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“Loved this place”

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Rainforest Guesthouse
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
188 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Loved this place”
Reviewed 4 July 2013

I stayed at the Rain forest guest house and had a fantastic time, the staff were friendly and lovely and there is a real family feel there. Nella is so cute and kind and has the most beautiful singing voice. As a lone traveller I found this a great spot to meet people and make friends and chill out in the evenings, having sing songs and a drink.
The food is freshly cooked to order and Nora's special satay sauce is amazing! I really like the location, the guesthouse sits right on the rive and I spent many an afternoon in the hammock outside my room listening to jungle sounds and reading and you are about three minutes from jumping in the river and cooling off.
The rooms are basic but clean and I think vynworthnthe price, I plan to go back next year with my brother.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2013

We stayed there for three days, room (double bed with bathroom) was nice and clean, but except that we had very unpleasant experience. The woman Nora was very arrogant, unfriendly and only looking for opportunity to make money on her guests.
After two nights she asked us to leave because she had full but some other tourists came and would pay more than we did. Because we didn't want to leave she became very rude and accused us of not eating in her restaurant (why should we, anyway? there was a lot of good and much cheaper restaurants down the river) although we never made that kind of deal when we booked a room there. She even accused us because we bought some fruits in the market and not by her! ..which also means we were supervised all the time by her and her company.
First day when we came we decided to book a one day jungle trek there because we trusted to all the good reviews they have on the internet. But this was another big mistake (the first one was staying at that place at all). When I asked Noras daughter (who arranged the tour) for one guide my friend recommended to me, she said they have never heard of him but that we shouldn't worry as all their guides are very good. Unfortunately we trusted her and it turned out they arranged for as one of the worst guide around: he didn't behave appropriate in the jungle which included calling orangutans, feeding them, leaving fruit skins in the forest.. (see: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g680012-i13390-k5631343-Bukit_Lawang_do_not_use_the_guide_named_Tambrin-Bukit_Lawang_North_Sumatra_Sumatra.html...)
Another inconvenience we had was with the light in front our room that didn't work. We kindly asked them to change the bulb but they ignored our request and nobody came to do it (later Nora claimed they didn't fix it because we were never there so we obviously didn't need it?!). That's why when leaving we refused to pay full price. Nora threatened us that we'll have problems in Lake Toba if we mess with her. With that kind of attitude I hope her business won't go well for long.

My advice would be to stay away from this place as far as possible. For the same price you can find much nicer and friendlier places!

Also it's important that we support those who really work hard and doing their best to protect the beautiful environment and wild life there, not arrogant and ignorant money makers like Nora.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sanjusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

We've stayed here a few nights en loved the place. The people are really friendly and funny. The rooms are big and clean. Good place to stay and relax after your jungletrip. For the jungletrip ask around and find Sinar he is amazing and really cared about the nature.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anniek R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2013 via mobile

Just had five wonderful days at rainforest. The location is lovely and prices are cheap for accommodation and food. Staff are cheerful and friendly and entertain with songs in the evening. We did a trek with Inra on one day. It was hard but rewarding and entertaining. The points about guides and feeding orang utans are points for the national park staff to address. We found Inra capable and competent and concerned about orang welfare. These are family businesses in cohesive communities in a developing country. We tourists need to help them develop sustainably. For those that want there is an Eco Lodge on the other side of the river where you can choose to spend your money but I think its best to engage with the businesses on this side of the river you will help them more. And try their cooking courses too they are really good. Graham, Jane, Emily and Berry, UK

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Graham51_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2013

positives:
great location
great food
riverside hammocks were great
most of the staff were friendly
great place to meet other travellers

negatives:
room was very loud due to thin walls
guides based at guesthouse were always trying to sell their tours

the main problem was we were shown a room for 40000 a night then once we were checked in and chilling at the bar we were told actually it was 50000 we argued a bit but it wasnt really worth moving all our stuff for the sack of 10000 but it was very annoying all the same

Room Tip: dont get the room next to the owners room it is very noisy
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jonny222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2013

The hostel was really nice. Good location, clean, beautiful garden by the river and very good food. It was one of the cheapest we found after two hours asking around. Because of all the things above, we stayed five days with them.

The only thing we didn´t like was the aggressive sales style from Nora and her trekking guides. Only if you book a jungle trekking with them, they leave you alone at breakfast. (Notice that their real business is about selling trips and people hiring guides). The guides working with her were very young and didn´t inspire much confidence. Also much of the information they gave us was untrue, trying to get some money.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hoihe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshunt, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2013

The staff at this place are great. Nora is a bit intimidating her self. We got picked up and dropped off in Medan for a price that was way cheaper than the bus or shared taxi. It was in a very comfortable modern car. We ate in the restaurant too, the Rendan is just awesome. Service can be slow but seems to be the norm in SE Asia I'm finding. Just have another beer!

Our tour we booked with them was also great value for money. We did a 2 day jungle stay tour. Our guide was Indra, hes a really comical guy, has quite a random sense of humor. They give you plenty of food, the camp is a bit basic but for a night its ok. The chef we had was really entertaining and cooked a great meal. The rafting back was great also and recommended. Be aware though this trek can be hard going.

The first night we arrived they didn't have a room so we were put in a another guest house down the road which wasn't a problem as we hadn't booked anything we just got a ride from Medan with Nora's sister. The last night we stayed at the Rainforest, we had a double room with a bathroom. It was fine for the price, 100k IDR, clean and comfortable.

I agree with the sentiment that encouraging the orangutan's down with food and making them more used to the humans is not an ethical practice, I do not know if there are ethical tour operators there, shamefully I did not look, but, nor did I see any advertised. Even if not by hand, food was left in trees near the paths at lower levels.

Indra and our other guide told us not to touch or feed them which is at least something. They also only gave food to a couple of orangutan's, 1 was blocking the path and the other was Mina, the one who chases and bites! Apparently Mina is a rescue and had human captors before.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WookieTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainforest Guesthouse

Property: Rainforest Guesthouse
Address: Jl. Orang Utan Center | Bukit Lawang, Bukit Lawang 20774, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sumatra > North Sumatra > Bukit Lawang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Bukit Lawang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
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