Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ba Lin Roof Garden, Sandakan

I mentioned in my Sandakan Adventures post that I was going to write about this little gem. Here it is, long overdue, a pictorial story. 

Ba Lin is located on the rooftop of Hotel Nak. Access is via lifts or perhaps you may wish to use the staircase. Don't get put off by the appearance of the floor when the lift door opens. You will need to go up another flight of stairs.

The signage at the entrance to the rooftop.

Another shot of the entrance - pretty light detail.

I like this wooden door - reminds me of farmhouse or barn doors.

Day bed - notice the birdcages which form a main feature of the decor theme.

Spiral staircase leading to the upper decks. I like the white metal grilles.

View across - lengthwise. Love the slabs on the floor, the wooden chairs.

A view from the al fresco seating area.

View of the sea / harbour through the 'window'. 

A view of the 'hallway' of the entrance.

Potted plants a plenty - this has nice lighting.

Giant birdcages in red and blue.

The VIP Lounge Area - nice and cosy.

What a lovely place to sit and read and look at the views....
I like it that they used recycled wood for the box-like side tables.

Night shot taken from upper deck.

Clever use of a part brick wall, painted white,  to hide the wash basin area.

The 'hallway' again - day shot. I like the wild ferns and plants on the 'green wall'.

High stools at the upper deck, made from plain unvarnished wood. Recycled maybe?
Gave it a nice, unfinished rustic look.

The bar - pretty, notice the use of the white metal grilles again. Creative use of 
the blackboard wall behind for menu and for guests to scribble.

Day time shot of the VIP lounge area. Cosy - I wish I can nap here :)

Window views of the sea.

Overall I thought Ba Lin provides a great place to meet up with friends, to hang out on your own, reading or just relaxing. The menu is well designed too, with options from everyone - standard bar fare to signature cocktails to hot drinks. The atmosphere is calm, cosy and hip at the same time, thanks to the creative concepts prevalent throughout. Music selection is very .. lounge-y and modern, no fast and loud tracks here. The place is also used as breakfast venue in the mornings. Pity they close after that and only re-open in the evenings. Linn and her husband run this place as well as the whole hotel. 

In the evenings, the upper deck is the most popular spot. If it rains however the staff need to pull in all the seat cushions and throw pillows, and cover the lights.

To me, even KK has no bar that's equivalent to Ba Lin, it is indeed a little gem in Sandakan. If I ever own a bar, I would like it to be like Ba Lin :).

1 comment:

  1. I've been staying in Sdkn for quite awhile and I only knew of this place recently when it was featured in this year's Sabah Tourism Awards magazine. But then, being a old town with a long history, Sdkn has so many things to discover.