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“Great place to relax” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Manana Borneo Resort

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Manana Borneo Resort
Kampang Pituru Laut, Kota Belud 89517, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
The Hague, The Netherlands
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

Manana is a great place to relax for a couple of days. The staff is very friendly and we just loved the food. The chalets and villa's on the waterfront are basic but charming and the hammocks are perfect for relaxing and reading! Don't expect luxury and you'll have a great time here!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Team_Manana, Owner at Manana Borneo Resort, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
Dear KdP83,

Thank you so much for coming to stay at Mañana, and for taking the time to review our place.

We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us, it gives us such pleasure when like minded travellers are satisfied with the beach, the accommodation, the food, and the vibe we strive to create. Oh, and the hammocks - they are indeed awesome!

Wishing you safe and happy travels :-)

Team Mañana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

We stayed for tow nights at that really nice place! The beach is amazing and the staff is friendly. But I think it is a bit overpriced. We stayed at a standard bungalow with fan and private bathroom. The bungalow was basic, big and we loved the hammocks. But 120 Ringgit per night, excluding breakfast is to much for this accommodation. Also the transportation with the boat (2 minutes ride) is ridiculous for 40 Ringgit!
But it is really beautiful there.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Team_Manana, Manager at Manana Borneo Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Jessiiiii,

Many thanks for coming to stay with us, and for taking the time to leave this review. We appreciate all feedback, and always seek to improve on our weaker areas.

We recently upgraded the 2 chalets, and had to increase the price slightly, in order to cover our transportation, materials and building costs. This is our first and only price increase in over 4 years of operation. We offer a range of accommodation types, to cater to a range of customers, budgets and expectations. As the original, independent private beach operator in Sabah, we do feel that given the location, our accommodation offers good value for money.
Unfortunately we do have to charge for the boat journey, to cover the import and running costs of our RIB, and the wages of our boatman.

That said, I'm very pleased that overall, you enjoyed your experience here at the beach - terima kasih (thank you) for your kind comments :-)

Wishing you all the best for 2014.

Matt

Team Mañana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Manana is a backpacker's paradise. For 20 somethings, it's perfect. We were there as a family on the great recommendation of friends. Overall, the experience was wonderful. We stayed in two rooms with a shared bathroom, and it was very simple. We loved the people that run the place, and we had a great tech "detox" for the whole family. The spot is secluded and tranquil. The food leaves much to be desired, and a few simple updates and tweaks on the menu need to happen. I recommend not sleeping on the mould-covered pillows. The bedding and towels need to be replaced - they've been there a long time! And the mosquito nets need constant repair or need to be replaced. Too many holes for the creepy crawlies! In the dampness of Borneo, things like this need to be taken care of. The cushions in the eating area should also be freshened up. Some squirts of air freshener just make it worse. Since we were there at a rainy time, it would have been nice if there were some board games. Bring lots of reading material, a deck of cards and small activities if you are coming with kids. Definitely check it out, but come in knowing that this is a simple, rustic place to hang out.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

The place is situated very nicely on a private stretch of beach. We stayed in a cottage right on the beach and we both really liked it. The owners hired locals to run it and they to their best to meet their guests expectations. The place has a very laid back attitude to it, and with the right mix of guests it can also be a lot of fun to drink some beers with other travelers.
For a few days to unwind, swim, read, have proper food from the restaurant and take a canoe or small catamaran,it is a perfect place. Don't expect anything fancy but it is a decent, clean and laid back place to charge up

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

What you read is true: Manana is truly the place to rest after sightseeing in Borneo and worry about nothing. No cellphone, no internet, no neighbours. Great hammocks, and a nice communal area for food and drinks. And Awi who ran the place while we were there, is a nice guy.
But Manana is overpriced. When you pay 180 RM for a beachfront villa, you expect more than a limited acces to power, and hardly any water from the shower. Many items on the menu were not available, and my spice coconut cream was served without any spices or coconut cream. It was just chicken soup with vegs, and no taste. And just so you now: you're brought to the beach in a small dinghy ... Make sure that all your valuables are in waterproof bags, since the waves can be high. And better do the transfer in your bathingtrunks and keep dry cloths for the ongoing journey separate ...

