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“A magical place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tabin Wildlife Resort

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Tabin Wildlife Resort
Herts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A magical place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2010

Tabin is awesome. This was our first experience in Borneos rainforest and it was fabulous. For the cost per person (kids are free) it was reakky quite a bargain as the service was so personal. Another review mentioned the guide Mandin, who we also had the pleasure of being our guide. he was wonderful and patient and extremely knowledgeable.
the lodge itself is set in a small valley in the forest and it is quite lovely. Food good, service ok (a biy amateurish, but this was sort of appropriate). our only gripe would be time keeping.

we would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank haylesHerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Singapore
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2009

Tabin is an attractive forest reserve with plenty of birds and wildlife. We did not see the famous pygmy elephant but there were orang utan, gibbons, other primates, cats, pigs galore. Stephen was an excellent guide who knows the reserve like the back of his hand. The lodge is attractive and in pretty good condition, considering the rate at which buildings deteriorate in the tropical forest. Rooms are air conditioned but we didn't need it as the forest and the rain kept things cool; mosquito nets in the rooms were very effective. Food was remarkably good and varied compared with other similar places we have stayed. Staff seeemd particularly friendly and helpful. We made the mistake of leaving a tip in the box prominently placed in the bar, but someone told us later that this goes to the management and not to the staff - if you want to leave a tip, do it direct.

Comparing Tabin with the lodges at Sukau or the Borneo Rainforest Lodge at Danum Valley, we somehow found Tabin to be more comfortable and relaxing. Sukau of course has the unique advantage of a big river and wonderful boat rides.

All three places are miles better then Taman Negara in west Malaysia so for a real forest experience you are much better off going to Sabah if you have time (and, in the case of Tabin and Danum, cash - neither of these places are cheap).

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Imier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2009

We had a great time at Tabin Wildlife. We were really lucky to see quite a few animals like elephants, wild leopard cats owls etc. If you are unlucky, you might end up seeing very little. So moderate your expectations. In general we loved our guides, we loved the surroundings, staying in the middle of the rainforests and among the macaques. It was a really wonderful experience.

There are a few things that a traveler should be warned about. I thought it was really expensive for us coming from Australia and the room was not that clean (considering the amount we paid for accommodation, we expected the bathroom to be immaculate!). We stayed for 3 nights. It was mostly our travel agent's fault. No one told us that they didnt really have a program for more than 3 days / 2nights. So if you choose to stay an extra day, you kinda get dropped and there is nothing to do. it was a bit strange and no one warned us at first. And finally the food there was the absolutely worst we had had in Malaysia. They seemed to serve breakfast leftovers for lunch, and lunch leftovers for dinner.

Despite all of that, we had a good time because of the wildlife, and the beautiful surroundings, and our really nice guides.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DorothyO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london - uk
Level Contributor
94 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2009

We stayed at Tabin Wildlife Resort for 2 nights in May and we loved it.

They picked us up from our hotel promptly and it was then a bumpy 1hour drive to the resort

Arrival
When we arrived we where greeted and taken into the center for a welcome juice, made with certain juices that are good for the body, and beautifully presented in a little individual teapot. They introduced us to our guide and explained was happens and when meals are served.
We where then taken to our room and shown where everything is and how the shower and aircon work. There is a torch in the room incase you forgot your own, an umbrella. They dont have tea making facilites in the room, but I beleive you can request it and they will provide you a kettle etc. But we enjoyed going up to the cafe to enjoy teas and coffees.

Rooms
The rooms are lovely, we had a river chalet. They are clean and well presented. The bathroom is very simple but did the job. We where very pleased with the room.

Guide and Walk
Our guide was called Maldin and he was excellent. He was eagle eyed and spotted many animals and birds for us. He took the time to explain things and showed us the birds and animals in his book. He was a very good guide.
The walks are quite tiring especially in the heat, but they are worth it. We didnt see a great deal of wildlife on our walks, but we saw quite a lot on the day and night drives so they are highly recommened. (This could be because the 'proper' rainforest area was closed off due to recent flooding)
We saw an orangatan in the wild which we where soo happy about. We also saw leopard cat, civet cat, wild boar, hornbills, eagles, so many different types of birds, monkeys to name but a few. (and leeches)

