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“Very disappointed” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Moonriver Lodge

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Moonriver Lodge
Lojing, Sigar Highlands, 31150, Malaysia   |  
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Hilversum, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Very disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

We expected to stay in a real eco lodge where the owners would take great care of the place and its guests. Except for the staff who were really nice and helpful (the short hike to the waterfall was really nice and the worker who took us there was really very nice), it was a great disappointment. I'll explain why.

In an eco lodge, we expected to enjoy fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden. The meal (included in the price) was served @ 7pm. When we arrived, we couldn't see any cooking going on. We found out that dinner was at that moment being prepared in the microwave... It consisted of papaya fruit as the starter, a very small piece of dry chicken (obviously cooked day(s) earlier), a piece of cold omelette, some carrots and rice as main course and sponge cake as desert. Nothing came of their own garden. For drinks the choice was tea coffee or water. It was just very disappointing.

Breakfast could have made up for it, but unfortunately, the same experience here. Despite the fact that we were in the strawberry region and staying in a farm, no fresh juice in the morning, no fresh strawberries, even no home made strawberry jam, but only strawberry jelly along with toast and butter.

About the accommodation, we knew it was basic, but expect the worst. Our 'room' for 4 people had 4 (very hard) mattresses wall to wall and that was it. Just enough space to open the door and walk. No chair, mirror or whatsoever. There are holes under the door and in the ceiling, so keeping bugs away was impossible.

Although we had booked for two nights, we decided not to stay another day and told the staff we would leave after breakfast. They tried to arrange something with the owner for some discount on the second night, but the owner refused to do something, leaving us to pay for the full two days. They were in their rights but it told us something more about the owners and their motivation with this eco farm.

Later we found out that we actually had 'met' the owner, however he had not introduced himself to us. We believed he had just stopped by to drop our 'meal'. We found out that he has plans to expand the facility into a 'jungle shopping mall'. The lodge should bring in the money for now, meanwhile he is expanding the farm valley (a lot of construction was going on during the day) preparing it for other purposes. Clearly, he doesn't want to invest in the lodge (the children's playground which once had been there was almost fully destroyed for example) because it brings in too little money. We certainly believe this place is for the owner all about making money and has nothing to do with love for the eco-system.

Once again I would like to point out that the staff was wonderful and did everything to make up for the great disappointment, but they can only do so much.

The experience we had was certainly very different from the earlier reviews and our expectations. Be warned, it isn't anymore what it apparently used to be and if you like to stay in a real eco farm, just don't stay here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
MoonriverLodge, Owner at Moonriver Lodge, responded to this review, August 17, 2012
We are sorry our farm lodge did not meet your expectations. We've reviewed your feedback extensively with an open mind for improvements but allow us to respond to some of your highlights.
Firstly, Moonriver Lodge was never termed by us as an Eco-lodge.The word "Eco' has been highly mis-used and exploited by some hotels for commercial purposes. Moonriver Lodge was established as a farmstay/homestay for exploration of sustainable living and permaculture. We have always been cautious of how we position ourselves in the market and have been selective with the pictures we post online so we do not mislead travellers or give them the impression that we are anything other than a working farmstay.
As we are close to nature, we can only control insects and bugs to a certain extent. This was also highlighted in the Confirmation Note we send prior to the Guests' visit. The "holes in the floor" you refer to are the gaps between the floor and the door which is pretty common. Our rooms have been stated as basic and although we'd like to, there's no space in the room for chairs. All rooms have mirrors. We've tried to make the common areas as comfortable as possible for people to enjoy our garden.
Our cancellation policy has always been implemented, as consistent with other hotel practices. Contrary to what you stated, we have actually made an exception to give you partial refund.
The Permaculture Children's Garden project was a project started to engage communities to build gardens and is still on-going but at a very slow rate due to lack of skilled resources, funding and community support. The Garden was never meant to generate income. On the other hand, revenue from the Lodge is used to supplement the building of the Garden. This was written in our information board.
Your feedback on food will be taken positively although we did plan your menu with care. There are seasonal vegetables and herbs in our garden which we use for our Guests. Some may not be suitable for some Guests eg brinjals, bitter gourd, ladies fingers etc hence we have to make a judgement call when it came to your dinner preparation. We do not produce orange and strawberries so we are not able to provide you with fresh orange juice and fresh strawberry jam.
Our main focus since establishment has been in food production as we strongly believe that in order to be sustainable we must first take control of our food production. Hence, our Farm and Lodge has been growing organically and will always be in a state of "work-in-progress" as we believe in constant renewal and improvement.
Thank you and we welcome you to visit us again in future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

It's indeed an out of expectation. The warm hospitality in a cold breeze, the hard working farmers and flowers, this is indeed a great getaway from the city! The owner is very sincere, friendly and always treat you like part of the family. You are free to walk around, help out in some farming, harvesting and do your own activities! The brand new lodge has a great view, it's at the highest point and you can totally enjoy the panoramic view of the entire lodge and the hills. Food is great, the staff is very helpful. As you walk along the path, you'll be amazed how much hard work they've put in to create this farm stay! The river trekking is exciting, and the Rafflesia trekking is even outstanding! Walk for 1-2 hours to see the biggest flower in the world, it's like in the world of Avatar, where you can find many species of flora and fauna, which you can't get from other places! This is a home away from home. For sure you'll tell yourself,"I'll be back!" right after your first visit~!

