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“Wouldn't recommend it”

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Sepilok Jungle Resort
Ranked #5 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Reviewed December 17, 2006

I live in Malaysia and work in Tourism and recently stayed at SJR so I have a good feel for this accommodation. It is run by a logging and palm oil businessman, and it a pure money making resort. This reflected in the service I got. When I was there, I found the service poor and everything came at a price - one tip, walk 5 minutes to Sepilok Orangutan Centre rather than pay lots of money for one of their "guides" who are useless. Oh, and they tried overcharging me. The rooms were basic but okay, if not a little overpriced again. I would say that the grounds are beautiful, the ambience nice and it is close to Sepilok Orangutan Centre. But all in all I would search for something better for a rewarding stay.

Stayed: December 2006
97  Thank avendagold
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 August 6, 2008

I think you have got your information wrong.

First, i am not a business oil palm owner.

Secondly, our guides are well trained and not useless. All the guides are properly trained and licensed under the Ministry of Tourism.

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Reviewed October 25, 2006

We booked a 4-night package which included the first and last nights at SJR, one night on Turtle Island and one night at a river lodge. The accommodation is basic, even the executive room with balcony. However, it is clean and air-con'd and the bed was confortable enough. The setting is truly beautiful with the walk along the boardwalk to the restaurant a constant delight. The grounds will be even better when the swimming pool is finished. The restaurant is also fairly basic but good value for money and the staff are really lovely. The excursions were well-organised - a bit of waiting around while parties formed - and truly memorable. The wildlife is really amazing.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BucksWanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2006

We planned to stay here for 3 nights but after seeing the facilities went to the Sabah hotel after one night.

The location is good if you’re planning a trip to Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, it’s just a 5-minute walk from there. So if you want to see the orang utans in the morning and daytime and do a jungle trek in between, this is a good place to take a rest before the afternoon viewing. We just went for the afternoon viewing and did a jungle trek, so it would’ve been easy to just go back to Sandakan from there.

The taxi costs 30 RM to Sandakan, so it’s not really worth it if you plan to go to Sandakan for dinner for example. Also when leaving the resort they refused to call us a taxi, instead they wanted us to use their own service. Since there were no cars available, some guy just took us in his own car to Sandakan. He was very helpful and gave us good tips on where to go and where to eat, so that was a plus.

The grounds around the hotel are beautifully landscaped, but if you think you’re going to a “jungle” resort this is nothing like the jungle!! That’s the first thing that put us off, landscaped gardens and pools of water (lagoons they call them I recall) wasn't what we were expecting.

We had an executive room with a private balcony but the view was into a garden, which was being constructed. The room was very basic with a small tv and horrible shower facilities. It's not expensive though!

We had dinner at the Banana Café and Restaurant and the food was delicious! Suddenly rain started to pour down and there was a huge thunderstorm and the lights went out. Luckily they have generators and the lights were back on in 5 minutes!

The breakfast was served in the same place and I have to say it wasn’t very tasty. You can have eggs, toast, fruit and tea/coffee. We just had toast and fruit and the butter was spoilt, it tasted disgusting, it had probably been on many breakfast tables already. Ew! Also the “jam” they offered tasted strange. Maybe the eggs would’ve been a safer bet!

I'd say Sepilok Jungle resort is ok for one night if you don't have the energy to go back to Sandakan after the orangutans.

  • Stayed: July 2006
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4  Thank pinkilili
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 August 6, 2008

It is not because we refuse to call you a taxi. We are a small town and we do not have a taxi call centre.

If we call a taxi for you, you will be charged twice as the taxi will come here with empty passengers and at the same time, it will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get to the resort from Sandakan town.

