Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Traveller (465)
Dining (13)
An authentic jungle experience. Feel yourself comfortable while being in a jungle.
Room & Suite (3)
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About

5.0
#1 of 2 special resorts in Sandakan
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
A charming resort tucked in the wilderness of Lower Kinabatangan surrounding the pristine freshwater swamps and mangrove forest. An exclusive nature retreat, distance away from the crowded city and the busy ‘tourists’ areas of Sabah! It is recognized internationally as an important wetland area and an attraction for people who find solace in the presence of the wilds and its stunning wildlife. Abai village is the nearest access to LOWER KINABATANGAN SEGAMA WETLANDS, located 50km or about an hour and a half boat ride from Sandakan harbour. It borders the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, one of the most important wildlife refuge in Malaysia, which over the centuries has evolved 5 distinct habitats: waterlogged and dry forests, saline and freshwater swamps and limestone forests, each contributing towards some of the most diverse concentrations of wildlife in Borneo.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Public wifi
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Entertainment staff
Airport transportation
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Special diet menus
Outdoor furniture
Room features
Air conditioning
Desk
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Safe
Flatscreen TV
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Bottled water
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Charming
Languages Spoken
English, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay

Location

Abai, Kinabatangan River, Sandakan 90000 Malaysia
Getting there
Sandakan Airport
46.9 km
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Lahad Datu Airport
76.6 km
See all flights
277Reviews21Q+A39Room tips
Traveller rating
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Detailed Reviews
kaet79 wrote a review Jan 2020
melbourne71 contributions14 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We did extensive research before deciding that whilst it was expensive, Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort had such great reviews particularly about the tours, that we would book. We are very glad we did. The resort is isolated within the jungle with beautiful rooms - ours was a new or newly renovated villa with a double and single, great food and most importantly, great river cruises. We saw a wild orangatang which was very special, as well as a number of proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, birds, snakes and more. The only thing we missed out on was the trip to the fishing village - possibly because there were only 2 other guests and as they departed that morning our first morning cruise finished earlier. We were a little disappointed about this particularly as we weren't told. It was partly made up by the offer to stop by a fishing village and buy giant river prawns which my husband loves and the chef kindly cooked for us. Great service and accommodation and wild borneo jungle made for a great trip.
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
A&U wrote a review Feb 2020
Reading, United Kingdom14 contributions8 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a fabulous holiday at the KWR resorts on the Kinabatangan river

The resort is beautiful with large rooms set amidst a lovely green jungle. The staff were brilliant, friendly and helpful led by their manager JR who also doubles up every night on his guitar to entertain the guests. The food was also delicious. A few maintenance issues with hot water were dealt with promptly by JR

Finally it’s the wildlife that makes this a special place and with the help of Max our wonderful guide and Captain Anday ably steering the boat we saw pygmy elephants, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langurs and macaques, squirrels , snakes and lots of birds including 5 species of kingfisher, hornbills leaf birds and 3 species of sunbirds. Lots of diverse wildlife but you need patience and luck and don’t expect the density to match wildlife viewing in Africa or bird life in the Pantanal. We stayed for 4 nights and were very lucky with sightings.

