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“great place to relax”

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Permai Rainforest Resort
Ranked #9 of 54 Hotels in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“great place to relax”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Stayed in treehouse No 7 and this like all the treehouses is shaded.the red blue trail is worth doong but start fromthe highropes area as the descent to here is quite steep and you will need the ropes they provide. Allow 2 hours for the walk you will need training shoes. The resort gets busywith locals visiting forthe day at weekends so the natural pool gets busy. The second beach is quite you will need to take your own beach towels and the beach has no mod cons you sit on a rock or lie on the sand.there is shade providef by the trees. Recommend this place to everyone.

Room Tip: Choose treehouse 3 or 10
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mark g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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453 reviews from our community

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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 (133)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

After a bad hotel experience in kuching we searched the net for somewhere we could go in hurry. Permai had rave reviews so we thought we'd book in.

We were given keys to a bungalow on arrival but there were only single beds so we asked if anything else was available. A tree House had become available so we were booked into that. It was amazing! ! The room had stunning views of jungle and ocean. Possibly the best views I've ever seen from accommodation anywhere.

The room was clean and the bed comfy. For a house on stilts it had everything you could hope for. It felt like a hotel.

Three nights stay was plenty of time to unwind. It really is a great escape. Great walks and a lovely beach. The restaurant was fine and reasonably priced and a couple of restaurants and a bar only five minutes away.

We loved it. Im sure the bungalows are great but the tree house made the experience an amazing one. .so I would recommend booking that as a preference.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank samandnancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We stayed at Permai for four nights in a treehouse and had a generally very good time.

We booked the Nature Experience 2 in advance and given my time again I wouldn't. We booked it for two main reasons - 1) to guarantee that we could do the three trips included in the package and 2) to save a little on the cost of food as evening meals were included.

Firstly the trips. Whilst we probably would've done the trips anyway pre-booking didn't seem to be essential. We were there from Friday to Monday and the trips were not particularly busy, judging by the booking board at the boat house. The trips we did were the Bako by Boat tour, Sunset Mangrove Tour, and 3 in 1 challenge. The Bako trip was very good but unfortunately the other two were cut short by very bad storms.

The sunset mangrove tour was meant to ideally show us proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and fire flies. Unfortunately a huge thunder storm caught us out in the boat before we saw any crocodiles and fire flies and meant our captain raced us back to the village (ie, not to the resort) in the middle of the thunderstorm and in the pitch black. It was pretty scary to be honest and everything we were wearing and had with us was soaked through. We then got picked up from the village after a 30 minute wait to be taken back to the resort.

Then the following day we did the 3 in 1 challenge and got caught out by another storm. Whilst this storm wasn't as bad we were further away from the resort so the waves were absolutely huge and I genuinely feared we might capsize. Once again, everything we were wearing and had with us was soaked through and we once again had a 30+ minute wait in the village to be picked up and taken back to the resort. In both cases the captain of the ship (different one on each day) did a fantastic job of getting us back in one piece.

Clearly neither of these things were the resort's fault but you should know it can happen and it's not pleasant!! I didn't necessarily expect anything but we weren't offered any compensation for the fact the trips were cut short by the weather.

Secondly, the food. The only real gripe I had with the resort itself is around the cafe. As we had booked the Nature Experience 2 we had an evening meal included in our rate which meant we got a set menu rather than ordering from the standard menu. Over the course of our four nights there, one meal was very good, two were fairly poor (cold, bland food) and one night our food was served almost two hours after we sat down, despite other customers coming in after us, ordering off the menu, and being served before us. On a couple of days we ordered lunch from the standard menu and that food was excellent. It left me thinking that we were being treated worse in an evening because we'd already paid for our food. Not good.

Aside from the cafe the resort itself is small but very well laid out. The staff are excellent in the main - very friendly and helpful. Again, the service from the cafe staff wasn't so good - on several occasions we were left with empty glasses for 10-20 minutes until we eventually got up and asked for more drinks from the bar. Once you got their attention the cafe staff were very friendly and helpful.

