Bukit Melapi Lodge Sukau Kinabatangan River Sabah
Bukit Melapi Lodge is located along the Sukau Kinabatangan River in Sabah and was one of the nicer places to stay at during my Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari. Arriving at the main jetty of the Bukit Melapi Lodge was something out of the ordinary from the usual resorts. We were picked up from a village jetty after a two hour drive from Sandakan town and ushered here in a ten minute speed boat ride along the famous Kinabatangan River of Sabah.
Bukit Melapi Lodge Proboscis Bar
Bukit Melapi Lodge or Proboscis Lodge has it's own jetty and so do the other river lodges along the Kinabatangan River and as we approached the large wooden covered jetty, the staff from the resort were waiting to welcome us and carry our luggage up to the main reception which was entirely made out of rich wood. First impression - Welcome to Nature, and here we were right in the middle of it. A local Malay lady who spoke excellent English welcomed us with a glass of juice and cold towel and after a quick briefing about the place, lunch was served ala local Sabahan style.
Nature books for guest reading provided by the lodge
Bukit Melapi Lodge was pretty impressive as walking around after lunch, I noticed they had a small gift shop and a mini library dedicated to all things nature and wildlife around the Kinabatangan Sukau district and Sabah in general. These books were for guests reading pleasure and were not sold. I have to say, this was something really great that the lodge provided especially when you are in the middle of the Kinabatangan Sukau River.
Entertainment room at Bukit Melapi Lodge
A quick tour around the lodge was next by my senior nature guide, Ben. For entertainment there was a room upstairs the main restaurant and bar area where guests could indulge in a serious session on Karaoke or simply have a game of pool or foosball. The entertainment room is air-conditioned by the way so no humidity here. This is one of the popular places after dinner where guests would bring their drinks and socialize with other travelers and guests.
Meal times at Bukit Melapi Lodge
Staying here showed me what true nature and Eco-Tourism was all about. Meal times were pretty much set as the entire day, one would be out either on the boats doing the Kinabatangan River Cruise or trekking inland. Apart from the nature and adventure provided here, there is absolutely nothing else to do but relax. Did I mention that you are in the middle of the Kinabatangan Sukau River? Yes, nothing but pure nature here.
Another chalet unit in the rainforest of Kinabatangan
I have to admit that the chalet units here at Bukit Melapi Lodge were really good. Not your 4-5 star hotel or resort style but it was basic with good amenities included. We were given one of the units that were facing the Kinabatangan River with a balcony and air conditioned with attached bathroom and it was beautiful.
River view chalet unit at Bukit Melapi Lodge
Our cozy chalet had two single beds, very spacious with good wood finishing and it was more than I expected. The chalet units are pretty spaced between each other too where there was a distance of about 20 feet apart.
View from inside the river view chalet
The view from the chalet room would be classified as Grade 1 view - why? Because it sees nothing but nature, river and green. I swear to you, this is one balcony I really enjoyed while staying here. The Kinabatangan River is about 100 meters from the chalet if you should know.
Sitting at the balcony of the chalet was such an experience as the natural sounds of the rainforest just surrounded you like a DOLBY Surround System. I spent good quality time here minus technology for two full days. No phone, no lap top or computer, no facebook or twitter, nothing.
I must give the Melapi Lodge credit for taking the extra effort in preparing the chalet rooms as the bath towels were prepared in a rose or flower formation. Beds were decently comfortable while the blankets were sufficient for the night.
The attached bathrooms were plain, simple and fully tiled. They were also clean and water pressure was decent. Another thumbs up for the bathroom and toilet as they met the typical traveler standard.
Kinabatangan River View chalet units
Seriously, the chalets here are astounding. Most of them have the Kinabantangan River view while a few of them are garden view. I suggest you take the river view ones when you book your package.
Melapi Lodge Garden Chalet Units
Melapi Lodge family chalet units
Family rooms are available here where there is a double bed and a single bed. Easily ready to house 4 to 5 people on request. These rooms have the field view of the place and is equally comfortable.
Balcony of the family chalet unit
One of the highlights of the family rooms are that you may even experience seeing the Borneo Pygmy Elephants from a distance. According to the manager, many guests staying at the family chalets have witnessed the Pygmy Elephants roaming the surroundings of the lodge. A priceless experience if you ask me.
Local dishes served for lunch
The food served is really something to shout about. I am not kidding. We were served a selection of the best local 'Orang Sungai' (River People) delicacies here. Mouth-watering Sabah food which was cooked by a local chef using local herbs and such. Not to worry as they also provide some Western food for the guests here.
A Pied Hornbill sits on a branch at the Melapi Lodge
Roaming the Melapi Lodge area will pull a few surprises. One of them was the sighting of the Pied Hornbills which make the resort grounds their sleeping haunt. At one occasion, I must have seen at least ten of them making loud Hornbill sounds before retiring to bed. They start to appear around 6pm at the Melapi Lodge.
Leaf Insect from Sabah Borneo on my hand
Finally, my conclusion to the Bukit Melapi Lodge - This place is a MUST if you want decent occupancy while exploring the Kinabatangan-Sukau Conservation. It may be a little higher priced than the other lodges, but you can be sure of quality service with proper accommodations. I absolutely enjoyed my stay here with no regrets at all.
Bukit Melapi Lodge or Proboscis Lodge is located along the Kinabatangan River in the Sukau District of Sandakan. Getting here is easily arranged by most tour operators and tour agencies. You MUST have a allocated tour guide on your visit here as they do not entertain walk-in guests. All arrangements are done in Sandakan town in Sabah. Night River Cruises or Safaris are organised by the lodged themselves so this is an optional package offered when you check in at the lodge.
Types of lodges available at Bukit Melapi Lodge:
- 10 units of twin sharing lodge
- 6 units of double bed lodge
- 2 units of triple bed lodge
- 3 units of family lodge (equipped with 1 double and 1 single beds respectively)
- Bed - Complete set
- Bathroom with hot shower and basic toiletries
- Air conditioning
- Ceiling Fan
- Ceiling light and side table light
- 220-240 volt points (three point pin/Southeast Asia)
- Dressing table with mirror
- Wooden Chair
- Balcony with full-length glass door
- Restaurant and bar
- Recreational room with pool table, foosball table and karaoke (air conditioned)
- Multi purpose meeting room (air conditioned)
- Mini stage area
- Mini Library
- Gift and Souvenir Shop
Sukau Proboscis Lodge Sdn. Bhd.
Lot A1103, 11th Floor,
Wisma Merdeka (Mail Box No. A236)
Jalan Tun Razak, 88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Telephone: +60 88 240584
Fax: +60 88 240415
Website for Bukit Melapi Lodge or Proboscis Lodge in Sukau Sabah
Kinabatangan Sukau River Articles by Malaysia AsiaGomantong Caves in Sabah
More articles on Sabah Borneo Malaysia
Official website for Sabah Tourism
A note of thanks goes out to Sabah Tourism for organising this amazing trip to the Kinabatangan Sukau River.
~ David, Malaysia Asia