Where are other accommodation at Laban Rata?

Apparently Sutera have edited and upgraded their website. Gone are the basic information about the different types of huts that are available at Laban Rata. For seasoned climbers, they will know that there are 4 accommodations/huts in Laban Rata;

  1. Laban Rata Resthouse itself, which the only accommodation at Laban Rata which has heated room.
  2. Gunting Lagadan, non-heated.
  3. Waras Hut, non-heated.
  4. Panar Laban Hut, non-heated.

I was really surprised to see the website today, after receiving an email from one of my website visitors, saying that he could not find the huts that I mentioned from my website in Sutera’s new website. The old website showed each and every accommodation available in Kinabalu Park, Mesilau and Laban Rata, but this newly edited website did not show it.

Sutera Sanctuary LodgesThey only shows Laban Rata accommodation (Laban Rata Room 1, 2 & 3). All of the rooms are shown with a specific package which comes with it. And you will be shocked to death when you see the price!

Why they omitted the other accommodations from the website? Maybe they purposely (or is it by accident?) did not put up the other accommodations – Waras, Panar Laban and Gunting Lagadan – because it is not the same standard with Laban Rata.

Or maybe they just want to sell it to international travelers, which could afford that much money to spend climbing Kinabalu.

I used to spend only RM50 per bed in Laban Rata. Sigh…


I have helped thousands of climbers of Mount Kinabalu to book their climbing spot since 2006. If you want me to help you, just fill in the form below and send it to me. Thank you very much!Β 

This entry was posted in Mount Kinabalu on by .

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

95 thoughts on “Where are other accommodation at Laban Rata?

  1. ir-man

    yes, saw the website too – the published rates were really exorbitant! it’s a shame that SSL has to discriminate the locals just to get more business from foreigners…*sigh*

  2. YokeChen

    It’s true..I didn’t see the other type of accomodation as well.which no should i call to book the room, say Panar Laban, waras and also gunting lagadan?

  3. Nana

    yea…sutera is sucking all the money…they are going to turn the accommodation at Laban Rata to a 5 star-kinda lodging which is so not appropriate to do that, and i remember last time beds per head at Laban Rata was only RM48, without having to discriminize the rates into malaysian and non-malaysian. Can somebody or anybody out there do something to stop this price hiking from taking place again??

  4. May


    I’ve just got a quotation from Bimaz Tours S/B in KK for the climb. I was wondering if you could let me know if this agent is legit and trustworthy? I’m not fr KK, I hope you could help me before I part with my hard earn cash!!

    BIMAZ TOURS, Lot 3, 2nd Floor, Block B, Putatan Business Centre
    Kota Kinabalu Sabah, Malaysia

    PS: I’m sorry if i’ve posted this at the wrong page.

    Hope to hear from you/anyone soon. Thank Q.

  5. Johnny Y


    Yes, my eyes nearly popped out when i saw the price! But can anyone tell me something practical, like how do i actually go about booking the cheaper accommodation, ie a dorm bed? Or do they only exist for package tours? If I’m gonna be climbing the summit at 3am, i don’t really need a 546RM room for a few hours. I’d like to know how to do it on my own, but I don’t mind doing a package tour if that’s the only way. Any suggestions on organizing this from overseas?(only 1 of the 6 agencies i contacted replied to my e-mail). Thanks.

  6. Sabahbah

    Here’s some inside information about the SSL website:

    First, because visitors statistics showed that the vast majority of visitors are international, the prices on there are for them. However, if you actually contact SSL with your Malaysian IC number, you get a local rate.

    When the international prices are placed alongside local rates, you won’t believe how the internationals moan – so that’s why on that point.

    Then, the accommodation other than Laban Rata were omitted on purpose, because SSL doesn’t sell them directly. Those you can only book through travel agents. A concession that was made because apparently the travel agents complained.

    And lastly, the prices may seem inflated, but you now get a packed lunch, dinner, breakfast and another lunch after you get down included with the room and when you strip those away (which to be fair, they don’t allow you to do), the room itself is hardly much more expensive.

