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“Relaxing and fun resort”

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Permai Rainforest Resort
Ranked #11 of 54 Hotels in Kuching
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Relaxing and fun resort”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Permai Rainforest Resort has something for everyone - treetop rooms for honeymooners, a hidden beach and lots of activities for kids and adults alike. My sister and I stayed in two types of room while at Permai - Treehouse number two and a cabin. The standard of the treehouse was much better and I would definitely recommend booking these rooms rather than the cabins which were a bit tired. The hotel restaurant was excellent. I am a coeliac and often struggle to find gluten free food, however the restaurant manager was very conscientious and ensured that a special meal was prepared for me each morning.

Having said this, in some other areas of customer service, Permai could have improved. We were told that a guide had been booked for the Bako tour, but there was no one to greet us when we arrived. In the end, we were fine without a guide - but if you're really keen to have one, ensure that you book early and re-confirm a few days in advance. Also, we were disappointed that when we moved rooms, our bags were simply left outside our cabin. Not only was this a security concern, but also being in the rainforest, this left our bags exposed to the rain.

Although there were some aspects which could be improved, I would recommend this resort - the setting is beautiful, the beaches are lovely and the tours such as the wetlands tour and bake (even without a guide!) were enjoyable and good value. Go for a treehouse and you'll have a great holiday.

Room Tip: Treehouse - we stayed in number two which has a sea view
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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1 Thank anniebellie_ukau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

Definitely stay in a treetop house and you will not be disappointed. Animal experiences are absorbing and plentiful, we would recommend the night walk and the mangrove boat tour. Also don't miss out on the Bako national park tour. The spicy malay chicken curry should not be missed when you get a bit peckish. Yum yum.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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4 Thank Ben D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

It was a unique experience staying almost in a tree and had a fantastic view of the sea.
We arrived at the Permai Rainforest lodge at 4 in the afternoon in the hotel taxi arranged by us in advance. The pick-up and drive from the airport was smooth without any problems. We enquired about the mangrove evening cruise while checking in and requested them to try and book us on it. We trudged to our tree house room with our bags and then had to carry them up as well. This was not an easy task! We later realized that they arrangements to deliver the bags to the room!
Once we reached the room, we really liked it. The colours in the room were green and brown which went very well with the surroundings. There was a bathroom with shower and really nice hot water, a balcony and we had a great deck as well ( we stayed in TH no. 10).
The room had no internet or television. However our stay was really memorable!

We had dinner in the café the first night. The sweet corn soup was rich and with the addition of some condiments turned out to be tasty and filling. The vegetarian sandwich was just ok though the chicken curry was good.
Breakfast at the café was acceptable.

Room Tip: Tree house no. 10 has a nice deck and great view
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank bhatku101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

having come across this resort while researching our next holiday on the internet- we full well what to expect when we got here. That is a basic but clean cabin in a rain forest with a beach in front and a mountain behind us. so if you come here and complain about the rooms- they are what they purport to be and you simply haven't researched well enough. I agree with the previous post- what an awful eerie place next door with over 200 rooms and barely a guest. I half expected to see Jack Nicholson staggering around. The Permai was fairly busy with tables at the cafe mostly taken on some nights.

The meals at the cafe were fine- some nights better than others. admittedly eating three meals a day at the same place for 5 days is not my cup of tea so we ventured over to Damai Central where the food hall for lunch is an excellent option.

staff are friendly and helpful both at reception and at the cafe. wifi in the cafe was good, and not having wifi or tv in the cabin was a blessing, gave us a chance to talk, play cards at night etc. and it was sooooooooooo relaxing there- time just drifted along.

recommended- unless you prefer staying in so called 5 star empty, soulless monoliths. By yourself.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank maroon25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

I'm from Kuching, and thus my review will be from a local visitor's standpoint.

I stayed at the Tree House room 6, which in fact is a very tall (I guess 2-3 storey tall) house attached on wooden stairs. It's for couple. The room itself is not as stable as the ground-based rooms, and there is some creaking when we walked inside. Nevertheless, it was really fun as the room is facing the seaside (the right direction where sun sets!)...until you realized the view was blocked by some tall trees (sigh). But from the balcony, I can see other rooms are not blocked by trees (esp room no.5 IIRC). Bed was nice, but just confusing because there were two single bed... Why couples would wanna sleep on two single bed is beyond me. The room itself isn't new, and I can smell some dust. But it was acceptable to me. Overall cleanliness I could say 3.8/5. Air ventilation is good.

