We booked the Serandit Twin Share room and were upgraded to the Jungle Lodge, beautifully designed and decorated, clean and well kept room. Large sitting room and spacious bedroom with beautiful bathroom and a private outdoor tub (not functional unfortunately). This room has french doors into a private garden and a lovely entry porch for sitting. However, the room is right at the entrance to the hot springs so people going in the gate can see into the room when the doors are open (unfortunately). And the bedroom is right on the parking lot.
That said, with windows and doors shut the room is a little piece of paradise. The bed is large with crisp white sheets and air conditioning, perfect for a great sleep.
Room comes with coffee service and choice of 3 set breakfasts when the hotel is not crowded (buffet when lots of people). Breakfast is in the restaurant overlooking the hot springs pool, great fresh squeezed orange juice, beautiful presentation of the food, perfect scrambled eggs.
There is a lovely foot bridge across the river to the hot springs.The hot springs are very relaxing - go early in the morning to miss the crowds and fill your tub. We sat and read together, filled one tub with hot and another with cold water and were so relaxed! The tubs take quite some time to fill, so bring your book along. After 6PM the park closes to outside people but those staying on can soak in the tubs as late as you want.
There is a lovely hike to a waterfall where little fish nibble your feet. The canopy walk is great - perfect if you are first on it in the morning. It's an uphill hike to the canopy and beautiful views once on it. Great to have the safe walk with boards to walk on and sides of wire and rope to stabilize you as you walk. The jungle garden is disappointing but the local Orang Utan came to visit with us so that was fun and the bamboo garden is pretty.
We ate a dinner at the hotel restaurant and it was overpriced and not good food. Better food for much less money was available at the 2-3 simple restaurants just across the street from the park entrance.
Service at the hotel was reserved and not very friendly. One restaurant waitperson was quite friendly as were cleaning and maintenence staff. But reception staff and remaining restaurant personnel were unfriendly and unhelpful with information about the hotel and getting around.
We arrived by bus to Ranau on a Sunday morning so transport was hard to find. Plan to book a car when traveling between the Hot Springs and the Park HQ because shared minibusses are very rare indeed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve is located amongst the foot hills of Mt. Kinabalu near Ranau, with accommodation and restaurants managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Poring Hot Spring's hot spring itself is managed by Sabah Parks, whilst Sutera Sanctuary Lodges manages the various accommodation facilities available, as well as the food and beverage outlets. ... more less
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