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Borneo Rainforest Lodge
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Reviews (910)
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54 - 59 of 910 reviews
Reviewed 14 September 2017

We stayed here for two nights (which seems to be the standard stay) towards the end of our 21-day trip around Malaysian Borneo. This was absolutely the highlight in all regards fantastic room (deluxe) with balcony tub overlooking the river. By far the best food of anywhere we stayed - including 5-star resorts, as well as wonderful nature guiding offering experiences of a lifetime, all superbly organised from the minute you are picked up. (We were picked up from the Borneo Riverside Lodge in Sukau).
I really have to congratulate the chef for the quality, variety and freshness of the food which is remarkable for a relatively small place in such a remote location.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017 via mobile

We stayed in a delux room, 15. Delux is the way forward, don't go standard when in Danum! Our room probably didn't have the best view, delux all face the river but ours was a little obscured by trees. The room was beautiful. Lovely big bed, bathroom and a bath sunk into the balcony. When you arrive you are issued with a mobile phone just so you can ring for a g and t to be bought (or tipple of your choice!) to you for your jungle bath. It was really special. Only down side was there is no air con, and there is a fan but that's it. We requested an extra fan but the heat and humidity is phenomenal so made for an uncomfortable night sleep. The food is amazing. So much choice between buffet style curries, roast meats, salads and fresh cooked dishes from two guys who worked their socks off. The staff front of house and in the bar and restaurant were faultless. Polite, remember your name and take notice of the little things that make your time special. For example, we were on honeymoon and all honeymooners get a 'special table' for a night. We'd met a lovely couple earlier in our tour and became fast friends so meal times we spent together. So, noticing this they made our honeymooners special table to include them too. Nice touch. But a stay here is all about the wildlife. You can't guarantee it but I was expecting a guide who would tell you a bit about the jungle, the trees and plants we were seeing. It's fair to say our Guide whilst we were there lacked passion, drive or being proactive at all. We spent long periods of time trudging through the hot jungle in silence. Some of the best spots came from people in our group and then he would volunteer info. It was frustrating as he clearly knew a lot, but just didn't want to volunteer it. It took the sheen off, and we ended up feeling envious of other groups who were clearly getting better information and better tours than we were, we were always first back even when we'd seen nothing, and other tour guides seemed to be more in tune with what their group wanted. It was a shame, if this had been better then regardless of seeing any animals or not this would be top notch.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Pip0902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2017

Located 82 km from Lahad Datu this lodge is one of the best accomodation you will find in the middle of Borneo wilderness. There are no villages around so there is only you and the nature. To get here you need first to fly to Lahad Datu (there are 4 flights per day from KK but the best one is the morning flight because will give you the possibility to enjoy all the afternoon at the resort; if you take any other flight you will need to pay extra 50 MYR pp to get to the resort) where you will be met by the driver which will take you to Borneo Nature Tours office. You will receive a brief presentation about the journey to BRL, you can enjoy a good coffee and you can buy some snacks and drinks from a 7 Eleven located very close to the office. More than 60 kms of the road is not asphalt so expect a bumpy road until you get there - in the end you are in the rainforest so the road is part of the adventure. It takes 2.5 hrs from Lahad Datu to the lodge.
While on the road you can see birds, squirrels, bearded pigs, sambar deers, hornbills or even snakes. The driver will stop for you to take pictures.
When you arrive at BRL you will receive a cold towel and a welcoming drink. Unfortunately the information that we received about facilities was poor and we had to discover by ourselves some of the facilities. Our room a premium deluxe room 14 was at the far end of the lodge offering us peace and relaxation.
The room:
Our room was huge with 2 beds, a sofa, a safe, fan and ventilator (no A/C by the way), a fridge where you can find some complimentary drinks (2 cokes, 2 light cokes and 2 plus 100). The lodge offers complimentary tea and coffee not only in the room but also at the bar and after meals which is a nice touch. There is a Nespresso machine in the room with 2 varieties of capsules (including decaf). Our room had also a private small pool (0.8 m depth) but it was perfect for cooling down during hot afternoons. There is no proper closet in the room with shelves and this is one of the negatives that the lodge should improve for the future.
Bathroom includes a semi-outdoor shower, 2 sinks and of course the toilet. There was always hot water available for showers and this is a strong point of the lodge mainly considering the location.

Food and drinks:
The room rate includes all the 3 meals and the food is quite good, the lodge showing a wide selection of dishes. Every day you could see different dishes available: potato, mushroom or vegetables soup, rice turmeric, stir fried vegetables, grilled fish in chilli sauce, beef, chicken or prawns, curry vegetables and even tofu. But deserts were a hit or a miss: cheesecake or creme brulee were excelent while chocolate mousse or other cakes were not having a great taste.

