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“Fantastic place - truly special”

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Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
75 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Fantastic place - truly special”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2010

We stayed for 6 nights with our young family, and we think this place is just wonderful. Anton and his team have created something very special indeed.

We had a private room (duplex) which had a double bed and bunk beds, it has lovely white sheets and the walls slide back so that you can lie in bed and look out at the jungle. The cafe/restaurant is good value and you can get free lifts to Sepilok Orang-Utan Sanctuary and the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

It is very relaxing and the staff are lovely. We took Anton's advice and did an overnight 2 day 1 night trip with Mr Aji to Kinabatangan River. We saw Orang-Utans and Proboscis Monkeys in the wild, as well as at the Sanctuary and at Labuk Bay. If we hadn't had the children with us, we think a one-day trip with Mr Aji would have been better as the second day was mostly travelling back in time for lunch, so not much time to do anything. However, with kids the 1 day would have been too long.

Paganakan Dii is an excellent place to stay if you are in the area, we can't imagine anywehere better or exciting to stay if you are on a budget.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lou_Simon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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478 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
46 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2010

Rooms are timber semi-detached cabins on stilts with air-con and fan, no flash extras just comfortable beds with clean crisp cotton sheets and a stylish yet very practical mosquito net. We had a private outdoor bathroom with a great shower, stone floor and a wok converted into a sink.

There is an indoor/outdoor open air simple bar restaurant which serves excellent cheap food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The retreat is on the edge of a park close to Sepilok and is very green with plenty of places to relax - big cushions and hanging wicker chairs. The design is simple using basic materials but they've created a great ambience.

The staff are friendly and efficient, able to help with all transport and enquiries. There is an internet terminal and wi-fi. It's 15 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes from Sepilok, 30 minutes from Labuk Bay and 30 minutes from the centre of Sandakan town. The management offer free fixed time lifts to and from Sepilok.

Unless you want to go partying in Sandakan every night, stay here, as the main attractions are handy, you can eat well and chill out.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank semi-detached
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2010

We stayed at Paganakan Dii for two nights (Feb 13 & 14, 2010) and absolutely loved this place for its quaintness and service!

Paganakan Dii is located less than 10 minutes drive from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. The accommodation is quite unique. We stayed in a duplex stilt hut with an outdoor bathroom overlooking the jungle. You really feel you are part of nature...especially when the lights are out and friendly visitors come to visit in the night  On the second night, we were probably too exhausted to have heard from our visitors and slept like a baby.

Rose and Yusif are the best! Rose helped us to rebook our flights, arrange our taxi to the airport and even helped us to confirm our car rental in KK...all while we were on route to a river cruise! The ladies in the kitchen were also very friendly and introduced us to their residential pet owl... who was probably our visitor on the first night.

If you want great value for money, great service, a tranquil environment and to be in sync with nature Paganakan Dii is definitely the only place to stay when visiting Sandakan.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Irenelim88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2010

My husband and I stayed for 3 nights at Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat and had a fantastic stay. The place is very new. The owners said it was finished last year. It has both private rooms and very clean dorms. The accommodation is made from timber and there are many areas where you can just hang out and enjoy the serenity of the location. The establishment seem to be trying to run an environmentally friendly retreat.

Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat is a hidden gem and I'm sure will become a must stay for those traveling in Borneo.

Just make sure you bring enough Malaysian Ringitts as they do not accept Credit card or any other currency.

One of the best budget places I have ever stayed. Highly recommended!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Aida W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2010

It is truly a hidden gem. We stayed for two nights in one of the private rooms. It was just perfect coming out in the jungle just to relax. The evenings were great with good, cheap food and a nice restaurant area where we could read books and play cards. Went on the one day cruise with mister Aji which is highly recommended. The one day was enough however..I dont think youll need to do the overnight package at the river.
Thanks Anton and the guys for giving us some perfect days. We went to the Lankayan Island from Paganakan Dii.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank andbri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai
Level Contributor
66 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2010

This is a unique place located within a small park. All of the facilities are open air. The main building has an outdoor seating area, and two covered but open air seating areas with low stools and tables. There is a small book swap area and some magazines, but you should bring your own reading material. There is a nominal charge to use the computer, but sometimes the service cuts out. There is an owl that the owners feed, but which comes and goes.

We stayed in a private cabin with a full size bed and a bunk bed. The room had a ceiling fan and an A/C unit which was not really needed at night. The room was a bit cramped and did not have any night stands or storage areas. Three of the four walls were sliding, so you could open up the entire room to the outdoors. Even when the doors were closed, there were many gaps, so mosquitoes were an issue.

The bath was open air, albeit with screens to ensure privacy of view. Sounds, however, will be heard by others! There is a shower, small sink, toilet and stand. Soap but not shampoo was provided.

The park had live animals (deer, crocodiles) and a pond with paddle boats and seating areas. Just outside the park is a vast palm oil plantation.

The location is remote. The walk to the main road where you can catch a public bus is well over a mile. The hotel can arrange a taxi to town or the airport, which is about a 20-30 minute drive and will cost around 35 ringgit ( a taxi from town to the hotel is about 45 ringgit since they typically will not be able to get a return fare). Tours and taxis can also take you to a nature activities in the region, which range from 15 minutes to almost two hours driving time. The owner will provide a free ride at regular intervals to certain nearby areas.

Some rave about the food, but we found it to taste like take-out Chinese; the portions were small, greasy and over-seasoned. There is nothing else in the area, and your choices in Sandakan are not great either. Breakfast was included; one egg (either fried, boiled scrambled, or in an omelet with tomato and onion), two slices of bread, coffee/tea/milo. They often ran out of selections, including drinks.

If you are willing to put up with the rustic quality, this is an interesting place to stay. We walked by the hotels in Sandakan, and they did not seem to offer any better choice.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank JerseyInShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seria, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2009

This place is beautiful, set amongst the trees, on top of a hill. The architectural design is original. The owner (Anton) is helpful from the first email contact till the goodbyes. We only had one problem- small red fire ants in the room. We had baby food and milk for my girls in the room and these attracted nasty ants which ended up on towels. My daughter got bitten after she fell onto a spot where these ants were. My advice is not to bring food into the room! Breakfast was nice. The place is secluded, so unless you have a car (we did) you'll have to eat at the restaurant there, which is not a problem as the prices are very reasonable and food was good. Oh our room came with a double bed PLUS a bunk bed. Great for our family of 2+2yrs old and a 8mths old baby. It has AC, an outdoor bathroom and a balcony. Last point- you've got to wacth your kids.. this place is not that safe for the little ones, e.g. big steps down from room, balcony not so well barracded etc..

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mumster_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat

Property: Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat
Address: Mile 14 | Jalan Labuk, Sandakan, Sepilok 90000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sepilok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Sepilok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paganakan Dii is the perfect retreat to experience Nature in its most serene and natural state. Built on a site high above the surrounding foliage, the combination of cool longhouses and cosy duplex chalets makes for an experience worth a thousand images. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat Hotel Sepilok
Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat Sepilok, Sandakan Division

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