Tuesday, 16 July 2013

kundasang...the valley of life (1)


There are few good hotels to stay while in Kundasang. One of the hotel, to me the nicest to stay is non other than the Mt. Kinabalu Heritage Resort & Spa. I was made to understand that this chain of Heritage Hotel is  under SEDCO, a subsidiary of state government. Heritage Hotel can also be found in Keningau and Tenom

Locationally, it stands on one of the most scenic and the highest spot in Kundasang Town. Located on the tranquil side of the town, on a strategic hill and it's only minutes from downtown. The weather is awesomely cold, commanding a full view of the mountainous rolling hills and valleys of Kundasang. If the weather permits, we can have the full view of the alluring majestic Mount Kinabalu.

This is the view of Heritage Resort at night seen from the car park. Stepping down from the car, we can feel the cool weather with fresh fragrance of flowers. The mountain climate proves favourable to the flora's growth. There were lots of cars and coaches at the car park. I'm afraid of the room vacancies, this is gate crashing, it all depends on luck.

It's fortunate that the rooms are still available. We haven't made a prior booking after leaving Kudat this morning. The cell phone reception was always poor all along the journey. The room vacancy at this hotel is always not available most of the times. I remember the last time here with Dr. Sab, the room was not available but luckily Dr. Sab has already made a prior booking. Since he's a government servant, a discount of 20-30% on room rate was given but that again depends on the seasons. During weekends and festive seasons, when the occupancy rate is higher, that privilege is not applicable.

This time around we requested for rooms facing the valley and mountain. During the last visit, to our ignorance, we were given a room facing the car park at the second floor. We see nothing except for cars and coaches. The arithmatic is very simple. The higher the floor and/or rooms with spectacular views, the room rate differs accordingly. It's the same goes to other properties as well. The unit facing the garden, a waterfront or any  other scenic views of significance will fetch high prices. Duplex units are always on top floors, it's due to commanding views, privacy less pollution from noise and dust etc.

This hotel has a fair provision of facilities. A grocery store is located next to the reception counter operating from 10am-10pm daily and a spacious lobby with a karaoke lounge annex to the coffee house. A coffee house/F&B is nicely placed facing the garden with open terraces mainly for smokers or those who loves open dining.

At the garden's corner, a spa is made available at a stand alone building. For the traveller's convinience, the hotel is not only providing rooms but also comes with individual chalet which is more suited to family rather than lone rangers.

There is also a hanging bridge over the approach road, connecting the hotel building and the chalet area. Chalets are built following the terrain and are on stilts, with wooden structure, pitch roof and 'tudor' like facade.

A viewing deck is also made available for nature lovers. It is located at the lower ground of the garden with steps down and in the midst of pine trees. At the standing verandah/balcony one can have a full view of the beautiful mighty mountain and the forested foothills.

All in all this hotel is fit for travellers of all facets, either alone or with families.  Base on what people is looking for in a resort with a reasonable price range, I think this resort is a value for money, after all this is not a 5 star hotel. The facilities and services provided are worth every penny. The provision is tailor made for those seeking relaxation, calming atmosphere, beautiful cool weather plus the unique value of local tradition and culture. After the hot shower, all are ready for dinner at outside restaurant. The hotel food for dinner is not tempting enough, on top of it the local delicacies are normally much more delicious with varieties to choose from.

to be continued in part 2.