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“way upriver and away from it all”

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Ulu Ulu National Park Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“way upriver and away from it all”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

We stayed 3D2N in May half term holiday, and were the only ones there...looking at the guest book it seemed they had a steady stream of guests coming in but not usually at the same time...so expect quiet times in a beautiful location! The site is the best on the river, as you go a further 20 minutes or so upriver away from any roads, other lodges or any signs of human life so it really adds to the magic of being deep in the Heart of Borneo. We had the 'Family House' which was lovely, and surprisingly good spec in the bathrooms and furnishings - more hotel than lodge (which I was expecting). We are all vegetarian and had a feast every lunch and dinner - who knew there were so many ways to present rice, veg, egg and tofu?! A lot of the veg came from their organic garden in the grounds, and the team in the kitchen were brilliant - we loved every meal.

A note for families thinking of staying there - we had a 3year old with us, and the 500m long complex is connected by wooden covered boardwalk. They do not recommend young kids and now I can see why - there is a big drop from the boardwalk, and a great gap in the railing that any young child could swing through. Our girl was fine, but if you had a roaming toddler with you it might not be as relaxing! Also, we brought DVDs with us as they have a screen set up with stereo sound and a selection of titles to choose from - we stupidly brought our UK bought ones with us, and didn't work - next time we will bring the ones we bought in Malaysia!

We had a guide assigned to us for the 3 days, Brian. He was fantastic, and flexible (given the 3 generations of ages and abilities in our group) and the activities are definitely on the adventurous side (Mum called it 'extreme Centerparcs!'). My 6yr old loved the night walk hunting for jungle creatures, the sunrise at the canopy was spectacular (but for my husband carrying our 3yo perhaps not so..) and trekking upstreams to find waterfalls bathed in sunlight, just fabulous. I thought the price for our package was a bit high, but by the end I felt that it was fantastic value for what we got...an unforgettable trip to be together as a family without modern distractions!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tanya M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anthonychk, General Manager at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
Dear Tanya M,

Thank you for sharing your experience ,It is heartfelt to have someone udnerstand upon experiencing our product and understanding the price of our package is of good value as only by going to the resort,one can experience the logistic of managing and operating this whole complex and the transportation process.
Being in a remote destination is one of the highlights as it truly allows our clientele to be immerse in pure nature but on the other hand,the work behind is many many times more than a property that can be reach by road.
We are committed to keep ulu ulu and the enviroment as pristine as possible and will continue to improve and progress and recycle and more conservation efforts.
Thankyou for staying with us and contributing to conservation and contributing to the community as that is part of our business practise.
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110 reviews from our community

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Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2014

We spent one night at Ulu Ulu Resort and will not forget the experience--we wish we could have stayed longer, mostly to lounge around the beautiful setting.

The transportation to the resort went without a glitch. The 30 minute boat ride that took us deep into the jungle was wonderful and fun with the rain. We stayed in the standard room, which was ideal. Very comfortable and clean and with a beautiful view of the trees from the veranda just outside. The resort also accommodated our special vegan and vegetarian diets with good food.

We interacted with two guides, both of whom were very friendly and happy to engage in conversation about the rainforest, the culture, and recent history. The guide who took us on the night walk and canopy walk was dynamic, funny and outgoing and made our stay fun. In retrospect, he could perhaps have explained a bit more about the wildlife and trees, but all in all he was great. We got to see some frogs on the night walk and, although we only spotted a couple of birds, the canopy walk was special because it was almost a private excursion. There were just 4 of us--plus our guide--on the canopy and trails that morning, and the resort overnight felt just as quiet for that matter. Groups that arrived throughout the day for day trips had to share the space with more people and be surrounded by the coming and going of different groups. If you can, do spend the night! The view from the canopy is unforgettable. It can surely be scary for some people, but you miss a lot by staying on the ground.

We also went kayaking in some very mild rapids and had a good time. The highlights for us was the very wet boat ride with huge, heavy, warm raindrops and loads of laughter, as well as reading our books on comfortable, clean, and quiet settings in the late afternoon and evening, surrounded only by the sound of wildlife. We did not have to use insect repellent once even though we are usually very prone to insect bites. It was perhaps a little pricey, but the price seems generally in line with the cost of attractions in Brunei and the experience was well worth it.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank lz2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anthonychk, General Manager at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
Dear IZ2,

Thank you for sharing your experience and we value your comments.
We are committed to keep the numbers small with only 17 rooms to maintain as a low density resort and allowing our enviroment to recuperate,occassionally we are fully occupied but mostly we have a steady stream of small groups .
We continue to progress and improve and do comeback and see our improvement and be immerse in pure nature.
Our vegetable and fruit garden are growing well and soon we will be able to provide our own garden vegetables for our guests,who can go pick their own vegetables for their meals!!
Thank you for staying at our resort as every person staying at our resort is supporting us in our conservation efforts and recuclying and contributing to the local community as that is our company commitment.
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New York
Level Contributor
401 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2014

Three great things to mention first:

1. Ulu Ulu is in a special location in pristine Borneo rainforest and getting there is a lot of fun... from Bandar you take a small speedboat ferry to Bangar, and then an open longboat for the rest of the trip. This second part of the journey, which takes about 40 minutes, is spectacular! We marveled at the skill of the local boatmen and their ability to steer the longboats up small rapids with about 10cm depth in some areas. Generally a dry trip unless it's raining... be prepared!

