Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sabah Tourism Awards 2009 Winners

The Sabah Tourism Awards 2009 was recently held in appreciation of outstanding tourism and hospitality industry players. The winners represent the crème de la crème that contribute to the state and national tourism development and symbolises distinction, innovation and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

Wisma Merdeka

In the heart of Kota Kinabalu’s business, shopping and entertainment hub lays Wisma Merdeka, a landmark shopping centre which offers modern comforts and a dazzling choice of 300 stores selling everything from international branded goods to locally made products. Unlike most other shopping malls, the humble Wisma Merdeka is dominated by independent outlets and not large retail chains; creating a unique and personalised ambiance. Scout for irresistible bargains throughout the year especially for latest fads from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Facilities include a parking area which can accommodate up to 700 vehicles, a car wash, a newly refurbished food court and taxi stand. Business hours are from 10.00am to 10.00pm daily.

Cock and Bull Bistro

Set along the vibrant K.K. Waterfront strip is the Cock and Bull Bistro, a friendly watering hole that is chock-full almost every other night with both locals and tourists alike. There are no avant-garde creations prepared here, just balanced renditions of the classics, served in a perfectly unpretentious laidback atmosphere. With live performances, a pool table and two large eight-foot television screens, this midtown clock-puncher is ideal for music lovers, sports enthusiasts and everyone in between. The business hours are from 4.00pm to 1.00am on weekdays and 4.00pm to 2.00am on weekends and on the eve of public holidays.

Shenanigan's Fun Pub, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu

This Irish-style tavern with a cosy neighbourhood feel is famous for being the Best Fun Pub in Borneo. The international live entertainment, specialty cocktails and appetizing snacks, paired with efficient service and friendly staffs makes it ideal for amusing flush times. Enjoy a thirst quenching concoction, break into spontaneous dance moves while people-watching at the same time. The regular denizens of the established boite include a mix of the young and the beautiful and graceful old-timers. Ladies can enjoy special privileges on Wednesdays and Happy Hour takes place from 5.00pm to 9.00pm on Mondays to Saturdays and stretches all night long on Sundays.

Best Restaurant
Tepi Laut Makan Street, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort

The nostalgic setting of Malaysia's heritage of simple food stalls, plus the generous variety of tempting fusion cuisine is the focal attraction at the Tepi Laut Makan Street. Disguised as a Pool Bar serving finger food and refreshing drinks during the day, this beachfront restaurant offers a cook's tour of Southeast Asia during the nighttime. Using locally grown vegetables and natural fresh produce, the specialties consist of everything from Malay curries to Indian breads, Chinese noodles and wok-tossed favourites to signature dishes from neighbouring Indonesia and Thailand. Toothsome sweet endings include the Ice Kacang, Bubur Kacang Hijau and an array of traditional Malay cakes. The Pool Bar is opened from 9.00am to 5.30pm and dinner is served from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

Best Kopi Tiam
"Kak Nong!" Restaurant

Located at Wisma WTT along the busy Jalan Bundusan is a casual eatery with distinctive kopitiam atmosphere. Featuring simple offerings and memorable Baba Nonya dishes, Kak Nong Restaurant is an old-time favourite amongst the locals. Dominating the minimal interior is a long counter displaying strikingly colorful traditional sweet and savoury cakes. Specialties include the gulai (stewed) fish head, chicken rice, lamb curry, soto (a Javanese-style noodle soup), gado-gado (salad dressed with peanut sauce) and rojak (noodles served with sliced meat, eggs, cucumbers and fried tofu puffs drenched in peanut sauce). The Restaurant is a halal establishment that also provides catering services. Opening hours are from 8.00am to 10.00pm daily, except on the third Monday of every month.

The Canopy Walkway, Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley

Spanning across 438 square kilometers of virgin lowland rainforest is the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Recognised as one of the world's most complex ecosystems, this sanctuary plays house to rare and endangered flora and fauna including the Sumatran rhino, Asian elephant, banteng, clouded leopard, orang utan and proboscis monkey. Bird aficionados will appreciate the canopy walkway, a 260-meter long steel platform suspended 40 meters high above the forest floor. Take a three-dimensional peak into the lives of the feathered species, 340 of which reside within the vicinity including the Great Angus Pheasant, Borneo Birstlehead, Blue-headed Pitta, Scarlet-rumped Trogons, Chestnut-necklaced Partridge, Bushy-crested Hornbill and Bornean Flycatcher.

K.K. Waterfront

Snuggled along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens is the K.K. Waterfront esplanade, an untroubled retreat where city goers and tourists retire after a long day of hectic activities. The picturesque site overlooking the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is best viewed during sunset, when the sky is painted in gradients of red, orange and gold. Indulge in a massage under an open-air canopy or experiment with local and fusion cuisine at one of the many stalls and restaurants such as the ever-popular Port View Seafood Village, Kohinoor North Indian Restaurant or Toscani's Italian and Spanish Fusion. Beers nerds seeking a dizzying good time can pay a visit to the Loft, Cock & Bull Bistro and Bar, Shamrock Irish Bar or BED.

