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“Rainforest, Caves, Orangutans and River Cruises...”

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Bilit Rainforest Lodge
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Rainforest, Caves, Orangutans and River Cruises...”
Reviewed 16 May 2014

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!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank lady_rsr5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaurista, Manager at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Hello lady_rsr5,
Thank you for having taken the time to review the hotel on TripAdvisor. We are delighted to read you had had a good stay with us. We will also be looking into your comment regarding the mosquito netting. further on the feedback with activities perhaps we could add in of more books to our little library collection, there are already board games (e.g. chess etc) as well however we were hesitant to have pool table as such as this could contribute to group play that may trigger noises and the lodge is about observing the wildlife. We thankful with your thoughts and will definitely look at making the lodge a better place for everyone.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

If you want to explore the jungle or go on a wildlife river cruise, it's likely you'll be staying in a lodge along the Kinabatangan river.

I think this is meant to be one of the nicer lodges, comprising of double and 'detatched' chalets, all connected by boardwalks to the main lodge where you have your meals. Stay is all-inclusive, but you can buy beers and other drinks at the bar.

We were upgraded to a large split-level chalet, with the bathroom on one level and the bedroom on the next. The furnishings were lovely - lots of wood panelling and wicker chairs, very colonial style, and the room was clean. We had one incident with an ant invasion in the bathroom, but staff were quickly on hand with bug spray and cleaning materials. All chalets have a porch with chairs and hammocks, perfect for relaxing during your down time there. There's no wifi in the rooms, but I think you can buy access at the bar (although perhaps use this as an opportunity to simply enjoy your surroundings, you don't stay in a rainforest every day!).

Buffet meals are served at set times and are delicious with plenty of choice (although not much for vegetarians). They even serve afternoon tea with cute, freshly baked cakes and local sweets.

It really is a special place to stay, it's lovely to be able to eat and sleep in the middle of a rainforest, surrounded by the sounds of the local wildlife.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MrsT28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaurista, Manager at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Hello Dirgette,
On behalf of the hotel team, I thank you for your kind review on Tripadvisor. In regards to your feedback with the vegetarian meal choices, we shall look in to the matter. Overall, we are glad to know that you had a positive stay with us and sincerely hope to welcome you again when you come back to Borneo, Bilit Rainforest Lodge.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2014

I was really pleased with the Bilit Rainforest Lodge when my partner and I stayed last week. At first I thought it was more upmarket than we had wanted for our rain forest experience however we soon changed our tune. The Lodge supports the local village with many villagers working there. The staff are fantastic, friendly, helpful and fun to be with. The lodges are beautiful and at night, with the noise from the rain forest and the macaques playing on your hammock outside, you soon realize that you are deep into the rain forest.

The boat trips out along the Kinabtangan are also excellent. The guides have spectacular eye sight so help you spot the wildlife, they are all local so know where to find the animals. We were lucky enough to see a Python, Proboscis monkeys and an orangutan on our evening trip.

Suffice it to see, we didn't want to leave Bilit rain forest lodge and the Kinabatangan.

Room Tip: The further away from the main lodge you are, the more wildlife you will encounter at night. It is...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank wildc98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaurista, Manager at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Hello wildc98,
Thank you for taking the time to review us, it was an absolute pleasure reading the review. We will be certain to share these fabulous comments with the rest of the team in recognition of the team’s commitment and passion for guest service. Appreciate the recommendation made, look forward to welcoming you again to Bilit Rainforest Lodge.
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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
53 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

This hotel is an excellent base for river cruises where you can see several interesting animals from birds to orang-utans and crocodiles. Our chalet was clean and nicely decorated, but the only thing that I missed there was a mosquito net. This net is mainly for convenience as we did not have any mosquitos or other bugs in the bed, but still as you are in a jungle it would be nice to have some just-in-case protection.

Staff at the hotel were friendly and the main "building" was cosy and nice to hang around. There is not really that much to do except the cruises and jungle walks, but meanwhile its just great to have a rest in a hammock with the jungle sounds around you. I would recommend the place!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Leena152
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaurista, Manager at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Hello Leena152,
Appreciate the review and we are delighted to know that you had enjoy the natural attractions here at bilit Rainforest Lodge. We shall definitely review on your feedback with the mosquito netting. Further to your compliment on the staff, we are indeed fortunate to have some wonderful young team with diverse ethnic background, it really does add to the experience. Thank you for your recommendation look forward to welcoming you again.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Stayed here for 3 n ights and had a wonderful time. The beds were quite comfy, the rooms were clean and the front porch was a great place to relax and read a book. We booked a tour through Amazing Borneo and our guide, Jum, was top notch! She even played the guitar and sang for us. There was plenty of food and the river cruises were great. I don't know how the boat captain an be so quick finding the wildlife, but we saw everything!! Highly recommend.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MikenGena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaurista, Manager at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, 3 July 2014
Hello MikenGena,
Its terrific to know that you and your partner had an enjoyable stay. Yes, Jum is definitely a gem and as always her cheerful self and effortlessly making new friends. We have passed your positive feedback on to our team, it's good to know they provided friendly and knowledgeable services. Thank you for your excellent review of us, we look forward to welcoming you back to Bilit soon.
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England
Level Contributor
64 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014 via mobile

In common with others we found the location, rooms and scheduled trips to be very good. I can confirm that there were 3 dogs in the lodge area but they were not a problem - we had two of them for company on our deck one afternoon. There also appears to be a resident troop of macaques that can be seen at dawn and dusk. We found lunch and dinner food to be plentiful and varied. We particularly enjoyed the huge river prawns and the well cooked vegetables. Breakfdt was basic but we were happy to eat toast, fresh fruit etc.

Our niggle is that there is little to do between breakfast following the dawn boat trip and 4pm when you depart for the dusk boat trip. That is simply too long to be "relaxing". We had a brief walk to the village BUT this is not a cultural opportunity: the river people wear English Premier League football shirts and cycle shorts, carry mobile phones and the village is dominated by huge satellite dishes. There is absolutely nothing to do after dinner which is done and dusted by 8:30pm - unless you want to pay for another boat ride!

So, Billit get you act together and put a more comprehensive program together. It can be done - we visited the Amazon rainforest in Peru and their program was much, much better. I think there needs to be a PROPER third activity each day.

We enjoyed the opportunity to see primates in the wild but I would not recommend the trip to my friends.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank scubafanEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
662 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

Spent 3 nights here and saw the most amazing wildlife....orangutans, pigmy elephants, crocodiles, macaque monkeys, eagles, hornbill birds etc. The lodge had very basic accommodations & meals. Nothing fancy by any means, but the staff is very friendly. Be prepared for rain...lots of rain when going on wildlife outings. No complimentary Wi-Fi available, but can be purchased. If you enjoy a beer or glass of wine we would suggest you purchase and take it with you before arriving. They have some, but cost more than you would want.

Room Tip: The rooms are eco like huts. No recommendations for the best room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nvlinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bilit Rainforest Lodge

Property: Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Address: KG Bilit Seberang Jalan Sukau, Kota Kinabatangan 90200, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Kinabatangan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Kota Kinabatangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 24
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 
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Also Known As:
Bilit Rainforest Hotel Sabah

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