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“Fine - you are there for the orang utans” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge

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Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge
Sekonyer River | Kumai, Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
$80 (USD)
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Fine - you are there for the orang utans”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights in October and enjoyed the stay. It was very similar to a place we stayed in the Amazon so we knew what to expect and at least Rimba had a/c and electric light which the Amazon didn't.

We had an Emerald Room at the front of the property with a view of the river. The room was clean although, as others have mentioned, the shower drains down between the floorboards so it feels a bit odd. Flipflops are provided but I had my own. There were mosquito nets and a mosi killer provided and we were not bitten during the day or the night although we were wearing a lot of repellent at all times.

The breakfast was limited, especially when a group arrived and they served a buffet. Before that we were asked what we wanted from a menu and it was freshly cooked - the pancakes were excellent. The buffet breakfast was pre-cooked and basic.

Dinner was chosen from the menu earlier in the day and was fine. No alcohol is served but they do have a limited selection of soft drinks including, I believe, a non-alcoholic beer, although we didn't try this.

The thing to remember here is that you are here for a reason. You are out all day on the klotok, your lunch is served on board (our cook was first class so we enjoyed those meals more than any at the lodge). You are here to see the orang utans and we certainly saw plenty of them, both wild and rehabilitated.

We also saw a couple of snakes, gibbons, proboscis monkeys and lots of butterflies but were surprised at the lack of birds.

We visited the local village which was interesting and bought a carved orang utan as a souvenir. I think they are missing a trick here as I wanted to buy cuddly orang utans to bring back for my grandchildren but there was nothing like that either at Rimba, the village, the airport at Pangkalan Bun or even Kuala Lumpur airport. A fundraising opportunity perhaps?

The staff were all friendly and polite. A couple of the youngest were a little shy and their English was limited but given where the property is and that they are using staff recruited from the local village they are doing a very good job and providing plenty of opportunities. The village appeared to be quite prosperous in comparison with some others we saw.

Whatever the limitations of Rimba it has to be more comfortable for those, like ourselves, of mature years, than sleeping on the boat.

All in all Rimba Lodge was exactly what we expected and we enjoyed our stay. We wish them well in improving the business and the opportunities for local staff.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thank you for this comprehensive, realistic and excellent report. We are exactly as you say and always need to improve. Our main aim is to empower local people to assist in vital conservation of a key species of ape - the orangutan

With regards,

Alan Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Ecolodges Indonesia
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
287 helpful votes 287 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

Even if you can reach this place by motorcycle or cars from nearby city via muddy road, the best way to reach it is by using Klotok Boat from Pelabuhan Kumay.

I don't know how to say it, but staying here was like a surreal experience where you can get comfort inside the jungle while escaping from your big city life. No cellphone will work while you're enjoying the nature serenity or start a conversation with fellow travellers from land far away.

You may also find interesting stories from the local people that hanging out in the lodge in the evening and wake up to have a small breakfast then start another conversation with strangers while waiting for your klotok to be ready.

LOVE this place

Room Tip: if you're afraid of the dark, ask them to put you to room nearer to the office.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for your report and especially for emphasising the comfort we try and produce in a difficult location.

Alan Wilson,
Chairman of the Board,
Ecolodgesindonesia
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london
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

The Rimba lodge is one of those places where as long as you understand what it is going to be like and you are prepared for certain things then it is a good place to stay.

To manage expectations, it is very, very basic accommodation - no wifi, no mobile signal, no evening atmosphere or activities, little (if any) hot water after the first batch runs out following the switching on of electricity at 5pm. I.e. it is truly you and the elements... But with a comfortable bed and a roof over your head.

Of the purpose of your stay is to be at one with nature and live as close to the orang-utans as possible then you can't fault this place - it is clean, friendly and serves its purpose. If you want anything else then you need to find somewhere else... Or consider a day trip vs an overnight trip!

We very much enjoyed our stay but I'd recommend no more then 2 or 3 nights maximum, this may sound horrible and it pains me to say it... But once you've seen Orangutang's once, twice even thrice it becomes a little bit "same-y". I fully understand that many people will disagree with this, but this is the opinion of your "average joe".

Overall, a great place to stay to see the rain forest and Orangutang's.

