The Magellan Sutera

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Nov, 2013

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It is said that a hole in one & a Bird of Paradise were the signs of good luck that inspired The Sutera Harbour Resort to finally go ahead. A significant project that involved reclaiming land, was opened by the Malaysian Prime minister in 2000. A giant statue of the bird sits & watches over the resort. The Magellan sits on one edge of the resort on the Harbour front. Service with a smile begins at the airport where a cheery representative of the resort picks you up for the short drive to the hotel. There is a vast lobby area & reception is graced with a magnificent carved wood freeze above it, something to feast your eyes on while you wait to check in. Cold towels & a welcome drink were provided whilst our room was prepared & the layout of the resort explained. All staff we encountered were so pleasant, quick with a smile or hello & really made us feel like valued guests, the reception staff are absolutely brilliant. We had a standard room which was finely decorated, quite large with a balcony. It had everything we could need for the 3 nights we were here. Iron & board, safe, fridge, large TV, tea & coffee making facilities, hair dryer, separate bath & shower, the toilet was also fitted with a bidet facility & those who have read the blogs on my Malaysian travels will understand why I left the controls well alone, so as not to risk another encounter with ice cold water. Sadly the bath was badly stained, which let down an otherwise impressively equipped room. Unfortunately the big draw back of this room was the noise. It's only about 10 mins drive from the airport & right on the flight path. There is building work going on nearby & that went on till past 9pm. The corridors seem to echo the sound & amplify it, so noise outside your room from other guests moving around seems very loud. So if you are not a heavy sleeper, ear plugs are a must. Set on a nice Marina, not the best I've seen but pleasant enough, there are tables & chairs set along the harbour wall. Happy hour, in The Al Fresco bar/restaurant, for 2 for 1 drinks coincides with sunset. So on our first night we enjoyed an absolutely sublime sunset, Piña Colada in hand. Such a wonderfully relaxing way to end a very long journey to get here. The third night we had pizza here & they had a nice group playing whilst we ate. In the lobby you can book a trip on The North Borneo Railway steam train (I'll cover this in my Malaysia Travels blog). There is also a golf course & water sports are available at the Marina. A shuttle bus for less than £1 return can be booked to take you into the centre of Kota Kinabalu. There is a nice swimming pool with loungers set around with complimentary beach towels, there's also a small beach if you need it. Breakfast is served at the Five Sails, which overlooks the pool, & has a good selection of continental & cooked items. Coffee is good too & they have employed a couple of good ideas, such as a card that you can pull up to say your table is occupied & a well supplied bird table outside the open air restaurant to keep birds out of the restaurant. If it wasn't for the noise I'd have no problems recommending this hotel but go prepared with ear plugs & it may be the place for you.

Steve Aldridge

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