My partner and I stayed at Tree House No. 2 for 2 nights back in early Feb 2013. The rustic "resort" (a retreat is a more accurate term) is both beautiful and well maintained. Staying at the tree house was definitely a great experience and the view from the balcony was spectacular. However, for the price that we paid (RM270/night), we'd expected the general maintenance of the room to be a little better. We noticed the ceiling was leaking (though nothing too serious) and the floor was dirty on the day we checked in. Apart from those small glitches, we enjoyed our stay thoroughly even though it was raining constantly while we were there (it was the end of the monsoon season). Nonetheless, we managed to walk on the beach early in the morning and since it was a low tourist season, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. Unfortunately, the choppy sea condition was less than ideal for swimming but the forest pool was a saving grace. The pouring rain continuosly fed fresh mountain stream water into the pool, keeping the body of water well circulated. The water can be a little too cold early in the morning or late in the afternoon; so the best time to dip in the pool is when the sun is out.
We had our breakfast (included with the room) at the cafeteria and it was pretty basic. The ala carte items were overpriced and there are other restaurants in the surrounding vicinity which offer much better food at an immensely more reasonable price. A personal recommendation is the Beach Seafood Restaurant which is about 15 minutes away by car. We went there 3 times within the span of 2 days and every meal was fantastic! Having said all that, the highlight of our stay at Permai was, without a doubt, the evening mangrove tour organised by the resort. The excursion (RM160/person) was led by a pair of highly knowledgeable guides and we were taken on a high speed boat to the Santubong estuary (departing from a small fishing village nearby). The 3 hours (5 PM - 8 PM) boat trip was simply an amazing experience as we saw long-nosed monkeys (tips: bring your own binoculars) from the boat which was skilfully manoeuvred along the periphery of the mangrove ecosystem. As the sun began to set, we cruised leisurely along a fishing village located on an island nearby.
It was interesting to see how the villagers have adapted to the life on the island and it's not something that city dwellers get to see first hand everyday. When the sky had only a glint of light left, we went crocodile "hunting" by shining a yellow spotlight on the narrow beach of the mangrove forest to look for the gleaming red eyes of a crocodile (we saw a pair bobbing in the water!). Without our guides, it would have been impossible to detect those perfectly camouflaged swamp creatures. The icing on the cake was seeing a mangrove tree lit up by fireflies towards the end of our excursion. A fellow passenger on the boat said," It's like a Christmas tree, but only better!" We couldn't agree more.
Pros: Beautiful surrounding, excellent excursions
Cons: Overpriced food
Overall grade: A
- 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