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“What a great family holiday adventure!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Kebun

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The Kebun
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20 - 25 Kampung Rayu Melayu | Jalan Hidupan Liar, Kuching 93050, Malaysia   |  
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Geelong, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“What a great family holiday adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

Before we booked our cheap flights to Malaysia I had not heard of Kuching. To break up the time in KL and Singapore we decided we should take our kids (13,11&7) on an adventure to Borneo. The positive reviews of the Kebun caught our attention immediately. How right they are. Adrian's hospitality was incredibly generous- (which included my birthday cake) The accommodation of Olivia's bungalow had everything we needed. The food on offer during the stay was amazing and plentiful. We were spoilt with our washing done while away on day trips. The options of what to do- so many, we need to come again one day soon! We managed to fit in a trip to Bako National Park and the beautiful Chinese temple nearby, A trip to the orangutans as well as a personalised tour with a ranger organised by Adrian where we went out and spotted our own great apes. A trip to a real long house, A waterfall walk of Kubah National Park and a night tour there was a real highlight where we spotted so many frogs- seven different types, Kuching itself is a lovely city to visit too, while the farm is 15 minutes away. This is a real affordable gem. A trip I am recommending to all my family and friends.

Room Tip: Olivia's bungalow has aircon, while the long house and Adrian's bungalow is a lot more authe...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, December 3, 2011
Dear Dezarooni

Thank you for taking the time to make this review and posting some photo's from your visit.

We really enjoyed the company of you and your family and not only appreciate the fact that you were all very active and game to try out any and all activities we threw at you but also in your appreciation for the meals we served.

Come this March we really look forward in welcoming you again to further explore Kuching and its many attractions.

Sincerely, Adrian & all at The Kebun
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157 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (34)
Date | Rating
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English first
Shanghai, China
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

We stayed at The Kebun and it was great, initially planned 3 nights but stayed 5. Great place for people that love adventure and it is super kids friendly. We are a family with 3 boys (6, 8, 10 years). We have been privileged to be the first family to stay in the traditional longhouse. We have been involved in the testing and commissioning stage of this newly built. The owner Adrian build a beautiful longhouse, which was even more authentic then the ones in Sarawak Cultural village. The smoke issue that was addressed by the previous reviewer was not an issue for us. The house was smoked for a couple of hours per days which was very effective against mosquitoes. Therefore we could sit on the veranda to read a book. Unfortunate we missed the inauguration party of the longhouse. On facebook are some picture of this event, which we missed.

We enjoyed the farm, which was a fun place for my kids. All kind of animals goats, goose, chickens, fish in a fishing ponds and a river. My kids spend some time fishing, the catch was impressive. You might even hear the story of the legendary Mr Oli and his big fish. What is more fun than to fish your own meal. Learning about nature by being in the middle of it. We also returned some huge snakes back to nature far away from the farm.

Adrian organized a swimming trip the mouth of the river with a great beach and a stunning view. This image was like an infinity pool.

We went to Gunung Gading NP to see a fresh and new Rafflesia, Adrian has good contacts with the park guides and receives so now and then messages with updates about new rafflesias.

Adrian works hard and it’s clear that he but also his wife have the guests in focus, they do everything to make us feel comfortable. Adrian knew some really great restaurants where he stops during the daily trips. Also I like his entrepreneurial approach were he avoid surprises by spending a lot of his time in finding new attractions or walking trails and new restaurants.

We recommend everybody who likes adventure to visit the Kebun and to be in the hands of Adrian. His knowledge about West Borneo is impressive. We enjoyed and so did our kids. It was one big adventure. Don’t forget to stay in the longhouse, this makes it an unique experience!

Adrian, thanks for an adventurous time!
Mark, Marieke and the boys

Room Tip: take the longhouse for an unique experience
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 18, 2011
Hello there!

It was a real pleasure playing host to your family during your stay with us. The story of Oli and his very big fish is a tale which we tell every child who had visited us since then.

We appreciate that you as the very first guest's had took up the challenge to be involved in the testing and commissioning stage of the longhouse. Your stay with us here gave us many suggestions all of which have been put in place since.

You will be happy to note that no guest has made anymore suggestions to how better improve the longhouse and its facilities with the exception of that one guest's issue with the evening smoking.