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Reviewed June 3, 2006

Stayed at Sepilok Jungle Resort for one night in an Executive Room with Balcony (May 2006) for RM120. Without balcony is RM100. I would have preferred without balcony, as the weather is so hot outside even at night, and the room has A/C. There was construction work outside at the time, as the resort is trying to upgrade its facilities, which is a good idea. Although having workmen starting up machines at 7.30am is a bit much, with work going right through to 7.00pm.
The resort is heavily advertised at Sandakan airport, probably because it is one of the first built in Sepilok. But a newer resort (literally right across the road!) is giving the Jungle Resort some competition. Sepilok NATURE Resort (SNR) is currently more modern and updated than Sepilok JUNGLE Resort. We did not stay at SNR, but had lunch there, and facilities were much more modern and pleasing than at SJR. Have no idea what the room rates for SNR are, but probably a bit more than SJR. But the layout, dining area, guest facilities, quality of food at SNR seemed much better compared with SJR. SJR provided a complimentary breakfast of eggs (scrambled/boiled/fried) fruit, toast and tea. Everything was lukewarm and not of quality.
We also had problems with the lock on our room. After locking it from outside, we could not gain entry. The staff were very quick to come to our aid however, and resolved the problem within minutes. The service at Sepilok Jungle Resort was good, but you get the feeling that staff are not over-friendly and accommodating. I would probably not stay there again if there are alternatives.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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105  Thank J7J8J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2006

We stayed at the Sepilok Jungle Resort recently and feel that strongly about the service and place to write a review to save others the hassle.
The staff there were extremely unhelpful if you were an independednt traveller. They refused to call/arrange a taxi for us before 7am or at all to get us back to the main road where we were going to catch an express bus to Lahad Datu. They tried to tell us that you can't get on the express bus unless at the terminal, this is untrue and we knew it. (as we did it often). They wanted to charge us RM30 each back to the bus terminal that would only cost RM25 at most in a taxi. When we wanted to call the bus company they said they did not have phone books when they clearly did as we could see them on the desk. Unless you were going to use their transport you could go and jump.
The only saving grace about the place is it's proximity to the rehab centre and the gardens are nice. Security of valuables is also an issue, don't leave anything of value in your room.

104  Thank sueandmikey
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 August 6, 2008

Sandakan is a small town and there is no taxi call centre around. That is why we suggest you to take our service especially if you need to catch the express bus at 7am.

You need to get to the terminal to get on to the 'licensed' express bus to Lahad Datu which is very safe and secure. If you simply take the one stop at the bus stop, they are pirated mini vans with no license and they are very fast drivers and it will be very cramp inside the vehicles coz they will try to take as many passengers as possible to increase the income. We concern about your safety.

The phonebook is of useless coz it will not list down or do not have any taxi centre number.

It is always safe not to leave your things in the room. However, you can leave it with the resort as we have our own safety deposit box.

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Reviewed April 4, 2006

I should have said Excellent, but the accommodation is very dated. Now my wife and I are both a bit fussy about hotels we sleep in, and the rooms we saw are very basic, a little uncomfortable, but it's worth it, and I suppose you get what you pay for. We went for the most expensive room, which ended up being 2 rooms joined together with a private balcony facing the jungle which was more than we needed but gave us plenty of room, and this cost us including breakfast approx £120
The grounds of the hotel are just fantastic, so relaxing, so many animals, birds, and plants, it is the chill out of chill outs.
The food was the best food we had in Malaysia, and the staff are great, they are so helpful they will give ideas on where to go and arrange for lifts to the places you can visit.
The best thing about it is the fact it is a minute walk to the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, which has to be one of the greatest experiences I have ever had, just amazing, you can't go to Malaysia without a visit.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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10  Thank Geordies_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2005

My friend and I travelled around Sabah in April 2005. We stayed in the Sepilok Jungle Resort for a night before going on one of their Jungle Treks. The accomodation was simple but clean with out twin room having its own bathroom. The grounds are spectacular and the resort has been built around nature rather than through it. It is about 5 minutes walk from the Sepilok Orangutang Sanctuary which was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these amazing creatures. The Jungle Trek was fabulous. We had both travelled around a great many countries before and been on lots of similar treks, but this one was excellent! We went to a small lodge along the river which is newly built, twin rooms with little balconies and bathrooms. Had great food and the guides were fluent in English and very friendly. On the river cruises we saw elephants, macqaque monkeys, proboscis monkeys, rhinocerous hornbills and many other amazing creatures. The organisation at the Sepilok jungle resort was fab!

  • Stayed: April 2005
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21  Thank Weezie_woo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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