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“Drive right up to nature”

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Belum Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Gerik
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Drive right up to nature”
Reviewed 6 January 2012

My extended family had a 3D2N holiday at Belum during the period between Christmas & New Year's. There were 11 of us and we booked 4 rooms - 3 under a Groupon deal and 1 under the resorts own Discovery Package.

At first the location seemed daunting but it actually turned out to be an easy & pleasant drive from Penang. It was as straightforward as getting onto the Butterworth-Kulim Highway at Seberang Jaya and heading east all the way past Baling & Gerik towards Jeli & Kota Baru. There were no turns off this road, just 40kms straight past the Gerik Exit 4-way traffic light junction all the way right up to the resort which is just after the bridge taking you onto Pulau Banding which is essentially the hilltop that stands above the man-made Temenggor Lake which submerged the valleys around it after a river was dammed up, and which surrounds the island.

The setting is idylic and a unique blend of being close to nature yet with easy access via the east-west road system. There's logging on the outskirts of the gazetted Belum nature reserve boundaries but this was still pretty much virgin jungle. The animal crossing signs along the roadtrip promises as much... it starts with signs for cow crossings, then deer, then elephants. The area is also home to hornbills and 3 types of rafflesia (largest flowers on the planet).

The resort has a back to nature feel with lots of wood in its construction and sits on top of the slope from the jetty on the lake. Accomodation is varied with standard & deluxe rooms, suites and houseboats. We stayed in 2 standard & 2 deluxe rooms which were had either a 1 king or 2 single bed configuration, came with a safe, strong air-conditioning, a fridge, wardrobe and am ample bathroom. The only standard equipment absent was a TV... but hey, who drives into the middle of a jungle to watch TV? They have waterways between the building cluster and a spice garden running next to the buildings. The resort had a notice up that they were adding chalets, a spa and swimming pool.

Activities included jungle trekking (in the wooded area next to the lake & resort) - both day & night-time editions available, kayaking, bamboo-rafting, boat rides round the island & lake, fishing trips, full-day tours to see a waterfall, rafflesia, and/or aboriginal village & handicraft.

There is an on-campus restaurant. The buffets are average and I found the ala carte fare better. However unless you stocked up or are willing to make repeated 30-40 minute (per way) drives out to Gerik, this is your only choice for meals.

All in all, we found this a great place for some peace & quiet and perfect for a family get-together.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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5 Thank paulksyin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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502 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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English first
Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

I had spent 3 days 2 nights in this hotel with my family (2 A + 2 C) for countdown 2012.The breakfast and the dinner is great ! (I am quite surprise because some review said the food is no good, i bring a lot of instant noodle and snack but i didn't eat any because my stomach was always full because of the nice buffet).The room is nice and spacious (we took the room with a twin bed and a daybed,upper floor,nice view).We also took the Temenggor Walk package on the next day-we managed to see the Dry Salt Lick (Sira Gajah),Orang Asli Village,the Rafflesia and we enjoy so much at the waterfall. It is from 9:30am-5:30pm with a lunch provided.Before we check out, we took the round-island boat trip (9:30am-10:30am).I feel very satisfied with the whole journey (the hotel room, the food, the activities, the driving journey to the hotel).Everything is just nice and a perfect getaway trip.

Room Tip: First floor(can see the lake and hill), Block name "Eugenia" and "Aquilaria". Av...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank icarolyap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2011

This resort is the perfect getaway for all you city-slickers. It's located in perfectly cool natural surroundings amidst the sounds of insects and creatures in the night. The rooms are comfortable, mosquito netted with the basic ammenities provided such as kettle, toiletries, towel, safe box etc. At night you can hear the crickets, frogs and such as you hit dreamland. The ala carte menu is rather expensive especially since there is nothing else to eat within the vicinity. However the buffet is not too bad considering the resort is located in almost no man's land. With the bad reviews on the food I was expecting much worst. Having said that, do bring some snacks & food with you. The greenery is an ideal backdrop to just chill out, have some wine and crackers. Board games are also provided for when nightfall comes. Good bits about the resort - Location is really nice amidst nature - Abundance of trekking that could be done (to be improved upon by resort management) - Bamboo rafting / Canoeing - Staff are friendly - Nice bar + pool table (located a walk away from the main resort building) with a cool bar owner (corporate city boy headed out into the woods to seek life!) Hear his stories. Realisation on how much the Orang Asli in the vicinity need more community assistance to progress further. Things to be improved: - Need for a good naturalist/ more knowledgeable nature guide to fully optimise the wonderful location of the resort and to educate visiting tourists. So much more could be done in terms of activities and the knowledge from the guides. The resort is in no man's land so there is really not much to do. The resort needs to beef up the activities arena. The night trek was quite dissapointing as we saw and heard virtually nothing. It was pretty much a walk in the dark with most people on the lookout for leeches! - F&B needs to be priced more reasonably and quality to match the resort standard - Room rates are relatively pricey for locals (so much for promoting tourism in Malaysia). Overall, it was a nice stay but looking forward to much improvement from the management.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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4 Thank CowsinPink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2011

