Not sure where to start with this review, which is most unlike me, but like a good responsible traveller I almost always post a review of where me and the hubibie stay. First up, I realised that the Best Western in Sandakan, was relatively a new hotel when I booked, but I hadn't realised just how new until we turned up in a taxi. When our taxi pulled up outside my heart sank, but more about that in a minute, but first the positives.
Check-in was friendly and efficient, great bell boy service and we were served fresh orange juice and then shown quickly to our room on the first floor. We'd booked a deluxe room which was just absolutely pure luxury; king size bed, flat screen TV, rainwater shower, desk and chair, sofas, kettle with complimentary tea and coffe and well, probably one of the best rooms that we have stayed in throughout Asia. Breakfast, which was included in our price, was great and the free Wi-Fi was quick and solid. A real bonus, especially because we needed internet for both business and travel blogging. All of the staff were friendly and smiley and couldn't do enough to make our trip more enjoyable.
And now for the downside and I'm afraid there is one. Best Western had only been opened a couple of weeks when we turned up and building works were still in progress. Not just in the hotel but also in the hotel block and the surrounding blocks. We'd booked a deluxe room because the booking.com website said it had a private baloncy; it did not and neither did any of the rooms appear to have private balcony's. Our room looked out on to an unfinished industrial block with works very much in progress.
What was worse still, was the fact that the Cowie's bar, as advertised on Booking.com and in the hotels own literature, wasn't finished or open and neither was there a functioning restaurant or any room service available. There was a smalll Malaysian restaurant about a minute away from reception in the same unit as the hotel, but only Malaysian food on offer and no alcohol. Perhaps the worst thing about Best Western Salakan is that it is s about 15 minutes from Sandakan town, okay only 10 minutes from the airport, but its in the middle of nowhere. No bars, no restaurants, no nightlife within walking distance. No nothing. Mind you, Sandakan town itself, is a dump, so there is really no need to stay in or be amonst the centre.
All in all, a lovely remote hotel with great potential. Maybe in 12 months time, when the hotels has established itself and building works have been completed it will be a real secret gem. But for now, only stay if you want remote luxury, and only then, if you can negotiate a good price. I was happy with my stay but would have been even happier with a cheap rate bearing in mind that the hotel wasn't ready. BTW, I booked with booking.com and the rate was even higher than the Best Western website rate, so check that out first before booking.
Search the internet for the best rate or, if staying in 2011 negotiate best rate with the hotel dire...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC