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“The rain forest is well named!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Abai Jungle Lodge

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Abai Jungle Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
89 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“The rain forest is well named!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

Very basic but comfortable with food average but it is situated in the jungle. We stayed 3 nights which was enough. Our guide Terry was very knowledgeable and on our river trips he could spot a monkey well before any of us. Altogether a great experience but no aircon and the fan was just about OK for keeping the air moving in the room. Very friendly staff and nothing too much trouble.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 2 and 5 as they are the middle ones in rows of 3 meaning that they are very dark and glo...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TimPamRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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260 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
118 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014 via mobile

We had an amazing experience in this wonderful place. Yes it's basic but with all the comforts that you need while expliring the jungle. The room was clean, comfortable and the fan was just perfect for cooling the room. The location is superb and we were ever so lucky to be able to see lots of wild life animals and birds. Spectacular sceneries too!
The staff was so lovely and kind.
Definitely the high light of our fabulous experience in Borneo!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TatianaAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
316 reviews
229 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 506 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

We purchased the three day/two night package (SIA09) on the Kinabatangan River from S.I. Tours for RM1350 per person via their website. This included Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, two nights at Abai Jungle Lodge, all transport, all meals and all boat trips for wildlife spotting. Remember that Abai Jungle Lodge is just that, and not a hotel. There is no television or fridge here but there was slow wifi.
Our room was spacious with wooden walls and floor. The bed was comfortable and there was one bag rest, desk and chair. It would have been improved by a few more sticks of furniture such as bedside tables. The bathroom was adequately clean with cold water in the basin and hot in the shower. It was one of three rooms that shared a veranda with chairs and a coffee table. The veranda was a great location for viewing smaller wildlife as the garden was aflutter with a wonderful variety of small nectar-feeding birds and many very large and colourful butterflies.
Meals were served in the large open-sided restaurant by the river. The food was inoffensive and sufficient. Beer was RM12 a can and wine about RM90 a bottle. As the weather was fine, our breakfasts were cooked and served at tables on the board walk in the jungle. Yes, we did see wildlife over breakfast.
The wildlife we saw on the boat trips was fantastic and exceeded our expectations, but we were very fortunate. We saw; proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, silver-leaf monkeys, crocodile, an excellent variety of birds AND orang-utans AND pygmy elephants twice. But that’s not all folks. The board walks at the rear of the lodge also offer great wildlife viewing opportunities. We saw bearded pig, Low’s squirrel, pygmy squirrel AND a regular visitor, Rose the orang-utan who swung across the path directly in front of us AND a civet!
We were able to see all this without ever pulling on a pair of boots. All the wildlife spotting was from the comfort of the four-seater boats or from the board-walks and viewing towers. The only mud we encountered was in the village at the tree planting so one never needed to wear more than a pair of thongs, except to go barefoot on the smooth wooden floors of the dining and lounge area. NO LEECHES!
We were happy with our guide and our boatman and the arrangements went very smoothly. The only personnel that I was not happy with was the speed boat drivers on the first and last days who made the trip across the bay to the river unnecessarily bumpy by going unnecessarily fast on the waves. I think they got their boat licenses at a rodeo.
On the last day we had a short visit to the market in Sandakan before a complimentary lunch by the pool at the Sabah Hotel, which was a pleasant surprise. Then we were transferred to a hotel or the airport as we wished. The jungle lodge itself was not excellent but the package in total certainly was.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DaisyClover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014

This was an amazing lodge, with great walkways in the 'gardens'. The walkways allowed you to feel up close to the wildlife but from the safe location of a short walk from our room. We were entertained by numerous monkeys fighting/arguing, which we saw from the walkways or the aerial platforms.
The sounds of the forest/river were fantastic, with the night-time tour being our highlight. Our guide was able to show us so much - sleeping kingfishers, snakes tucked up in the branches, fireflies (making tree lit up), numerous monkeys, even a squirrel!!
Sadly we were moved on to Kinabatangan River Lodge due to 'pirate' issues further along the coast, which was ok - food was better but no walkways.

Room Tip: A prepared for slight smell of chemical toilets in room,
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HayleyM73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kettering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
209 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2014

We stayed two nights over Christmas, so finding families there was no surprise, but unfortunately for us one father did nothing to control his children and I applaud the staff for managing to remain calm whilst he stamped his way around and generally was a nuisance!!!!

The boat trip from Sandakan was about an hour and enjoyable.

We did, however expect more from the accomodation, the room was adequate but dark and the bedding was old fashioned and floral which was definitely not the same as the clean crip white bedding shown on the board in reception, or as in the photo I am now looking at on Trip advisor.
There was an in room safe and a reasonable size double bed.

Food was buffet and good with several choices each mealtime. Dining was on the verandah overlooking the river which was nice but unfortunatley plastic tablecloths..better to have none than plastic!

As expected no Wifi - but you don't go to these places for the internet.

Drink was expensive - Cab Sav bottle 100 MR - about £20 - again expected they have to ship it out there.

It was a bit disconcerting to arrive and find a police boat and 4 armed guards there. Also the guards would wander around at night taking pot shots at something, not very comforting!

The included activities were very good, ususally by small boat to view the probiscus monkeys and other wildlife. We did early morning, late afternoon and had a night walk around the boardwalk.

I would have given this a "good" review but there is no option for that and it was not unfortunately in the "Very good "category.

Room Tip: Hard to say as ours was most definitely not as per the advertised style!!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thecatsmum4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

After arriving by boat, we were welcomed by a yummy lunch and given our room key. The hotel is on the bank on the river with the jungle behind. To get to the rooms you walk down a beautiful flower covered walkway. Rooms were nice, basic, but nice! There is a jungle walk on a wooden pathway which we saw proboscis monkey, spiders, snake and the resident wart hog! The night guided walk is along this boardwalk... So you don't need walking shoes as also when in the boat trips down the river to spot monkeys and birds-you can wear flip flops! Food is great here-beer is expensive! Overall a nice place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paula H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

We stayed at Abai for two nights on our travels around Borneo and for me it was the highlight. You need to be prepared for the heat (no air conditioning or sea breeze) but that is more than compensated for by the location and the experience. Staying here immerses in you in the rain forest and the river safaris at dawn and dusk give you the opportunity to see jungle life up close .The scenery is breathtaking. The food is simple but good and the staff, as usual in Borneo, are warm and friendly. Our guide, Terrye, was from the local village and was exceptionally knowledgeable and proud of the river, the wildlife and the trees and plants. He made it really special and he was particularly good with our three boys (13, 11 and 11) making sure they were happy. You are free to wander the boardwalks alone but our guide accompanied us at times which meant we saw so much more. We saw Orangutan in the wild at Abai - really special. We also saw crocodile, macaque, slilver-leaf monkey, egrets, kingfishers, owls, viper.. the list goes on and on.. We planted saplings as part of the reforestation project which was great to do (make sure you take footwear fit for mud). One day we will go back and see how they have grown.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Abai Jungle Lodge

Property: Abai Jungle Lodge
Address: 47 km from the river mouth of Kinabatangan River | Abai, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Kinabatangan District
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Abai Jungle Hotel Sabah
Abai Jungle Lodge Kinabatangan District, Malaysia - Sabah

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