots and traditions with the whole dance crew.
What I definitely appreciated about the dance show is that it’s divided in 3 different performances of about 15 minutes, proving to be the perfect length and entertainment while having a nice dinner where during the pauses you can fully enjoy the company and of your diners and have an effortless conversation during the quiet pauses.
Entertaining performance apart, the food speaks for itself: weather you’re going for à la carte or not, every night a very rich buffet takes place at restaurant, presenting a variety of choices and cooking methods which will leave any food critics really enthusiastic regarding food choices and dishes, quality of the products and variate cooking techniques.
I must admit that I’ve done both à la carte and Buffet just to see how the cooking crew responds to pressure while having to take care of the whole buffet, making sure it’s always full of perfectly cooked food and while also having to satisfy the requests of people who could be as picky as I can be in certain situations…They totally passed the test and raised the bar really high!!
There are many things I’m really proud of at The Palace Hotel but I’ll just pick some of its latest and biggest achievements:
It’s been recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia as a green hotel and successfully achieved EarthCheck Benchmarked Bronze Status Australia certification very recently.
The Ministry of Health Malaysia accorded the hotel The Blue Ribbon certification for implementing the smoking free zone and recognized by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) as Litter Free Hotel.
The Hotel is also named Highly Commended in Asia Pacific Region in the Green Hotelier Awards 2016 for its environmental commitment and innovation in sustainable practices and community outreach programmes and those are only some of the many reasons I really do recommend The Place Hotel in the Kota Kinabalu!!