The boys presence made the farm all the more livelier and their enthusiasm be it on the farm or in the trips everyday was infectious. Their gameness is trying out everything including all the dishes for the meals we prepared was something we welcomed, not to mention their excellent manners and respect.

Thank you for being such a happy easy going family and we will be honored to have you come back and visit us again one day but this time as family friends.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first.

First, if you go here, be sure to stay in one of the bungalows. We stayed in the longhouse and it is smoked every night - by lighting a smoky fire of coconut husks - to get rid of mosquitoes, in consequence of which our luggage and clothes stank for the rest of our vacation, a smoky smell which became nauseatingly rancid as days went by in a humid climate.

Second, it's not suitable for non-smokers. Even though we had our 11- and 12-year old-children with us, we were subjected to cigarette smoke before, during and after the communal meals.

Having said that, it's a great way to see western Sarawak. We only had a couple of days available and, in retrospect, would have done better to make day trips from Kuching, since most attractions are on the opposite side of Kuching from The Kebun. On the plus side, the food is excellent and the owners extremely hospitable and knowledgeable about the area. The owner himself took us out both days that we were there and we undoubtedly saw some corners of the area - the temple at Muara Tebas is a stand-out - and ate at a couple of restaurants that we wouldn't have found on our own.

If you have several days available and can balance your time between sightseeing and a couple of lazy, beach days, it could be great.

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 10, 2011
Hello jonat1x,

Thank you very much for putting some of your precious time aside to write your review.

First we apologise if you found that the smoking at the longhouse which is made every evening before dark offensive. For your information both bungalows are also smoked in the same manner every evening as with lighting mosquito coils. We would have been most grateful if you had told us about the extreme discomfort it caused you and your whole family as we would have been more than happy to save the effort on our end by not carrying out the smoking, more so when your family were the only guests staying in the longhouse at that time.

Secondly the general rule of The Kebun for our guest's who smoke is to not do so in the actual bungalow's and longhouse individual rooms. The dining area is a large open space. Combine that with a joined 21 foot long dining table and 2 fans (one overhead and one at the opposite end) we doubt that cigarette smoke can travel 'upwind'. Our observation is also that the other guest's at the dinner table at that time were very courteous and observant in ensuring they did not make it uncomfortable for anyone there.

However we would like to thank you for bringing these points up as we will from now on see that any and all guest's who join us on any of the accommodations are made aware of the usual evening smoking practice just in case they find their luggage and clothes stink for the rest of their vacation, a smell which is supposed to became nauseatingly rancid as the days go by in the humid climate.

As for the guest who smoke we will still welcome anyone who does, and we will make an effort to ensure that when they do smoke in the presence of non-smoking guests that they do so with the consideration of their fellow diners something which we have never had to do as all of our smoking guest's have so far been very polite in this issue.

In regards to most attractions are on the opposite side of Kuching from The Kebun, we beg to differ. Some of these 'opposite side' attractions are accessible by bypassing the busy city and hence for the most times closer in terms of travel time. Most are nearer to us than from the city. These is easily seen on the map available on our website.

Once again Thank You.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

Adrian is a very helpful, welcoming host and a top bloke. He is very knowledgably about the whole area and is very flexible with the itinerary during the day.

My girlfriend and I stayed here for two nights and had an excellent time. We stayed Olivias bungalow, which was much more then we could have every hoped for! We had two large verandas on the front and back of the property, a living room, a separate kitchen and two aircon bedroom with 4 beds!

Some of the best food we had throughout our whole trip in Asia was the food prepared here in the evening. Washing the excellent food down with a homebrewed bottle of rice wine was perfect.

We spent the two day time trips with an English family who were staying in Adrians bungalow (which is also a brilliant bungalow.) We really got on well with the family and shared some really great adventures together; especially the boat trip to the island!!!

When in Kuching, make sure you stay here. You'll get a different experience than anywhere else in the area. Adrian is very accommodating and think the Kebun would suit couples of all ages and families alike.

