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“Lovely and welcoming staff” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel

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Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lovely and welcoming staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

This was the best hostel we've stayed in during our travel through Borneo. When we arrived we were welcomed with tea and banana fritters. The staff helped us organise a river safari in Kinabatangan and told us where to get cheap pearls. The owner (the extremely friendly Nabistul) then kindly invited us for dessert on our second evening (with excellent pancakes).

The room was very nice, air-conditioned and good value. It had free wi-fi and a nice communal living area. Included was also a free breakfast with freshly made pancakes.

Overall it was a great stay and I'd definitely recommend this to anyone staying in Sandakan!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
Thank arvsinghal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    77
    47
    15
    11
    5
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay in this friendly little hostel. Highlights include excellent location, welcome drinks and banana fritters on arrival and a fantastic roti restraunt downstairs ( free breakfast included).

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank davidrwmacdonald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013

Sure there are many options in Sandakan, we actually checked a few hostels from pure curiosity :) So, why this one? Well, who else will welcome tired traveller with hot cup of tea and home-made style banana fritters? (yummy, by the way).

The lobby is homey, you actually feel at this hostel like visiting family, hihi :) welcomed from the first moment you find yourself chatting with Nabistul, the owner about your trip and she will introduce you to other guests and staff (that is also quite uncommon and really nice touch to our stay). We liked that a lot! Mark will take care of your check-in and advice on trips, the Phillipino guy is everywhere haha, pure energy! Ah, and if you're a cat person, you'll find one who just love to cuddle :)

Every room is slightly different, so just check some and you'll find your deal for sure - they have dorms - 6 and 8 bed and some rooms that will suit a group of few friends or family. Also doubles/singles. First nite we stayed in intermediate room but moved to one with big window - Seaview Sandakan is so close to the sea that'll be a shame not to have a view and fresh breeze every morning :). Note that dormitories and some other rooms have shared bathroom, but it's all cleaned often and hot showers got really good pressure.

Hostel owner opened a restaurant/cafe downstairs recently, so we have pancakes for breakfast (included) sitting outside and enjoying the coffee. There's always some specialty being prepared by Nabistul, pumpkin in coconut gravy is DELICIOUS!!!! and don't miss Nasi Goreng Pattaya - it's the best around and chef makes it in no time (everyone calls him Master, all the staff and volunteers have so much laugh together, you feel like in no other place).

To sum up - sure, you can find newer place, where you'll be anonymous but you can also choose this place and make friends - we managed to meet amazing travellers from all around the world and with some we'll keep in touch! All thanks to the atmosphere of the hostel and cafe. Anyway, recommended place to stay and dine (downstairs). Just be aware - you may want to extend your stay ;)

Room Tip: rooms with the window, even dormitory style are very oepn and because of nice view and a big windows...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tainan, Taiwan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed in this hostel for 2 nights. Rooms are neat and tidy with AC. Hostel/restaurant owner and staff are really nice and helpful in case of planning trips. We received welcoming cup of tea and fried banana and we had pancake breakfast. They create family atmosphere and you will not be an anonymous guest there. Very good budget hostel to stay in.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
Thank Maria K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
121 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

We checked in early having booked the room for two nights on the internet. The place is easy to find, just around the corner from the Sheraton Four Points. We were given room 020, a double en suite and air con for MYR72 per night. On arrival we were given a nice welcome drink with some banana fritters. The receptionist Mark was very helpful and friendly. At night we found out that the tap in the sink wouldn't turn off properly and dripped loudly all night. Not only that but the toilet plumbing was so shoddy that the toilet bowl actually leaked onto the bathroom floor. Someone had tried unsuccessfully to make a repair using electricians' tape. It was obviously unhygienic and should never be used until the repair is done properly. I asked for a change of room the next morning before breakfast - a room would be available whenl someone else checked out at noon. The breakfast was a little on the small side - one thin pancake with a drizzling of curry sauce and chutney and a weak cup of coffee. We went out for a walk, came back after mid-day and we still didn't get a change of room. Mark again was very apologetic and understood that we wanted to move and we were given a full refund for the following night. We moved to Harbourside Backpackers - much cleaner!

