Myself and a friend stayed here for 2 nights in March 2014 as part of a Tropical Gateway Tour (booked through Amazing Borneo locally in Malaysia).
We found the lodge to be quite comfortable although the lodges were quite basic. The rooms were very spacious and clean with plenty of drinking water and tea/ coffee facilities. That said I was a little saddened that my bed didn't have a mosquito net, like I thought, because I found that the window 'nets' still let the bugs in and that made me a little anxious sleeping (even though I was covered head to toe in deet and on Malaria tablets!!) Moreover there wasn't a great deal to do in the rooms- there was no tv for example and I also struggled to get any signal on either my UK or Malaysian number... That said some might find this quite charming, you could take a good book and chill out on the hammock just outside of the room with no interruptions from the outside world; my problem is I forgot my kindle!!
The main lodge offers a little more entertainment; there is a dart board and tv as well as a bar and wifi (which is available to buy for a few english pounds); food is also served here and it is amongst some of the best food I have had in my 3 months in Malaysia- a real highlight!
In addition, from the lodge (with their tour guides and for an added charge), you can go on several river cruises (morning, afternoon and evening) to see a lot of the local wildlife including the Proboscia monkey, rare birds and if you're lucky an orangutan. Also, you may visit the local villages or take a trek through what's left of the Sandakan rainforest after all the Palmoil plantation.... I'm sure you can also arrange for the tour guides to take you to the Gomantong cave and to see the Orangutans in Sepilok (or if they won't I'm sure they can arrange it for you, if you tell them in advance, or just book with the tour company mentioned above)...
I would like to see the lodge itself become a little more comfortable; for example I think if there were some cushions in the lodge area the seats would be more relaxing and also I think wifi should be free and there should be a pool table or table tennis, or both... We had a lot of 'downtime' in between tours and there really is no where to really walk to/ anything to see other than the river cruises and you can't keep paying for them!
On balance, I think this lodge is nice for a short break, but it is let down by there not being enough to do when you're not on a tour.... Personally I found even 2 nights quite long, so would perhaps just recommend one night unless your plans really require you to stay longer... For one night you could arrive in Sandakan early, visit the cave on the way to the lodge and then do an evening cruise, get up do a rainforest walk and river cruise and then head back towards the airport via the Orangutans.
Definitely worth doing, but consider your timings carefully!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bilit Rainforest Lodge is located beside the Lower Kinabatangan River in the village of Bilit, approximately 2 hours drive from Sandakan. It is a set of amidst lush tropical forest and offers comfort and peaceful relaxation as well as a base for easy exploration of the incredible diversity of plant, mammal and birds at the Kinabatangan region. All chalets and the restaurant are made from local hardwood material and are designed to blend into the nature giving a unique local native ambience. The rooms are very spacious and comfortable with a minimum of 600 sq.ft. for standard chalets and 800 sq. ft. for VIP permier chalets. A boardwalk connects the jetty, restaurant and all the chalets. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Traveltool, S.L.U., Odigeo, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Bilit Rainforest Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bilit Rainforest Hotel Sabah