We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great ! Great ! Great !”
Review of Osman's Homestay

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Sukau
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Osman's Homestay
Ranked #3 of 8 Sukau B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Toulouse, France
Level Contributor
30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great ! Great ! Great !”
Reviewed 19 March 2014

I hesitated quite a lok before sending this review, since I would love to keep this place secret !! I was one of the best stay I had ever !
I stayed there in late 2011 and found just a mobile phone number somewhere on a forum, recommending to stay at Osman's.
A bit doubtful at the very beginning, I gave a call and joined Osman. He indicated me the way to reach his place. The journey to reach the place was a great experience by itself !! A driver came to pick me up on the road, in the middle of nowhere, while the night was already down. His driver did not speak english, and we drove for something like 1/2h and then dropped me in front of the kinabatangan just saying "boat boat !" and he left ! I have waited for 10 minutes and a very small boat, a canoe propulsed by a small engine actually, arrived to pick me up. We went up on the river for 15 minutes, with a small light at the front to avoid tree trunks floating.
We finally reached Osman's house, and I finally met The guy :) he was skinning an animal he just had killed !

If you look for a cosy and comfortable place, go somewhere else ! The place is basically a local house on stilts, on the river bank. I occupied one room of this family house. Osman is leaving with his wife and his lovely young twins. The welcoming was warm and friendly.
The place has limited place for visitors, up to 5 (people are then sleeping on the sofas lol) ! We were 3 when I was there.
Thanks to this limited capacity, the journeys we had on the following days were tailored on our expectations. Osman has an amazing knowledge about the rainforest surrounding and can lead you to places where the others, bigger and much more commercial oriented, home stays around will not bring you. We could see at 5 meters far, more than 10 pigmee elephants, plenty of birds, monkeys ... We have been going up and down all day long with his boat on the river, looking for animals. Then, stepping on the bank and going deep into the forest to see the rich wildlife inhabiting in this great area !

If you are looking for an authentic place to stay, with a human and ecological oriented way to travel, I will definitely recommend you this amazing place !!
I wish I can come back another time and for a longer period !

Great :

Room Tip: There is just one room with 3 individual beds or the sofas :)) so, no choice ! This is not the point...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Franckyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

87 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    61
    14
    3
    4
    5
See reviews for
17
27
15
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Karlsruhe
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

We stayed with Osman’s family in their house at Kinabatangan River and in hindsight I am tempted to say that the highlight of any Borneo trip must be the river cruise on the Kinabatangan River. The wildlife is extremely impressive, it’s absolutely a different feeling to a sanctuary or a zoo. In addition, several animals you find along the river are (almost) unique to Borneo.

In my view, no matter if you go with Osman, or any other homestay or a professional tour company, it is a good thing to take part in a river cruise. The more tourists come to see the wildlife, the faster the locals will understand that it is not clever to burn down the oldest rainforest in the world to build palm oil plantations. Just please be so kind: make your trip as environmentally friendly as possible, don’t bother the animals, and tell your guide something about sustainability if he doesn’t act responsible.


JOURNEY THERE

You can take a public bus towards Lahud Datu/Semporna or Sandakan/KK, respectively, and tell the bus guy that you want to be dropped off at the Sukau junction. Arrange a pick up from there to the Sukau jetty in advance. To do so, call Yanti (Osman’s wife, 0060 19-536-1889). From the jetty it’s a five 5 minutes drive by Osman’s boat to the house, which is only accessible via the river.


ACCOMMODATION

Osman’s family has three spare rooms in the house for their guests. The family is really friendly. In particular the little twins are just a delight and Yanti, the mother, is a very caring host. Osman is truly entertaining, though his humor is quite special and I can imagine that there are people out there who feel offended by it. I stayed four days and became more and more integrated into the family. It was just authentic and uncomplicated. Since Osman has a lot of visitors all year long, you should be understanding and see that the limited privacy can be a little bit unpleasant for the family from time to time. It’s a homestay, not a 5 star deluxe resort like some people here seem to believe. Anyway, I felt very welcome. Obviously, it also depends on how many other guests are there at one time and on your own attitude.


RIVER CRUISES

You pay a small rate for the accommodation including drinking water and the fantastic meals served by Yanti. But actually, it’s all about the river cruises. You pay extra for each tour you want to join (usually 1-2 each day, but as it is not a professional tour company there might be changes for private reasons). The elephant tour takes about 5 hours, while the morning and afternoon tours are shorter. Osman did his best to show as much as possible, and he is a very passionate and successful animal spotter indeed. It was so much fun! Sometimes Osman became too enthusiastic and started to disturb the animals (e.g. knocked a snake from the tree). I did not appreciate this and told him so, and then it was okay again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014 via mobile

We stay 2 nights at osman's homestay and it was fantastic!
We went with the boot on the river and he shows us the best places of the jungle. We saw a lots of animals, monkeys, eliphants, crocodiles, the nose monkeys, fire fly's and a lots of nice birds.
Osman's wife maked dilicious food en his children are really sweet. We also joyed him with bringing the children to school.
It was a great experience to stay at this local family, and it was very cheap.
We paid 50 myr for a night including food, and 50 myr for a boot trip or walking trip.
Dont expact luxury but If you want the best place, go here!
The are so friendly!!!
Call or text Osman: +60198415259

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Miranda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

