Best Staycation In Sabah – From Bustling City Centre to an Island Retreat

Sabah Best Staycation

Need a break? Every once in a while we all need a break from our busy lives and what better than to go for a short getaway!

A weekend staycation would be a great way to explore the country, and one place that is exceptionally unique with undeniably awesome Instagrammable photos is Sabah.

My Sabah holiday, Cuti-Cuti Ke Sabah by Sutera Harbour Resort started immediately as the plane entered the Kota Kinabalu skyline, peering through my window, the expanse of the 5-star Resort beckoned for my arrival.

Kota Kinabalu Sabah Staycation
View of the swimming pool at Sutera Harbour Resort.

In a tropical setting just 5-minutes away from the vibrant business centre of Kota Kinabalu, Sutera Harbour Resort is designed to meet astute guests' needs and is recognised as one of the best resorts in the region.

Once I arrived, I was impressed by the safety and security measures set by the Resort. My Deluxe Garden View room of The Magellan Sutera Resort was spacious, comfy and fitted with many modern amenities.

Rooms at Sutera Harbour Resort
The deluxe king garden view room.

I got to stay at this luxurious Resort for 3 days, 2 nights, and the package offered free daily breakfast. This particular package is suitable for couples and families alike as it includes many activities for both adults and children to enjoy.

A highlight of the gateway was the awesome snorkelling experience to Sapi Island. I also managed to polish my putting skill with a free session at the Driving Range. It also offered 20% off Food & Beverage at Al Fresco.

Sutera Harbour Golf Course
27-hole Championship Golf Course at the Sutera Harbour Resort.

As for the little guests, activities such as Fish Feeding, Giant Bubble, Pottery Painting and many more are available throughout the day.

While in the Resort, take advantage of delicious dim-sum offering at Silk Garden, exquisite Italian cuisine at Ferdinand’s and stunning view of the sunset as you dine at Horizons Restaurant.

Sutera Harbour Restaurant
Horizons Restaurant at the resort with beautiful night ambience.
Sutera Harbour Sunset Cruise
Sunset view of the islands.
Sutera Mantanani Resort

Sutera@Mantanani Island Resort & Spa at the beautiful Mantanani Island.

After that exciting vacation in the city, complete your holiday with a romantic and tranquil island gateway with WOW Mantanani at Sutera@Mantanani Island Resort & Spa.

This Resort is located on the gorgeous Mantanani Island, located in the quiet town of Kota Belud, 75km northeast of Kota Kinabalu.

My journey to Borneo’s idyllic island holiday started early in the morning as I drove to Rampayan Jetty. Leaving the bustling city, I was in awe with beautiful morning sceneries with the sun shining brightly, promising a voyage to remember. You can either drive on your own or ask the Hotel to arrange transportation for you.

View of Mount Kinabalu
The stunning view of Mount Kinabalu from the resort jetty.

Along the journey, especially along the Tuaran stretch, the majestic Mount Kinabalu made her appearance, greeting you affectionately as warm as Sabah’s hospitality.

1 hour into the journey, there was a short layover for everyone to have a light breakfast and to shop for many fresh-from-the-orchard local fruits such as sweet corn, rambutan or whatever fruits that are in season.

Upon arriving at Rampayan Jetty, a short safety briefing was conducted, guaranteeing everyone to enjoy the excursion with peace of mind.

Beach at Mantanani Resort
Incredible white sand beaches and crystal clear waters at Mantanani Island.

Now, you may want to share your experience right away on your FB or Instagram while on the boat. Don’t worry; most providers' network coverage is excellent even when you are in the middle of the ocean.

Arriving on the island, as I set my foot on the whitest of sand, I immediately felt the calm and romantic feel of the island.

My adventure began immediately with snorkelling to a few favourite spots where guests can dive into the blue turquoise waters, filled with rich marine life. You may even catch everyone’s favourite fish, Nemo swimming happily between the corals.

Island Activity Mantanani Island
ATVs are a popular activity on the island.

Scrumptious lunch awaited as we got back from snorkelling before checking in into our luxurious chalets and deluxe rooms. Each room is fitted with amenities and attached bathrooms for everyone’s convenience.

Maximise your island gateway by taking advantage of the many island activities they have to offer. Explore the island on an adrenaline-inducing ATV ride or take a walk along the beach or swim in the invigorating waters or have fun jumping on the big bouncing castle.

Staycation at Kota Kinabalu
The incredible crystal clear waters of Mantanani Island.

You may also take a kayak out for a spin around the island! With the crystal-clear water, you’ll be able to see plenty of marine life below the surface. The calm waters make for ideal kayaking conditions, and no experience is required!

They also have many beach sports activities such as beach soccer and beach volleyball. In the evening, we went to the most romantic spot on the island, where you can see the bright orange, red and yellow pastels of the sensational evening light streaks across the horizon before dipping behind the ocean; allowing the moon to glow for that romantic ending to your day.

Sutera Mantanani Resort
Lazing on the beach is one of the things to do at Mantanani Island.

Those coming to the island for a special occasion such as an anniversary or a proposal are more than happy to help you an even memorable gateway for you. Just get in touch with their personnel, and they will do the rest.

Dinner was a sizzling hot steamboat consisting of Sabah fresh seafood, local vegetables, meat, chicken and many more.

And after dinner, on a rare a magical night, you may witness one of the world’s most spellbinding natural phenomena – the bioluminescence or Blue Plankton. These amazing visual effects that border on the supernatural will definitely be one of the most surreal and magical moments ever.

The night is still young? Walk along the beach at night, look up the skies and witness the magical Milky Way splattered across the sky canvas.

The sound of the waves from the ocean and the view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu greeted me in the morning as I went for my breakfast. Make sure to take a lot of pictures before you leave the island.


And as you bid adieu, Sutera@Mantanani awaits your next visit.

Want to experience these amazing holidays? Visit the Sutera Harbours Cuti-Cuti Ke Sabah deals and also the Sutera at Mantanani for their promotions.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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