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“Not the best experience.”

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Sepilok Jungle Resort
Ranked #4 of 33 Hotels in Sandakan
Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

I decided to try Sepilok Jungle Resort, rather than staying in Sandakan, due to its proximity to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Never again. You are provided wifi in the dining area and a free cooked brekky, but I felt it was an uncomfortable place to stay due to no air con and rock hard beds in the basic rooms. Compared to its competition, SJR was lacking in the basics

  • Stayed: April 2013
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80  Thank Nath_120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We provide free breakfast for those who stay in our dormitory at RM28.00 per person. Additionally, free wi fi is provided in our banana cafe.

If guest prefer to stay in the air cond room, we would recommend them as the weather in Sandakan is around 32 degree with humidity up to 90%. Our air cond room rates start at RM105 per room per night with breakfast. If one is not able to withstand the heat, they should stay in the air cond room and not in the fan room and complain that it is hot after that.

Please remember we are in a tropical jungle.

Johnny

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Reviewed April 19, 2013

I stayed here with my husband and 7 year old son for 4 nights late March (2 nights before our trip to Kinabatangan, and 2 nights after).
We were made to feel very welcome by all the staff who were extremely helpful and friendly.
We stayed in a "superior" room. The beds were comfortable and the bedding spotlessly clean, but the room itself was very dated, especially the basic bathroom (although I note from previous reviews that they are in the process of upgrading).
The resort does feel a little dated as other reviewers have mentioned, however it has a nice feel to it- it was a relaxing place to stay for a few days and my son loved the pool. We also enjoyed wildlife spotting in the grounds and on the way to and from Banana Cafe.
It doesn't feel like a big resort as everything is so spread out, and I don't think there were many people staying there at the time we visited.

The cafe is ok- there is a variety of food which was prepared quickly, although we have had better elsewhere. The prices are not particularly cheap for Malaysia, but then again around Sepilok there isn't much choice so everywhere seems to have bumped the prices up, both for food and accommodation. We would have expected more for our money elsewhere.

In terms of location, it really couldn't be better for visiting the orang utan centre- only 5 minutes walk away, which made it easy to visit twice in one day with a child in tow!

We arranged all our own trips independantly so we didn't book any of the organised tours from the resort, although from what I can gather they weren't particularly cheap.

Would we go back? If we visited Sepilok again on a backpacking type budget, yes probably. Would I recommend it? Yes- if you are happy with fairly basic no frills accommodation, but probably not if you are looking for 5 star accommodation!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank gillydaydream1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are happy that you have overall enjoyed your stay with us.

We will pass your compliments regarding our food, service staff and the spotlessly clean room to the respective department.

As we have planted many fruits around the garden, it has attracted a lot of wildlife and one could just sit and wait and they will be guaranteed to see some birds and squirrels. We are delighted that you enjoyed this experience.

Once again, thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcome you again.

Johnny

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Reviewed April 16, 2013

Stayed here in Feb 2013 with an Exodus group. We had room 29 in the block immediately behind the first reception. The room and the bed was comfortable, but the bathroom was badly in need of some TLC, but they are updating the bathrooms one by one. The resort is very tired all round, it was built in the 80's and it shows!. Half of the buildings have been allowed to rot and it is a shame as the setting is wonderful and it is only 10 minutes walk into the Orang-utang Centre. The food was basic but good and cheap. Needs some investment, but you can't get any closer to the Orang-utangs!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank holmefarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are happy to hear that you have thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We are in the midst of upgrading 16 superior rooms and should be completed before 15 May.

Refurbishing the resort is already in our plan and we hope that you will us time to complete it.

We will inform our kitchen that you have enjoyed their food.

Looking forward to serve you again in the future.

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

Tourist Trap!!! "Cheap" is the key word here. If that's what your looking for, then by all means, stay here. Everything has a "up-charge" including the use of the pool, towels, and drinks at the "free" breakfast. The staff is indifferent and there is an obvious lack of customer satisfaction. (Our guide was great! Loy and Robert). Be prepared to majorly rough it otherwise. You are on your own and we couldn't wait to get out of here! 4 days was way too much.
There is not a thing here I would want to come back for.
If you like to take a shower with your toliet, this is the place for you! Just remember to bring your own towel if you don't care for the thread bare stained grey ish towels that are 5RM if you lose or wreck them... Just sayin'...

  • Stayed: April 2013
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86  Thank Heyjude805
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are disappointed that you did not have an enjoyable stay with us.

The reason we are charging a RM5 per person per day use for the swimming pool is to maintain a low cost for our rooms. This Rm5 is used for maintenance of the pool. We are the only 2 star resort in Sandakan and whole of Sabah that has this facility and normally at least a 3 star hotel that will be able to provide this facility and their rooms rates is at least triple our rates which starts at RM28 per person with breakfast. RM5 per day is a very reasonable price. If one is not happy to pay for it, they do not have to use it.

Breakfast is free but if anyone wants to order something that is not served, it is reasonable that they are paying for it.

