With a weekend in Kota Kinabalu (KK) city, I was looking for a hotel that’s close to the city buzz without compromising on KK’s coastal beauty. Grandis Hotel was the perfect find and it also happened to be the new kid on the block. Perched along the harbour front, Grandis boasts of sweeping views of the vast South China Sea with the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Islands dotted in the horizon.tunku abdul rahman islandSince I had just travelled from Battambang, Cambodia’s countryside, I was still recovering from city shock and KK was the perfect place to acclimatize. The hotel is conveniently linked to Suria Sabah, a shopping mall and within walking distance to KK’s famous tourist strip, Gaya Street. On Sunday morning, Gaya Street comes to life with stalls lined up from the front of Jesselton Hotel to the city’s municipal building. Join in the festive atmosphere and shop till you drop. I found vendors selling everything under the sun, from local drinks and food to pets to traditional herbal aphrodisiac! The morning market is also a great place to buy local souvenirs, antique china and all sorts of collectibles.

Gaya street morning market

I explored KK for a day and retired back in the hotel in time for the anticipated sunset. I had gotten word from some local friends that hotel Grandis is the place to watch the sun go down. The swimming pool with an open deck offers unobstructed views of the ocean and the comfortable circular pool beds are ideal for lounging. The sundown show was nothing less than spectacular as the sky turned amber and slowly merged into the grey seas.

amber skies

Breakfast the next morning was at hotel’s Rosea Café with ceiling to floor windows overlooking the ocean. The modern interior of the café is made more contemporary with a centrepiece of hanging bulbs atop a wooden bench table and boxed stools around. The breakfast spread boasts of local and international flavours and the food offered was exceptionally fresh.

pool grandis

I meandered to the Piano Lounge for some quiet contemplation after a heavy brekkie and found the lounge to be the ideal solitude. Decked with classy embroidered arm chairs and dainty coffee tables, plush sofas and sleek modern lamps, the lounge felt just like the kind of living room you can stay all day in. I imagined dawdling over tea with some friends while the pianist played at the grand piano.

piano lounge grandis hotel piano lounge hotel grandis

The weekend in KK was sublime bliss, with a tinge of city life and a whole lot of comfort, thanks to finding the right hotel in the heart of the city.