The Wildlife and the trails
We have decided to have a private guide and this was a wise decision because it was very flexible for us. Our guide Ned was very good spotting gibbons, orangutans or red leaf monkeys. First day we saw a juvenile orangutan not far from the lobby and we spent almost 2 hrs enjoying the feeding and his jumps. We also went on the nature trail but we did not see too many things. In the afternoon we went for the tubing experience and before starting Ned saw a mother and a baby orangutan hiding in the tall trees. Tubing was great even if it was our first time and it was difficult to control "the rubber vehicle".
In the evening we went for a night walk and it was very exciting. We saw the whip scorpion, stick insect, snakes, palm civet, snake, cave centipede, owls, elephant spider and luminous mushrooms.
Next day we woke up early in the morning and we headed to the viewpoint. The trail is 1.2 km and it's a moderate difficulty climb. On the way to the viewpoint we found a pill millipede and when we have reached the top some gibbons were playing in the trees down below. We have used the binoculars to see the gibbons and it was one of the highlights of our stay.
The view from the top is really spectacular and if you catch the morning mist you will enjoy it even more. On the way back we had a stop at the pool where you can try the fish massage for free.
Our afternoon hike was cancelled due to heavy rain which stopped just in time for the night drive. The truck will take you 4 kms away from the lodge and we were lucky to see a palm civet, bearded pig, rhinocerus hornbill, sambar deer and even a colugo gliding.
Last morning at BRL was spent at The Canopy Walk which should be done early in the morning to enjoy the rainforest mist. 6 trees link the canopy walk on a length of 450 m. The views are breathtaking. After finishing The Canopy Walk Ned heard some noise on the nearby trail and he tried to spot an orangutan. He looked for it for 15 mins and when we were almost ready to give up my wife spot him relaxing on a branch. It was an alpha male over 130 kg very big like we have never seen before. It was interesting to see how he was braking the branches and throw them to the ground. It was the last mammal spotting while at BRL.

Other facilities of the lodge
There is a special place where you can dry your hiking shoes and leech socks after you have wash them. There is also a gift shop from where you can buy leech socks (25 MYR), dry fit clothes for the trails (don't use cotton t-shirts because they will not dry), icecream, books about Borneo or raincoats.
A presentation about the rainforest is held every day at 2.30 PM and you will find out more about what you need to bring and how you need to behave in the rainforest.
Wifi is available only in the lobby and is slow.

Things to be improved
Even if we have stayed in a Premium Deluxe Chalet there were some things that the lodge can improve: A/C was missing in the rooms but the staff could enjoy it in the office area, slippers were missing also from the room and there was no proper closet to keep the clothes. The staff was not well trained and the bar service was generally slow, taking 20-25 mins for a drink to be served. We were on our honeymoon and the staff was not informed or they forgot so I had to underline this when they wanted to charge us for the cocktails included in our honeymoon package.

Overall it was a great experience and we are thinking to repeat it somewhere in the future hopefully if the lodge will improve the things already highlighted.

Room Tip: Premier Deluxe Chalets are the newest ones so I highly recommend them!
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Mikiduta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2017 via mobile

We are looked after in a professional and friendly manner from the moment we arrived at Lahad Datu to our departure. The driver was hawk-eyed and pointed out several animals on the way to the lodge, including a pygmy elephant.

The lodge itself is situated by a river with an amazing jungle panorama. The main eating and congregating area was very tidy with attentive staff. The food was excellent and plentiful, with a great nature spotting view - beware huge insects at night.

The rooms were a little tired but we were told that they are all being upgraded next year - they might lose some of the charm but they will be fully air conditioned and a lot smarter. A river view is worth the extra cost. We did get pretty hot at night but that will ask change after the upgrade.

The spa was a real experience - jungle noises and a secluded cabin by the forest.

Our guide was great and I think we were lucky to see so much in such a short time. 4 orangutans on 3 separate occasions amongst other things. The cliff walk is fun but make sure that you visit the Fairy falls on the way back, the path isn't that bad.

The main annoyance was that the morning watchtower experience is rather expensive and is a flat rate per person of over £45. We thought it was great but it's a hefty cost all the same.

WiFi is slow but that's not surprising. Drinks are reasonably priced. Overall we had a fantastic time and would recommend to anyone looking for things to do in Sabah.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank bcat2517
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2017 via mobile

This was the luxurious end of our 3 week trip to Borneo. The collection and transfer to the office and briefing was very good. They described the journey, conditions and loo breaks which was wise as it's 2.5 hrs on bumpy un made roads and we were lucky as it hadn't rained too much so wasn't as bumpy as it cld have been. Ask for a new lodge. Ours was one of the older ones and was lovely but the newer ones are very modern. We arrived for lunch and were delighted to have hot food! There was a mixture of Eastern and Western with great views over the river. We purchased leech socks in the shop. Don't get them in the UK as they are very expensive and £5 in the shop. You can use gaters or long socks too. Wear dry fit sportswear NOT cotton as it won't dry. Wear walking boots or shoes as it is muddy. We had a briefing from our guide on what we would be doing, again very good but at this point it would be worth them mentioning dehydration! Humidity is 100% even if you drink plenty drink the complimentary 100 plus can from fridge. Three of us aged 14, 25 and 52 had symptoms and put it down to a tummy bug. This did spoil some of our stay as I missed 3 walks! When my daughter asked reception for pain killers as my headache was so bad they immediately said it's dehydration and gave her 4 rehydratiom sachets to add to water. Within 10 mins my headache had gone. symptoms include, stomach cramp, diarrhoea, headache, loss of appetite for food or fluid, tiredness, weakness, feeling of fullness and burping.

Anyway on our first walk just outside the lodge we saw over 10 red leaf monkeys, they were jumping from tree to tree and it was amazing. The morning walk to the burial site and view point was really good. It's hard in the humidity even though distance wise it's not far it's quite steep but for all those with general fitness you will be fine. We saw orangutangs and lots of bugs and enjoyed the waterfall and swim at the bottom.

The rooms have high ceilings and fans and the temperature was bearable but as others have mentioned for the price paid the lodge need to add air conditioning. The conference room and shop are air conditioned. This is a professional, we'll run hotel with great service. Our spa treatment was very good.

It.might also be worth the hotel checking groups for levels of fitness as this cld be an issue if you want to go at a faster pace than the slowest person in your group. We had a small group and our guide paced the walk well so all cld manage it. Walking sticks are available and these really help when walking on steep muddy uneven paths.

Amazing place, great food, a little more attention on conditions i.e. Ease of being dehydrated and it would have been perfect.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank Kerry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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