Tag Archives: sunset

Dining with Sabah Sunset at Sky Blu Bar

Sabah sunset

Kota Kinabalu city (KK) has one of the best sunset views in the world. Some tourists even nickname KK as the Sunset City. Being a local who has been enjoying free sunset, a recent visit to Sky Blu Bar made me realized that being at the right place with the right people could give you a far better “sunset experience.”

sunset at Sky Blu Bar
I don’t work for Grandis Hotel, the owner of Sky Blu Bar. The discovery of Sky Blu Bar is by accident. Last week I was dragged by my friends to this place after a conference. Actually I was reluctant to go because my stomach was still full of hotel food. Grandis Hotel is in Suria Sabah Shopping Mall. We took the elevator to its roof top. The sun just started to sink and I was stunned by the view.

sunset view from Sky Blu Bar
Our first reaction is to rush to take photos of the golden sunset. The view of sunset is not the same in different locations of KK. In most places, the view is obstructed by hill, trees, tall building or electrical wires. Sky Blu Bar is on 13th floor, a high point that allows my sight totally filled with panoramic view of sunset, sea and islands.

sunset view at roof top of Grandis Hotels & Resorts
Sky Blu Bar is quite new but most of the best seats were occupied and we were lucky to find a seat. Though I wish I can keep this place as a secret, I’m sure it’ll become a hot spot in KK city centre very soon when many visitors show off their selfie with such killer view in social media. Hope other KK hotels with tall building will construct sunset bars too.

sunset of South China Sea
Pic: sunset in South China Sea (Click to zoom in)

Besides South China Sea and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, from there, you can see KK city at your left and Sabah port at your right.

sunset over Manukan Island
Pic: sunset over Manukan Island, with the sea gleamed with warm sunlight. The sinking point varies throughout the year.

sunset in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Pic: another sunset photo taken in different day.

Sabah is in tropical region so sunny weather is not always guaranteed every day. You only have 40% to 50% chance of seeing the orange yolk dipping into the ocean. In other times, it is covered by dense cloud. In short, you need luck.

reflection of sunset on table
Pic: the reflection of sunset on the glass table top

dinner at Sky Blu Bar
After the sunset was over, people turned their head to the plate and enjoyed the dinner with purple-tinged sky at the background

There are 80 seats on first come first serve basis, so you better be there earlier to grab a spot for best sunset view.

Sky Blu Bar during dusk
There are two sections. The open space with about 30 seats offers the best view of the sea and sunset, but it is exposed to rain and sunlight. It is also quite dim after dark. I asked for candle but they said they didn’t have it (really?). You may need to bring your own candle if you plan to have a romantic candlelight dinner.

Sky Blu Bar
Another section is under the roof and close to a bar. They also play pop songs music to create more lively ambience.

seats with sunset view
Pic: a corner where you can see sunset and city night views

Sky Blu Bar of Grandis Hotels & Resorts

swimming pool of Sky Blu Bar
There are two swimming pools next to the bar, one for adult and another one for children (about 0.6 Meter in depth)

Food & Drink

I’m impressed with the variety of food & beverages at Sky Blu Bar. The price is quite affordable too. A set dish, which comes with drink, costs about RM35 (≈US$11). If you order only food or non-alcoholic drink, most cost less than RM20 (≈US$6.50). The bar also has Happy Hours rate.

satay
Pic: chicken and beef satay, tender and delicious

You can order finger food or stomach filler. Just to name some: salad (from RM13, ≈US$4), seafood (from RM13), pasta (from RM17, ≈US$5), burger, noodle, satay (skewer), dessert (from RM15, ≈US$4.60), etc.

grilled corn and chicken
I was quite happy with their food and had couple of beer. It’s really a wonderful feeling to be there with my friends.

For drink, there are beer, cocktail (from RM23, ≈US$7), mocktail (from RM17, ≈US$5), fruit juice (from RM13, ≈US$4), red/white wine (from RM23 per glass), champagne (from RM318, ≈US$97), whisky (from RM13), Vodka, RUM, Tequila, etc. Yes, tea, coffee and soft drink are available too (from RM12, ≈US$3.70). Want the most expensive liquor? Order Hennessy XO for RM1,283 (≈US$392).