P.S. Ask about staying in the Longhouse Adrian has built if you fancy a real adventure, it looks brilliant!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 10, 2011
Hello There chrismartinuk,

It was a real pleasure playing host to the two of you. The fact the both of you being so laid back as with the other family especially when taking in the 'adventure' at Sempadi Island made your visit with us most enjoyable and memorable.

Thank you so much for your review, more so all the more special to us when it is coming from such a very well traveled couple.

Once again a BIG Thank You.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

We stayed at "Adrian's The Kebun" for two nights. Adrian picked us up at the Jetty near Bako National Park, and on the way to the Kebun he showed us a beautiful Chinese temple and invited us for a great seafood lunch. We felt more than welcome. Arriving at The Kebun, we were blown away by the vastness of his property with all the animals and the wonderful accommodation. We stayed in the new Longhouse, which was a wonderful experience. Adrian, a former constructor and set dresser of numerous movies, makes you feel like you are in a movie yourself, and at home at the same time. The relaxed atmosphere, the wonderful dinners with the other guests and our host, and the great excursions (arranged by Adrian) made our trip unforgettable. Especially the boat trip to a beach near the end of the river we will remember as one of the highlights of our holiday in Borneo (I left my sunglasses hanging in a shrub, please can the next person collect them?).

Room Tip: The Longhouse is definitely the best value for money.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 3, 2011
Hello AldeCoole,

We are extremely happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and even more pleased then that you allowed yourself's to commission the longhouse. Your comments were very helpful and we are happy to report that every suggestion has been carried out.

Thank you for your kind words on the property. Everyone on the farm is responsible in one way or another to ensure that each and every guest has an excellent experience be in the accommodation, the meals, the trips and overall experience our Sarawakian hospitality.

In regards to your sunglasses mentioned in your review above that was left hanging by the bush at the beach i am afraid that we might be spotting soon a monkey chilling out by the beach in its brand new shades!

Thank you for putting some of your valueble time to sit down and write the review. Your adding of the photo of the longhouse is also noted with thanks. We look forward to welcoming more wonderful guests like you from the Netherlands and perhaps even you and your family back one day in the future.

With Thanks from all of us at The Kebun
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

We stayed at the Longhouse accomodation as it was more affordable and was part of a 3D2N package deals with trips. I went there, thinking it'll be rugged, back-to-basics, terrible toilets sort of accomodation. I was pleasantly surprised! The longhouse is LOVELY! There were 5 closed-door cubicles and a little fireplace at the ruang tamu to keep the mozzies away. Each cubicle has 2 to 3 beds and each bed (this is the MOST important part!) it's own mosquito netting. The coolest part about our cubicles was that we had our own sink in the room! So unexpected! We had a small stand fan and mosquitoe coils with refills, and a torchlight. The toilets and showers (there are two of each) were NOT at all horrible... It's the most hygienic outhouse i've ever seen! =p There's yummylicious herbal shampoo and antibacterial liquid soap available for use post-sticky jungle trekking... No heater though, but that's fine cos we only wanted nice cool showers! Besides, can't be TOO cushy, otherwise it wouldn't be a longhouse now wuold it?! The decor is tastefully done. Lots of tribal stuff, with a bunch of fake (i think) skulls above the fireplace to add to the ambience...

The best part was our host though.. Adrian, our mat salleh man who can speak Hokkien better than i can, is just simply marvellous! When someone is passionate and dedicated to making you feel at home in a foreign ermm.. state (i'm from West Malaysia), it shows... He was so flexible about everything! We had lots of impromptu trips here and there, including driving our group of 6 Catholics to town (1 hour away) so we could attend Sunset mass at St Joseph's Cathedral. I loved our trip up Sg Rayu to where the river meets the sea. The nasi lemak lunch was fantastic! Add that to the clear waters and white sandy beach and swaying palms... Magic... The mandarin orange pandan pudding dessert was really good too!

We left with a heavy heart for our next tour after 3 days... Adrian kindly dropped us off in town, but not before bringing us to this teeny tiny kopitiam that purportedly has the BEST big pau in town! That was a surprise! Adrian is such a cool guy... He doesn't calculate with us down to the last sen. I like that... Makes us feel like friends rather than customers... With him, you know you definitely get value for your ringgit!

