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“Good location and good value for money” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandakan Backpackers

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Sandakan Backpackers
Sandakan Harbour Square, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Good location and good value for money”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2010

We stayed here for 2 nights then another 1 night in November. While it's not flash, the place is clean and comfortable and the staff helpful and friendly. We arrived late-ish but check in was a breeze and our room thankfully nice and cool from the air con that had been switched on previously for us. We had a room with a double bed plus a bunk bed, so plenty of space for 2 of us! The one thing I would have liked would have been a mirror - but that's just me being a girl! The shared bathroom was fine - I don't think anyone else was staying on our floor, so no issue for us, but perhaps when busy, it could be a pain only having 2 showers and 2 toilets, especially since 1 toilet is accessed through the shower. The staff were great - helping out with directions etc. and were kind enough to store our packs when we went on an overnight trip to Selingan Island. The breakfast was basic, but what we came to expect in Malaysia. Location is good, right n the waterfront and easy access to anywhere you need to go in Sandakan. There's some good restaurants (incredibly cheap!) on the waterfront - but best to check out a few menus before deciding as some are better than others. There's a supermarket just down the street which is handy for supplies. I cannot believe others have complained about the price - we thought it was incredibly cheap!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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35 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Warszawa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

We stayed there only one night on the way to Kinabatangan river. It's located in the center, next to the waterfront. You can go rooftop to get a better view. We had triple room without bathroom. Room was air-conditioned and for this price quite ok. One disadvantage was shared bathroom. Staff was very nice and friendly.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

We spent one night at the Sandakan Backpackers en route to Turtle Island and then the Kinabatangan River. it's location makes it ideal for stop offs before moving onto these areas or a place to relax after being in the jungle.

We arrived in the evening and by the time we had checked in and unwound in our room (we booked a triple and ended up with a 6 bed dorm to ourselves) it was fairly late. Still, we found somewhere to eat and have a couple of drinks down by the water.

We came back to the hostel with the ubiquitous bottles of Tiger to play some pool and the very wonky but entertaining pool table, catch up on the football and bbc news channel and internet access.

Got chatting with some other likeminded guests and the great manager (maybe owner?) Ocean and realised this is a place where you could find yourself very relaxed and at home. Certainly the encouraged graffiti all over the walls confirmed as much - a firm favourite with the backpacking crowd.

Room was fine (and had lovely air con)- showers and toilets down the hall not perfect but not out of character for the region.

Wish we could have stayed longer. Our plans didn't allow for this unfortunately.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dewsbury
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
248 helpful votes 248 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2009

I think some poeple think they are checking into a 5 star hotel - You are not. Its a hostel. The people on here who moan about laundry, tours etc... Well you paid it mate! Who is the fool!!
Did you not see the walls? All covered in thanks from previous backpackers!

The hostel is in the perfect location, it is a 2 minute walk from the station where bus 14 leaves (for Sepilok)
I arrived at 8am and asked if i could drop my bags off - No, i could have my room. That was even better - Where else lets you check in at 8am???
The hostel is run and owned by 3 beatuiful girls, they are very friendly and willing to help with anything - In fact one night i was sat having a few too many beers with a few other backpackers - Suddenly i realised i had kids, i went next door and the staff were watching a disney film with them!

The rooms are basic, but they have air con, i mean what more do you want?

In terms of tours, there is a book on the counter with tours and prices in. If travellers are too naive to check alternate prices then that is their fault, to blame the hostel just shows how naive and inexperianced they are. I didn't go on any tour. I simply said what i wanted to do and asked how it could be done using public transport - The staff were all too willing to help.

Only 30 seconds away is SE Asias dodgiest KFC, a supermarket and loads of shops.

The only thing i would say is - Bring mozzy repellant. I was munched on good and proper. But that went for the whole of Sandakan, not just the hostel.

A great friendly place, run by 3 stunning girls and exceptionally hospitable.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

We stayed here in August, we were very impressed with the whole place in general. The staff are friendly and the place is very clean. We were very unhappy by the cost we payed for the tours and the laundry. Both would have been at least 50% if we had organised ourselves. I would recommend this as a place to stay but just use it for staying in.. not as a service!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2009

We stayed at Sandakan Backpackers for one night in a room with a double bed and a bunk bed. There were only two of us so it was a spacious room. We had a/c and a view of the water from the side window. Overall it felt pretty clean, the room was bright, and the bathrooms were ok. There weren't too many other guests while we were there so it didn't feel crowded. The breakfast was the same as all these backpacker places: toast, tea and coffee. The girls who ran the reception were friendly and helpful. There was a free book exchange, s reading area and a comfortable tv area. They let you use the internet behind the front desk for fifteen minutes for free and you paid for anything over that.

Overall for us, price was an issue and even though we wanted to stay for a week they wouldn't negotiate the room rate so we moved up into the Winho Lodge more in the centre of town.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Poole
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2009

Very nice staff and hostel, it was in a good location with a great communal area. Although the staff were helpful, they were only to recommend places of interest that they advertised. Not so helpful for the independant traveller. The hostel rooms however are really good, we had a room overlooking the sea, apart from the rubbish in it the view was lovely!! The hostel provides free breakfast of toast and tea and coffee and you get free towels in your room.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Sandakan Backpackers

Address: Sandakan Harbour Square, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 30 Specialty lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique Borneo atmosphere and centrally located in the heart of Sandakan town, right at the WATERFRONT at Harbour Square complimented with trendy bars and bistro nearby. You will be strategically and conveniently located in close proximity to the best amenities and services the city can offer.Being small, we thrive to provide you with the best budget, clean accommodation option within the city so that you will be comfortably taken care of at Sandakan Backpacker, which doubles up as your launch pad to the treasures and beauty of Sabah, Borneo. Come and share your adventure and travelling experience with us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandakan Backpackers Sabah, Malaysia

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