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Borneo Nature Lodge
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Reviewed March 21, 2014

We stayed here for a night as part of a 3 day trip. The lodge is just a 5 minute boat trip from the drop off point at the road. On arriving the staff were very friendly and helpful. The rooms were great for the location. We've stayed in far more basic accommodation than this. The room was large and comfortable with air conditioning. The only issue we had was trying to work the shower which we struggled a bit with. We only had one river trip that afternoon which was great with us seeing loads of monkeys and birds for the 2 hours we ewe our for. Our guide was very knowledgeable as well. The food at the lodge was excellent and we wished we had been able to stay another night!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank sarahanddarren
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 May 5, 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for the compliment and look forward to be at your service again in the future.

Keep in touch & till then take care!

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We stayed for 2 nights as part of a 3 night 4 day tour which included selingen island and sepilok centre, which was organised by the same company that own the nature lodge. The lodge staff are very friendly and can't do enough to help, the rooms are very basic but was within our expectations for this type of trip, clean and the showers worked well. We had 2 trips on the river, but wildlife was not very abundant apart from makau monkeys. We found this part disappointing. We thought we was staying at pretty remote location, nothing could be further from the truth, there, are at least 5/10 similar lodges all within a 5 minute boat trip on the river, meaning that trips out on the boat began to feel like you was sitting in line waiting for the boat in front to finish. The rainforest is a very small strip along the river behind which are palm plantations, it as very sad driving to the lodge to see miles and miles of the land being planted with the palms, I think if you want really remote then you need to travel much further afield.
Food quality was basic but acceptable, the problem was that most of the time it was cold even as it was being served, this is something that the staff/management should be able to rectify with minimal fuss. When you are not out on the boat, there is nothing to do other than make your own entertainment, there is an option to visit the local village, to be fair to our guide he didn't really push it and on arrival we understood why, Malaysia seems to suffer generally with a rubbish issue and the village was full of it for the rest of the time thankfully we was very tired and used the time to rest. Would we come back, NO, we was disappointed with our 4 day trip, we had come to Borneo for a WOW factor but sadly this just didn't happen. Our tour guide was acceptable and did a his job, but again sorry to say didn't measure up to other tours in different parts of SE Asia.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
Thank luckytravellar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

The borneo nature lodge is a somewhat newer ecolodge in the Sukau rainforest on the Kinabatangan river. It can be reached by a two hour drive plus a five minute boatride from Sandakan - we had all of that arranged by Hotspot tours who did a good job. Included were two jungle cruises on the Kinabatangan river (for a one night package, unlike the previous reviewer) and one of the associated Oxbow lakes, one in the late afternoon and one in the early morning. On both cases significant amounts of wildlife could be observed including a herd of Elephants dining on the riverbank grasses. Apparantly this does not always happen, so we got lucky!

The lodge is very pleasant, partially solar powered and has airconditioning running until 10pm and quite reasonable comfort levels. A good quality dinner and breakfast buffet is served, and on the request of some Chinese Malaysian tourists from Kuala Lumpur, also fresh water fish were caught and prepared on the spot which apparantly is a rare and expensive delicacy in KL. Also we arrived in the middle of the afternoon due to flight schedules and were served a very nice light lunch made especially for us.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Hermes_NL
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 March 10, 2014

Hi there,

Thank you for the compliment and glad that you have enjoyed your stay.

Look forward to be at your service again. Keep in touch...

Till then, take care...

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We were so looking forward to our one night on the Kinabatangan on our way back from Tabin but were severely disappointed in our stay here. We are an easy going young couple that loves Nature.

But there is something very wrong with the 1 night package that means you only get one boat trip in the afternoon of your arrival - you pay a lot of money to stay here and the next morning when all the 2 & 3 night guests go out on the boats after breakfast it is not part of your 'package' so you have to either pack up and leave or just sit around for a few hours. We ended up then having to pay even more money (a substantial amount) to join the other guests as we wanted to go on the early morning boat cruise. Why is that when it is already an expensive place to stay and boats are going out anyways with open seats???? The 2N package get's 3 cruises so i don't understand the logic. We didn't have enough cash to pay for the boats so the manager then got annoyed with US at having to organise a transfer using our credit card details when all it took was a phone call. Can you imagine!?!?!?!

