Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

The hotel

Set against a majestic mountain backdrop and overlooking the South China Sea, the Magellan is set over 384 acres and offers guests a complete holiday experience. Every amenity, every comfort, and every excitement you could wish for is on hand – ranging from water sports galore down at the beach to the inimitable luxury of the world-class Mandara Spa. Guest rooms are luxuriously appointed, overlooking either perfectly manicured lawns or the ocean, with family rooms ideal for those who need more space to stretch out in. Golf aficionados will appreciate a few rounds on the Graham Marsh designed championship course or grab your partner and head down to the squash courts. An Olympic-sized swimming pools means you can get a few decent laps in or simply splash around with the kids in the fun pool. Dining is extensive too with Italian restaurant Ferdinand’s listed as one of Malaysia’s best restaurants! Alternatively, there’s a sumptuous buffet at Five Sails or feast on wood-fired pizzas beside the pool at Al Fresco’s. Choose your own pace at Magellan, it can be as lively as you want it to be or a relaxing haven you’ll want to return to again and again.

Amenities

  • Spa
  • Kids Club
  • Children's Pool
  • Internet Access
  • Beachfront location

Where is it

On the Kota coast, 5 minutes from the town of Kota Kinabalu. Shuttle service around the resort and to the town is available. Transfer time from Kota Kinabalu Airport: 10 minutes.

Hotel information

465 rooms and suites. All with air-conditioning, balcony, satellite TV with pay-per-view films, telephone, high-speed Internet access, mini-bar*, tea/coffee maker, safe, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, iron and board. Deluxe Garden View Rooms with king-size bed or twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 2 children.

Half Board/Full Board options: Include breakfast, lunch and dinner available at a supplement.

Deluxe Sea View Rooms, with king-size or twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 2 children.

Al Fresco (wood fired pizza and cocktails), Ferdinand’s (Italian cuisine), Five Sails (buffet restaurant; International and Malaysian dishes), Tarik’s Lobby Lounge, Muffinz (deli-cafe). Olympic-sized swimming pool, kids' pool, fun pool. 2 landscaped pools. Mandara Spa*. Fitness centre. 104-berth marina*. Water sports* including parasailing, scuba-diving, water-skiing, wakeboarding and sea kayaking. 27-hole Graham Marsh designed championship golf course*. 41 bay 2-tiered covered driving range*. Tennis courts*, badminton courts*, squash courts. Billiards room. 12-lane ten pin bowling centre*. Kids' club*. 100 seat movie theatre*. Regular live entertainment*. Complimentary WiFi access. Laundry/dry-cleaning service*. 24-hour room service*.

*Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1554)
  • Very good (1246)
  • Average (418)
  • Poor (164)
  • Terrible (142)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Cockroaches and unpleasant staff attitude.

Jan 6, 2020 877jhl

We booked through agoda and at the check in the staff requested us to give the booking number which was odd. Took a long time to check in and the staff attitude was not so pleasant. Also had some confusion with extra bed due to lack of staff conversation. Each staff on the phone said different thing and i did even mention to one staff how come the… Read more
We booked through agoda and at the check in the staff requested us to give the booking number which was odd. Took a long time to check in and the staff attitude was not so pleasant. Also had some confusion with extra bed due to lack of staff conversation. Each staff on the phone said different thing and i did even mention to one staff how come the staff communication is so bad. Anyway, later on the room had cockroaches and after waiting for an hour the changed room again had 2 cockroaches in bathroom. The room smelt like mould too. Waited for another hour finally changed the room to the other side of the building. We did not receive any proper apology from the reception staff or housekeeping. Only the bellboy told us maybe due to the construction site the hotel cant handle cockroaches. It was a big disappointment and i’ll never ever visit this hotel again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Afternoon snack

Jan 4, 2020 Peter L Horncastle, United Kingdom

We called here a few times during our stay in Kota Kinabalu. This is a lovely hotel and we would probably stay here next time we visit Borneo. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the views out to the islands are fantastic.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Terrible

Jan 3, 2020 shmilyssxue

We check in on December 24th, and check out at 6 a.m. on December 25th. The next day, we realized that we have left the Foreo Luna (a cosmetic machine for face cleaning) in the room. The face cleaning machine costs 1400RMB above. So we called the hotel, and the hotel said that they did not find it. Then we return to the hotel the next day to find… Read more
We check in on December 24th, and check out at 6 a.m. on December 25th. The next day, we realized that we have left the Foreo Luna (a cosmetic machine for face cleaning) in the room. The face cleaning machine costs 1400RMB above. So we called the hotel, and the hotel said that they did not find it. Then we return to the hotel the next day to find it. We arrived the hotel at 18 p.m. on December 26th, the receptionist at the front desk of the hotel told us their hotel cleaner didn't see it when cleaning the room. But we were sure we have left it in the bath room. So we asked to see the GSM and wanted a second check. We have waited for half an hour and no one came to see us. Finally, the GSM appeared. His solution was calling the hotel security and making a meaningless record. He promised that he would call us later, but we haven't got any reply from then on. We are very disappointed with the result and also with the staff here. We think this is an irresponsible hotel and god will not forgive them for this even on Christmas day. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Good family room