*price is inclusive of government tax and well, you know, subject to change in future

More Info

Sky Blu Bar is located on 13th floor / roof top (they name it “R” floor) of Grandis Hotels & Resorts. The bar opens from 11am to 12am every day.

night view of Kota Kinabalu city

view of Sabah Port and Jesselton Point from Sky Blu Bar

Below is their contact:
Website: www.hotelgrandis.com
Facebook: HotelGrandis
Twitter: HotelGrandis
E-mail: info@hotelgrandis.com
Phone: +60 88-522888
Address (see Location Map): Grandis Hotels and Resorts, Suria Sabah Shopping Mall 1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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10 Best Places to see Sunset in Sabah

sunset of Sabah

Huffington Post says Sabah has one of the best sunset in the world. I guess there might be a few reasons. The sun looks bigger near equator. Our air is clean for better clarity of sunset view. The high humidity and dense cloud of our tropical climate also help to paint a more colorful and magnificent sky for sunset.

Below are 10 best places to see sunset in Sabah. I had personally visited all these locations. However, you need a bit of luck for seeing a beautiful sunset in good weather.

No. 10. Sutera Harbor

Only 2 KM from Kota Kinabalu city (KK), Sutera Harbor is highly accessible and it is next to 5-star Sutera Harbour Resort.

sunset party at Sutera Harbor
Unlike the bustling and noisy city, Sutera Harbor is a clean and quiet place for holiday, providing a better ambiance to appreciate sunset.

golden sunset at Sutera Harbor

I rank Sutera Harbor as number 10 because its surrounding man-made structures don’t blend well into nature. I love the port view anyway.

No. 9. Bukit Padang

You need to workout a bit to earn the breath-taking view of sunset on top of Bukit Padang. Bukit Padang is a small hill in the most famous jogging park of KK, Tun Fuad Stephens Park.

sunset on Bukit Padang
Near the start of jogging track around Kampung Nelayan Seafood Restaurant, there is a nature trail that leads you to the top of Bukit Padang.

sunset with sea of cloud
The uphill trail is a good training site for people who want to climb Mt. Kinabalu. You can see many people here during weekends. Just follow them, walk slowly and you will reach the top in 30 minutes. On top of Bukit Padang, you will have a bird-eye view of KK and the South China Sea.

sunset of Tun Fuad Stephens Park
Please note that there is no street light on the nature trail. You better bring a torchlight if you plan to see sunset and leave in the dark.

No. 8. Waterfront

Some may ask, “Just sunset no beer?” Ok, you may think beautiful sunset should go with beer, then Waterfront is for you. Waterfront is in the heart of KK and a famous Food & Beverage and Night-life center.

sunset of Waterfront
When sunset approaches, many tourists and locals congregate on the wooden open space platform facing the sea. There are plenty of choices for food and drink, for example, seafood, cocktail, BBQ lamb, beer, steak, chicken wing, fruit juice, western and Asian food, you name it.

sunset of Waterfront boulevard

sunset view from Waterfront boardwalk

After enjoying the sunset and sea breeze, you can continue your party in pubs and night entertainment centers nearby.

No. 7. Tanjung Aru Beach

If you ask our locals for nice place to see sunset, 99 out of 100 will say Tanjung Aru Beach. To KK folks, Tanjung Aru Beach holds an important place in their memories. Many build their first sand castle or bring their first love here.

sunset of Tanjung Aru Beach
Most come there for the sunset. There are some restaurants along the beach so you can dine with the big egg yolk (sunset). Or you can enjoy a cocktail at the Sunset Bar of Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort only a KM away.

sunset of Tanjung Aru Beach
You can see Sulug and Manukan Islands on South China Sea. After the sunset, you may walk about 200 Meters to Perdana Park nearby to watch Musical Fountain, which starts at 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm daily.

fire cloud sunset of sunset
Above: the famous “fire cloud”, which looks like burning cloud. It usually displays in full intensity a few minutes after the sunset.

No. 6. Pom-Pom Island

Pom-Pom Island is one of the islands of Semporna at east coast of Sabah. Tourists love to spend a holiday in their water bungalow. Pom-Pom is facing Bohey Dulang island at west side.

sunset of Pom-Pom Island
You can see sunset of Bohey Dulang island from Pom-Pom Island. Legend says there is a beautiful Suluk princess, named Arung Salamiah, hiding on Bohey Dulang.

sunset at Bohey Dulang
There is no resident, except resort guests, on Pom-Pom. The whole sandy white beach and sunset of Celebes Sea are totally yours.

