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“Serenity and eco friendly”

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Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Serenity and eco friendly”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

We booked this with Borneo Eco tours and it's a gem!

Nested by the Kinabatangan River, this gem of accommodation is built and maintained well. The whole ambiance is serene and only the rainforest can be heard.

The bedroooms are tidy and clean, and are named after respective naturalists and historical figures! Being an eco lodge, there is no air conditioning. They do provide sarongs, which are naturally cooling to wear. The rain supplies water to the lodge, which is heated by solar energy. They do have filtered water for drinking, and laundering is done in Sandakan regularly when stocks are replenished too. All catered meals were served warm and delicious. The eco part is that staffs will also help themselves to the buffet when visitors are finishing their meals.

Staffs are all helpful and friendly, albeit only a few of them. Tour operators are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Even the boat operators knows a thing or two! Or have connections on the river! Our group were divided into 2 groups and we spent more time with the boat operator. One of our excursions included a signal from the boat operator's mates to indicate pygmy elephants upstream! Our groups got there first and had a quiet 15min to just observe the elephants before the area were crowded by other visitors to the river!

There is free wireless internet, board games, and coffee and tea. They also offer foot spas, batik painting, and other activities at extra charge between river excursions.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

656 reviews from our community

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English first
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
1 review
Reviewed 14 September 2013

We were there for four days and three nights with friends. We found the enthusiasm of our guides infectious. They were so knowledgable and humble: Fernando and Nexter, you were amazing! We watched a herd of thirty pygmy elephants feeding by the river bank, for over an hour! There was a rich assortment of birds, proboscis monkeys and an orang utan as well. After boat rides, some of the ladies relaxed in the foot massage spa which was delightful. The rooms were spacious, comfortable, well thought out. I loved the fact that the rooms were named after respected naturalists like David Attenborough or historical figures of Borneo like Agnes Keith Newton and other locals.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the main sitting area are quieter
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
1 review
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We just got back from the Lodge... we LOVE IT!!
The Lodge is CLEAN, WELL MANAGED, staffs are FRIENDLY, SERVING and CARING
The morning, afternoon and night cruise enables us to see different things ...
I like the way the program is being organized cos it allows us to experience both rest and sightings of wild life

Thank you Nexter, Fernando for being an excellent guide!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2013

We stayed here for three nights and enjoyed it. the location is very attractive and dinning over the river was interesting.
We did find our room a bit warm and would have welcomed an aircon to make it easier to sleep at night.
The rooms were clean and the shower was nice and I could add just a little hot to get a luke warm shower. The showers are eco friendly and solar heated. This did mean that one early morning there was no warm water and I had a rather colder shower than I wanted.
The boat trips on the river were generally well done. Our main guide,Aswan (spelling probable incorrect), was very good. He found monkeys and other things, took us in close and held the boat still so we could take lovely photos. Another guide we had in tandem with Aswan wasn't nearly as good. He seldom got in close to the monkeys etc and couldn't hold the boat there so it kept drifting away. He would then motor back in and repeat the process time and again. This meant we missed parts of Aswan's explanations and so much movement made many of my photos blurr.
The tour days were good most days, but our last full day we had a trip on the river before breakfast, then nothing until the Gomantong Cave at 3pm. There wasn't much to fill the time and we just read our books.
However the overall experience was very good.
The food was good with a selection of nice foods. As I don't drink tea or coffee I would have liked a juice alternative available at mealtimes.
The jungle boardwalk was a bit disappointing until the last morning when we went for a walk before breakfast. Just at the start of the boardwalk we heard lots of loud crashing in the trees. Silver Langur monkeys were jumping from tree to tree. There was probably 8 or 9 and it was cool to watch them.
Would love to return to this lodge or one similar.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 September 2013

The staff was especially excellent with us. They gave our group extraordinary care!! OUR GUIDES WERE AMAZING. They were so joyous and bubbly, they also entertained the kids pretty well!!! The lodge was magnificent and felt really homie, the food was superbly delicious!! Especially the lunch. My group saw plenty of wildlife, we saw the proboscis ,monkey, macaw monkeys and 30 elephants on the jungle cruise. The experience was truly memorable!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013 via mobile

I chose it because it was no 1on tripadvisor, but I don't think we'll be going back there again. Our room (15B) was too warm. The fan did little to cool us down and we were sweating even in the middle of the night. The air circulation was not good. It was cooler in the bathroom area and I ended up sleeping there instead. It was much cooler outdoors but leaving the door open wasn't an option because of the mosquitoes. I killed a few Aedes mosquitoes there (the ones that transmit dengue) when we were eating at the restaurant and at the lobby.

The bathroom was also mouldy and smelled of urine as soon as it got wet. Water, once it gets out of the shower area, collects on the floor and has nowhere to go. The toilet became a no-go area for socks, and we didn't want to use the slippers either because they belonged to the room and other people had obviously used them before!

Plus points- The restaurant was located right on the water, we enjoyed beautiful views. The food choices were not extensive but amazingly delicious! Wish they had more cold drinks on offer instead of canned soda, beer and water though.

More minus points- the boat cruises felt crowded. Night cruises were not included in the package.

We stayed there for only one night and were glad it wasn't for longer.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

The lodge is fabulous- rooms were recently renovated, clean and had los of character you don't usually get in a guest house or hotel. The bathrooms were clean and there were great communal areas. The attached jungle walk is pretty tame but great for a night walk in the "jungle". There is no air con but to be honest we got used to it pretty quick- take DEET though! we got a lot of bites.

We did 2 nights here and that was perfect- any more and I think you might get a bit bored as there isn't a huge amount to do outside the guided tours. The whole thing does feel pretty staged as you are always among about 15 other tourist boats whenever you are out on the cruises. However listening to guides from other lodges and seeing the sheer number of people they'd squeezed on some boats I think this is probably one of the best lodges in this area we had brilliant guides and small group sizes.

Food wise, after staying at a couple of other places which offered buffets this came up pretty poor- there wasn't enough food a lot of the time and it got pretty cold. It was all very fried and a bit of a disappointment actually.

We also stayed when a couple of families were there- I think unless your kids are massive fans of animals its not that child friendly.

The overall experience was very good, and it's probably hard to beat as a place to spot jungle wildlife and see a bit of the interior.Would go back for sure (But take some snacks!)

Room Tip: Don't think you can select but the ones nearest the communal area pick up the WiFi though there...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Property: Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Address: Sukau, Lower Kinabatangan River | 2 1/2 hours from Sandakan by boat, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Kinabatangan District
Hotel Class:3 star — Sukau Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge nestles on the banks of one of Borneo's most important waterways, the Kinabatangan River, home to many of Borneo's magnificent wildlife. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the rainforest and the cacophany of its inhabitants, its majestic birds, all 7 species of Borneo Primates including Borneo's iconic Proboscis Monkey, Orangutans in their natural habitat as well as herds of Borneo Pygmy Elephants. Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers the rare comfort and luxury in the midst of the Borneo Rainforest whilst retaining an Eco-Lodge ethos, the delicate balance of true sustainability. We promise to give you and your family an experience you'll always remember and one you'll never regret. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sukau Rainforest Hotel Sabah
Sukau Rainforest Lodge Kinabatangan District, Malaysia - Sabah

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