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“A wonderful retreat” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Permai Rainforest Resort

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Permai Rainforest Resort
Ranked #9 of 55 Hotels in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A wonderful retreat”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

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

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank HarryAspen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
93 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

Found this hotel through Hotelopia, made the booking for Music Festival weekend at the end of June, amount debited to my credit card for 3 nights on 24th of Jan.

Emailed them for confirmation of room & airport transfer details & was told by Mr Hanafie that he couldn't 'confirm' my room & that the price for that weekend is now SEVEN & A HALF times more expensive.

Three emails & three phone calls later/with no call back...still no advice from them regarding my room booking. Was even told on my last recent call that the GM (Mr Howell) would call me back, which he never has.

CANNOT believe that a hotel would not honour a room BOUGHT & PAID for, or return any emails or phone calls....obviously hoping that I'll just go away & let them have my money.

Seriously....Mr Hanafie/Mr Howell, is this any way to run a hotel for paying guests, let alone the obvious breach of contract your hotel is performing?

How would either of you feel if you bought something on-line for the advertised price, had the amount debited from your credit card & was then later told that 'sorry, because what you just bought is really popular - you can't have it now & must pay 7.5 times more...but, ohhh....we'll keep your money in the meantime & not respond to any of your queries'.

Your 'hotel' should be ashamed of itself, let alone worred about the legal ramifications....

Room Tip: Make sure that when you pay for a room, that you actually get one!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Brett P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

What a lovely place. We stayed 2 nights in treehouse 4. Definitely not enough
An oasis in the middle of a nature reserve

We enjoyed tracking on the jungle trail
We enjoyed sitting on the balcony staring into the sea
We enjoyed sleeping to the sounds of the waves
We enjoyed looking at the monkeys which swung by on our last day. They were about 3-4 meters away
We were very happy with the aircon and attached western bathroom
Rooms were clean, shades had no stains, cushion covers were clean and stainless too
There were some ants, flies and dragon flies but that's being in a natural env for you.

We would like to specially commend Hans the front desk manager for being attentive and helpful, thank you for helping us with the bookings and for making our stay fun

And to the Caucasian lady at the cafe, sorry that we did not get your name but thank you for being so kind. Breakfast was simple but filling. Try the local carb dish - tis Delishhhh! We had rice on one morning and noodles the other. .

We would love to return again. It's been a pleasant calming trip. We commend the staff for maintaining the place well.

Room Tip: Treehouse is the way to go
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GeriStonea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo
Level Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

We have just returned after our second consecutive weekend stay in the Permai Rainforest Resort. Last weekend we stayed in treehouse nr 2 and liked it so much that we decided to come back this weekend as well - this time we stayed in treehouse nr 10 and it was even better, very private and with 2 terraces hanging over the sea.
The tree houses are gorgeous, built up high among the treetopps with windows on all sides that you can open ( with flyscreens). All the sounds from the jungle and the sea come right into the treehouse - its wonderful!!!! The breeze blows through and you do not need air-conditioning at all - we loved this aspect because it lets you enjoy the wonderful climate and surroundings!!!! ( there is an air conditioner if you feel you need one).
The tree houses are simply furnished but stylishly rustic and spotlessly clean!!!!
The resort itself is great with 2 beaces, one big and one small wonderfully secluded beach. There is a great jungle walk which takes aprox 90 min, it takes you up to a great waterfall and through some great rainforrest. There are also all kinds of activity trails and climbing possibilities if you really want be active.There is a wonderful natural rock pool in the resort. There is also a great little restaurant in a perfect location in the resort.
The staff are very friendly and helpful and wonderfully service minded!!!! All in all a great resort in a perfect location!!!!!

Room Tip: Treehouse 10 is best, but all the tree houses are great!!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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?
1 Thank sunloverOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

This was our first time staying at this resort, we were there for 12 days and it was wonderful. We stayed in one of the treehouses which I highly recommend. On our last two days we moved to a cabin as some of our group were scheduled to leave early, so I can also say the cabins are comfortable and adequate, you just don't get the spectacular views of the ocean and also the monkeys don't come quite as close as they do in the treetops. Staff is outstanding, they became like family and were available to help with anything you needed, they were patient and kind with my very energetic 5-year old running around and they enjoyed the fact that we learned basic phrases like good morning and thank you. The resort is really in the middle of the rainforest but meticulously kept up daily, so you get the feeling that you are in the jungle but still have nice wooden walkways and well-lit paths to every area. No TV or wireless in the rooms but after the first day you don't care! There is wifi in the cafe and there was only one day when it was down. We took a boat tour to look for crocodiles and dolphins, our guide was wonderful and they brought along fruit and water for us which was a nice treat. You can also walk to the Sarawak Cultural Village which is a wonderful way to learn about the culture there and a great way to spend the day. One word of warning....if you want to hike in Mt Santubong, there is a woman at the entrance to the hiking area who will try and make you pay an entrance fee and claim to work for the forestry department. Fortunately we were warned ahead of time or we would have fell for her extortion act, she is very convincing and aggressive. The officials are aware of this and feel free to call the police if she refuses you entry. Just don't pay her! She has no right to do it and only because she has a restaurant right there does she even have access to seeing tourists come in and off the mountain. It's very sad.

Room Tip: Book a treehouse, unless you are with a large group of people in which a cabin might be more economi...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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?
2 Thank arwensmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
95 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

We stayed in one of the beautiful Treehouses, was a great experience. The restaurant is good and there are a few activities organised by the Hotel (high roping, boat tours). Its close to the Sarawak Cultural Village, which is worth a visit, and to Mount Santubong, where you can do a jungle trekking. But there is not much more to do, so i would not stay longer than one week.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nofretete13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

We had a great stay with the family at this resort. We took our 4 kids (10, 8, 8 and 5) who weren't sure what to expect but quickily adapted. They had trouble choosing between the jungle pool and two beaches. It was nice staying somewhere that didn't have TV, photos or WIFI (although they do have it at the reception and the restaurant).

Staff were very friendly. We stayed in the cabin room and found it very suitable for our needs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dwhassan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Permai Rainforest Resort

Property: Permai Rainforest Resort
Address: Teluk Penyu, Kuching 93050, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kuching
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kuching
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Permai Rainforest Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 39
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

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