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort

The Shangri-la's Rasa Ria Resort is set on a secluded 400-acre land beside the exquisite Pantai Dalit Beach. With a Nature Reserve, Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and a superbly sculptured 18-hole course at the Dalit Bay Golf Club & Spa, it is no surprise why this luxury accommodation is considered one of the best in Sabah. The Resort comprises of 420 well-appointed guestrooms which feature lavishly furnished interiors and a host of amenities. Guests can experience a wide range of water sports such as parasailing, windsurfing and jet skiing, play a round of tennis, mahjong or petanque, hire a bicycle, ride a horse, hit the Health Club or enrol the little ones in fun-filled activities at the Kids Club.

2-Star and Below
Grace Hotel

Before embarking on an adventurous sojourn to the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tabin Wildlife Reserve or Madai Caves, travellers can choose to layover at Grace Hotel located in the heart of Lahad Datu. This affordable accommodation adjoined to the Centre Point Complex encompasses 58 furnished rooms including six executive and family suites. Facilities include a business centre, two multi-purpose rooms that can accommodate meetings and private gatherings of 12 up to 200 persons and a restaurant that serves hearty a la carte and buffet meals ranging from local to western. The Hotel also provides 24 hour reception, laundry and valet services, plus other standard amenities.

Nature Lodge
Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley

Nestled in a magnificent setting in the largest protected Lowland Rainforest in Sabah is the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, a rustic structure initially built in 1994 to house researchers visiting the scientific field study center in Danum Valley. Constructed alongside the Danum River, this quiet retreat consists of 31 individual chalets which can accommodate up to 60 guests on any one day. The adequate facilities with basic comforts make it possible for guests to explore the incredible diversity and complexity of the lush surroundings while learning about the present conservation realities of the primeval rainforest. Lodge activities include jungle walks, bird watching with resident nature guides and night safaris.

Miso Walai Homestay

One of the great lures to Sabah is the fascinating Lower Kinabatangan region where the five distinct habitats found support some of the most diverse concentrations of wildlife in Borneo. Located along the banks of the Kinabatangan is the Miso Walai (loosely translated as "One House") Homestay, which consist of four participating villages namely Kampung Batu Puteh, Kampung Mengaris, Kampung Perpaduan and Kampung Paris. Twenty-two homes are registered under this Homestay where the residents are predominantly framers and fishermen of the Orang Sungei tribe. Guests will have insight and firsthand experience on the local way of life that is governed by religious and traditional beliefs. Learn the acceptable etiquette, while participating in daily chores such as collecting garden-fresh vegetables, setting up fish traps and learning how to cook local dishes. Take the opportunity to also bird watch around the jungle fringe and ride the longest river in Sabah for the chance to spot wildlife such as the proboscis monkey and orang utan. This Homestay programme is ideal for educational groups, special interest travelers, naturalists, culture vultures, bird watchers and wildlife photographers alike.

Ka'andaman Traditional Healing Garden

Nourish the body, reawaken the mind and soothe the soul at a traditional healing garden which practices ancient relaxation techniques using herbal healing properties such as coconut, ginger and lime. Aptly named Ka'andaman, meaning memory or remembrance in the Kadazan language, this established spa in Kota Kinabalu is famed for its mandi susu (milk bath), Borneo facial, traditional massage, foot reflexology and aroma clay mask. Request for the Tambunan Ginger Treatment known to improve the blood circulate or ask for the signature massage oils such as Land Below the Wind (a relaxing blend of mandarin, patchouli, true lavender and chamomile), Kinabalu Spirit (a refreshing concoction of lemon, rosemary, sage, geranium and peppermint) or Borneo Moonlight (a romantic mix of ylang-ylang, sandalwood and other exotic ingredients that will surely help set the mood for love). Opening hours are from 9am to 11pm daily.

The Spa at Dalit Bay, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort

The Spa at Dalit Bay draws its healing philosophy from the stunning landscapes and the colourful traditions of Sabah. Begin an indulging therapeutic journey with a purifying foot ritual, before invigorating the mind, body and soul with the lavish Heaven and Earth traditional full body massage. Brides-to-be will delight in the Traditional Inspiration which consist of a body scrub of herbs and grains enriched with lime and egg white and a reviving facial; while lovebirds cherish a Romance Journey comprising a sensuous body scrub, fresh rose petal bath and rose or green tea butter body massage. After a long and adventurous day of activities, guests can choose to rejuvenate with the After Sun Restorative treatment or Golfer's Reviver therapy. The Spa is located at the clubhouse of the Dalit Bay Golf Club and operates from 9am to 11pm daily.

Source: Sabah Tourism Newsletter

NOTE: All Photos Copyright to Sabah Tourism

1 comment:

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