My family loved Osmans, although it was last year we stayed we all still talk about how fantastic it was. Osman made us feel very welcome in his home and would do anything to make us comfortable. Our trip on the river was outstanding we went hoping to see orangutans and elephants and were not dissapointed.IThink if you want to stay in a well structured and regimented place then Osmans may not be for you, most things were done on instinct and what Osman thought we would like. When elephants were spotted Osman let us get out of the boat to get a closer look, but always watching for our safety. Other boats were asking Osman for advice as he seemed to have so much knowledge of the river, Osman is very passionate about the wildlife and protecting endangered animals and is doing a fantastic job.
The accommodation was what we expected (it is his house not a 5star hotel) his wife made some fantastic meals and his children were beautiful.
Early in the morning when Osman took his children to school he also took my 12 year old son with him to have a look at the school my son still talks about the experience.
We absolutely loved our stay with Osman it was the highlight of our trip

Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Leonie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 2 September 2013 via mobile

We read all the reviews before going and had realistic expectations for our stay. We wanted to save some money and still see the river.
Pros:
-Cheaper option than most tour companies & you can see the same wildlife, same river
-good meals . For dinner, we had full plates of chicken and beef rices and assortment of vegetables and scrambled eggs. Watermelon for dessert. (However I called 3 times before arriving & asked specifically what they would be serving, who would be giving the tour, how many other people would be sharing the house, etc...I would advice doing this)
-good rooms for the money. We had a fan, door with key lock entry, sit down toilets, pillow, simple bed
-we did see wild orungutan monkeys far up in the trees&lots of elephants

Con
- osmun is very unprofessional & we found him to be very strange. Others obviously have their own opinion, but when we arrived he immediately started screaming at his wife & kids because the house wasn't clean. The shouting, unpleasant& awkward, continued for about an hour.
-trekking is a joke. He even admits you never see anything except insects & plenty of blood sucking leeches. He would trek way ahead of us... It was awkward& we hated every minute of it. He tells vulgar stories about pulling leeches out of some Chinese tourist vagina, etc... Weird.
-one night is plenty

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bennecc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yokosuka, Japan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

You Tube Documentary: http://youtu.be/LS4jcSDmq5Y Title: Born in Borneo, Channel yoblair

If you love elephants and you are going to Borneo mostly to experience them, then go to Osman's. Nobody can guarantee that the elephants somewhat irregular migration patterns will have then in the area during your visit. However, if they are in the area, at Osman's you will get an experience like no other. The elephants know the place and stop to graze and even sleep there. Herds of wild elephants outside your bedroom window - and even peaking in and giving you a trumpet. Check out the video listed above to see exactly what I mean. Osman was not there during our visit but his son gave us some great wildlife cruises. He never rushed us but let us spend long periods of time near the elephants, something we noticed other cruise operators were not always doing. We also quite frequently arrived where the elephants were before any other boats-- giving us plenty of viewing time without other boats around (which is actually what made the documentary possible.) We also saw lots of animals besides elephants. Nothing is fancy or luxurious at the home stay but we were there for the wildlife which was abundant beyond our highest expectations. At Osman's there are only two young children who were friendly but well-behaved. The others are quiet teenagers. It was a great chance to get a little glimpse of the culture. The food was fine and vegetarians accommodated. An experience to be savored -- hope to return!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ele-Booster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

We booked for 8 people, and when we arrived, they had over booked and we had to sleep on mattresses on the floor. we had to ask for a fan. Their young children shouted, screamed and ran around continously from when we arrived at 1.30pm to 10pm. We were advised at the time of booking that we would go out on the river at 3pm to 6pm, but when we arrived we were told, that we were leaving at 3.30pm. 4 o'clock came and went and when i asked when we were going, Yanti advised that they had to get petrol for the outboard motor and the petrol station was closed so we had to wait for it to open. We finally left for the river wildlife cruise around 4.30. We saw a couple of monkeys and some birds and along the river the palm tree plantations came up to the rivers edge. We were most disappointed at this and I asked if we could see the elephants. She said no it is too far away. The bathroom facilities were less than basic. We managed to get to sleep only to be woken at 3am for ramadam with music! Our morning river cruise was only 2 hours and again saw a couple of monkeys and birds. Osman again absent we were taken out by one of the sons who didn't speak english except for knowing the animal names. The outboard motor on the morning river trip was missing and kept stopping and was overly noisey. When we arrived back to the house Yanti was getting back from the shop with some 2 minute noodles for our breakfast. Yanti was not hospitable nor welcoming and we did not consider the homestay to be what was advertised. Nor did the jungle provide the abundant array of wildlife it claimed. However, we did see plenty of palm trees.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 421Tracy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Sukau
0.0 mi away
Sepilok Nature Resort
Sepilok Nature Resort
#1 of 2 in Sepilok
588 reviews
0.0 mi away
Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan
0.0 mi away
Hotel Eden54
Hotel Eden54
#2 of 92 in Kota Kinabalu
1,173 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Kinabatangan Jungle Camp
0.0 mi away
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
#6 of 29 in Sandakan
345 reviews
0.0 mi away
Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Bilit Rainforest Lodge
#1 of 3 in Kota Kinabatangan
252 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Osman's Homestay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Osman's Homestay

Property: Osman's Homestay
Address: Kinabatangan river, a few minutes by boat from Sukau village, Sukau, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District > Sukau
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Sukau
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Osman's Homestay Sukau, Kinabatangan District

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing