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“NOT for EVERYONE - dispointing stay after we read so many good reviews....”

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Tabin Wildlife Resort
Shenzhen
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“NOT for EVERYONE - dispointing stay after we read so many good reviews....”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

We visited the resort in October 2013 on the 3D2N tour. 1750 Ringit per person.

Price: Absolutely ridiculously overpriced. And worst of all they charge you for everything they can. Arriving early/late or want to leave early or late? Pay 100/person (even if another car is driving anyway they will still charge you for no reason whatsoever) . Need a power adapter? Pay. Coke, Soda, WATER : pay It is annoying and does not match the price. Their prices for everything are reasonable but it is just a joke to have to pay for every little thing ...

Hotel: The rooms are ok. Nothing fancy but compfy beds and AC + Fan.
NO TV, NO www, not a lot of towels or anything at all. Very basic. but ok for us. The Sheds are build out of wood with a metal shell so that it is very very loud when it rains (which it does on a lot of nights) so BRING EAR PLUGS
The walkways are falling apart and need maintenance.
The couches in the public sitting area where covered in black fungus and dirty
Dinning hall was clean a lot of flies.. but there is not much you can do I guess..

Setting: The reservoir is in the middle of a lot of plantations but it quite big - the roads to and from the resort are also the main roads for the tours so that you usually have the jungle on one side and the plantations on the other. Really beautiful jungle. But be sure you bring tons of insect repellant and also anti-leeches clothing. Quite a lot of those blood suckers got to me...

The tours: They drive you in pick ups with benches on the back along the main road and are on the look out for birds, monkeys and elephants. The elephants take the same route most days so that I think it is almost certain that your guide can show you the herd. Very nice to see a herd of about 20-25 animals or so... Other than that the trekking was more like 1-2 hour als with not much to see besides the jungle and birds. If you are a nature LOVER and Birdwatcher you will LOVE this place. If you are a normal tourist looking for a fun experience this is NOT the place to go to.
The waterfall is quite nice. a short walk from the truck (400 meters to be exact) you'll get to a small river that leads to a nice little waterfall where you can swim. If you've been around Asia a bit it is not too special but anyway a nice swim.

Food; Rice + vegetables + chicken or fish. Everything meaty is fried usually .... the food overall i really ok but absolutely does not fit the pricing or deserves any great reviews. You can eat it but it is not good or great.

Staff: Friendly and helpful.
Management: unfriendly. We were greeted by the manager with "What do you want near my office" when we visited the little store (which is in his office) and his mood did not improve much in the following days.


Overall it really depends what you are looking for. We were disappointed even though the nature is beautiful. but we felt the Hotel part of the deal was a huge disappointiment ....
As an example: NOT once was our group asked what we want to see but we were just taken on tours that the guides felt like doing. When we asked what else we could do besides the morning jungle trek the answer was: Only f you pay extra ...then we can go for a drive...

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravelRaoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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138 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Kidderminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

Tabin was a disappointment. The cabin was comfortable, the bed was the best we had in Sabah, and we saw some superb wildlife there. Unfortunately, the overall 'feel' of the place, for me, was unloved, and mean spirited. On our first night drive, the lamp didn't work, our guide had not charged the battery on the device he was to use, to encourage night birds to call so we could see them, and awful of awful, the other vehicle out that night, was allowing the guests to use full flash photography on nocturnal creatures! I have day vision and a flash hurts my eyes, so how would the poor nocturnal creatures feel? blinded maybe?
Whilst staying at our previous lodge, we had encountered a rather loud, disruptive individual who had talked loudly the whole time we were on a night drive. This same individual had turned up at Tabin too, and was on the next table to us. He was so loud and intrusive we could not have a normal conversation whilst eating. I explained to our guide about our previous encounter with him and asked to change tables to avoid him. Which was accommodated without fuss. We were due to have our night drive with the private guide we had paid for and booked, and I was informed this same loud individual would be joining us. What on earth were they thinking???? We were going to look for the shy and elusive frog mouths, had booked a private nightdrive, explained this person was loud and disruptive, and THEY HAD TOLD HIM HE COULD GO WITH US!!!!! I was furious. They did sort this out and told the chap he could not go with us. the atmosphere between this young man and us after this was strained to say the least, I feel they put all the blame onto me. Considering this situation should not have happened in the first place and it was their incompetence that caused it, and there was no apology forthcoming, I remain unhappy and aggrieved by their lack of consideration. The food was adequate, but I was a little surprised that the staff ate first. At all the other places we stayed, the paying quests were the priority. Others have had great experiences at Tabin, and I respect their views, unfortunately, I cannot say the same, and give a health warning on this place.......... you, as a guest, are not their priority at Tabin.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DebraTaylorMBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruxelles
Level Contributor
92 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2013

We stayed at the Tabin Wildlife Resort during our trip to Borneo. i have to admit we originally picked it because Danum was simply too expensive. however, after the wonderful time we had there, I think this place should feature on everybody's itinerary in Sabah, as a highlight in its own right.

