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“Borneo Nature Lodge”

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Borneo Nature Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Borneo Nature Lodge”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

My journey to Borneo Nature Lodge was approx 2.5 hours in a speedboat from Sandakan which was quite fun. I travelled on my own and my cruises weren't through BNL, so I can't comment on theirs, but I suspect it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other anyway. Sue made the extra effort to introduce me to other travellers which was sweet - thanks Sue!

Accommodation was pretty basic - you are at an eco lodge after all - but was lovely. The facility is largely run on solar power/ generator, so hot water is not always available, but wasn't an issue for me. There's even a human powered generator, so you can go and peddle to your heart's content - a cushion for the seats would probably encourage people to peddle a little longer though!

Sarongs are provided for the dinner attire and I was quite impressed that the gents even complied! The food was fine & plentiful. Personally I'd prefer to see less western style food though, but I guess you have to cater for all sorts.

I found the staff to be so very welcoming and absolutely lovely. The venue was so serene and we were lucky enough to see some wildlife onsite as well which was fantastic.

I couldn't really comment on the value for money as it was included in my tour price.

I stayed three nights which I thought was the perfect amount of time (even as a solo traveller) meaning that i went on 5 cruises - you don't have one on the morning that you leave. I'd visit this place again.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank i_am_julesaswell
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

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

Look forward to be at your service again in the future.

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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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Surrounded by nature, this lodge is about 2 hours by minivan from Sandakan town. We booked the trip to BNL independently but there are lots of options and many different packages available. You need to spend at least two nights, we spent three nights and that was just right. The day trippers did not get the full benefit of the resort or the jungle, it's not the sort of place to rush. We saw so many birds and animals, including pigmy elephants ( not once but twice), five species of hornbill, proboscis crossing the river and an array of colourful birds including broadbills and trogons. The accommodation is basic but fine and there is air-con powered by solar available most of the day. The food was good and overall it is a 4.5, the staff are great and thanks to our guide Glen. The guides give almost personal service!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank formulafrog G
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

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

Look forward to be at your service again in the near future.

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.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2014

Amazing place to stay in the heart of the jungle. Short boat ride to access the lodge which was Eco friendly. A quiet and peaceful place to stay with brilliant staff who are able to help with anything they can. The food was good and chilled cold water is available all day.
We went on an afternoon cruise where we saw Pygmy elephants. The guides are very knowledgeable and are very good at noticing animals that you may not have spotted without them.
The rooms were very clean and the beds were comfy. We enjoyed wearing our sarongs (provided for each guest) to dinner!! There is nothing better than waking up to monkeys dancing on your roof as they pass by the lodge!
Would recommend a stay at this lodge for a fantastic jungle experience!
A big thank you to all the staff! X

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A_Kirbs_86
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your stay at the lodge.

Appreciate if you could pass around the words.

Look forward to be at your service again in the future.

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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

By far the best place we stayed in.

Contrary to the negative reviews we received extremely good service. Out of our two week honeymoon in Borneo this was the only lodge/hotel which made a big effort in making it special. All the staff knew we were newlyweds and congratulated us on it. We arrived to a room prechilled with aircon running, a heart shape and flower pettles on the bed. I loved the idea of dining in traditional sarongs and welcomed the warm shower. Everything in Borneo is more expensive than back home and the quality is not the same, however viewing this in comparison to all other resorts in Sabah it is really magnificent. The food was beyond anything we could have hoped for, and this was the only resort that provided milk, not tinned, or replaced with creamer, but long life milk. Which was a revelation after two weeks without any.

As for the river cruises, you do see alot more than on treks, and the afternoon cruise was beyond anything we could have hoped for. The morning cruise was less enticing, due to the heat of the land and proximity to water a thick fog settles on the region and it is mainly the trekking that was a nice addition. The guides really do their best with what is provided and it was nice to have guides that at least know the species (not available in kota kinabalu). We saw our first orangutang in the wild along with several unique insect species and a massive scorpion. We saw more in 40min than 3 days of trekking in crocker range with personal guides-and we were only 5 people there.

Nature is fickle and you need to keep this in mind when visiting places like these. Ideally I would want to stay for 4 or 5 days, but have the added advantage of seeing more specific species. An evening cruise focussed on bird watching or a ranger that knows the nesting sites. Knows where the interesting insects are and explains anomolies around the lodge (if you've got it-use it). The guides in Brazil are experts at this. They know the calls of individual birds and take a real interest in the wildlife.

Considering the extremely depressing drive through palm oil plantations for two hours prior to arriving at the lodge-offer if your guests would like to try a local fruit or dish (promoting the markets you drive by every time). Would they like to hear some local music? Meet some of the locals or go out and help one of the fisherman to harvest fish early in the morning? Use what you have and diversify.

One other thing- Less for tourists and more for locals-treat your wood and be careful of using iron nails- Focus on your decor-It says alot when you have local arts scattered all over the dining hall rather than one or two items.

As a tourist to Borneo, the lodge provides a really unique view and access to alot of ideal locations-do not miss the caves or turtle island you will regret it.

Thank you sooo much for a wonderful stay and making our honeymoon extremely special.

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, If you are more than two, book consecutive numbers i.e. 101-102. They share...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gerda D
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you so much for the compliment and glad to hear that you have enjoyed your honeymoon trip in the jungle.

Look forward to be at your service again in the future.

Congratulation again on your wedding, 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.
milpitasca
Level 6 Contributor
495 reviews
121 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2014

As with any wildlife adventure, spotting the animals and colorful birds is luck of the draw. True, this area of river forest is quite narrow and surrounded by palm oil plantations. Honestly we are lucky it exists at all. We were very fortunate to see 5 varieties of horn bills, 2 different king fishers, lots of monkeys (including large groupings of proboscis - Alpha males, females, juveniles, and babies), 2 orangutangs in the distance, 2 crocodiles, lots of other birds and reptiles. I went on both afternoon river cruises.We had a tiny bit of rain the first day but only for 10 minutes. My husband and I both went on the morning cruise. I loved the misty river awakening. I also could not believe the lack of insects on the river and at the lodge. I know they spray the rooms and the compound, but that doesn't account for the river. The staff is very welcoming and works hard to accommodate personal needs or tastes. Foods were geared to Western tastes and were quite nice and warm. One evening I didn't want the entrees and they made me a very nice omelette. Wine is very expensive - I didn't even precisely calculate it, but I needed some after a day's adventuring ( maybe $40-50 US). The cabin was rustic, but certainly adequate. Beds were a bit hard, but you are tired and sleep comes easily. The bath room is also rustic - certainly not the Singapore Conrad with yards of marble. I've spent 5 days in Manu Nat. Park in Peru numerous years ago - that was roughing it! The lodge turns off the generator somewhere around 10 PM. Ceiling fans continue to run off solar power. Room temperature was just fine for sleeping. Bring your own entertainment - books on I-pad, etc. Everything was run smoothly and the other like-minded tourists there were nice to converse with. Good 2 days!

Room Tip: Stay away from where the rooster lives!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alicerabbit
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

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

Look forward to be at your service again!

Take Care & Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herlev, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

On our trip to Borneo we just left Borneo Nature Logde today on our trip around the island, and we miss them already. We stayed for 2 nights and had some very good rivercruises. We highly recommend this place and the smilling and excellent staff.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank LarsMann
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 review, May 5, 2014
Hi there,

Thank you so much 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.
Stamford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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Additional Information about Borneo Nature Lodge

Property: Borneo Nature Lodge
Address: No. 41 Block 3, 1st Floor, Prima Square, Phase 1, Mile 4, North Road, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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