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“A lodge that could be great under the right management” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bilit Rainforest Lodge

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Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Sydney
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A lodge that could be great under the right management”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

The lodge has a lot to offer - a great location on the river, some wonderful guides who are respectful and helpful and lovely, fantastic nature all around, spacious rooms, and lots of time and an environment to relax and unwind.

The main things letting this lodge down are the food and the general upkeep and service. The food is really difficult to sustain after a day or so. It's hard to cook for people en mass, but even on days when there were only a few groups staying at the lodge it was the same overly sweet, fried and saucy meals with sweetened white bread and rice. Breakfasts, if you are on an early tour, consist of the same fried foods and sweetened bread. With hot, humid days, some fresh food would do wonders.

The other element letting the place down is the upkeep and service. The rooms are large and generally well maintained. Though they are not serviced quickly and general conveniences are left up to the guest to source - we had to ask to get toilet paper and the bathrooms end up with hundreds of ants overnight that aren't ever really removed, just washed into a corner. The sheets and blankets are frayed and stained, but otherwise comfortable. Things like the hammock being free of bugs and cleaned would not occur if there was a manager overseeing the large number of staff at the lodge (which was a positive, having a lot of families around).

There are great things about this lodge too - the drinks are available all day and are cheap. The laundry service is well maintained and our clothes came back lovely. You are left to your own pace - if you want to join in on the river cruises you can, but you can also opt out (though it's generally included in the cost anyway).

The wifi service is not available - even though it's promoted as being in a wifi zone, we could not get the internet at all on the trip.

Ultimately the jungle experience is great and it was wonderful to do the river cruises, cave and orangutan sanctuary, but the comforts of a great lodge were lacking at the Bilit Rainforest lodge, which took away a little from the relaxing atmosphere. With better food and a closer attention to detail, this could be a great place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank xdaisyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

3 Hrs drive from the Sandakan Town and then a 5 minute boat ride gets you to the Lodge. Nice lodge - great rooms (with a little wildlife inside - I suppose its expected in a rainforest). However the safari is a letdown. 3 hours in a boat and you see 3 different kinds of Monkey. So after your 1st safari - you have been there and done that! We had 3 safaris pre booked - so same place again and probably the same monkeys too. if you are REALLY LUCKY you might see the Orangutan. And if you are willing to pay extra for fuel they will take you further down the river to look for Borneo Pygmy Elephants - unfair as they know the general whereabouts of the elephant area so they should include it in the paid safari and not ask for more money. Food is good. Weather is very rainforest with showers every night.

Room Tip: Tell them you don't really like wildlife crawling around the room
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank devasar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

We stayed here as a 2N 3D package which was enough time. The place is very run down although we were not expecting 5 star in the jungle, they need to spend some money and do some maintenance. We travelled with our 11 year old daughter and were picked up from Sandikan airport by our delightful tour guide. We visited Sepilok to see the orangutans which was great although the rehabilitation centre at the Rasa Ria resort in KK was better. We were then taken to the lodge after a 1.5 hr scenic drive where you and your luggage are transferred to a boat for a 5 minute trip. Our bags were promptly taken to our room and we were offered lunch. After lunch you are then shown your room and briefed about the rest of the activities for the day. Our guide was always very informative and gave advice on what to wear or bring. Our room was adequate although both taps ran constantly and the bathroom old and mouldy, it's very basic. Thankfully we had air conditioning which worked ok and there were three beds in our room so the size of the room was also quite big. Our first river cruise was great and we saw plenty of monkeys and birds then returned to the lodge for dinner. I agree with other reviewers that the lodge staff have no interest in being there and would just sit around all day watching tv eating the food which they often ran out of. We wanted to sit in the lounge chairs to chat to other travellers but they were always occupied by the staff watching tv.
There weren't many people staying at the resort so couldn't understand why they had no bread or milk on the first few days. They did have a few bottles of wine for sale at 110 ringet and we were able to charge things back to our room which I believe you could pay by credit. card. We then did the night cruise which is great and the captain of the boat was fantastic at spotting wildlife including snakes, owls, crocs etc. Day 2 is quite boring as after the morning cruise there's nothing to do until 4pm so if you have kids bring entertainment. The wifi was hit and miss, the food very ordinary although they would cook eggs for breakfast which was welcomed. First day there was no bread for toast or milk for coffee at breakfast but day 2 they seemed better prepared. Overall it was a great experience to spend a few days in the jungle although disappointed we didn't see elephants or orangutans but that's just bad luck and no fault of the lodge. They need to clean up the place a bit as there' s plastic bottles lying around and flea ridden cats and dogs that wonder around the resort dining areas. We were fortunate enough to have a fantastic guide who was with our group the entire time but on the last day we were taken to the bat caves although we thought we were doing the city tour. We were then taken to the English Tea House for lunch which is a beautiful location with great views but the food very average but didn't matter as we weren't that hungry. Our guide then dropped us at the airport for our return to KK.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stocksadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

