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“Great great great! Would definitely recommend!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Permai Rainforest Resort

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Permai Rainforest Resort
Ranked #9 of 55 Hotels in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great great great! Would definitely recommend!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2012

My other half and I stayed here for 2 nights in mid-March and overall I'd say our stay was PERFECT! (wouldn't say this lightly)

The treehouse we stayed in was just lovely, very clean and so different (that's why we booked this unique sort of place for the weekend). It was such an experience to stay so near to all the wildlife and the beach is within 5 min walk.

Lovely beach - not THAT busy and the resort also offered activities - e.g. kayaking? Although we didn't take part in any of these extra activities - we didn't think we had time.

The resort is about 45mins drive from Kuching and about an hour's drive from Sepongeh (??) the Orangutan Sanctuary - you can ask for a transfer to here, at reception. Not a transfer bad price for the experience you'll have seeing the Orangutans! (there is a small fee to pay to go into the Sanctuary but again this is well worth it).
GOOD TIP - feeding time at the Sanctuary is 9am or 3pm (I think) and we went to the 9am feeding. It was very exciting, we saw 4 adult Orangutans and 1 baby!! We were told this was good (lucky) because sometimes you can visit and not see any?!!

We had quite a few meals (and drinks!) at the restaurant on site - The Rainforest Cafe - and the food was (like everything else) great. Very tasty and very cheap! Even when we had to leave early in the mornings (to go to the Orangutan place, or to go back to the airport) we just asked about taking a sandwich or something with us and this was organised very quickly, in a lunch box.

The staff were ALWAYS at hand to help. We even had the Resort Manager (I think he was) come over to us one evening at dinner and ask us how our stay was going and if there was anything he could do to make it better. We simply had nothing to complain about - everything was great! :)

Would definitely recommend the Permai Rainforest Resort to anyone who wants somewhere different; somewhere unique.

Room Tip: We stayed in a TreeHouse and they were lovely for a couple... we had Treehouse number 2 -was fine (n...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FRC111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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446 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
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
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Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2012

My wife and I checked in for a week's stay with our two children and had one of the best experiences of our lives. From the moment we checked in the staff were friendly and eager to please. Hans, the manager was polite, friendly and professional and helped us to find the cabin that was most suitable for our family. The rooms are basic - no television or internet - but comfortable with aircon (which we never turned on) and fans and plenty of hot water for the shower. This is the perfect jungle escape. Hans is constantly on patrol to make sure the guests are comfortable and manages the staff very effectively - I am used to traveling in Malaysia and do not like the sight of litter, but the resort is immaculately cleaned of trash and the beach is absolutely gorgeous. In fact there are two beaches, one with a cool river that runs into the sea and the other, more private beach surrounded by the forest where we swam and watched the sunset. There is a two hour hike from your cabin (within the resort) which leads to a spectacular 30 foot high waterfall where you can swim and watch the tiny frogs climbing against the torrent. Speaking of wildlife - the kids were utterly fascinated by the diversity of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, insects, you name it - that inhabit the resort. I saw my first fireflies. The breakfast was fine, with brown bread and coffee, plus the usual eggs and noodles etc. For lunch we made the fifteen minute walk to the nearby excellent food court, and then we enjoyed dinner at the resort in the evening. One small gripe is the cost of the red wine which is far too high. RM150 is just too much. It should be more like RM 80. The waiting staff are super friendly with lots of smiles and time for conversation.
I cannot recommend this place highly enough. There is a swimming pool that comes from the river - fresh, unchlorinated water straight from the forest floor, you can watch the dragonflies buzzing over the surface as you swim, surrounded by the jungle. You are far from TV, Internet, the news, any concerns of modern life. We will return!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank singaporeteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlingame, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

Overall Permai was a great place to stay because it's built into the rainforest. They didn't clear out an area and build houses; all of the rooms are about as close to nature as possible. We saw monkeys in the trees by the front desk both days and a hand-sized spider outside our front door one day. Hello nature.

We stayed in a treehouse one night and in a cabin the second. The treehouse was a rare experience - 30 ft up, no insects, and the sound of ocean waves + breeze all night long. It's not a big room, but we didn't spend much time inside. I'd stay there again. From a kayak, only 2 of the 10 treehouses are visible which shows how well the place is built into the surroundings.

