Kota Kinabalu now has its own taste of the Marriott brand, using a contemporary yet minimalist aesthetic to complement its seafront landscape.
by Emily Mary Chin, Carrybeans
Last week, the Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel celebrated its soft opening, commemorating it with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon was cut to the sounds and sights of firecrackers and a traditional Chinese lion dance, at exactly 3:33 PM.
Official representatives from City Waterfront Sdn Bhd, Mr Cheah and Mr See, were on hand to officiate the ceremony, together with KK Marriott Hotel General Manager, Adrian Chung, Director of Sales & Marketing, Jennifer Lim, as well as the Area Director of Sales & Marketing (Malaysia, Singapore and Maldives), Sho Hwee.
After the ceremony, we were ushered into the hotel for our tour, beginning at their ground floor lounge area. We, then, made our way to the all-day dining restaurant, Kitchen@8. It is open for buffet in the mornings and à la carte dining in the afternoons and evenings.
The dining section is home to Teppan Table, their Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. Here, guests can enjoy an interactive, live cooking experience together with their meals. The floor also houses their surf and turf restaurant, Big Fish, with a live cooking element to it as well and an à la minute style of menu.
Marriott’s dining section also shares the floor with a 24-hour fitness center and an infinity pool that makes sure to take full advantage of the hotel’s coastal views. With everything facing westward, one can only imagine how breathtaking the view is at sunset.
Marriott Hotel houses a variety of function rooms, with over 14,000 square feet of meeting space. Some are great for meetings or conferences, with microphones and projectors provided. Some are more suited towards small, casual parties—natural daylight function spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, big enough for a handful of tables.
And for bigger affairs, the hotel has a whole floor dedicated to their ballroom, large enough for 60 tables and a stage. The real draw of the ballroom floor, however, is what’s outside the ballroom. The ballroom has an exterior foyer and living area, with floor-to-ceiling windows all down one side, facing the ocean.
The foyer also has a living area with a coffee bar and ample seating. This is where guests will mingle and indulge in light refreshments before making their way into the ballroom. It is an added bonus that serves to elevate the regular ballroom experience.
The Marriott experience is a truly immersive one; and we haven’t even gotten to the rooms yet!
There are a collective 332 guest rooms and suites in the establishment, all following in a consistent and cohesive style. All rooms make full use of the seaside views with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the bedrooms, living areas and bathrooms.
Their bathrooms are an experience in and of themselves. I imagine future guests spending whole days in their bathrooms. And with a lush bathtub and huge windows opening up to the ocean view, why would you want to go anywhere else anyway?
There is nary a glare within the premises, with soft lighting scattered throughout. The ambiance is such that you almost feel like time has stopped for you. There is no rush to get anywhere when you’re at Marriott Hotel; the lighting and layout encourages just that.
The hotel interior also uses a great deal of wood and marble in its fixtures and furniture. The combination of the two creates a very elegant aesthetic, while still managing to exude a warm and inviting atmosphere. It is a line in design quite tricky to balance but KK Marriott Hotel manages just fine.
And that is the general feel of the entire hotel as you make your way up its floors. It is a gentle combination of opulence and something else, something less easy to put into words. It is familiar Sabahan hospitality wrapped up in a package far more luxurious than average, but still quintessentially Sabahan all the same.
Earlier in the month, we attended a showcase of the UMS team set to represent Malaysia in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Long Beach, California. Read our thoughts here!