2. The staff at Ulu Ulu is small but committed. They are incredibly nice people who do their best for their guests. It's not a big place and so it's not a big staff. During our visit the team consisted of three key people (manager, guide, cook) who were supported by a few others. The cook prepares a common meal each evening, which is quite good and filling, but you don't get a menu or many choices other than what's put on the table. One member of our party has a food allergy which, following some discussion with the cook, was addressed quite admirably.

3. The experience is truly unforgettable. We ultimately judge a place by how memorable it will be for our children (and us!) and this is way up on the list. The rainforest is beautiful, the people are warm and friendly and helpful, and the small excursions into the rainforest are wonderful.

And now here are some thoughts to manage expectations:

1. As a family of four we paid over B$1,000 for a single night. This is more than a top-tier hotel in most major cities and so we expected the room to be rustic but beautiful. Not quite The family room was more like a camp – definitely worn and in need of a serious renovation for the price. Also, the shower turned the entire small bathroom floor into a swamp. Plus lots of little things were missing... nowhere to hang towels, for example (so simple to fix). No extra toilet paper in the room, which we only discovered when the single roll popped off the holder and fell into the swamp. In general it was as clean as a run-down room can be made by a good cleaning staff, so no fault of theirs.

2. Lots of rainforest, but little visible wildlife. I was expecting to see some monkeys and birds and lots of interesting bugs and the like. Here's what we saw: porcupines feeding off trash outside of the kitchen, a few geckos, several big ants (about a half-inch long – very impressive), one beautiful dragonfly, a couple of small spiders... in other words, not a lot. My wife read the prior reviews and was prepared for this; I didn't and was expecting more. Ulu Ulu is about pristine rainforest. If you are specifically looking for wildlife check out the Danum Valley or other areas in Sabah.

3. Beware of the "front office" which is located elsewhere in Brunei. Suffice it to say that we (and a fellow traveler) had an issue with them at the start of the trip that got resolved, but not without a completely unnecessary argument. Their front office staff was unfriendly and unhelpful. This is sad for a property that is licensed by the government of Brunei and visited by royalty (there's a helipad there for Prince Charles and other VIP guests). Perhaps the Brunei Government could look into this and ensure quality control checks on central management for this national treasure?

One other note is that if anyone in your party is allergic to bee stings then bring your epi-pens and antihistamine! We expected mosquitoes and came prepared. In reality, there were few mosquitoes, and bees everywhere, both at the resort (in the dining hall) and especially during the canopy walk. This is certainly not the fault of the hotel in any way, however they may wish to make guests aware of this Other than the bees and some giant moths at night, it was quite peaceful!

The highlight of your trip will vary depending on your guide and the weather. It might be the night walk, or the morning visit to the canopy walk (up at 4:30am and quite a strenuous hike). For us it was the tubing down the unbelievably beautiful river followed by some swimming and a short hike up a creek bed to a small waterfall. The water below the falls has "spa fish" in it which nibble at your feet. It was super fun for everyone, especially the kids, and quite relaxing.

The bottom line is that the property itself needs some maintenance and updates, and senior (off property) management has a thing or two to learn about customer service, however... Ulu Ulu is well worth a visit if you're in Brunei or the area and are looking for a unique and memorable experience.

Special mention and thanks to Resort Manager Mohommed Mutigan, Brian our Nature Guide, and the talented resort cook Wahyono. We greatly appreciated all of their efforts and kindness!

Room Tip: The family rooms consist of four single beds and a small bath. The one we stayed in was quite worn a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank skgbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tomchongtt, Guest Relations Manager at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
We appreciate all comments that will help us to improve on our services and our products. Ulu Ulu Resort is a remote destination product and in your case involved two separate modes of transport that are subcontracted out to local communities.

On that particular days there were five other people going for the overnight trip, and all were booked on Sit-In-Coach (SIC) basis. Those coming down from Bandar Seri Begawan had an extra portion going by speedboat which was a public service transport. It was agreed that we would meet up at approximately 1430. As with all SIC where we have other parties, there were delays due to the public speedboat being delayed. It is common for the a SIC tour to be delayed due to the different parties involved.

As you were also booked on SIC basis, you were not entitled to private transfer which you were requesting from our head office. Please note that if you do not wish to have any waiting time in future, you may request for a private transfer. That is our suggestion for any future travels.

