Second time to Borneo, we toured 8 years ago, first time to Myne Resort though. Firstly preferred the Sukua part of the Kinabatangan which we had done the first time there, which is busier but has more culture in the way of canoes, boatpeople, stilt river lodges and buildings etc, rather than the quieter Bilit area and Myne Resort this time. Although I would say its here where you are more likely to see better wildlife up the river in the way of Proboscis, Macaques, Pygmy Elephants and hopefully Orang-utans.
Arrived here after the Danum Valley (Borneo Rainforest Lodge 3 nights) for a 3 night wildlife stay. I would have given this a 5 for location and the wildlife and the number of river trips included, but was let down by dirty rooms....read on......
Apparently we were here in Fly Month?...although the food overall was very good and lots of it, we were engulfed by flies during breakfast and dinner on the veranda lookout deck, which has a beautiful position looking out over a curve on the Kinabatangan River (see photos). Our first room was room 3 (1,2 and 3 are furthest away and up 90 quite steep steps) which to be honest is a killer to climb in the heat and humidity which you expect in a rainforest lodge. Make sure you don't forget anything cause' the last thing you want is to go back up to your room and soak another t-shirt! So we had a great view from room 3, very peaceful and nice view from balcony but room was dirty with human hair blocking the shower. We had to complain and they cleared this later. Basically room had not been cleaned, just the bed sorted and sheets changed. Also some lights not working! We consider ourselves fairly fit but did not want to face this climb every time you go to your room...its a killer! The said we had the honeymoon suite which sounded great although we've been married for an age....believe me if you were on honeymoon you'd have no strength left for newlywed activities going up these steps for breakfast, lunch, and evening dinner! This is a good reason for not returning to this place unfortunately! So we asked to move to a cleaner room and closer to the reception area. Only three rooms seemed to be occupied while we were there.....so strange that they put us right up the top when there were other closer rooms available! We moved to room 10, one of the closest but still around 35 steps to climb! Two Oriental cockroaches when we entered the room and found and killed two later on! No real problem you find cockroaches in hot humid places. So we had to wipe all the shelves in the wardrobe before hanging our clothes there. In both rooms the in-room safes never worked! Again lovely view, room quite large etc, bed quite comfortable and was ready but walls were filthy with dust and cobwebs, no hot water, not even warm for three days? They have a very crappy antiquated water heater system in the rooms which you have to fiddle about with apparently to get some hot water...well we never had any! OK so its hot and humid and a cooler shower can be quite welcoming I suppose! OK about the flies, we've been to lots of long tropical holidays, Africa, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka etc, and this is the worst we've had flies during breakfast and dinner (flies seemed to vanish for the evening meals).
After our second morning trip on the river the owners (three of them) arrived and wanted to know what we thought of the resort and to give any useful criticism etc. So we mentioned the flies and the dirty rooms. (Strange that we were supposed to request any new towels or replacement soap etc rather than the staff automatically checking themselves?)...Never known this? Rooms had good air con and fans though! Some cleaning staff very lazy and it seems they need a good shake up! Anyhow once we mentioned about the flies to the owners we had sticky fly-catchers on our tables which consequently caught 82 flies at lunchtime. Sad that we quite enjoyed having a competition with another English couple on the next table....think we won 82 flies to their 78? The owners at the lunch witnessed the fly problem explaining that it was just one month of the year! One of the female staff...Amira (we think) who does a very good massage in you room and pedicure etc which we both had, doubled up as a fly-scarer waving her tickling stick over the food and around us, enabling us to somewhat enjoy the food instead of needing four arms, two arms to keep waving them off the food. Once the owners who were there to find out why the place was so empty had left, we went back to the normal procedure of waving the flies away and I had to ask for the sticky fly catchers at every further meal. Think I took the last one on our last day! Basically it seems excepted that the flies are there and they made no real attempt to try to minimise them until we complained!
So the river trips were good and the guides there made every effort to find the wildlife, especially Orang-utans and Proboscis Monkeys and inform us about them etc. Also a night trip up the river was quite good, even in the occasional down-poor they did not want to let us down. The guide there in the photo....I'll call him Mr Wok (sorry if its wrong) was very helpful and informative.
So to sum up, the main problem with this place is the steps up to the rooms.....too hot and humid to climb 90 steps up to the furthest rooms. If we were ever to return we would want a clean room and one of rooms closer to reception. This alone is a reason for not returning! They need to get their act together, especially the cleaners of the rooms and also sort the crap shower system out. They have over the years it seems spent plenty in building up this resort but the empty rooms make it clear people are probably not returning there. I would say go there but request a closer room and hope that they have listened to the clients complaints about the flies and the dirty rooms. Saw lots of Proboscis mostly further back off the river and high up in the trees and one Orang-utan at a distance. Also many birds and Macaques and Crocs, Monitors up the river.
Shame its a beautiful location but could be so much better in understanding what the current problems are. There is a nice small fish lake at the back of Myne Resort which had a bridge and seating area to view the nature, like Kingfishers, Dragonflies and fish, Butterflies etc. You can also purchase fish food! Travelled as a couple....we take plenty of wildlife photos! www.flickr.com/photos/onemoreshotrog We found out once back in England that when we landed at KL airport at 12.30am, (for the connecting flight to KK) that the dreaded flight that disappeared must have been on the runway and took off at 12.41, just 11 minutes later. Makes you think! Poor soles! Still Hoping for some miracle, RIP flight MH370.
- Also Known As:
- Myne Hotel Sandakan