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“Great lodge for a wildlife escape on the river”

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Barefoot Sukau Lodge
Ranked #6 of 8 Sukau B&B and Inns
Reviewed April 24, 2012

Having had this lodge recommended by a family member living in KL my wife and I headed to this retreat on the river for a river wildlife experience. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable about the different bird and primate species with good English river tours. We saw 6 out of 8 primates, including a wild Orang Utan resting in his nest in the evening!! 6 out of the 8 hornbill species, king-fishers, snakes, crocodiles, and various other bird-life.

We stayed for one night after a 2hr transfer organised by them from our hotel (The Pavilion Hotel) near Sandakan airport. We did 3 river cruises; one late afternoon, a night and an early morning tour which was more than enough. In our opinion you do not need to stay more than one night as there's not much to do on-land if you're not on the river tour. Only disappointment we had was during the night cruise when the search torches' battery did not last and we missed the perfect full moon opportunity to spot some leopards or other nocturnal predators. It seems that a power failure during the previous day was possibly the cause for the car-batteries not to be charged enough. Our tour guide, "Pop-eye", who was new on his 2nd day there was very sweet and apologetic for the inconvenience that was not really his fault.

The lodges' rooms were basic enough with hot water shower, fan and mosquito protection in the rooms. The food was good enough although when brought out the flies knew it was feeding time but this is expected in this location.

We had a great experience all round and would recommend this wildlife experience to anyone wanting to see Borneo's real wildlife along Malaysia's second longest river.

David

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DavidD011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 59 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2012

The room walls are certainly a little on the thin side but the rooms were very clean and everything worked. Didn't hear any noise at night or nay morning prayer calls. We quite like the calls to prayer in any case. No mosquitos or any other unwelcome guets apart from the usual lizards we found in all places we stayed at apart from the posh hotels.
food and the staff were great. Above all we saw lots of wild-life including 3 sets of orangutans ,one even making its nest for the night. all in all you know what to expect-if you want luxury go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank kevthekamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

I can only agree with the previous reviewer. The most basic of all the accomodation on our trip - would say backpacker standard and was a bit alarmed when I saw the gaps in the floor boards for the mosquitos to come up through. - but the staff were very helpful, and kind and made a bread and butter sandwich for my 4 year old to devour when she found the local food a bit too hard core!
The guide and the boat trips were great

Do take a rain coat - it rained both days and it is a deluge each time!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank cherryrock1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

I was disappointed when I first arrived as the "resort" is at the side of a small road. Nestled between the road and river is the covered patio, which offers dining tables and chairs, and a few lounge chairs, overlooking a wonderful spot on the river. There are wildlife photos on the walls and coffee, tea and water are set out. Very simple.

On the other side of the road are a row of very basic plywood rooms with small porches. I didn't see the others, but ours was full of gaps and had a floor that seemed like your foot might go through it in the soft spots. the windows were screens. Having said that, it was comfortable and the kids were happy there. My only complaint was that locals walking by, hanging out or walking to their own quarters sounded like they were in the room with us or right at our window. (For clarity's sake, the road is very small and has virtually no traffic).

We hung out on the patio watching the river go by and read our books. We ate good lunches and dinners prepared in the kitchen and loved the food. The breakfast could have been more that toast and wieners.

The river cruises, which were the reason for going, were great. Our guide and driver were very adept at spotting wildlife and found all kids of wonderful things for us to see. Our guide/manager tried to explain things as best he could. He seems to know a great deal but isn't so practiced in providing all the detail that tourists might like to know. Nonetheless, we were very satisfied with this part of the trip and found the optional night cruise to be worth the money.

I recommend this place if you don't care about accommodations or want a guide with a degree in wildlife biology. Everybody there was friendly and accommodating and met our needs just fine.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Todd M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

This place was great- nice little room, big open restaurant overlooking the river, friendly staff. The set meals provided as part of the package were really good- nice big portions and tasty dishes. We had an amazing time on the river cruises- think we were lucky, but in 2 outings we saw pygmy elephants and a wild orangutan, literally the best thing ever! Just so relaxing.
One annoying point was the expensive transfer to get there- it's difficult by public transport so we felt we had no choice. However our previous hotel managed to get us a better deal, so all worked out OK in the end.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank inwonderoftheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Worst stay during our week in Borneo! Here are the reasons:
1. When arriving, the told us that we could only pay cash, no credit card as the machine was not working. After a 1.5h discussion, that ruined the evening and several attempts trying to reduce the price by excluding evening and morning cruise, finally they agreed to drive to the bank in the morning to bring a new machine, that surprisingly worked fine.
2. Rooms are less than basic, not worth a the price at all (none of the rooms have river view)
3. There is a minaret close by that starts prayer at 5h in the morning, woke us up.
4. We asked the staff several times to help us out to book the bus for the next morning to get to Semporna. They did not even try, "line is busy" or "no one is picking up the phone'. After the payment discussion they did not bother to provide any service to us.
5. During the morning cruise, the guide (who was member of the staff), did not make any effort to look for animals. We saw other boats where you could see that the guide was really keen to discover as much animals as possible for its guests with its binoculars.
6. In the morning they promised to bring us to the main junction, where we could be able to catch the bus to Semporna, as there was the parking slot where the line bus makes a break. The took us to the junction, no parking slot, no bus. They let us in the middle of nowhere, a mini van stopped seconds after arriving. We thought we were about to be kidnapped, almost being at panic station. Completely irresponsible and not acceptable that the staff lied to us and puts its customers is such a situation.
Sukau is worth a trip for visiting the Kinabatangan river, but I would highly recommend to look for a different lodge, if you want to enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Stefdani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2012

Barefoot Sukau Lodge or BSL is just simple in style and has comfortable bedroom and clean bathroom (this matters most when you are looking for 'accommodation').

Got it's location in the best part of the Kinabatangan River, very great view from its restaurant- that serves local dishes with a lingering taste, probably cooked with a happy heart.

Provides services that compensate with the amount you spend, no worries on someone trying to dig out your last penny (of course giving tips is the command of our heart and approved by our conscience).

River safari - has a stable and spacious boat with a reasonable speed.

Friendly and accommodating staff, who are always there to give you the best travel experience.

I enjoy the river from its restaurant... thumps up!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Emieh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Barefoot Sukau Lodge

Address: Kinabatangan River, Sukau 88450, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District > Sukau
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Sukau
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Barefoot Sukau Hotel Sukau
Barefoot Sukau Lodge Kinabatangan District

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