Borneo features a full range of properties, from remote jungle lodges, marine park bungalows, local guesthouses, to world-class luxury beach resorts and atmospheric jungle lodges. Explore a handful of our top choices below.
A stunning oceanfront resort surrounded by natural beauty of jungle and ocean, only a ten-minute drive away from the airport. The city center is not far away and the five coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park sit just off the coast of the resort.
Relax, enjoy a sunset cruise, departing from STAR Marina, to view Borneo's famous sunset. Not long after, wind down at Coco-Joe's Bar & Grill. Lounging atop one of the beach-dining platforms, over cocktails and a delectable seafood tower, you continue to enjoy the sound of overlapping waves on the shores of Sunset Beach. A pampering session at CHI, The Spa rounds off the day. With treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, you lose yourself in an enchanted and indulgent journey, all on the resort's private spa island.
Resort Notes: The resort's tropical architectural design and layout allows ventilation from the tropical air to cool down the temperature and circulate around the resort. Also consider the nearby Rasa Ria Resort set within a nature preserve.
Sepilok only provides simple but comfortbale bungalows in its dramatic rainforest setting. Twin bed chalets border the protected area (it is actually not uncommon to have Orang Utans or pythons wandering around among the chalets) and perfectly integrated with the surrounding forest.
The resort is set in beautiful tropical gardens, and delicious meals and drinks are available in a stunning setting overlooking the lake and forest.
Each chalet features beautiful lake or jungle view verandas and private bathrooms with hot water; the sprawling surrounding garden, which would take half a day to explore, offers and amazing array of tropical plants and grasses and a collection of more than one hundred and fifty different Asian orchid species.
Situated on the fringes of Borneo's lush tropical wilderness, Rasa Ria is an opulent and expansive resort enveloped by a sprawling 400-acre nature reserve. With a pristine two-mile velvet sand beach at its doorstep, this grand retreat offers a perfect blend of luxury and natural beauty. Embark on thrilling wildlife encounters, indulge in exceptional cuisine, and choose from a plethora of engaging land-based and aquatic activities. Look no further for an unforgettable experience filled with abundant nature and endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure.
Nestled in a serene tranquility, Rasa Ria offers a serene beach and pool escape worlds away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Kota Kinabalu. Here, revel in a sense of calm. The resort features a pristine two-mile stretch of beach, waters notably cleaner compared to those off the coast of nearby Gaya Island. Many choose to bypass Kota Kinabalu entirely, using Rasa Ria as a home base to venture into and explore the surrounding rainforest. A variety of hikes, tours, and adventures excursions, allow one to enjoy the legendary natural wonders of the area.
The expansive resort has been artfully divided into two distinct sections: the Ocean Wing, exuding an exclusive and adult-focused atmosphere, and the Garden Wing, favored by families seeking activities. All rooms feature traditional Malaysian decor. The property offers an open-plan layout for a sense of spaciousness, allowing guests to unwind in comfort without feeling crowded. An abundance of towering palm trees adorn the emerald lawns, creating a picturesque setting.
An array of restaurants (including Indian, Malay, Japanese, and International venues) lounge areas, swimming pools, yoga classes, live entertainment, nature walks, bird watching, and other arranged activities offer little reason to venture beyond the resort boundaries boundaries. Swimming pools resemble blue tropical lagoons. Activities include a putting green, a tennis court, and a croquet lawn, as well as a watersports center where kayaks and paddleboards can be rented. Adjacent to the resort is an 18-hole golf course, offering discounted rates for guests to enjoy a round of golf. The spa offers a range of traditional Malaysian and international treatments.
Our take: The Ocean Wing is recommended for its 173 elegant and spacious rooms, all equipped with modern coffee machines and large TVs, and bright, marble-clad bathrooms featuring sizable walk-in showers. The balconies deserve special mention, providing breathtaking vistas of the ocean and boasting enormous whirlpool tubs, allowing you to soak in both the views while relaxing. For those who enjoy a challenge, the premier hike in Borneo—Mount Kinabalu—can be arranged from the resort.
Lankayan Island Dive Resort offers simple elegant accommodation in all 23 wooden, roomy and well-appointed seafront chalets. The comfortable wooden chalets are built entirely from locally-sourced natural materials. Rooms are airy and interiors decorated with colorful fabrics and carved wooden furniture. Every chalet has its own private balcony and direct access to the beach. Dine at the beautiful open-air wooden terrace surrounded by swaying casuarinas, the ideal spot for after dinner relaxation and chatting, all the while admiring the dozens of juvenile black tip sharks swimming leisurely a few feet beneath. Check out the sunset bar for an evening BBQ and enjoy the panoramic view of the sun surrendering for the day.
Despite the remoteness the resort offers all the amenities of a tropical island resort and are well-appointed and equipped with hot bath, coffee and tea making facilities, mini refrigerator, and fresh water from mainland. Power is available with 220 V or 110 V. A media room is available for viewing the day's video shots or stills taken during your dives and internet access is available at the resort's main building which between 8am and 11pm. A boutique with souvenirs and necessities and water sports gear for diving, snorkeling and ocean kayaking at the dive center round out the facilities. Water sport gears and equipments for diving, snorkeling and ocean kayaking activities are available for rental at the dive center. A small shop that sells souvenirs such as postcards, T-shirts, and some necessities such as sd cards, batteries, and toiletries, is within the central open building.
A dramatic isolated location on the Danum River with a stunning backdrop of towering virgin rainforest in the bucolic Danum Valley. A destination to consider if seeing Orangutans and rare birds in the wild is a desire.
The award winning lodge is situated within a remote area of 43,800 hectares of protected 130 million year-old virgin rainforest in the Danum Valley Conservation Area. An astounding variety of biodiversity is on display here, including over 200 species of plants per hectacre, hundreds of species of birds and of mammals, including Orangutans in the wild.
Each of the 30 chalets features beautiful lake or jungle view verandas and private bathrooms with hot water; the sprawling surrounding garden, which would take half a day to explore, offers and amazing array of tropical plants and grasses. Spot gibbon, orangutans, owls, leopard cats, hornbills, butterflies and more closeby.
Activities include river tubing, waterfalls, early morning canopy and night walks. Outstanding food and service. Amenities include massage, spa, hot tub and Wifi in the main building.
Due to its remote location and travel time, and increasing chances of spotting Orangutans and other wildlife in a natural setting, we recommend a minumum stay of four days and three nights.
The legendary and award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge nestles on the banks of one of Borneo's most important waterways, the Kinabatangan River, home to many of Borneo's magnificent wildlife. The Lodge is rustic, simple lodging, but the location is astonishing, the ideal place to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the rainforest and the cacophony of its inhabitants, majestic birds, all seven species of Borneo Primates including Borneo's iconic Proboscis Monkey, Orangutans in their natural habitat as well as herds of Borneo Pygmy Elephants.
Situated a rich jungle setting, all of the lodge's 20 rooms have solar-powered ceiling fans, mosquito netting, and en suite facilities with hot water. Other facilities include an open dining area, library, and lounge area with traditional cane and bamboo furniture. There is also a hanging garden facing all the rooms and an open sun-deck which doubles as a atmospheric candlelit eating area in the evenings.
Sakau is recognized as a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World—one of only 25 worldwide—and the only one in Southeast Asia. Ecological efforts include using electric motors for all river boats and providing a wide range of eco-friendly facilities considering its remote location. A plunge pool offers relief from the heat and there are well-designed communal areas for relaxing after exploration of the river and jungle. In addition to exceptional wildlife spotting opportunities, guests can enjoy foot massages, nightly wildlife talks hosted by a resident expert, and explore the lodge's lush trails.