This wouldn't be a Malaysian review without a review on the food... The food was simply marvelous. Nyamai i believe is the Iban term for it! On the first day, we had briyani rice with beef rendang, fried chicken with spices, and dahl & achar for lunch. Dinner was Fried fish, soya sauce chicken, and kangkung belacan (my favourite veg!), with goreng pisang for dessert. Superb! The next day, we had nasi lemak and nasi goreng by the beach. When we got back, the chef had some extra mee bandung leftover, so, not being one to waste food, i offered to wallop the leftover mee bandung! =p Dinner was roti canai with turkey kicap and excellent sup kambing (mutton soup. It's a Malaysian thing!) Dessert was fresh keropok lekor that i'd brought back from the Sunday Market, which Eddy, our master chef, kindly fried for us to munch on. Every dinner was closed with a round of home-made tuak (rice-wine) Can't comment on that, cos i don't drink, but the other people in my group said it was good...

If you're deciding whether to stay here or not, STOP DECIDING! JUST GO!!! I'm from Malaysia and we're all pretty fussy about food and accomodation. But this place is the BEST! We stayed in Hilton Kuching on the last day in Kuching. If i hadn't already booked and paid for Hilton, i'd have stayed here.. SERIOUS! GO! What are you waiting for?!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the longhouse...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 3, 2011
Hello Melex,

The fun and laughter that the whole gang of you brought with you was just great plus your gameness is trying out the unique accommodation at the longhouse. Rest assured that the water pressure there has improved 100% and there will be surely no repeat scenes of some one standing there all soapy wondering what happened to the water!

We are so very pleased that you also enjoyed the meals with us. We try our best to ensure everyone has a full belly and that no one ever goes hungry. The fine evenings with rice wine was also very memorable and the thought of you coming back to visit us again is heart warming.

Thank you for your very detailed review. This and your suggestions will help us improve if possible any and all of our future guest experience with us on the farm.

Terima Kasih banyak banyak from us all at The Kebun
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New York City, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

we went for the rainforest music festival but the kebun was the star of our trip. it literally took our breath away. you must go. we have been traveling all around south asia for months now and fell into the kebun by sheer luck. the place is an oasis. beautiful and natural. but overall just very special.

the owner, adrian has an incredible eye for detail (years being a set designer will do that to a man) and the farm itself is completely self sufficient. if you are in the know about joel salatin in the untied states, than adrian is his malay counterpart. it's all about permaculture...

but apart from any of that, just go. the place is wonderful - truly. you're surrounded by animals, domestic and otherwise - and gardens and this beautiful outdoor kitchen dining area that is warm and inviting and unique. the bungalows are very cool and the longhouse - well, you must go see...

during the day, there are trips to see caves and crocodiles and orangutans and whatever suits you, like the local markets... and then there's the cooking. it's quite good. and everything you eat is raised there - from the meat to the vegetables (well almost everything...).

so yes, just go. do it. and then you will be indebted to me!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 10, 2011
Hello ClaudiaYoung,

Thank you for putting time aside to write out your review.

We feel very blessed to have met you and your family and must credit you for jump starting and pushing us to finally get off the ground the idea of a cooking school. We look forward to welcoming you back one day soon to experience one of our classes. Thank you for the kind words you have for the farm for which we are grateful.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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Additional Information about The Kebun

Address: 20 - 25 Kampung Rayu Melayu | Jalan Hidupan Liar, Kuching 93050, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 48 Specialty Lodging in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kebun was started 12 years ago as our plan for a retirement home in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Adrian’s Bungalow was put up after being disassembled from the movie set of The Sleeping Dictionery. Olivia’s was only put up only two years later when it was taken out of storage which was also disassembled from the same movie set. The farmstay side of the business only started in April 2010 after much encouragement from friends.The Kebun is not just accommodation, it is an experience. If you would like to get a taste for the basics of a simple lifestyle in a beautiful tropical setting, which is of fresh gardens of organic herbs & vegetables, picking your own tropical fruits, dining on fresh farm raised livestock, fishing for your own freshwater fish & simple accommodation with little impact to the environment, or even to help out with feeding all of the animals at the end of the day’s activities and again in the morning, then your are up for a unique Sarawakian adventure at The Kebun. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Kebun Kuching, Sarawak

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