One thing I would say is that Maria, the front desk manager, was excellent. We made a number of requests in advance of our stay and she accommodated all of them and was very helpful about everything. Her service was a credit to the resort.

The price is also excellent (but I'd suggest you steer clear of the Nature Experience 2) so the only thing stopping me giving the resort 5 out of 5 was our experience in the cafe.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BirminghamAJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
162 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

I booked Permai for a 1 week stay initially, however after noticing some poor reviews I cut the stay down to 3 days - wrong decision, we loved it here!
To start, the taxi from the airport is 70 ringits and took 45mins.
We had treehouse 9, all the treehouses are fairly similar, door facing into the forest walkway, balcony facing the sea. The view when you pull your curtains in the morning is outstanding!
The treehouse was well maintained overall, a couple if bits like cracked tiles but really not worth the criticism we have read on some reviews!
The rooms have air con and a fan which is more than enough to give you a chilly room.
There are mosquito blinds and doors / windows to keep the mozzies out - still, bring lots of sprays because you'll need them at the trips and when walking around the resort.
The 2 beaches are fab, soft sand and crabs going about their day around you. The sea looks murky but that's only because you're next to a mangrove so nothing to worry about.
The pool is a naturally fed mountain water pool, relatively small but great for cooling off (don't expect loungers or anything like that!)
We did three trips; evening mangrove, 3 in 1, and nature walk. The trips were all enjoyable and the your guides were fantastic (lovely knowledgeable locals). Would recommend the 3 trips highly, but bear in mind that the walks require a certain degree of fitness and balance.
The only reason for not scoring a 5 is down to the food - some thing were excellent (fresh fish fingers, garlic chicken, sweet chilli fish) some not so good (we had pink chicken in a soup served to us one night) They would do better to strip the menu down and only offer the dishes they can make well.
Remember you are staying in a rainforest so there are creepy crawlers around, but you're high up in the treehouse so you shouldn't see anything in your room

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank tanewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St.Albans
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights in a Cabin and 1 night in a treehouse. The difference between the two types of accom is massive. The cabin was extremely basic, not very clean, had thin threadbare towels and ants. The treehouse was very well equipped, very clean and had free soft drinks and thicker towels. It felt that you were treated differently if you were in a cabin, so if you visit permai make sure you book the treehouse.
Food was pretty basic and they ran out of mayonaise and French fries one night. A bottle of wine is also £30!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Samantha1a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

A good mate and myself decided to catch up in Borneo. We booked to stay in one of the treehouse accomodations. I would recommend you do book these unless you are in a large group as these are by far the best option. Heard from others the lodges werent as great. Overall the resort is very charming. It is right on the beach and set into the jungle. We found it a great place to unwind and just catch up.
We did the boat trip over to Bako national park and did a day trekking . Would really recommend this as you can do as easy or as hard a trek as you want . One night we did the mangrove sunset tour and would also recommend this . We got to see monkey and Crocidiles , fire flies and river dolphins all up close.
I must make a special mention to Sheryl the Australian lady who manages the cafe at the resort. She goes out of her way to make sure you are totally happy and comfortable. All the staff really made an effort to make us feel welcome, but Sheryl just goes that bit extra and Made me want to come back. She has a real passion for the place.
This area hasnt yet been tainted by over tourism.
We found the food to be really good, and the view from the cafe in the late afternoon watching the sun go down with a cold drink in hand was really special. I feel the cafe could be improved if it had a little sunset bar at the end of the cafe and if they pruned the hgiher trees right in front of the cafe so you could get a bettter sweeping view of the whole bay.
Its a really cool place and i will go back. If you are after late night parties etc then this wont be the right choice for you.

Room Tip: book tree house
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amp65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exmouth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

We stayed here for one night in the middle of a hardcore tour! It felt luxurious, there is wifi, warm water, and the rooms are fine. It is well worth staying here for Damai beach which is just beautiful. The Australian lady who worked in the cafe is brilliant at her job and a credit to your establishment.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Victoria P
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 Top resorts Hotel in Kuching
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kuching
#1 On the Beach 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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