    And the underlying increase they justify with all the upgrades they’ve made to the lodging (better food, clean sheets, more hot showers, etc).

    I agree they could have been a little more transparent about the whole thing, but deep down it’s actually more good than bad.

  7. drizad Post author

    Thanks Sabahbah for the feedback. Now that we know what happened to their website, hopefully the visitors know about it.

    “but deep down it’s actually more good than bad” Is that really the case?

  8. irman

    they should have been more transparent next time around to avoid unnecessary speculation haha πŸ™‚

  9. sally

    I stayed at Gunting lagadan on my recent trip to Mount Kinabalu on 8 & 9 Mac 2008. There is no hot water during shower, the toilet is dirty, the room & bed smelly etc. The charges has been increased saying the facility has been upgraded BUT my experience tell me otherwise. Many from our group complained.

  10. DR

    I have just got a booking confirmation of Gunting Lagadan from SSL. The px includes bed + meal, is RM208 total. I sent an email to their contact mailbox shown on Web, and got this confirmation within 2 days. Despite the px and unsatified comments, I m still happy to have a bed confirmed just 10 days before I go climbing.

  11. Holden

    Hi, I wanted to book for my Uni-friends for 22 of them. However I dunno the procedure on how to booking the accommodation. “DR” can you tell me the email address for booking for the RM208 package?

  12. pennyloo

    Me too! I booked 2 beds at Laban Rata (dunno which bed tho? laban rata resthouse? or the non heated Huts?) They didn’t specify.

    Cost me RM188 per head including dinner and breakfast. They did ask me whether I was Malaysian tho. I was shocked ler, cos ppl were telling me it was RM50 last year.

    I was wondering when is breakfast? 2am? or after u descend from the Summit?
    And apparently, my friends told me dinner is Buffet style…

  13. Holden

    Dear Pennyloo, yup from this year started the price Rm188 is the M’sian packages for 2 days 1 nights including 4meals. Rest-House at Gunting Lagadan… (Rm188 is without heater).

  14. LP Tan

    I b climb d Mount KK on coming Sept,now looking d accommodation at Laban Rata, but surprisingly d high price all-in-one package(bed & meal), they should put d price on more flexible alternatives e.g. for beds only + meals it should add in. How abt for the peoples they are vegetarian or small consumption? Or, just want have save d cost?!!

  15. ching

    This september i will climb mt kk again and it cost me RM188 pp, and stayed at Waras Hut.Can anyone tell me how SSL allocate the accomoadtion at the resthouse? last year i did booking for gunting lagadan they booked me laban rata (which i was satisfied with the facility). This year i did the reservation for laban rata they allocate me waras hut without heater.sign…and costly for the simple hut. do not know it is clean and cosy. What we want it just accomodation. I’m afraid i will just wasting the meals they provided.

  16. drizad Post author


    The best thing to do is just go and experience it yourself. I stayed in Gunting Lagadan & Laban Rata resthouse before, but not Waras & Panar Laban.

    And when you come back, you can just pop in with your comments – whether it is worth the money you pay. I will help others who has not climbed before.

    Anyway, Good Luck Ching!

  17. Ashna

    We will be climbing this July with a climber friend. I have been emailing SSL since April 2008, no replies. Then, I told myself, “This is it. Do not waste your time waiting for reply. Call them!” So, I did call. I have always wanted to stay in the LR Resthouse, because I’ve read from many reviews that it’s worth paying plus the place is clean. And besides, the only difference from Panar Laban Hut, Gunting Lagadan and Waras Hut is RM20.

    I’ve reaped the fruit of making overseas calls (AGHHHHH! My telephone bill!). Early May, the SSL has reserved the PANAR LABAN hut for me and my friend. The name of the hut did not invite happiness on my face because MANY reviews paint different pictures. Majority said, the place is dirty; cockroaches and rats would visit you, toilet is smelly..I do not know if it is really true (are there such species from animal kingdom in that high altitude?).

