Finding a piece of luxury on a backpackers budget is no easy feat. But that is exactly why I got when I booked into Sepilok Forest Edge Resort. Wooden bungalows set in the jungle with fantastic food, and a pool. What more could you want?! There are three reasons why I fell in love with Sepilok Forest Edge Resort:
- The people – the staff were super friendly and helpful
- The food. I literally attempted to try everything on their menu… and everything was amazing
- The location and atmosphere. A true jungle hideaway
I had been hesitant to book too many nights at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort as it is a little bit outside of Sandakan, which is the main city in the area. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be much to do and with no easy access to the town I would feel trapped. I definitely didn’t feel trapped… in fact I had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the place when it was time to leave.
We arrived at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort after doing the Mt Kinabalu hike, I was suffering from muscle fatigue and was in need of a rest. As I had gotten the booking dates wrong, we arrived a day early. Lucky for us the staff was very accommodating and extended our stay, checking us in with no problems. Almost immediately, I felt myself begin to relax.
Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is in walking distance to the Orangutan and Sun Bear sanctuaries, and it has a pool for chilling out next to. This isnt a place to high activity, but more of a place to unwind and relax. The setting is ideal for disconnecting from the rest of the world. I had also arranged a tour to see Turtle Island, if you are doing this (and i strongly recommend that you do) then you get picked up from Sepilok Forest Edge Resort, I was concerned that it would be too far out of Sandakan… but it’s only about 15 minutes away so it wasn’t a problem at all.
The Details for Sepilok Forest Edge Resort
- Where: Sepilok, which is just outside of the city Sandakan, on the Sabah portion of Borneo, Malaysia
- How Long: 3 nights total, but we broke up our stay with a night on Turtle Island
- Number of Persons: 4 friends
- Cost: $16 AUD of 42RM – per person per night for a four bed dorm
- Website / Hostelworld / TripAdvisor
As I mentioned, Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is outside of the major city. There is quite literally nothing in walking distance of the resort apart from other resorts and the animal sanctuaries. This isn’t a problem as the resort has everything that you would need for a couple of days. If you do want to head into town, you can walk to the highway and jump on one of the public buses for a short 20 minute trip into Sandakan.
Accommodation / Rooms
- Room Size: With four bunkbeds in, the rooms were a little small. However, the bunks were large and comfortable so as long as you kept the floor tidy, it wasn’t a problem.
- Comfort: The beds were extremely comfortable. There was only a fan in the room, no air-con, but this was fine. We slept with the window open to help with air ventilation. Some of the best nights sleep I have ever had… though that may also be due to recovering from my Mt Kinabalu Hike.
- Cleanliness: Everything was very clean, no dust or cobwebs.
- Noise: There was a small communal area just outside our window, and as we were sleeping with the window open meant that if people were sitting there talking it felt as though they were in the room with you. In saying that, I went to bed at 9pm and everyone else around 11pm… so it wasn’t an inconvenience.
- Security: Our door locked, and there were little lockable cabinets at the end of each bunk bed with a power point in it for you to charge your electrical devices while you slept without worry. To be honest, I think I could have left my phone on my bed all day and it would have been perfectly safe.
- Size/amount: For our bungalow of four bed dorms, there were two bathrooms. You hardly had to wait for one to be available so I think this was a perfect amount. They were very large rooms as well.
- Water Pressure: Was really great, I remember choosing to have lukewarm showers… I am not sure if there was a large amount of hot water, but I wouldn’t have wanted a hot shower in the humidity of the area anyway.
- Useability: Although the rooms were very large, there was only one hook for hanging your clothes on. Another couple of hooks would have been a great help.
- Cleanliness: Very clean, there were wooden slats on the floor so that you wouldn’t be standing in any water that hadn’t drained off.
There wasn’t one as they had a restaurant. This was not a hindrance as the food they served was AMAZING. I literally can not rave about how delicious the food was enough. I would have gotten very fat if i had stayed there any longer. Breakfast is complimentary with your accommodation, you just need to purchase the rest of your meals. They are all reasonably priced though and there are healthy and vegetarian options as well!
Staff at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort
I can not rave enough about how helpful everyone was. From booking in early, to assisting with booking tours, to helping one of my friends find her lost phone, everyone was always accommodating and smiling. By the end of our stay I was sad to say goodbye to everyone.
- Internet: The internet was based in the restaurant area only and could be a little patchy at times.
- Tour Desk: The staff were able to help out with everything from booking jungle river cruises to taxi’s
- Breakfast: Toast, cereal, fruit, and a few Malaysian specialities – all included in the price of your room.
- Extra’s: The pool, the lounge chairs, the location, the service.
I loved this place as it was a resort that I could stay at on a backpackers budget. The people and the food were the icing on the cake which have assured that if anyone asks where I recommend staying in Sabah, my first answer is going to be Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.
Check out my Ultimate 2 Week Itinerary for Sabah Borneo for more things to do and places to stay!