Sutera Harbour – Luxurious 5-Star resort in Kota Kinabalu


Sutera Harbour is a luxurious 5-star seafront resort, facing the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park islands. It is strategically located between the airport (10 minutes drive) and Kota Kinabalu (KK) Town.

There are two hotels, The Pacific Sutera Hotel (500 rooms) & The Magellan Sutera Resort (456 rooms), catering to all types of travelers, be it business travelers, families, honeymooners or groups of friends. This 384-acres resort also houses 5 swimming pools, a private beach, a full facility club house, a 104-berth marina, a 27-hole golf course, 14 dining options and 2 international spas.

Trivia: The resort had been built on reclaimed land back in 2000 by then-CEO and founder Datuk Edward Ong. As at January 2014, the ownership has been transferred to GSH Corp Ltd.

As mentioned in my previous post, the car ride from the airport to the hotel was barely 10 minutes! Together with the red carper priority, this has been the fastest plane to hotel transfer ever.

For the first two nights, we stayed at The Pacific Sutera Hotel. It has an air-conditioned lobby with a bar and live band performances at night.


We had a room on the 10th Floor (Total 11 Floors), which had a really nice view of the marina. The room and toilet is very spacious. There was also a welcome fruit tray at the coffee table.

One of my favourite part of the room is that it has these folding windows which allows you to watch TV from the bathtub =D Since  I was the only one in the room, I folded the binds and turned the channel to Nickelodeon and watched Spongebob from my bathtub.

View from the bath tub 😀

Housekeeping has been really kind to rilakkuma this trip. Every time I return to my room, rilakkuma is always neatly positioned within my sight. (This is my first time bringing my bear along with me to a full service hotel.)

We had our buffet dinner at Cafe Boleh, Level 2 at The Pacific Sutera. Since it was about 8:45pm, we had a very good environment for photo taking =) The spread is pretty decent.

Night view from the hotel. It would have been lovely to sit on these beach chairs on a full moon night.

Swimming Pool area – there’s an open-air Breeze Beach Club with happy hours for beer.

If you’re keen for a night run, the paths are beautifully lighted up.

Good Morning View from the Pacific hotel room!

Day 2 Breakfast @ Pacific Club (exclusive to Suite Rooms & Clubhouse Members)

They describe this place as the best view in the entire resort!

High Ceiling + Full Glass Window is a perfect combination.

Breakfast spread was smaller but significantly more premium and up class! Everything was so beautifully arranged and plated.

<3 Smoked Salmon

Exploring the outdoor areas of Pacific Sutera:

This is the small and cozy private beach with available beach chairs for suntanning.

It is very calming to sit and stare at the sea, enjoying the breeze and the sound of the bristling waves.

The pool at The Pacific is rather big and it has a lot of shallow areas, probably to cater to young children.

Click to read: North Borneo Railway Experience

Click to read: Puteri Sutera Sunset Cruise

Day 2 Dinner @ Spice Island inside Sutera Clubhouse

This was my first fine dining experience in a malay indian restaurant so I didn’t really know what to expect on the dining etiquette. Apparently, this restaurant has hosted many royalties and important people before. Glad to be able to level up to such royalty status for an evening.

First dish was clear soup with carrot and potato.

Unlike the chinese way of eating, the individual serving plates will not be placed on the table (which explains the lack of photos). The staff would take the serving plate and go around the table one by one asking what is the portion you need. It seem a little awkward for me at the start because I didn’t dare to take too much as I can’t gauge my appetite.

Sago dessert which tasted really nice. Usually in Singapore, Sago is just a side compliment of a bigger dessert so you will only get like the most two scoops of Sago. However in Sabah, Sago is a staple and it can be the main dish itself. Look at the entire white chunk in the middle, these are ALL Sagos, the bouncy and chewy type.

We had many interesting conversations that night. One of which was that many wall sculptures were actually made of Styrofoam (including this huge elephant).

Day 3: Another good morning view from my hotel room.

Day 3 Breakfast @ Cafe Boleh (Pacific Sutera Hotel)

Didn’t take much photos of the breakfast spread because it was pretty crowded. I guess breakfast is a good timing to judge the occupancy rate of the hotel. If it is really crowded, it means that this hotel is popular. Also, from the breakfast table, you can also observe the demographics of this hotel. There were quite a number of korean and china tourists. Some were couples, some were families with young children, some were group of friends and also a few lonely people who were probably on business trips.

After breakfast, we went for our island adventure at the Tungku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

We returned back to Sutera and we were transferred to the newer and prettier hotel – The Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort. This hotel is located within the entire Sutera resort. It is about 3 mins car ride or 10 mins walking distance between the both hotels.

The theme of this hotel is more family-oriented and there are 3 pools available, some even with slides. What I like about this hotel is that all rooms have a balcony and sea view! Let the pictures do the talking. The rooms are amazing.

The lobby has an open-air high-ceiling concept, similar to the usual 5-star resort hotels around the region. The high ceilings, together with the cream colours and wood structures makes it very inviting. With its spacious surrounding, it seems like a perfect environment for running children.

