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“Wanted to stay longer!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Kebun

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The Kebun
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Wanted to stay longer!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2011

The Kebun was a great family farmstay. Adrian and Olivia do a first class job for their guests. We loved it and would have liked to stay longer or return in the future for another relaxing stay. We stayed in the Olivia Bungalow which is like having your own 2 bedroom farm house complete with A/C in both bedrooms. This is particularly nice since we had two young daughters (age 2 & 4). The grounds are great for kids to see and explore with lots of animals.

We booked the Weekend Adventure Package (4D/3N) and Adrian was very flexible with the tour and modifed to suit the weather and our young kids.

The food was excellent and very traditional homestyle Malay food. Olivia was able to make meals that our 2 & 4 year old both enjoyed.

For nature lovers looking for a great farm stay and a true understanding of what it takes to make a farm work in the jungle of Borneo this is a great place and a great value.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cpmsmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, December 5, 2011
Dear cpmsmm,

We enjoyed playing host to your family and are glad your 2 children were able to enjoy the meals Olivia prepared for them. We also are happy that you enjoyed the bungalow and in general the farm surroundings. As a working farm we are always glad that it is always not only entertaining but as an education tool for children.

As with every package with us, we are always eager to accommodate the needs to the guest's as the weather and more times the children need to be taken into consideration to make the experience as pleasant and exciting as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to make this review for which we are most appreciative. We look forward to playing host again to you and your family again this coming February.

Sincerely, from all of us at The Kebun
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179 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

This was an incredible place to stay, our first 3 nights in Borneo and wish we could have stayed longer. Adrian is a star, an amazing chef and a brilliant and generous host.

You really get the feeling you could do anything yuo like while you are here - let Adrian know what you would like to see or do, he will advise on what is feasible based on his extensive knowledge of the area. We had two full days with Adrian taking us anywhere and everywhere we wanted to go, including tailored outings and treks, some unusual places to eat, and also what must have been a really dull couple of hours for him spent escorting us to travel agents and email cafes while we organised the next phase of our trip (big thanks to Adrian and hello to the lovely ladies in Air Asia office).

We stayed in Adrian's bungalow which was fantastic - loads of room, fresh home baked bread delivered every day, private accommodation in a stunning setting. Meals in the outdoor kitchen area were a real experience! This is not in any way 'standard' accommodation - it is different to anywhere else we have stayed which makes it hard to compare - so don't try.

Tip - get up early (the sounds of the rainforest act as an amazing alarm call) and make the most of the day but aim to have time back at the Kebun in the late afternoon/evening to absorb being in such a wonderful part of the world. Stay here and try not to rush - you will not regret it.

Room Tip: The bungalows are incredible - and self built! Adrian's is set right back away from it all in a...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
2 Thank PerfectFootprint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, December 3, 2011
Dear PerfectFootprint,

First of all thank you for making time to put in your review, much appreciated.

We are happy to see that you enjoyed your short stay with us and appreciated the ambience of Adrian’s Bungalow. Your positive comments on the bungalow is even very much more appreciated coming from a pair of such well travelled adventurers.

The daily trips we made every day was very nice to do with you and was easy to tailor with guidance of your wish-to-do list and happy to note that everything was successfully done.

Once again thank you for your review.

Sincerely, Adrian & all at The Kebun
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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2011

We stayed at the Kebun for six nights and had an amazing time. I had thought it might be too long but actually it was not long enough. We are a family of four, one 17 year old and one 8 year old. We stayed in Adrian’s bungalow which was gorgeous and right near the river which was so atmospheric. It was really comfortable – no need for air conditioning the fans were fine. We ate with the other guests sometimes and sometimes in the bungalow. The food was great and they were very kind to accommodate our youngest’s likes and dislikes. Thanks Eddie for the really lovely meals. And thanks too to Adrian and Olivia for our trips out. They listened to what we wanted to do and made it all happen. The fishing boat trip to the island and the barbecue there was particularly memorable as was the visit to the border market and the caves. And the jungle trek to the waterfall in the national park. On the trips we ate out in places that we would not have found on our own and ordered food that we would not have known about. Back at the Kebun we used the farm boat to go on trips on the rivers which was very special – being alone on a jungle river – you can’t do that in London. Sophia loved the animals on the farm and fell in love with Spot the dog. We were in Malaysia for four weeks and this was our last week – it was a special finale.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathryn51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, December 3, 2011
Dear Kathryn51

Thank you for taking time out to make this review.

Your mention of being the highlight and finale of your family’s 4 week holiday has made us even more eager to provide as much of a better experience to guest’s. We are happy that you were pleased with what we were able to accommodate you with in terms of activities. Your family’s adventurous spirit in exploring whatever that was planned for you after listening to your request’s serves as an example of just how much can be experienced in Kuching just as long as anyone is game enough to get out and do it.

