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“Absolutely wonderful (and fantastic food!)”

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Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Absolutely wonderful (and fantastic food!)”
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Absolutely wonderful (and fantastic food!) Brilliant guides and activities and, if you fancy skipping an activity, just a great place to relax by the river. Wished we had an extra day. I did get leeched however (they are all over the pace), but worth it when you see a real orang-utan in the wild (which we did on the last day - as we were leaving: how do those guides spot them?)

Room Tip: Stay in the deluxe lodges - fabulous views over the river
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MKCLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (228)
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English first
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
73 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

For us, a stay here maxed out our budget, so we stayed only 2 nights, but I felt it would be our best chance to see orangutan in the wild, and mission was accomplished. Though I don't think one can compare it to a 5 star property in a city, I give it a 5 score based on other wilderness lodges I have stayed in, and glad we saved it for last on this trip, because it was the best of the trip.

First off, I am very prone to motion sickness--- the road condition to the lodge itself was not as bad as I expected from other readings, and the vehicle on the way in was a land cruiser with a very good suspension. On the way out , we were in the multi passenger van,and I felt the motion more--- so if you are prone like I am, make sure you take your remedies.

We had a deluxe room, each chalet on our side seemed to be a duplex, so not completely private, as you can hear your neighbors if they use the outside bath . But the room was well appointed for a wilderness lodge, and the fan/ windows open did allow it to cool down enough in the evening, and no trouble getting warm shower water ( even in the rainforest, I like a warm shower). They provided 2 bottles of water and had pitchers in the room and a refill station so you are not excessively creating plastic bottle trash. Gorgeous view of the river and forest and fascinating to hear all the sounds.

The dining area was also lovely, and the same great views, and more varied food than the other places we stayed in Sabah ( chicken and rice can get boring after a few days), the stir fry staion and pasta station were especially good. No shoes allowed inside-- so either go barefoot or socks.

The canopy walkway in the morning with the mist dissipating was gorgeous, the hike to the viewpoint was challenging and sweaty but worth it for the wildlife sightings, jacuzzi pool on the way down was pretty place to take a break (and swim if you like cooler water). Saw some impressive spiders on the night walk. Our wildlife sighting highlights included at least 5 separate orangutan sightings (pretty good if I lost count), a gibbon, red leaf monkey, great argus pheasant doing its tail display. Unfortunately we did not see the elephants(only droppings), though the couple about 20min behind us on the road on the drive in did see them.

We just wore our walking sneakers and managed fine. They provided walking sticks. You have to buy your own leech socks in the store for 20RM--- for the price of the room, it would be nice if they just included them since they seem to be a necessity and requirement.--- that being said, between the 2 of us, only one leech ever made it all the way to attachment, though we did find a couple on our clothing that we would flick off while walking.

Would have enjoyed to spend even 2 more nights there.... but felt fortunate with what we did see in a short time. From our other experiences, sightings are somewhat luck of the draw, especially in such a dense forest.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank anony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rural Cheshire
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Orang-utans, pygmy elephants, flying squirrels, Asian Horned frog, monitor lizards, Masked Palm civets, bee-eaters, spiderhunters, flowerpeckers and the most amazing butterflies. Add deluxe accommodation and three delicious and varied buffet meals each day and you have my idea of paradise. Seek out Dean as your guide. A truly delightful and knowledgeable young man who has entertained Kate and Wills and, last February, Sir David Attenborough. That's an impeccable pedigree. He even coaxed me up the canopy walkways and over the river bridge and I'm terrified of heights. Thank you, Dean, for a truly memorable holiday.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, go for the deluxe villas. Building work (supposed to have been finished last y...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Josara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
981 reviews
178 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 455 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Everything about this place is perfect. Let's start with the rooms. We had a deluxe river view which was a large bedroom and bathroom with a balcony looking over the river and rainforest. The bed was comfy with good quality bedding. The bathroom is also good with good towels and amenities. There is a huge outside tub big enough for two. The dining is simply outstanding with a huge variety of excellent western and Malay dishes. The staff are also wonderful and can't do enough for you. The wildlife viewing is also great. Make sure you do the canopy walk and trek up to the waterfall lagoon where you can swim.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank PeterAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucks
Level Contributor
53 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed for 2 nights 11-13 March in a jungle view room, which was spacious and had a good size bathroom. The river view rooms have an outdoor tub which guest certainly used and also better views but naturally cost more.