Our accomodation was great, luxurious even considering we were in the middle of the jungle. Food was decent (again, considering the practical difficulties). The staff were very helpful. But the highlight was of course the jungle, with all its animal spotting possibilities. Our guide was both very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife and jungle trees and plants. Thanks to him and the great programme of activities, we managed to see so many things, from honey trees to wild cats, mouse deers, exotic birds, a flying lemur and even a group of wild Borneo pigmy elephants! The night walk was great, as was the dusk drive. we also enjoyed very much the various jungle walks, and the swim in the natural pool. The mud volcano was fun.

I definitely recommend that place!

Room Tip: If you do not feel like walking up and down the hill four to five times a day, ask for a river bunga...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank arthemise21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2013

Stayed her for 2 nights 3 days as part of our Borneo adventure. Really pleased with the quality of the rooms and food considering you are in the jungle. We stayed in a river lodge and just to view the wildlife from our balcony was amazing! The night drives were brilliant and the guides do their upmost best to ensure you see everything possible. The foot soak and mud face pack is a nice little treat that they offer. The walk to the waterfall was lovely and to actually swim in it was amazing. We have lots of lovely memories that will stay with us forever. However, on our last day we packed up and took our luggage down to reception to have some lunch before we left. My husband left his jacket and toothbrush in our room so he could pop back just before we were due to leave to freshen up. When he returned to our room about 20 minutes later his jacket wasn't there just his wash bag.... Nobody seemed to know where it had gone even. This really upset me as we hadn't actually checked out and given our key back but The staff had been and cleaned the room. Unfortunately, we couldn't pursue it has we had to leave on time to catch our next flight. Very disappointed and I have to say it spoilt our overall experience.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank grantsleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roosendaal, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
98 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

We stayed 3 days and 2 nights within the Tabin NP. The NP has mostly secondary rainforest and 10% primary. All of the great mammals of Borneo can be found in the NP. We saw a large number (> 50) Asian elephants, leopard cat, civet cat, 4 types of hornbills, monkeys, macaques, snakes, bee eaters, spider eaters and a lot more birds. Birders paradise. Only didn't see the orang utans. But the fruit season had just ended. The hill lodges are really nice for in the jungle. Food is included and good quality. Drinks aren't included (water, coffee and tea for free) but cheap. This was the most exciting part of the Borneo travel I did. Highly recommended!


Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Joost V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013 via mobile

We did a 3 day 2 night trip and for the price there isn't enough going on
For safety you cannot walk alone (elephants)
We saw a fair few animals, so it was lovely.
We were lucky enough to see a clouded leopard....

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank MelindaMahrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels,Belgium
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2013

We, a family with two kids 11 and 15y, stayed at Tabin for 3days/2 nights in July 2013. We can only confirm the other reviews: this is a great place for an upmarket jungle experience. We stayed in two adjacent river lodges. After having spent 3 nights in a homestay on the Kinabatangan river, this was superb luxury for us with excellent beds, a terrace overlooking the river, airco and a clean bathroom. Free wellington boots ( even for my size 12) and freee umbrellas. We were very well taken care off by our guide Palin. The trip to the mud vulcano was excellent ( Palin went to great lengths and very muddy hands to save my boot when I was stuck knee deep in the mud), the morning and night drives with the jeep were fabulous, our swim in the lake at the waterfall is a memory that will last a lifetime. We saw some great wildlife but also the jungle scenery itself ( the landscapes and the clouds after a torrential rain are stunning) is amazing. All staff was extremely friendly and helpfull, food was plentifull and varied ( there are 5 meals a day!). The food soak bath with optional mud mask was also great fun. Don't expect 4 star room or food standards as if you were in downtown Kuala Lumpur: this is an isolated place, one hour drive from civilisation. In that respect they do an excellent job.
It is well worth the extra ringgit.

Room Tip: We prefer the river lodges as opposed to the more remote, uphill lodges.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ketsinjoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tabin Wildlife Resort

Property: Tabin Wildlife Resort
Address: Jalan Tunku, Lahad Datu 91125, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Lahad Datu
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Lahad Datu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Tabin Wildlife Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tabin Was declared a wildlife reserve because of the large numbers of animal species inhabiting its forest, including several which are highly endangered. With a protected forest area of 120,500 hectares, Tabin plays an important role as a dedicated ground for the breeding of endangered wildlife and protected mammals in Sabah. Tabin Wildlife Resort offers visitor facilities and accommodation within the wildlife reserve to provide a comfortable stay whilst experiencing the spectacular Borneo flora and fauna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tabin Wildlife Hotel Lahad Datu
Tabin Wildlife Resort Lahad Datu, Malaysia - Sabah

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