Service Excellent - A very warmth welcome by the reception staff at Belum Rainforest Resort. It was raining upon arrival, and the kind staff came with a umbrella to shelter us to the reception area for checking in.
Food - 2 outlets, Sidai Restaurant - no alcohol allowed as it is a halal outlet whereas Hornbill Restaurant is ok. The chicken chop and mee goreng was quite good at Sidai Restaurant, but the buffet dinner we had at Hornbill was horrible. The restaurant opens at 630pm, and most customers were already waiting for the hot piping food to be served. So when one of the customer opened the cover of the deep fried chicken, out flew a housefly, everyone was shocked and requested for it to be changed. It took very long for the replacement and was further surprised to find that the chicken were still cold, many of the customers assumed that they did not change it, otherwise it should be hot and crispy. The rest of the items were cold too such as stingray with chillies and assam, mixed vegetables, potatoes, fries etc. Feedback to the waitress about the food being cold, they apologized and felt sorry about it. The only good stuff was the dessert, nyonya kueh with sesame seed on top, sago with gula melaka and fruits. So we did not enjoy our dinner, fortunately the staff were friendly.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ongtay11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2011

A family of 4 drove from Singapore. Just follow the instruction and you will find your way there. Staff are nice and polite during our stay. Can borrow board games, rent a kayak for round island trip. You can also book a hiking trip in the rainforest with the reception (need to register in advance with passport). Beside that, nothing much to do except plenty of time for family bonding as you are situation on a man made (small) island. No access by foot....will need a boat and guide to move to other trekking sites.

Meals was a little disappointing. Don't expect international buffet spread. We stayed over the weekend so no ala carte before 9pm, only buffet dinner. Rooms are clean, hot shower, TV

Room Tip: Get a room facing the lake on second floor and not facing main road as all vehicle will pass through...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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1 Thank organic_one
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 November 2011

location and environment was excellent. however developer did not spend enough thought and money to enhance the good side of the place. food was pricy, tasted terrible and lack variety, but had no other choice as other place at the public jetty was worse. King size bed frame with queen size mattress. Kept kicking myself on the jutting bed frame. Lack of facilities ( do not even have a swimming pool) not enough activities there as rooms do not have Tv and did not have much to do. definitely not going there again.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ivypmwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Penang, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2011

Check out the HouseBoat now on Introductory price found excellent service and food.
I shall go back end December 2011 for Royal Belum Forest route

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
10 Thank pohye K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belum Rainforest Resort

Property: Belum Rainforest Resort
Address: Pulau Banding, Gerik 33200, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Perak > Hulu Perak District > Gerik
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Gerik
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Belum Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Belum Rainforest Resort is one of Malaysia's premier ecotourism holiday destinations. Set in the midst of a tropical paradise, Pulau Banding, the Belum Rainforest Resort, is everything nature-lovers and holiday-goers expect in a getaway destination: complete relaxation and serenity, stunning views and surroundings, adventure, and the chance to get close to nature.With the Belum-Temengor Rainforest literally at their doorstep, guests at the resort will have a rare opportunity to experience the soothing beauty and mystery of the vast jungle, which has remained untouched for centuries. Nature lovers will revel at the chance to observe the beauty of plants and scenery that can be found only rarely elsewhere. Meanwhile, thrilling outdoor activities await adventure seekers who crave for adrenaline-pumping experiences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belum Rainforest Hotel Gerik
Belum Rainforest Resort Malaysia/Gerik

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