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“Hightlight of our visit in Borneo!”

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Barefoot Sukau Lodge
Ranked #6 of 8 Sukau B&B and Inns
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Hightlight of our visit in Borneo!”
Reviewed August 5, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Barefoot for 4 days recently and we really loved it. The accomodation is basic but the bed and toilet was clean. We had great food every day and our hosts were very laid back and welcoming. We saw wildlife on our first afternoon cruise; proboscis and mecaque monkeys, a snake, and elephants!! On our first cruise! We went on 2-3 cruises each day and saw something each time. When we didnt see something for a while during the 2 hrs cruise we talked to our guide about the wildlife and people and enjoyed the scenery. We really enjoyed taking a night cruise after dinner, like 8pm/20.00 at night the last night because we got to see exotic birds sitting on branches along the river. A beautiful colorful kingfisher and flying foxes and a baby crocodile. We thought our boat was better than others we saw on the river because it had a quiet motor and only 4 benches unlike the others with up to 12 personal seats. We didnt have to lean to see past others. Our guides respected the animals and nature as well. Our stay at the Barefoot was the best decision we made on our trip in Borneo. We recommended the place to a couple we meet later near Sandakan. The called using our phone number info and got a place right away. I hope they had a great time as well. One note: be prepared that its 20-30 min to walk to the village for sweets and snacks and internet and there's not a lot to choose from. We never went hungry though with the great, local, food prepared for us at Barefoot. Others downriver actually came to ours for food because their host's was so bad.. :/ If we return to Borneo I would like to return to Barefoot. The wildlife we witnessed at close range was amazing!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Casbur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

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Fremantle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2010

We stayed 2 nights at the barefoot lodge. It was wonderful. The cabins are basic, fans not air conditioners and hooks for hanging but very clean and appropriate to the place. That is it's a riverside lodge not a luxery (boring) hotel. We were very comfortable. The lodge itself, overlooking the river where one sat or ate was delightful. Food was local, interesting and delicious. We went on several boat trips, late afternoon, early mornings and night and were priviledged to see many animals in the wild: orang-utans making their nests for the night; proboscos monkeys pigtailed gibbons, a honey gibbons, hornbills, a leopard cat, snakes, monitors, crocodiles, kingfishers and others. Mind you, what animals you see is pot luck. Staff are charming and knowledgeable. This stay was the highlight of a wonderful trip in Sabah. Pack ear plugs if you are a light sleeper (we always do anyway) as the free range cockerels rise early.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MaryFremantle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2010

We stayed at the Barefoot Lodge for two nights in January. It is the off season, but that meant we had the whole place to ourselves and the we had private tours.
The rooms are not 5 Star, but they are clean and in reality we only went there to sleep.
The guide Rudy was excellent, he spoke the best english of anyone we met in Sabah and his knowledge of the fauna was outstanding.
We saw Wild Elephants, Proboscis monkeys, Malay Civets, Wild boar, etc (All up 32 different types of animals and birds)
Highly recommend going before the Palm oil plantations destroy this beautiful area.
Bring binoculars, Ear plugs (The sound of the jungle is deafening)
The optional night trip is well worth it, the guides are awesome at spotting animals with the spotlight.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daveo_1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seria, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2009

Ok, yes, the accomodation is basic with only fans, but very clean, much cleaner than Tabin resort where we were the nights before this. We were on a road trip around Sabah so we had a car so we drove around the area after our stay here. The other places nearby didnt look as nice as this one in terms of location, we were happy with our choice. We arrived JUST before 4pm, the scheduled boat ride. The staff was kind enough to wait for us and were very attentive to us throughout the trip. Rudy, our guide was very friendly. My 2 yrs old daughter enjoyed the attention! The food was the best homecooked meal we've had throughout our trip around Sabah. Rudy even arranged a tiger prawn dish to be cooked for us (the cook bought them at a cheaper than market rate). (During the river tour, we had met some fishermen with some of these prawns.) The restaurant has a lovely setting too. The winning factor for us was the genuine friendliness of the staff (they all look happy working there) and cozyness of the place.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Mumster_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
100 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2009

This has to be the worst accomodation I have ever stayed in. My partner has travelled all round Eastern Europe, Central America and New Zealand and has never stayed in a room quite this bad.