Food wise... Well, that's not much choice for a local like me who knows what kind of food is available in this region. There are some good restaurants around which serve great local food, but it's not walking distance. The closest one is at Damai Sentral (I'm not sure if it's operating). The canteen inside Permai has some choices, just that to a local it's priced a tad higher than usual. I can't fault that at all since this place is considered remote, there's handling costs involved. We did have buffet breakfast, where we took some fried kueh teow (stir-fried ricecake strips), pan cake with syrup, corn flakes, bread and butter (lol at the pun), and milk.

The beach is connected along Damai Puri's and Damai Sentral (not close, but connected). It's clean and beautiful. The walk inside the forest is great too, with a jungle pool (interesting pool built naturally). I used to have fun with obstacle courses long time ago, but this time i find that the course's location was already closed down.

Well in short, this place is very relaxing, and suitable for city dwellers to come and have a F5.

*I rated 5 stars based on my overall satisfaction of the particular stay*

Room Tip: Avoid tree house with balcony blocked by trees to have a clear stunning sun set view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Phillip S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
287 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

For the record can I just say I find the negativity of some reviewers here bewildering and vexing. We stayed in a treehouse at Permai for three nights and it was a lovely experience. Yes, they are basic but it's part of the charm. You are in the rainforest for gods sake! The rainforest cafe has a decent menu and everything we chose from it was satisfying. Breakfast was fine too. I had no problems with the staff who were all friendly and helpful. Heaven forbid this place will become like the concrete monstrosity down the beach! Kayaking around the peninsula, feeling like you are totally alone with the sounds and sights of the jungle is an experience that will live long in my memory. Oh and Mosquitos in the cafe were not a problem. See for yourself - we would stay again in a heartbeat.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Basemess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Albans, England
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

To stay in the rainforest is a privilege. These beautiful, dangerous, noisy, hot and humid places are an assault on the senses. Walk down paths with (mildly) venomous snakes in the bush just next to you, wait while a basking three feet long monitor lizard moves out of your way. Lie awake tot he sound of a bird shouting its alarm all night. Watch monkeys play in the trees outside your cabin. Calm down the distraught mother whose child has just skipped happily over the venomous snake sunning itself on the path. All as you wipe the deet poisoned insect from your neck. Awesome, and I do mean, truly awesome.

So why doesn't someone recognise that spending a little money on this resort and bringing it up to standard would make it so much more enjoyable. Even if you had to pay more. Until they do get used to the fact that this resort is basic. If there were a category below basic I would award it.

Accommodation comes in three forms. Tree house, fairly new cabin and fairly old cabin.. The tree house is an experience and offers a hut in a tree. Most of the amenities worked including the air conditioning. Everything is tired and needs complete refurbishment but its ok.

The newer cabins aren't that bad. I am told some have AC but all have a fan. They are of a standard usually reserved for outward bound dormitories. You get a fan and a fridge (ours didn't work) and a shower.

The older cabins (we stuck one for three nights) are pretty awful places. The very romantic among you may be able to excuse them. I don't.

Food is served at the cafe which is ok and has some really nice staff (the younger they are the more helpful they were). However they kept running out of things and couldn't be bothered to replace them. We only had a desert one night because they 'ran out of fruit'. Breakfast was ok but again nothing got replaced once it had run out. One tip, we think the restaurant was the best place to get bitten by mosses.

Three wonderful things. The cultural centre next door is well worth a visit. The boat trip to see crocodiles and dolphins is good fun although you probably won't see crocodiles or dolphins and the trip to Baku Island is amazing. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of our life and we saw so much wildlife. One tip, the resort will tell you that you organise a guide when you get there. the staff on the island will tell you that you should have organised it before you came. I would book one privately online if you can. It makes a huge difference, is safer (some of the monkeys are very dangerous) and you will learn so much more.

There is no doubt that being at Permai offered the most adventures and amazements of our entire holiday but that really had nothing to do with the resort just its location. If you are hardy, expect very little and genuinely are prepared to put up with poor quality for the experience then go for it. If not, book into the hotel next door and get a day pass to Permai.

It could be so much better.

Room Tip: Book a treehouse and book it well in advance. Check carefully and double check they have your booki...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin W
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 Romantic 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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