We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“7 lovely nights with The Kebun” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Kebun

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Kuching
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
The Kebun
sing
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“7 lovely nights with The Kebun”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

Just returned from our wonderful, relaxing stay in Olivia's bungalow with my wife and 2 young boys. Having a car provided with Garmin is a big plus to go to places of interest, all within an hour's reach.

The Kebun is an easy 45 mins drive from the city with very orderly traffic compared to other parts of Malaysia. Our homely bungalow is always lavishly stock with snacks and drinks and they even provide a freshly homemade loaf of bread and different local fruits from the farm everyday. The owners, Adrian and his wife, Olivia, are very detailed to their guests needs and very accommodative to our further requests. Adrian also brings us to various nice eating and sightseeing places whenever he has some free time.

Kuching is a nice stress free city which I would consider for retirement and standards like health care are rather high with relatively affordable costs. In short, my family truly enjoyed our stay with the Kebun and will surely be back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
Thank simpleguyang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

179 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    151
    24
    2
    2
    0
See reviews for
89
59
8
Business
0
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
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pribram, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

I spent in The Kebun 9 nights separated to 5 and 4 during my last trip to Borneo. I choose The Kebun for many reasons. As I planned to visit National Parks in Kuching area I was searching for Nature based accommodation instead of noisy Kuching center. As a wildlife photographers (three together), we visited several interesting places in Sarawak including the famous Mulu. I love all the places we visited but honestly, when we arrived back to The Kebun, we agreed – Well, we are Home again! I can not explain all the advantages of The Kebun stay but try to mention a few. Food was excelent and tasty, delivered always on time to our doors, we had oportunity to use Kayak for free and we use it several times. We consult our activities with Adrian day by day and if he could not be personally presented he provided the driver or giude for us if neccesary. The whole area is very easy to drive by yourself, beautiful NP Kubah reachable within few minutes. What I really loved during my stay is that this is „No problem“ area. I can not remember any situation which could not be fixed. As wildlife photographer I have to say The Kebun is destination itself. Do not expect orangutans hanging over the bungalow (you „have to“ drive about 1 hour out of The Kebun to see them) but we found so many interesting creatures like stick insects, praying mantis, ants, dragonflies, tiger beetles or lizars around, we had no reason to leave the basement for whole two days. Especially I really appreciate Adrian´s care. His assistance during our night walks was so welcome, he knew whom to call to arrange the best conditions for our photography. In March 2013 I plan to go to Borneo again and I have no reason to change our main basement – The Kebun.

Room Tip: For more privacy feelin choose Adrians bungalow, for more comfort choose Olivias.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank Petr_B_12_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Dear Petr,

Thank you for taking time out to post your review and upload some of your photographs.

It was not only my pleasure to host and guide you but a truly very rewarding experience watching the dedication you and your team have in producing such fantastic photo's of what nature has to offer in Borneo.

We look forward to welcoming you back in March.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2012

My wife and I bought the 5-day jungle adventure at the Kebun with 2 nights in a hotel in Kuchin and 3 in the longhouse at the Kebun. There was another couple on the same deal as ours, but we had not met them before. We were looking forward to meeting Adrian and learn a lot from his knowledge of the area. We only communicated with him before leaving KL by SMS. He arranged for one of his drivers to pick us up since the flight was late, but we never saw him at the Kebun, although we heard that he was around. We did meet Olivia in the hotel before we left for the tour on the second day. The first day was only the pick-up at the airport and no activity whatsoever. We chose to arrive 2 days earlier and paid for our 2 extra nights at the hotel so we could enjoy Kuchin.
Our driver was very helpful and friendly, so this lessened the disappointment of a package tour which consisted of long drives because the Kebun is far away (50 km?) from Kuchin, which is the center from where all tourist attractions can be reached.
We felt that the tour was stretched to the maximum to make sure we were occupied in travelling and away from the Kebun. Apart from one evening meal at the Kebun, we were treated with food from stalls and food courts. The evening meal at the Kebun was rather ordinary... definitely not in the league of the delicacies other reviewers had experienced. We never felt we were on an organic farm since most food probably came from a supermarket. The meal was prepared by the Indonesian cook.
The biggest disappointment came on the night of the meal at the Kebun when we were supposed to go and see frogs in the nearby national park. The event was cancelled because of the rain. However, we heard that Adrian had still gone out to the park with other guests we never met. The rain was an excuse for us, but not for the other guests of Adrian.
The night of the dinner at the Kebun, the power went off probably because of the storm. However, it did so only in the longhouse area as we found out later. This was of no concern to Adrian, who was out, and Olivia, who was at the Kebun. We had to try to make us understood by the Indonesian helpers who spoke no English. One of them restored the power.
Overall we felt like unwanted guests whose itinerary had to be fulfilled because we had prepaid our jungle adventure. If Adrian was busy and could not be part of our jungle adventure, at least he should have informed us when we arrived. He just avoided us all the time for no apparent reason.
We made the most of the situation and will keep good memories of Kuchin and what we saw. The disappointment was significantly lessened by our driver, a real gentleman who was always responsive to our few requests.
If you wish to visit Kuchin, do it on your own. The visits of our package tour can be booked through the tourist office and probably cost a lot less than what we paid for through our package tour. At least by sleeping in Kuchin, you will travel less to the tourist attractions than we had to do by staying at the Kebun. I am glad we only paid half price for our jungle adventure through an ad on the web. However, it was not worth the money. If you want to sleep in a longhouse like the native people from Sarawak do, you can do it at the cultural center in Kuchin. If you want the real feeling of living in the jungle, I am sure the local tourist bureau has options for villages far away from civilization.
It is disappointing to have to write negative comments in comparison to what other guests of the Kebun have written on here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Travelman19xx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Dear Travelman19xx,

