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“Four stars for the experience”

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Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Four stars for the experience”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We visited Sepilok (Malaysian Borneo) in 2008, staying at the Sepilok Nature resort. We love monkeys of any kind but orangutans are particularly appealing. So we feel particularly fortunate to have visited Indonesian Borneo too. We can now make a valid comparison. Although Rimba is not quite Sepilok, you really feel that you are at one with nature. It’s a bit rough and ready but that’s part of its appeal. The rooms are part of a chalet type complex built entirely of wood. The rooms are spacious with a desk, chair, mosquito nets around the bed, safe and fan. The shower is hot and vigorous....the water drains straight through the wooden floor. The low voltage lighting in the bathroom makes it a bit gloomy though and if you are wanting to use the facilities during the day make sure you have a torch. The electricity is only on during the evening. Drinking water is provided in a flask,although we chose to have bottled. No TVs or Wi-fi....which was quite refreshing. No alcohol is available for sale. We knew before we arrived but we were rather put out to find Germans drinking bottles of Bintang which apparently had come “from the boat”. If you don’t think you can manage an alcohol free stay, make sure you take your own drinks. It seems the staff are happy to put drinks in the fridge and serve them to you at meal-times. The three course meals are healthy, tasty and ample, although we did seem to have mainly variations of chicken and rice.
We enjoyed watching the mass exodus of probicis monkeys at dawn. The forest is literally feet from your chalet (sometimes they clamber on the roof). It’s amazing how they catapult themselves from tree to tree using the saplings. The babies have to cling on for dear life. They must have vice-like grips given the G force. There’s also a troup of macaques. You are discouraged from feeding the monkeys to avoid them becoming “vermin” (their phrase). They therefore keep their distance and remain completely wild.
Each day you venture out in the boat to different parts of the rain forest.Normally a fifteen to twenty minute walk along a forest pathway or boardwalk to the orangutan feeding centres. We had some extremely close encounters. We loved the wildness of the place. Would definitely go back although it is a bit of a mission to get there.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Judith N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
We appreciate your candid report on our Rimba Oraqngutan Eco Lodge. We understand your comments re the dark bathrooms and the beer sale. We are currrently looking into alternate lighting sources including solar energy. Regarding the beer. As management we share your views. We have to follow the local government regulations which are ignored by many klotok owners. We are negotiating with the Government for a special licence and hope for a favourable outcome.
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English first
Knowle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Stayed at Rimba in August for three nights following two nights on a Klotok (Wild Orangutan Tours see separate review).

Was not going to bother reviewing lodge as the stay was completely outshone by the orang-utan tour. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to stay.

We were four people – two couples. Our friends had to request the bedding be changed on check-in and both rooms’ cleanliness was mediocre. We were hanging around a while before being rounded up to discuss our evening meal with giggling girls. Extensive menu but ultimately not a lot available. We had wanted to go on a couple of the walks mentioned and had excitedly but naively brought the gear. However a lady (the manager?) who apologised for not being around to greet us on arrival said this may be a problem as she was the only English speaking person available. But not to us. None of us speak Bahasa either but thought we could just be accompanied so she said she would get someone to come to us. They never did. Hardly saw any staff at all during the day and in the evening they would gather together and sing in a group, though I’m sure we would have been welcome to join them……..

We took ourselves on a real adventure to the village, negotiating fallen logs used as a pathway as the duckboards were rotten and broken at the perimeter of the lodge.

The best bit was the speedboat ride back to the town.

We always say manage ones’ expectations and we are fully aware of the remoteness etc etc as per other reviews and were fully prepared for ‘rustic’ – all part of the plan we thought. And yes, it does serve the purpose as just a stopover for seeing the orang-utans in the rain forest but this place was just badly managed and in definite need of some TLC. Disappointing when it could be so much more.

Room Tip: We stayed in Emerald which were satisfactory.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sharon&Joe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
We refer to your negative review of our Rimba Lodge. Your complaints will be examined during our next management visit from Bali shortly. We have done and can do much better than you described. Please be advised that reports are taken seriously and TA ratings are in the KPIs of managers; reports like yours can affect incomes and even jobs.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

They provide laundry service for a small cost, about 10% of what normal hotel would charge. There is a bird-watching trail in the hotel and you can have a short walk to enjoy the wildlife. The rooms are very basic. You would need to bring your own shampoo and toothbrush, also there's no hair dryer.

Room Tip: Get a room with A/C and hot water
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ilocklock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Thank you for your "very special" report on our Rimba Lodge. We do have a shop with toot brushes and shampoo for sale but at present do not supply them in rooms. We wish you all a Happy New Year.

Alan Wilson,
Ecolodgesindonesia
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Truly amazing wildlife experience. Outstanding staff, guides, riverboat captain, who always greet you with a big smile. Lodging is rustic, but clean and comfortable. Food is simple, but tasty. We enjoyed our stay there tremendously.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mhmf1215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Dear Friends, we thank you for your report on The Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge which is greatly appreciated. The Rimba is steadily being improved using your support.