I booked this for myself and my partner through Amazing Borneo Tours based in KK [ I live in Brunei] It is in the middle of the jungle. For those who complain that there is no pool, do not comprehend the logistics of such an amenity. It would be impossible to ,aintain and then there would be complaints about the cleanliness of the pool ANYWAY the room was spacious,secure comfy bed, good water pressure in the shower and the meals catered to both western and asian palates. We felt completely safe and secure in the accommodation and on the river cruises seeing crocodiles, pygmy elephants, macaques,probiscus monkeys and the highlight for my partner an orangutan in the wild.
The downside is , ensure you have enough small ringgit to pay for your drinks, they do have VISA facilities, but the connectivity is erratic as is the wifi. But hey it is in the jungle!! The atmosphere added to the jungle experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Doctorsassistant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

While there is a familiar 'family' feel about this place, since the staff lounge around and watch TV and eat pretty much among the guests, is sort of nice as there was hardly anyone else there so it would have been rather deserted otherwise, it is a bit annoying that the staff are not very attentive and you almost have to fend for yourself. There was not always enough food, and THEY ate most of the ice-cream, leaving only a few portions of a rather odd tasting flavour for us.

This place would be fabulous with a pool, but because there wasn't one, and it was SO HOT, and the air-con struggles during the day, there really wasn't much to do during the day. I wouldn't recommend a 2 night stay because of this. Whereas if there was more to do during the day, or even the option of being able to walk or something it would be much nicer.

The staff just seem lazy and complacent - and it's probably because they too are HOT and bored.

Most of the staff seems to be 'indeterminate sex' and you are never sure if they are male or female. Not that it matters, but they seems to have their own little community and giggle and snicker on the side lines. Again partly funny, and party a bit annoying as a guest who has paid a lot of money to be there and wouldn't mind a bit of service.

We stayed for 2 nights and despite asking for our room to be made up, it never was.

A pool, more attentive service and better wi-fi would have been a big improvement.

Despite all of that we did enjoy our stay and the river cruises we took were great and we enjoyed them very much. The food (that we got) was very tasty.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JaneFraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
176 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

The Bilit Lodge is in sad need of repair and good management, Our hut was clean and functional and the food quality poor and almost cold. The first evening it was impossible to eat our dinner in the dining area as there were so many "locals" competing for our food, eventually one rather large beetle landed upside down in the middle of my meal, so we retreated to our room to try another plate. This situation was caused because the usual spraying/fogging had not been done. Contrary to others reports this lodge is not in the middle of the rainforest.
Like all others we came to see the wildlife from the river and to this end we were not disappointed, our Captain was incredible, he showed us more animals than we had expected to see. It was he that made the experience unforgettable.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael-Barry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

We were on our honeymoon and booked the wildlife tour through Dive Down Below. We stayed at the Bilit Rainforest Lodge and had a wonderful time. You won't find five star luxury in the middle of the rainforest and if this is what you want - best not head out to the rainforest. However, we had a beautiful hut that was tucked into the hillside. It was a little basic but still had a plasma TV screen, tea and coffee facilities etc etc. The showers have a heater on them and the beds are massive - with lovely clean white linen.

The staff couldn't do enough for us - they really wanted to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. The wildlife cruises were incredible, as we headed out that way to see the wildlife mainly. We saw probiscus and macaque monkeys on the banks of the river, lots of bird life, large snakes tucked into the trees, came face to face with a wild elephant from our boat in the river and even saw a large salt water crocodile too! The butterflys and months in the rainforest are superb - they are as big as dinner plates.

Me and my husband really managed to switch off here and immerse ourselves in the wonders of this location. On our last day, we caught a glimpse of the wild boar family trotting across the car park, whilst the owls sat in the trees and the gibbons called out in the distance. Wildlife at its best in an untouched location.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Challenger85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bilit Rainforest Lodge

Property: Bilit Rainforest Lodge
Address: KG Bilit Seberang Jalan Sukau, Kota Kinabatangan 90200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Kinabatangan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Kota Kinabatangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bilit Rainforest Lodge is located beside the Lower Kinabatangan River in the village of Bilit, approximately 2 hours drive from Sandakan. It is a set of amidst lush tropical forest and offers comfort and peaceful relaxation as well as a base for easy exploration of the incredible diversity of plant, mammal and birds at the Kinabatangan region. All chalets and the restaurant are made from local hardwood material and are designed to blend into the nature giving a unique local native ambience. The rooms are very spacious and comfortable with a minimum of 600 sq.ft. for standard chalets and 800 sq. ft. for VIP permier chalets. A boardwalk connects the jetty, restaurant and all the chalets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bilit Rainforest Hotel Sabah

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