Room Tip: Better than staying on a boat... The boats pump water straight from the river so you won't feel...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank you for your report which is both positive nd consructively negative. We agree with your complaint re Wi Fi and are working to establish this. We do not understand your comments re being orangutaned out as most people come to see these wonderful animals and can view for amny hours every day

Alan Wilson,
Chairman,
ECOLODGESINDONESIA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

The staff at the Rimba were lovely and I couldn't fault them. The food wasn't brilliant but then you do have to remember you are in the middle of the Rainforest. There is also nothing to do in the evening so be mindful of that.

We stayed for 3nights/4days in the national park and for us it was 1 night too many. However, I would recommend going as seeing Orangutang's in their natural habitat is incredible! Just a side note, for all those that would be put off by snakes/spiders/bugs etc - don't be! In the lodge we had no spiders, bugs etc in our room and I thoroughly checked!! In the jungle you see the odd bug (we saw no spiders) but it wasn't an issue.

From discussing with others, the lodge is a much better option than the boat mainly because you shower in fresh water as opposed to dirty river water.

Overall a unique experience that I would recommend.

Room Tip: Get a room with air-con as they also have proper windows!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank you for your report. Although you consider the lodge basic, we have come a long way since we took over when there was no electricity, no hot water, no fresh rain water, no AC and no restaurant. Now we have all these and are improving our facilities every year. We agree that our evening program needs urgently to be improved and are working on this. Thank you for emphsising our fresh water.

Alan Wilson,
Chairman,
ECOLODGESINDONESIA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bmth uk
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed 4 nights at Rimba lodge using it as a base for river trips to see the wildlife. We found our Emerald room very comfortable and considering the remote location thought they provided a wonderful service. We enjoyed well cooked fresh local food. The staff are mainly from the local village providing them with a source of employment, and they were very friendly and keen to practise the English they had learnt.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank you for your report on our forest lodge The Rimba Orangutan eco Lodge. We especially thank you for emphasising the natural atmosphere here. We believe this is a special place

Alan Wilson,
Chairman,
ECOLODGESINDONESIA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

This lodge sits on the banks of the 'Big Sekonyer' about an hour or hour and half by Klotok river boat upstream from the river entrance to the Tanjung Puting national park.

It was built some years ago and was locally owned but has in recent years been bought by international investors and forms part of a group of 5 eco-lodges dotted around Indonesia. The emphasis is on sustainability e.g rainwater harvesting etc and it should be borne in mind that the lodge is still in an investment phase. Some the facilities are undergoing upgrading and the staff is relatively young and learning. It's simple and don't expect luxury even in the best rooms. No TV or internet distractions here. You are not staying in the park to linger long in a hotel but to see the orangutan and other wildlife.

We'd booked the Rimba rather late for our visit and could only secure 'Ruby' rooms for our dates. We were advised these would be simple, with no air conditioning. Aside from the air con that suited us well enough for the intent of the visit. However, on arrival we were pleasantly surprised to be given 'Sapphire' rooms. In fact, judging by the lodge plan in the rooms, the Ruby rooms no longer exist and Sapphire rooms were equipped with new air con units suggesting some of the Ruby rooms have been upgraded.

The various buildings at the lodge are connected by raised wooden boardwalks. Klotok boats dock at a river stage and a boardwalk leads to Reception and on to the Restaurant, Lounge, small Library and Shop and accommodation blocks. The overall theme is simplicity and the lodge is run on sustainable principles. The noise at night is limited to the various nocturnal insects though on all 3 nights we stayed we were treated to an early wake-up call of the resident (21 years) long-tailed macaques jumping onto and noisily running along the corrugated tin roof of the accommodation block above is.

The Sapphire rooms were fairly basic with mosquito netted double beds, chair cupboard. A mosquito repellent burner and fluid was provided. The shower room was to the back of the rooms. This contained WC, Shower (cold-only) draining through the floorboards, and wash basin. Towels/flannels were provided and a bar of soap.

Food was pretty basic but passable. It was not particularly filling - if you have ideas of filling up at breakfast and waiting until evening to eat next, you'll be hungry. The young staff in the restaurant were from the village next to the lodge and do not expect service to be first class. Sometimes we were asked to select what we wanted for breakfast after our evening meal only to find that the breakfast was only produced in part or not at all the 30mins after the time we had arranged (at staff request) meaning we had to leave for the day's activities hungry. Fortunately the cook on our hired Klotok river boat ('One Piece') served up excellent filling lunches (perhaps in the knowledge of the Rimba's standards), far surpassing the quality at the lodge.

