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“At one with the forest”

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Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 October 2015

A stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge is a truly special experience. Isolated in the jungle amidst a 130 million year old primary rainforest, with no other development or sign of (human) life nearby, life slows to a different pace once you arrive. The lodge itself offers a comfortable open-air climate to enjoy views of the river from your dining table as monkeys jump from tree to tree nearby. From the lodge, elevated walkways lead guests to well-kept, and rustic but well sealed private cabins (some with private hot tubs, some without). Amenities are sparse and simple, but perfectly adequate, as the large majority of guests staying here will likely be out and about all day, on jungle treks, river tubing rides, canopy walks, and night rides with the lodge's excellent, knowledgeable guides. Each buffet meal at the lodge offers plenty of variety both for carnivores and vegetarians. We stayed 4 days and wish it was longer, as the worries of modern living melted away and we were able to spend the days enjoying walks among the humbling ancient trees and staggering variety of animal life all around us. Truly a back-to-basics escape for those looking to reconnect with the natural world.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with family
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1  Thank ADAMMS222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 October 2015

There are so many amazing things to say about the Lodge that one could go on and on. However, the most realistic explanation I can muster with so little words is that the Borneo Rainforest Lodge will give the most avid of traveler truth that money cannot buy - serenity, solace, and spirituality in its most raw and beautiful form. There is no price for such authenticity.

Despite the lack of air conditioning, the lizards that shared our room with us and feeling drenched in sweat most of the time, there was a pure underlining sense of humility - oneness in self yet communal understanding between people of different cultures and language experiencing the simplicities that humanity has shied away from. A moment that does not need words but simply breath, time, silence and occasional gesture.

The staff is brilliant, the rooms are gorgeous, the food is AMAZING. If you are gluten free, just let them know. There are many options...I could go on and on about the amenities, but why? This is not a point of this residence but a point of realization. For the true beauty of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge is not about the show but the experience.

A place where losing yourself and finding yourself in the same breath is defining and understated all at the same time. What more can one say? Just. Go.

Room Tip: If want privacy go for the simple jungle villa type room. Deluxe have great views but are duplexes...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wheezabu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2015

The setting of this lodge is in a conservation area of the Malaysian Borneo rainforest. Breathtaking beauty as far as you can see. The Danum river winds languidly through the resort property with some rapids to provide a soothing background sound as you enjoy your drinks and meals overlooking a steep ridge of rainforest. We had a "standard" room which was very comfortable and clean. There's no A/C, so may be comfortable maybe not. First night was comfortable, second was a bit too warm and humid for good sleep. Daytime is best spent doing outdoor exploring. We were amazed by the variety of food on offer. There was a mix of Malay, Indonesian, Thai, and Indian. Also had fresh BBQ items for some meals. Always nice tropical fruit and various sweets. Our guide "Missy" (nickname) was excellent. He was extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. He gave us extra walks/tours to be sure we enjoyed ourselves. There was very limited WiFi available in the main lodge relaxation area.

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
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Thank Rick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2015 via mobile

I'll echo the previous comments that this is a truly unique place to experience 'luxury rainforest' and I use that term reservedly .....

The wildlife you see is fabulous and the guides very knowledgeable. We were in one of the 'old' deluxe villas which was perfectly pleasant BUT completely not insect / bug /critter proof in any sense and by night turned into my worst nightmare!!!

The staff did everything they could to limit the visitors and their aftermath (boarding up mesh windows, hanging a fly net and a regular sweep of the sea of deceased insects on the floor) but I found it very difficult to relax as soon as dusk fell - just be prepared!!!! It's more glamping than 'luxury' but taken in the context of being in the middle of the rainforest hours away from anywhere it's a pretty good standard!

The food was perfectly pleasant (even for the me a fussy vegetarian) and my husband enjoyed whole heartedly the local dishes.

My one complaint is that there are far too many staff who principally sit around the main reception tapping away on their cell phones - one assumes making use of the Internet and as a result making is painstakingly slow for everybody else which is super frustrating and needs addressing - it looks very unprofessional if nothing else!

Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Missljohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2015

It is a wonderful experience to visit one of the few remaining rainforests. This is a truly amazing ecosystem. This lodge does a good job trying to balance the environmental impacts with a level of luxury. Overall, the accommodations are okay and the food is good. The guides and staff are really good. However, it needs to be noted that travel in to the lodge and out again involves an uncomfortable 2 1/2 hour drive each way in a 4 wheel drive Toyota. Its a boring and bumpy trip. The cabins at the lodge are well layed out but there is no air conditioning. The cabins can be very hot with the temperature remaining above 30 C, even at night. You need to pass time in the evenings without WiFi or TV. I'm a northern climate person and it was a struggle to manage the heat. The food is completely buffet style. It gets dull after the first day. Finally, this rainforest is no longer teeming with wildlife. During the night drives, you are lucky to see a few glowing eyeballs. During our two day stay, we saw a few monkeys and two orangutangs, at a grest distance. The real prize is the forest. It is truly magnificent. The trekking is very good via an extensive trail system, but you must have a guide in attendance at all times.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2015

We spent 4 nights at the BRL which co-incided with our 30th anniversary. We tried to book a deluxe room when planning the trip but none were available but they put us on an upgraded list and let us know we had been upgraded free of charge 3 weeks before our trip.
This meant a balcony with a large tub overlooking the river and a minbar with complementary soft drinks.
On our anniversary they decorated the room and arranged a bottle of fizz for us.

We are keen birdwatchers as well as nature lovers so we paid a little more to get a private guide so we could spend time looking for Pitta, Trogons and Broadbills as well as all the larger animals. A good move as we saw 3 new Pittas, 3 new Broadbills and 2 new Trogons as well as the Bornean Bristlehead.
We also saw Orangutan, Maroon and Grey Langur, Macaques, Leaopard Cat and many endemic squirrels and other creatures.
Food was buffet style and excellent and drinks were very reasonable for such a remote place. We particularly liked the BRL drinking bottles that could be refilled and re-used.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank sarah b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2015

This is the only accommodation available if you want to visit the Danum Valley Conservation Area and they have the market well and truly cornered. There are no other options but they exceed expectations with their class, service and attention to their guests. We stayed in one of their new premium villas as it was our honeymoon and it breathtaking. We were picked up and dropped off by our guide Mike at Lahad Datu airport who was a bundle of energy and knowledge and he was just a pleasure to be around. As part of our package we had a "butler" which is a bit of a surreal experience but Zullayha made sure we wanted for nothing and was amazingly attentive. The food is simply exquisite both in the lodge and if they cook for you on your private deck. The villa we stayed in was incredible but the chalets looked really good too. This place is not cheap and we questioned going here but we found it to be worth every penny. I heard someone complains about the poor wifi but you don't come here for the wifi, just sit back relax and listen to the sound of the hornbills flying overhead and the gibbons calling. I'd go back in a flash!

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Thank CraigN76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Address: Danum Valley Conservation Area 88100, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Danum Valley Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Danum Valley Conservation Area
Price Range: $241 - $336 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Borneo Rainforest Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A low density Jungle Lodge with 31 Twin Sharing Chalets located in the largest Conservation Area in Sabah which is home to 275 species of birds, 110 species of mammals & one of the oldest virgin rainforest in the world. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Borneo Rainforest Hotel Sabah

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