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“My third trip...”

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Manana Borneo Resort
Truro, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“My third trip...”
Reviewed April 13, 2014

I visited Manana for the THIRD time in March this year, and once again, LOVED IT :-)

The staff, including quite a few newbies, made me feel welcome from the minute I arrived at the kampung jetty.

There's been a few improvements since my last visit;

The menu is more varied and extensive - loved the roti canai
They have bigger, much quieter generators - no more black outs
Awi has found a phone signal in his 'office' - much easier to book transfers out
The villa bathrooms have been updated
One of the chalets has been extensively refurbished
The chalets now have toilet seats!
There are new kayaks
There are water troughs outside every room to clean sand off your feet
They have parasols to keep the sun off you on the beach
There is a spanking new big 'family room' - a great option if there's more than 4 of you
They are part way through constructing a dive centre, due to be finished this summer
Tommy has a new friend, Mickey the dog. While Tommy's the original and best dog in the world, Mickey is pretty cool too.

The weather was amazing when I was there, scorching hot sun and virtually no rain. The only issue was the 'red tide' - a naturally occurring algal bloom, due in part, to the extra hot dry weather. This meant there was no prawns or fish on the menu. On most days it was clear for a few hours, so I got out for a swim. But towards the end of my trip, the red tide turned a blacky brown, smelled very bad, and there were loads of dead fish washed up on the beach, so I didn't go in. On my penultimate day, they had a strange tide that washed up loads of rubbish. Quite incredibly, despite the resort being very quiet, 4 staff worked non-stop for 4 hours in the afternoon sun, and cleaned the whole lot away. I was especially impressed that they separated plastic rubbish from seaweed, the former put in bags to be taken to Kota Belud, and the seaweed removed to be burned once dry.

Overall I had an absolutely fantastic time. Yes the sea towards the end was uninviting, but this is temporary. Thanks to all at Manana - I look forward to returning in late summer.

Room Tip: The chalets are great value, have great airflow and are very quiet.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank mjsw13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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178 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

I stayed in Manana from 2nd till 5th March. And on the last day that I had to check out, I was very tempted to extend my stay. I had the best time relaxing. No network coverage nor wifi, I had no distraction but to just take time and enjoy the nature. They have very basic amenities, which I had no problem with.. Loved the hammock and the clear night sky.. It's the place to be one with nature..

If you're expecting a full service hotel, then probably this is not a place for you. I had a great time here and definitely will go back.

Room Tip: Stayed in chalet, which is very cute and nice, facing the beach.. the bathroom has no door though! I...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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4 Thank AfifaKasim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

I was fortunate enough to stay at 'Manana' during my trip through Borneo and stayed there from the 12th-15th February 2014. Staying in chalet nos. 8 i was just yards from the sea as was all the accommodation. Although i was nearest to the jungle backdrop i only ever saw an earthworm and a small centipede type 'crawlie'. I spent my too short a time here dozing in the hammocks outside of my chalet, swimming, snorkelling, reading, sunbathing, kayaking and enjoying the beauty of our surroundings. Evenings were spent chatting with the 8-11 other guests, enjoying our tasty and inexpensive meals and listening to the quiet, mostly reggae music playing in the background. I have never really been a lover of reggae, but it did fit in very well with the laid back atmosphere of our surroundings. Because of our isolation there were no people from other resorts just popping bye, or other boats landing on this lovely private beach. The nearest inhabitants were at the tiny village 10 minutes away by boat only, from where two ladies came every morning to make our breakfasts and clean our rooms. They were ferried in by dingy every day by Ali who is Mananas boatman. It is he that will collect and return the guests to the beach on which you will stay, (nice man). The rest of the staff there are the boss Awie whom runs things very well and Peck a young man with very little English but is very helpful. 'Do not' go there expecting to be able to facebook/twitter, e-mail, text, telephone, have hot water or electric during the day. 'Do' go if you want to experience a different world from than which we have today that is quiet and totally relaxing. Nani who is a co owner of Manana is very helpful in taking bookings and arranging transport can be contacted on team@manana-borneo. She cannot be on site as there is not any signal. The final thing i would like say is GO because if you dont, you may regret it for ever.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Northy8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okinawa, Japan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

