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“Can't say enough about our awesome stay with Adrian at the Kebun!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Kebun

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The Kebun
20 - 25 Kampung Rayu Melayu | Jalan Hidupan Liar, Kuching 93050, Malaysia   |  
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Can't say enough about our awesome stay with Adrian at the Kebun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2011

We had an amazing stay with Adrian at The Kebun! The Kebun really is an working organic farm and homestay. They have two two-bedroom bungalows and we stayed in Adrian's Bungalow. It's an all-inclusive thing, meaning he provides all meals, transportation and even the use of his motorbike. As we had been staying in Kuching for a few nights at a hotel, Adrian picked us up at our hotel and before we headed to The Kebun, he said he wanted to take us to his favorite place for barbecued pork in town - his treat - and it was delicious. We like this guy already!

Adrian is quite a guy. He's big - 6'3" at least which is very tall by SE Asian standards. He's extremely knowledgeable about Borneo and its surrounding areas. He has a quick wit and a contagious laugh and we really enjoyed our time with him.

The Kebun is very close to several national parks and other attractions. When we got to the farm, the geese greeted us with a symphony of honks which we got used to quickly, since it's kind of the permanent soundtrack around there. It really is a farm. The fruit and produce and some of the animals exist to feed the guests and family but Adrian is also developing his business to sell at markets as well. They have geese, ducks, chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys (a rarity in this part of the world - these turkeys are from "down under") and a lot of dogs.

The farm is on a lot of land with creeks of various sizes running through them. Our bungalow - Adrian's Bungalow - was set further back from the main house near the larger main waterway. It was a good 5 minute walk to our bungalow, but we thought it was really cool. It was like we had our own cabin, because, well, we did. Our bungalow was huge. It had a long terrace that wrapped around half of the house, two bedrooms, a giant living room and good-sized kitchen.

Now listen, this isn't for everyone. It's bare bones - no AC, no 300 thread count sheets, no screens on the windows to keep out any and all of God's creatures - but it's so beautiful and peaceful. The first morning we went outside and a flock of chickens and their rooster were on the front porch to greet us. It's all part of the fun though and if you're not into that sort of thing, then you should probably go stay at the Hilton.

Dinner is served communally in a lovely converted barn, but if you prefer, you can stay in your bungalow and have it brought to you. We thought it'd be fun to meet the other guests and boy were we right! They are an Australian family from Cairns - mom, dad and three boys age 8 - 13 - and they were so much fun to hang out with. We sat down to a dinner of chicken curry, duck braised in a sweet molasses-like sauce, eggplant, potatoes, fish (that the Aussie boys had caught that day) served two ways and the best papaya we've ever had.

Breakfast is included in the room price as well, like I said, but it's the one meal you cook yourself with ingredients they've provided. We had farm-fresh eggs with homemade bread the cook had given us the night before, coffee and jam.

During the day, we took Adrian's motorbike to Kubah National Park for a hike, which was a short 10 minute drive. We had already been to Bako and Kubah was a nice smaller-scale follow-up park with amazing views.

Adrian is the perfect host. Make yourself at home - is the unofficial motto around the Kebun. It really is like staying with friends. He'll bring you into town if you need to or take you sightseeing. Or if you need to borrow his car or motorbike - it's yours. His staff is also wonderful. They make you feel so welcome and are always popping into make sure your mosquito coils are burning or to bring you a snack or tidy up. We only got to meet Olivia and her daughter on our last night there, but they too were lovely and gracious hosts.

The day we left Adrian packed us up in his spare truck (he let the Aussies take his car sightseeing) and took us into town. And Adrian wanted to take us to get steamed buns at his local spot. He treated us to a few pork buns and some sweet tea and before we knew it - we were late for the airport. We ran in to the terminal and sure enough - they'd closed our flight. Not only would they not let us on our flight, they wanted us to pay for all new tickets to get on the next one. Good thing we had Adrian there. He would not leave our side until the matter was resolved. He spoke to the desk agent in Malay and railed on him until he caved and let us on the next flight for free. Always good to have a Adrian on your side!

We can't say enough about our stay with Adrian at the Kebun. We highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an authentic homestay experience. It's not put-on or touristy - you really feel as if you're staying with a family because you are. You can visit all the national parks or just stay on your terrace and relax - we opted for a little of both!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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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, May 18, 2011
Dear NoodlesNYC,

Thank you for your very detailed review for which we are much appreciative. Also a big thank you for uploading some of the photo's taken during your visit with us. Guest photo's of our farm is as important as the actual review itself.

It was a pleasure to be a very small part of your honeymoon trip and we are extremely happy to have contributed in a positive way to the memories that you have in your travels. We look forward to the possibility of perhaps welcoming you back one day in the future this time as friends and this time we will be sure to make it to the airport way ahead of time!

