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“River safari” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bilit Rainforest Lodge

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Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“River safari”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

Not sure how to start this one as I rarely write bad reviews. From the outside looks OK but there was not much to do. I will say our wildlife river cruises were very good but that is luck as to what you encounter. We saw elephants close up & lots of Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques & Gibbons. So did the other lodge safari boats as they are all on the river at the same time. The river safari's don't go for long enough & there is nothing else to do. The Lodge itself was OK but we were invaded by ants, fly spray in the rooms would sort that problem. We used our insect repellent. The air conditioning was good had a decent book so lazed around reading. Not really what I wanted to do. The grounds of the lodge are quite unkempt with a lot of rubbish visible. The food seemed OK until we got very sick on the day we left. Other people staying there who we caught up with later also experienced sickness within their family. Probably would look for another lodge with better grounds so you could explore or just enjoy the outdoors.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Diedre_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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237 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 (26)
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

Good food, clean, attractive chalets. While its not 5 star it is perfect for the area. Very helpful staff, and really good boat tours (generally wouldn't be in to that type of activity but actually it was really interesting)

Room Tip: There are a lot of bats in the area but still a lovely spot!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RMGCG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

We booked via our family in Malaysia using 'Amazing Borneo Tours' to get best price on our package, which included an overnight stay at Selingan Turtle Park, 2 nights here , a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre on our way and Sandakan City tour-see my other reviews for each.

On arrival we were served welcome drinks and then a buffet lunch. The food was nice and fresh with plenty of choice of local food. Hubby opted for chips, as he's a fussy eater. We were then given our room key and left to our own devices until the afternoon river cruise to see wildlife along the Sukau Kinabatangan River Bank. The guide was English speaking and had a very keen eye for spotting the Kingfisher's, Eagles, amongst other birds, Proboscis monkeys, crocodiles & pig tailed macaques.

It is nice there is no TV or distractions and we lapped up the ambiance of the rain forest. In case you're wondering that loud clicking noise are swarms of beetles. It is amazing how the noise escalates as they pass through! A word of warning, don’t leave anything lying about on your balcony, as the monkeys may steal them!

The evening meal included entertainment. The locals performed a dance and were great at getting all the ladies up to join in. Our guide made up a special table for us with beautiful flowers and candles as it was our Honeymoon. There is a bar in the restaurant, but alcohol is limited. There was no wine available during our stay. I wasn’t surprised as it is difficult to get nice wine anywhere in Malaysia and it is very expensive there. You get dive bombed a bit by large green beetles in the restaurant, but you are in the rainforest remember! On the plus side, it is a beautiful view into the surrounding area, especially when there is a mist.

The next morning after breakfast at 6am, we chose to do the jungle trek instead of the river cruise. I would recommend leach socks if you can get them as there loads about and they will stick to you. We walked through the stomping ground of the pigmy elephants. Unfortunately, there were none when we were there, but a traveler friend saw some a few days later when they visited.

Lunch was provided and then we were left to chill out for the rest of the day until dinner again.

Overall, we found the Lodges comfortable and well maintained and the price was in line with other similar tours. There was no issue with insects in the accommodation. The staff were lovely and the tour guides very knowledgeable. Afternoon tea is also included in your stay. I would recommend you go and see for yourself. Don’t expect the Ritz; this is not what this tour is about. You won’t be disappointed.

We travelled April 2013.

Room Tip: Rooms near the restaurant are nicer, as you don't have so far to get to meals in the dark, if yo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boogy73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

I recently stayed at Bilit Rainforest Lodge at the end of a three week holiday in Borneo. I booked two nights (all meals and three boat trips) at the lodge via the internet through Amazing Borneo, who provided me with a detailed itinerary including walks (with mention of available optional tours night boat trips and night walks.) I arrived in the afternoon from Sandakan and after settling in, went on my first boat trip from 4pm until 6pm and saw numerous monkeys and birds. The following day I left the lodge on a 6am boat trip and on returning to the lodge around 9am were told the rest of the day was 'at leisure' (except for lunch at 12.30 and afternoon tea at 3.30pm) before our 4pm boat trip. As mentioned by others, there is nothing to do at the lodge and any alternative activities suggested by others were dismissed, this was especially frustrating as I had been told other guests had seen pygmy elephants a couple of days prior. When this was mentioned to our guide, she told me it was 'too far' (about an hour by boat) and not part of the itinerary and therefore would be an 'additional cost.' There were 14 guests and 7 guides at the lodge at the time.

