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Sabah Nightlife

Bed

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Located along the Waterfront Esplanade, Bed is arguably Sabah’s most popular nightspot. The fulcrum of Kota Kinabalu’s nightlife, this watering hole is almost always jam-packed and has bands that play from 21:00, followed by Dee jays that spin out the latest hits till closing.

  • Location: Waterfront Esplanade
  • Tel: +608 825 1901
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Cocoon Restaurant & Bar

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Just around the corner from the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Cocoon Restaurant & Bar is one of the city’s choice nightspots. This contemporary-themed bar is only a few years old and features a decent selection of slightly-overpriced drinks. Happy hour is between 17:00 – 21:00; this watering hole also serves food and there’s a live Filipino band. Afterwards the DJs play good R&B tunes till closing.

  • Opening Hours: 17:00 - 01:00 Sunday – Thursday; 17:00 - 02:00 Friday & Saturday

Hunter’s

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A favourite hangout for local tour guides as well as expats, this watering hole is a balmy outdoor nightspot. Located within Kinabalu Daya Hotel, the bar has a plasma TV that screens sports coverage and the drinking joint also has passable karaoke facilities.

  • Location: Kinabalu Daya Hotel
  • Tel: +6016 825 7085

Ice Bar@1Borneo Kota Kinabalu

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Featuring the unique Ice Room with its bone-chilling -25°C temperature, Ice Bar@1Borneo KK is located approximately seven kilometres away from the city centre. Featuring a decent selection of beers and cocktails – including Ice Bar’s signature gigantic Babylon cocktail – this watering hole is a decent after-hours nightspot. Happy hour is between 18:00 – 21:00.

  • Opening Hours: 18:00 - 01:00 Sunday – Thursday; 18:00 - 02:00 Friday & Saturday
  • Location: 1Borneo Kota Kinabalu
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M-Cubed Bar

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A little off the beaten track, the newly-opened M-Cubed Bar is a karaoke bar located in Millennium Plaza. Featuring a good sound system, it’s a decent place to belt out tunes if you’re looking for that sort of thing plus it has a good selection of beers and other alcohol; happy hour, between 17:00 and 21:00 has drinks at good prices.

  • Opening Hours: 17:00 - 01:00 Sunday – Thursday; 17:00 - 02:00 Friday & Saturday
  • Location: Millennium Plaza

Reef Project Dance Bar & Grill

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A popular local hangout, this dance bar has an open-air fast-food restaurant, a pub and karaoke. Situated along Beach St., there’s a live band that plays most nights and this watering hole is extravagantly landscaped with tropical flora. It’s a great place to observe the crowd and enjoy your tipple.

  • Location: Beach Street

Shamrock Irish Bar

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Yet another bar located along the Waterfront Esplanade, Shamrock is a seafront Irish-themed bar with the traditional Kelly-green décor, serving Kilkenny, Tiger and Guinness draughts and tasty meat stews. The bar has a pool table and a live band plays most nights as well as a DJ to tide patrons over till the end of the night.

  • Location: 6, Anjung Samudra, Waterfront Esplanade
  • Tel: +608 824 9829
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Shenanigans

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The overpriced drinks (RM30 for a small beer) at this Irish pub-style drinking hole discourage most people from staying too long but it must be said that this hotel-owned pub has a great music line-up. There’s a decent-sized dance floor and daily themed-nights – Ladies Night is on Wednesday and it’s Sassy Angels night on Saturdays.

  • Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Kota Kinabalu
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The Loft, Kota Kinabalu

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Another bar along the pub-lined Waterfront Esplanade, this watering hole is a popular after-work and nightcap joint. Boasting incredible views of the sunset (especially if you snag a good table), the cocktail, beer and wine selection at this watering hole is extensive and there’s a pool table and big screen behind the bar which broadcasts European football matches. Happy hour is between 15:30 – 21:00.

  • Opening Hours: 15:00 - 01:00 Sunday – Thursday; 15:00 - 02:00 Friday and Saturday
  • Location: Waterfront Esplanade
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Upperstar Pepper Grill & Bar

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Just a few metres away from Shenanigans, this semi-outdoor artsy bistro dishes out simple local and western pub grub and cheap drinks. Besides the grilled cuisine, be sure to sample the pizzas from the Upperstar Pizza Corner – try the Upperstar Sensation. Featuring a young and yuppie clientele, there’s various memorabilia on the walls and the place is used to cater to big crowds; these days it’s a great place to enjoy good food along with a cold pint.

  • Location: Block C, Lot 8, Ground Floor, Lorong Okok Kayu Manis, Damai Plaza Phase 3, Kota Kinabalu
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