Whilst Malaysia may not be known as the most welcoming of destinations for gay travellers, this cosmopolitan state capital in the north of Borneo has a somewhat laid-back, live-and-let-live approach, making it a wonderful taste of East Malaysia. It is a melting pot of cultures, an exciting port city and the entry-point and base to explore the wild rainforest reaches, mountainous terrains, orangutan-filled canopies and sublime beaches of this lesser-known paradise. The Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu is our favourite property in this small city, a world class international hotel, recently refurbished and awarded a well deserved five-stars. Its location is right smack bang in the heart of this sleepy sea-front city. From our suite we looked out to the sprawling ocean, the infamous Gaya island and our favourite fresh fish food-court at street-level below. Our Club Room was nicely appointed, with neutral décor, although it lacked a sense of place  – but this said, the minimalist approach gives it a more informal ambience. Our Club Members’ room key gave us access to the top-floor Club Lounge, where complimentary breakfast was served, away from the madding crowds.

www.kinabalu.regency.hyatt.com