No. 5. Tip of Borneo

Located on the northern-most tip of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, Tip of Borneo is the meeting point of two vast oceans, namely, South China Sea and Sulu Sea. Tip of Borneo is frequented by tourists even during daytime, due to its scenic beach and countryside.

sunset at Tip of Borneo

However, when most tourists leave before dark, it’s the time The Tip of Borneo shows her true beauty to those who are keen to stay put.

sunset of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau

When the sun sinks, the ultra wide sea horizon becomes an infinite stage for the rich colors of sunset, extending over the edges of your eyesight.

No. 4. Maliau Basin

To see how nature goes to sleep, you must visit Maliau Rim Observation Tower of Maliau Basin, in the middle of Sabah.

sunset view of Maliau Basin
In contrast to tranquility of sunset, the sunset in this pristine forest reserve is accompanied by numerous bird chirping and animal calls around you. Due to deforestation, such lively rainforest sunset is very rare nowadays.

sunset of Maliau Basin forest
At the end of the sunset, thick mist covers the forest, like Mother Earth putting a blanket over her land before bedtime. I want to rank Maliau Basin as the BEST sunset site, but its accessibility is poor, you need to drive more than 200 KM on 4-wheel drive to reach this place.

No. 3. Weston River

Weston River is a popular river cruise destination for sighting of firefly and long-nosed monkey. However, it is something else that catches the heart of tourists.

sunset over Weston River
After visiting Weston, almost every tourists will post the sunset photos on their Facebook and Instagram, because it is so breathtaking!

river cruise on Weston River
The colors of sunset in Weston is so intense that you can even capture it with low-end phone camera. The sky is painted red and yellow, and these colors are also reflected on the big Weston River.

sunset of Weston
It’s a sunset with sky, river and trees as canvas, no wonder everyone is crazy about it.

No. 2. Laban Rata

Laban Rata is the mid-way accommodation for climbers of Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain of Malaysia. All climbers stay here for a night, before they conquer the summit next day. During good day, most of them will be rewarded by the sunset above the cloud, which is 3,000 Meters above sea level.

sunset of Laban Rata

sunset on Mt. Kinabalu

sunset of Laban Rata

No. 1. Kokol Haven Resort

Alright, I know you can’t wait to see the BEST sunset of Sabah. My favorite place for sunset view is Kokol Haven Resort on Kokol Hill!

Sunset view at Kokol Hill

Sunset view at Kokol Hill

Kokol Hill is the highest point in KK and it is only 35 KM away from KK. After you pass by Menggatal town, just turn to junction that leads you to St. Joseph Church. Your car will zig-zag on a winding and hilly road for nearly half an hour (for 10 KM) and reach Kokol Haven Resort at 750 Meters above sea level (see Location Map). I was really surprised to find a cooling place (20°C) only 40-minute drive from warm KK city.

Night view of Kota Kinabalu City

Night view of Kota Kinabalu City


The resort is at the edge of Crocker Range Park and surrounded by forested hills. You can see KK city from Kokol Haven Resort. There is a viewing platform with some dining tables. You can eat and drink there while enjoying the sunset view.

Sunset at Kokol Haven Resort

Sunset at Kokol Haven Resort


Don’t leave right after the magic moment of sunset. Just wait for a few more minutes to see the mesmerizing city light of KK.

Do you agree with my ranking? You can vote and comment in the list (and even edit it) below. Let’s see if we share the same favourite. 🙂

Headline for Top 10 Sunset of Sabah
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Murphy Ng Murphy Ng
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Top 10 Sunset of Sabah

Best places to see sunset in Sabah.

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3620
Kokol Haven Resort

Sunset view of city, hills, forest and sea on cooling Kokol Hill

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 4224
Tanjung Aru Beach

The most photographed sunset spot of Sabah

Jan 13, 2014 - mysabah.com - 4596
Weston River

Intense sunset over the trees and river

Oct 31, 2012 - sabahtourism.com - 3987
Waterfront

Night life entertainment spot at seaside

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3846
Bukit Padang

View from the hill of jogging park in KK

6

Pitas

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3331
Pitas

Sunset over Sulu Sea in Marudu Bay

7

Sutera Harbor

Oct 31, 2012
Sutera Harbor

A 5-star hotel in Kota Kinabalu

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3985
Laban Rata

Sunset at Mt. Kinabalu, above the cloud

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3704
Pom-Pom Island

Sunset at Celebes Sea off Semporna

Jan 13, 2014 - mysabah.com - 3377
The Tip of Borneo

The meeting point of two oceans

Oct 31, 2012 - mysabah.com - 3985
Maliau Basin

Misty sunset in Sabah's Lost World

Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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