Feature Article (March 2019)
Written by @Joehairie and photos by @Lan
Offering a total of 320 spacious guestrooms, Pan Borneo Hotel Kota Kinabalu is a 4-star full facility accommodation and is located in the district of Putatan. The hotel is 15 minutes drive to Kota Kinabalu City Center and 5 minutes to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). We were privileged to stay at this comfortable and well appointed hotel. This is our 3 days and 2 nights staycation at Pan Borneo Hotel Kota Kinabalu; our honest review.
Convenience of staying at Pan Borneo Hotel Kota Kinabalu
The hotel is located above One Place Mall Shopping Center and is surrounded by everything that travellers needs from banks, clinics, 24 hours groceries, local market and even Putatan Railway Station where there is a chance for you to continue your travel to as far as Tenom; an opportunity to have an insight of Sabah’s interior part. Rooms at the hotel comes with amazing views of the City, South China Sea, Crocker Range or the atrium’s swimming pool.
Getting to Kota Kinabalu City Center is not a problem as at the time of writing, the hotel is offering return free shuttle service to Imago Shopping Mall. Advance booking is required as there will be pick up and return time schedule. Alternatively, taxis and grab service are available.
The hotel’s best selling point is definitely it’s close proximity to the airport! As the airport is just a short distance away, we were able to see planes landing and taking off from the airport, from our large window in the room. Guests that book their rooms through the hotel’s website portal will be offered complimentary airport transfer.
Those travelling with kids will be pleased to know that a spacious family playground KIDz (Kids Intelligence Development Zone) is located on level 2 (with easy access from the hotel). Tailored especially to 1-12 years old only, the attraction aims to develop kids’ intelligence, physical ability and mental strength through their natural desire to crawl, run, jump, climb, roll, shake, stretch, probe, pull, push slide, swing and rock. There is a DIY section for kids to express their creativity and craftsmanship.
Inside The Hotel
The hotel’s main lobby is located on the ground floor and it houses the reception and concierge desks. Previously, Reception desk was at level 3M but it’s now at ground level making it easy for travellers to check-in first before going up to their respective rooms. There is also a direct access to the One Place Shopping Mall. Free luggage store is available for guests’ convenience prior to check-in or during check-out.
There is a section with some comfy sofas. The entire main lobby is air-conditioned making it a comfortable place to wait for your transport or having casual conversation with friends. The elevators take you to certain levels namely; KIDz (Level 2), direct access to the shopping mall’s parking lot and Surau (Level 3), The Coffee House and other facilities (Level 3M) and guest rooms (Level 4-8).
Our room (708)
Our room was on the 7th floor with magnificent views of the city and sea. The room is 30 m² in size. Since we were sharing the room, we asked for twin beds. While the room itself was not that luxurious as in 5-star hotels, it had everything that we need. Lighting was great and the floor to ceiling window added some natural light during the day.
The 32” Flat Screen TV with Cable TV Channel is mounted on the wall. The working desk was quite big and there were sufficient power points for all of our equipment. Complimentary WIFI is available for guests’ convenience. Next to the working desk were the coffee/tea making facility as well as complimentary bottled water.
In our room there was a mini-fridge. It’s empty but we love it that way as we were able to put some canned drinks and fruits that we bought at the grocery.
On the working desk, there were some pamphlets that highlighted current promotions available at the Lobby Lounge and The Coffee House. While we were not that type of people who are interested in promotions, let alone by hotels; this time around was an exception. We were especially interested in the Fish Head Curry Set, Buy 1 Free 1 Lunch, International Delight Buffet Dinner and Friday BBQ Delight Buffet Dinner. We did go and try all four promotions!
Room service is available and there’s quite a list of food and beverages for guests’ to choose from. We did not order anything but we can say that the items in the menu are affordable.
In between the ceiling to floor window and the beds, there’s a single chair with a small table which can be used either for dining or as an extra working space (if two people need to be doing work at the same time).
On a bright and clear sunny day, guests’ staying in this room will be able to see some of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Islands as well as the part of the sea, airport, Putatan Town and Kota Kinabalu City. During our stay, there was this Minions Fair or something going on at the rooftop of the mall.
The wardrobe had enough space for storage. We packed light anyway so we didn’t need that much space. Inside the wardrobe were In-room safety box, an extra pillow, couple of small drawers as well as iron and ironing board.
The bathroom had one single sink with toiletries on the left hand side. The toilet with bidet is in between the sink and shower. There’s no bathtub available in this room (we’re not sure of its availability in other room categories) but the rain shower was something that we really appreciate!
The Coffee House (Level 3M)
The hotel’s sole and all-day restaurant, The Coffee House, is open from 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM daily. We had lunch here, twice and two buffet dinners. The dining experience was beyond our expectation as the foods were great in taste and presentation. Price-wise, affordable.