Sincerely, from Adrian & all at The Kebun
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2011

Before we booked our cheap flights to Malaysia I had not heard of Kuching. To break up the time in KL and Singapore we decided we should take our kids (13,11&7) on an adventure to Borneo. The positive reviews of the Kebun caught our attention immediately. How right they are. Adrian's hospitality was incredibly generous- (which included my birthday cake) The accommodation of Olivia's bungalow had everything we needed. The food on offer during the stay was amazing and plentiful. We were spoilt with our washing done while away on day trips. The options of what to do- so many, we need to come again one day soon! We managed to fit in a trip to Bako National Park and the beautiful Chinese temple nearby, A trip to the orangutans as well as a personalised tour with a ranger organised by Adrian where we went out and spotted our own great apes. A trip to a real long house, A waterfall walk of Kubah National Park and a night tour there was a real highlight where we spotted so many frogs- seven different types, Kuching itself is a lovely city to visit too, while the farm is 15 minutes away. This is a real affordable gem. A trip I am recommending to all my family and friends.

Room Tip: Olivia's bungalow has aircon, while the long house and Adrian's bungalow is a lot more authe...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dezaroonie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, December 3, 2011
Dear Dezarooni

Thank you for taking the time to make this review and posting some photo's from your visit.

We really enjoyed the company of you and your family and not only appreciate the fact that you were all very active and game to try out any and all activities we threw at you but also in your appreciation for the meals we served.

Come this March we really look forward in welcoming you again to further explore Kuching and its many attractions.

Sincerely, Adrian & all at The Kebun
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
89 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2011

We stayed at The Kebun and it was great, initially planned 3 nights but stayed 5. Great place for people that love adventure and it is super kids friendly. We are a family with 3 boys (6, 8, 10 years). We have been privileged to be the first family to stay in the traditional longhouse. We have been involved in the testing and commissioning stage of this newly built. The owner Adrian build a beautiful longhouse, which was even more authentic then the ones in Sarawak Cultural village. The smoke issue that was addressed by the previous reviewer was not an issue for us. The house was smoked for a couple of hours per days which was very effective against mosquitoes. Therefore we could sit on the veranda to read a book. Unfortunate we missed the inauguration party of the longhouse. On facebook are some picture of this event, which we missed.

We enjoyed the farm, which was a fun place for my kids. All kind of animals goats, goose, chickens, fish in a fishing ponds and a river. My kids spend some time fishing, the catch was impressive. You might even hear the story of the legendary Mr Oli and his big fish. What is more fun than to fish your own meal. Learning about nature by being in the middle of it. We also returned some huge snakes back to nature far away from the farm.

Adrian organized a swimming trip the mouth of the river with a great beach and a stunning view. This image was like an infinity pool.

We went to Gunung Gading NP to see a fresh and new Rafflesia, Adrian has good contacts with the park guides and receives so now and then messages with updates about new rafflesias.

Adrian works hard and it’s clear that he but also his wife have the guests in focus, they do everything to make us feel comfortable. Adrian knew some really great restaurants where he stops during the daily trips. Also I like his entrepreneurial approach were he avoid surprises by spending a lot of his time in finding new attractions or walking trails and new restaurants.

We recommend everybody who likes adventure to visit the Kebun and to be in the hands of Adrian. His knowledge about West Borneo is impressive. We enjoyed and so did our kids. It was one big adventure. Don’t forget to stay in the longhouse, this makes it an unique experience!

Adrian, thanks for an adventurous time!
Mark, Marieke and the boys

Room Tip: take the longhouse for an unique experience
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bloembloembloem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 18, 2011
Hello there!

It was a real pleasure playing host to your family during your stay with us. The story of Oli and his very big fish is a tale which we tell every child who had visited us since then.

We appreciate that you as the very first guest's had took up the challenge to be involved in the testing and commissioning stage of the longhouse. Your stay with us here gave us many suggestions all of which have been put in place since.

You will be happy to note that no guest has made anymore suggestions to how better improve the longhouse and its facilities with the exception of that one guest's issue with the evening smoking.

The boys presence made the farm all the more livelier and their enthusiasm be it on the farm or in the trips everyday was infectious. Their gameness is trying out everything including all the dishes for the meals we prepared was something we welcomed, not to mention their excellent manners and respect.

Thank you for being such a happy easy going family and we will be honored to have you come back and visit us again one day but this time as family friends.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
105 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2011

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first.

First, if you go here, be sure to stay in one of the bungalows. We stayed in the longhouse and it is smoked every night - by lighting a smoky fire of coconut husks - to get rid of mosquitoes, in consequence of which our luggage and clothes stank for the rest of our vacation, a smoky smell which became nauseatingly rancid as days went by in a humid climate.

