Beautiful Places to Stay in Sabah, Borneo Malaysia

By Abi King | South Asia

Jan 13

Beautiful places to stay in Sabah at sunset

Searching for Beautiful Places to Stay in Sabah, Borneo Malaysia

Perfect for Honeymoons and Anniversaries

When looking for beautiful places to stay in Sabah, you don’t need to look far.

Sabah, a region across the water from mainland Malaysia and sitting within Borneo, is developing something of a reputation for honeymooners and anniversarians (#ifitsnotawordnowitsoonwillbe.)

It’s got the beaches, for sure, but it’s also got plenty to do that often the “honeymoon” islands lack.

Here’s an instagram snippet of what we got up to from learning how to cook, delving into culture, relaxing at the spa, heading out on night safari cruises and getting up close and personal with the orangutans in the jungle.

Beautiful places to stay in Sabah including food drinks and beaches

And, though perhaps more suited to the anniversary rather than honeymoon side of things, apparently the golf courses dazzle too.

But before we get into all of that in any great detail, just take a moment…

Look at these photos, close your eyes and imagine the sounds of the waves being washed over by the calming evening breeze…and just enjoy the sounds and solace of sunset.


Blue sunset at the Shangri La Rasa Ria Sabah



Beautiful Places to Stay in Sabah

Over on instagram, where I insta-snapped these pics, I know you’ve been asking questions about where you can stay in Sabah (and, indeed, even asking where Sabah is.) So, here’s a quick list of recommendations based solely on our experience:

Gaya Island Resort My absolute favourite resort in Borneo. Small, intimate, ridiculously beautiful with one of the best spas I’ve ever been to in my life. Plus, exquisite Thai food, roaming wild boar and a bona fide turtle sanctuary.

 The Pacific Sutera Hotel Close to the airport, friendly service, teak “colonial style” rooms. Large! Plenty of restaurants plus a golf course (not my thing, but if you’re travelling as a couple…)

Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu Also large with a wide range of experiences on hand (Japanese restaurant, looooong sandy beach, a wilderness orangutan sanctuary – and a great golf course for starters.)

Sepilok Nature Reserve Hammock swinging, jungle loving nature reserve right besides the Orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sepilok. I’ve written more about that already over here. 

Throwing sand at sunset

A child decorates the sky with sand at sunset

Disclosure -I visited these beautiful places in Sabah as part of a project with iAmbassador, Sabah Tourism and Royal Brunei. I fell in love with sunsets and my husband all by myself. What’s more, I’ve seen both Malaysia and sunsets before. Regardless of it all, I always keep the right to write whatever I like over here. Because I’m a closet megalomaniac that’s the way I think the world should be.

Beautiful sunset at the Shangri La Sabah Malaysia


About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • Looks like a perfect place to spend an anniversary. Fab photos! Love how you started this article. (I am Jane Austen fan!)

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, I am SO glad you picked up on that. That’s one of the things with blogging – you never really know whether or not it’s going to make sense to the outside world!

  • De'Jav says:

    Great photos and yes sunsets are amazing dependent on location then other places sunrises. I try to watch at least 1 sunset a week just so peaceful.

    • Abi King says:

      Well, sunrises are beautiful but it’s a bit spooky getting up in the dark to see them (although, if you’ve been up all night there’s some relief in seeing that pink creep across the sky.) That’s a good goal of having one sunset a week to watch. It brings a certain peace and natural rhythm to the end of the day too.

  • Niamh says:

    Lovely piece, Abi, and such gorgeous photos.

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