The cabin was a bit more bland. It had space for 6, with a communal shower and 6 one-person beds. A bit dirtier, but no insects inside the room.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. We went to a seafood restaurant in the local village which was a good experience. Seafood was good, seasonal ferns were excellent.

Room Tip: For 2 people (with 1 child), choose a treehouse.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bernard_in_space
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

Date of Stay:
8 & 9 February 2012

Who:
55 year old "Mum" (Sabrina), 32 year old "Daughter" (Lise)

Reason for Stay:
We had already planned to travel to Singapore for the start of Chinese New Year 2012 (our third CNY holiday), and to round off the 15 day celebration in Penang, also taking in Thaipusam while we were at it. When trying to decide what to do with the rest of our holiday, Sabrina popped on the AirAsia website to see where we could fly to next from Penang, rather than just retracing past holiday footsteps… Kuching was somewhere we had yet to visit, and the price was right, so we booked for a 6 night stay. From there it was “heads down, bums up” researching places to stay, things to do, sights to see. During our research we read about the Permai Rainforest Resort. We were intrigued and enamoured by the thought of staying in a treehouse, so the decision was made, we would spend our first two nights in Kuching in a real life treehouse!!!

Our Experience:
We made our reservation enquiry through Permai’s website ( http://permairainforest.com/ ), completing their online proforma. Shortly afterward we received an email confirming our reservation and providing a link to a secured payment site. After entering our details on the secured site, we received (within a few days) a receipt for our payment (in advance for the full stay). We had also enquired about airport pick-up, and were requested to provide our flight details. Our communications with Permai Rainforest Resort via email were very easy, all emails responded to quickly, with the staff having very good English. Following our confirmed reservation we had cause to contact and advise our flight from Penang had been brought forward to 7am, having us landing in Kuching at 9am, and confirming our luggage could be held until check-in time. The staff could not be more helpful from our very first contact.

On arrival at the Kuching airport we were greeted by a driver with our name! Hans was great. He spoke very good English and was a great source of information, pointing out different areas and sights on the (roughly one hour) drive from the airport to the Resort. He also gave us advice on some of the best places to try Sarawak cuisine while staying in Kuching (as we had four nights in town following our nights in the treehouse).

When we reached Permai Rainforest Resort we were told to leave our cases in the car as they would be taken care of. We approached reception expecting (due to our early arrival) to arrange to leave our luggage for a while, and preparing to go for a wander until check-in time. We were very pleasantly surprised when we were checked in and given both our key and our breakfast voucher. We were allocated treehouse 4 and pointed in the right direction (over the boardwalk, up the hill, past the restaurant), our cases would follow (we later learned they would be brought up in a little trailer by one of the security staff at the hotel, who also assisted in getting our luggage up the 32 very steep steps to our room).

Our treehouse was actually a room built over six metres in the air, which places the room among the tree canopy. The room is all made of wood, with windows all around. For privacy there were blinds you could drop, though during the day time you could open them up and really feel you were surrounded by trees. All of the windows were covered with flyscreens, and there was a flyscreen door (as well as a glass door) to the balcony.

The room was of a good size, plenty of space for two twin beds (wider than standard single beds), a couple of wooden chairs (with cushions), a small table, and a suitcase bench. Each bed had one pillow and two cushions, with spare pillows in the wardrobe. Sheets and blankets were all clean. The minibar contained complimentary drinks including a can of soya bean drink, lemonade, and water (replenished each day), it was underneath a makeup bench with lighted mirror.

The bathroom was spacious and sort of open plan (semi wet-room in style, with a glass screen separating the shower from toilet). Two towels, hand towel, and face washer were clean, and changed daily. In terms of toiletries only soap was provided. The shower had good water pressure, and a reasonable amount of hot water (you wouldn’t want to have super long showers, but it was enough for both of us to shower each morning - even when the hot water started to run out, it didn’t take long to heat back up again).