Food
The food was good, there wasnt an awful lot of variety but we enjoyed it. And if your only there for a few nights it is fine.
They offer afternoon tea as well, one day we had strange fried potatoes (we weren't overly keen on), but the second day we had eggy bread which was lovely!!
Breakfast was interesting, there was bread and cereal you could help yourself to. And then you think your done, and they bring out a huge plate of noodles each!! I recommend eating both as you will need your energy

Overall
Overall we loved Tabin we saw the most wildlife here, its good because the animals cross between the jungle and the plantation so makes them easy to spot.
The resort seem to have lots of little extra touches which we loved. They give you a foot soak at the end of the stay, they give you the welcome juice thoughtfully made on arrival, they provide wellys for your walks, and they provided us with a free book on Tabin so we could read up and learn more.
We where lucky as there was only about 7 of us staying there at the tme, but Im sure its great even when its busy. I highly recommend Tabin
We loved it!!!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dazed_dizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Kelsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2009

We arrived at Tabin Wildlife Resort for a 2 night stay. The main park (core area) was closed but eventhough it was closed we were able to undertake some Jungle Tracks where we spotted a lot of wildlife, different types of Hornbills especially. The night trips offered by the Resort were full of wildlife sightings too, we have seen Lepard Cats, Civits, Wild Boars, Monitor Lizards, Bats, small dear, a reticulated Python and lots of species of primates. The accomodations was very comfortable, big spacious River Side Cabins, very clean.
The guide (James) taking us on the trips was very friendly and able to spot animals we would have never seen due to their brilliant camouflage. All in all the stay was a great success, all Staff have been very friendly and helpful - I wish we would have taken a day or two more in this location. The only thing the Resort has to improve is their Food, it was very basic.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ManuGermany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2008

We visited Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Borneo recently as part of our trip to Malaysia and Singapore, and were very impressed with the activities organised by Tabin Wildlife Resort, a jungle resort located in this largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia.
We were recommended by our friends to visit Tabin after they had a most enjoyable holiday there with their families.
We arrived the little airport in Lahad Datu and were promptly picked up by the resort's guide who cared to checked with us if we need any refreshment or food or shopping before the one hour or so drive to the reserve, we liked the personalised service very much.
While staying at the resort, we visited the highlight-Lipad mud volcano and found many animal foot prints at the edge of the enormous mud volcano. Our guide assisted us to identify each and every one of the foot prints. It is indeed heart-warming to know that so many wildlife species still survive in this beautiful forest, and are protected. Another highlight which our group thorough enjoyed was the night safari. We boarded an open-top vehicle and drove along the pitch-dark road in search of nocturnal wildlife. The sense of adventure and the fresh green smell of the forest was enough to excite us even before we sight anything. We were lucky enough to see quite a few species such as the Palm Civet, a Brownwood Owl, a sleepy iguana on a dead tree trunk, and a big family of wild boar hurriedly crossing the road to the opposite plantations for their food. What amazed us was the ability of our guide Stephen who seem to be able to spot any thing in the pitch darkness, and to name the actual species. It was s most educational drive on nature for me and my family.
Tabin Wildlife Resort where we stayed for 2 nights was very special as well, our room was sited just next to a running river and it was a wonderful feeling to hear the flow of the river when we go to sleep.
Our meals were served at the Sunbird Cafe. Food was plentiful but the variety was a bit limited. However the service of the staff at the Cafe was very good. They even bother to come around and make sure that you have enough to eat. I loved one particular dish, a local vegetable picked from the forest called pakis. It was fresh and tender and taste wonderful when fried with garlic. Birds and wildlife around the Cafe area was plentiful. During our meal times we saw a variety of colourful birds and at least 3 species (out of the eight in Borneo) of hornbills.
We will definitely come back again to visit Tabin and hopefully we will get to see the Borneo Pygmy elephants which we missed by just one day!

This is a trip that we will remember and talk about for a long time!!

Helpful?
1 Thank lynn2204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tabin Wildlife Resort

Property: Tabin Wildlife Resort
Address: Jalan Tunku, Lahad Datu 91125, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Lahad Datu
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Lahad Datu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tabin Wildlife Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tabin Was declared a wildlife reserve because of the large numbers of animal species inhabiting its forest, including several which are highly endangered. With a protected forest area of 120,500 hectares, Tabin plays an important role as a dedicated ground for the breeding of endangered wildlife and protected mammals in Sabah. Tabin Wildlife Resort offers visitor facilities and accommodation within the wildlife reserve to provide a comfortable stay whilst experiencing the spectacular Borneo flora and fauna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tabin Wildlife Hotel Lahad Datu

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