The lodge was completed in 2008 and the rooms, while cool, comfortable and spacious are in need of an update. It is disappointing that the lodge is next to a paddock planted with Palm Oil, which does distract from the 'rainforest' aspect.

All in all, value for the money, I considered the lodge overpriced (especially when compared to MULU in Sarawak.) On the upside, the food was tasty and varied and the lodge staff helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Susan N
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 Susan N,
I am terribly sorry if you have felt that our guides did not show enough courtesy during your last stay with us.
Perhaps the guides did not elaborate, the river cruise included in your package is for of 2 hours cruise and the pygmy elephants are always moving up and down the river bank, unfortunately that they are further up river already during your stay. The additional rides optional to guests are for these sort of trip, should there are sightings of the elephants news will be spread out of their location and additional rides could be booked.
Further to your feedback on the rooms condition, we could not do much with the Palm Oil neighboring to our lodge as those land belongs to a the villagers they are free to grow what any crops and do any plantation.
However, we are pleased that you enjoy indulging in our local cuisine served during your stays.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

We stayed for 2 nights in a spacious chalet, it was quite comfortable and clean. Food in the main lodge area was very good, especially the second night when we had river prawns and fried calamari. Beer was available for purchase but we would have really liked to have had wine as an option. There was a little ad on the fridge about wine being available but not when we were there.

As pointed out by others, there it is a real deficiency that if you are staying more than one night, there are no activities planned during the day. We weren't even given an option of an additional boat ride or walk around the property or fishing from the dock. I would have give the property 4 stars if there had been more activities possible.

The A/C in the room was GREAT!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AmFromDC
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 AmFromDC,
Thank you for sharing your recent experience with the Tripadvisor community. From my understanding, you had an enjoyable stay and your feedback of additional activities to do at the lodge are available. This is to be book with our reception however this are optional and payable at small amount of charges (e.g jungle walk, river cruise etc).
It is rather unfortunate that the wines were out when you were there, as Bilit is about 2 hours away from the Sandakan City therefore supply may came short especially if the guests turn overs are high. Other than that we are pleased to know that you had a GREAT time with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2014

We stayed here for 3 days / 2 nights and I really wish we had stayed longer. We were on a wildlife tour of Malaysia and coming here was just amazing. Travelling down the river in the early morning and late evenings are memories that will live with me forever. We were lucky and saw an outstanding amount of wildlife - organgutang, probiscus monkey, crocodile, raptors x lots, birds innumerable. As some people have said the accomodation is a bit basic, but its perfectly fine. The point of coming to a place like this is not to sit in your cabin but get out there into an environment you just don't get at home. Food good, guides friendly and knowledgeable. I would go again if I where ever in this part of the world again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris G
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 Chris G,
Thank you for your great review of the lodge, we were very happy to read it and see that you had enjoyed the lodge and its wildlife. The team hope to have the chance to welcome you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
91 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2014

This place was better then what I had expected. Right on the bank of Kinabatangan river, a quite bilit village and just across river is our lodge. Cottages provided were clean, spacious and comfortable. Food was also decent, although the variety was lacking which I can understand considering resource crunch in rainforest area, away from city. Local sight seeing were great. People were great and staff was helpful. Do visit. Only one suggestion, I am vegetarian and there could be a better vegetarian variety would really be useful but surely not many vegetarians travel there

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CJain
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
Thank you for your positive review on Tripadvisor. We were very happy to read your comments and mainly that you had enjoyed your stay with us. We hope we will have the chance to welcome you again when you come again to Borneo.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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