Room Tip: Don't go near room 020.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank charliechariot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NabistulMislia, Manager at Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Charliechariot,

I have noted your reviews with great interest espcially towards the appreciation of certain issues.
Our apology for the inconveniences incurred and we have overcomed the plumbing related problem afterwards.

We really hope to provide you a better service should you visit Sandakan again.

Looking forward to host you again.

NabistulMislia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

I stayed at this hotel only briefly while passing through Sandakan but I was sad to have to go. The staff was amazingly friendly and helpful with suggestions and tips on what to see and do around Sandakan. In addition, their restaurant served pancakes which I ate for breakfast, lunch and dessert. The rooms are a bit shabby but the homely feeling from the friendly staff more than made up for it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
Thank Majaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NabistulMislia, Manager at Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Majaf,

I never realized you had 3 variety pancakes on SAME day until i read your review.

Thank you very much for appreciating it and i am glad you enjoyed my late mom's recipe.

I must put on record how thankful i am to you for having stayed and having put a good review for us.

Sea View Sandakan looks forward to serve you again.

NabistulMislia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wien, Österreich
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

We chose the Seaview Hotel based on the tripadvisor recommendations, but we couldn't understand the good ratings. We stayed at the Sea View Hotel for one night in a twin room with shared bathroom and it was the worst that we had in Malaysia. We were friendly welcomed with fried banana and tea, and the lady gave us useful information for trips in the surrounding area. But the room floor was dirty, with not even a dustbin in it. The matrasses and the whole room smelled mouldy and like cold cigarette fume. My bed sheet had undefinable stains so we ended up sleeping in our own sleeping bags. The shared bathroom was obviously not checked regularly because there was toilet paper was not refilled and everything was scruffy. We would not recommend to stay there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mayah2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NabistulMislia, Manager at Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Hello Mayah,

Firstly, thank you for staying with us. And thank you very much for some of good feedback you gave for our hostel.

We took note of problems you faced and have acted on it already.

We are facing problem ourselves with regards to toilet paper supply because everytime we refill, many times the whole roll disappear after 5 minutes or an hour. Our apology to the inconvenient caused.

We look forward to host you again.

NabistulMislia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel

Property: Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel
Address: Lot 126 Harbour Square 14 Jalan Dua | opposite Sandakan Central Market, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia (Formerly Sunset Harbour Botik Hostel)
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Old world charm and views of Sulu Sea can be enjoyed at Sea View Sandakan Budget and Backpackers Hotel. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with traditional banana fritters and a drink. Perfectly located in the heart of Sandakan Town, Sea View is on the waterfront opposite the Central Market and within walking distance of banks, ATMs, currency exchange booths, tourist attractions, convenience stores, malls and local transportation. The second largest city in Sabah, Sandakan is known as a seafood haven and a gateway to many tourist attractions. Tour packages to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Stilt House Water Village, Selingan Turtle Island Park, Kinabatangan River Cruise and Goamantong Cave can be organised through our onsite tour operator. We can also provide advice on local attractions. We have FREE WiFi, FREE traditional pancake breakfast, FREE welcome drink with traditional banana fritters, FREE towels, FREE travel and tour information, FREE lockers, book exchange, showers and a common room. Guest Facilities: For a small charge we can provide Malaysian cooking lessons using traditional family recipes (subject to chef’s availability), laundry service, foot & arm reflexology, tea & coffee making, kitchen use, printing/scanning, luggage storage and we also have a motorcycle. We can provide room service on request from our onsite restaurant which specialises in traditional family pancakes but also serves local cuisine, fresh seafood dishes and both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available. Late breakfast is available and the kitchen can provide packed lunches upon request. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel Sabah, Malaysia

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