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“Excellent place to stay when exploring the jungle!”

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Borneo Nature Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We stayed at the Borneo Nature Lodge for 3 nights in July 2012. We decided on this particular lodge because of its eco-friendly conservation focus. Going to the jungle for the purpose of getting back to nature and seeing animals in the wild, we wanted to ensure that we made an ethical choice and stayed at a business that truly practice what it preached. We actually met the owner of the lodge during our trip and he definitely believes in conservation - which is supported by the way in which the lodge is run and designed. I am really glad that we chose to stay here!!!

There rooms were extremely comfortable for a jungle lodge - a/c and hot water was available. The lodge is also the only one in the area with facilities to accommodate guests in wheelchairs which I thought was impressive. There weren't any TVs in the rooms or internet access but this enhanced our experience as we weren't holed up on our laptops and had a chance to really enjoy and take in the wonderful location. All staff were extremely friendly and helpful - I have to particuarly mention our guide Salam, driver Jakim, Arong from the restaurant and Chinta our boatman - they made our stay wonderful. The food was plentiful, varied and delicious (even for a fussy eater like me). There is absolutely nothing to fault with the service or facilities whatsoever.

The location is excellent for viewing wildlife - and being able to view the animals while cruising the river was amazing as you could get close without scaring them away. During our time there we were lucky enough to see organutans 3 times and a group of elephants once, along with hundreds of monkeys, birds (including hornbills), water monitors, snakes, crocodiles and lots of interesting creepy crawlies. The guides and boatmen are truly expert at their jobs - always getting us as close to the action as possible (without disturbing the wildlife) and their knowledge of the flora and fauna is amazing. We were even given disposable ponchos to use for river cruises on days when it rained.

We had such a great time there we never wanted to leave!! I would have to say that this trip was one of the best, if not the best holiday I've ever had!!!!! Very much hope to get the chance to return some day.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MegsyMelon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2012

Me, my partner and a group of friends stayed here for two nights. Overall it was brilliant.

The lodge itself was clean, spacious and right on the river. The food was excellent.

However the best part was the nature. We took several boat trips per day, including an optional night cruise (recommended) and were rewarded with seeing some of the fantastic animals of the Kinabatangan. Our guide Salam was great at finding the animals and telling us about them once we found them. We were fortunate enough to see a family of Borneo Pygmy Elephants on both days we were there - just meters from the boat.

I would happily stay there again!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Josie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2013

Hi there,

Sorry for the delay response and I might have missed it. Thank you for the compliments and the rating of the lodge.

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future, just keep in touch.

Till then, take care & regards!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

This was our first experience of the Borneo Jungle and it is an experience we will never forget it could be that we were very lucky in the fact we were the only visitors as it was a little out of season but from the first moment we were picked up by our guide Abdul Salam to the people who looked after us Mr Rogers and Mr loleng the chefs the supervisor Mr Rosi, Cinta, and razmi they could not do enough for us and nothing was a problem. I have also got to say that the standard and the quality of food was quite simply excellent.
We were also lucky in the fact that we saw most of the wonderful wildlife the Kinabatangang river has to offer sitting in a boat next to the pygmy elephants was an experience I will never forget and I hope that one day we will manage to go back

Room Tip: All the rooms are of a very high standard for a jungle lodge
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PaphosGerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Hi there,

Greetings from Borneo! My apology for the late response and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay.

Look forward to welcome you again to Borneo Nature Lodge! Just keep in touch & Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed June 19, 2012

I owe this review sometime back but won’t let pass the chance sharing our amazing experience.
In some places, you’re glued to your phones, laptop etc to kill time (but thank God for poor network signal). You won’t trade flipping thru gadgets in exchange of wonders of Borneo’s wildlife. All you need is a trusty camera, binoculars maybe, explorer’s cap and you're set to go.

Wake up to a misty morning as sun starts to rise. Trailing the huge Kintabangan river promises lush mangroves, birds, fishes, reptiles etc. The primate show is anticipated featuring loveable orangutans, proboscis, macaques & the rest of the swingy gang. As we joke about it, we have paid our ancestors a visit :). I was hoping to see Pygmy elephants, Leopards, Rhinos but nope :(. Must be a thrill but I won’t get in their way for sure.

Love the eco-friendly lodge. The energy, cost saving practices was well executed. If you have strength to spare, pedal your way to power. Food was great (don't expect gourmet) & maybe too much for a tiny appetite. Our afternoons, were spent lazing & dozing off the jetty, occasionally waiving at boat riders passing by. At night, you’ll hear bugs orchestrating, don’t make up a tune, but it’s still music to our ears. Ohs we have almost never seen thousands of low lying stars (not counting the fireflies). Climb up the tower to get a better view. Ensure you spray on repellant to keep our buzzing, crawling friends away. Dive into slumber & the next Borneo journey awaits.

Its Day 2. With our yellow boots on, we trek in the tropical forest with our cool guide Salim. Saw tall, huge trees, more bugs, small lake, probably the Pygmy’s muddy spa. Back to the boat, we trail again to the river. Our guides got sharp eyes, can spot sightings a mile away! Saw more animals, more luscious greens & locals making full use of the river water. Yes, bathing, laundry etc. Loved and enjoyed cruising the river so much.

