Looking beyond the horizon @ Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah : Travelogue/Staycation

Written by @Lan & edited by @joehairie
(Photos by curiostraveller.com team members unless stated otherwise)


“I don’t see things as they are now because I see the future” –Sam Goi,  Executive Chairman, GSH Corporation

When was the last time that you stayed at a hotel or resort and that stay gave some impacts to your thoughts and inner soul? Rarely happens? Was it because those places meant to be your nest in the evening, which during day time you’re out the whole day? Being writers, we do focus to the details at every places we go. It was at the famous mammoth Sutera Harbour Complex that truly gave us some unforgettable experiences, turning our perspective more than 180 degrees. That turn has forever changed the way we look at things, leaving a deep impact into our inner soul. This is an epic travelogue of ours. It’s epic as we will be going deep into the minds and souls, beauty and put all of that into series of articles. Welcome to Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, a place that made us look beyond the horizon.

The Structure of our review


We stayed at both Pacific Sutera Hotel and Magellan Sutera Resort. We reviewed our room and we went to almost all of their F&B outlets. It’s such a mammoth task, similar to how mammoth the size of the resort is! As to not confuse readers, we prepared the links or shortcuts to each review. Click on the given links and it will take you to page(s) that you are looking for.

Pacific Sutera Hotel

Deluxe Sea View Twin Room

The Pacific Club

Lunch at Breeze Beach Club

English High Tea at Lobby Lounge

Dinner at Silk Garden

An Evening with Asif Pishori

Chavana Spa: Heaven & Earth Treatment

The Magellan Sutera Resort

Room Review: Deluxe Sea View Twin Room 

Magellan Club Lounge

Spa Review: Mandara Spa

Dinner @ Spice Island, Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club

Al Fresco Restaurant

We applied ‘Le 7 regole per riconoscere la buona cucina’ by Roberta Schira to our dining experience at Ferdinand’s, The Magellan Sutera Resort

How it all began…


2 months ago, we were on our way to Kuala Lumpur. The plane that we were on-board passed by one big resort before turning right on it’s way to South China Sea. It’s the Sutera Harbour Resort that we saw. We vowed that we will make ourselves free from our tight schedule and spend few days at this mammoth resort. We were here in the early 2000’s as regular guests. Time flies. Things might have changed.

We’re not sure what to expect when we come again. We just keep promising ourselves that we will return but we did not anticipate anything. There’s no expectation, not a single one. 3 weeks ago, 3 great friends of ours sent an email. It was an exclusive invitation, for the two of us, to enjoy a ride on the North Borneo Railway and staying at The Pacific Sutera Hotel followed by The Magellan Sutera Resort. All 3 brands are of Sutera Harbour Resort. A coincidence?

We both have the same intuition. That’s why we are both in one team. We knew that we will be returning to Sutera Harbour Resort. It’s just that we’re not sure when. That invitation must be coming from the above. It is indeed an opportunity to see what’s new about Sutera Harbour Resort, from our own perspectives. Before coming, we asked ourselves, is this opportunity will be the same as other staycations? Will it be giving us new dimensions in the sense that we are ably to produce something unusual?

We are the curios and curious travelers. We are rare which means we need to see things differently than what others are seeing. 

The Horizon

“There is hope over the horizon. Truth always rises with Time.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem


The word horizon for us meant more than the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet. Horizon for us is how far we both are ably to see things differently than others. It’s about the ability to appreciate things that did or will happen to us. It’s also about our ability to jump over the boundaries, getting out of the norms and think out of the box. That is the main character of curiostraveller.com. Be different,  believe that over that horizon, there’s some hope or new things waiting to be discovered.

The biggest influence that we recently becomes our inspiration was from Sam Goi , dubbed as Singapore’s “Popiah King”. He wrote short but meaningful quote:

“I don’t see things as they are now because I see the future”

Sam Goi see things differently, as we do. He ain’t looking completely at the present things existing in front of him because he saw the future of that present as if he is ably to look beyond the horizon. A man with a vision inspired by what he’s seeing as of now. That is Executive Chairman of GSH Corporation we are writing about. A man that is link to a property developer that owns the Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Believe it or not, we have the same vision as him. Though we are just writers and far from having those entrepreneur skills, we do write things differently. Our visit to Sutera Harbour Resort gave us more meaningful thoughts of being different. We saw and sensed things at this great resort, something that rarely being written or talked about by writers, journalists and even bloggers. We ‘inserted’ Sam Goi phrase into our thoughts and inner soul and when we were at the Al Fresco Sunset Bar at The Magellan Sutera Resort, we saw that beautiful sunset, exposing that horizon.

The horizon disappeared into the darkness of the night, right after the sunset. Off it went beyond our view but we’re sure it will be there again tomorrow morning. It’s not that we are trying to cross the horizon literally but we meant to say that there’s no limit to anything. The sky is the limit. The only thing that will stop us is our own thoughts. If we are able to anticipate more beautiful things from that horizon that will be showing up tomorrow, it means we are ably to look at the future.

That is the meaning of horizon for both of us. 

The Concoction


We read Sam Goi phrase from a book at the Magellan Club, Magellan Sutera Resort. We applied his thoughts into ours and after experiencing all that great moments at Sutera Harbour Resort, we somehow were motivated to venture further. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the Sutera Harbour complex, be it the interior or exterior of each buildings. We were also amazed  by the determination of the employees at this resort. Majority of them have world-class working attitude not to mention that they presented the finest products of the resort to both of us.

