Seaside Resort in Sabah - Tempurung Lodge at Kuala Penyu

Tempurung Lodge Kuala Penyu
Seaside Resort in Sabah, called the Tempurung Lodge is one of the best kept secret or true hidden gem of Sabah Borneo. This amazing unique place is located just two and a half hours from the capitol, Kota Kinabalu and is situated deep inside the village of Kuala Penyu.

The great thing about this place is that there are no other resorts around, where you can enjoy 100% privacy here. The rustic Tempurung Lodge is also perched up on a hillside with magnificent views of the South China Sea.

Kuala Penyu Tempurung Lodge
The beautiful Tempurung Lodge in Kuala Penyu
Tempurung Lodge at Kuala Penyu Review

Tempurung Lodge is run by Yanti and Frankie for the last ten years and has been one of the best isolated and romantic places for many couples and families seeking a true beach side holiday minus the crowds.

If you love seclusion with breath taking sunset views and an amazing empty beach, this is definitely the palace you should be at. For the record, Tempurung is Malay for a piece of a coconut, where the palm is easily found all over this part of Kuala Penyu.

Beautiful wooden stair main entrance

Getting to Tempurug Lodge was pretty simple as good friend Arleen offered to drive me there from Kota Kinabalu and on arrival here, I did not expect such a beautiful place hidden away in the middle of nowhere and absolutely private.

After parking the car by the beach, the first thing that welcomed me was the authentic wooden staircase that lead up to the lodge and reception area on the hillside of the beach.

Sabah Tempurung LodgeView of Tempurung Lodge from the beach

I honestly swear that the natural surroundings here were incredibly stunning, with blue skies and sea breeze blowing from every possible direction.

The colours of the greens against the blues were out of this world as I walked up the wooden stairs to the main reception of the Tempurung Lodge.

Photo of Tempurung LodgeRestaurant and reception building view from the room

At the reception, we were given a glass of chilled orange juice and a nice cold towel by the local Sabah girls who work there.

There was only one other couple staying there, so the entire place was just dominated by sounds of the waves breaking on the shore and the ambient nature sounds. How perfect is that?

Kuala Penyu Lodge
The beautiful view of the sea from the main balcony
After the welcome drinks and a little chit chat, I was then ushered to my room where I had to continue back on the wooden walkway to the highest point where the main rooms were.

A large wooden balcony sits up top before entering the hall and rooms. This balcony has some serious views and can easily hold 20-30 people. Imagine having your seaside wedding or private party here!
Tempurung Lodge video from the balcony

Balcony view

Looking around from the wooden balcony, I could only see pure natural beauty from all angles. The main double and family rooms had the sea views from up top and come without air-conditioning.

Honestly, who needs air conditioning when you have the cool sea breeze constantly blowing into your rooms. Note that all rooms come with attached bathroom and hot showers.

Rooms at Tempurung Lodge Kuala Penyu

The place is not your regular five star hotel as it is more of a family run lodge, something that is similar to a Homestay, but managed with passion. Below are some videos of the rooms available at Tempurung Lodge.

Tempurung Lodge Double Room

The above was my room when I stayed here. I honestly thought how I wold make it without the air-conditioning but to my surprise, it was really cozy and nice at night.

Imagine waking up in the morning to the sounds of the waves and birds chirping with the sea breeze blowing in. I could not ask for anything better than this.

Tempurung Lodge Family Room

Tempurung Lodge Dormitory

For those on a budget, the Tempurung lodge offers a dorm which is much cheaper and budget friendly. The dorm is equally comfortable, simple and practical. 

Pictures of Tempurung Lodge Sabah
 Common living room where the main rooms are

The common living room where all rooms are located is a excellent mixture of modern and traditional architecture which was self designed and built by the owners. A side ladder leads up to a small balcony area where one can sit down with a book or just laze around.

Looking around, I saw a picture frame with a photo of a guest with the title 'Longest Staying Customer' at Tempurung Lodge. He stayed for almost three months here, and I can imagine the amazing time he had.

Beach at Kuala PenyuBeach at Tempurung Lodge

So, what does one do at Tempurung Lodge, I asked Arleen. The answer was pretty straight forward - Chilling out, relaxing and absorbing the natural beauty here. Treat this place more like a getaway from it all she said.

I took a walk down to the Kuala Penyu beach that same day and found it to be absolutely peaceful and quiet with only the sounds of waves breaking throughout my walk. I looked left and right to see that the beach here stretched at least two kilometers without any disturbances.

Some of the activities

Activities at Tempurung Lodge Kuala Penyu

Some of the activities that the lodge provides are kayaking, mountain biking, camping, fishing and Kampung visits or local village visits. Most of these are activities pretty Eco-friendly and natural.

A guide is available but you need to let the lodge know before hand or you can simply do it yourself. People living in the vicinity are extremely friendly and you can simply have a conversation with them if you see them.

Sabah Sunset Kuala PenyuBeautiful Sabah Sunset at Tempurung Lodge

Just when I got back, it was in the evening and the sun was setting quickly. With camera in hand, I could not resist taking pictures of one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world and here in Sabah. The colours of the sun stretch out so far that the entire sky was orange in colour.

Sabah Sunset Photo Orange sunset dominating the sky at Tempurung Lodge

Apparently, this sort of sunset is a common sight here in Sabah and I do not deny that it was totally out of this world. At one point during the sunset, the sun rays started to appear out from behind the clouds.

Video of the Sabah Sunset from the top of the Tempurung Lodge

Sabah Best SunsetOne of the best sunsets I have witnessed in Sabah

I saw this and immediately went up to the highest point of the lodge via staircase from the common room to the balcony. It was really amazing to see this kind of sunset and my camera just kept on snapping. One for my sunset picture collection.