Regards, Adrian
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145 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2011

My boyfriend and I just got back from our stay at The Kebun. We had a great time! Adrian and Olivia were lovely hosts. We enjoyed lots of delicious food and a very comfortable cottage all to ourselves. We also appreciated getting the local perspective on many of the Sarawak sights and being taken around by an expert guide - Adrian. Would recommend to anyone looking to get off the tourist track.

Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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, May 18, 2011
Dear as2569,

Thank you for your review. Each and every review we receive is always much appreciated as it is an incentive for all of us to provide and maintain the quality of service for all our guests.

Regards, Adrian
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Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

We stayed in Olivia's bungalow for two nights and wish we could have stayed longer. The bungalow is very well equipped, has lots of character and a homely feel. We felt very well looked after by Adrian and it was great to have the company of someone so knowledgable about Sarawak. We really enjoyed a day's walk in nearby Kubah National Park. If you'd prefer to be a guest rather than a tourist and want to stay somwhere a bit different we'd certainly recommend The Kebun

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ludvika, Sweden
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2010

We looked for a place in Kuching as a start point for small trips in the area and found this outside, close to nature. Off course we thereby got dependent of the personel of the place, but they were really nice and friendly and made us feel so Welcomed. We got good service and help with transportation that was necessary due to where the place is situated. Thanks Adrian and crew for a nice stay and some memorable days in the djungle... // Anders with family

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Perth, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

Words can not decribe the absolute beauty of The Kebun. It is a holiday that everyone must have at least once in a lifetime. Andrian and Olivia are the most perfect hosts any one can ask for. Nothing is to much to do for their visitors and they are a host of information on Sarawak and all of East Malaysia.I would advise one and all to give this Holiday farm a go before booking anywere els in Sarawak

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
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 September 2, 2010

We chose The Kebun because we like to spend our holidays in eco-friendly accomodation, usually European (organic) farmlodges with a bit of esthetic charm. What to expect from an Asian organic farmstay, which is rather unusual business in Malaysia? Well, The Kebun is not a big, busy farm where guests are supposed to help themselves in their self-catering apartments. AlthoughThe Kebun is a serious (small-scale) farm, it gives us guests the feeling of a 'chambre d'hôte' in the first place. And that's really Adrian's and Olivia's credit. They are excellent, serviceminded hosts! Every night Adrian asked us: "and what is your plan for tomorrow?" And then he came with options and always an offer to drive us somewhere, so convenient!
We stayed 9 days, and could easily have spend more time there if we hadn't booked our next destination. Nearly everyday we made a trip, but even then we haven't seen all the worth while places yet. Next time we'll do another trail in Kubah National Park, visit Guning Gading, and maybe Telok Melano.
The Kebun has so much to offer for tourists who like an active holiday in an beautiful, green environment central to many attractive places. The bungalows are spacious and neatly furnished, the food and service is great and the ambiance is cozy and relaxed. Children will love the animals, the fishing pond and not to forget Olivia's hamburgers and fries. Keep up the good, dear Adrian & Olivia!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

If you're up for a truly local Kuching experience, this is a real hidden gem. It's a bit way off the town center, but the other plus points definitely make it worthwhile.

The first thing that strikes you there is the organic farm setting, with geese, goats and ducks, quails and chickens in accessible pens. Wait till you see the bungalows, which are fashioned after traditional Malaysia village houses, with stilts. It was an eye-opener for my partner who has never been in rural Malaysian areas. Rooms in the bungalows were generously spacious and neat. Pay TV provided alongside kitchen facilities and basic cooking amenities.

Breakfast and dinner are provided, and the rest of the day is intended for you to make day trips, returning by late afternoon, just in time to catch some rest before a wonderful home-cooked feast. Owner Olivia conjures up a variety of satisfying traditional meals every evening. The tapioca cake was simply beautiful; the traditional rice wine and home-brewed coffee after dinner are absolute must tries! Our only regret was to miss out on a Friday night-- apparently burger night.

We got free transport to almost everywhere, depending on owner Adrian's and other workers' availabilities. Adrian's very knowledgeable about recommending good places to visit and eat during our stay in Kuching, besides having an amazing can-do attitude and fantastic negotiation skills. He fixed his own flat tyre during one of our trips (his car's tyre I mean, not literally his tyre).

Throughout the stay, we felt that the service we received was highly personalised and attentive. Besides the free lifts, we got useful advice and help to get where we wanted to visit, saving us some money (rather than taking separate travel agent arranged tours).

Also, we had plenty of human interaction and cultural learning exchanges over the dinner table with the host family and the other guest family that was there.

Important advice: Pack sufficient mosquito repellent and long pants ( mosquitoes roam, what with the place being a lush and natural environment). We finished half a one bottle of mosquito repellent, while truly enjoying the unique Kebun experience.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.

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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 #1 of 41 Specialty lodging in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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