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Mount Kinabalu

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok rehabilitation centre is one of the biggest and most well known orangutan sanctuaries in Malaysia. The sanctuary is located nearby Sandakan; the total site is over 43 square kilometer in size. Around 75 orangutans roam free within the forest reserve. During their rehabilitation the animals rely heavy on the help of the people that work at the centre; and also on the donations from tourists. Tourist can snap precious pictures during daily feeding time.

Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boars, snakes and many crocodiles.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater cave is the world's longest cave with a length of over 110 kilometers. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

Novotel Kuala Lumpur

The two most popular tourist areas in the center of Kuala Lumpur are KLCC and Bukit Bintang. Within these areas, you will find huge shopping malls and many other fun attractions and interesting sights. There are several hotels that are especially great for tourists that want to sleep at a centrally located place in the center of Kuala Lumpur. One of these is the very popular Novotel Kuala Lumpur, a very nice four-star hotel which lies exactly on the border of the two districts. You will have a hard time finding a better location, especially if shopping is your thing. Novotel KL is located just opposite Pavilion KL; one of the most popular shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur. Next to that you can easily walk through the covered pedestrian walkway to Suria KLCC, another very popular shopping mall.

Rooms

We thought we would be staying in a deluxe room, but on arrival we were upgraded to a junior suite (much bigger and more luxurious). The room was very spacious and tastefully designed. Furthermore, the suite was well equipped, featuring air conditioning, a safe, a mini bar, two TV’s (one in the living room and one in the bedroom) and a spacious shower. Obviously there was free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, including on all floors and in every room. One extra (great) detail: we were put on one of the premium floors, which gave us access to the premium lounge. Great to have our breakfast there, also fun to enjoy some of the complimentary light snacks and drinks in the afternoon.

Breakfast

The breakfast was fine, just what you would expect from a four-star hotel. Note that in the mornings it can sometimes be quite busy between 8 am and 9.30am as everybody wants to have their breakfast around that time. This may result in longer waiting times at the elevators. Expect all standard dishes, ranging from western breakfast to local delights. There is an egg-counter where you can have your favorite egg-style prepared.

Restaurant

Qing Zhen is their signature Chinese restaurant. Here you can enjoy typical Chinese dishes. The decor is very nice. You can go there for lunch during the day and for dinner in the evening. We had our lunch there and were seriously amazed by the delicious food we were served. We had ordered quite a few dishes and all were mouthwatering. Among the dishes we had were Siew Mai Dumplings, Phoenix Prawn, Mutton chop, Crispy Prawn, Light Soy Garlic Fried Rice, Wok Fried Chicken and Crispy Pancakes for dessert. We can even recommend non-hotel guests to visit the restaurant, especially those that love great Chinese food.

Because Pavilion KL lies directly opposite the hotel, it is easy to go there for lunch or dinner. At the basement (1st floor) of Pavilion KL you can find the enormous Food Republic; a food court with dozens of small eateries. When you enter Pavilion KL through the escalator right opposite of the hotel, you will walk past The Connection; a street with several nice, especially Western, restaurants. Furthermore, it is less than a 5 minutes’ walk to several restaurants in Bukit Bintang. Tip: The ‘all you can eat’ sushi at Jogoya in Starhill Gallery is fantastic.

Swimming pool and other facilities

Novotel has a small but seriously stunning looking pool. Many travelers that stay in the city center prefer a hotel with swimming pool, especially when traveling with children. Often, you need to stay at luxurious 5-star hotels to be able to enjoy a bit of a swim. Novotel, however, is a very affordable 4-star hotel, and their pool is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of excitement in de big city of Kuala Lumpur.

The hotel also has a small gym, great for those that wish to exercise during their stay. Golf enthusiasts also came to the right place, as Novotel has the only official PGA Tour golf simulator in Malaysia. Here you can experience many internationally renowned 9 or 18 hole golf courses.

Pavilion KL

Pavilion KL is perhaps the most popular mall in Malaysia and it is located directly opposite of the hotel. To get there, you cross the main road (Jalan Raja Chulan) via the footbridge, after that you immediately enter the mall. Pavilion has hundreds of shops, a cinema complex, several restaurants and other eateries. One of the reasons that Novotel is so popular is because of its prime location right next to the mall.

Pedestrian Bridge KLCC

Novotel is located along the pedestrian bridge connecting KLCC and Bukit Bintang. You can easily walk from Suria KLCC (and the Petronas Twin Towers) to Pavilion KL and the other malls and attractions within the KLCC and the Bukit Bintang area. The pedestrian walkway is covered and also air conditioned. There are security guards for added safety. A small let down is that you have to exit the hotel first to enter the pedestrian walk. It would have been great to be able to enter to pedestrian walk directly from the hotel.

Attractions in the area

From Novotel it is just 5 minutes walk to KLCC Aquaria; a magnificent aquarium. Near the aquarium lies Traders Hotel; with a the top the popular Skybar with stunning views of the Petronas Twin Towers (reservations are recommended, especially during weekends). Furthermore, the popular KLCC Park is located at a mere 10-minute walk from the hotel. The Petronas Twin Towers are also a 10-minute walk from the hotel, located directly below Suria KLCC. Going past the direction of the Pavilion KL mall you have several other big shopping malls, including Lot10, with in front the starting (departure) point of the popular Hop-on, Hop-off Bus, which allows easy access to all major sights of Kuala Lumpur.

How to get there?

Novotel is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, within the so-called Golden Triangle. After you arrive at KLIA, the easiest way to get to the hotel is by taxi (for a fixed price of around RM75). Every driver knows where to find the hotel. Are you going from KLIA to KL Sentral with the KLIA Ekspress, then you can take a taxi from KL Sentral to the hotel (also for a fixed price). However, you can also take the monorail from NU Sentral to Raja Chulan Station. From there it is 5 minutes walk to the hotel (beware; 5 minutes sounds like a short walk, but in the typical Malaysian heat this can be quite strenuous).

Our final verdict

We regularly use TripAdvisor reviews when choosing our accommodation. It was striking that Novotel had quite a lot of negative reviews. Much of it lies in the fact that the hotel is often compared to more luxurious hotels in the immediate area. Many travelers ignore the fact that you are staying in a great four-star hotel at a perfect location for a very reasonable price (room prices start at RM200 per night, which is a bargain when looking at its fabulous location).

We really enjoyed our stay at Novotel Kuala Lumpur. Its great location is the main reason why it is loved by so many. It is an easy walk to various popular highlights within the city center. Shopping enthusiasts will love the perfect location of the hotel, with the popular Pavilion KL mall located right next to it. If you book online, you can often find very reasonable prices. It is a convenient and affordable alternative to many of the 5-star luxury hotels in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We would definitely stay here again.

 
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