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“Full of character”

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The Secret Sanctuary Boutique Cottage
Ranked #24 of 79 Kuching B&B and Inns
Foshan, China
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
“Full of character”
Reviewed 24 January 2013

This is a quirky place that is full of character; a definite must for thee traveller who does not like sleek, commercial chains with no soul. You are in the middle of the city but would never know it because of the greenery and natural furnishes...it does have a tropical feel about it. The owners, Cyril and Julia are very welcoming, and it is like you are staying in their home rather than at a hotel. The animals are part of the family, so you need to be ok with a small dog and half a dozen cats wondering at will.

I had a very comfy room with personality. My ensuite shower room had doors that opened about 1m from the edge of the swimming pool (complete with waterfall). In the mornings I went from my bed into the swimming pool without having to stop for clothing...a sign warns that naked bathing is permitted and I felt comfortable doing so. This ensuite arrangement did result in me finding a man in the ensuite one evening ...a man who was visiting the bar and used that toilet...to be happy staying here you should be the type of person who finds this entertaining rather than invasive.

Breakfast table was laid out for us: toast your own bread as needed with a toaster on your table, while scrambled eggs and a fresh fruit platter is served to you along with freshly squeezed fruit juice. You can read the Borneo Post over breakfast.

This is a small business that is clearly run with love as its motivating factor. My friend and I were there only guests staying for the few nights we were there so it was like having our own swimming pool. Members of the public can use the facilites and do use the bar and restaurant. It was nice to eat at a place frequented by local families, and sit at the bar chatting to locals. The food was always freshly cooked and delicious..there were no problems meeting vegetarian requirements. The food was on the pricey side but the room was a very good deal... we could not have got a swimming pool, huge jacuzzi, fish foot spa, sauna and hammocks available any time we wanted anywhere else for the deal we got.

The location is convenient to the airport, and we were picked up free of charge, but you will need to use taxis to get to and from the town centre, which will add if you are going backwards and forwards a lot.

Remember, this is a place for people who like character on their holidays.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank bookowl1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2012

A bit of a fantasy really. I love the unknown and this is what I experienced. I was attracted to the visuals of the accommodation and travelers comments and was not disappointed. Cyril and Julia are the perfect hosts, opening up their home with truely open arms. Julia is the sweetest young lady you could ever meet. Julia's thoughtfulness made my stay so pleasurable from the moment I stumbled into their truely remarkable world.
Cyril is a truely remarkable, unique character and will have a drink or two while discussing the mystery's of the world. Also he likes to shout a drink or two, bonus.
My room was amazing, large, clean, safe and I slept soundly. Large shower and toilet area which was a type of ensuite that was remarkable.
No TV so if that is a deal breaker then take your laptop and watch DVD's which is accessible. Internet is really good and free, another bonus.
Food. Let Julia treat you to new experiences, she loves to treat you to local delicacies and will enjoy having tasting plates for you. Most superb, we choose most of the ingredients from the market together on one of our outings.
Cyril and Julia also invited me to accompany me on their Saturday outings and had a wonderful time at the local market and Kutching Town.
This is a unique accommodation highlight in the suburbs of Kutching. NO SNOBS ALLOWED
Meet wonderful locals as well. Hi you

Room Tip: Go with the flow
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank MelbourneChez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