How are we going to mix all the great elements that we saw and experienced at Sutera Harbour Resort? How is the concoction going to be presented in our write-ups? How objective will we be in presenting the facts? All these questions played in our heads and brains for quite some time. It was really difficult for us, to be honest. However, Sam Goi quote came back to our thoughts. We realized that truth in Sam’s quote when we were drafting our articles. We need to connect all those past experiences into something that is useful for the future.

All this while, we wrote about our own personal interests and our activities as if we’re showing off. This time around we will change that rhythm as we will write for the world about our thoughts but connecting it to the people around us. Appreciating those people behind the scenes. That is the main element that keep bringing this resort to a whole new level, the people who diligently works truly from their heart and soul which later produces great products. How did we achieve such big approach in our write-ups? We found the right formula, here at Sutera Harbour Resort.

If we didn’t accept that invitation by our 3 angels, we will sure never to read the quote by Sam Goi. We are now learning to have the ability to look beyond the horizon, seeing the future, thanks to the great experiences at Sutera Harbour Resort. 

The North Borneo Railway


We embarked on an interesting journey, almost a full day trip on-board North Borneo Railway. We named the journey as ‘A great train ride to understand the past and see places’. We wrote lengthy article about our experience on-board that classic train, here is the LINK to our article. From that journey, we learnt new things that we failed to see and experience before. This particular train service is under Sutera Harbour Resort supervision. We saw all that inner qualities in the staffs manning the train. They’re professionally trained by Sutera Harbour Resort to handle things related to North Borneo Railway. From the ride alone, we already knew that we will be experiencing better things at Sutera Harbour Resort. It was an indication, a good one that our staycation at the resort will be a memorable one. It’s also a ride that took us to our ‘home’ in early 2000’s, Sutera Harbour Resort.

The Pacific Sutera Hotel


The Pacific Sutera Hotel features 500 elegant rooms and suites that comes with contemporary decor and great views of either the adjacent golf course or the magnificent South China Sea. We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights and we experienced so many great things from eating good food to relaxing body massage at Chavana Spa. We will post several articles in regard to each outlet that we visited in this particular hotel. While other writers and bloggers tend to put everything into one entry, we will do it differently by outlining all the great things that happened to us in each outlet, in separate entries. We saw many hard-working employees at this hotel. They were not only giving their best effort but ensured that the products were delivered efficiently, simply put, flawless.

The Magellan Sutera Resort


From our room to the elegant Magellan Club, right into the Al Fresco followed by the finest dishes by Ferdinand’s , we have experienced countless great things. The Magellan Sutera Resort is also in within walking distance to the exclusive Marina Club where we had amazing dinner at Spice Island. We will reveal all that great experiences in details, layer by layer, presenting all of it in separate entries. This resort has 456 rooms and suites. Its unique architecture is inspired by the longhouses of Borneo, a tribute to the Rungus people of Sabah. We regard our experience here at this resort as an excellent one, among the best that we have ever had since we started traveling 18 years ago. This resort is uniquely different. Guests may spend the entire day or two here without going out and on the third day, there will still be something else to be ventured here. The experience is not only priceless, it’s endless as well.

Our Travelogue


Our write-ups about Sutera Harbour Resort is an epic for us. As mentioned earlier, we will not put everything into one single entry but instead will be presenting our thoughts and experiences at each outlet in separate entries. It’s a journey across Sutera Harbour Resort. At the time when we checked-out, we realized that we actually did not cover the entire resort. There are still some places that we have yet to visit and experience. Perhaps we will be visiting in the near future. When a friend recently asked us for our simplest thought about this resort, we told him that, 5 days will not be enough to do every single thing that is available at this resort. We stayed for 4 days and 3 nights. That was insufficient. We need to come back. Fingers crossed. While we are working hard to make that second visit a reality, do enjoy reading our many articles in regard to our great staycation at Sutera Harbour Resort.

curiostraveller.com team members are looking beyond the horizon, a new approach in writing, learnt while being at Sutera Harbour Resort. 

Sutera Harbour Resort
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
88100 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia
Phone: +60 88 318 888
Fax: + 60 88 317 777
Website: Click HERE
Instagram: @suteraofficial

About Sutera Harbour Resort

The Resort comprises two five-star hotels – the 500-room Pacific Sutera and the 456-room Magellan Sutera – as well as the Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club with its 104-berth marina and an award winning 27-hole championship golf course designed by Graham Marsh. It also has 15 restaurants and bars, two grand ballrooms, 28 meeting rooms and a 100-seat auditorium for meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE).

Sutera Harbour Resort is the only destination in Kota Kinabalu that offers a five-star business-class hotel and resort attached to a 27-hole Graham Marsh-designed championship golf course, a state-of-the-art marine and clubhouse.  As Borneo’s largest and most extensive convention and banquet facility, the resort is the most sought-after venue for MICE events and is a beautiful mix of luxury, recreation and lifestyle.

The Resort is just 10 minutes by boat from the popular scuba diving destination of Sabah’s Tengku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. The five islands that make up the Marine Park boast crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life and stunning coral reefs. Expanding into nature and adventure tourism in Sabah, the Resort also operates the North Borneo Railway – a mid-century British steam train that takes visitors on a nostalgic rediscovery of rail travel into the heart of Borneo.