Thank You for review.

Please accept my sincere apology for not being on hand to see to you personally. As you had already mentioned your night flight was delayed and even though I was already at the airport I had no choice but to secure the services of Raffi, our most trusted freelance private guide/driver to meet you instead as my presence was urgently needed to continue with guests at Kubah National Park who are wildlife photographer's on one of many late night shoots.

We have to correct you in your statement that The Kebun is 'far away (50 km?)' when it is actually 28 km's from the city center. In reference to the tours being 'streched to a maximum', that is how it has always been carried out as the individual tours are whole day affairs, hence the last night at a very comfortable hotel very near the city. I have passed on your dissapointment to Olivia (by the way the Indonesian 'cook' you mentioned actually assists Olivia) in that the meal's prepared felt like 'it probably came from a supermarket'. We do not make any apology for this as all our food is prepared with the basic ingredients from the farm.

With frogging in Kubah National Park we have seen that guests do not appreciate at all the experience at night walking in the rain looking for frogs more so when there is thunder and lightning. Despite this the wildlife photographer guests wanted to maximise their time and we did spend most of the night at the park but under a shed making the most with static shots. As you had already mentioned in your review having never met these guest's who were staying in Adrian's Bungalow that would in turn explain having not being able to meet me.

You are absolutely correct in that packaged tours can be booked through the tourist office (but rather through tour agencies) but concluding that it 'probably cost a lot less than what you paid for through your packaged tour' should have come with some suggestions. Any guest who intends to stay with us would have already done their research and made comparisions. Further although there is not much difference in distance to most tourist sites when comparing between travelling from either Kuching or The Kebun we always will suggest that anyone who wants to strictly take in the average tourist's way of not bothering with the experience of staying on a working farm surrounded by jungle to stay instead in a hotel room.

Your review failed to mention that we threw in a tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village, a trip to the Wind Caves and the Fairy Caves including a side trip to Gunung Gading National Park to take the opportunity to view the seldom to bloom Rafflesia flower.You also failed to mention that despite there being another couple on the same tour we made it so that both of you travelled in different cars and had a personal driver/guide for the whole duration of the tour.

To end, the package which you signed up with via that particular online business that offered daily deals and discounts was promoted as a 'Longhouse Style Adventure'. We do not remember it ever being promoted ever as 'Longhouse Style Adventure with Adrian'.

Once again, Thank You very much for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
103 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

I can only concur with previous reviewers about the hospitality of Adrian and the wonderful cooking of Olivia. We stayed in Olivia's bungalow for 3 nights, which was a nice break from apartment living in Singapore. It felt like staying in a friend's house, except that it was serviced every day like a hotel. Food and drinks were topped up, the house was cleaned and even our washing was done for us! It was relaxing to wander about the farm, and have a delicious dinner delivered each evening.

As travellers researching their options will be aware, the Kebun is 45 mins - 1 hour (depending on traffic) out of the city centre. This might make certain attractions a bit further away, but other places (e.g., the Kubah and Gunung Gading National Parks) much closer. We combined our stay at the Kebun, with a 3 night stay elsewhere, and tried to plan our itinerary accordingly.

