With its simple architecture, vibrant colouring and warmth, Best Western Sandakan Hotel & Residence is simply inviting, writes Shuib Taib
AS soon as I arrive at the Best Western Sandakan Hotel & Residence atrium (like a lobby), I feel like I’m at a resort.
The hotel occupies two blocks of shop houses, divided in the middle by the atrium. The decision not to have an open concept at the atrium certainly makes it friendly and inviting as it doesn’t intimidate you the way some luxury hotels do. Its simple architecture, high ceilings and vertical draping in vibrant colours make you feel instantly rejuvenated.
Outside, the hotel is painted purple with splotches of other colours thrown in for good effect. The staff welcomes you with fresh face towels and a drink and friendly smiles.
I just know that I will be having an enjoyable stay here.
I walk into my deluxe room. The sheets are new. The toilet is so spacious you can throw a party in there, although it may not be a good idea.
My deluxe room is equipped with free WiFi and high speed broadband, IDD telephone, LCD with satellite channels, coffee and tea-making facilities, in-room digital safe, bathrooms with rain shower, hair dryer, mini bar, iron and ironing board and computerised key-card access.
For a hotel that’s rated three-star, it is certainly value-for-money.
The room is huge, with a living room. Right across is the bed. It is separated by a half-wall. The LCD television is placed in between the living room and the bedroom. It can fully spin so that you can watch it from wherever you are, even if you’re in the bathroom.
I look outside my window and I can see that this new commercial area is going to be busy soon. Most of the shops are not occupied yet but a minute walk across and you are at Hameed Nasi Kandar. It opens until 1am.
All the standard, superior and deluxe rooms occupy the first floor. The hotel also has two family suites.
This is my favourite hang-out at the hotel. It is located at the atrium on the ground floor and due to its open concept and high ceilings, it is airy. Still, the hotel has provided two huge air-conditioners for guests who like it “windy”.
At night, the soft lighting gives it a romantic feel. Emanating from the piped-in music is the sound of jazz. It couldn’t have picked a better genre to add ambience to the place.
This is where guests have their breakfast and dinner as there is a wide selection of Asian and Continental dishes to be enjoyed. I settle for fish while the photographer seems happy digging into her roast chicken. In the morning, the hotel gives you a choice of local or continental breakfast. Both of us go for western as our first meals of the day. For breakfast, the hotel chef has prepared mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, toast, scrambled eggs, cereal, and more.
Across LJ’s Grill is its cousin, LJ’s Pub. Teetotallers and non-teetotallers will be spoilt for choice as there is a concoction for everyone here. But what next? Well, it is also a karaoke, so what are we waiting for? Since it is Monday, there isn’t much of a crowd. This is perfect for me. Together with the hotel general manager Abd Rahman Abd Samad, we perform a mini-concert. The verdict? Karaoke lovers will be pleased to know that the sound system is really good!
Lot E-1-G, Lorong Letat 3, Bandar Letat Jaya, Mile 4, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah. Tel: 089-243 000, Fax: 089-243 188. Website: www.bestwestern.com/www.bestwesternmalaysia.com
Best Western Sandakan Hotel & Residence is midway between Sandakan airport and the city centre. The journey to both is around 10 minutes. Bandar Letat Jaya is an integral part of the new commercial and entertainment development area of Sandakan.
Resort-like and very, very spacious.
The hotel has two blocks — D & E with standard, superior, deluxe and family suites while the residence block (Block F to open in the middle of the year) has studio apartments, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and suites.
Friendly, personable and efficient.
LJ’s Grill, LJ’s Pub, The Olive Garden.
The Boardroom can seat 20 persons for small private meetings while Elopura Room is a multi-purpose room, ideal for small and medium-sized conferences and meetings.
PLACES WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
Hameed Nasi Kandar. Otherwise, it takes between 10 and 15 minutes to get to Sandakan town where you can find restaurants, shops, market, etc.