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.
- 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