    Good for me because everyday, I keep on emailing them.. begging to give us beds at LR Resthouse. They told me to wait for automatic cancellation or give them another date because the date I have chosen if fully booked.

    I told them, I could not change the date because everything will be affected – reservation at hotel in KK City, reservation at Mountain Torq, and plane tickets.

    I assured them of our commitment to the climb to the point of telling them, WE ALREADY HAVE PLANE TICKETS (which is true).

    It is difficult to back out of your itinerary when you already have planned everything.

    May be they have smelled our itchiness of wanting to stay at LRR. Thanks God, our itinerary could be followed. They gave us our invoice today, which my partner and I promised to pay on Monday.

    I end my email with the SSL person, “I appreciate your hospitality.”

  18. drizad Post author

    Hi Ashna,

    Thank you for the reply. I hope your trip will go as you wish.

    About the other huts in Laban Rata besides Laban Rata Resthouse: Yes, you may be visited with mountain rats and cockroaches, but it is not as bad as it looks like. Dirty? I don’t think it is quite correct to blame them also, as the dirtiness is usually made up by the climbers who stayed there.

    Although they have room services, we still have to do our part in keeping the places clean.

    For me personally, I love to stay away from Laban Rata Resthouse, as it is too “commercialize”. Staying in other huts (in which, is non-heated) and get closer to the mountain nature is really an experience.

    I don’t know about you, but it is worth a try…

    BTW: You could even see big rats running happily at Sayat-Sayat Hut (13,000 feet above sea level)!!!

    Good luck and drop us a reply when you get back!

  19. ching

    thanks for the reply.any recomemendation to stay before the climb? at kk park or kk?

  20. drizad Post author

    @ ching:

    It depends on you actually. You could choose either.

    If you stay in KK city, you have to wake up early in the morning of your climb to catch up transport to Kinabalu Park or Mesilau.

    If you stay in Kinabalu Park, you don’t have to do that. And you will get the feeling of staying at high and cool altitude before you get the chance to climb.

  21. Sunshine23


    i’m planning for a trip to Mt KK for a group of 7 to 10pax.
    I’m flying from JB to Mt KK which I think we’ll be reaching at 9pm.
    There are a few quetsions that I hope experienced people can help me with:

    1) How long does it take to travel from the KK airport to Kinabalu Park?
    2) And what are the resorts available at Kinabalu Park?
    3) There are 2 routes from either Mesilau or Timpohon? Which is better?

    Thank you so much as I hope to make this a good trip for everyone.

  22. sally chee

    Dear Sunshine23,

    If I’m not mistaken, it is a 2-3 hrs’ journey fr KK airport to Kinabalu Park. During my trip, I stayed at Kundasang. U may check out at sabah tourism website for details on hotels, chalets etc.

    Most 1st time climbers take Summit Trail which starts fr Timpohon Gate, 6 km. Mesilau althought is very scenic, it is 8km trail. Depend on individual physical fitness it may takes 4-6 hrs walking up. For those taking Mesilau route will take additional 3-6 hrs.

    I would advice 1st timers to stay 2 nights at Laban Rata. It is advisable that u spend another night at Laban Rata/Gunting etc after U reached the peak. U may be too tired with muscle pain to walk down to Timpohon Gate. So that u hv some rests b4 coming down to Timpohon gate.

    I went sightseeing at KK town & Manuka island after the climb. If u hv the time do visit the island, its beautiful.

  23. ching

    Thank you for the info. I did email to Sutera sanctuary lodge for the room reservation at KK Park. Too bad no reply from them till to day. It’s been weeks. is there a common things to wait for their reply or we have to send few room reservation to them?

  24. drizad Post author

    @ ching:

    Yes, it sucks when SSL did not reply/respond. Some climbers told me that it is waste of time waiting for their reply. It is better to contact them directly by telephone, in which, you may or may not get your place in Laban Rata.