We have checked our towels and it is nothing like what has been described but we have replaced some of the old ones.

Thank you.

Johnny

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Reviewed April 4, 2013

We have been waiting to get to Sandankan for quite a while. Sepilok Jungle Resort is not in Sandakan town but it is 10 minutes walk from the Orangutan Sanctuary and it has so much nature living in the gardens, this was a perfect base for our Sabah adventure. We stayed in a deluxe balcony room, that included breakfast. It was adequate, probably not the room you would spend all day sitting in, but clean and comfortable. The Banana Cafe was a short walk away, which involved taking the boardwalk along the edge of the ponds. The meals here were based on local food, simple Asian cuisine but very tasty with plenty of variety.The breakfasts were good with a variety of options, we enjoyed the omelets and the fried noodles. It is possible to buy beer and wine by the bottle, not cheap but this is Malaysia. THe staff were friendly and amazingly helpful. There is a passion for nature and willingness to share this with all. We enjoyed an interesting night walk with Robert who was able to show us a variety birds and frogs. John has done a wonderful job of creating an eco-friendly resort which is not overpriced. By the way we enjoyed chatting with him most evenings and his wonderful stories. Another bonus for this resort was that htey were able to help us put together the tour package that we wanted including arranging our transfers to and from the airport. We arrived with a plan and before we got into our room we had arranged our 8 days at a price that was much cheaper than we could have got through the internet. Even better from our point of view it was all done with locals, so we got to enjoy finding out from lots wonderful local people. We will go back to enjoy the rest that is on offer in Sabah.

Room Tip: Enjoy the resort environment. It is worth taking a deluxe room. Take your camera to the cafe.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank whowesit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are glad that you have thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We have trained our staff to be as helpful as possible especially in helping to arrange tours for the onward travelling. After 18 years in operation, we realise that people comes to Sepilok as a base and stop to see the famous orang utan and not really wanting to stay too long.

So we will provide additional service by providing them with information about other destination at a reasonable price.

Additionally, we know that people who come also generally enjoy nature and wildlife and because of that we have trained Robert to be our in house guide, bringing tourists walking in our own trail at night.

We will inform our staff about your compliments.

Looking forward to serve you again in the future.

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Reviewed April 2, 2013

I had the most fantastic week there. The staff and management were most helpful. The Site Is like nothing I could have dreamed of. I met People that worked there that I made friends with. The river trip was out of this world. My only disapointment was the breakfast. I would have prefered something more ethnic as when I am away I want to try different foods. all in all I would be so happy to go back.

Room Tip: Corner room was bright and cheerful with 2 windows. Next time I would look for a back facing room lo...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank annStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are glad that you have thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We will inform our staff about your compliments to them and I am sure they will be very happy and work harder and happier to serve all future customers.

We look forward to welcome you again.

Johnny

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Reviewed March 29, 2013

I have mixed reviews about this place as the location is beautiful and 'front' of the resort is nice, but the back areas and dorm space is filthy. I've done a lot of travelling and can put up with quite a lot and I don't normally write reviews but I felt this place warranted one.

The good things:
• Close to orang-utans - only a 5 min walk away
• Clean big swimming pool
• Lake surroundings and boardwalks
• Food was good (I'm vegetarian), but expensive for Malaysia
• Open air restaurant space lovely overlooking a lake with big carp and kingfishers
• Quite reliable wifi

Not so good points:
• Most of the staff were rude and unfriendly
• Shower/toilets near the dorm block weren't cleaned in the 4 days I was there (and hadn't been for some time) - rat droppings everywhere inc in the sinks. There is no excuse for this. Sinks were not plumbed properly so water ran straight out of the basin onto the floor. No toilet paper.
• The dorm room/area smelt like urine
• The light in the dorm room was so dim you could hardly see what you were doing at night
• The whole place generally wasn't clean and looked a bit tired
• I wasn't informed well about some aspects of my stay - they just didn't seem interested in me being there.

Accommodation is limited in Sepilok, but maybe you would have a better experience staying in a private room rather than a dorm at Sepilok Jungle Resort. The only problem is that the price increases dramatically.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Swint117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
limjohnny, Owner at Sepilok Jungle Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We have checked your feedback and disciplinary action is taken against the general cleaner. Really sorry that the toilet was not in a good condition when you stayed with us.

Having said that, our new toilet for dorm is completed during your stay. Because it is just being done, we need to leave it for dry for a few days and thus you are unable to use it. Our future guests will be able to use this new toilet.

Our next project is to rebuild the other dorm toilet which you have used. Actually those are not rats dropping but house lizaard/gecko droppings. There are everywhere as we are in the jungle. We need them as they are helping us to control the mosquitoes.

The kingfisher in the lake is called stork billed kingfisher and they are the largest in Malaysia. They come to the lake everyday to feed on the fish.

Once again, thank you for your constructive feedback and we will continue to work harder to please all our valuable customers.

Johnny

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Additional Information about 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 #4 of 33 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range: $34 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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