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“Down to earth staff”

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Sepilok Jungle Resort
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Reviewed November 12, 2013

The thing that gets me each time I'm staying in the wilderness is that the staff are humble and being themselves. The staff may be having lack of hospitality training and that they have a tendency to watch television at the reception during their downtime, but when help is needed, the staff will only be happy to assist. Staff here may not have heard about "Occupational Safety & Health" policy where loose electrical wire is left along the corridor for the past two days and that I slipped up more than once. Remember, you are in the tropics and that you are in a developing country and so, you simply don't expect things to go like clockwork. I simply put that as the quirk and joy of travel into an unknown destination. Yes, the accommodation is dated but it's clean and cosy. The bathroom is dated too but hey, it's got hot water despite low pressure and I'm perfectly fine with that. Guess what, the Wi-Fi is strong and I can still post pictures to keep my families and friends updated with my escapade:) This facility is within walking distance away to the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and also the Rainforest Discovery Centre, which I personally find to be my highlight, where you get to immerse yourself in a genuine rainforest and despite my two hours stint there, I witnessed the very rare bristlehead bird, sun bird, hornbill. Just to give you a perspective of the rarity of bristlehead bird, the ranger jumped with joy the moment he saw it as he couldn't contain the excitement of seeing this rare but gorgeous bird. All this places remind me of one thing, Mother Nature is a great place & yet, we are wantonly destroying the rainforest that provides abode to so much plants & animal specimens. Anyhow, the restaurant is a tad slow but the food is perfectly acceptable. If you travel alone, bring a book or a journal to write down your reflection upon your journey. And if you travel in group, make sure that you share your fun time with new friends and family members. Apart from that, enjoy and be positive! It could be worse:) By the way, swimming pool here is tiny but adequate. You can still swim laps and that, it's very seldom being occupied. You can forget about the gym. Don't you rather go out and walk in the midst of the rainforest??

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank wiredfrog
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 November 13, 2013

Dear wiredfrog,

Thanks for your choosing to stay with us.

Your feedback is spot on and thank you for writing the best review so far, being fair and honest and understand the background of the place you are visiting.

We will take note of your comments and will do something about it especially the slippery boardwalk. We are sourcing for new materials instead of using wood.

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

Johnny

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285 - 291 of 646 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2013

Hotel staff friendly, rooms good, location for access to sanctuary very good. Restaurant location good with birds easily seen while eating, but food is just OK. I was with a previous post when the service was horrendously slow and the woman in charge lacked any ability to handle the situation. She fed her personal party ahead of us (who arrived after us), and accused me of not paying for a beer (ignoring my explanations). The hotel was certainly well less than 1/4 full. Although giving us a beer the next day was a nice gesture, a good supervisor would have pitched in in the prep and service of the food, told us of the problem at the time, and explained to her family/personal guests that her clients would be getting served first. So stay here but beware of potential dining problems.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
60  Thank OntarioCanuck1
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 November 6, 2013

Dear OntarioCanuck,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are glad that you have overall happy with your stay except for the slow service. To own up the mistake, we have compensated all your friends some beers and hopefully all of you will be happy again. We have since have a meeting with the kitchen and have asked to prepare food faster to all guests.

Whoever who have consumed beers should have paid for it. Many guests always mix up and thought their friends have paid for them but they did not. So we have to collect the payment from guest who ordered the drinks.

Thanks for choosing to stay with us.

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Reviewed November 3, 2013

We arrived after a long day's driving after the reception had closed. (worth bearing in mind that it takes twice as long as you'd expect to get anywhere in Borneo - the roads are very slow going).

However - check in was friendly and efficient. Our kids had standard rooms which were lovely with good water pressure and hot water. We had "delux" rooms which were also lovely with a balcony - BUT the water pressure was low (expect a trickle) and hot water very cold. In our opinion not really worth it.

The food on the first night was not good. But we were one of the few people staying there. The last night we ate again at the restaurant - the hotel was busier and the food amazing then.

Overall a good stay - lovely gardens and surroundings. Very friendly staff. Pool ok. As there were not many guests the pool side bar and restaurant was closed which was a shame.

Within walking distance is the Orang-utan rehabilitation centre and Forest discovery centre.

Would stay again.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are great.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank UKpolobear
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 November 5, 2013

Dear UKpolobear,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are glad that out kitchen have managed to prepare something that is up to your standard at the end. We will continue to train them so that they will be able to provide consistent good food for all our clients.

Because it is low season now, out poolside cafe is closed. It will be opened to cater for private function at the moment.

We are happy that you are satisfy with the check in procedure and this is one thing we will continue to ensure that it is running smoothly.

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

Johnny

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Reviewed November 2, 2013

We have just got back from a 4 day/3 night tour with STWA. Everything went like clock-work from the moment we were picked up at the airport to our sad departure. The accommodation at Sepilok Jungle Resort was more than we were expecting for ‘jungle’ lodgings and the food both tasty and plentiful. We did hear one couple moaning to the one of the staff that it was all a ‘shock after their 5 star hotel and shall be contacting their travel agent’ – come on, you are in the jungle! Did you not do your research before you came 12,000km?

The rooms are well air-conditioned, clean & mozzi free with hot water on tap. The grounds are beautifully kept, keeping the jungle feel. It was magical to be greeted by hornbills and kingfishers each morning for breakfast.

