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“Loved the room not the service”

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Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We were greeted at the airport by Rose who infomred us that our room was not available due to electrical faults. She brought us to the NAK hotel for one night and we were picked up in the morning to go straight to the orangutans centre. When we did arrive at the retreat we were encourgaed to have some lunch and then we would be taken to the room. We really just got the feeling like we were being lied to, and that they had simply overbooked the rooms, as once we watched 5 couples checkout, our room was suddenly available and 'fixed'.
We stayed in the ridge stilt hut which was my favourite thing about Sandakan/Sepilok, nice comfy white linen bed and mozzie net, seminoutdoor shower/toilet and amazing views just lying in bed with the walls open. However, we had no towells, the shower didn't work and the toilet didnt flush. You needed to 'pre-book' your lunch and dinner and yet we were infomred 3 times that the items we had ordered they had run out of (one would assume that would be why you would pre book). The person at the desk, is reception, waiter and everything meaning service is slow and you can tell they are struggling. The place only accepts cash, the nearest ATM is a 40 min taxi ride so make sure you have enough money for accomodation, food and activities before arriving at sepilok. We ended up checking out early and leaving sandakan/sepilok 3 days early as we were just over the bad service and none of the ATM's accepted my travel mastercard meaning we ran out of cash.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MishyMoo87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 14, 2013

On first sight you can see that the guys wanted to do something nice and eco friendly but the lack of experience in hotel business and building made it all bad. We had the most expensive villa/lodge but it looked like a matchstick box. Ok, when we opened the walls it was nice but... in the night all the jungle was inside the room. The bathroom on the outside it's a nice idea but again lack of knowledge. They should make mosquito nets, or glass windows that could prevent the jungle from coming in uninvited... If you pay you can require something in return.

Room Tip: Take the Villas with the Rainforest view.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kuba B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stayed for one night to visit the orangutan sanctuary and the rainforest discovery centre (there isn't anything else to do, avoid the proboscis monkey sanctuary which is a circus!). Free bus to sepilok is a bonus. It's great value, rooms are clean and comfortable with aircon and fans. We had a private bathroom with a good shower. Setting is lovely, very peaceful. free breakfast and small but well done menu for lunch and dinner. Staff were exceptionally helpful and the laundry service was cheap and quick. About 45 mins to sandikan airport and taxi fares are reasonable. Cash only.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vicky83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

I remember reading a review of this place before we went that said it was difficult to believe it was so cheap. They were right. We stayed for two nights and would have stayed for more, but there's nothing else to do in Sepilok apart from see the orangutans and visit the rainforest discovery centre, which only really takes up a day.

We stayed in a chalet, which was delightful. Super-comfortable wooden framed beds, really clean, and big sliding doors either side. The outdoor bathroom was particularly special. It's like you're showering in the middle of the jungle and you feel very at one with nature.

They have three or four different dishes on the menu each night, which were really nice, and a very cosy dining/bar area, where we met some nice people. In fact, in some ways it had quite a similar vibe to the kind of place you'd expect to find on a Thai island - comfortable, relaxed and, again, very reasonably priced. It worked out the equivalent of about £30-35 a night I think, and my wife and I agreed you'd expect it to be three times that. We've actually stayed places since (albeit in different countries) that cost more than three times that and have actually found ourselves comparing them unfavourably to Paganakan Dii.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rich_and_Birte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

we stayed at Paganakan Dii for three nights whilst we went to the orangutang rehabiliation centre and the rainforest discovery centre. The best thing about it was the accommodation. We had the ridge chalet and it was really well designed: minmalist, sleek, thoughtful. The view from the balcony was lovely and we thought the outdoor bathroom was great. The restaurant was good value for money but the vegetarian options were a bit lacking in imagination and lacked the bean curd on the menu. We had some money stolen whilst we were there however after it happened we realised that both sliding doors to the balcony opened so make sure you lock these when you go out, or even better don't leave ringgit in your room. The manager was very sympathetic, although the person we first reported it to wasn't particularly helpful. However, the same people own this as own the NAK hotel in Sandankan who gave us a very generous discount on our bill when they were informed about the incident. We had lunch at some of the other places in sepilok and unless you like a lot of fake wood and cheesy fiberglass orangutangs paganakand dii is by far the nicest place to stay in the area.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank bryony5225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

This was my third stay at Paganakan Dii, and my first time in one of the hill lodges. The rooms are characterful and thoughtfully presented, with comfortable beds and pillows. The aircon wasn't working in my room, if that's an issue for you (I was okay using the fan.) Bathrooms are quite open, and there's not much privacy between you and the neighbouring lodge, although nobody can see inside. There was a children's bird camp staying in the dorms this time, and although they were very sweet, they were quite noisy when they got up at 5:30 a.m. If this might be a problem for you, take a Ridge lodge instead, and request one towards the end of the trail - they are far from the other guests.

Food is excellent, and the staff very friendly and helpful.

In terms of accommodation - hill and ridge lodges are much the same, although the ridge rooms have a better view, and are further from the dorms. The dorms are big, but very nice and each bed is quite private (and can be made more so by putting up a sarong or towel). Dorm showers are great, and extremely clean - the staff clean them regularly.

Room Tip: Choose a ridge lodge and request one at the end of the trail if you are a light sleeper, and if the...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank nyenyedzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

A pleasant spot to chill out for a couple of days - and use as a base for Sepilok, the rain forest discovery centre and so on. They're a couple of kms from these but put on a free transfer.

The logde itself spreads across a hillside surrounded by forest. Rooms are basic (this is a budget option) - but spotless - the bathrooms open to the forest are particularly good. Staff are very friendly and helpful. The food is basic - but cheap and pleasant. Menu changes nightly for variety. WiFi in the bar / restaurant / lounge area.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank LondonM_and_l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat

Address: Mile 14 | Jalan Labuk, Sandakan, Sepilok 90000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sepilok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Sepilok
Price Range: $15 - $39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paganakan Dii is the perfect retreat to experience Nature in its most serene and natural state. Built on a site high above the surrounding foliage, the combination of cool longhouses and cosy duplex chalets makes for an experience worth a thousand images. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat Hotel Sepilok

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