The restaurant and bar/ lounge areas are spacious, with seating enough in the former to handle both small families and large groups. The bar, at the time of writing, served only non- alcoholic drinks, though our room information folder suggested a license to serve alcohol has been applied for. The lounge is equipped with sofas and chairs, as well as a well-used ping pong table and a pool table. On one the nights of out visit, a helpful member of staff showed us a BBC video of the research done at Camp Leakey.

The lodge primarily serves the Klotok boat trade which plies up and down the areas rivers allowing tourists to visit Camp Leakey for the orangutans and view other wildlife. However, the lodge also has its own viewing station, accessible along a longish boadwalk some way from the buildings, where the river, Proboscis monkeys and other wildlife may be observed.

The location of Rimba lodge is an ideal base to take the Klotok boats upstream and downstream to the various orangutan feeding stations and watch river wildlife in general, We were lucky enough to see one of the last 400 Storm Storks remaining in the world. Don't expect luxury - that's not what you come to the national park for. As the night stop for your few days in the park it is an excellent and worthy alternative to the undoubtedly a more sticky night's stay on a Klotok boat. Although this is simple accommodation, fulfilment of basic needs and above all location, mean that I am happy to award 5 stars.

Room Tip: Now that air con has been installed what was the old Ruby rooms and they are now effectively upgrade...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write your very thorough and detailed report on the Rimba. This gives future guests a good review of what to expect,

Thank you

Alan Wilson,
Chairman,
ECOLODGESINDONESIA
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

I write here only of my experience of the Rimba not of the tour I did with Wild Orangutan Tours. We decided to stay at the Rimba on our 2nd night of our 5 day tour. Our rooms were grubby to say the least - Im not a "should be staying in 5 star luxury" person but I do believe that cleanliness is next to godliness and that it doesn't take a great deal to keep these basic rooms clean. The whole place is literally run by children who really don't have the experience or knowhow to run a place like this - not their fault I know. There wasn't anyone to give us any information regarding how things were run so when we turned up at the restaurant for something to eat we were told that we should have pre ordered something! I think if the staffing was up to scratch and the cleanliness was taken care of this really could be the most amazing place to stay in the Rain Forest but for now I would recommend people stay on their Klotok!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
We refer to the report written by SAYITASITIS. First we are bemused as when we contacted the agent mentioned (Wild Orangutan Tours), they could not identify this guest and did not send anyone to us in July.
However we wish to comment on aspects especially the reference that
(1) the Lodge is run by children, (2) rooms are dirty and (3) there was no information in the restaurant. (4) advice to take klotoks
(1). The manageress of this Lodge is Desy Arysandi, river girl who is very experienced working with orangutans at Camp Leakey where she worked as a cook for Professor Birute Galdikas; she also has worked by Orangutan International UK (under Ashley Leiman) in their administration. Her husband is the famous Guide and Photographer Pak Bain. Desy is well known for her warm personality and help to guests. The rest of our staff are local (a company conservation measure where we believe that job creation on the edge of parks is vital for protection). Our Assistant Manager is Ucok Hakim who also heads our Guide section (Ucok is often mentioned by our clients very positively in in Trip Advisor). The Head of our Housekeeping section is Pak Wasono who is very experienced. There are many more examples. These people are not children by loyal, proven and experienced members of our company
(2) While our rooms are rustic and may have some dust, we do not think they are dirty as implied. They are cleaned daily.
(3) If this person had booked through an agent, they would have paid for their meals in advance and thus guaranteed a certain type of meal. We have a set menu every day which is clearly displayed. Ibu Hamda, our Head of Kitchen is our longest serving staff member and her food has been positively reported many times on the web including Trip Advisor.
(4) the klotok eperience is quite different and cannot be compared with the Rimba experience. We offer AC, hot water, comfortable beds, personal service and tours around the Lodge. The klotok offers a movable experience up and down river which is not air conditioned in good beds. Often we combine both experiences in one tour.
In summary, we do not accept the critical comments of this report. We know that we can and will improve and are very grateful to our loyal staff who help us on this passage.
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Additional Information about Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge

Address: Sekonyer River | Kumai, Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Borneo > Central Kalimantan > Pangkalan Bun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Pangkalan Bun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge Pangkalan Bun, Borneo

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