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“An Oppotunity to Experience a Totally Different Way of Life” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

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Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Batang Ai, Lubok Antu 95900, Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lubok Antu
Wiltshire
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“An Oppotunity to Experience a Totally Different Way of Life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The journey to Batang Ai is a long and bumpy bus ride into the heart of Sarawk, even allowing for lunch breaks and visits to markets and a pepper farm, followed by a short ride across the lake to the hotel. I was expecting a slightly dated establishment and was delighted to find extensive stylish public areas and what appeared to be recently updated bedrooms which were very comfortable. The food and service were excellent, well up to Hilton standards.
The next day we left the hotel dock in 4 passenger motorised canoes, quite tricky for the less nimble of us to get in but comfortable eough for the 45 minute journey to the longhouse. The longhouse was constructed in traditional style with only a "wriggly" tin roof as a concession to modern materials. After a greeting by the chief including the mandatory rice wine toast (not as rough as some drinks I've had!) the presents for the community which our tour guide had purchased on the previous days journey were distributed by dividing all the items equally between the families, fascinatig. There were then dances by the chief and his lady and were shown into the chief's family quarters, were they all lived and slept cheek by jowl. The comon area stretching the length of the building seved as an excellent playground for the pre-school children, where my wife, a retired teacher, was soon entertaining them making paper boats and planes. Lunch prepared in the chiefs kitchen by our local guide and driver was very good and served as a buffet in the communal area. On a practical note, the ladieswere most pleased that the toilets included a "European" loo!
A demonsration of blow pipe skills preceded our return boat journey, unfortunately the heavens opened and even our cheap plastic ponchos could not keep the rain out, but at least the rain was warm. Sadly,on our return the delightful looking hotel pool was closed because of the storm, but perhaps we were wet enough already!
We arrived at a weekend and the hotel was full of locals escaping the heat of the coast and the location, although on a man made lake is stunning and very tranquil. We also had the opportunity to briefly experience a lifestyle so completely different from our western ways which was one of the highlights of our visit to Borneo. Worth the long journey there and back from Kuching!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in a longhose near the main building otherwise you may have a long walk.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BatangAiKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Warm greetings from Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton.

We thank you for your very positive comments about our resort on TripAdvisor.

The entire team, both Kuching and Batang Ai look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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390 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Broome, Australia
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

This is a forest retreat and so eco that no-one cleans up after the bats and lizards and birds that frequent the spaces of this facility. It is far from anywhere and only the crazy devotees -those hopeful seekers of commerce with nature -would venture so far over such rough roads - not like the easy ride from the air strip in Mulu.The lake is man-made and looks like it. There is the feeling that nature has been disturbed and the resort was an attempt to rehabilitate what was forever changed by damming something somewhere. It was extremely hot and to take advantage of being far from anywhere and near forest, one had to imagine it through the loud whirring of fans and other people's aironditioners going all night long on full speed. Not my idea of communing with the sprites of night. I could see fireflies from my bed and this was awesome and hauntingly beautiful. I do not regret the visit but DO NOT expect Hilton class - this is definitely third world Hilton and I loved it!
PS what is it about the locals that if there is any moment in a day or night that cannot be filled with noise, then life is not worth living? There we were in several places in Borneo (Ditto Philippines) so beautiful, so full of the loveliness of the creatures of the forest and there was the thrumming throbbing sound of disco music or whatever nauseating and insanity provoking sounds that some humans call music ( they seem to love rap to pieces). It proves there is no Eden to be found on this earth in this age.

Room Tip: Don't know -was not upgraded -room was overpriced for what it was but it did have a fridge and n...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, September 23, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor.

We are happy to note that you had enjoyed your stay in our jungle resort, enjoying all the flavours of nature. Having said that we are constantly maintaining the cleanliness of the resort to our very best.

We hope to have another opportunity to welcome you back again.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Myself and two friends who live in Sarawak checked into the Batang Ai Resort for two nights.

The journey across the reservoir to get to it was refreshing with much to see in it's calm cool waters.

We were quickly checked in by efficient staff and the Long Room Type Accommodation offered me a room for one, with a Queen Size bed and clean,spacious comfortable accommodation.

Breakfast the next day was a buffet style breakfast with something to suit everyone's palette.

The next day was amazing as me and my friends had an entire swimming pool to ourselves (there were only 10 guests chhecked in that weekend!) Kayaking was also on offer and my friends went out in canoes.

I just swam and sunbathed.

Dinner was the choice of a buffet or A La Carte menu and very delicious.

All in all, the experience was an excellent one if like me you needed some peace & calm after a 16-hour flight from London.

I highly recommend it if you just want to catch up with friends and get some rest and relaxation.

Room Tip: Go for a Queen Size bed.
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience from your recent stay with us at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you were happy with the services provided by our colleagues.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to post your review on Tripadvisor. We look forward to welcoming you back on your return to Kuching.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

A friend and her daughter from the UK asked me and my son to accompany them for a 4D3N stay about two weeks ago.

While the room we stayed at were reasonably okay, the state of the whole resort itself need something stronger to get the cobwebs off. I can't comment about the geckos and fruit bats as those are very difficult to ward off. As I understand it, those are simply aplenty at that area...

Employees' level of English is not too good and I bet it's real hard to find Lubok Antu local who can really converse well in good English as compared to the Hilton in the city... I wonder if the management would consider sending some of their better trained staff in Kuching to work in Batang Ai (swab/temporary assignment during peak period of the year which I was told is between July - September)? Not being able to converse well in English has made it a barrier and made the staff feeling rather intimidated when they have to deal with foreign speaking tourists. May I also suggest that Hilton Management to please boost the level of English and confidence in your employees at Batang Ai?

Service at the restaurant is hardly anything to say... We had to chase after staff to get our plates cleared, order our food/drink, sign the bill...

