Sarawak, the Land of the Hornbills, is the largest state in Malaysia and home to 27 ethnic groups – but we already know that (I hope)! What we don’t know (or maybe it’s just me as I have never visited East Malaysia before) is all the beautiful and hidden places in Sarawak that offer a memorable Borneo experience. From rainforests to rivers and beaches, here are 9 unique accommodations for you to truly escape into nature if you are looking for some well-deserved peace and quiet.
1. Mendung Escape
Peace and quiet have to be earned if you want to reach this secluded house that is perched on a hill in Bau, a small town 1 hour away from Kuching – yes, you will have to hike for about 30 minutes (700m, 2/5 hiking difficulty) to reach Mendung Escape. That’s why it’s called an escape, right? An escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to a relaxing retreat surrounded by nature. And it is so worth it when you are standing on the balcony of the house looking out into an incredible view of the surrounding mountains and blue skies! Mendung Escape is equipped with all the basic necessities but do take note to bring everything you need with you – food, toiletries, etc. – as you will have to hike all the way down just to get to the closest convenience store.
Rates: Starting from RM225/night for Couple Suite
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2. Stranded Cabin by the River – Pinggir Siak
If a hike up the hill is too much (it’s supposed to be a holiday anyway), you can opt for a quiet retreat at a charming cabin by the river instead. Hosted by the same people at Mendung Escape, you do have to trek for about 15 minutes from the parking area to reach the Stranded Cabin at Pinggir Siak. The cabin is named so as it does look like it’s stranded in the middle of a jungle, but you will slowly come to realise that it’s more of a relaxing and private getaway where you can just sit and listen to the sound of the river flowing next to you. If you are looking for activities to do, kayaks are available for free, or you can just play in the river.
Rates: Starting from RM379/night
3. Borneo Happy Farm
Located about 45 minutes’ drive away from Kuching City Centre is Borneo Happy Farm – it was once a private orchard farm that opened to the public in 2017 to allow visitors to meet with farm animals, enjoy scenic views of grazing horses and learn about nature conservation and local cultures. There is also accommodation available on site where you can experience a farm stay. Various accommodation types are available depending on number of guests with some chalets that can stay up to 16 people! Check out this Facebook post for more info and contact details.
Rates: Starting from RM194/night for 2 Bedroom Chalet
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4. The Pondok @ Siru
A private oasis with your very own beach, The Pondok @ Siru was built to be a home away from home for the owners. They decided to open their house to guests so that others could also enjoy a relaxing and quiet getaway here. The cosy and secluded home consists of 2 bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a living room which has a sofa bed that can accommodate 1 adult or 2 children. Guests will have access to the whole house as well as access to the beach. The house is located near Sematan town which is a 10-minute drive away if you need to get anything.
Rates: Starting from RM405/night
5. Kabana Kampung
Located in a lovely village in Lundu which is about 40 minutes from Kuching town, this private property known as the Kabana Kampung is surrounded by mangrove trees, wild orchids, and the sounds of frogs and insects. This place is meant for slow-paced living, so relax and unwind with nature while taking in the views of the nearby Gunung Serapi and listening to the waters of Sungai Rayu. Do take note that the maximum occupancy for the chalet is 2 guests as they only have one room with a queen-sized bed.
Rates: Starting from RM160/night
6. Siar Tranquil
A beautifully built house that is perched on stilts to emulate the traditional Malay kampung house, Siar Tranquil is perfectly situated on a secluded beach strip in Lundu where guests can enjoy a view of the South China Sea and the lush mangrove swamp through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The house can stay up to 12 guests – a suitable accommodation to bring your family or a group of friends for a relaxing weekend stay. Although Lundu town is a 15-minute drive away where you can find plenty of eateries, you can also opt to utilise the BBQ pit that is on site.
Rates: Starting from RM550/night
7. Borneo Tribal Village
Borneo Tribal Village (BTV) is located on the outskirts of Kampung Apar Singai, Bau. It is a jungle resort and a unique eco-tourism spot designed to integrate tribal heritage with contemporary living to provide a memorable experience to guests and visitors. There are several attractions on site such as the Tortoise Pit, Singai Mountain Waterfall, Borneo Timber Tress Garden and more. Visitors also get to experience tribal sports and games such as blow pipe and catapult targeting. For accommodation, you can choose to stay at a longhouse, bamboo cabin, tribal house or one of the chalets that are located on the riverbank, lakeside or hilltop.
Rates: Starting from RM80/night for Bamboo Cabin
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8. Benarat Lodge
Benarat Lodge is located in Mulu, Sarawak, and provides pleasant lodgings with only a few steps away from the Melinau Paku river and 2.5 kilometres from the Mulu National Park. As guests mostly arrive via flight, you will be glad to know that Benarat Lodge offers free airport shuttle service. The rooms are decorated in a warm and simplistic style. Most importantly, you have a beautiful view of the forest right outside your room. And of course, you must visit the Mulu National Park – a tour of the national park can be arranged from RM60 per person onwards!
Rates: Starting from RM140/night for Double/Twin Room
9. Long Titi Homestay
Built with a vision to give people from urban areas and adventurous youths a taste of the kampung lifestyle, the Long Titi Homestay is strategically located between the hot spots of Sematan such as the Sematan beach, Sematan waterfall and Telok Melano. Guests will also be able to experience the lifestyle of the Salako people and their culture during their stay here. Choose from three chalets that are placed on the slope of a hill – pick the highest chalet if you prefer more privacy, the middle one has the best view while the chalet at the bottom of the hill is the nearest to all the facilities. Each chalet can fit up to 7 people.
Rates: Starting from RM100/night
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Heading to Sabah instead? Check out these rainforest stays to relax and recharge in: