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“Good rainforest experience”

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Permai Rainforest Resort
Ranked #10 of 55 Hotels in Kuching
Reviewed March 4, 2014

If you are looking for a resort to relax, eat great food, sit by the pool and enjoy quick service then go elsewhere.

This place is great for its purpose, with rainforest at its backdrop and sea in front, its a great place to spend few days with friends and family. The rooms are basic but the point of coming here is to spend time outside doing some kind of activity (beach, jungle trail etc). If you don't expect too much from the resort, you will return with good memories (hopefully). Go for the treehouse, they are totally value for the money. We spent 3 nights in treehouse and found it comfortable and fit for purpose.

And Yes:
- there are ants, but hey you are in rainforest
- the service is slow so its better to plan accordingly (i.e place an order well before your family arrives for lunch/dinner)
- there is no room service and no drinks in bar fridge
- breakfast is just about okay (below average in most cases)
- menu is limited but I would rather have a decent limited menu than too many options but n

But it has:
- the whole rustic experience to it (room, restaurant, walkways)
- totally awesome rainforest with waterfall :-), try jungle trail and you will be delighted (I can say that even after a twisted ankle and numerous fly bites)
- small but clean beach, a nice steady stream of water near the beach can keep kids busy
- natural pool, don't know if its maintained but I have seen people using it
- nice tree houses (if you can't climb stairs then you should not go for tree house - they are made on concrete stilts, sway gently which we enjoyed and you wake up to the sound of waves)

To me, this place is quite decent for families even with young kids and in fact we saw a lot of guests with young families so our toddler had a good time playing with other kids.

The Damai central is just about okay and so is the cultural village. If you have a day to spare then you can cover both in half a day.

Conclusion: If you go without any expectation then you will have a great time. Don't visit if you just want to have a resort like experience. Remember, the major attraction of this place is the rainforest.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank holyash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 28, 2014

We stayed here for two nights in February, and were very happy with the tree house. It rained one day, but it was rather pleasant to sit on the covered porch and watch the ocean, and see monkeys go by in the trees.
My one complaint is about the restaurant. The food which is more expensive than your average malaysian restaurant, wasn't very good at all. They seemed to be out of many things that were on the menu. The morning we went to check out, we were told breakfast started at 730, so we went down to grab a bite to eat before we left of the airport at 8 am. Staff were around, but it seemed like the kitchen crew hadn't arrived yet. By the time we left at 8 am, they still weren't serving breakfast.

There is a complex right around the corner with several restaurants and food stalls. We ended up having on of our meals there, and were quite happy with it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jacquieb23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

Previously i already come for last 2 week, i bought my food nobody tells me it is ILLEGAL just the frontdesk ask me do i bring any meats of fish for barbeque so that i will be charge. I just bring a few snacks and mineral water, so i didnt bring any, its fine, no charges.
Last Saturday during my visit AGAIN with my family, 8 person include a baby, i've told that no food is allowed. What?? Only a bottle of mineral water per head. So the boy (receptionist) show me the sign of 'No Outside Food Allowed'. I told him last two week i came, bring a softdrinks, mineral water, snacks is allowed. Nobody tells me its ILLEGAL? If that so, how about the baby, is he cannot eat to? Then im very corius about is just want to confirm again, i ask AGAIN, what do u mean by NO OUTSIDE FOOD allowed? Please explain details. Then the boy (receptionist) said that such as takeaway fried food ex. noodles, rice. Ohh i got it! I assumed he said that FOOD for me its mean ALL KIND OF FOOD!! So i just bring 2 takeway polisterine box with cost RM4 each of mee belachan, he wanna charge me if i want to bring that into hotel/resort costs RM10 per head include baby, its costs me RM80 total!! Is that crazy?? Its only 2 boxes non on 8 ppl can eat it. I buy this only RM8, just to bring in that food costs me RM80. Insane policy!!
Nevermind i just said that u can keep my food or u can eat it, or i have to keep it back to my car, which is i park all way far from guest parking, it doesnt make sense, i am the guest, i book a room, and i also need to walk far way to my car. How could u let a baby and his family walk trough long distance just to get to the hotel? At last they only charge me for RM10 a head, now it is allowed, then i ask for the receipt, they said NO receipt for that. Hmm.. how do u think? We are the local people how could they treat people such this way, i think i wont be coming back at this hotel/resort seriously its not recommended. Just sharing my experience thats all.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
4  Thank zaitonmarsedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

2 night stay at Treehouse #4 of an 8 stop independent 3 week trip through SE Asia.

Having read and reread reviews here on TA this seemed the best choice at Damai, although we are more luxury oriented travelers. Staying in such a rustic enclave is not our style…. other than clearing a few leaves from the path, nature is permitted to rule has it’s limitations. The place is well over 20 years and portions looks it. There is a lot of walking to be done here and along with the stairs up to the tree house it may not be for everyone. And as indicated... to find you can’t get the AC to work or the toilet gets clogged and there is no phone to call for assistance means it’s down the stairs and down the path back to reception for help. This is camping and very far from modern day glamping! The free/ fair wi-fi is at reception and restaurant only.

Pluses first: The sound of the sea is delightful as are the few sightings of monkeys in the trees. We saw remarkably few, if any, bugs making me wonder if they fumigate although others indicated different experiences. The AC was good and the water pressure and temperature in the bathroom fine. Very good screening if you want to do it alfresco but our beds had no nets. Being a mosquito magnet and having had Dengue I never go without a covering of DEET but no bites or sightings despite rain. Bed comfortable but no alternative to the thick foam pillow. We had a nice lunch at the restaurant and had the Malay “set menu” two nights and the spread was varied, presented with great style and care and most importantly, really, really delicious! The other restaurant staff is pretty good but it is petite Australian powerhouse Cheryl who keeps the place in order, enforcing nonsmoking rules and making sure everything goes as well as it can. She even brought in a Peppermint tea from home, and her apple crumble and bread and butter pudding were homey and wonderful treats What a great asset she is. Thanks again !

A miscommunication with management about an outing was promptly settled in our favor, I think wisely ensuring customer satisfaction.

The long sand beach shared with Damai Puri ( the spooky ghost-town large but nice looking resort next door that gets hideous reviews) was nearly deserted but had the warmest water we have ever experienced, gentle waves and was very clean. When the tide goes out it becomes apparent there are a lot of rocks on the north/ Permai side so stick to the center of the beach in front of that big rotunda. Serviceable slightly worn towels are provided but there are no loungers, umbrellas or palapas. The other beach is very small, the pathway to it a bit trecheerous and the “jungle pool” was too naural and had too much growing in it for our taste.

The Mangrove Tour was pleasant and we saw everything promised. It seems slightly overpriced but was an enjoyable 3 hours.

Walking distance to the do-not-miss Sarawak Cultural Village with a 5 RM discount was a plus.

Transfer to airport was a very pleasant bargain considering a cab from the big hotels in Kuching was 70 RM one way.


Again negatives are relative to what we prefer. Lighting in the room is poor and there is no TV, no in room wi-fi and most remarkably to me no in room safe; they gladly took a zippered clutch with my “valuables” to keep at the safe behind reception desk (no signing or secondary bagging here) and while I doubt it would be an issue, everyone travels with electronics these days and leaving them unprotected is not wise for guest or the facility. Maybe this is one small modernity they should strongly consider.

If you are young, easy going and don’t need the luxuries this place doesn’t have it is a pleasant enough experience.

Room Tip: All tree houses seem to be the same. Didn't look at other accomodations
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jwsmd3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Loved this place. Stayed in a tree house set amongst the tree tops listening to the waves crash against the shore, watched the wildlife feed amongst the trees. Troop of monkeys on last morning feeding in trees just off our balcony. Had the beach all to ourselves for a day spent swimming in warm if cloudy waters, put that down to the seasons. Staff here are all super friendly and helpful except management, all of whom seem detached and somewhat arrogant!!
Have read some bad reviews here about the food so my comments, breakfast was a little disjointed and not great as very little fruit and what there was not very ripe. Obsession with pancakes that no one seems to want, but they do try, and when i requested a fresh omelette i got it and it was excellent. Night time menu the food is basic and good value, as in you get what you pay for and it is not expensive and perfectly edible and fresh! Special thanks must go to Sheryl the restaurant food manager as she does a great job and goes that extra mile to make sure all is well!! Word of warning do not go here if you don't like bugs, and insects, and animals, its crawling with them, so don't go complaining about bugs in your room, its the JUNGLE, what do you expect. Found a giant beetle in our room on curtain the morning we were leaving and safely freed it to balcony, fabulous!! I hope to return and stay longer next time!!