The main building (no shoes) is spacious with seating areas and the restaurant which looks out to the river. The food is all self service buffet and is very good both in choice and quality of the food. When you arrive you are introduced to your guide who ask if there are things you do or don't want to do during your stay, and then a time was arranged to meet up for an afternoon trek, which was in a group of 8 people, followed by an introduction to the area etc. There are a couple of trails you can do yourself including the canopy walk. We went on the trek to the burial site which was not as difficult as it looked and on the way down you can call into the pond which has some sizeable fish that 'clean' your feet and presumable more if you stay still too long!!!!

We had some good sightings of Orangutans and at least one with a baby, also 2 x single elephants, some deer, and other monkeys.

The whole 'experience' rather than just a hotel is very well run and quite flexable if you prefer to say do more bird watching etc. We forgot about the water tubbing and regretted that as those who did the trip all seemed to love it.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BucksKeentraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
70 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

We were fortunate to be able visit the BRL and experience the 4 day 3 night package. The Lodge is gorgeous! It's situated on a river with cabins scattered around the central main lodge. The cabins are spacious and clean. Make sure you close your door at night or the bugs will swarm to the lights in your room. The guide provided by the lodge spoke great english and went out of his way to find the animals and birds. There was only 7 in our group. We did several hikes (day and night) as well as truck safaris (day and night). The canopy walk is amazing and a great place to see birds and monkeys. We also tubed down the river and swam at the waterfall swimming hole. We saw: 4 orangutans including a mother and baby, a pygmy elephant, red leaf monkeys, slow loris, gibbons, giant red flying squirrel, brown owls, giant scorpion, long tailed macaques, black and crimson pitta, kingfishers, and many more. There are leeches. You can wear protection but we went without because it is rather hot and muggy. We each got a few leeches but they don't hurt and are easy enough to remove. Plus you get a certificate as a blood donor. The food is served buffet style and there is a wide variety of choice. It was quite tasty. I can't say enough about the BRL. We have been traveling the world with our three boys (9,9,11) for the past 9 months and BRL is in all of our top 3 spots we've visited.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lastinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Impossible to beat the setting. Deep in the primary rainforest, 2 hours away of from anything but the research centre. The sounds and smells of the forest were great. Although our actual wildlife treks started out relatively disappointing, the second day was fantastic, with a couple of up close and personal encounters with a mother orangutan and her child, as well as 2 adult males. Simply awesome. Just when we thought we wouldn't see any Pygmy elephants we saw them on our drive back out!

Night drive was amazing too, as we saw a civet cat a hundred feet up in a tree and watched a flying squirrel gliding a couple of hundred feet from tree to tree over our heads.

As for the hotel, the main lodge is stunning and airy and the rooms of good quality. We stayed in a standard and it was excellent.

Food was generally of high standard, with fresh made meals of all varieties, from western omelettes to laksa. However, on our last day we noted that a couple of our dinner rolls had mould on them...a victim of the ridiculously high humidity no doubt. Just need to keep an eye out.

The only real pain...literally and figuratively, were the leeches. Good god, on every one of our treks we could literally see them hanging off of countless bushes and leaves trying to catch on to any clothing they could. On the last day after it rained, my son and I literally pulled off 10 each from ourselves over the course of an hour trek. Definitely go with the leech socks and be attentive...they move quick once they're on you.

Great trip notwithstanding. The leeches are just part of the ambience!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ontheblackhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Property: Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Address: Danum Valley Conservation Area 88100, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Danum Valley Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Danum Valley Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Borneo Rainforest Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A low density Jungle Lodge with 31 Twin Sharing Chalets located in the largest Conservation Area in Sabah which is home to 275 species of birds, 110 species of mammals & one of the oldest virgin rainforest in the world. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Borneo Rainforest Hotel Sabah

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