Room Tip: Choose the new lodge or the garden view~!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012 via mobile

It is a very relaxing place with very kind people. We stayed for 3 nights with our 1.5 year old son. He was free to walk around and play with other kids. All food is fresh and very well cooked. They offer great trips deep in the woods. I think with kids of older then 5 uou could join them.

When we would return to malaysia we will certainly will go there again.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011

This place touches every senses in us. The herbs garden smells wonderful, the beautiful and colourful flowers are pleasing to the eyes, the rooster rings an early morning call, the tasty egg omelette delights our breakfast. Best of all is their in-house jungle trekking that is challenging and fun. It's next to the river and every step in the borrowed boots allow us to squeal in delight. Our teenage girls really had a good time trekking, trying to avoid slipping while crossing the stream and admiring the bamboos. This is the first-time we jungle-trek and really appreciates the effort the staff did to make the trek safe, exciting and fun. The farm has been beautifully landscaped and is really soothing to just unwind and relax walking among the vegetable gardens. We would like to come back and see how all the plants are doing, especially my lime seeds. The staff- James, Azlan and Fajar have been wonderful hosts. - friendly and helpful.
Advice to owners - make the signboard bigger and more prominently placed. We lost our way. Missed the lodge and overshot. Had to U-turn in the middle of highlands. Provide clearer directions would be good.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

Moonriver Lodge was a lucky find on the Internet. The beautifully tendered farm is situated amidst lush highlands on the border of Kelantan. Upon arrival, we parked our car at the visitor's bay which was neatly outlined with a colourful display of blooming flowers. The entire farm is thoughtfully set out with accommodation kept to a no frills style of raised wooden beds, comfy mattresses, cement flooring and sparse furnishings. After settling in, we were taken on a tour of the surrounding gardens by James, our caretaker for the day. He was great in explaining the permaculture influences and organic philosophies that is the foundation of MRL. The farm has a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and fruits growing around its property, making the place alive with healthy foods. There is also a chicken coup housing roosters, hens and 2 proud looking turkeys and lots of worm boxes dotting the farm. Following the informative tour, we headed out for a short trek to the waterfalls, enjoying the tranquility of the forest along the way. At nightfall, a delicious dinner including just harvested vegetables was served together with a roundtable of laughter, conversation and cool breeze from the highlands. The amenities at MRL include a library, outdoor and indoor toilets that are clean and well maintained, outside seating area and not forgetting laid back hammocks to while away the time. There's also a house dog and friendly folks around. Although it was a short overnight trip, MRL was certainly an eye opening experience, especially for nature lovers looking for a change of scenery. It is definitely a place of nature education for adults and children alike. I promised myself a return trip to learn more about their organic farming policies and participate in the other activities on offer. Kudos to MRL and team for their vision and continuous hardwork!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

It's far enough from the madness of Tanah Rata and Brinchang, yet close enough to visit the highlights of Cameron Highlands easily. James, our chief 'hospitality officer', was warm, efficient and knowledgeable. He made the Rafflesia and waterfall treks very fun, and educational for us, including my two children. We also learned the basics of organic farming, making the textbook lessons come alive. The lodge was cozy and basic, but we felt right at home and were always comfortable. My kids rated MRL as their favourite accomodation in our two-week Malaysia trip, even though we later stayed in a glitzy beachside resort in Penang with the full works.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

Recently I have been back to past again, I have been to Kelantan Lojing….which still can consider a reserved beautiful natural  but how long can reserved I don’t know….
It’s was totally out of CITY, do not have WIFI, cellphone coverage was very weak & limit on electricity
I can’t descript the freshness of air in the place I stay for 2 nite in Moonriver lodge, a quiet & peaceful place, no pollution & the tap water was tapping from the water falls it’s cold n rejuvenations , and my surrounding was only “hills, trees, grass & flowers”, when talk I can listen the echo of my voice.
today I have a bit hard to adapt the “air” in CITY & everyday have to bath warm water instead of the cooling water from the water falls….. this my 1st time crossing the bridge made by bamboo & also drinking the bamboo water
Now I rather me a snails instead of bees ….hehehhe
I’m not a good writer, but just sharing some of the picture I taken
Lastly, i want to have a BIG THANKS to all the fantastic hosts in Moonriver lodge i dont find i'm staying away from HOME but i'm back to my HOME SWEET HOME
Thanks Andrea, James, Cindy, Billie, Mrs. Tan, Kogar and otherssss i have not known by your name but have being seen each other for the 3 days

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Moonriver Lodge

Address: Lojing, Sigar Highlands, 31150, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Pahang > Cameron Highlands
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty lodging in Cameron Highlands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moonriver Lodge is a family owned farmstay nestled in a valley of the lush mountains of Sigar Highlands. We are located half an hour away from the hustle bustle of Cameron Highlands. This is a space where children can roam freely along the food garden paths, run through the food tunnel and play with Webby the duck or Zorro the cat. This is a space where nature lovers can watch hummingbirds and butterflies drinking nectar from the flowers and listen out for the distant call of the monkeys. Here at Moonriver Lodge, we provide not just a relaxing stay but also the opportunity to learn about nature and growing food and to participate in day-to-day farming activities. Go on a trek to see the second largest flower in the world - the magnificent Rafflesia Kerrii. Hop onto the back of our tractors and join a farm tour or participate in one of our fun gardening programmes to teach your children to how food is grown. Harvest fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs from our garden to prepare a healthy, organic meal. Whatever you do here at Moonriver Lodge, you are bound to leave our gates rejuvenated but with a heavy heart to part with a place you wish was your second home. Because that's what we try to provide - a comfortable, beautiful home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moonriver Hotel Cameron Highlands

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