    I am sick with their services. They are really not customer/client friendly. But what to do? We don’t have much choices…

  25. Sunshine23

    Thanks Sally for your reply.

    As we will be taking AirAsia, expected to arrive around 9pm at KK. Are you aware whether will there be any transport available there to bring us to the hotel at Kinabalu Park?

    Do we book everything with SSL?

    I was thinking of trying both route as in to climb by Timpohan and descend by Mesilau route.

    Thanks again

  26. KL Guy

    Dear Sunshine23-

    U’ll arrive at 9pm, there r no transport for u’ll direct to kk park, some more even day time oso NO-Transport from airport to kk park.
    1more thg-pls take note that for rsv resort for kk climbing, reservation have to be done 6 months earlier(if not normally resort will be full), n will u will get disappointed.

  27. sally

    Dear Sunshine,

    U cant tried 2 routes in 1 trip because if u enter at Timpohon gate, u hv to check out at Timpohon Gate. That’s the security reason otherwise a team of rescuers will look for u. By the way u will hv to follow ur guide’s instruction.

    I hd a tour agent to arrange for all transport etc so no worries on these. Just prepare myself physically fit for the journey.

  28. Kuna

    Hi guys,been interesting to read on your comments.I am travelling to KK on 19th Oct and am planning to climb Kinabalu on 20th Oct.Yes I checked the prices in SSL, and its a rip off .I am going on the suggestions that I call ahead to book, and am also scouring the Net for budget tour operators that might have a bed up there.Has anyone has any ideas on any budget tour operator that have these packages ready?And also, I would like to do Mesilau – summit – Timpohon.Any suggestions??I haven’t booked any accommodation and I’m travelling alone,the tour operators r charging based on 2 ppl,so if anyone is also travelling alone on that date pls let me know.Maybe we can team up. πŸ™‚

  29. Sophia

    I agree #26 drizad Says,
    I tried to conatct with SSL, I sent over 10 e-mails and I coulnd’t reply my reservation reservation.
    At last I can contact them by phone at my 3rd trying. If you contact with them, first you should wait until they pick up the phone.
    They are alive and busy and they pick up the phone at lastly.
    After you make a reservation, they will reply easlily by fax or e-mail.

  30. Piya

    Guys! Yup, contact SSL by phone is better although the line is always busy. I’m climbing Mar 09 and get the price for 760RM for db rm. Anyone can suggest whether it’s gonna be cheaper if I go with a tour and which tour?

  31. NIzam

    hello guys,
    my frens and i plan to climb Mt Kinabalu on this coming Feb 2009. Could anyone give me a contact no. for either Panar Laban hut, Warasan HUt, or Gunting Lagadan Hut as cost staying at Sutera Sanctuary Lodgers is so expensive.
    Your help is mush appreciated. Thanx…

  32. drizad Post author

    @ NIzam:

    For your information, Panar Laban, Waras Hut & Gunting Lagadan are managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. You need to contact them and ask specifically why they did not mention those places in the website.
    Good luck.

  33. kunti

    this is my booking for 4 person on march 09. stay at gunting lagadan 1 night and dormitory at mesilau nutural resort 1 night include 6 meals.
    they get the price for 2004RM and inform me that is the new rate for year 2009. How should I do ?

  34. sasa

    I booked a bed at Laban Rata for RM16! that was back in 2005. Last time there used to be 2 shower heads, 1 for hot and the other for cold water. The hot water is practically non existance..

    I’ll be scaling the mountain again next yr in May. Goodness.. the price of the bed / head has gone up to RM360! But it comes with 3 meals, just last ur a buffet dinner there was RM46 per pax.. Sigh…

    The price will be revised from 31 Dec 2009 onwards so now each climbers have to pay RM360 / pax for ther Laban Rata dorm.

  35. bunda

    I’ve booked a flight on 14-21 march 2009 to kinabalu. this gonna ge my first visit there. can anyone please assist me with contact number of panar laban hut or waras hut? thank you very much.