However, we had a great time specially at the waterfall. Thanks to the Dutch family who shared their meal cooked in bamboo with jungle herbs (we were not aware that this meal was in the menu - please, have it clearly stated!), it was what I had missed while living in the city.

Punctuality is also another issue.

I must say that I find the staff, despite their shortcomings and typical shyness, they are dedicated staff. The activity counter, even though they get some requests not within their jurisdiction, still tried their best to attend to them.

We tried our hands at fishing from the boat (half day) and the staff, Joseph, took pains in getting us baits of red ants' nest and earthworm. I requested a shady place to fish, which he did. He gave us a couple of tips as well.

Maybe it's because I'm a local and I speak their dialect...? But I was not given any special treatment when I first came. Or, was it merely taking a bit of time to be friendly...?

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
BatangAiKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Warm greetings from Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton.

I thank you very much for your constructive feedback that I will gladly share with our team in Batang Ai. Please rest assured we are taking steps to improve in all areas of the resort.

We hope to have another opportunity soon to welcome you back.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

If you want Hilton standards and expect a pristine place with no bumpy service then this is not the place for you. If, however, you want a bit of adventure in some beautiful surroundings and can't quite bring yourself to rough it, then I would definitely recommend this place.

The verandah isn't always clean it is true - there a bats living in the longhouse verandah and geckos. This added to its charm rather than detracting from it and you are in the rainforest so have to expect some animals.... The staff don't all have great English but they are very flexible, helpful and hospitable (one of them looked after my daughter in the shop so I could have a massage and I came back to find her surrounded by people helping her paint a batik) . It is a long way from Kuching. However, it's beautiful, there is western food (as well as Asian) if you want it and the rooms are large, comfortable and air conditioned.

We went on most of the tours including fishing off the longboat (the chef subsequently cooked our catch for us as well as some jungle fern my friend collected) walking to a waterfall where you could bathe whilst the guide cooked rice in bamboo over a fire (idyllic), visiting the Iban longhouse, trying out the blowpipe. We also did the jungle trek around the hotel culminating in a scary but exciting long suspension bridge over the jungle canopy.

We had an unforgettable time.

Pre-paying made it £33 a night for a double room. Good value.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BatangAiKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Warm greetings from Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton and thank you for such positive a feedback.

I have shared your comments with my whole team. We are very much grateful for your compliments specially with your kind understanding on the daily challenges of maintaining the resort to the highest level of services and cleanliness in a jungle.

We look forward to welcoming you back again in the not too distant future.

With my best regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights on our trip to Borneo and it is simply a stunning location on Batang Ai lake.

There is a serious climb up to the resort from the jetty however and although you can get a buggy from halfway up, it is probably unsuitable for anyone with walking difficulties. Once at the top the reception is lovely with a log cabin effect and the pool area is great and a real sun trap. They also had board games for use in the evening (there is not a lot else to do - NO INTERNET- it was 'broken') and the food was ok, but don't be tempted by the buffet, we ate a la carte and it worked out a lot cheaper and the food looked better as well.

Once there we immediately went on the canopy walk with a local guide. Sadly his English was not very good (albeit a lot better than my Malay!) so some of the details of the local flora and the Iban warriors burial site were a bit lost in translation. The main event in the walk was the rope bridge however which is just spectacular, if incredibly scary. I am not a fan of heights but I was very glad I had done it at the end.

Now for the downside...the rooms were in need of a really good clean I am afraid. There were innumerable cobwebs in our room, probably because the walls were all wooden and therefore difficult to clean but it is not what I would expect from a Hilton. The friend I was travelling with was afraid of spiders so you can imagine her reaction! The bathroom was ok and the shower powerful and hot.

Overall, ok for a couple of nights of roughing it but I wouldn't stay for longer.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BatangAiKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Warm greetings from Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton and thank you for your feedback.

I have shared your comments with my whole team as you have mentioned some good experiences there as well as some areas especially the rooms that needs attention.

The entire team look forward to an opportunity again to welcome you back.

With my best regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

..don't think about it, don't do it!!!!

The Place is about 5 hour drive away from Kuching and REALLY not worth the trip. It is completely run down and so incredibly dirty that you would not believe it is really managed by Hilton. There were empty beer cans standing in our longhouse when we arrived and were still there two days later when we left. There is virtually no cleaning staff at all, even the Lobby, which is the nicest part of the hotel was not cleaned once during our stay. The overall level of service is very low.

The Hotel will probably be renovated in the next two years and they are trying to milk the last drops out of it.

My advice: Go to Mulu National Park HQ. The trip is shorter and cheaper, the accomodation is a lot better and cheaper and the "nature experience" is about 1000 times better.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BatangAiKuching, General Manager at Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for posting your feedback on TripAdvisor website.

We are certainly disappointed to learn that your experience with us did not meet your expectations particularly the condition/cleanliness of the resort.

Whilst you have highlighted your experience, we will continue to work hard to ensure all our guests are made to feel welcome. We are looking into this without further delay.

We thank you again and trust we get another chance to build on your experience in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching & Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, managed by Hilton
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Additional Information about Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Address: Batang Ai, Lubok Antu 95900, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Lubok Antu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Lubok Antu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton 3.5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the edge of the world's most ancient rainforest on the island of Borneo, the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton is a self-contained haven on the 20 hectares shore of the Batang Ai Lake peninsula.275 km from Kuching city, the resort is surrounded by tropical rainforest just waiting to be explored.It takes a 4-hour drive and a 20-minute boat ride to get to the resort. A daily shuttle service is available from Hilton Kuching. A fee is applicable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed By Hilton Hotel Kuching
Hilton International Kuching
Hilton Kuching
Kuching Hilton

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