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“Activities - great; Lack of air-conditioning - an issue”

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Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Milton Keynes, England
Level Contributor
103 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Activities - great; Lack of air-conditioning - an issue”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I know I'm repeating others but the Borneo Rainforest Lodge doesn't have air-conditioning and this is a compromise you will need to make. Everywhere else we stayed had air conditioning and it's surprising somewhere so hot and humid doesn't. I struggled to sleep for the two nights we were there as it was too hot and humid in the room and there is nothing you can do about it.
You have to have all the windows and doors shut or the room fills with insects.

My recommendation is to take one of the deluxe river view rooms with the "hot tub". I know it sounds crazy but you can then fill it with cold water and re-adjust your body temperature after walking activities. Once you've done this the humidity doesn't feel too bad for a while but there is no air-conditioned area for relaxation. You eat outside so your whole experience will be very hot and humid - when you've walked up to the "View Point" and back what you really want is a nice cool room to relax in, what you've got is a super hot room.

That being said the activities were great. The wildlife is usually high up in the canopy so probably worth taking binoculars (we did). You're pretty assured of seeing an Orang Utan as there are so many researchers of Orang Utans they can let the lodge know when they have one nearby and accessible. You really are staying in the rainforest so activities and mainly for the fit and active. We did three walks over the two night stay and were weary after the "View Point" walk, mainly due to the heat and humidity.

There were people staying there who were quite elderly or with very young children and I'm not sure what activities they could participate in - you really need to be walking on the trails away from the lodge into the rainforest for most animal sightings.

The trip to / from the lodge is a long two and a half hours on gravel roads though on the way back we did see two baby leopard cubs playing in the middle of the road.

Animal sightings were good: Flying Squirrels, Red Leaf Monkeys, Orang Utan, Gibbon
Bird Sightings were poor: We'd just come from Kimbutangan River and there's no comparison.

Room Tip: Would I recommend it? Yes but it really is a challenge for the North European to enjoy the const...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank MycroftAllan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We did a 3D2N stay in a deluxe villa and had an amazing time. It is definitely a journey to get there, but was well worth it. The location, the rooms and the staff were incredible. Our guide was friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and managed to find the animals we were keen on seeing. The two things that stuck with us after the trip were the setting and the staff. The location is truly beautiful and the staff were incredibly friendly and prepared amazing food for every meal. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Brad T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights and enjoyed every minute of our stay. We did, of course, a variety of hikes and enjoyed the bird knowledge of our guide. The outdoors tub on the deck is a very nice touch. The food is outstanding and to find this type of pampering here was unexpected but very, very welcome.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LovetotravelAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limpsfield
Level Contributor
120 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

Not wishing to repeat things from other reviews but here are some tips
Have a deluxe room. You need the cold tub after a walk

Leech sock are unnecessary. Ordinary socks tucked into trousers did just as well. Easy to pull them off.

We had a private guide as we didn't want to walk up the hill to the view point but take more time to watch the wildlife especially Orang-utans, Gibbons and monkeys. There is much to see walking on the flat and with the humidity it is easier.

Take a good pair of binoculars. More important than a camera.

Food was excellent and drinks at reasonable prices.

We had a great time and saw so much including a cat leopard, orang-utans, monkeys of many types, squirrels, hornbills, eagles, and a host of other things.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank limpsfieldloafers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

During the four day, three night stay in this tremendous place I expected to want to be out searching for flora and fauna every minute of the day. What I didn't expect was the quality of the accommodation which made relaxing on the porch, looking out towards the river and forest plus listening to the amazing sounds so appealing. I stayed in Deluxe room number 9 facing the river. It was perfect in every way (do remember you are not in a City though). I awoke to the sounds of Gibbons protecting their territories, watched bee eaters all day long and saw and heard the Hornbills off to roost as the sun set. The guided walks were excellent. I saw a family of orang-utans but my personal favourite was flying squirrels soaring strait at us as we stood on the top of the tree-top walkway. The quality, quantity and variety of the food is excellent (I am vegetarian). It's an expensive option to stay here but the memory lives on.