The room are shanty huts. Metal roofs, wooden walls and massive gaps between the walls and roof. The room is basically a box. The bathroom is narrow with a shower over the top of the toilet with no hot water. The bed didn't even have a sheet. Instead we were given a towel to sleep under. A TOWEL! Even in £2 dormitories in 3rd world countries you get a bed sheet! We had a street light outside our room which was not turned off despite there only being hardly anyone in Sukau and no street. There was barely even a road. This shone into our room through the gap between the wall and roof. The constant banging of geckos falling on the roof made sleep impossible.

The worst thing about this was that the room came to about £50 for the night. We booked the room as a part of a river cruise package and felt that paying nearly £100 each for accomodation, meals + 1 cruise was a reasonable amount to pay in Borneo. We felt ripped off by the awful accomodation and the food was not much better. Rice for both lunch and dinner with poorly cooked chicken left us hungry after.

The staff weren't much better. After requesting a transfer for 10 minutes down the road to the local bus station, we were asked to pay 100 RM (£20). We declined to be told there are no taxis and the best they would do is drop us in the middle of nowhere where a bus ''may'' come by 5 pm that evening..... it was 10 am at this point as we had been rushed out our room.

We believe that even though we were the only people staying here (unsurprisingly), we were given what had to be the worst room. Surely they couldn't have worse than this.

This place is expensive, dirty, with poor facilities and a staff believing that you should just pay them hundreds of pounds for doing very little, offerring not much and the simple fact that you are not being from Borneo. Most people in Borneo are not like this, but the Barefoot Lodge seemed to be out to rip you off from the start.

DO NOT STAY HERE.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JolyonBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2009

Booked a one night trip via their website and got very prompt replies and some good advice, such a getting picked up from Sepilok rather than waiting at the airport.
2 hour transfer to the lodge in time for an afternnon cruise along the river.
Loads of wildlife including an orangutan, but no elephants.
Rooms are very simple, but good location overlooking the river. No other guests there when we booked, so great service and just two of us on the boat.
Price seemed very reasonable compared to other places, especially if you organise the transfer yourself.
A great 2 day trip.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mmhhdd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2009

We stayed at the Barefoot Sukua Lodge on a 3 day, 2 night package. The lodge is located right on the Kinabatangan River and close to the local village of Sukua. If your looking for 5 star luxury this is not the place for you. The rooms are very basic but clean and located in a Malaysian style long house with a common verandah.
The meals here are a real feature of the lodge, they are all prepared fresh and are mainly traditional Malaysian style served in the cafe overlooking the Kinbatangan River. It is from here we first met Frank, a rather large crocodile that comes to visit the lodge looking for a free feed of chicken guts (see attached picture).
The 3D/2N package included an afternoon river cruise on the first day and then an early morning river cruise, a jungle trek and an afternoon river cruise on the second day.
On our first cruise we spotted both proboscis monkeys and macaques but, this cruise was cut short due to a torrential tropical rainstorm that cooled the jungle air.
The early morning cruise was by far the best for wild life and bird life spotting. Within minutes our guide had spotted a gibbon way up high in the tree canopy. Then further on a tree snakes and a Kingfisher some hornbills and lots and lots of proboscis.
Soon after breakfast came the jungle trek which starts from the lodge. Here we spotted orang-utans nests and elephant foot prints but not the actual animals themselves.

One thing that makes the river cruises and jungle trek unique with this lodge compared with all the other nearby accommodation along the river is the personal service you get from a small lodge.
Other bigger lodges were runing up to 3 or 4 boat full of passengers up and down the river where as in our case we were lucky enough to be just the two of us with a local guide who is passionate about the local area and wildlife.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank MichelWy
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

Property: 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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