It’s truly difficult to know where to start with our hosts and their accommodation but we’ll give it a go!!!
Myself, Wife and Daughter (15) booked to stay 20th and 21st August. The booking process and communication was exceptional from the start! All our questions and concerns were promptly answered and addressed.
We had arrived in Sandakan late in the evening of the 19th having stayed at the Four Points Sheraton. The following morning, and as arranged, we were picked up by Gert from reception. During our initial journey Gert proceeded to advise that we would be collecting 3 additional couples and then during the journey also explained, in detail, what events and activities were scheduled for the following 2/3 days!
Upon collecting the renaming guests we were introduced to one and other and then began the journey to Bilit (The Village of the Lodge). This journey is a pleasant one, takes around 1 1/2 - 2hrs depending on the traffic and included a short convenience / coffee break.
During the journey and something I would strongly recommend you do is talk to Jason (He was astonishing throughout)!
Prior to arriving at the lodge I would recommend, if you’ve not already been advised/told, that you sort out your clothes etc for only the essentials you will need for the duration of your stay (essential clothing / attire below).
The climb.....yes it is circa 600 steps, yes it’s humid, yes it’s hot and yes YOU ARE IN THE JUNGLE :) the climb to the top is a challenge but it’s great exercise and fun all at the same time.....I personally found it a lot easier to do bare foot! And yes was sweating (wet through) when I reached the top!
You’re welcomed by a cold drink and shortly afterward shown to your room(s) where you can settle in to before having a light and lovely lunch after which you’re advised what time you need to be ready for the evenings boat ride (The Activities below).
We only usually saw Jason during meal and down time.....not to say that he was sitting with his feet up (😉) in fact far from it......he was prepping the restaurant for our meal time and cooking with the other chaps at the lodge!
After our meals we sat playing UNO (card game) chatting to Jason and the other guest, who were all fantastic! And taking in the sublime views of the rainforest. We had a few soft and alcoholic drinks (which are all reasonably priced)
1st afternoon activity - We all met at the top of the steps, around 15:30, before descending down the steps, through a small rough area, into the local village and then on to the boat! Our capital was Rodell, a smashing chap from the Philippines who has a wife and 18mth old back at home. He was absolutely exceptional throughout and took us on all of the boat tips.....his knowledge and eye for spotting the wildlife is utterly unbelievable.....how he spotted some of the snakes and lizards was beyond me!!!
During our initial trip we were fortunate enough to spot a crocodile (very briefly), all the main monkeys, loads of amazing birds and beautifully stunning views of the Kinabatang River!
We then ventured back to jetty, back up the steps (great workout again) and readied ourselves for the evening meal!
1st Mornings activity - We were up early, around 07:00, and after our delicious breakfast we headed in to the rainforest and began our climb to the highest point in the region/area, around 09:00. It was a fun but demanding climb yet at the same time rewarding and achievable for all levels of fitness! We were fortunate enough to see a small pack of Silver Leaf monkeys which were tremendous but the views......and again the knowledge of Rodell made it all the more special!
1st Day Downtime - before and after lunch! A great opportunity to take in more of your surroundings and get to know the guests or perhaps even a little nap :)
1st Evenings Boat Trip - Again
We followed the same route down to the jetty and all hopped on to the boat! The weather, was again, beautiful and as soon as you set off the breeze helped to cool you down and dry you up a little (much needed in my case). We were all desperate to try and spot an Orangutans, elephant or Crocodiles and believe me Rodell did absolutely everything he could to try and spot/find some.....he even took us along a section off the main river which he was unsure we’d be able to travel through as the water level was low....fortunately we made it but in the end the crocs, elephants and Orangutans were all hiding......it’s fair to say that everyone really wants to see the three BIG ONES.....but that aside you don’t end up disappointed, in fact far from it! Mainly because the journey along the river, the monkeys and our guide were exceptional and made every moment super special!
THE FOOD.......Well It was fantastic!
Welcome Meal - A light, but plentiful, spaghetti bolignase bolognese was fresh, tasty and just right to see us through to the evening meal!
1st Breakfast - We were presented with pancakes, bananas, fresh cream and a sweet toffee sauce.....you might want to consider that all the meals have all been really well thought out for the types of activities that you undertake......energy and slow release carbs! In addition when our daughters breakfast it arrived with her name written in pancake batter and lightly fried.......a lovely heartfelt touch.
1st Evening Meal - We started with corn soup and garlic bread! Then followed a traditional Malaysian rice dish (radang) which again was freshly prepared and super tasty.
This was followed by water melon and then some Duran as Jason had picked up one of these up....An interesting fruit this 🤣
2nd Days Lunch - Nasi Lemak which was home made and super delicious.
2nd Days Evening Meal - Starting again with Corn Soup (delicious and home made) and Garlic Bread followed by Chicken roulade, mashed potatoes and cauliflower.......again all home made and deliciously flavoursome! This was followed be water mellow :)
3rd Breakfast - We has poached eggs, toast and sausage roll! It was really pleasing to be given the choice of eggs!
ESSENTIAL CLOTHING / ATTIRE:
1st evening boat trip required flip flops / slippers, light T-shirt and shorts for the walk up/down and the boat ride! You will also need a waterproof jacket/poncho, torch (phone camera light is good enough), water (use theirs from the natural spring) and insect/mozzie repellent.
Evening meal - something light/loose fitting
2nd day/1st morning - you’ll be hiking so suitable footwear, walking/long socks and long trousers / leggings that ideally you can tuck into your socks.... a light top is also a good ideal and persons something to dab you forehead with as it’s a hefty climb!
2nd day/2nd afternoon - same as first day
3 and final morning something light to travel back in!
Being from the UK we are always advised not to drink water from a tap abroad and the same applies here however if you take a couple of of empty plastic/reusable bottles the guys will fill them from their natural spring......this is natural spring which is filtered three times and then boiled and is perfectly safe to consume.....we drank loads of it throughout the whole of our stay and had NO ISSUES at all!
Jason - I couldn’t write a review of The Last Frontier without a special mention for Jason! His attentiveness, knowledge, experiences, food and all round nature is truly admirable and something more people should aspire towards! His passion not only for his guests but the wider community, with consideration and emphasis on the environmental factors affecting, not only Bilit, Borneo and Malaysia but the entire planet is something that we can all learn from! Overall Jason you made our stay incredible and we hope....and expect to return to see you in the future!
Overall this is, by far, one of the best places that we, as a family, have ever stayed! There are no negatives and we can’t recommend The Last Frontier highly enough to ALL types and groups of travellers.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! You will be remembered fondly!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC