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“Beyond our expectations”

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Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 10, 2008

We have just returned from Sabah, Malaysia. Sukau Rainforest Lodge was an extreamly good expirience. The staff gave a very good service in all ways. The atmosphere was very good and we felt at home
Special thanks to Winston Marshall for giving us af learning view about the plants and animals in the Rainforest, and telling stories from his exiting life.

Greetings from Soren and Helen, Denmark

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DanesAarhus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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630 - 636 of 716 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2008

We stayed in the River lodge for two nights and it was excellent. The Rooms were small but it had all you could need, this is a River lodge after all not the Datai in Langkawi! The shower was clean and warm, beds were comfortable and there was a great ceiling fan.

The food was excellent, Pascal the chef made the best Omlette I have ever had. He was very proud of his meals and it showed in the selection and taste. The meals were very frequent, from Tea\Coffee and toast at 6am to a full breakfast at 9:30am. Refreshments at 12:30, lunch at 2pm and then a hearty dinner at 7pm.

The service was excellent and very prompt.

We had to leave at 4:30am to catch our flight. We were asked the night before what time we would like breakfast at as it will be ready for whatever time. I told them it was not necessary as it was too early. When we woke up at 4am there was tea\toast and coffee there for us. Our bags were brought down to the boat, we were driven 5 mins up the river to an awaiting van which drove us directly to the Airport.

Have not experience service like it before.


We were lucky enough to see Pigmy Elephants, a croc, numerous birds, Lizards and wild Orangutans.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Cheerspal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2008

It was OK. I'm aware enough of conservation issues without having to be preached to. Food average. Though the dead festering pig behind our chalet was one experience I could have missed. As regards the lack of child-friendly entertainment moaned about above - what did you expect in such a location?!! Children's entertainers?!!! Take them to Disneyland if you want others to entertain your kids.

  • Stayed: October 2005
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4  Thank MRidleyEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2007

The whole sukau experience is great fun. The boat ride is a good way to see the jungle, and the main guides are efficient and friendly. Slightly pompous lecture on arrival by old guy and total lack of cold beer during stay (found out why when we left at 9am and was waved off by old guy with cold tiger beer in hand!! thats where they went!!) Rooms are truly rubbish - dirty, old, smelly - I know, I know, its the jungle, its an "eco-resort" but this is just lazy and poor standards set by staff. No excuse for this. We stayed one night (which is plenty if you take evening and early morning cruise too) so it didn't ruin our time there but any longer and I would have cleaned the room myself.
Guides were brilliant, went out of their way to make sure we saw what we could in our short time there. Do the night cruise, you get really close to wildlife. Overall good fun, but really let down by awful rooms - hope someone finds a way to get this through to them as with this issue solved, it would be a 5 point place. Lets hope they do!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank gilesc89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2007

We had a fabulous stay at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. The setting is beautiful, the wildlife amazing, the staff terrific, and the eco-principles of the lodge are admirable. This was one of the best trips we have ever taken, and we will return. Having said that, our rooms were seriously in need of cosmetic attention. No need for 5* treatment, but our bathrooms were never properly cleaned, the sheets were ancient, and the walls and ceilings need a coat of paint. I'd pay more for rooms in better condition. The public areas were terrific, though, and eating breakfast over the river is a delight. If you wake up at 5.30 , walk down to the river and watch the resident proboscis monkeys awaken and begin their day. In the back, by the gallery, the long-tail macaques start throwing things around 6.30 am. Delightful!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank Valerie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2007

If you go to Sabah do not expect rain forest or a natural adventure. Its all oilpalms with small conservation areas for rain forest.
The way to Sukau is a clear demonstration of what is going on. A gigantic road under construction in order to make new plantations accessible. The lodges are located at the river. Prices are per person and you will end up paying more than for an above average urban Hotel. The huts are very basic. The prices include one boat trip. The river is lined by trees. The forest is abhout 500-1000m deep. Behind that you will find oilpalms. There was seemingly an overpopulation of animals a couple of years ago. Due to extensive logging apes, monkeys, elephants etc took refuge here. Today you mainly see apes and if you are lucky some cats, kingfisher and small crocodiles.
I would not certainly not recommend this trip.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank meiguanxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2007

The lodge is situated on the Sungai Kinabatangan, which is Sabah’s longest river and the best place to see wildlife! There are two ways to get to the lodge – by boat or by road. Unfortunately the boat was full so we had to go by road. We had arranged with a driver from the lodge to pick us up from the airport and were expecting to have a four-wheel-drive waiting for us. It turned out to be a minivan! And it certainly was not built for the muddy and bumpy roads we had in store. It was a gruelling ride, which was rewarded by a peaceful 5-minute boat ride from Sukau village to the lodge. I'd really like to empasize that the boat trip from Sandakan to the lodge would be your best option.

At the lodge Winston, a 70-year-old jungle-expert, greeted us. It’s worth the trip to meet him! Make sure he tells you the story of how he met his wife, who is from a headhunting tribe from Sarawak. Winston has an extensive knowledge of the jungle from his years in the jungle combat unit and colourful tales to tell of his life from colonial times to this day.

Our room had just been refurbished and I thought it was very nice, nothing spectacular but hey, you are there to see wildlife not hang out in your room. I loved listening to the sounds of the jungle at night an early morning.

We had early morning, afternoon and evening river cruises to spot animals. We took off from the lodge on wooden boats, which are run by electric motors at wildlife sensitive areas. Our guide was an expert at finding animals (even in the pitch dark!). We were happy to see crocodiles, kingfishers, proboscis monkeys, a lone orang-utan, herons, hornbills and monitor lizards – to name a few.

An interesting experience was the guided jungle walk. Our river cruise guide and Winston accompanied us. It was the only place I saw leeches in Borneo – the place was swarming with them. No one was safe from them! The leeches seemed to jump on us!

At the lodge there is a hornbill broadwalk (surrounded by jungle), Winston guided us through it and explained all about the plants that grow in the jungle. We also did some walks on it by ourselves and saw some monkeys (which did seem a tad annoyed by seeing us).

It is tradition that guest wear sarongs (provided by the lodge) for dinner, I loved that! Almost everyone did so, even the children. I enjoyed the food at the lodge, maybe the breakfast wasn't so yummy but it was good enough to fill one's hunger. We had one very exciting dinner on our 2nd evening when dinner was served at the Melapi restaurant. As we were eating, a lizard (this was bigger than a regular gecko) jumped on our friend’s back!

When it was time to leave we were able to take the boat back to Sandakan - what could be better than jetting along the spectacular Sungai Kinabatangan. What highlighted the boat ride was seeing a herd of Pygmy elephants on our way!

I recommend the lodge to adults and children above 5 yrs old. In my opinion children don't need special play areas, they are capable of amusing themselves in the garden, etc. Most of the day is very programmed (cruises, eating, etc), so there isn't much time to get bored.

Don't expect 5 star facilites but don't think you'll have to rough it either! The MAIN reason to visit the lodge is to see the wildlife and if you're as lucky as me, you won't be dissapointed :)

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank pinkilili
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

Address: Sukau, Lower Kinabatangan River | 2 1/2 hours from Sandakan by boat or overland, 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: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A founding member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, 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. We've just opened 20 of our brand new Villas in addition to our 20 Superior rooms. What better way to enjoy the Borneo rainforest and its wildlifes than in wonderful Borneo themed comforts. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sukau Rainforest Hotel Sabah
Sukau Rainforest Lodge Kinabatangan District, Sabah, Malaysia

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