Whilst at the Kebun, we did two pre-booked day trips (Semengoh + kayaking, and caving) with external providers, but were asked by the tour companies to meet them in town. Adrian and Olivia very helpfully drove us in each morning, and then left us with the car. At the end of the day, I was easily able to drive home using the sat nav device. To clarify, I have never used one of these devices before (I am an old fashioned map reading girl), and have also not driven anywhere outside of Australia before. (We don't have a car here in Singapore). I was a bit nervous, given that I haven't been behind the wheel since our last visit to AUS 15 months ago. However, it turned out to be a very easy place to drive. The traffic is well behaved and orderly, and the roads are quite good. I highly recommend taking up the opportunity to drive yourself around!

In hindsight, I wish I had insisted on a more convenient pickup location for one of the day tours. The operators seemed a bit perplexed or even disbelieving that I was self driving, and insisted I meet them in town. This added unecessary time at both ends of the day. My advice is to let Adrian help you to negotiate the most convenient location to meet any organised tour.

On a final note, as others have pointed out, this is a working farm. There are animals, both domestic and wild, all around. The roosters and geese make a bit of noise at times and a group of squirrels seemed to enjoy having a party on/in our roof each evening. This adds to the unique atmosphere, but if you need silence to sleep I recommend ear plugs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank melscottmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thekebun, Owner at The Kebun, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Hello melscottmax,

Thank You for taking time to make your review.

We are very happy to see that you found it easy to drive in Kuching despite not having being at the wheel for at least 15 month's. We also would like to thank you for your suggestions in improving guest's experiences in the bungalow.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

From all of us at The Kebun, Thank You! for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
s
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

WOW! This was the best holiday we have ever had, and I can't speak more highly of the experience. We stayed at the Kebun in September 2012 for 6 nights as a stop-over on on our way from living in England to living in Australia. We were 5 - my father of 74, my husband and I and our two daughters aged 2 and 4. We all fitted comfortably into Olivia's bungalow and appreciated the air-conditioning in the bedrooms, and the space to mingle but also to take naps or sleep in if needed. The setting is lovely, with a river out back and a big veranda all around – the house is very gracious and feels like your own home, decorated with all sorts of lovely personal things. The mixture of support on the one hand, and space to do or choose your own thing was really fantastic. The bungalow has a long list of day trips that you can take, all of which Adrian will organise entirely for you, from transport to guides to entrance fees to drivers, everything. But you can also ‘mix and match’ the activities according to what suits you (eg in our case a 2 year old who needed an afternoon nap from time to time). And best of all, in what is apparently a new development, you can even drive yourself in a car provided by Adrian (GPS included but the area is not very difficult to navigate alone with a simple map) and go where and when you please. This makes The Kebun a rare place that suits anyone from those who like everything organised to those who prefer maximum autonomy and everywhere in between.
I could write pages about all the amazing things we saw and did, but in addition to the graciousness and hospitality of Adrian as well as the charming Raffi we found the food incredible – the homecooked dinners and lunches served on the peaceful verandah of Olivia’s bungalow were a highlight of each day – just incredibly delicious food. And Adrian took us as well to several fantastic local restaurants including the best seafood I have ever eaten right by the sea. He was extremely helpful and patient with a number of practical challenges that we had to solve, and gave us a great accommodation recommendation for our last two nights in Malaysian Borneo which were in Kuching. Our whole experience of Sarawak was that it is a wonderful place: a relaxed pace of life, very little sense of hectic tourism, a pride in place and an openness and kindness that was really engaging. Our two young children were happy and responsive and as I was writing this review my 4 year old was excitedly pointing to the revolving pictures on The Kebun website, talking about all the happy memories she associated them with. Thank you so much for an unforgettable time!

Room Tip: Olivia's bungalow is more accessible and has air-conditioning. Adrian's bungalow is tucked a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, 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?
1 Thank b m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

My 10 year-old daughter and I spent six nights with Adrian at The Kebun in August 2012. It was a wonderful stay, and we enjoyed every minute.