Please note that all our products are on scheduled departures and operating a remote destination with only 17 rooms we are very committed to make sure that this product is a sustainable and environmentally friendly product. We are glad that you enjoyed Ulu Ulu Resort in its pristine setting as the management are very strong advocates of sustainable tourism.
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West Sussex England
Level Contributor
101 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

This little resort in the heart of the virgin rain forest of Brunei is very special. You arrive by a boat from the capital, then a short road transfer and finally a wonderful speedy longboat up the river. We were the only guests there. The rooms are spacious with excellent bathrooms, there are long covered walkways where you can sit and admire the view over the river and the birdlife, and the simple meals are superb and tasty. Your guide will take you on a night walk up a stream to a waterfall. The highlight is the early morning trek up 850 steps through the jungle, before ascending the death-defying canopy walkway. Not for the faint-hearted, but a life-enhancing (if heart-stopping) experience. Get here while it still exists, unspoilt, hardly visited, a beautiful and rare experience of the wild, wild jungle.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank weltravelledofSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Had a lovely 2-day, 1 night stay at Ulu Ulu. Nature in Temburong is fantastic, unspoilt. The river is magical. The sights are awe-inspiring.
Pick-up at our hotel was almost an hour late. Guide said he called and asked the hotel to inform us, but we were never informed and were wondering if they had forgotten us. Whether it was the hotel´s mistake or the guide actually never called, I will never know, but they should be more careful with that. The bus ride to the pier is short. The boat ride to the national park is long. Boats are old-ish and not that safe looking, but that just adds to the adventure. Then the traditional long-boat up river to the resort is where the magic starts. Wonderful views. The lodge (more than a resort, it is actually like a huge lodge) itself seemed clean and nice, albeit with a lot of wasted space. The different activities organized for us were all interesting and fun. I would only like to comment on our guide, and then again only to aid in improving the wonderful experience that they offer, not wishing to do him any harm (which is why I will not mention his name). We were never given any sort of introduction, which would have been nice. Once the whole group was at the lodge, he should have gathered us and given us some sort of introduction: where we are, the significance of the place, some cultural tidbits, what the activities will be, something about the preservation of this place etc. He did manage to inform us about some of, but in bits and pieces and mostly when asked by someone. I had the impression he has been doing this for a long time and is actually kind of tired of seeing new faces each time and having to give it heart and soul time after time. But that is precisely what being a good tour guide is all about: each time, you have to make your guests believe that you are completely passionate about what you do and about the place you are showing. If you are having a bad day and being sarcastic to your guests, they will end-up having a bad day as well. His description of the early morning hike to see the top of the rain forest was so unattractive that I decided to skip it (it went something like "tomorrow I will wake you up at 4.30am. It is a long hike up a muddy hill, then 850 steps up to the top of the tower, then back again. If you don´t go, then it´s just a waste of your money"), with that sarcasm, I decided to skip it, just to spite him (not that he cared). He just seemed NOT to care about us, his guests. He did not make any effort to get to know us a bit and to tell us a bit about himself. Maybe it was just me...perhaps we just didn´t hit it off. Anyway, despite his attitude, I had a wonderful time and the activities that I DID join were lots of fun. I would go back. The river is worth it.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Christian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tomchongtt, Guest Relations Manager at Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
We thank you for your comments and we will investigate and continue to improve and make sure that our tour guides have a more energetic level of communication.

Thank you very much
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Brisbane
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Wonderful, beautiful pristine wilderness. Did have a lot of fun and serenity during my 3 days. The trip there and back is an adventure in its own right. Will go back with family one day in the next couple of years. Resort itself is tops food is basic but great if you are hungry. Staff were excellent.

Room Tip: Take a suite
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank TobyBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
58 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I loved it. I went for a 2 days / 1 night trip to this resort in January and I was the only guest there. The villa rooms are great, with a day bed in front of the room, very clean and beautiful. It is a resort isolated in the middle of Ulu Temburong National Park, just at 2 hours maximum from Bandar city. We travelled vy boat, car and then a small boat through the rainforest. The landscape is amazing and the river is so clean. Next day I went early morning to the canapy to see the sunrise and again I had an incredible experience seeing and listening to the rainforest. Part of the program was also kayaking and tubing and I was surprised to see how clean is the water. The food was simple but good and the guide Brian was great.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank dragos_ro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ulu Ulu National Park Resort

Property: Ulu Ulu National Park Resort
Address: Bangar | Temburong, Ulu Temburong National Park BE1518, Brunei Darussalam
Phone Number:
Location: Brunei Darussalam > Temburong District > Ulu Temburong National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ulu Temburong National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Ulu Ulu National Park Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ulu Ulu National Park Resort is the only rainforest resort in Brunei Darussalam, situated at the edge of 50,000 hectares of pristine rainforest of the Ulu Temburong National Park. A perfect destination for nature lovers, retreats, rejuvenation, meditation, team-building and personal growth programs, bird watching. The resort does not have mobile or internet reception and is void of these modern gadgets so our guests can have a total peace of mind experience to connect personally with one another. The resort also banned disposable plastic bottles replacing them with the non-profit sale of stainless steel water bottles at the resort, to minimize plastic pollution. The "must do" activities include the Sunrise Canopy Walk, the Waterfall Trek, and Night Frog Trail. Unexpected comfort in the heart of the Rainforest, at the Ulu Ulu National Park Resort, Temburong. ... more   less 
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