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“Basic but lots of character and Air Conditioning !”

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Borneo Nature Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 August 2014

We stayed in this lodge after a 2 night stay at the borneo rainforest lodge, the first thing the manager did was apologise for not being as up market as the BRF lodge. He really didn't need to apologise, we knew the standard was not the same, but what the lodge lacked in spit and polish, it more then made up for in over all character and caliber of staff. Our room was large and clean with air conditioning. The bathroom was looking a little tired and was in need of refurbishment, but after a conversation with Dan the manager the hotel and its investors appear to have plans for a refurbishment in the pipeline.
The food was limited in choice but an excellent standard and there was plenty of it too. The prices of soft drinks and cans of Tiger lager were very reasonable.
Our guide called called Kurt was excellent, very knowledgable and brilliant with the kids, each question they asked (and there were lots) he answered in great detail. We were lucky enough to see a large herd of elephants feeding at the edge of the river, with half a dozen of them playing in the actual river..magical !
I really enjoyed my couple of days staying at this lodge, small and very personal however I think it would benefit from a more constructive bar/outside seating area for guest to sit and discuss the days adventures and the animals and wildlife they've seen throughout the day, 2 picnic benches didn't really do it for us. That said I hope the planned refurbishment is not too grand, it would I fear detracted from the lovely atmosphere we enjoyed so much at this lodge!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank TravelAgentAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us at BNL.

Thank you for the proposal of outdoor bar and will bring this to our top management.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 - 91 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2014

The Kinabatangan river is a beautiful place and the wildlife is absolutely fantastic. We visited BNL during our honeymoon as we had been advised to stay here due to its location, 2-star rating and AC. I understand that all the accommodation in this area is a little basic.

The negatives - place itself is a little tired and undermaintained, the canopy netting was full of leaves, the jetty was derelict and the room which we stayed in was unfortunately not clean, if you are not on the river/an excursion there is absolutely nothing else to do here and you cant go anywhere, the AC only works until 22.30 and then comes on again at 06.00.

The positives - staff here were very friendly, our guide on the river was excellent and the food was ok if you are not a vegetarian (apparently David Attenborough prefers to eat here when in the area), AC.

We had a 3 day, 2 night stay and visited the Sepilok orangutan rehabilitation centre, did river cruises, the Gomantong caves and the Sandakan city tour. Whilst I enjoyed all of these excursions I would warn people against the city tour which just felt like an attempt to while away the time before going to the airport, though a good opportunity to see a bit of local life.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Marcos K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We spent two nights here at Borneo Nature Lodge and we were blown away by the friendliness of the staff! The food was amazing (we are both chefs) and the chef very talented. I was able to fish on the river with our boatman who was generous enough to share our catch of fresh catfish and river prawn with us which translated into a memorable experience and meal. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. The amount of wildlife to see on the nearby river was excellent with elephants, wild orangutans, hornbills, and every kind of monkey you'd want to see!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank HStevens1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us at BNL.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I absolutely loved this place. We were on a two day, one night tour and I wish we would have been able to stay longer at the lodge. If what they told me was correct, it's the only lodge on the Kinabatangan River with air conditioning, which was huge for me since I don't do well with humidity. So I jumped for joy when they told me the rooms were ACed. The rooms were clean, big, and quiet. Had our own little front porch, though it was tough to sit out there without being too annoyed by the mosquitoes. But hey, it's the middle of the jungle. Compared to the jungle lodges I stayed at in Peru I felt like I was at the Ritz Carlton here.

The food was nothing special, but it was good and it was all you can eat. They even had yellow watermelon, which I had never seen before. The employees were very friendly and willing to go out of their way to help the guests. It was Christmas eve so it was just us and a family from Seattle at the lodge. They treated us very well.

Down the river there are tons on monkeys and other wildlife. Unfortunately we didn't see any elephants runs by but the funny looking proboscis monkeys made me feel better. I can't recommend this place enough. If I'm ever back searching for orangutans in the Malaysian jungle I will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Heckmantis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your tour and your stay with us at BNL.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

We only spent the one night at BNL but found it to be very pleasant.
Right from the friendly welcome we received from all of the staff to a basic but comfortable room and the really pleasant food we could not fault our experience.
We saw lots of monkeys on the river safari but little else, but that is the luck of the draw.
Would have been a good place to relax for a few days.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Noel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your tour and your stay with us at BNL.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

A wonderful, peaceful place, peaceful and amiable people and wonderful meals. The cook was a wonderful guy!
The service and everything is basic, so do not expect luxury (except the food which was really first class!)

Room Tip: All rooms are nice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Taridoc t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us at BNL.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

The Borneo Nature Lodge is by no means a "Club Med" resort, but as a rainforest experience and lodge, it is very comfortable. We chose this particular lodge as it appeared to be the only one which offered airconditioning. We did, however, discover that, in keeping with its policy of being eco-friendly, the aircon was turned off overnight, but, in fact, we found that the fans were sufficient to keep the room cool overnight, as the roof is also insulated with leaf matter on top of the tin. The rooms have beautiful outlooks into the rainforest environment, and each cahalet is connected by a boardwalk. The meals provided were simple, but adequate. The staff were very friendly, and well-trained- special thanks to Wandie & Ain- your smiles & helpfulness made each mealtime a pleasure. We enjoyed the three boat trips we did into different areas of the Kinabatangan, seeing proboscis monkeys, macaques, hornbills, orang-utans, numerous birds and insects.......and leeches!! Despite info saying we would need leech socks, we did not- it was sufficient to wear long trousers tucked inside socks, and a long-sleeved shirt/ blouse for the short rainforest walk undertaken during the morning boat trip. We did a 3 night package which we purchased directly through the lodge online, which included pickup from our hotel in Sandakan, one night out on Selingan (Turtle) Is, Sepilok Orangutan Rehab Centre, transfer to & from the Kinabatangan, accommodation for 2 nights at Borneo Nature Lodge, visit to Gomantong Cave & a city tour of Sandakan- a very worthwhile package. My only regret is that we didn't see a pygmy elephant!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Brenda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2014

Hi there,

Apology for the delay reply from our side!

Anyway thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us at BNL.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future and just keep in touch! Hopefully next time you will have luck with the pygmy elephants then.

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Borneo Nature Lodge

Address: No. 41 Block 3, 1st Floor, Prima Square, Phase 1, Mile 4, North Road, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range: £186 - £404 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Borneo Nature Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An eco-friendly lodge nestled along the riverbank of Kinabatangan river the longest and biggest river in Sabah.The Lower Kinabatangan is one of Sabah's most splendid natural treasures and the richest concentration of wildlife in South East Asia. The lodge has 12 rooms with an additional twin-sharing handicapped friendly room equipped with air-condition and attached bathroom. Appreciate the "Green" details practise by the lodge where at night all electrical items run on solar power. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Borneo Nature Lodge Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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