Amazing table setting for dinner

Food at Tempurung Lodge

Soon it was dinner and after a good shower, I adjourned to the main reception area lounge where dinner was served. I have to say that a lot of attention to detail was presented here.

Traditional Batik cloth was cleverly used to decorate the dining table and as chair covers, and this created a very Sabahan rustic look which is beautiful.

Local Sabah FoodLocal home cooked Sabah dinner

The food served here was all local home cooked Sabahan food. Most of the time you will experience eating local food and occasionally you may request for something continental.

As far as I know, breakfast, lunch and dinner were all local dishes and was really good. Compliments to the young chef that managed this all by herself.

Fried noodles Sabah styleMorning local Sabah fried noodle breakfast

Exploring Kuala Penyu

The next morning, I was treated to some fantastic home cooked breakfast at the dining area with the morning sea breeze blowing in. Some Sabah style fried noodles with coffee to start up my adventures day.

I had a bicycle trip planned out for me. Arleen and me were to cycle around the village, through some orchards and then on the beach on our way back to the lodge so I needed the energy before this trip.

Sabah Kuala PenyuAmazing scenery along my biking trip

While cycling around the village, we made a stop at one of the local warungs or stalls to have a cup of coffee which we ended up with three cups. From there, we made out way through the local orchards spotting some Sabah birds.

Finally at the end, we came to a picturesque scenery where I only see them in postcards. It was utterly amazing with the blue skies and natural surroundings.

Cycling along the local villages video (A little bumpy)

Sabah beautiful beachArleen's bike on the beach

On the beach, cycling was really fun as there was no one around except for a local fishing boat that came in with the days catch. It was one of the best cycling I had in years with the sea breeze in your face and I did not feel exhausted at all.

Cycling along the beach side at Tempurung Lodge

Tempurung Lodge beach side BBQ area

Finally we reached back to the lodge and made a stop on the beach. As you can see, the Tempurung Lodge has their own patch of land where you can organise a barbecue or have a picnic. The place is also very suitable for a nice quiet beach wedding or party.

Sabah touristGuests arriving at Tempurung Lodge

My conclusion to Tempurung Lodge in Sabah

You have to visit this place if you are seeking absolute peacefulness, isolation and time for yourself. A truly well maintained place that makes it into my 'Hidden Gem' or 'Off The Beaten Path' of Sabah list.

Excellent service is provided while great local home cooking is available. Fun for single travelers seeking nothing but quietness, families that want to bond without the hassle of distractions or romantic couples looking for a great honeymoon or a quality-time-together holiday.

I cannot stress enough on how isolated and beautiful the Tempurung Lodge in Kuala Penyu is. You have to visit this place to fully experience this Hidden Gem of Sabah!

It is so secluded, it is located smack in the middle of nowhere that even locals do not know of this place. So, best head there now as it is absolutely unspoiled and has that natural zen charm.

Tempurung Lodge in Sabah - A 360 degrees video taken from the beach below

Please note they do no do walk-in for dining. So if you have plans, make sure you call the office way before your exploration trip there.

Room Rates at Tempurung Lodge:
  • 12 units standard rooms/chalets - RM135 (US$45) per person/night inclusive of full board. This includes free flow of coffee and tea and usage of the general facilities the lodge offers.
  • 6-Bed Dormitory prices - RM95 (US$32) per person/night full board as above.
  • Camping is available. Please contact the office for details.
  • Please note the raters are from 2012/2013, you should contact them for the latest rates
Tempurung Lodge Packages:

3D/2N "Rest and Relax Package" at RM540 (US$180) per person. 2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 2 Dinner and 2-Way Transfers from KK to Tempurung Lodge. Free usage of all facilities during stay. (Kayak, Beach Mats and Chairs, Mountain Bikes, etc.)

4D/3N "Rest and Relax Package" at RM650 (US$218) per person. 3 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 3 Dinner and 2-Way Transfers from KK to Tempurung Lodge. Free usage of all facilities during stay. (Kayak, Beach Mats and Chairs, Mountain Bikes, etc.)

Rainy Season for Sabah is from December to February.

Activities available at Tempurung Lodge;
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Fishing
  • Rubber Tapping (seasonal)
  • Padi Harvesting (seasonal)
  • Kampung (Village) Visit
  • Pool Table
  • Darts
  • Internet Service
Tempurung Lodge contact details and office address;

Borneo Authentic
Lot 3, 1st Floor,
Putatan Point,
Off JKR Road, Putatan,
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,

Telephone: +6088 773066
Fax: +6088 772066

Website: Borneo Authentic Advenure

How to get to Tempurung Lodge;
  • Best way is to arrange for a transfer from Kota Kinabalu via the main office.
  • Self driving can be done but seek the almighty help of the GPS.
  • Taxi will cost you around RM100-200 (US$29-58) for a one way trip.
  • Bus Service from Kota Kinabalu Hight Court Building will be around RM15 (US$4.40) and stops at the junction to Kuala Penyu. From here, you need to arrange for the resort to come pick you up at additional RM20 (US$5.90) per person.
Tempurung Lodge Kuala Penyu Map

View Tempurung Lodge Kuala Penyu Sabah in a larger map

For those traveling to Sabah Borneo with some extra time and want to explore something different on your trip here, this is one of the places you should really consider if you want something different.

Tempurung Lodge is also great for anyone looking for a place to hide out for a couple of weeks, example if you are a writer who want some absolute thinking time and also for those who hate crowds. 

As it is so peaceful, beautiful and natural, you have the luxury of going back to basics in relaxing here. Time remains still while your surroundings are typical village style and modernization ceases to exist here at this seaside resort called Tempurung Lodge in Kuala Penyu.