Second, it's not suitable for non-smokers. Even though we had our 11- and 12-year old-children with us, we were subjected to cigarette smoke before, during and after the communal meals.

Having said that, it's a great way to see western Sarawak. We only had a couple of days available and, in retrospect, would have done better to make day trips from Kuching, since most attractions are on the opposite side of Kuching from The Kebun. On the plus side, the food is excellent and the owners extremely hospitable and knowledgeable about the area. The owner himself took us out both days that we were there and we undoubtedly saw some corners of the area - the temple at Muara Tebas is a stand-out - and ate at a couple of restaurants that we wouldn't have found on our own.

If you have several days available and can balance your time between sightseeing and a couple of lazy, beach days, it could be great.

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jonat1x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 9, 2011
Hello jonat1x,

Thank you very much for putting some of your precious time aside to write your review.

First we apologise if you found that the smoking at the longhouse which is made every evening before dark offensive. For your information both bungalows are also smoked in the same manner every evening as with lighting mosquito coils. We would have been most grateful if you had told us about the extreme discomfort it caused you and your whole family as we would have been more than happy to save the effort on our end by not carrying out the smoking, more so when your family were the only guests staying in the longhouse at that time.

Secondly the general rule of The Kebun for our guest's who smoke is to not do so in the actual bungalow's and longhouse individual rooms. The dining area is a large open space. Combine that with a joined 21 foot long dining table and 2 fans (one overhead and one at the opposite end) we doubt that cigarette smoke can travel 'upwind'. Our observation is also that the other guest's at the dinner table at that time were very courteous and observant in ensuring they did not make it uncomfortable for anyone there.

However we would like to thank you for bringing these points up as we will from now on see that any and all guest's who join us on any of the accommodations are made aware of the usual evening smoking practice just in case they find their luggage and clothes stink for the rest of their vacation, a smell which is supposed to became nauseatingly rancid as the days go by in the humid climate.

As for the guest who smoke we will still welcome anyone who does, and we will make an effort to ensure that when they do smoke in the presence of non-smoking guests that they do so with the consideration of their fellow diners something which we have never had to do as all of our smoking guest's have so far been very polite in this issue.

In regards to most attractions are on the opposite side of Kuching from The Kebun, we beg to differ. Some of these 'opposite side' attractions are accessible by bypassing the busy city and hence for the most times closer in terms of travel time. Most are nearer to us than from the city. These is easily seen on the map available on our website.

Once again Thank You.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2011

Adrian is a very helpful, welcoming host and a top bloke. He is very knowledgably about the whole area and is very flexible with the itinerary during the day.

My girlfriend and I stayed here for two nights and had an excellent time. We stayed Olivias bungalow, which was much more then we could have every hoped for! We had two large verandas on the front and back of the property, a living room, a separate kitchen and two aircon bedroom with 4 beds!

Some of the best food we had throughout our whole trip in Asia was the food prepared here in the evening. Washing the excellent food down with a homebrewed bottle of rice wine was perfect.

We spent the two day time trips with an English family who were staying in Adrians bungalow (which is also a brilliant bungalow.) We really got on well with the family and shared some really great adventures together; especially the boat trip to the island!!!

When in Kuching, make sure you stay here. You'll get a different experience than anywhere else in the area. Adrian is very accommodating and think the Kebun would suit couples of all ages and families alike.

P.S. Ask about staying in the Longhouse Adrian has built if you fancy a real adventure, it looks brilliant!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chrismartinuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, September 9, 2011
Hello There chrismartinuk,

It was a real pleasure playing host to the two of you. The fact the both of you being so laid back as with the other family especially when taking in the 'adventure' at Sempadi Island made your visit with us most enjoyable and memorable.

Thank you so much for your review, more so all the more special to us when it is coming from such a very well traveled couple.

Once again a BIG Thank You.

Sincerely from all of us at The Kebun
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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 The Kebun

Property: The Kebun
Address: 20 - 25 Jalan Kampungtabuan Melayu | Jalan Hidupan Liar, Kuching 93050, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 69 Specialty Lodging in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kebun was started 12 years ago as our plan for a retirement home in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Adrian’s Bungalow was put up after being disassembled from the movie set of The Sleeping Dictionery. Olivia’s was only put up only two years later when it was taken out of storage which was also disassembled from the same movie set. The farmstay side of the business only started in April 2010 after much encouragement from friends.The Kebun is not just accommodation, it is an experience. If you would like to get a taste for the basics of a simple lifestyle in a beautiful tropical setting, which is of fresh gardens of organic herbs & vegetables, picking your own tropical fruits, dining on fresh farm raised livestock, fishing for your own freshwater fish & simple accommodation with little impact to the environment, or even to help out with feeding all of the animals at the end of the day’s activities and again in the morning, then your are up for a unique Sarawakian adventure at The Kebun. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Kebun Kuching, Sarawak

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