Our favourite part of the room was the balcony running across the front of the treehouse, looking out towards the ocean (through the tree canopy). Treehouse 4 didn’t have a view of the ocean (as the trees were too dense), but at high tide it washed around under our balcony, and we could hear the waves against the sand throughout the day. Two wooden deck chairs fit comfortably on the balcony, a nice space to kick back with a cold drink, just relaxing and listening to the sounds of the jungle and the ocean!

On our full day at Permai Rainforest Resort it rained pretty much all day, from breakfast on. It wasn’t heavy rain, but enough to discourage us from undertaking the walk through the Resort’s grounds (up to the waterfall) due to the slippery ground. We had already visited the Sarawak Cultural Village, and as there is not much else to do out at Permai, we were left relaxing on our balcony with our trusty eReaders. What those of you reading this won’t realise is how much of a miracle this is, and how much it attests to the Permai Rainforest Resort’s ability to put you in a relaxed frame of mind. Sabrina DOES NOT stop, at most she will sit down and relax for an hour while on holidays before she is up and ready to move on. Well, she sat and read her eReader ALL day! And loved every minute of it. The combination of the trees, birds, squirrels, rain through the tree canopy, ocean beneath our balcony all just made for a completely relaxing stay.

The grounds of the Resort are simply beautiful. There is minimal impact on the surrounding environment, with simple wooden walkways over streams and gullies, and concrete paths between the rooms. Other than that it is all jungle. We enjoyed watching monkeys play in the treetops, and squirrels running past our room, and across the restaurant balustrades. The fresh water swimming pool was beautiful and clean…and freezing cold! I paddled my feet, Sabrina took one look at my face and refused to put even her toe in. The pool is not huge, so we can imagine on weekends when locals pay to use the resort facilities that it could get quite crowded, but on the weekdays we were there it was peaceful, save for the lizard playing on the boardwalk.

There are two beaches you can access. “First beach” is shared by other nearby resorts, and is the larger of the two beaches. “Second beach” (down past the freshwater pool) is smaller but more private, only accessed through the Resort. Both beaches as good as disappear during high tide. We actually sat on the rocks at the entrance to “second beach” watching the tide roll in on our first day - it was lovely, amazing to watch the beach just disappear.

We ate most of our meals at the restaurant/café at Permai Rainforest Resort (with the exception of one lunch at the nearby Damai Central food court / hawker centre). We found the meals to be tasty - not outstanding or haute cuisine, but yummy and filling. The breakfasts were tasty, and included in the room price. Fruit juice, tea, coffee, toast and Danish pastries were “free flow” and then you ordered your main dish from the breakfast menu. Dining at the resort we did discover our new most favouritest fruit juice mix, OMG, just divine (we really must get the recipe)… It is called “Pineapple Gear” and is a mix of pineapple juice, orange juice and ginger - drooling just thinking about it!!!!

Location:
The Permai Rainforest Resort is located roughly an hour’s drive from Kuching airport, on the Santubong Peninsula. There is not a lot around it, but the resort offers a well priced shuttle service in to Kuching city. The Sarawak Cultural Village is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the Resort. Also nearby is Damai Central which includes a restaurant, a bar, a new 7-11 (they were just stocking the shelves when we stayed), a gym, souvenir stall come café, travel agency, and some other empty shops. It was quite handy as you could wander out there and pick up some drinks to stock your minibar fridge cheaper than buying at the Resort.

Summary:
We really enjoyed our stay at Permai, because of the novelty of a treehouse, the beautiful surrounds, the great, helpful and friendly staff, and the Pineapple Gear! ;o)

All of the staff we met at the resort were nice, friendly, and all with a smile! Everyone spoke good English - Hans told us that the Management of the Resort are very proactive about this and actually send their staff for English lessons. We will particularly fondly remember our conversations with Hans (both on the drive from the airport, on the drive into Kuching, and when he popped over at the restaurant to say hello to us one evening), and the guys on reception (such big smiles, so friendly!).

If you’re in Sarawak to explore Kuching and its surrounds, this is perhaps not the place to stay, but if you want a few relaxing days before tackling what else Kuching and its surrounds have to offer, then this is the place to be.