Don't let this discourage you, but better be aware and prepared!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

I stayed at manana with friends for 3 days in August and I could have eaaaasily lazed around there barefoot and in a bikini for another month. I dont know where to start with this review... people were lovely, beach was beautiful, hammocks everywhere, good food, super relaxation. The best feeling ever is laying in that hammock at night, listening to the waves crashing and the sky rumbling while it starts to rain. AMAZING.

Note that there is NO TELEPHONE RECEPTION AT ALL... no phone, no internet, nothing... so let your family know in advance that you will fall off the face of the earth so they don't freak and then turn off your technology and ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

Other things I should note... this place is not for people who are overly whiny. So if you are prone to freaking out because there isnt an AC or because you found a trail of ants in your bathroom, go somewhere else. This isnt a luxury resort, this is a place you go to turn off the world and be one with nature. Rooms were lovely and the whole place is just cozy and charming.

This is the place to go if you want to disappear on a beach for a while, barefoot and in a bikini.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
München
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

Let me start with a positive remark. This is really a lovely place with a lot nature around And nature icludes jelly fishes and snakes that some comments mentioned as negative experience. Inspired by the LP report we tried a short notice request and much to our surprise we were confirmed 2 rooms for 3 nights. In the end they had only a bungalow with an extra bed. But that was fine because the rooms are anything but cozy - in particular the the shared bathroom.

Why we were happy to leave:

1. The lovely owners that are mentioned in many reports are not there anymore.
2. Food: Whenever we ordered from the relatively short menue something was not available including standard things like chicken, eggs or prawns. Meals always taste different. In one case I ordered a spicy chicken in Coconut cream and got an almost clear chicken-onion soup. Being asked the cook told me „Sorry no coconut and no chlilly“. To make sure that we get what we want we ordered seafood barbecue for the last evening. On the following afternoon we were told that it is not possible for the interesting reason that Yan, the owner, is in Singapore. OK.
3. Cleanliness: In the rooms ok but in not in the restaurant. On 2 mornings we found the table as we left it the evening.
4. Activities: The snorkeling trip is 60 Ringitt per person including 3 spots in 3 hours. Together with a dutch couple we made 4 spots in 2 hours. After the first spot we jointly said we can go straight back. We gave it the benefit of the doubt and hoped for the better. However we were disappointed. All the reefs we visited were mainly dead. Dynamite fishing is obviously still practised in the region. Selling these spots as snorkeling trips without mentioning is simply not ok.
5. Water: If we had water it took 5-10 minutes to fill a bucket. For a shower the pressure was at all times insufficient. One day we had to wait until 10:00 a-m- until the pumb was switched on and the toilet could be flushed.
6. Maintenance: Not noticeable
7. Relaibility: The evening before we left I asked for the bill- I was told later. Being the last guest in the restaurant I asked again and was told tomorrow. I said we are leaving at 7:00. No problem. The next morning I had to wait nutil 7:30 to pay my bill. When we finally left the cove the cook waived us to come back and pay 60 Ringitt shuttle he forgot to charge. That was the moment I decided to write this comment. Charging 60 Ringitt for a 5 minutes service that I would have expected to be included was too much for my tolerance. As a result of the delay we missed our bus in KK. The next was full und we had to wait 2,5 hours at the bus terminal. Great.

All things are everydays occurances but as a sum too much in consideration of the money you have to spend. The good days when the owners were still there seem to be over. We feel sorry for the employees that claimed a tip and din’t get it. But I can’t tip a service that in our view was disappointing.

Room Tip: don't go there
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manana Borneo Resort

Address: Kampang Pituru Laut, Kota Belud 89517, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Belud District > Kota Belud
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Kota Belud
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Manana Borneo Hotel Kota Belud
Manana Borneo Resort Kota Belud, Sabah

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