Dec 30, 2019 591chaic

We are back from Kundasang and it is such a pleasant surprise to be at this beautiful hotel in KK. The family round is spacious for the 4 of us with a beautiful bath tub . My kids really enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the hotels too. 5 stars worthy
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Nice but noisy

Dec 30, 2019 BoardingPass820400

This hotel is a mixture of good and bad. Overall I think a 4 star rating is fair. There are a few areas that would need improvement to be worthy of a 5 star rating. In some areas it is the problem of the culture of the hotel. In no logical order here are the thoughts of my stay in the hotel. I stayed here for 1 week over the Christmas… Read more
This hotel is a mixture of good and bad. Overall I think a 4 star rating is fair. There are a few areas that would need improvement to be worthy of a 5 star rating. In some areas it is the problem of the culture of the hotel. In no logical order here are the thoughts of my stay in the hotel. I stayed here for 1 week over the Christmas period. First is to avoid a room on any floor, if the room number ends between 01 and 09 inclusive. These rooms are directly above the pacific lane nightclub which plays very loud music, officially until 1am, but in reality much later. They explained to me that they rent out the nightclub to locals to run, and although they had asked the locals to turn down the music, the request had been refused. I had a very sleepless night as a result of being placed above the nightclub. This is of course ruined the next day for our family, as well as requiring several hours of our time to pack up our belongings and move to a new room. The staff were blasé about this, making me think it happens a lot. Make sure you refuse to move into a room number between 01 and 09. The hotel obviously has a lo tof money, so why they would think to add a nightclub to the ground floor is beyond me. These rooms also happen to face a mosque which is about 1km away, and which broadcasts prayer music throughout the day, starting at 4am. Ask for a room which ends from 10 through to 63. There are 63 rooms on each floor. The hotel claims on their website that they have their own private beach, which is only partly true. Every day of the stay, I went to the beach to be faced with a red flag meaning that we weren’t allowed to swim. If we went more than 3 meters into the sea, one of the pool attendants would come running over and blow on his whistle very loudly, and crossly order us out of the sea. On one of the days there was a lot of garbage on the beach: I told the pool attendant that instead of whistling at me, he would be better off cleaning up the garbage. From the look he gave me, I was worried that he was going to use his whistle to instruct me to clean up the garbage, so I told him “That’s your job, not mine”. Ten minutes he came back and cleaned up the large amount of garbage, and looked very unhappy. Presumably blowing on a whistle is more fun that working, The beach is directly opposite a few islands which do allow swimming, so if it safe to swim there, I can only assume its safe to swim by the hotel. Presumably they are scared of a lawsuit. Nonetheless, if you want to stay at a hotel with access to the ocean, be aware that this hotel is not a good choice. The swimming pool directly downstairs of the hotel is also slightly idiosyncratic. They have an inflatable slide for the kids to use, but they routinely take it down during the day. I couldn’t understand why. The pool closes at 8pm, but the slide is taken down for the final time at 6pm. The hut that gives out towels routinely runs out of towels throughout the day, so better to bring the bath towels down with you from your room. The pool is not shaded and is packed with people throughout the day. Suggest going swimming around 6pm when the sun goes down (avoid the Korean women with selfie sticks standing in the pool if possible), as the view of the sunset is nice and almost no people are in the pool after 6pm. For some reason the pool closes at 8pm, whilst the larger pool for doing laps is open to 9pm. Starting around 6pm, the pool attendants will take away cushions from the pool seats, and close up the sun umbrellas. One day around 7.15pm it started raining, so I opened up one of the large umbrellas to shelter under with my son. The pool attendant blew very hard on his whistle until I closed the umbrella again. I stood there getting wet. Presumably it would have been extra work for him to close it again later. At 8pm on the dot, they will whistle at anyone unfortunate enough to be in the pool. In case you try to go in again, they come running round with a huge vat of chlorine which they throw copious amounts of into the pool. My wife got a skin rash on day 3 which I guess is caused by the chlorine. On the second day one Korean lady turned her back on her little child who walked into a deep area and couldn’t stand up. A similar thing happened in a hotel in Hong Kong: at that time, 2 of the pool attendants dived into the pool, fully clothed, to rescue the child. In this hotel, the pool attendants stood on the side and whistled loudly. When my wife looked at them, they shouted at my wife to rescue the child, which was a full 5 strides away from her. I feel that the pool staff see the swimmers as a nuisance, and are of the opinion that their job would be much easier if there were no swimmers at all. On average they whistle every 45 seconds for various “infringements’ so I guess the whistle is a benefit for the staff, which they are given only after rigorous training for 2 years! The longer their tenure, the louder the whistle they are given. The poolside