I was very disappointed and would not support this place again but stay on one of the many other lodges on the river.

On the positive side, the food is really good and the rooms are nice. Forest is mainly secondary but it is lovely on the River.

Be prepared to be ripped off though.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Linds M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I found booking our activities in Sandakan a little confusing and was very glad I stumbled upon these guys – they organised everything for us and everything ran perfectly!
The fantastic service started right after we got off the plane as we had arranged to tour turtle island (though the hotel) we has a little time to spare and our guide kindly took us into town as there was a market on in the main street (Sunday I think). Our guide stayed with us the whole time out on the island, I think usually It might not always private tour, that there will be the one guide to any groups flying in on the same day (don’t quote me on that) however we had ours to ourselves and felt very spoilt. I’ll give the Island a separate review however I just wanted to point out how easy the Lodge made it to book and the fact they had arranged their own guide to take us (which we weren’t expecting)
When we got picked up from the jetty we swapped guides (not usually part of the plan our originally guide has family commitments). Not to imply that our first guide was not friendly, helpful, fun or any other of those good things but Benny, our 2nd guide, made the whole experience really special – such an amazing woman, we really loved her and the best guide we have ever had.
Next stop was the Sepilok Orang-utan centre – I’ll give a separate review of that too. Again we had our guide take us through. From information on the species and centre, stories of the individual orang-utans and even advice on where to stand to get the best picture, her knowledge was a special touch that really made the whole experience.
Next stop was the Lodge, while we didn’t have the best expectations of the accommodation we were presently surprised – for a place that obviously has budget issues the management have made a real effort to make it as comfortable as possible, everything was clean, the aircon in the room was good and the boardwalk/cabin set up gives a real “in the middle of the jungle” feel. Whilst we were there we had the first day all to ourselves they didn’t skimp on the service the meals were impressive and the girls in the dinner hall fully attended us – they even just us up to dance one evening, just for the fun of it.
Another concern of mine was that it may have been boring at the lodge but it turned out there wasn’t too much down-time at all. Benny our guide even took us down the river to the little local township – there was always something to do. The river tours were really fantastic Benny went with us each time really making the trips worth it. Both her and Chinta, the boat driver, were really amazing at spotting all of the wildlife – which there was so much of. We went on 4 boat cruises (all but the night cruise included) and each time we saw so much that was different from the time before – we were even lucky enough to see 5!!! Wild orang-utans, however even though it was mind-blowing amazing to see them, the other wildlife we saw we would have made it worth the trip. If you get an opportunity they do offer a night cruise at a small additional cost, it is a really different experience to the day cruises and I would definitely take them up on it. Also worth noting that the boats were in good condition, all fitted out with life vests and my partner, who is not a fan of going out on water, didn’t have a problem. Ooh and If you can get your hands a pair of binoculars – we left ours at home and luckily Benny let us borrow her spare pair, but I don’t think the lodge have them to borrow out, so take them with you (they are not essential, but we were very grateful that we had them)

We did the 4 day tour and we felt it really worthwhile - each time that we went out there was so much more to see than the last time – I would definitely recommend the extra night. On the last day it was in the itinerary to visit the caves however we weren’t all that keen on them, caves just ain’t our thing so it was suggested we could alternatively make a second stop in at Sepilok instead – Great service.
Such a wonderful experience in every aspect – I would not hesitate to do it again with them

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
7  Thank Tristan B
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 March 10, 2014

Hi there,

Thank you so much for the compliments and glad to hear that you have enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Appreciate if you could pass around the words and look forward to be at your service again.

Till then, take care & keep in touch...

Cheers!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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