The room is slightly smaller than The Pacific but the overall area might be the same due to the balcony.

The colours of this room is very well coordinate and it feels very country. Although the big cushions on the bed are really useless, it still looks good by just being there.

Welcome fruit basket

If I’m not wrong, the bed is bigger than the one at Pacific. The bed is so comfortable that I just want to laze in it all day long!! I recall that it was a struggle to pull myself out of bed every morning.

Left – The Magellan; Right – The Pacific (the bed at Magellan is definitely bigger base on rilakkuma’s size comparison.

We have a lovely balcony view – directly facing the islands of the marine park – Pulau Sulug, Mamutik & Manukan. Perfect environment for my GoPro sunset and sky brightening time lapse video 😀

They had the open window concept again. Watching TV from the bath tub became a reality again 😀

Since I was the only one in the room, I didn’t exactly had any reason to sit down on this couch but I sat on it just to test it out and it’s comfortable! Well, I guess it would be useful to watch the sunset in an aircon environment as you can shift it to face the window.

Photo-shooting with my toys while I wait for the sun to set. It’s a little childish somehow but it’s so cute~~~

I love the balcony to bits 😀


Before I left the hotel room for dinner, I set up the GoPro stick with time lapse function which takes a photo every minute. THANKFULLY, there was good weather and the GoPro stick and the camera remained in tact when I returned like few hours later.. (Hope that the owner of the GoPro will never read this entry)

Please watch the outcome. Pretty pleased with the outcome since it was my first time =p

Here’s my sunrise video:

It’s pretty interesting to witness the rainy moment in my time lapse video. I guess I’m gonna be addicted to this GoPro style for a period of time..

For the dinner, we had to walk from Magellan to Pacific. It was a good decision to walk instead of taking the shuttle bus as the harbour is really pretty at dusk.

This is the clubhouse – located at the centre of both hotels.

This is the icon of Sutera – Bird of Paradise.

This was our cruise boat from yesterday~~

Price list for some of the water sports if is arranged by the in-house tour operators we have located in the resort. Not sure if these prices can be negotiated since it is published.. no harm trying.

Depending on your focal point, you can take very different photos.

Spotted a monitor lizard at the harbour!

Day 3 Dinner was @ Breeze Beach Club

We had italian fine dining with a beautiful backdrop of the sunset. Awesomeness! (I know I’m making many people jealous right now)

Blueberry Apple Smoothie was served to us when we arrived. It was really refreshing and delicious. I’m gonna try this combination at home too~
The sunset could be very romantic if I were there for other reasons?

Although it was alfresco-setting, they dishes served were in fine dining standards. Neatly plated and perfect for photo-taking. The name of this appetizer was “Prawns in Pineapple”.

Watch how the sky changes colour from orange to purplish pink.

Soup was mushroom soup and it was the “real mushrooms blended” type. I really love the crispy bread sticks they have, unlike the usual garlic bread in Singapore..

We were given two choices for the main course and I chose the Breaded Sea Bass option over the lamb.

Don’t you think this plating resembles a face? The potatoes as the eyes, the greenish thing as the nose and the cream as the mouth.

FYI – The dish was so delicious that I asked the waiter what was the name of this dish. He invited the chef over to our table. APPARENTLY, this dish is a new creation and it’s not out in the menu yet. I asked if there was any secret ingredients and he said garlic and lemon zest. Then, I told him that he can put this in the menu starting from tomorrow 😀

Dessert – Dark Chocolate Moose & Vanilla Ice Cream With fruits. Dark Chocolate flavoured things can never go wrong.. Although I was really full, I had to finish every single bit of this dessert as it was just so tasty!

At Breeze Beach Club, there’s Happy Hour Promotion for beers too. Do check it out if you’re in the area. It would be a good place for drinking (minus the mosquitoes during better season).

Day 4 Breakfast @ Five Sails

Compared to The Pacific, Magellan’s breakfast has more variety and the seating area is bigger too! Ironically, I have been eating too much for the past few days that I’ve decided to eat lesser…

Similar to The Pacific, the demographics of hotel guests were Koreans/Chinese in families, couples or groups of friends.

Day 4 – Half Day City Tour

After the half day tour, we returned back to the hotel. Lazing in was such a tempting option but I eventually forced myself out to explore the hotel and its offerings.

This is the Olympic-sized pool near the clubhouse.

I went to the clubhouse to look for the suana/jaccuzi, only to realise that it is inside the gym.

Well,the facilities was really good and the gym is huge o_o but I only had time for a short suana session and soak in a not-so-warm Jacuzzi.

Day 4 – Rich Man’s Sport – Golf @ Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club

Golfing was something I always wanted to try but it’s pretty expensive in Singapore and I don’t really have much friends who play the sport. Glad that I have a chance to get a beginner crash course lesson at the Sutera Driving Range.

