10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
New & Clean Spacious Room
"I had travel with my friend and we are from Singapore, Novotel always as a buzzing hotel which is near Clarke Quay and Novotel 1Borneo right attached with the Largest Hypermall in KK called 1Borneo which is the most happening area in town (I think) haha, very convenience and good mountain view room with beautiful mist in the morning..love to come back and stay..."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of June 2009
Beware the Novotel deathtrap
"We stayed at the Novotel in mid-May 2009 and would like to share some of our impressions of the experience, so that future travelers could be well informed of the potential âdeathtrapsâ of the hotel:
* Death by distance
* Death by unsuspecting cuts and bad design
* Death by lack of services and accessibility
1.Death by distance â Novotel is located @ the 1Borneo hypermall, in practical terms about a 45min trip from the airport. From the action of KK city (downtown), it is approximately a 30min drive (or bus ride). We took the (free) shuttle from Warisan square to 1 Borneo. If youâre considering something similar:
â¢Check the bus timetable well before hand â services depart every 30min-60min between 9am and 10pm but during 5pm-7pm, there is no bus service! Go figure!?! Also, it sometimes leaves earlier than the scheduled time, so get there early.
â¢KK typically rains in the afternoon also, so you donât want to be caught outdoors, waiting for the bus in the wet.
â¢The shuttle drops you off at entrance 1, Novotel is situated at entrance 3, this means you have to walk the entire length of the âhypermallâ to get to your hotel. This is highly not recommended for travelers with multiple pieces of luggage or a companion who wants to stop every 5 steps for window shopping â I was lucky, my partner just wanted to âcheck-inâ ASAP.
Furthermore, some tour operators may charge for pick-up and drop-off from the hotel, as it is not centrally located, so check beforehand.
2.Death by unsuspecting cuts and bad design
â¢The metal fittings on the sliding doors are unbelievably sharp â when attempting to open one of them, I cut my index finger and it drew blood. To my blood-phobic partner, this was enough to cause a âminiâ episode. The bell boy later admitted that happened to him also. Iâm sure past occupants must also have been scarred by this poor design
â¢If you are planning to use the internet, there is no LAN cable in the room, so you will need to specifically request one. The LAN port is secretly hidden under the tv screen and behind the rotating desk.
â¢The step next to the bathtub is awkwardly positioned â with wet feet, you really need to be careful when using the step, it can be slippery and dangerous
â¢The clothesline does not work.
3.Death by lack of services and accessibility â for an international hotel, this is one of the saddest gyms Iâve seen: the size of a standard room, the so-called gym has just two treadmills, one fixed weight unit and one stepmaster. There are no free weights, no tv and no music. But you do get an uninspiring view and limited opening hours, 7am-6pm! Which is not useful when you are out touring from 8am to 6pm. The swimming pool isnât great either.
Having said all this, there are some pluses that may drive you to consider Novotel in your travel itinerary:
â¢Cost â priced at the low MYR200, Novotel is competitively priced for an internationally âbrandedâ hotel, although my trust in them has taken a hit.
â¢Shop to you drop â if you are a shop-a-holic, this is actually a big plus for you. 1 Borneo has some major, high end, fashion brands that put it in the âhypermallâ league â a much cleaner and impressive shopping experience than other so called malls in downtown like Centrepoint. Keep in mind that business hours are: 10am-10pm, good for night owls, bad for early birds.
â¢In spite of all the deathtraps mentioned above, I believe the staff are genuinely interested in providing good service, theyâre just fighting an uphill battle against location, design, operating protocols.
Hope this is helpful and may your travels be great experiences
- Travel date: Wed 20th of May 2009
Great, value for money
"Stayed there for a few days in May. Everything is pretty much at your doorstep. Infact, we took a tour for Kiulu river rafting on one of the days and drove to Kinabalu park on another day. Since the hotel is kind of on the outskirts, we saved 45 mins of traveling one way for both the things. Also, Atmosphere and Likas mosque are pretty close and ofcourse 1Borneo hypermall is right at the doorstep. So the location is great. We went to the city on one of the evenings and since there isn't much to do or see in the city, 1 trip was sufficient for us.
Also, if you are going to Nexus or Rasa Ria, you'll again save about 45 mins of commute one way (as opposed to going there from the city centre).
The standard room that we stayed in ws pretty spacious. But i think the rooms have different sizes and some have terrible views. The room that we were first given had a big wall a few feet from the window ()stay away from room 827). Finally, got a great room. The staff were also really helpful.
All in all, we thought the hotel was great and good value for money. Will definitely stay there again."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of May 2009
A good memorable stay in Kota Kinabalu, the 'Land below the Wind'
"Novotel One Borneo, a good place to stay, shop and eat! Connecting to the largest and newest Hyper Mall in Sabah, we find Novotel One Borneo a very affordable and very convenient place to stay.
Clean and modern hotel with friendly staff and to top it all, free UNLIMITED internet access in guest rooms! Hotel is also located just beside the University Malaysia Sabah, where we spend some time in the Aquarium & Marine Museum that is open for free to the public.