It's the final day 3. After hearty breakfast, with our bags packed, it’s our last glimpse of the lodge. Folks here have been so nice. You know, not those over friendly but genuinely sincerely nice. We still have a few hours and they have arranged for us a trip to Gomanton caves. Timely, April is the harvest season for the highly priced bird’s nest. Make sure you’re covered
to protect yourself from bat, birds poo, pee (guano) and lots of roaches. But don't let this scare you. It’s still amazing how these men bravely climb up rope ladder amidst 900 meter high to reap this much coveted swallow’s saliva known for its nutritional value. It’s believed to have been given as gifts to early Chinese emperors. No wonder it cost a fortune.

Locals and other sector has been doing great efforts to preserve the wildlife. I could have written more on our Borneo exploration. Now, we’re just thrilled to have been there. Thoughts on coming back to the lodge? Yes someday. Sam, can you reserve us a room again please? :)

Dudi Lizz

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lizzoti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Hi Dudi Lizz,

Greetings from Borneo Nature Lodge! My apology for the late response and glad to hear the good comments here. Should you plan your trip again to Kinabatangan, just in keep in touch with Sam and who knows this time you will be lucky to see the wild Borneo Pygmy Elephants.

Cheers!

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Reviewed June 17, 2012

BNL is the third resort I have stayed at in my travels to the Kinabatangan River, and it is clearly not yet as well established as some of its older competitors. It does offer a very competitive price for the services provided, and the staff are very warm and friendly, so depending on what you are looking for, this could be a very good option.

BNL features a glass-enclosed, air-conditioned dining room, a feature that I am personally not a fan of as I enjoy the sounds of nature in the tropics. If you have difficulty with the heat or are terrified of insects, then this might make BNL a better choice than its competitors.

Although BNL has taken some steps towards becoming "eco-friendly," there is still work to be done. They have installed solar panels which supply some of the electricity necessary to run the resort, but still must rely on a generator to produce the rest. They shut it down at night and at certain other times of day, but the hum of the generator is still a distraction it would be better to do without, and is more of a problem for the chalets located in close proximity to it.

The guide I had for my brief stay, Salam, was really terrific and well-acquainted with the many different birds to be found in the area. The quality of the guide may be the single most important factor in how much you enjoy your stay on the Kinabatangan River, so in this respect I would give the resort high marks.

Room Tip: Chalets 105 and 106 are about as far away from the generator as you can get.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank yekatman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Loved staying here, the staff were very friendly and the rooms were lovely. I also loved the ethics of the place - very eco friendly. Brilliantly located too, right on the Kinabatangan River, Sukau. Wonderful!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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2  Thank Hach123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Hi there,

Greetings from Borneo!

Thank you so much for the positive comments and glad you have enjoyed your stay. My apology though for the late response.

Look forward to welcome you again or your friends in the future at Borneo Nature Lodge! Just keep in touch!

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed April 24, 2012

We stayed at the lodge for 3 days and 2 nights and we cannot recommend it highly enough.

We were a little apprehensive before arriving as the lodge was relatively new, cheaper than many other lodges offering a similar package and there were not many reviews of it. However, I need not have worried at all!

The lodge itself is really pretty. There are a handful of individual wooden chalets at the end of elevated boardwalks (approx. 6) divided into 2 rooms. Each chalet has a veranda, is very clean and spacious and has hot water and air conditioning during the day. The room stayed cool so it was not a problem that there was no air-conditioning at night. In fact, I slept like a log the whole time I was there.

The lodge provides you with 3 meals a day and a snack at teatime. All food is served in a lovely (air-conditioned) restaurant with glass walls so you still feel surrounded by nature. The food was really excellent. Lunch and dinner were 3 course affairs and were really delicious (mix of Western and Malaysian food). Alcohol was not included in the price and was rather expensive (although in our experience this was the case across Sabah and was not limited to the lodge).

The staff and the guides were incredibly friendly. They really made a huge difference. You could see that all the guests (there were 8 people when we were there) were very happy and relaxed. The tours provided were also excellent. In our package we did 3 river cruises, a short-ish jungle walk and we visited the caves. We had an excellent guide (Ken) who was truly passionate about the wildlife and was very entertaining. In addition to transfers to/from Sandakan, our package also included Sepilok admission (excellent) a city tour of Sandakan (also excellent - far more interesting than we expected) and a lunch at the English Tea House (beautiful and delicious).

Finally, in my experience I found that organising our trip with the lodge was really straight forward. My emails (to Sam Emma) were always answered promptly and everything was very efficient. In contrast I had emailed a number of other lodges and either received no reply or late replies.

We could not find fault with this lodge and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Charly333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cesar e, Manager at Borneo Nature Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Hi there,

Greetings from Borneo! Thank you so much for your comment and glad you enjoyed your stay. My apology for the delay response here.

Look forward to welcome you again and your friends at Borneo Nature Lodge! Just keep in touch with us!

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 Borneo Nature Lodge

Address: No. 41 Block 3, 1st Floor, Prima Square, Phase 1, Mile 4, North Road, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range: $174 - $623 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Borneo Nature Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An eco-friendly lodge nestled along the riverbank of Kinabatangan river the longest and biggest river in Sabah.The Lower Kinabatangan is one of Sabah's most splendid natural treasures and the richest concentration of wildlife in South East Asia. The lodge has 12 rooms with an additional twin-sharing handicapped friendly room equipped with air-condition and attached bathroom. Appreciate the "Green" details practise by the lodge where at night all electrical items run on solar power. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Borneo Nature Lodge Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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