Nestled amidst the breathtaking natural beauty of these two Malaysian states, these properties offer the perfect setting to immerse yourself in the upcoming Kaamatan and Gawai festivities in Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

The month-long celebration is East Malaysia’s Harvest Festival, and checking into one of these hotels and properties will allow you to indulge in fine cuisine, rediscover your connection to nature, and be rapt withal in the region’s stunning scenery. Of course, we tell you the best way to get there too!

Where to stay this Harvest Festival

Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

After a hearty breakfast, you can spend the day exploring the turquoise seas around Mamutik Island or trekking the many gorgeous paths in Kinabalu National Park to get up close and personal with Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia’s tallest summit.

Participate in the month-long ‘Kaamatan’ cultural festival, where you may watch traditional dances and games and drink rice wine to your heart’s content. Enjoy complimentary cocktails and mocktails at Rooftop@Le Méridien that are inspired by Sabah, and don’t miss the magnificent sunset while trying out the local fare at Latest Recipe.

After that, spend some time checking out the nightlife at the Waterfront, which is close to the hotel.

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Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa, Sarawak

The Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is the perfect place to celebrate the Gawai Dayak Harvest Festival in style. Explore the incredibly large Clearwater, Wind, Deer, and Lang’s Caves, or go on a life-changing walk in the Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you’ve had a long day of exploring, you might want to relax your muscles at the Mandara Spa. Enjoy the resort’s Harvest Festival-only ayam pansuh (bamboo chicken) for dinner. The River Bar, with its stunning views of the old rainforest, offers a variety of beverages to wash it down.

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Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, Sarawak

At Zest Restaurant, take in the exuberant celebration of Gawai Festival while taking in the stunning seaside views. Enjoy a mouthwatering variety of regional specialties that will tantalise your taste senses. After this delicious meal, relax in the soothing waters of the region’s largest free-form swimming pool or indulge in a spa treatment at the world-famous Mandara Spa.

Take a short drive to Tusan Beach for an exciting day excursion where you can experience the energising sea water and the soothing coastal breeze from the South China Sea.

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BONUS: Aloft KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

Want to sample Sarawak’s distinctive cuisine without leaving Kuala Lumpur? Every Thursday through Saturday night until 10 June 2023, Aloft KL Sentral has you covered with their delectable selection of Sarawakian meals from their exclusive Flavours of Sarawak menu.

Mee Kolok, Sarawak laksa, and ayam pansuh (bamboo chicken) are just a few of the meals that are ready to be served to your table so you can get the full Sarawak experience from main courses to desserts.

A cool glass of the White Lady — a shaved-ice concoction with evaporated milk, syrup, lychee, longans, jellies, and slices of regional fruits, is the ideal companion. Snack on traditional Sarawak side dishes such tebaloi, which is made with sago flour, eggs, dried coconut, turmeric, sugar, and a variety of other flavourings, and tumpik, a sago-based pancake with dried coconut, salt, and gula apong (palm sugar) as a typical accompaniment.

A variety of Sarawak layer cakes can be served as the final course to your epic Hari Gawai dinner.

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Getting there

Meanwhile, to make your festival experience even more convenient and memorable, Malaysia Airlines and Firefly Airlines are offering fixed fares capped at RM300 one-way (not inclusive of government taxes and fees) for flights to Sabah and Sarawak from Kuala Lumpur, operated by Malaysia Airlines, and Penang, operated by Firefly.

The cap on tickets applies to flights on 27, 28, and 29 May between Kota Kinabalu (BKI), Labuan (LBU), Sandakan (SDK) and Tawau (TWU) via Malaysia Airlines, and between Penang (PEN) and BKI via Firefly, respectively. On 29, 30, and 31 May 2023, Malaysia Airlines will operate flights to Kuching (KCH), Miri (MYY), Bintulu (BTU), Sibu (SBW), while Firefly will operate flights between PEN and KCH.

To accommodate the large number of travellers going home for the holidays from 25 May to 5 June 2023, the sister airlines will add flights and upgrade some of its services to a wide-body A330 aircraft.

Visit the Malaysia Airlines and Firefly websites to learn more and book flights to make the most of this Kaamatan and Gawai!