Besides the UMS Museum, the other highlights of our visit were:
- milking cows at Desa Dairy Farm, Kundasang
- Sunset at KK Waterfront with lots of seafood and evening entertainment
- Gaya Sunday Market
- Porling Hot Springs
- Porling Tree Top Canopy Walk
- Handicraft Centre and Dried Sea Products Market at Tun Fuad Stephen's
However, the most memorable eat that we had whilst in Kota Kinabalu was eating Crocodile Meat Bak Kut Teh at Shen Loong Restaurant, located right at the basement of One Borneo Hyper Mall.
Public transport is not very convenient in Kota Kinabalu, so we rent a car. The only problem we had is that we found out the Hotel do not offer free parking for in house guest :(
Novotel Borneo One offers a good place to come back to after a long day of sightseeing and shopping. And when you are too lazy to go anywhere else, ample choices of eateries and restaurants as well as good entertainment places, including a cinema, just at the Hotelâs doorsteps."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of May 2009
Chic in Kota Kinabalu - everything you need on your doorstep.
"From KK Airport Terminal 2: By taxi will cost you RM40. Purchase a coupon from the taxi service desk. It should take about 30 minutes to get to the hotel (although it took us 20 the rate our driver was speeding!).
On arrival, we were greeted by a friendly doorman/porter (Robi). The lobby is spacious modern and contemporary, with comfortable lounge chairs. Check-in was simple and easy.
The whole modern, contemporary theme extends to the guestrooms too. Good sized room, with double bed, desk, comfortable chair, plasma TV, tea/coffee making facilities (try the local Sabah tea!), and complimentary bottled water on arrival. The toiletries are also very contemporary too- and smell great! The lighting was just right, and there is a safe to keep all your valuables in.
Youâll also find leaflets and brochures about what to do while in KK, like excursions to Mount Kinabalu etc and a much-needed mall directory!
1. Free Internet connection. Forgotten your internet cable? Not a problem, we requested one from the front desk, and it was promptly delivered (within 3 mins!) to our room.
There are WiFi hotspots around the hotel, and guests can use the internet for at the Apple Mac Corner in the lobby (password obtained from front desk).
2. If you're a Muslim traveler, the hotel will provide a prayer mat for you to use during your stay.
3. Attached to the 1Borneo shopping mall, which has a good selection of restaurants: western, local or fast food, whatever takes your fancy. For great delicious breakfast, try Dome or Coffee Bean on ground floor. Recommend Apple Cafe for local fare (located on lower ground floor, south atrium a decent meal will set you back RM5.50!) and the supermarket or Multi-Bake if you have a sweet-tooth! Everything you need is located in the mall: Money changers, pharmacy, banks, laundromat and so on.
4. A Free shuttle service is available to transport you from mall right to city center (Warisan Square near the waterfront) with minimal effort on your part!
Tickets are available from main entrance desk (north atrium) in the mall ,and the bus departs from south atrium.
5. There is also a free shuttle service to take you from the hotel to the airport Youâll need to inform the front desk 24 hours in advance to book your seat. The hotel also offers this free-charge-service to pick you up from the airport and take you to the hotel (but we didn't know that at the time of booking!) .You need to call the hotel beforehand to make arrangements, itâs worth it as youâll save RM40!
6. There is a large pool and a small pool/hot tub, with plenty of sun loungers.
7. Gym /Fitness center is open 24 hours a day. So really convenient. Free bottled water and wipe-down towels are available for gym users.
8. Free newspaper (Sabah times) delivered to your door every morning.
9. Mall is open from 11-10pm. If you want a midnight snack, Orange, 7-11, and Gloria Jeans coffee are 60 seconds from the hotel entrance.
9. All the staff in this hotel were very friendly, and helpful from Housekeeping to Room Service and always smiling. The Front Desk staff do a great job to accommodate any requests you may have,
The bathroom. Water from the shower leaks onto the step and then onto the floor.
The choice of TV channels was quite limited, the movie channels seemed quite outdated.
Is far from city centre, however you can overlook this by the free shuttle service provided.
The noise transmissions between rooms can be a bit loud if you have adjoining rooms.
Gym is small, but it gets the job done."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of April 2009
"Location wise: Further away from the city. Attached to the (currently) Borneo's largest lifestyle mall. Another hotels in vicinity - Mercure, Courtyard and Tune.com
Service: Low - reason: staff seem not used/familiar in working with international brand hotel. Even though they are local, they have difficulties in giving travel advice. Room service was inconsistent. Towels will be replaced even you did not put them in the tub. Room attendant just do bed only for a day, and another day, replenish the coffee/tea - very inconsistent. The toilet got clogged twice in four days...
Local area: Although attached to the the mall, breakfast is hard to find. Only Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf open as early as 8am. Other restaurants in the mall majority open at 10am. NewYorkNewYork only open at 11am for breakfast!
Others: Advisable to have your own transport if you want to stay at this hotel. Taxi is available, but easier to move around with own transport. Also, better to include breakfast in the rate. On the ground floor, there is an Apple Center - one iMac for guest use free of charge for 30mins."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of January 2009
Not bad for a new hotel.
