Others have summed up this resort quite well - the treehouse was worth the effort as it genuinely was very pleasant to be amongst the trees, with the sea just a few metres down the slope. The fly screens mean that you can open doors and large windows on three sides and really experience the sights and sounds of the coastal rainforest. We saw a family of silver langur monkeys, including a cute orange baby, just by looking out of the windows / and from the balcony. It was cool enough at night to sleep with the ceiling fan on and windows open. Bathroom and fittings are very simple.
I would say that this is more a "retreat" than a "resort" as it lacks the kind of facilities and service some might expect given the name. The natural pool is probably only nice to swim in during wetter times of the year. Whilst we were there (end of dry season), it obviously hadn't been flushed through for some time and looked a bit stagnant. We accepted this as part of the natural scheme of things, but I advise others to be aware that you may or may not end up using the pool, depending on its condition.
The beach is pleasant enough, but the water at Damai is quite cloudy due to sediment from a nearby river. Again, this is natural, but people expecting crystal clear water may be disappointed. We only swam to cool off after kayaking. The boat trip to Bako was convenient and quick. As other have pointed out, the short rainforest loop walk (1.5 hours) is actually quite challenging. Probably not for those with small children.
Given the previous mixed reviews, we found the cafe quite good. It was a very nice place to watch the sunset with a cold drink after a long day of outdoors activity! There is a new Australian Food and Beverage Manager who is busy making improvements and has plenty more planned. Overall the staff were very helpful, however I felt the reception staff were a weak link. This important part of the business ought not to be left in the hands of staff whose English is poor and level of initiative even poorer. The duty manager had to keep rescuing them, and I wondered how they manage when he is not around.
Overall I'm glad we stayed - the place has much more character than the bland Damai Resort next door. It is a good location for exploring attractions in the vicinity, but is not such a great base for visits to Semengoh or the caves at Bau. For this reasons, we found 3 nights to be just right.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Permai Rainforest Resort is an eco-resort set in pristine Borneo rainforest located by the beach at the foot of mystical Mount Santubong, Sarawak. Carefully designed to minimize impact on the natural environment, it offers a unique rainforest experience and a variety of activities from dolphin watching to high ropes courses and guided kayaking tours. Just 40 minutes from the Kuching, its an ideal way to experience Borneo. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Permai Rainforest Hotel Kuching
- Permai Rainforest Resort Kuching, Sarawak