Outward Vacay: Seafest Hotel Semporna

Yes yes... I know that I've gone missing again but I got a legitimate reason this time. I got called (more like 'force') to attend 2 courses back-to-back (and on different districts no less) so do forgive me. So for a couple of posts ahead, my entries are all about my Semporna and Sandakan foodie-venture (ahem, I mean 'courses' boss, sorry about that) back-to-back as well okay? Now who says you can't work and enjoy yourself at the same time right?

So first up lets take a look at my short stay at Seafest Hotel in Semporna, Sabah. I attended a 2 days course here so everything was provided. Now before I begin, it is good to note that Semporna is a relatively small place to begin with (and by small I mean really small, like fish pond small as oppose to a lake). But what's good (and somewhat popular) about the place are its beautiful islands surrounding the district. And yes, there's also that hotly debated matter of 'kidnap victims' right now but still, it's a top tourist destination in Sabah.

Now the hotel itself is big by Semporna's standards. And I'm not being condescending because it is the biggest hotel there is in the area. I've actually read some very fussy people talking negatively about the place on Tripadvisor so my expectation going to it was pretty low. But I like being surprised, and that's exactly what I got! Sure, the place overall looks a bit dated but I like the personal touches being thrown here and there that reflects Semporna and its sea legacy. Checking in went on smoothly (as it's not the school holiday season so phew!) and uneventful. The room I was given had a beautiful view of the village at the back (with first hand view of the hustle and bustle of a local fisherman's life) and partial view of the sea which is just what I would booked for myself. The bed was really comfortable and despite the old-fashioned TV it's sufficient for my short stay. The bathroom was clean and no signs of weird smells coming out of anything as stated by said negative comments by other patrons. Although I do hope that they put a light on top of the showers as it can be a bit dark over there. I did not have time to visit their swimming pool but it looks nice although maybe a tad small in size. The conference hall is also pretty standard but nevertheless comfortable. But one feature that stood out of the hotel was their indoor fish pond. I passed it a couple of times but did not gave it any thought up until the last day of my stay. The lovely looking pond is situated in the middle of the elevators space (there are 4 elevators all together, 2 on a lower floor while the other 2 in a slightly higher floor). And then it caught my eyes... ARAPAIMAS! I'm a fan of the fish so please excuse my unnecessary excitement over those pair (yup, it comes in a pair). The pictures below might not show it, but let me tell you that those babies are big in size. I'm still kicking myself for not seeing it earlier.

And do excuse my overexcited photography below since I think I got some time to kill and not many places to go while I was there...

Type - Superior Village Room
Room - 4/5 (a bit dated but the view's spectacular)
Price - 4/5 (fair price for what you're getting)
Service - 3/5 (the bellboy manning the front door was nice and friendly)
Decor - 4/5 (one word people... Arapaimas!)
Facilities - 4/5 (looking good for Semporna's standards)
Location - 3/5 (just drive along the main road until you find the pier and the ocean at the far end of the town)

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