"I am writing this review right at this hotel in my PJ at 11pm at night meaning this hotel has an internet connections in its room, and its free! My family and I are impressed with the services provided the minute we arrived. The staff are very friendly and helpful. They seems to cater to your every need and very happy to oblige to all your wimps. Our first night we requested for an extra bed for our daughter and it came in less than 10 minutes. We also asked for an internet cables for our laptop, that also came within 15 minutes.
The hotel is brand new, in fact we could still smell the cements on the wall. We like the style and furnishings of the hotel, its modern and futuristic, It has a LCD screen and a unique writing table. Even the bedside lights are nice. Even more unique is the see through glass between the beds and the bathroom. We prefer to keep the curtain down though.
Our only setbacks is on the 2nd day we were attacked by an army of red ants! They were scores of them and we were surprised of where the ants came from. Thats kind of weird. We did complain to the reception and they took care of that.
We would recommend this hotel to anyone. Its awesome. And the fact that this hotel is in the same vacinity with the biggest shopping mall in East Malaysia makes it more appealling."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of December 2008
Novotel - brand new
"I stayed at the Novotel for 2 nights.
1. Check in was a breeze and the staff were efficient, friendly and helpful. They provided their names and informed us that we could contact them directly at the front desk if we had any problems or needs. Overall, the service was excellent with a nice personal touch. Bell-hops and lobby staff were also service-orientated and took pains to see if guests were alright.
2. The room was clean as it was new but we were given a room on the low floor overlooking the roof of 1 Borneo which was a storage area for building material. Not exactly the best of views although we could still see the mountains. I did think of asking for a change of room which I believe the hotel would have done for us but after a while it did not seem such a big deal. The nice room with all the new furnishings seemed to overwrite this issue. The bathroom design has some problem though. If you shower in the bathtub area, the water will overflow onto the toilet floor. This actually causes the wood fittings near the toilet door to begin to rot. As the hotel is still new, this may not be a problem but in 1 couple of years, this is going to be an issue.
3. Shopping is convinient but I am no fan of large shopping malls and generally the shops are what I have seen in many marge commercial malls and so it was kinda boring.
4. Dining at the mall - avoid this place called JAWS - they will eat you alive!! Its some kind of thai-chinese eatery. Their prices do not follow what is stated in the menu and the food sucks. Can you believe that for 1/2 a roasted chicken, 2 bowls of rice and 2 bowls of soup cost 61 ringgit??? Day-light robbery - the ambience is crap and is like an air-con coffeeshop at best. Anyway, some people with deep pockets seem to like the place - gimme any of the other established restuarants at the mall anyday. So avoid JAWS - you have been warned!
5. Breakfast at the hotel was good - had some nice desserts and a good spread of dishes. Priced at about $13 singapore dollars per head if you book online. Good price and good quality."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of December 2008
"Spent several nights in this hotel in Nov 2008.
- hotel is brand new with nice looking modern design and furnishings
- hotel is connected to huge new megamall, so convenient for shopping, cafe, and restaurant
- got a reasonbly good opening room-rate of $50 per night on the hotel website
- staff are friendly
- 20 minute drive to downtown KK (25-30 ringit taxi fare, or free using mall shuttle bus). Be aware that taxis will almost always ripoff foreigners. The proper fare for a local is probably closer to 10 ringitt.
- nothing else in thehotel area within walking distance to see/do
- gymnasium is tiny, and very little equipment
- aircon for my entire floor died on the second day of my stay, so they needed to move me to a new floor
- construction still underway, as I could here hamering early in morning....which woke me up early on my vacation
- the showers are poorly designed, causing bathwater to flood the entire bathroom floor. Not fun to walk around in cold water while getting ready to go out.
- If you dont mind being far from KK city, and if they can fix the teething problems, and keep the price below $60/night. this will be a decent hotel worhty of 3.7 stars out of 5."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of November 2008
Enjoyed the Novotel 1Borneo
"We took the kids to stay one night at this newly opened hotel during the recent school holidays, just for the kick of it !
We like the hotel, the room looks good , with a wall mounted 32" LCD TV , nice comfortable bed, nice clean bathroom. I note that the glass panel between the bathroom and the bedroom has been a standard feature in the Novotel hotels, like the Novotel Hydro-Majestic in Kuala Lumpur. I personally find this a nuisance. Goes without saying that you have to pull the curtain down when you are in the bathroom during the day, and in the night any one having to go to the bathroom would draw some grumbling from others sleeping because the bathroom light would come through the glass window alright.
Our room charge comes with complimentary breakfast, which was enjoyable. It was not crowded and we had plenty of food to ourselves. The food variety was quite good. The decor in the breakfast hall was modern and well-arranged.
The hotel is conveniently connected to the 1Borneo shopping mall and you can spend time browsing the shops. We went for a late night movie in the GSC cinema and it was a nice experience as the cinema is also just newly opened."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of October 2008