We had a Scottish instructor who taught us the basic skills of golfing. These includes how to hold the golf club, how to position your feet, how to hold up your arms, swing and the body movements. After the crash course, we were give 100 balls. Well, I guess I don’t exactly have ball sense. Perhaps only 10-15% of the balls I hit out were acceptable. I guess I need a lot of practice in this next time.

After the golf session, they arranged one of their buggy drivers to bring us on a buggy tour in the entire golf course. From the photos, you can see how amazing and huge this 27-hole golf course was. On one side it was the floating villages, and the other side there’s the city waterfront area. It took us a really long time to drive around the golf course.

Dark clouds were looming as we ended our buggy tour.
Really glad that the rain-less weather had been really kind to us when we were there.

Day 4 Farewell Dinner @ Ferdinand’s – Italian Fine Dining

This was the final dinner that we were having in Sutera and we ate at a fine-dining italian restaurant. Thankfully I brought a proper dress for this trip (in view of formal occasions like this).

We kind of had a set menu and for the main course, we had a choice between beef and fish. I don’t have the names of the dishes as I was busy talking that night and I didn’t do my frequent Instagram updates. I only have the pictures~~



Mushroom Soup (a big similar to the one we had yesterday at Breeze Beach Club)

Pre-Main Course Watermelon Sorbet/Ice blend

Main Course – Beef dish which was absolutely delicious!!

Dessert: something which had dark chocolate in it..

The food at Ferdinand’s was really delicious and I guess it would be a good option if you are celebrating any special occasion. The reviews on trip advisor is excellent too!

Last Day – Day 5 Breakfast @ Five Sails

Day 5 & Last Activity for the trip – Luxury SPA Experience @ Mandara Spa

Originating from Bali, this SPA chain has achieved significant global presence. It has two outlets in each of Sutera’s Hotel. The spa can accommodate up to a maximum of 18 people – 6 double deluxe Spa suites and 6 single Spa Suites. Each suite it beautifully decorated with woody deco. We were given the opportunity to experience a 50 minute Balinese massage (worth 195 RM).

Upon reaching my suite (I got a double suite even though I was alone), I was given this absolutely refreshing cold ginger tea which cooled be down from the heat and humidity that morning. There was a cold towel too to wipe off whatever sweat I had.

As I sat down and sip on my tea, the masseur gave me 4 samples sniffs – Mandara Oil, Island Special, Harmony Oil & Tranquility Oil. I chose Island Special (can’t remember the reason).

Though I haven’t been to many SPAs in Singapore, it’s good to see a proper cabinet with hangers to hang your clothes while you change into their SPA attire. Most places just give you a drawer and your clothing might be crumbled at the end of the session.

As I was at the bottom floor, there was an outdoor balcony with jaccuzi. IF I’m not wrong, you should be allowed to go in for a soak BEFORE your massage as the massaging oil should not be washed off at least or a while. Didn’t get the chance to try this balcony 🙁

True to the Balinese style, the massage was soothing and relaxing (unlike the Thai Style which stretched all your knuckles). I’m glad that they arranged this massage at the end of the trip and I did get some muscle ache after the scuba day which was alleviated slightly due to the massage =p

Having a massage at the end of a holiday will be a best decision for every overseas trip. Can’t wait for my next massage session but it’s just so expensive to have one in Singapore T_T

Day 5 Lunch – Last meal for the trip @ Al Fresco (Mediterranean restaurant)

Being a meat lover and settling into the brazilian world cup mood, I ordered the skewer 😀

Right: Roasting in progress~~

This lunch was also a farewell lunch to bid farewell to Tracy, our organizer (from Sutera Harbour) for the entire trip. It had been a fantastic 5 days 4 nights and I am really thankful to be chosen for this bloggers FAM trip. I guess it’s kind of fated as the dates for this trip was at a very suitable timing of my life.

Goodbye Sutera, here’s my last two photos:

From my balcony:

I’m really glad to know that there’s someone out there appreciating my entries (which I know can be painstakingly long and windy and full of grammatical errors).

Over the past months, my blog stats have increased almost two fold as compared to last year and I”ll improve, I’ve improved, bit by bit, day by day. Hoping to change my blog template soon to something more customized and organized (SPONSORS ANYONE?).

Thanks for being patient with me if you’ve read through this entire series. Feel free to comment, email me or ask me any questions with regards to this trip. I’ll try my best to assist you. .

If you’re an aspiring travel blogger, wanting to be sponsored for a trip like mine, do drop me a mail or comment as well. I could recommend you for the next trip but no promises!


Check out my other entries in this series:

(1) Bloggers Sponsored trip to Kota Kinabalu (June 2014)

(2) Air Asia Red Carpet Experience to Kota Kinabalu

(3) Sutera Harbour – Luxurious 5-Star resort in Kota Kinabalu

(4) Sutera Harbour – North Borneo Railway Experience

(5) Sutera Harbour – Sunset Cruise on Puteri Sutera Yacht

(6) Island Adventure in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

(7) Kota Kinabalu – Half Day City Tour by Sutera Tourism Board