The important points to note (which should be clear to visitors taking the time to research the place), are that a) The Kebun is a farm in the jungle, not a hotel in a city, and therefore b) Adrian is a host as opposed to a hotelier. If guests arrive with this in mind, I think they will be extremely pleased with what they experience. We found him to be a friendly, welcoming character who was dedicated both to growing his farm and also to letting us see as much as possible of the surroundings. Usually, this meant Adrian taking the time to drive us around, on one day he arranged a very friendly driver (Abu), and on the last day his daughter drove us back to the airport. There was always flexibility in the timing of the trips, but of course (coming back to my earlier point), this has to be tempered with guests' respect for Adrian's time.

Yes, Sabah is supposedly far better organised for tourists. However, that means (surprise, surprise) that Sarawak has far fewer tourists and therefore a much more authentic feel to it. We never for a minute felt any issues with missing or poor infrastructure. If ultra-cleanliness and luxury is what you are after, I suggest you stay in Singapore. There are loads of attractions nearby - more than enough for a week's stay. I won't list them all here, but we do particularly recommend seeing the nearby Indian temple.

Adrian encourages his guests to borrow a car or motorbike, and - while we didn't make use of the option because Adrian was always kindly offering to drive us - we are sure that guests would have no problem at all making their own way around, especially as Adrian plans to provide satellite navigation. I borrowed the motorbike one evening for a short ride into Kubah NP and had a great time.

Is being in the jungle a problem? Well - I really don't like insects (we chose Borneo because my daughter loves nature), but I had no problems at all at The Kebun. Yes, there are mosquitoes, but not so many as to make life difficult. We stayed in the amazing Adrian's Bungalow, lovingly reconstructed and very much in the colonial style. Having delicious food brought to your own villa by charming staff every lunch and dinner was a wonderful experience. I only regret not having tried Adrian's rice wine!

My only difficulty was coping with the heat and humidity, but this has nothing to do with The Kebun. If you've never been to this climate before, however, be warned - you will sweat buckets!

Unfortunately my photo uploads don't seem to be working, but The Kebun's Facebook page has an extensive library of photos, many of them taken by guests.

Good luck, Adrian, and we look forward to seeing you again!

Adam & Laura

Room Tip: Adrian's Bungalow was great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank McChazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

We stayed here in the longhouse for three nights in August 2012 as part of the Living Social deal offered earlier this year. We had high expectations based on all the Trip Advisor reviews, and I am happy to say those expectations were well and truly exceeded.
The Kebun is more than just a place to stay. It is more than just a guided tour. It is more than just a longhouse experience. During our stay here we almost felt a part of the family. It was without doubt our Borneo highlight.
The longhouse accommodation is very unique. It is a replica of traditional Iban housing, to which Adrian had added his own touches. It may not be for everyone but we really enjoyed it. If this does not appeal to you two bungalows are also available which offer more modern style accommodation.
Breakfasts and dinners were generally eaten at the Kebun and the food was spectacular. We also had some amazing lunches at Hawker centres or other great restaurants around Kuching.
Kuching was a great place to visit, easy to get around and offered so many fantastic attractions. Adrian will endeavour to personalise your stay ensuring you are given the opportunity to do all the things you would like to do while you are there. Activities we did included visits to Semmengoh Orangutan Sanctuary, Sarawak Cultural Village, Wind and Fairy caves, Kuching markets and Serikin Border markets, Jong’s Crocodile Farm, Bako National Park and took an afternoon/evening Santubong river cruise spotting Proboscis monkeys, river dolphins and various birds then fireflies once the sun went down.
Also we were there duing Hari Raya and we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attended three open houses. We felt so welcomed at all of these houses. Everyone we met was so friendly and the food we ate was incredible.
Adrian, Olivia and Nafezah do an amazing job with the Kebun. We had Nafezah as our guide for most of our stay, with Adrian taking over on the last day. They were knowledgeable, accommodating and most of all were such amazing people that we were made to feel like old friends of the family.
I cannot recommend the Kebun high enough. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BB1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Kuching hotels
14.3 mi away
Damai Beach Resort
Damai Beach Resort
#16 of 55 in Kuching
3.5 of 5 bubbles 679 reviews
14.1 mi away
The Ranee Boutique Suites
14.1 mi away
The Waterfront Hotel
The Waterfront Hotel
#5 of 55 in Kuching
4.0 of 5 bubbles 117 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.8 mi away
Permai Rainforest Resort
13.4 mi away
The Village House
The Village House
#4 of 82 in Kuching
4.5 of 5 bubbles 239 reviews
15.1 mi away
Basaga Holiday Residences
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Kebun? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing