A tour and tea destination in Ranau

The mountain seen from the Cottage area


The reception area

RANAU is one district in the State that has a lot to offer tourists. It has the Poring Hot Spring, the Kg Luanti Fish Spa, the Memorial Park and the Kinabalu Parks as well as Mount Kinabalu, among many others. Guests will actually be spoiled for choice but they should not pass up the opportunity to visit the The Sabah Tea Resort.

This resort sited on a picturesque area within the tea plantation is well worth several visits actually. They have very good accommodation, comfortable and clean.

There are 16 rooms in the four cottages. The cottages, with its quaint picket fence are named after some British and Australian personalities including Sir Alfred Dent, a founder of the British North Borneo Company; Sergeant Lofty Hodges who was part of a special forces unit that parachuted into North Borneo to rescue the prisoners during the Japanese occupation; Martin and Osa Johnson who flew from Singapore to North Borneo; and Sir William Goode, the last Governor of North Borneo.

One of the cottages

These little gems in history can be very interesting to guests especially those who came from the countries concerned.

Besides the cottages there are 25 rooms at the longhouse to cater to quests who wished to stay over for a couple of nights. This place is worth staying a few days in actually, to enjoy the ambiance and rest from the hassle of city life and running the rat race.

The teapot near the restaurant

From the cottage, one can wake up to the glorious sight of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia and one of the more famous tourism destination in the State.  The brooding mountain in the distance never fails to amaze and is a favourite of photography buffs.

Those who have never seen a tea plantation before can walk around to their hearts content. In the morning one can actually watch the people picking tea leaves. It is an interesting sight, and merit more photos.

Memorial for a fallen soldier

Plants and flowers abound around the resort, so more subjects for photographers. The main area of interest seemed to the pretty tea pot effigy at the restaurant ground, and a sign where more people take photos with for remembrance’s sakes.

Sabah Tea Resort’s General Manager Martin Kong shared that he believed in enhancing the ambiance with little touches for their guests so that besides enjoying the cool morning air and the walk, they can also take memorable photographs. One of these touches is the ‘Go Sabah Frame’ erected in collaboration with the Sabah Tourism Board. When one stands there, Mount Kinabalu is the ‘framed’.

Living room at the bungalow

Walk around and guests will come to a memorial to a fallen Australian Prisoner of War (PoW) memorial. This was one of the young man who died during the infamous death march during the Second World War.

This site is where Allan Quailey fell and died in Feb 16 1945. His photo is there with a brief history of the event. An Australian and a Malaysian flag flies there, flapping in the wind, forever saluting the fallen hero.

Kong shared where accommodation is concerned he has converted the old guesthouse into a bungalow for guests and he will built a gazebo on the garden. This bungalow is a nice comfortable establishment sited smack on the side of a hill, overlooking Mt Kinabalu. The sight of the mountain from this site is not impaired with trees and bushes. One can just walk out and see it in its full majestic glory.

The longhouse

“This bungalow can be utilized for group check in, especially families. It has its own kitchen and cooking facilities. It is tastefully furnished with spacious bedrooms, dining room and family area,” he opined, adding that there is a good size garden in front of it, which can be used for parties including wedding receptions. A reception with the scenic mountain as a backdrop can be absolutely marvelous.

“They can either have their food at the bungalow or have it at our restaurant,” he enthused, adding that they can block the restaurant for events such as weddings, birthdays and any sorts of gathering.

With all this achievement, Kong is not about to rest on his laurels as he is already planning to expand the facilities within the next two years. He wants to build six two storey concrete cottages at the slope of a hill near the old cottages. The new cottages will have glass fronts so guests can see the mountain as soon as they look out.

Personally, I believe that guests should stay longer at the Sabah Tea Resort due to its comfortable accommodation, and go around the touristic sites around the area, such as the Poring Hot Spring, the Fish Spa at Kg Luanti and Ranau township among many others.

Guests are invited to call 088-440882/876611 for more information.-ce/BNN