Overall a lovely experience, marred a bit at the end as the resort management led by an officious head office manager literally hounded us out of the resort as quick as they could to make way for the arrival of “VIP customers who were flying in on a private jet”.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
gw7654 wrote a review Feb 2020
Ipswich, United Kingdom13 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is an excellent resort where the staff can’t do enough to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The accommodation was spacious and well maintained, the food was excellent and the staff even provided musical entertainment in the evening. The safaris’ on the river were well done with knowledgeable guides and boat captains. The highlight was to see orangutans in the wild just feeding in the trees without any concern for the humans in the boat staring at them.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Birdman44 wrote a review Jun 2023
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom101 contributions101 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at this lodge for two nights.
Our cabin was lovely and spacious and well appointed. This is quite a small lodge and it was quiet and relaxing. The food was excellent.
The boat trips were very good. We had our own guide and used one of the lodges boatmen to take us out. We saw a good range of animals and birds.
The lodge were very flexible on timings for meals which made it easier for us to get the best out of our stay.
Our only negative was regarding the laundry. The lodge clearly states that it has a laundry. The weather during our visit was very hot and humid and whilst we had hand washed some clothes we were relying on the laundry at this lodge.
The manager was far from helpful. Apparently they don’t have a drier so rely on drying washing naturally. This is a rain forest area so it rains a lot! June is one of the drier months so it would seem unlikely that the conditions are ever perfect for them. We hand washed a large amount of washing and got it dry. Perhaps the lodge could offer to put clothes through the washing machine and spin dry them for guests. We have dry bags so if washing doesn’t dry we can always pack it.
A more constructive offer of help would have been appreciated.
There is tea and coffee in the rooms with hot water provided. A hairdryer is available on request.
Overall a very nice stay. I have marked my score down due to the laundry issue.
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Date of stay: June 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Buggy78 wrote a review Jul 2023
Moscow, Russia18 contributions20 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
From the moment you step in on the land from a wonderful boat transfer you feel very welcome! The team is caring and very professional. Starting with the guides, who see what you never thought could be seen in such a distance, continuing with the chef that makes very delicious meals. The last, but not the least - the team that takes care of your room to be clean! It was spotless :) The chalet is spacious, the bed is very cosy, the view from almost panoramic window is  so beautiful, you can enjoy jungles straight from your bed :) I even had my own flying lemur waiting for me on  a tree next to my terrace for both days of my stay.  My only regret is that I had only two nights stay, it is definitely not enough, at least (!!!) three, the more - the better! During just few safaris we managed to see so many animals like proboscis monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, lots of birds species and even an orang-utan in a wild, The beautiful final was a fireflies tree at night, I felt like I was in a fairytale, night, moon, absolute silence, river and a tree full of fireflies that looked like a natural christmas tree. My special thanks to Jheyar, who  was my guiding angel during this trip! Hope to return to this place and definitely recommend it to everyone!
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Date of stay: June 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Alexis D wrote a review Jan 2020
Boston, Massachusetts41 contributions72 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The remote location of this resort is amazing. The chalets are quite big and beautifully appointed, with private decks and a huge picture window for wildlife spotting from the comfort of your room.

The staff was super attentive and our guide (Ande) was awesome. We saw so many orangutan, proboscis monkeys, macaques, hornbills...it was amazing. He also took us out on a night cruise where we saw the "christmas trees" filled with little lightning bugs.
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Date of stay: December 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
lemur_chica wrote a review Jun 2022
Huntington Beach229 contributions183 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Some of our best photos from our 12 day trip through Borneo were taken on River cruises at KWR. We opted for a private guide, which I recommend. Max was our guide and was an expert at finding wildlife while our baat driver (I’m sorry I can’t remember his name) was amazingly skilled at maneuvering the boat for the perfect picture. Max suggested combining our afternoon cruise with the evening cruise. I’m so glad we did this because I noticed a lot of people who came back for dinner didn’t go out afterwards. They missed out on a beautiful sunset. Also Max and the boat driver located sleeping kingfishers at night. We got incredible shots of these birds that normally fly away as soon as you focus the camera. The light of Max’s flashlight didn’t disturb them at all! We also got amazingly shots of an orangutan close to the rivers edge. Max anticipated where he was headed and we were perfectly positioned almost under the tree he was climbing. We got several great photo opportunities with the probiscus monkey troops too. Of note, we did not need insect repellent here at all!

Now for the not so great part: Perhaps this was due to recently reopening after Covid, but the food was sub par. Most of the dishes were battered and deep fried in what seemed like old oil. The main protein for lunch one day was deep fried chicken wings from really tiny chickens. We wish we had brought more protein bars for sustenance. The beef in the curry was fatty and had the texture of leather. At least there was steamed rice and some good sautéed vegetables. One morning there were scrambled eggs, which initially looked edible, but we found they were grayish as we dug in. Since there haven’t been any reviews posted since 2020 and past reviewers all mentioned the good food, hopefully KWR can address the food problem for future visitors.