Room Tip: They are more expensive but I would recommend the Deluxe room with a river view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank RobertB10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We were lucky enough to stay at Danum Valley for two nights during our honeymoon tour of Borneo. What a place!
It is definitely worth the flight and then drive along stoney roads into the wild of the Borneo rainforest. On our car journey we saw a number of monkeys, birds and lizards before we had even reached the lodge! The rooms here are fantastic for the location and to be so far away from the nearest town. We were kept pleasantly cool by the ceiling fan and drifted off to sleep with the sounds of wildlife buzzing through the air vents in the room.
Words just don't do any justice to the experiences available at the Lodge, the closest we could come was 'spectacular' and 'breath taking'. We tried to do as much as possible and never passed on an activity when it was offered to us (which I highly recommend you do if you are only staying a couple of nights like us). The views are incredible, as is the humbling feeling of being surrounded by a world you feel simply privileged to have witnessed.
The food at the Lodge is exceptional! We stayed in 4 different resorts whilst in Borneo, including a luxurious 5 star hotel at the end, and the food here was some of the best on our journey.
DO get up at the crack of dawn, DO stay up long enough at night to hear the sounds of wildlife, DO take part in any activity offered to you and definitely, definitely DO take some leech socks and sensible clothing/footwear. It's worth the extra luggage :)
Thank you to everyone at Danum, especially our guide Dean.

Room Tip: We had a room with an outside bath which was simply wonderful after a hots and humid day of activiti...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank bug_et_denny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suffolk
Level Contributor
94 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

For the ultimate rain forest experience I cannot recommend Danum Valley too highly. With much of the world’s rain forests disappearing at a fast rate to visit the Borneo rain forest at Danum Valley is a real treat.

Danum Valley is not a zoo, so what you see during your visit is very much a matter of luck and patience. Of the large mammals even if you are unlucky not to see truly wild orang-utans, or leaf monkeys you will be sure to wake to the cries of Gibbons in the trees along the river. Walking along one of the many trails your guide will bring the forest to life pointing out not only the magnificent trees and flora but observing the many birds and insects and all the biodiversity that makes rain forests so important to our planet’s wellbeing.

If you have a particular interest; birds, mammals, insects, flora…, then I advise you to book a private guide but make sure, when you book, that the office in Kota Kinabalu passes your request to the rangers at the resort. For my third visit there this spring we were promised an experienced birder but on arrival were allocated a trainee! This mistake was soon sorted out; I hasten to add that nothing is too much trouble for Boneo Nature Tours who manage the bookings, and we were then allocated an excellent guide in the form of Adzel who became a delightful companion in the four days we spent at Danum.

Two hours or so by dirt road from Lahad Datu the accommodation and facilities are luxurious to say the least. Choose a deluxe chalet with river view, after all you have come so far so it’s worth that little bit extra, and you can luxuriate, at the end of a day’s trekking, not that the treks are very arduous, in an outside hot tub with the sounds of the forest and the gentle babbling of the river below. Meals in the open sided restaurant area are buffet style but I challenge anyone to eat better anywhere else in Sabah.

One word of warning though I would not advise you to spend the money on the animal spotting or extended private night drives. Night drives included in your package take you up the entrance road to just before the junction with the main forest road and the extended drives do not go much further. In 2010 my wife and I went on the inaugural private drive and then we turned left at the entrance and drove for a long way into the heart of the forest reserve seeing porcupines, binturong, leopard cats, civets… We were out till well after midnight and felt it was well worth the money. We wished to repeat the experience this time hoping to see the illusive clouded leopards but it was not to be. We drove to the entrance, went about 100 metres each way and then returned to base. The standard night drive that night saw more creatures than we did.

However that experience apart, Danum Valley is my favourite place on earth made all the more precious by knowing that some of the expense is contributing to vital research at the Danum Valley Research Centre nearby.

Room Tip: Spend the extra on a deluxe riverside chalet, it is worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank felixstowejohn
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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