With the usual flight delays, we arrived at Kota Kinabalu from the Cebu International Airport later than we would have preferred. It was full evening as we drove aboard a van provided by Horizon Hotel. Kumusta po, our driver greeted us. We were taken aback; he then proceeded on talking to us in Filipino throughout the 15-minute trip to our lodging. Dino, as we were to learn, is indeed a Filipino, a kababayan born and raised in Kota Kinabalu.
|HORIZON HOTEL LOUNGE AREA|
From the outside, the hotel isn’t as striking as it was inside; slick angled lines, textured wooden and metal walls, glass panels and a life-sized shiny black horse sculpture with a kitschy lighted lamp upon its head. The friendliness and warmth of Dino’s welcome extended through the hotel staff. After cordial greetings, we were soon tapping our keys cards on the elevator panel en route to our rooms.
|ROOM FOR OUR FIRST NIGHT IN MALAYSIA|
|TOILET AND BATH, I LIKE HOW IT’S FINISHED|
Horizon Hotel has a total of 180 well-appointed rooms set on thirteen floors (I don’t think their culture associate that number with bad luck). We were set on two Deluxe Rooms [CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY] with a connecting door; perfect for on the go travellers like us who need to quickly call on each other for impromptu outings around town.
|ON THE HUNT FOR MEE GORENG|
And that’s what we immediately went for right after setting our backpacks down and doing a quick wash-up. Soon, we were out of Horizon Hotel’s doorways and out into the humid KK evening. We were on the hunt, our target, our favourite spicy Malaysian dish, mee goreng.
|AFTER ALMOST AN HOUR OF WALKING, WE FINALLY FOUND A HAWKERS AREA|
|SATAY AND CHICKEN WINGS|
|REFRESHING KOPI AIS|
After what seemed like an eternity of walking, we finally found a lively hawker area near the Anjung Samudra waterfront where smoky skewered chicken wings, rice meals and of course, noodles abound. They indeed have mee goreng, but no beer. Malaysia is a Muslim country, but it isn’t that hard to find a place to buy alcohol; in fact, we found one right outside our hotel.
Tired from our arduous journey from Cebu (and within Kota Kinabalu), we promptly flopped on our beds and was asleep before we can even change clothes.
|BUFFET BREAKFAST AT DECO CAFE AND GRILL|
The promise of a delectable buffet woke us early the next day. Proceeding to Horizon’s Deco Cafe & Grill, we were greeted with a spread of International and Malay dishes. Everything was halal though, so no crispy bacons for us, tee hee. The food was quite good though, so we only missed our favourite bacons just a teeny weeny bit.
|MALAYSIAN SWEET TREATS|
A walking tour of Kota Kinabalu commenced right after, us wandering aimlessly with no particular destination in mind. Well, that’s really nothing new for us. But yes, the ever friendly staff managed to nudge us into walking along a certain area so we got to see a few of the sights.
|LUNCH AT HORIZON’S ASIAN RESTAURANT|
The midday heat of Kota Kinabalu was too much for us though and we were left begging for air-conditioning just as the sun reached its zenith. Horizon Hotel’s Asian Restaurant became our refuge from the sweltering streets. Cooled down, we checked the restaurant’s menu and was surprised to find it offering Thai and Chinese cuisines besides the usual Malay and Nyonya (Chinese and Malay fusion) dishes.
|AND MORE DIMSUMS|
Our plates overflowed with mostly dimsum delights; beef balls, lion heads, wantans and bean curd rolls (this one’s really good!), pairing it with siew pak choi (steamed Chinese cabbage) and lamb shoulders. Everything was delectable but something was missing. Oh, yes! We wished we asked for rice, lol.
~ THANKS TO HORIZON HOTEL FOR SPONSORING OUR STAY IN KOTA KINABALU
Address: Jalan Pantai, Locked Bag 2084,
88999 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malysia
Contact Number: (+60) 88-518-000
GPS Coordinates Map: 5.982466, 116.075328
► BOOK HERE FOR DISCOUNTED RATES