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“Good facilities and great fun on river cruises”

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Bilit Adventure Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Godalming, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good facilities and great fun on river cruises”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Accommodation simple but clean and well equipped, food very good and staff very gracious. Monkeys came to visit one afternoon which was good fun to watch! We went on three river cruises during our 2 night stay, the first one was rained off but the next two were amazing. Saw wild orangutans, a crocodile, hornbills, an owl, storks, eagles and monkeys that leapt from the trees and belly flopped into the river which was hilarious. Really good set up and very flexible.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Visitor186299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 reviews from our community

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Timaru
Level Contributor
553 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Despite the mod-con of air con, this Lodge is basic but comfortable. The one positive attribute of this place is its VERY WEAK or almost non-existence Wi-Fi and therefore, urbanites like myself have no choice but immersing myself in the tropical jungle experience. I thought that the River ride is meant to be a walk in the park but it's not meant to be. Heavy cloud beckoned and lightning was at the horizon. Being in the deep end and not being in control of the situation, I didn't know if the ride would be postponed or continued. Armed with a very thin poncho, we faced the unknown with heavy raindrops suddenly becoming live "ammo" flying vertically against our face whilst the boat went "warp" speed. If you want to know the authentic experience of what locals have to put through, this is a good introduction indeed. Nothing is being cottoned up but just the way it is, and so, it should be. And as the rain cleared, we hit jackpots with spotting of orang utans, hornbills, eagle, crocodile, "orang belanda" monkeys! An innocent question then started to breed paranoia inside my head. I saw a warning sign about being vigilant with crocodiles and asked the guide if it's a common sight. And then, she started telling us the story about one particular crocodile that's 800 kgs in weight that's at Sandakan Crocodile Sanctuary now. Locals even gave it a name and when it was at this river, it chomped through four locals who were fixing their fishing nets! Yikes. Then, there's the tropical jungle walk to see the Oxbow Lake. Believe me, the journey to get there really brought to the fore the hardship the British armies had to endure as they marched from Sandakan to Kundasang. The tropical jungle IS not a pleasant place to be in especially after heavy monsoon rain. You have to walk through puddles that were deep but almost impossible to dislodge your feet. Gumboot is an absolute must! With intense humidity under the foliage, you need plenty of hydration!! Moreover, you have to overcome spikey and dangerous plants, snakes and my new favourite nemesis, leeches and lots of them! Within my group, you could hear constant scream of ladies as they found leeches on their forearms or elsewhere. What I have learnt is that with salt water, leeches could be dislodged very easily. Anyhow, it's a joy upon reaching the Lake and after a few moments rest, we had to make our way back to the Lodge again. It's a very challenging experience but an experience that's worth savouring. Locals have been graceful with their hospitality and you get to see them being themselves playing badminton with our guide during after working hours and there were laughters everywhere. If you are truly an Indiana Jones-reincarnated, don't miss this for the world:)

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank wiredfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2013

We have just got back from a 4 day/3 night tour with STWA. Everything went like clock-work from the moment we were picked up at the airport to our sad departure. The accommodation at Bilit Adventur Lodge was more than we were expecting for ‘jungle’ lodgings and the food both tasty and plentiful.

The rooms are well air-conditioned, clean & mozzi free with hot water on tap. The grounds are well kept, keeping the jungle feel (including the local troupe of monkeys who come to visit Bilit lodge in the evening).

Food here was more variable that at Sepilok Jungle Resort, being buffet style rather than choices from a menu. You do need to pay for ALL drinks, so make sure you take RMs with you. Prices were very reasonable for sprite, coke etc.

The people really bring this place to life! Our boat pilot led the river cruises with such enthusiasm (‘crickey!’ he would shout as another magical animal moment revealed itself). The wildlife we saw outstripped any expectations, ranging from wild orangutans to a herd for 10 pygmy elephants. Our guide even arranged for us to cook and have dinner in a local’s house – great experience. The night walk is also worth a mention.

Bilit Adventure Lodge great base to explore the Kinabatagan River and the surrounding jungle.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank dazbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights as a base for exploring the wonders of the Kinabatangan and were really pleased with the lodges. The staff were super friendly particularly the manager Nelson, the food was good and plentiful (when we arrived late for lunch they provided us with a whole extra plate of chicken) and the guides are fantastic. It's a perfect location right on the river bank, ideal for river cruises. Outside your window is the forest complete with monkeys, birds and insects.

The lodges are comfy although not luxurious although they do have a/c which works well, hot showers, good mosquito screens and comfy beds. Being in this type of lodge really makes you feel that you are in the heart of the jungle and while there may be more luxurious resorts, this offers everything you need if you are more interested in the wildlife. There's no excuse to spend time in your room anyway!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank BeccaLouise89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
48 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013 via mobile

Booked this place via sepilok jungle resort. It was well managed and worth it despite the costs. Boat tours are great, they know the spots and stop at the right angle to make your pictures. Saw various wildlife including wild orang utangs. The night tour is a must! Unique to see sleeping birds! The rooms itself are well maintained but nothing special. The food is great for an buffet. The price is high but we guess all of them are. Compared to that this is a great option and you will not be disappointed. Tours were onr of the highlights of our holliday.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MickBrNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We came to this lodge with a tour group from another Asian country. The location is good, so are other river lodges. This lodge is small, comparing with it's neighbor (which you can go by entering a trail), with less facilities. It provides buffet for lunch and dinnier, but doesn't taste well and not many dishes. For examle, the lunch has one meat (usually chicken) and two vegie dishes, plus fruits. And dinnier is the same, adding fries as extra dish!!! In addition, once a dish is empty (expecially fruit), they resupply very slow. And they knew there are many customers in the dining room, and they just don't place enough plates and cups.
Cruise was OK! but the capitain didn't have the experience to stop in a good position for tourists to take photos.
The lodge is small and doesn't create a good garden environment to attract birds, no good for birding.
Room cleaning staff was also pooly trained. They don't know when to clean rooms.
All in all. I'd rather take another lodge a change, If I revisit.

Room Tip: The don't offer ice when you want a drink. Tap water in your room is not drinkable.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alfred Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Just spent 3 fun filled days here and it was worth every penny.

Standard Itinerary looks like this, Everything is optional, Night walks are additional 10RM p/person

6-8am River cruise
8-9am Breakfast
9-12pm Jungle walk
12-1pm Lunch
4-6pm River cruise
8.30pm-Late Night Jungle walk

The river cruises are great, I strongly recommend a pair of binoculars to get the most out of bird watching and spotting and identifying different species.

We saw Orangutans, Proboscis monkeys, Macaques, Crocodile, Pygmy Elephants, Monitor lizard and a maybe 2 dozen species of bird.

River cruises are definitely variable though, Good weather (no rain) is always helpful but it does come down to luck.

Orangutan sightings are rare, we saw in 1/5 cruises although I'd say chances are more like 1/20. Expect to see Pygmy Elephants most afternoons and an assortment of monkeys every trip.

The night walks are fun and are a search for sleeping birds and insects. The lucky will spot the Western Tarsia.

Food portions are huge, Water is 4RM per 1.5l bottle, tea & coffee free, Beer available.

Hot water, reasonably clean rooms but you have to remember you're in the rainforest and there will be ants, spiders etc sharing your room with you.

Nelson and his team are very friendly and make you feel welcome.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marc B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bilit Adventure Lodge

Property: Bilit Adventure Lodge
Address: Lot 3A Gr. Floor | Block 13, Jalan Tiga, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Bilit Adventure Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Bilit Adventure Hotel Sandakan
Bilit Adventure Lodge Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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