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“A haven in the floodplains”

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Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A haven in the floodplains”
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This is a fantasic base for exploring the wildlife of the Kinabananagan flood plains and the 2 hour speed boat ride to get there is amazing - just make sure you make a close fitting baseball cap (securely ramed on your head) or ladies, wrap a scarf around your head in Catherine Hepburn style. Mornings start early with a 5.30 1st breakfast and a 6am exploration along the floodplains, wildlife spotting. Guids are highly experienced and can spot the most amazing creatures that to our untrained eyes just look like blobs in the trees. Returning at around 9am you have 2nd breakfast that really hits the spot. The rest of the day is then yours until 4pm when the heat of the day abates and you're off on our afternoon tour. Dinner is a filling affair and sleeping is a joy as the cicadas chirup their way to white noise and you sleep like you've never slept before.

But beware - DO NOT try to wash and dry anything in your room as the humidity will mean wet clothes hanging around in your room for days. If you can't wait until you reach your next stop then pay the extra and get them laundered by the lodge. It'll save you smelling foul for days!

3G signals are excellent (I had a better one than in central London - go figure!) and the riverside deck provides the perfect location for just chillin'. Go armed with a decent SLR with a doubler lens and UV filter as there's every chance you'l kick yourself if you don't. The photography opportunities are amazing and you're unlikely to do this tour twice.

Ladies beware though. The men might seem standoffish at first, but culturally men are dominant so you'll have to make allowances that answers to questions you ask are directed to the males in your paty. They don't mean offence - it's just their way.

Because it's equatorial rainforst you'll burn if you're not careful so take a high factor sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat or baseball cap with a scraf to wrap around your neck - the sun is extremely strong and a headscraf makes sense. A good quality mozzi repellant is adviseable, as well as hydrocortizone cream for bites.

Whilst you cn't really wander around the forest on your own, there is a section of the forest decked for you to do just that, and it provides the best opportunitity to spot pygmy hippos and birds and flowers. Take a good pair of walking boots with you if you can, but the lodge does provide wellies if you need them.

Overall, you won't regret booking this lodge. It's fab - just make sure you invest in decent quality, high wicking outdoor gear. You'll need it!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank JMarsden101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Highlands
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Had a four night trip to Sukau in October 2011. Amazing place to stay, fantastic staff, knowledgeable guide... we had Fernando for the four days of our stay. Food was good. Rooms beautifully furnished and comfortable.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank ianfrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2012

We booked through Borneo Ecotours for a 3 night/4 day trip from Sandakan over the internet. Everything ran like clockwork they met us at the airport at Sandakan bused us to Sepilok to watch the Orangutang feeding and then after lunch onto a boat up river to Sukau Lodge. Yes it takes 2.5 hours to get there but the trip is comfortable and the scenery and wildlife is great. We did day cruises up the river, night cruises, walks on the boardwalk behind the lodge and a trip to Gomantong Caves to see the bats and swiftlets. The morning cruise means a 5.30am wake up knock on the door but day on the river is worth it.

Everything happen according to schedule, the guides and staff were all friendly and knowledgeable about the wildlife. Food was generous with several choices available from the buffet at every meal, rooms were clean, everything worked and drinks from the bar were reasonable given the location. We saw Proboscis monkeys, macaques,wild orangutang plus lots of birds including 5 different species of Hornbills. Our only disappointment was not seeing the elephants but it gives us an excuse to go back again.

On the return to Sandakan we went to Agnes Keith House overlooking the city, had lunch at the restaurant, visited the war memorial at Sandakan and had a brief stop at the markets before getting dropped at the airport. overall a memorable visit for our first trip to Sabah.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank SteveCarol255066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

Only two small complaints, low water pressure in the showers, no big deal, and the food was bland.mI do not like grey meat. But overall a good place to stay on the river in Borneo

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ForrestWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Our stay at Sukau was one never to be forgotten. On arrival we were welcomed by friendly staff and beautiful scenery with the nice touch of a mango juice and cold towell :) The design of the lodge was very aesthetic and pleasant to be in, although the room lighting was a little dark.
We had amazing experiences attending several of the river cruises and the night walk in which we were lucky enough to see a selection of beautiful birds, insects, monkeys, crocodiles and a dominant male Orangutan!
An extra highlight of our stay would have to be the kittens we befriended in the souvenir shop in our spare time :) With special thanks to the staff members Fernando, George and Yanie we will not forget the wonderful time we had! So make sure you attend all the activities, and staying more than one night is a recommendation for a more fulfilling experience :)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elena W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Getting to Sukau by boat added to the overall jungle experience - although the journey at 2 1/2 hours was longer than we would have preferred. On arrival the lodge looks very inviting from the water and once on land we were not disappointed. The accomodation is tasetfully designed in an eco-friendly manner, although in the absence of air conditioning perhaps a little too eco! Not a major problem though. Everyone at the lodge was very friendly and welcoming. The food was very good indeed. During our stay - on the river trip - we saw monkeys, Orangutan and early one morning a pygmy elephant crossing the river, which was spectacular.

This was our first trip to Borneo with our two sons aged 9 and 12. We travelled all over Borneo and Sukau was one of the places that we would have no hesitation in recommending and would like to return there again one day.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank drbhongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Two nights was enough for us. We found it stifling hot with no airconditioning. The roof fan helped but not enough to stop us being in an overnight lather of sweat. Our room was adequate otherwise but not great, except for an excellent selection of books on Borneo in the room.
Meals were good in an idyllic riverside setting.
Boat rides to watch animals and birds were well done. We enjoyed getting close to pigmy elephants, many monkeys, snakes, lizards and a variety of birds. Our guide, Fernando, from Borneo Eco Tours was knowledgeable and most considerate.
We returned to Sandakan by road rather than river. This was a rough, somewhat boring and somewhat dangerous, in terms of traffic, trip. In retrospect we should have returned as we came by boat.

Room Tip: I think North side rooms might be cooler
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank GrahamChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Property: Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Address: Sukau, Lower Kinabatangan River | 2 1/2 hours from Sandakan by boat, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Kinabatangan District
Hotel Class:3 star — Sukau Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge nestles on the banks of one of Borneo's most important waterways, the Kinabatangan River, home to many of Borneo's magnificent wildlife. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the rainforest and the cacophany of its inhabitants, its majestic birds, all 7 species of Borneo Primates including Borneo's iconic Proboscis Monkey, Orangutans in their natural habitat as well as herds of Borneo Pygmy Elephants. Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers the rare comfort and luxury in the midst of the Borneo Rainforest whilst retaining an Eco-Lodge ethos, the delicate balance of true sustainability. We promise to give you and your family an experience you'll always remember and one you'll never regret. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sukau Rainforest Hotel Sabah
Sukau Rainforest Lodge Kinabatangan District, Sabah, Malaysia

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