bar is fairy pleasant. They have worked out exactly the highest price people would be willing to pay without feeling violated. The pizza is terrible, the fries are fine, and the ice cream sundae fine. The food is cooked at the breeze bar next door and carried over. The breeze bar is probably one of the most unhygienic restaurants I have eaten at in my life. It is open air and full of pigeons and other birds. As soon as a guest finishes their meal and stands up, about 20 birds will land on the table and eat the remains. The staff do nothing to stop this, which is off-putting for people sitting at the next table. On the last day I noticed that a portion of fries has been cooked and placed on the table ready to be taken to the poolside bar. However, the staff had forgotten about it, and a very large pigeon was eyeing up the food. Only my presence prevented the pigeon from eating it. I suspect that if the pigeon did eat some of the fries, the staff wouldn’t throw away the portion and cook a new portion. They would probably just send it over to the poolside customers. The breeze bar has a buffet in the evening which is incredibly popular, so presumably the bar is making money from the dinner, and not the daytime customers. The price was 80RM per person, and the price is the same for children. I personally found this too expensive, but many others obviously found the price fine. There is another restaurant near the marina. The prices were on the same level, but they were much slower to cook the food. Neither restaurant has put much consideration into vegetarian guests such as me. The hotel is located very near to the airport – it costs 9RM by Grab. Taxis seem to charge 15RM flat rate no matter where you go. It is also within walking distance of the large shopping mall. We walked there a couple of times, but it is very hot during the day, and crossing the road is very dangerous. The hotel has an irregular shuttle bus to the shopping mall, which naturally they charge for. A grab to the mall cost me 6RM. I bought some things to take with me when I left Sabah: however I found the prices in the airport were cheaper than the mall supermarket, which is a first for me. It is also possible to order food which can be delivered to the hotel. I ordered a Dominos one night, and I saw others ordering McDonalds. Eating in the hotel restaurants gets very boring very quickly. A Grab to the night market also costs around 9RM. Near the market there are a number of Western restaurants on the waterfront, many with live bands. I didn’t eat there as my kids were with me, but a good choice for a couple, or for the lone traveler. The night market for clothes was fairly small, with most stalls having the same merchandise. The food market was bigger and more interesting. It is possible to book tickets for various tours and activities in the hotel lobby. The lady that served me seemed to hate her job, but we ended up with the tickets, and were picked up and dropped off per schedule. It is also possible to go on a boat to various islands or engage in water-based activities, which can be booked next to the marina. Again, the prices were eye-watering, but they were doing a roaring trade. The company is called Seaquest, and I strongly recommend you to take sea-sick tablets before you set off. The drivers have been instructed to drive as fast as they can, which made for a very unpleasant trip there and back. The other thing to mention is the breakfast buffet. The food is exactly the same every day. One option was curry with Rhoti, which I can’t bring myself to eat first things in the morning, but which was popular. The major problem with the breakfast is that the room was designed for 80 people, but routinely has 200 people in it. That means queues for tables, queues for food, and food running out often. Most people using the breakfast room will do sudden changes in direction, or jump in front of you and then stop. The staff also are experts at getting in your way. It takes a long time to get from your seat to the food, and then back. A few times other guests tried to hijack our tables. A lot of patience and forgiveness is required at breakfast time. They have added tables outside, but again, beware the numerous birds which are very fat. Due to the large number of guests, the staff aren’t quick enough to stop the birds from eating, which again is fairly unhygienic. I was really looking forward to playing 9 holes on the golf course. However, the prices were far beyond what I was willing to pay. It is far too hot to play during the day, and naturally, they charge extra for playing in the evening. The course seemed empty every time I walked past, but presumably they have enough people willing to pay the high cost. I guess it is not for casual players such as me, but for people that play often. Suntan lotion, hat, and a lot of water would be required if you were to play during the day. I have written above a lot about the shortcomings of the hotel. On the plus side, the premises are clean, with some picturesque areas. There are 4 pools, and a number of bars and restaurants. I had a fairly relaxing time and enjoyed wondering around the hotel premises. I would be happy to stay again if I found myself in Sabah, but the hotel isn’t of the quality that you wouldn’t want to leave, nor would you start planning your next trip there as soon as you left. Well done if you have read this far in the review. I wrote it on the AirAsia flight, which doesn’t have a TV or any other forms of entertainment. P.S. looking at some other reviews, it seems the hotel has 2 standard replies it copy/pastes, one for the good reviews, one for the bad ones. Let's see which one they use to reply to me. Read less