Despite the food issue we still highly recommend KWR. The staff is caring and helpful and the guides are great. Well worth the visit as part of your Borneo exploration.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
JohnandTricia wrote a review Sept 2022
Scotland101 contributions185 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spent two nights here on tour and really liked it. Set in the forest near the river, we had a deluxe chalet which was very impressive for such a location. Huge bedroom/lounge beautifully furnished, large shower room with external shower if you wanted it and balcony. All immaculate, with TV, A/C, tea/coffee facilities. An oasis of comfort to go out exploring and return to.
Meals served in the main restaurant/bar buffet style were excellent and staff friendly and anxious to please. WIFI only available at reception and sometimes in restaurant, bit slow but ok.
Most of your time is out on boats with the guide Omar and a boatman who work hard to help you see as much wildlife as possible. Always a bit luck and weather dependant but we were fortunate to see a lot with their help, including elephants.
Would return any time.
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
101Amanda wrote a review Apr 2023
United Kingdom140 contributions105 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We loved the boat trips, the location and the amazing animals that surrounded the area. The chalet was nice, but tired, a few things broken , the shower door outside wouldn't open probably. There was tea and coffee but no way to boil the water. We had to ask for extra towels every day for my long hair, and were told no we only got one. There was bottled water in the room, but it wasnt topped up we had to chase. I struggled with the food and this is the first place I have ever been where I was hungry. For lunch it was curry and rice every day meat or fish and much the same at dinner, there were no choices ... lots of bones. For me it was awful, so 3 days was enough of living off a piece of toast at breakfast. The boat trips were fabulous, 6.30 am, back around 9, then out again at 430 back around 630. The time in between however was spent reading in our chalet, or walking the boardwalk for 30 mins. There was no comunal area where you could sit, in a comfy seat, chat to other guests unless you sat in the restaurant. It wouldn't take much to set up such an area. There were quite a few children who struggled with the food and were bored . . there was table tennis or a dart board. Perhaps the guides could deliver some talks during the day about the wildlife, flora and fauna. There were no snacks to buy which I think was an oversight. There was talk of a swimming pool I hope that happens as it will make a huge difference. Annis our guide was fabulous... the boat trips as I said were more than memorable.
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Date of stay: April 2023
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
X P wrote a review Sept 2023
28 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The transfer to the resort was very comfortable. If someone is sensitive to drafts, they should bring a scarf. The staff was very friendly. The road to the resort is picturesque, and from the last turn, it's simply marvelous. The resort's pier is also very scenic.

The cottages are spacious and comfortable, with cozy beds, nice balconies, and beautiful surroundings. The bedding and toilets were clean, but unfortunately, the towels were very very dirty. Some cleaning is needed for the bed headboard and bathroom walls.

The food was at a cafeteria level but OK.

However, the most important aspect of this place is nature, which is beautiful. During the river cruise, we saw lots of birds, monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, and insects. Unfortunately, we couldn't spot any orangutans or elephants.

There were very few mosquitoes on the resort's grounds.

Air Condition was super.
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Date of stay: August 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Take your own towels.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Red1Bristol
Dursley, United Kingdom76 contributions20 helpful votes
I would recommend a lightweight poncho for any downpours.
Answer from kaet79
melbourne71 contributions14 helpful votes
There is always tea and coffee in the dining area. The room didn't have a kettle. One day there was a jug of hot water. There is a tipping box in the dining area.
Answer from Alan J
25 contributions5 helpful votes
There are now 15 Chalets built or almost complete. Number 9
Answer from JoJo
Portsmouth, United Kingdom509 contributions170 helpful votes
Hi there, your baggage will be fine. I believe 20kg is the limit. We both had large suitcases nearing this weight. We paid £1564 for the 3D2N at KWR and 2D2N in Sandakan, excluding flights
Answer from JoJo
Portsmouth, United Kingdom509 contributions170 helpful votes
Hi there, am jealous of your impending visit. No signs of leeches when we visited in June. We simply wore shorts and T-shirt’s / vest tops. Footwear is what ever is comfortable for getting on and off a boat. I would avoid flip flops. Long sleeved top for the night river cruise if possible but apart from that I would honestly dress for the heat and stay cool. I didn’t get any mosquito bites my other half just the 1. I wasn’t prepared forthe evening board walk and I was just in sandals but ideally I would have worn comfortable shoes, it’s all flat. I put too much effort Into thinking about clothes and ended up packing too much and simply wearing my ‘holiday’ wardrobe.
Graham L wrote a tip May 2024
23 contributions20 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"See previous comment and buy some king prawns from the local village. "
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Julie W wrote a tip Apr 2024
Denmark, Australia187 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring a good attitude and enjoy"
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uk_pathfinder wrote a tip Jan 2024
Castle Bromwich, United Kingdom103 contributions43 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take a raincoat"
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X P wrote a tip Sept 2023
28 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take your own towels."
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Resort466501 wrote a tip Sept 2023
6 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Pack lots of waterproofs, quick dry clothing and footwear. And bug spray!"
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LOCATION
MalaysiaSabahSandakan DivisionSandakan
NUMBER OF ROOMS
20
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KINABATANGAN WETLANDS RESORT: UPDATED 2024 Reviews and 477 Photos (Sandakan) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort
What are some of the property amenities at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
Which room amenities are available at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort?
Top room amenities include air conditioning, a flat screen TV, and a desk.
What food & drink options are available at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Does Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort have airport transportation?
Yes, Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay.
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