Looking for somewhere to stay in Sepilok? Read our review of The Sepilok Forest Edge Resort and discover why you need to book a room here.
Tucked away in the Bornean jungle, Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is a serene collection of lodges where you can immerse yourself in jungle life. As one of the few hotels near Sepilok orangutan sanctuary, we knew we had to stay there.
Bridging the gap between luxury (though we use that word lightly; this is a far-from-luxe experience) and a more rustic approach to travel. We stayed here in late 2022 and – spoiler alert – absolutely loved it.
Read on to learn more about our experience.
Staying at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort
We won’t leave you guessing; the room – and the entire experience, to be honest – was excellent. Sepilok Forest Edge Resort cost us RM391 for the night and exceeded expectations in terms of comfort.
The room was about as close as you’re going to get to luxury in the jungle. Dame Judi Dench has even stayed there, a fact we were pretty excited about.
The staff showed us to our room; we were situated along a cobbled path towards the back of the resort. The room had a double bed in the centre, as well as ample space to store luggage and hang clothing. We also had a place to hide our important belongings.
Rooms and Amenities
The bed was very comfy, plenty big enough for two and then some. Keep the windows and doors shut – our room got hijacked by a lizard who made himself at home on the ceiling.
We were also warned of bats outside our front door, however they were no bother at all. We just left the outdoor light on at night so that they didn’t leave a mess outside the rooms.
The bathroom was equally clean and spacious, and we had both an indoor and outdoor shower (though we didn’t brave an outdoor scrub). There were even amenities such as a hairdryer tucked away in one of the desk drawers which was appreciated.
The resort boasts a small pool, overlooked by the seating at The Nest (the onsite restaurant – more on that in a bit). The pool is very small, but it’s not too much of an issue as you don’t really want to spend too much time out under the blistering Malay sun anyway.
The staff were a delight, they were so helpful throughout the stay and offered to book us onto any extra excursions such as night walk. We didn’t do this on our trip but spoke to people who did and absolutely loved it.
One important thing to note is that there really weren’t too many monkeys in the vicinity. In fact, we saw zero in the hotel area, and just a couple on the roads outside – it was a nice retreat from the crowds of cheeky macaques we experienced later on in the trip.
Dining at The Nest
We ate our way around The Nest’s menu throughout our two days in Sepilok, mainly out of convenience, but also because the food was good. In hindsight, we definitely should have done some more research before the trip because there are other great places to eat in the area that we would’ve liked to try.
The menu is a pretty standard selection of burgers, curries, pizzas, and sharing plates. The standouts were the burgers and the chicken curry (we adore Malay chicken curry and this one was particularly delectable). Drinks-wise, you won’t go wrong with the milkshakes and the mocktails.
Breakfast was fine, considering the price of the rooms and the fact it was included. There was toast, cereals, and fruit – not the wildest selection but certainly enough to fill the hungriest of bellies. Throw in unlimited coffee, tea, and juice and it definitely managed to set us up for the day.
Heading into Sepilok from Sandakan Airport? Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is located around 30 minutes away.
We opted to get a Grab from the airport (it was super cheap), but you can also arrange a car in advance via the AirAsia app.
Once you’re in Sepilok, Grab’s service is pretty bad, which is to be expected. We spent some time trying to call one from the Rainforest Discovery Centre to no avail. To be honest, the attractions within Sepilok are in walking distance from eachother (the Rainforest Centre is slightly further away); we just didn’t fancy trekking two miles in the sweltering heat.
But don’t worry, Forest Edge’s reception staff are more than happy to call a taxi and arrange transport for you. Of course, these taxis are not metred; it’s a charge-what-they-fancy kind of situation and a little bit iffy. Haggling with the driver is key.
Looking for hotels near Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary? The major draw of staying at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is that it’s right on the doorstep of the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the Sun Bear Sanctuary, and the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
Sepilok Forest Edge Resort: Practical Information
We stayed at this Sepilok hotel for a night before heading off on a Kinabatangan safari experience and found it to be the perfect gateway to a more rural jungle experience.
Wondering how much we paid for this Sepilok hotel? We personally paid 391RM for our stay in October but rates start at RM340 per night, which works out to be around $78/£64.