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“Review of the Resort, not the Surroundings”

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Sepilok Jungle Resort
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Kingston, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Review of the Resort, not the Surroundings”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Reviewers of this resort frequently praise the activities one can engage in while staying at the place. I concur that the Orangutan Sanctuary, Rainforest Discovery Center, and the River Cruise are first rate. As birders, we were sated with several lifers, and a couple endemics, including the Borneo Bristle Head. And during the river cruise we were treated to pigmy elephants, a wild orangutan, and proboscis monkeys, a trip lead by a superb and knowledgeable guide. However, none of these treats speaks to the resort.

The word ‘basic’ keeps coming up in other reviews, and I second the motion. When it comes to the state of the bathroom, our room was a bit less than basic. The beds were ‘functional’, although by the end of the week my back tended to disagree. We stayed in a deluxe room with a balcony, but in retrospect it wasn’t worth the extra money. Our view was some greenery, and there is no lack of that commodity in this area. Further, beneath the balcony was trash, including two mini-cds, which I think haven’t been produced in about 8 years or so. On the bright side, the cleaning staff for the room was prompt, friendly, and efficient.

The restaurant was the lowlight of our week-long stay. The walk to the restaurant indeed can be an adventure when it is raining. We too witnessed the apathetic staff pay more attention to chats and cell phones than customers, argue with each other, and generally make dining less than a pleasant experience. Breakfasts grew tedious, with little variety and, often, cold food. At the beginning of our stay, we ate lunch and dinner at the restaurant; both were mediocre. We love Malaysian food, and none we ate here was a good example. That problem was solved when we discovered the Sepilok Nature Resort Restaurant and the restaurant at the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort, both within easy walking distance.

There was one bright spot at the resort, the staff at the front desk. Both women were cheerful, knowledgeable, and helpful. If only the rest of the staff emulated these two.

Lonely Planet referred to this place as ‘The Last Resort”; however, we understand why folks stay here as it is in a convenient location and the costs are affordable. However, be aware of what you are getting into if you stay here for more than one night.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
107 Thank LAM22341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We have gone through some investigation with regards to the quarreling staff. Actions had been taken and now they are separated into different shifts. Thank you for your feedback as this will certainly will help to improve our service.

As for the cd, what happened was that we have lend a dvd player to one of the guests and upon returning the player to us, we found that our vcd, yes it is a vcd, has gone missing. We have found it now thanks to your tips. Actually in country like us, we are still selling vcd and cassettes. Cassettes may not be in sell in your country since 15 to 20 years ago .Maybe your country is so advance that you don't even have vcd and cassettes anymore. We would be appreciate if guest could know more about how we progress in terms of technology and not implying that we have not clean our balcony for 8 years.

We are delighted that you are happy with the services with our 2 receptionists. In fact they are the role model for all the other staff and we are still trying to train the other staff to be like them to be professional and be able to work happily

Once again, thank you for your valuable comment and we will take necessary action to improve ourselves.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Congleton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The hotel is simple and what you would expect in a jungle area. The rooms are basic but clean complete with resident gekos! The restaurant is simple as is the food but staff are friendly. The walkways are interesting especially when wet. The grounds are lovely and the orangutang centre is 10 minutes walk from the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We will convey your compliments to our staff and we will continue to have more training for them and it seems that all the training and actions based on the feedback from our customers are starting to payoff.

We will try our best to provide the best services to all our customers.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to serve you again in the future.

Johnny
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

This place is a bit tired and needs a bit of a face lift. Great location as you can walk to the Orangutans. Good for kids as there is a nice pool, quite a way from the restaurant but reasonable. You have to pay extra for the pool, minimal rate. A bit overpriced accommodation and you have no choice but to eat the restaurant food. There is a variety to choose from and not too badly priced.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KBowyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are in the midst of upgrading our facilities in different phase. Currently we are doing a mocked up room and we are focusing in it. Hopefully when that is done, we will be able to upgrade all the air cond room followed by the refurbishment and renovation in Banana Cafe and along the bridge.

Glad to know that you have enjoyed the food and we will continue to improve ourselves.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to serve you again.

Johnny
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Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I wouldn’t call it a resort, the accomodation is rather basic. The room was clean but bathroom was so and so.
The breakfast was good: toast, jam, eggs, fruits,…

The staff at the reception was helpful!
There was a lot of other staff around but most of them were just hanging out... not too busy! ;-)

The "resort" is in a beautiful setting and it really takes just a five minutes walk from the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, if you are interested.

We arrived late at night and only stayed one night so perhaps the resort has more to offer but we didn't find out.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Applewoman1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

At the moment, it is low season, perhaps that is why you still some of the staff are not very busy.

We have more facilities like swimming pool, lounge, night walk, jungle walk, mini gym and jacuzzi. Perhaps one is not aware of all these facilities if they only stay for one night and arrive late night.