we feeli like in Bali for awhile. they provide fish spa, swimming pool, jakuzi and a very cozy place to dine in. We spent there for few hours for the fish spa. while having the ticklish feeling by the fishes, the owner went to the front desk with his cute lil puppy! I’m not a pet person and really can’t stand either cats, dogs, birds, or what so ever pets… i told the owner that i dont like the dog. and in turn, he replied me by saying “the dog also dont like you”
omg! that’s the last thing i would like to hear from the owner. A simple sorry would do. He just let the puppy walk here and there nearby my friends and i. I was so damn scared and feel so uncomfortable.
It’s a very nice place actually, except the price for the food, is quite EXPENSIVE (e.g. fish n chips at MYR38 and a glass of carrot juice at MYR12).
Other than that, i think the place really need to be maintained properly. Can see some insects and dried leaves in the swimming pool which is kinda dirty. They have the garden & forest concept i guess, but having a huge black BEE flying around you is so SCARY!
I dont think i’m going back there.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank ArdianaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boutiquehotel460, Owner at The Secret Sanctuary Boutique Cottage, responded to this review, 26 June 2013
Hey my fellow traveler,
Heaven is Right Here, Right Now .
The Secret Sanctuary is not a Hotel or restaurant .
It is Home for everyone. This is a Holistic spa retreat.
WE practice love and bring back trust by doing self service at the bar counter and pay to the olive oil container or write your own tap as honesty is beautiful gift.
Remember the entrance to the Sanctuary is inside you.
I am just a caretaker . The bank own this place until we finish paying them .
I live to give comfort
i live to shine loving light into others
i live to heal
i live to give hope
i live for truth
i live to love .
Love is an endless mystery
for it has nothing else to explain it.
Love 's gift cannot be given,
it waits to be accepted .
Listen to the world with love , communicate with everything
In fact, if we hold love and compassion in our hearts for everything we encounter in Nature, we can interact with all of it, and secrets will be revealed to us . Listen with Heart . We are all here in this world for vacation .
thank you so much .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

This is a very cute guest house type place with a few rooms and welcoming and helpful staff. Nothing fancy, but nice atmosphere. Only complaint is the distance from town and that the cab rides were a bit pricey. Food was good, pool is cute.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Emily K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

This is a real wonderfull place.
We were picked up from the airport by Julia and taken to SSBC on the outskirts of town.
Before we knew it we were sitting with Cyril, his neighbour Edward and some other guests enjoying a few cold beers and a good talk about life, while the kids were playing in the lovely pool or getting their feet cleaned in the fish pond.
The place itself is a surprsing collection of rooms and small buildings they have built themselves and has a very pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Had diner there twice, both times excellent.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter188575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Cyril and Julia operate a fantastic guest house/hotel, it's a lovely place to stay and relax. Cyrils certainly is a great chief and cooks up a great dinner.
Would highly recommend if wanting a relaxed place to stay, and friendly service from Cyril, Julia and crew
Thanks guys
Wal, em and boys

  • Stayed July 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Walpur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2012

We stayed at this place for four nights and enjoyed every minute. Every corner of the secret sanctuary is decorated with so much love to detail. We had a spacious room with a private shower that had plants all over so you feel like standing in the rain in the middle of a rain forrest. The atmosphere at the secret sanctuary is very special not only because of its aesthetic design but also because of the very friendly hosts Julia and Cyril. The food, especially the sashimi umai and the seafood salad, was amazing.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TinaF757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Secret Sanctuary Boutique Cottage

Property: The Secret Sanctuary Boutique Cottage
Address: 12 a Jalan Setia Raja 132 Jalan Stutong Indah, Kuching 93350, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 79 B&Bs / Inns in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Secret Sanctuary Boutique Cottage 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step into The Secret Sanctuary, a haven of peace set in. The place of Oneness. You get in touch with individual who share the similar soulful interest, in awakening consciousness-thing that truly matter are Beauty, Love, inner peace, creativity and joy. Specially designed by the owner for the last ten years, the journey in search of meaning of life. Located 10 mins from airport and 10 mins to the city center. Walking distance 10 minutes to the local market selling jungle produce or take a stroll in the nearby monkey forest where monkey wander freely. The reason why many people choose to stay with us because we are holiday home and living in the midst of heaven. Equipped with waterfall, swimming pool, garden, green house with pitchers plants, fish, spa, steam sauna, infra-red sauna, whirlpool, pool, jacuzzi, sun deck, honesty bar, fruit bar, draught beer & wine air con bar, gastrolounge, restaurant serve wonderful western & local food. Jungle cuisine, fresh live seafood, bbq lamb, seafood, chicken to baked pumpkin. Its central location to the national park around Kuching. Our own driver will arrange your tour around wildlife center or beaches with the comfort of our own car with ice box with drink (beer, wine, soft drink, mineral water, etc) all the time. Special rate for all tour destination.Special SERENDIPITY gastronomic seafood & wine tour to fishing village with beautiful scenery along the way . wildlife,frog tour at mountain side from 7pm to 11pm available . ... more   less 
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