Fish Head Curry Set
On the first day, we opted to have Fish Head Curry Set for lunch. The set is for 2 persons and priced at RM38 nett. It comes with two bowls of fragrant white rice, crispy crackers and bottomless rose cordial drink.
The fish head curry’s portion was way big. It had generous serving of selected vegetables. The gravy was not watery nor too thick. It had the right consistency and was not too spicy. The crispy crackers and Acar complemented the dish. Both were tasty and gave distinct textures. We will be posting our detailed description of this menu in the next installment.
Buy 1 Free 1 Lunch
On the second day, we went for the Buy 1 Free 1 Lunch promotion. Currently, the promotion is available daily at The Coffee House from 12.00 PM to 2.30 PM.
We opted for set A. We chose to have BBQ Chicken Fried Rice and Fried Noodle. Both had chicken wing and egg as sides. These two dishes were great in taste and presentation but the most memorable thing about this option was the price. It cost us only RM15 nett ; RM7.50 per person to be exact! Drinks included! We will be posting the detailed review in the next installment.
Cendol fans may opt for Ice Cendol Dessert and Cendol Cake. We did not have the chance to try both but by looking at the menu itself, we believe both products are tasty and worth trying.
Friday BBQ Delight Buffet Dinner
It was Friday when we checked-in at the hotel and in the evening, there’s BBQ Delight Buffet Dinner! It was an amazing buffet mainly for its food choices and especially its Roasted Leg of Lamb. It’s so tasty, juicy and tender. The sides such as grilled pineapple and potatoes were amazingly delicious.
The Friday BBQ Delight Buffet Dinner is priced at RM68 nett per adult and RM45 nett per child/senior citizen. We strongly recommend this kind of buffet if you looking for affordable buffet dinner that has roasted lamb and satay. Stay tune for our detailed review in the next installment.
International Delight Buffet Dinner
(Saturday to Thursday)
It’s available every Saturday to Thursday evenings, the sumptuous buffet dinner with The Coffee House’ International Delight. On our second night, which was Saturday evening, we had a feast here; savouring the best that The Coffee House has to offer in its buffet dinner. The buffet is priced at RM45 nett per adult and RM30 nett per child/senior citizen.
*Both buffets come with the offer of: Minimum 3 paying adults, 1 person eats for free Minimum 10 paying adults, 2 persons eat for free
Buffet breakfast is available from 6.00 AM to 10.30 AM and there are indoor and outdoor sections with plenty of breakfast items to choose from. Since the hotel is almost full everyday, we advise you to have your breakfast early in the morning.
Executive Club Lounge
Those staying in Executive Club Rooms and Executive Suite are given access to have breakfast at the exclusive Executive Club Lounge. The lounge is adjacent to The Coffee House but it’s more private with fewer people lining-up at the buffet counters.
The Lobby Lounge Karaoke (Level 3M)
The Lobby Lounge Karaoke is open daily from 5.00 PM to 12.00 AM on weekdays and from 5.00 PM to 1.00 AM on weekends. On every Friday and Saturday, starting from 7.45 PM; RHYTHMIX and KOOL WAVE will be performing and while they are taking their breaks, guests may sing their favourite songs! We did that, yes, 2 nights in a row!
We ordered drinks and some titbits. The items in the menu are moderately-priced. Guests may also take the opportunity to unwind at the Lounge’s terrace. The view during sunset is breathtaking and in the evening, have casual meet-up with friends while sipping your favourite drinks.
Fitness Center (Level 3M)
The Fitness Center is open to all in-house guests. Guests may take the opportunity to burn off calories as doing some routines to stay fit or getting desired shape!
Chill out at the poolside and sip your favourite drinks. Have some great and quality time with family and friends. If swimming is your thing, then do some laps as we did. The pool has the right length for some laps.
If you forgot to pack your swimwear, fret not as the souvenir shop next to the pool will have you covered.
We really had a great staycation at this hotel. The overall experience was beyond our expectations. Our room was great as it had everything that we need. Staff was friendly, attentive, helpful, informative and they smiled genuinely. The location of this hotel is great as its nearby to places that we were going. Parking is free for guests and that is important for us as we parked our car for 3 days in a row.
We enjoyed every second of our stay. We love the food at The Coffee House. The food was delicious and affordable. We had fun at the Lobby Lounge Karaoke as we were able to sing our favourite songs and at the same time enjoying the performance by RHYTHMIX and KOOL WAVE. The stay at Pan Borneo Hotel Kota Kinabalu was indeed a memorable one and we look forward to be here again in the near future.
Pan Borneo Hotel Kota Kinabalu
One Place Mall, Lorong Putat 3,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 88 327 777
Website: Click HERE
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