Thank you and we look forward to serve you again in the future.

Johnny
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New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed January 3, 2013

This resort is only rated as 2 star resort. So we are not high expectation about this resort. We have no reservation and the taxi driver recommend us to stay there.
We are welcome by the friendly and warmest reception. They are the best receptionist in the world. We decided to have the room with balcony. The room is basic but clean.
The breakfast is compliments which is a simple breakfast but tasty. The staff at the restaurant is very lazy. They just busy by chatting with each other. And on our second day of breakfast, two of the waitress is quarrel and it is so funny. The restaurant price is unreasonable. It is so pricy. And its look likes the most expensive restaurant in Malaysia.
The best thing in this resort is the surrounding. It is surrounded by lovely gardens but it’s seemed like they fail to take proper care of it. The pool is OK but you have to pay 5ringgit per person per day which is very reasonable price and it’s a good way to keep the room rate low.
In this resort they do have 2 reception counters at restaurant and main reception. However, it does seem like 2 different worlds. The receptionist at the restaurant is lack of knowledge. They always give you wrong information and do not want to help. So we prefer to have information from the receptionist at main reception. They are so hard working and will do anything for you. They are working like 9 or 10 hours a day without rest. But the management seem like doesn’t realized that this 2 receptionist is need to be pay more!!!! They should.
Its very close to the center which is about 5 minutes walk. We saw the mother and the babies of orang utan. Take more pictures. Then as we were leaving we met an orang utan on the walk way.

Room Tip: Take the room with balcony
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Leesa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We will take note of your comment and will conduct training for our receptionist.

We are definately not the most expensive restaurant in Malaysia. We are not even the most expensive in Sepilok. But we still want to thank you for saying that our food is tasty.

Once again, thank you very much and looking forward to serve you again.
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
Reviewed December 27, 2012

This is not a Shangri-la quality hotel but then the prices are also no where near their prices either. My family of 4 stayed for 3 nights in 2 inter-connecting rooms - the rooms were basic but very clean and comfortable (and larger than the hotel we stayed in at kota kinabalu). The breakfast was simple but tasty and adequate. Surprisingly such a reasonably priced hotel had a large swimming pool that was clean and refreshing after a day out and was charged at $5ringgit per person per day - very reasonable price and a good way to keep the accomodation costs down for those who never use it.
Overall, the resort is true to the website statements - close to the Orangutan rehabilitation centre , it was amid beautiful grounds of natural beauty. We were very happy with our 3 day stay here. All the staff were very friendly and helpful from the reception to the restaurant.

Room Tip: there are rooms with fan only and those with aircon. I would advise an aircon room if you have child...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank neilkevinwilkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are very happy that you are able to capture the whole essence of staying with us which is providing comfortable lodging at a reasonable price in a beautiful surrounding with just 5 minutes walk to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. And one way to do it is not to charge the maintenance cost of the swimming pool into the rooms. We only charge at RM5 per day for those who want to use it and we are grateful that you can the reason that we are doing it this way.

We hope to serve more customers like you and once again, thank you very much.

Johnny
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

We had three nights here directly after climbing Mt Kinabalu. We arrived at the main reception at 8pm to find that, after 5pm, reception moves to the Banana Cafe - a two minute walk over slippery bridges and steps. We had a basic room in the Jackfruit block (room 9). It had a double bed, fan and a basic en suite bathroom for RM69 per night. It's a short walk from the Banana Cafe which serves the included buffet breakfast - a good selection of eggs, beans, sausages and noodles and rice and great kopi. The reception staff are very helpful and laundry (charged per item) was well done (there's a bucket in the bathroom for washing socks and undies). The swimming pool is a reasonable walk away from the cafe but it's a good size, clean and makes a good end to a hot day in the jungle (RM5 per day per guest). The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is a five minute walk away. The place is well known to other attractions around Sabah; we were picked up from the Banana Cafe for our transfer to the Nature Lodge at Kinabatangan.Don't expect 5 star but it's great value in a wonderful location.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank charliechariot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are happy that you have enjoyed your stay with us. We will inform our kitchen that the changes that we have made for the breakfast is starting to make a positive impact to our valuable clients.

Looking forward to serve you again in the future.

Johnny
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Additional Information about Sepilok Jungle Resort

Property: Sepilok Jungle Resort
Address: Jalan Rambutan | Sepilok, Mile 14, Sandakan 90000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Sepilok Jungle Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 5 minutes walk to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sepilok Jungle Resort offers comfortable lodging for visitors around the world to get close but un-intrusive glimpse of this nature paradise. It is enclosed within a tropical virgin Borneo Rainforest in Sandakan, Sabah (Borneo), Malaysia. Let its beautiful landscaped gardens and wide expanse of lush jungle transport you back in time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sepilok Jungle Hotel Sandakan
Sepilok Jungle Sandakan
Sepilok Jungle Resort Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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