Accommodation in and around Kinabalu National Park takes a little more planning. More than 40,000 people climb the mountain each year, so the park is almost always busy and the availability of accommodation reflects this. The earlier you can book your accommodation, the better.
For this reason, many climbers opt to book their trek through a tour group months before they climb, leaving the tour group to organise all the accommodation and permits required for the trek. However, if you prefer to organise things yourself, it's still possible.
Many climbers choose to depart Kota Kinabalu early on the morning they start the climb, arriving at the park by about 10am. This allows plenty of time to complete the trek to Laban Rata (about four to six hours) before the weather inevitably closes in late in the day.
But, if you choose to stay in or near the park on the night before you climb, there are a number of options, ranging from basic to luxury. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will give you an idea of what's available.