Room Tip: You HAVE to stay in the treehouse!!!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Leesree_and_Subbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

Everything about my holiday in Permai Rainforest was just perfect, from booking through their website to them picking us up at Kuching Airport to the Treehouse Number 2 everything was perfect, communication was fantastic the staff very professional but very friendly we had a a laugh with the girls at breakfast every day, saw loads of wildlife the staff even showed us scorpions and spiders, sat on the beach one afternoon and saw 2 otters run across the beach and dive in to the waves, loads of squirrels just outside of our windows, butterflies has big as both of your palms of your hands put together, one in the shape of a leaf even landed on my hand one night and stayed there until i moved.
nothing to do on a night time, but you can walk to the other hotels about 10 mins away, Damia Puri has a happy hour 4.30 to 6.30 every day for 15ringitts for 3 cans of beer, at the resort 10 ringitts a can, cola etc 3 ringitts a can, food very cheap but the usual fast food, a bottle of wine 150 ringitts!!!! in my opinion have a good busy day or just chill out on the beautiful beach, take some duty free with you and on a night time chill on the balconies listening to the waves........perfect..........enjoy

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bacor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

The Permai Rainforest Resort has one of the most amazing locations I've ever been too, with two wonderful beaches (a large public one and a small secluded one), a gorgeous natural pool hidden in the forest, monkeys, trees, streams, a mountain, a waterfall, everything you could ever wish from a rainforest right on your doorstep.

The amenities however are basic. We stayed in a bungalow without air conditioning for two nights with three adults and a one year old. It was clean (though not all linen was unstained) with hot water, housekeeping cleaned the cabin daily, there was a small fridge and a huge kettle, both functional but obviously old. The food at the restaurant was fine, but not very inspiring and not much choice. This is no destination for those who are particular about their meals.

So, if you're looking for an easy and comfortable way to experience the rainforest and aren't too fussed about luxuries, I would highly recommend the Permai Rainforest.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kaatje53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

The location of this hotel is to die for. It's literally in the jungle on the beach, right out of a postcard! There are 2 white sandy beaches with beautiful see-through turquoise water. However, the reception are extremely rude and unhelpful. We booked with them 3 months in advance and we when we emailed them when the time neared for more details, they completely ignored all our emails. They don't answer the phone most of the time either. We asked them to have the room ready with a baby cot before our 11:00 pm arrival time and they said they would. When we arrived, the room wasn't clean or ready and the receptionist hadn't even informed housekeeping. He woke the housekeeping staff up, had them clean it up. We went up to the treehouse to find it wasn't the size we were promised or discussed at all. We had to wait an additional hour for the treehouse we originally booked to get cleaned and ready. The receptionist didn't give a hoot that we had a tired baby with us and that this was a horrible start!

For a $110 a night hotel, which is what we paid at the time, I certainly do not recommend this hotel to anyone. The beds needed new mattresses and pillows and the bathroom had a stench that does not go away. The restaurant staff are friendly, but the food isn't. My son ordered a burger and the meat tasted like rotten dog meat. I don't know how they could've even served meat that even smelled the way it did.

We complained to the hotel manager about these things and he promised to make it up to us by promising a bunch of things which he initiated and never even saw them through. We were fed up and left for a much better and much more comfortable hotel, in the same price range, more or less- The Damai Puri, right next door. Beautiful clean, spacious rooms, the same beach location, excellent food and supreme service, without the stench, the lies, and the irresponsibility and carelessness.

I've stayed in jungle treehouses before and loved them, but this one is just an awful place, run by awful management in a location they don't deserve.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Egypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Permai Rainforest Resort

Property: Permai Rainforest Resort
Address: Teluk Penyu, Kuching 93050, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kuching
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kuching
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Permai Rainforest Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Permai Rainforest Resort is an eco-resort set in pristine Borneo rainforest located by the beach at the foot of mystical Mount Santubong, Sarawak. Carefully designed to minimize impact on the natural environment, it offers a unique rainforest experience and a variety of activities from dolphin watching to high ropes courses and guided kayaking tours. Just 40 minutes from the Kuching, its an ideal way to experience Borneo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Permai Rainforest Hotel Kuching

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