Tawau is the gateway to the wildlife and diving spots in East Borneo and since it has a domestic airport, most travellers prefer to stay here a day or two before moving to other destinations. I landed at Tawau at the end of my East Borneo trip and ended up staying a night there at the Economy Air-Cond Hostel. The below review is based on my recent experience.
1) This is one of those places which fits the budget category, has air-conditioning, has hot showers and good speed wi-fi.
2) The only thing weak about this place is that it looks like a shady building from outside and from inside. But, it is well managed with security cameras, has no bed bugs and pretty clean.
3) All rooms come with common toilets and bathrooms. Toilets are squat style.
4) Wifi is free and the speeds are commendable. Wifi is accessible in the rooms too.
5) The people managing the place continuously watch TV during the day and smoke, but this doesn’t affect if you are in the room.
6) The hostel doesn’t have a kitchen for their guests.
7) The hostel is located at a 5 minute walk from the bus station. One can get inter city buses here and also the shuttle to the Tawau airport.
8) The hostel is located in the main happening area and hence the markets, the night market, the super markets, the grocery stores, the restaurants and other shops are all next door or a short walk away.
9) The reception is nice and help to a certain extent, though they are more fluent in Malay than English.
This place is ideal for a quick one or two night layover in Tawau for budget travelers and backpackers. It has all the amenities that a backpacker needs.