Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ikimasho!: Staying at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Five-star luxury in Sabah – with design that gets better at every turn.

As a travel writer you usually know right from the off what your money-shot is going to be – that is, the photo you’re gonna lead with when writing an article.

For my stay at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, however, I was pretty much spoiled for choice. It seemed everywhere I turned I was faced with either an amazing view, an amazing piece of interior design, or plate after plate of amazing food.

In the end, I settled on the above shot as I think it sums up what the hotel does best: offering five-star luxury right on the edge of the South China Sea, overlooking the five tropical islands that make up Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.

My first introduction to the Hyatt brand was actually way back in 2003 when I attended a three-day conference at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo – but despite having travelled the world since then, this was to be my first actual stay at one of the Hyatt’s famous five-star hotels.

And I can say first-hand that it lived up to the hype I had awarded it in my own head. It was very, very good.

Naturally good design

My huge room on the fourth floor (0445) was basically a giant portal into the vast South China Sea.

Huge panoramic windows framed the scene, with the sunset being the star attraction every night, filling the room with a red and pink glow. Borneo sunsets are famous, and it’s easy to see why.

The deign of the room itself shone in its simplicity. Quite often, hotel rooms are rather formulaic, with a boxed-off bathroom put in as an afterthought, doing nothing to enhance the living space.