Alan Wilson,
Ecolodgesindonesia
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Not many other places in the Jungle apart from a couple of home-stays. This hotel is an eco lodge run by the locals and they are doing an excellent job. It is what one would expect from accommodation in the jungle with river-only access. The top-price rooms are spacious but basic and comfortable. The proboscis monkeys and macaques can be entertaining and noisy, but this is what we came for. Pleasant boat trip from here to the Orang Utan feeding locations. It was nice to come back to a hot shower and comfortable queen-size bed after a sweaty day walking in the jungle in 200% humidity, certainly beats sleeping on the boats. Did not do dinner at the lodge but Breakfast is a la carte, and good.

Room Tip: Get the more expensive rooms
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KaiTor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Many thanks for your positive summary of your stay at the Rimba, especially your positive comments about breakfast. Our comapny based in Bali uses only local people as a Conservatioin tool empowering locals with a motivation to protect the forsts in this very endangered area.

Alan Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Ecolodges Indonesia
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Hobart
Level Contributor
100 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2013

Not Rimba Lodge necessarily, but in staying at this facility you need to put into context the fact that you are deep in the Indonesian Jungle and typically are at this location because you are visiting Camp Leakey in the Tanjung Puting National Park. We boarded a Klotok in Kumai Harbour after having flown from Jakarta to Pankalang Bun (PB). From the time of getting off the Air Trigana flight at PB, until being dropped back at the same airport 5 days later, we had an amazing and memorable journey. Rimba Lodge is basic, as it should be for an Eco Lodge in the middle of nowhere. It is basic, clean and comfortable. Breakfast is basic, the rooms are basic and generally the surrounding is well suited to the environment, with monkeys happily playing in the tress overhead. The staff are wonderful and very helpful, and always with a big smile on their face. We spent very little time at Rimba, as we weren't there to sit by a pool and drink cocktails. We were there to see Orangutans, plain and simple. And that's what we did. It was amazing. We highly recommend the fantastic guides and staff who work on the klotoks that traverse the Sekonyer River. We can't wait to return to this amazing location.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank samoht103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thankyou for this report and especially your comments about our staff. These are greatly appreciated and we will try and improve our breakfasts. Yiu are right, the main reason for coming is to see Orangutans and we have been described as the best place in the world to do this. We exist as a Conservation company, using only local people to empower them with a strong motive to protect the forests, the vital habitat of the orangutan.

With regards,

Alan Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Ecolodges Indonesia
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Ballina, Australia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I (experienced travellers, early sixties) had 3 nights at Rimba Lodge having booked a package where our flights, transfers, meals, guide and klotok boat were all included. Given that one visits Rimba only for the wildlife, it is appropriate that this review is in the context of the complete experience. The booking and payment was efficient and well organized, even when the airlines had several late schedule changes which meant reorganizing a connecting flight from Jakarta to Denpasar after we left.

Getting there: Jakarta to Pangkalanbunn with Kalstar, left and arrived on time. "Andy", our guide was at the airport to meet us and quickly hustled us into a taxi, arriving at the Kumai waterfront shortly thereafter. The klotok took about 2 hours travelling up the Sekonyer River, stopping at the third feeding station where we had our first encounter with the orang utans. We arrived at Rimba late in the afternoon as the local proboscis monkeys were competing for tree space with the resident macaques and creating a very noisy and chaotic scene!

The accommodation: Rimba is a jungle lodge, several pavilions (each pavilion containing several rooms) connected by timber boardwalks erected over swampy water. The Emerald Room was large with a/c and hot water (there are more basic rooms also) and the bed comfortable. The staff were friendly and helpful. A couple of minor gripes - the a/c was very noisy, my wife fell through a rotten plank on the boardwalk and nearly ended up in the water ( could have been a major one), and the food was a bit hit and miss (loved the gado gado and spring rolls though).

The experience: Awesome! From the time we stepped off the plane until the time we re-boarded for our departing flight, this was a gob-smacking experience. Andy, our guide was informative, knowledgeable and a great deal of fun. The klotok crew were keen and as quick as anyone to sight something of interest and Desy, the lodge manager very helpful. Of course, I haven't mentioned the orang utans which was the main purpose of the trip. Over two days we saw over 30 individuals, some wild along the river bank, some at the feeding stations but, best of all, a very close and intimate encounter with several deep in the forest (thanks Andy).

This was a memorable experience and we feel privileged to have been able to enjoy it. We would thoroughly commend Rimba Lodge as a most enjoyable and hassle free way to meet the orang utans.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank John N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thank you for this report which clearly understands the lodge and the difference between our lodge and a resort. We are a Conservation company using only local labour to empower them to assist the protection of a vital forest habitat. Thank you for staying with us as you support the future of orangutans on this planet.

With best regards,

Alan Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Ecolodges Indonesia
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Additional Information about Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge

Property: Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge
Address: Sekonyer River | Kumai, Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Kalimantan > Central Kalimantan > Pangkalan Bun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Pangkalan Bun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge Pangkalan Bun, Kalimantan

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