Kuching, otherwise known as the “Cat City,” is one of the main gateways to the island of Borneo. In recent years, the city of Kuching has also slowly emerged as a destination in its own right with its culinary offerings and unique colonial heritage placed in the spotlight.
Those visiting Kuching will be pleased to note that lodging options remain affordable. The hotel scene in Kuching is a mix of local boutique hotels, large independent all-inclusive digs as well as a few international chains. I have been to Kuching a number of times and always stay in a different hotel each time just to keep things interesting.
Here are some of the more popular as well as best hotels in Kuching to check out for your next trip there:
Meritin Hotel, located in Jalan Padungan, offers excellent value as a 3-star hotel. Rooms are decked in warm tones and come with a sleek, modern look which belies its price point. While it’s easy to find good breakfast all around Kuching, it is well worth paying the small supplement and book the stay with breakfast included in case you need a quick morning meal before engaging in the day’s activities.
Prices start from US$30. Check the best deals here
Marian Boutique Lodging House
It is hard to imagine that this colonial-era restored mansion is actually a budget hotel but Marian Boutique Lodging House allows one to experience the Kuching of the late-1800s without breaking the bank. This former boarding school is replete with intricate timber features that date back from the original construction. The black and white aesthetic makes this unlike any other hotel in Kuching.
Prices start from US$20. Check the best deals here
The LimeTree Hotel
The other notable boutique hotel in Kuching stands as a contrast to The Ranee. While the latter focuses more on darker, wooden tones; The LimeTree Hotel aims to excude a more youthful vibe with bright green – in keeping with the hotel’s name – dominating the interiors. The rooftop houses a bar and is one of the exceedingly few rooftop bars in the city.
Prices start from US$32. Check the best deals here
The Ranee Boutique Suites
The Ranee Boutique Suites is perhaps Kuching’s closest equivalent to a chic boutique hotel. The property is decked in an undeniable rainforest theme with plenty of wooden elements and subtle Sarawak tribal designs scattered throughout. While here, check out the handicraft section for beautifully-designed souvenirs done by native tribes.
Prices start from US$50. Check the best deals here
The Waterfront Hotel
With an unbeatable location just next to a shopping mall and in between Jalan India and Jalan Carpenter, The Waterfront Hotel Kuching is well-suited to both leisure and business travelers to Kuching. Rooms are spacious. It is well worth the upgrade to the river facing rooms. Guests staying in these rooms will be able to catch the evening light shows.
Prices start from US$65. Check the best deals here
Situated just behind Hilton Kuching, the Pullman Kuching does not possess the same breathtaking river views as its international chain competitor but guests staying here benefit from the larger sized guestrooms – entry-level rooms start at 45 square meters – and markedly lower prices.
Prices start from US$95. Check the best deals here
Grand Margherita Hotel
Formerly the Holiday Inn Kuching, the Grand Margherita Hotel is one of the city’s most iconic hotels as it has been welcoming guests for more than 40 years. Aesthetic-wise, it looks typical of business hotels in Malaysia.
Prices start from US$62. Check the best deals here
Riverside Majestic – Astana Wing
The Astana Wing of The Riverside Majestic Hotel in Kuching is marketed as a separate property from the Riverside Majestic. The Astana Wing was renovated a couple of years ago and those facing the river comes with a good, albeit a side view of the riverside skyline. While the hotel was built primarily for business travelers, there is some effort to make it more tourist and family-friendly with bright colors giving life to an otherwise formal setup.
Prices start from US$60. Check the best deals here
The Culvert Hotel Resort Kuching
Located in Santubong, roughly 25 kilometers from downtown Kuching, The Culvert Hotel Resort Kuching is a modern instagram-worthy resort in Santubong. The rooms are fitted with eco-friendly designs and an array of amenities and facilities to ensure comfort. Due to the resort’s location close to the jungles, guests are given plenty of options for activities – whether it be nature walks or an adrenalin-filled ATV adventure.
Prices start from US$40. Check the best deals here
Kuching has just 2 chain hotels, of which the Hilton Kuching is one. Rooms facing the river come with a great view of the Sarawak State Assembly. As of this writing, the rooms here are being progressively refurbished to make them in keeping with Hilton’s current standard of tech-forward, semi-automated in-room fittings.
Prices start from US$120. Check the best deals here
Cove 55 is a luxury boutique hotel located at the foot of Mount Santubong, about 22 kilometers away from downtown Kuching. It was built originally as a home for an affluent Iban family but has been converted into an intimate retreat with 13 rooms, 2 suites and 13 villas. The interiors boast of Iban touches and this is reflected in the cuisine as well. The property has an infinity pool facing the South China Sea, Pool Bar, fully equipped Fitness Centre and free Wi-Fi access in its public areas.
Prices start from US$105. Check the best deals here