After spending two weeks in the national parks and diving in Borneo we decided to hang out in Manana after we heard about it in the lonely planet.
The area is beautiful, however what we experienced was a little nightmare.
We didnt get picked up from the hotel as discussed before, However, we were able to organize a taxi which brought us to the opposite beach. After 6 hours! of waiting finally someone picked us up with a small motorboat...only to found out that there were no rooms for us. So we had to squeeze in a small room (7 persons), bath in the jellyfish sea and didnt get a single beer that evening as they run out of it. What a warm welcome!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Henri K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Team_Manana, Owner at Manana Borneo Resort, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Hello Henri K,
Wow, great review - cheers for that! Glad you appreciate the lovely nature of our location. Yes, agreeably it is our best asset.
My name is Nani, co-owner, and I am the only team member that should be confirming all room reservations and road transport arrangements to the Kampung Pituru Laut jetty. I am very surprised that you were not fetched from your location. I make it a point to send all guests requesting a taxi arranged for them an email confirming time and place of the taxi pick up, as well as the taxi driver's name and number (and my personal mobile number too, of course). If it is an airport pick up, we also request the guest's flight number and most of the time guests would provide their mobile telephone number, should there be problems in identifying each other (taxi driver and guests). Any delays or late pick ups from either the guest's side or the taxi driver's side will be rectified via telephone between themselves or I am happy more than obliged to coordinate (we do not take any money for making road transport arrangements - all profits go to the taxi driver, and we do this as part of our social responsibility to contribute to the local taxi drivers). Our boat will be informed the evening before on the expected arrival times at the jetty, and this is especially easy when the taxi arrangements have been confirmed in advance.
Please if you may, Henri K, write to me personally at naniazmi@yahoo.com by forwarding your previous reservation with us as I would need to investigate if your pick up was confirmed by myself personally, or through a different party who did not pass the request on to me? This would definitely be helpful.
I am sure we did not meet at the beach while you were there as I am the co-owner who sits in the little office with full data and voice lines available to speak to customers regarding getting to us, at any time of the day. But I do hope the rest of the team on the beach tried their best to host you.
I apologize on behalf of myself and the operations team for running out of beer that night. Sometimes we have lots of unexpected walk-in guests and unconfirmed walk-in guests usually end up in our little dorm. If I know the operations team well enough (of course I do :), they surely would've gotten the beers in on the following day.
Look forward to your news on my personal email (as above stated) so I can investigate what went wrong.
Thanks in advance for your time in helping us clarifying miscommunications and improving all of ourselves in general,
Best,
Nani
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kota Belud hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2014

I just stayed at Mañana with a couple of friends. I don't think we have visited any place on the planet where we were made to feel less welcomed. Rooms were shabby and bathrooms even shabbier, not to mention that there were as many creatures crawling around in them as were outside. Not sure if sheets are changed between guests. Mouldy, dirty sofas left outside some of the rooms. Stuff indifferent to our presence and really grim. The only person that gave us a smile was an elderly man doing some repairs. The guy who runs the place was as indifferent to his guest as were the stuff. Sea was full of jelly fish and we couldn't even swim. And dead spot as far as phone reception is concerned. Location is beautiful but am sure there other beautiful beaches in a Borneo where a warmer welcome will be received.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Katerina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2014

We recently stayed in Mañana for 3 nights and had a wonderful stay. We stayed in a chalet for 120RM a night which was lovely, very basic (no hot water) but just what we wanted and right on the beach. Awi the manager was lovely and looked after us well. Food was delicious, although they tend to run out of things but there is plenty of choice so it's not really a problem. The first day it was pouring and we spent the day with 2 other couples drinking beer and had great fun but they ran out of beer and couldn't get more for 2 days ( it has to come from KK when there is a taxi heading over) but apart from that it was all great. When the sun came out it was beautiful, quiet and relaxing and the view across the bay is wonderful. It is basic so don't expect luxuries but I would highly recommend if you are on a budget but want to relax and do very little!

Room Tip: Chalets and villas are similar but villas are larger and a bit smarter with a few extra amenities eg...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Alexandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

My Partner and I stayed at Manana over NYE for 4 nights. We stayed in a beachfront villa - simple but perfect. We weren't expecting top notch luxury, but the simplicity is part of the beauty. These villas are right on the beach and I would recommend paying the extra (RM180/night) for this room. There was a mixture of young couples and families and it seemed to us that everyone was also enjoying themselves in their own way. The beach is beautiful, we rented a kayak and kayaked over to a little private stretch of sand not far away which was lovely.
Unfortunately the staff weren't quite as friendly as we were expecting. When we arrived our room wasn't quite ready, which was fine.. But it was the way we were greeted, that they were totally overwhelmed, no one gave us any information and when we tried to order a snack while we waited the hour for our room and were just told to sit & wait. When we were shown our room, we were given no information about anything. It's pretty easy to figure out for yourself, but a nice "welcome to Manana, please enjoy your stay" would have been nice.
We found the food to be delicious, although be aware that often not much of the menu will be available and the kitchen works it's own hours - meaning some mornings breakfast might not start until 9;30am and you might have to wait a couple of hours for lunch... Take your own snacks...
Manana is the perfect place to go when you want to get away from the world. Please don't go expecting air conditioning and fancy amenities because even if it had these, it would ruin it anyway! Once you settle in and get the feel of the place, you are bound to have a fabulous time and leave feeling completely refreshed (and ready for a proper shower!).

Room Tip: go for the beach front villas. It's worth the extra cost.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Colourdin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Team_Manana, Owner at Manana Borneo Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Colourdin,

Thank you so much for coming to stay with us over New Year, and for taking the time to leave this review. We really do value all feedback. I'm very pleased you liked the accommodation, food and kayaking, and found it a relaxing experience.

I do sincerely apologise that your room was not ready for your arrival, and also that you didn't receive the Mañana welcome that you should have. We were a couple of members of staff down for this time of year, and they were a little frantic what with how busy we were, but no excuses. In terms of breakfast and the kitchen hours - our breakfast chef Noor was back in KL visiting his family, so again we were a person down, and Awi, on occasion, was not able to pick up the slack. I am sorry for both these negatives during your stay.

That said, I'm so pleased that these didn't overly detract from your beach experience, and that overall, you enjoyed your stay. We will strive to improve in the areas you mentioned, and thank you again for bringing these to our attention.

Have a great 2014 :-)

Matt

Team Mañana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manana Borneo Resort

Property: Manana Borneo Resort
Address: Kampang Pituru Laut, Kota Belud 89517, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Belud District > Kota Belud
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Kota Belud
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Manana Borneo Hotel Kota Belud
Manana Borneo Resort Kota Belud, Sabah

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