Despite the reviews on here we found the food great and service good too. We did stick with Malay and Chinese, rather than attempting any version of cottage pie. You do need to pay for ALL drinks, so make sure you take RMs with you. Prices were very reasonable for sprite, coke etc. Breakfast is buffest style and includes coffee/tea.

SJR is a great base to explore the Orangutan Sanctuary and Rainforest Discovery Centre and then return to the comfort of your room or have a swim in their pool.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank dazbear
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 November 5, 2013

Dear dazbear,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We are glad that you have rated us with perfect 5 star. Your genuine and constructive feedback will ensure that we are being rated fairly.

We do agree that one should do more research before they come to Sandakan Borneo before they meet with any disappointments. We are well known for eco tourism and not 5 star hotel facilities.

We will pass your compliments to the kitchen and am sure they will be happy hearing it.

We hope to serve you again in the future.

Johnny

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Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for one night on our travels and it was absolutely fine. We had a fan room which was hot but its Malaysia - its always hot! The rooms are basic and showers are cold but its a relief from the heat.

The pool is lovely but sunbeds are very uncomfortable. The poolside restaurant was shut but unsure why - its a lovely spot. The "gym"is next to the pool and well,its not a gym! Its hilarious. A small dark room with one broken treadmill against the wall, an ab machine I've never seen before,one dodgy weight bench and a bike older than me! But so long as you're not there for the gym its fine - go for a run instead. The area is lovely.

The main restaurant area is along a few walkways - watch out for the big biting ants on the handrails!! Its a great spot and service is a little slow, but again,its Malaysia. Everything runs slow compared to western standards. We had a shared lunch and breakfast - both were fine (although breakfast was a bit sparse compared to other places). We didn't have dinner here - we went to nextdoor Sepilok Nature Resort which was delicious!!

The receptionists were exceptional. I wish I hadn't lost my diary so could give names. They were so helpful. We had nowhere to stay when we were checking out and had no wifi or phone signal. They let us use their phone and even rang a few people for us. They negotiated a rate with a sister resort in Kinabatangan and a transfer. When we tipped them they were so delighted. We found the service here to be excellent and would definitely return.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Maria_Cardif
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 November 5, 2013

Dear Maria_Cardif,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We will inform our receptionist about your compliments. We have trained our staff to assist all our customers as much as possible we are glad that they are doing it.

We look forward to welcome you again.

Johnny

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Reviewed October 21, 2013

We stayed at the Sepilok Jungle Resort with our 3 boys, aged 7, 5 and 2. We had 2 deluxe rooms with balconies. The rooms were adjoining, which was great so we could spread out a bit. Also, as the rooms were cheap and couldn't have fitted extra beds anyway, it was a good option.

The resort is a bit old, and looks like it was pretty amazing when it was new. However, many years have passed, and it appears to have not been updated at all. In fact, it is barely maintained. That said, it is perfectly good for what you need, as long as you appreciate that you are in Malaysia, and have probably come to see the Orang Utans, not to stay in a swanky hotel. However if swanky is what you need, then go elsewhere. I suspect this place is being killed by the tours from Sandakan, which take you in and out in half a day, so people don't need to stay here really.

The rooms are all done in wood, which is part of the theme of course, but looks a bit tired now. There are a few blocks of rooms, with long corridors down the middle, which look a bit depressing and prison-like, but then you don't you spend much time in the corridors, so that's okay.

There are 2 good pools, one for kids with a great little water slide, which our kids were on the whole time, and the main pool, which is clean and large.

The resort is a 5 minute walk from the Orang Utan centre, which is obviously great.

We ate dinner and breakfast there, both of which were good, in a restaurant which is exposed to the bugs, but is equally atmospheric as it looks out over a lake and has all the usual jungle sounds.

All in all, it is a good place, which is cheap and cheerful, and does a perfectly good job if you are not looking for luxury and just need a clean place to stay for the night. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Alexsdaddy
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 October 22, 2013

Dear Alexsdaddy,

Thank yo for choosing to stay with us.

We are in the midst of upgrading our facilities. At the moment we are doing the bridge followed by the toilets for fan rooms, Banana Cafe and then we will work on the deluxe room.

Our 16 superior rooms are completed and were very well received by all our guests but because we do not have a connecting room, so usually guests with children will not opt to stay in this room.

Glad that you have enjoyed the swimming pool and the food at Banana Cafe.

Hopefully when you are back next time, you will see a total uplift in the resort.

Johnny

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Reviewed October 19, 2013

We booked a 7 day tour starting at the Jungle resort where the superior accommodation was a bit basic but OK and the gardens were beautiful. Food not great and restaurant service poor but reception check in was good. We went to the Orangutan sanctuary, the rainforest then to Bilit jungle resort (accommodation and food basic but service good), back to Sandakan and to turtle island then a couple of nights of luxury at the Four Points hotel (lovely accommodation, food OK but restaurant service poor). Everything ran very smoothly - exceptional organization. All guides were really pleasant and helpful. Animals and all the trips were amazing - especially the leeches in the jungle! A wonderful holiday with amazing animals and plants and lovely people. Thank you!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Maplehorse
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 October 20, 2013

Dear Maplehorse,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

We will pass your compliments to our sister company who arranged your tours and sister lodge called Bilit Adventure Lodge.

Although the lodges were basic but we strive for is cleanliness and I am glad that you have thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcome you again.

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 #5 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range: $27 - $77 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sepilok Jungle Resort 2.5*
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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