Room Tip: Make sure to stay in a tree house and visit beach number 2 at opposite end of resort.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DavidKee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

What a wonderful place! We were treated like royalty at this gem of a rainforest resort. Going the first week in Feb was always going to be risky as it’s just at the end of the rainy season. Everyday was wonderfully sunny. Because we were still just outside the busy season, the resort was very quiet. We booked direct with the resort via their website. We booked an all inclusive package of 4 nights 5 days. For this we got 4 evening meals and 3 excursions. The only extras were for drinks ( Yes! they had alcohol) and any extra trips.
The restaurant delivered amazing food, with the lovely Australian lady taking time to talk to us and get everything right. We were given the best table each night, and ate overlooking the sea, watching the bats. The service from the local staff is a little slow and simple, but this all added to the charm of the place.
Breakfast was simple, with fruit, toast and honey, and tea/coffee. The club sandwiches are amazing! 5 stars for the restaurant. Wifi is free at the restaurant and the reception.
Please note that the sea at the resort is very cloudy so snorkeling can only be done on one of the trips to an island.
The EXCURSIONS.
The “2-in-1”: Boat trip to see the wild crocodiles and dolphins. Saw 3 dolphins and 3 very large crocodiles. The Boatman “Hans” was a delight and really worked hard to make sure we had a great time. The boat left from a small village a short drive away and landed on the beach.
High Ropes: A nice 40 minutes (if quiet). Johnnie was very nice and keen to offer support and encouragement.
Bako National Park: We were lucky enough to take the boat from resort beach right to the island. Some of the trails were closed, but even so we had a lovely walk on the Yellow trail to the beach and then met the boat on another beach by the sea stacks. Not many people about and we saw the proboscis monkey and a family of macaques
Mount Santubong climb ( 6 hours): The trip of a lifetime! This is a hard struggle but well worth it. If you don’t like heights - forget it! The last few stages involve near vertical climbs using ropes and ladders. These together with the heat, result in a real physical challenge. Our guide, “Clay” was great and oversaw our safety and water needs. An added bonus was seeing a Hornbill flying below us.
Night trip to the Mangroves: Saw Proboscis monkeys, Crocs and Fire flys. The trip back at night across the sea is exciting!


TOP TIPS. Stay in the Treehouses. We were in Number 9. The view to the sea is restricted but there is good privacy. All rooms have AC and make sure to switch the hot water on and wait 5 minutes before using the shower. Our room also had Mosi nets fitted. But we never saw a single Mosi, even while out on the trail. Take decent trekking boots and sock, the trails are rough and rocky. Get an airport pick up from the resort. We charged all extras to the room, so you don’t need too much cash if you plan to stay at the resort. There is an ATM at a local shopping centre but none of my cards (VISA, MC, Amex) worked. Don’t expect the 5 star treatment - this is a lovely place to stay with a few rough edges. Take binoculars and if you can don't rely on your smart phone for photos as sometimes you need a decent zoom to capture the action. All plugs are 3 pin and do not require adapters. I hope you found this review helpful happy to answer questions.

Room Tip: Get a tree house. Ask to see before you buy.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Dave_from_the_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

My wife specifically booked Treehouse No 10 after reading past reviews on TripAdvisor and boy, it did not disappoint. The views were absolutely spectacular. The treehouse was very clean (relative for where it was - in the jungle). The staff were very friendly and the F & B manager, Sheryl, made sure our needs were met culinary wise. She even made sure we had a special dinner menu on the last day we were there when she found out we were celebrating our 25th anniversary and the resort even gave us a card to commemorate it.

We felt safe wandering around the resort, even in the dark as there is ample lighting on the pathways.

Would certainly come back one day!

Room Tip: Treehouse No 10. Definitely.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank timtam_biccie
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

Address: Teluk Penyu, Kuching 93050, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kuching
Price Range: $75 - $116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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