  36. elena

    hi there

    i would be climbing mount Kinabalu for the 1st time and would need some advise as to where to stay at laban rata.

    i want somewhere economical and was considering either Panar Laban, Waras Hut & Gunting Lagadan (non heated lodges). what do you think?

    also, i am thinking of booking a night at grace hostel . is there any other cheaper beds at kinabalu hq or is it cheaper to stay outside kinabalu park?

    any information will be greatly appreciated. so looking forward to this climb.


  37. eexee


    Anyone climbing on 10Apr09? Been trying to get accommodation for the 3 of us, but was informed that they are full. Any lobangs for available space?

    Greatly appreciate any information!


  38. ching chin

    Hello Yee,

    You got to try to call the sutera lodge in KK PArk yourself till confirm as they in charge of the laban rata. think they monoply. no option to choose.

  39. ching chin

    hello vivian,

    depends on the package you get. this year they increase the price again. better call sutera lodge personally to get all the information you want.

  40. Marty

    Hi everyone,

    Yes I agree reserving accommodation at LR can be challenging. Did it online about 3 weeks ago but no reply to date. I guess plan B has to come in. Call SSL for speedy response. Ha ha ha. Planning to go in June. About 18 of us. The quote given to us for the package was exorbitant. that’s why I’m exploring this option. Will let you guys know the outcome in due course.

  41. Tan


    I just climb kk mountain last few months ago, I’m staying in KK now till May, and, I can arrange everything for u all, included transportation(bus) from KK(hotel) –Kundasang(climbing mountain starting point), booking n all. kindly email me at tanholl@hotmail.com

    Only for Group Booking (10 and above)

    Thank You,

  42. Louisa

    We are climbing the mountain in August but want somewhere nice to relax afterwards. Someone suggested Gayan Eco Resort – does anyone know if it is nice or can they suggest an alternative?

  43. Christopher

    Hi, Louisa! I agree with you that Gayana Eco Resort is indeed a nice place to relax. But you have to be ready to pay quite an amount for that. If you plan to relax at a beach resort, Maybe you can try MIMPIAN JADI BEACH RESORT or PULAU TIGA BEACH RESORT. They provide good service with reasonable price too. HAPPY HOLIDAY !

  44. the cat

    To the Sabahbah, I have huge suspicion that you work for Sutera. On top, I just want to tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    1. As a “Sabahan”, I am furious with what the “business” is doing to all the climbers. As a season climber, we all know we DON’T EAT MUCH” when we climb due to the altitude and speed. I would like to know what is the 5 meals coming with the room that cost RM330 for?

    2. On top, why doing a compulsory meals to the local climbers if they are so understanding to the locals?

    3. Sabahbah mentioned statistics show more foreigners from international than local. I am very sorry to say you have never been there. Each time I was there, there is less than 10% foreigners. As a Sabahan growing up there, there are always more local climbing than international as every school and every organization will organize climb year on year. Of course if the cost stays, the local stays AWAY as we are poorer in currency.

    4. The facilities are upgrade. Please take a look before making such comment. Again, it shows you, “Sabahbah”, never been up that mountain and don’t know anything at all.

    To all the climbers, I am a Sabahan coming from Sandakan, climbed Mt.Kinabalu 2 times through Mesilau trail and have twice stay at Laba Rata Resthouse, once 2 nights and once 1 night.

    I am highly offended as a Sabahan, if a Sabah’s treasure is forbidden from Sabahan to see and depend on whether we can pay the price or not.

    For all that, Laban Rata Resthouse is fully book almost every month in every year due to its limited # of beds.

    I would have to say no matter what they charge, we will still willing to pay because poeple who been there like us, know very well that Mt.Kinabalu is like pilgrimige to almost all Sabahans. We know how beautiful, awesome and amazing it is to climb and experience the scenery and reach the peak, besides the dirty toilet, smelly bed, etc.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.