This story about the Magellan Sutera Resort and itinerary in Kota Kinabalu is written by one of our contributors, Fadhi. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
Last year, I came to Sabah (Kudat, to be exact) for the first time on a media trip. I loved it so much that I wanted to come again. Sabah has been on top of my list (and my Korean husband, Kim who’s never been there) for our babymoon. So, I waited no more upon hearing the RMCO announcement.
Finally, at 26th week of my first pregnancy, we flew from Johor Bahru to Kota Kinabalu to celebrate our babymoon for 4 days 3 nights! *excited jump*
Since I’m 26 weeks pregnant, we wanted to take it slow and easy. Most importantly, we wanted to stay at a relaxing yet strategic place with everything under one roof. When Sutera Harbour offered us a stay at The Magellan Sutera Resort
, we’re like yeassss! The resort is exactly what we’re looking for. ?
What we love about the resort
View from our room
We stayed in a Junior Suite Room (with ocean view) of which my jaw dropped when I checked in.
The sea view from our
room was breathtaking especially during sunset. You can also see the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park islands across the window.
Not to mention, it’s a spacious room with two balconies facing the pool & beach. I highly recommend you to stay in this room if you could.
P.S. Check out these 10 amazing scenic accommodations in Sabah!
The swimming pool
We just love swimming together (need to do some exercise while travelling too, y’know). Not only do they have 5 pools, the one in Magellan Sutera is a huge one & by the beach! Aaaahh when the breeze comes ~ Such a relaxing spot where you can lepak after a swim.
During the weekend, we saw inflated slides for kids installed at the pool *my inner child screams*
Initially, the resort has 15 restaurants but only 5 are opened during the RMCO. You’re spoilt with choices even with only 5 of them, really!
We had a seafood BBQ lunch at Al Fresco on our first day, all-you-can-eat dim sum at Silk Garden, remarkable fine dining at Ferdinand’s (the wagyu steak blew our minds) & a steamboat dinner while watching the sunset from 12th floor of Horizons Skybar.
Different restaurants with different cuisine
options & experiences, all in one place so we didn’t have to go out to get food. *crowds cheer* Halal status:
Do note that the food at the restaurants is halal but they do serve alcohol. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.
It’s easy to travel around the resort with their shuttle service & Grab. It takes around 10 minutes by car to get to the resort from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) and 5 to 10 minutes to get to the downtown. If you want to do some shopping, Imago Shopping Mall is just 5 minutes away. Local souvenirs and snacks you ask? The Filipino Market or Sunday Market (aka tamu) are conveniently located less than 10 minutes from the resort.
Plenty of activities
Although we were there as a couple, the resort offers other kids, family & friends-friendly activities like aqua aerobic, fish feeding, pottery painting, mini pizza making & batik painting. If you’re coming with kids, you can send them to participate in the activities while you're off for your spa or even golf.
P.S. Love this resort? You'd also love these 6 floating villas in Sabah for your romantic trip!
Our 4D3N Itinerary
- Pickup transfer to resort upon arrival at KKIA
- Check-in at resort
- Lunch at Al Fresco
- Explore resort
- North Borneo Sunset Cruise (inclusive of dinner)
- Window shopping at Imago Mall
We had a seafood BBQ buffet at Al Fresco and it was nice for the two of us. Don’t forget to get a seat facing the sea so you can enjoy the view while eating.
During this RMCO, the North Borneo Sunset Cruise team did individual plating for the dinner instead of a buffet. They follow the SOP and limit a certain number of people on board for every trip so be sure to book your seats early.
P.S. Discover the best of Sabah with this 5D4N itinerary!
Buffet breakfast at the hotel is served by the staff following the latest SOP. They have a decent breakfast spread of Asian & Western selections too.
The Sunday Market opens as early as 6.30am. Unless you
- Breakfast at resort
- Go to Sunday Market (aka tamu, only available every Sunday)
- Drive to Kundasang
- Explore Kundasang Town & Desa Dairy Farm area (the farm itself is closed since RMO until further notice)
- Drive back to KK
- Sunset view at the resort
- Fine dining at Ferdinand’s
want to shower in sweat like we did, go there early in the morning ?
We rented a new Myvi for a day to drive up to Kundasang & it was fine until the Kundasang town. The way further up to Desa Dairy Farm is steeper so you might have problems if you’re driving a smaller car.
I think it’s best to spend a whole day in Kundasang (or maybe spend a night there) as they have plenty of things you can do like trekking at the Kota Kinabalu Park, participate in a cultural activity near Tamparuli Bridge, etc. We were there for like a few hours just because Kim wanted to enjoy driving up to the mountainside & it was raining at that time so we cut our trip short.
Fine dining at Ferdinand’s complemented this babymoon trip. We had great food in a romantic ambience and was attended by friendly & helpful staff (who guided us through the menu selection).
- Go to Sutera Marina Jetty for boat transfer to Sapi Island (only 15mins away)
- Snorkelling at Sapi Island
- Depart back to resort
- Lunch at Silk Garden (dim sum)
- Souvenir shopping at Filipino Market
- Dinner at Horizons Skybar (steamboat over sunset)
Although our initial plan is to visit Mantanani Island, it’s not recommended for a preggo like me to go there because of the distance (45 minutes boat ride, usually choppy & bumpy) so we opted for the nearer, Sapi Island. Even though the ride is short & really fine, pregnant ladies like me need to consult with doctor first & let them know of your pregnancy before going on this trip.
Silk Garden had this all-you-can-eat dim sum promotion so why not? I also tried their fish porridge which is nice & completed the meal with a sweet & soft mango pudding.
Some of the things you can buy at the Filipino Market are ikan bilis mata biru, other local snacks & dried fish, pearl accessories, keychains, fridge magnets & t-shirts. The market is quite packed so please make sure you keep social distancing okay?
Steamboat dinner at Horizons Skybar is okay. We mostly enjoyed the sunset view from the 12th floor.
P.S. Looking for more hidden gems in Sabah? We've got you covered with these 7 spots!
- Chilling at the resort
- Had Borenos for lunch through Grab food
- Flight back to Johor
- Must try when in Sabah: Yoyo mini croissants, fried chicken Borenos & Jollibee. The croissants are so good I had to tapau (bring back) 5 packs before leaving for the airport. ?
- We bought Sabah t-shirts at Dina Jaya, Centre Point for less than RM15 (same quality & similar designs found at tamu for RM20-25)
- You have to include Mantanani Island in your trip if you can! Or do island hopping around Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
- Never knew ikan bilis mata biru had some grades until I visited KK. The smaller, the more expensive it is. I bought mine for RM25 (big ones, half kilo). Also bought Belinjo snacks for RM8/pack.
- The Magellan Sutera Resort is currently having a promotion right now where you can get a bunch of complimentary experiences (and a choice between the cruise & snorkelling trip whatttt ?) if you’re staying there. Price starts from as low as RM290 per room per night for Malaysians & residents.
Favourite part of the trip
Our favourites would be fine dining, snorkelling trip & sunset! I’m glad & grateful I had the opportunity to work with Sabah Tourism again. We definitely would come again to The Magellan Sutera Resort to unwind & have
a laidback trip, maybe with my whole family next time!
Disclaimer: This trip is a collaboration between us, Sabah Tourism & Sutera Harbour so our room & most activities were covered but everything I write here is my personal thoughts.
You can find out more about Fadhi and Kim's travel adventures on Fadhi's Instagram @snfad_diela
and Youtube channel
P.S. Want to share your tips and stories to help Muslims travel better? Click on this link to share your experience