A review of the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort, Borneo

by Jan

If you are looking for places to stay in Sepilok, Borneo, this is the perfect review for you.  Find out all you need to know about the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.  Discover information about the accommodation, how to get there, local restaurants and the best things to do in Sepilok.

The Forest Edge Resort is one of the best places to stay in Sepilok,  if you are looking for a natural, jungle retreat close to the Borneo wildlife and local Sepilok attractions.

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Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is approximately 16 miles from the centre of Sandakan or 10 miles from Sandakan Airport (SDK).  We flew in from Kota Kinabalu and took a cab directly to the resort, which took about 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you could take a cab from Sandakan or the public bus, which runs 4 times a day to Sepilok.

Eco-friendly accommodation at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort

The Sepilok Forest Edge Resort is a nature resort offering a variety of eco-friendly accommodation.  It has rooms to suit every budget, from shared dorms to luxury lodges.

The check-in time at Sepilok Forest Edge is 2pm.  However, we arrived much earlier and our chalet was ready, so could access it earlier.

Check out time at the resort is 11am.

Click here for current prices and availability at the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.

For more information on a trip to Borneo, check out our

Borneo Travel Guide


View of steps leading to Forest Edge Chalets

The stylish eco-chalets are made with woods that have been recycled from Chinese houses.  Furnishings are tasteful and rustic and have been inspired by Malay culture.  There is a range of styles and sizes, with some overlooking the lake and some the jungle.

We stayed in the superior chalet, which was absolutely amazing.  It had a double room, a lounge, kitchenette, 2 bathrooms and second bedroom with 3 four-poster beds.  It was far more luxurious than we had ever expected and had more space than needed.

I loved the outdoor bathroom, as I could shower outside looking out over the jungle.  I was a bit more wary at night, as I wasn’t sure what might land on me in the dark!

We didn’t have any issues with insects in the chalet.  However, if you are walking around the resort, it’s essential that you spray with a good quality insect repellent with deet, like this one from Jungle Formula.

I also bought the children some mosquito repellent bracelets to wear and sprayed our clothes with an anti-mosquito spray before we left.  None of us got bitten, so something must have worked.

If, like me, you want to be extra precautious about malaria, several brands of clothing offer a range with anti-insect protection.  You can get these in most good outdoor shops.

Labuk B&B

We opted for the top-end accommodation and appreciate that this wouldn’t be an option for everyone.  However, for budget travellers, the resort has a dormitory-style longhouse with bunk beds.  The accommodation is more basic and you have to share, but still a very good choice because of the jungle setting and proximity to Sepilok.


As well as the sleeping accommodation, Sepilok Forest Edge has a communal area with a restaurant and lounge.  Free wi-fi is available in this area.

There is also a plunge pool, surrounded by loungers.  We tried it once, but the kids weren’t very keen, so we didn’t return.  I guess, it’s a nice option for adults to cool off, but children prefer somewhere they can play.

Plunge pool at Forest Edge Resort, Sepilok, Borneo

Surroundings & Wildlife

As you would expect for a jungle retreat, Sepilok Forest Edge is set in beautiful, lush forest surroundings.  Nature enthusiasts will love it, as you can see the Borneo wildlife in the resort.

We spotted a preying mantis on our way to the restaurant and a gecko joined us for breakfast.  The staff claim that orangutans sometimes visit, but we were not lucky enough to see any.

What surprised me most about the Forest Edge Resort was the noise at night.  Of course, I’m not talking about road traffic or music and merriment from fellow travellers.  No, the din came solely from the natural symphony of insects and bats who came into action at night.

Praying Mantis, Forest Edge, Borneo

If you want to spot scorpions after dark, remember to take a fluorescent torch.

Places to visit from Sepilok Forest Edge Resort

Orangutan encounter on the boardwalk at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo

I would think the for everyone the main reason to stay at Forest Edge Resort is its excellent location.  It is only 10 minutes’ walk from the Sepilok Orangutan Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.

It’s a direct walk down a country lane and a good way to see a few local homes on the way.  However, it was hot and sticky.

Alternatively, if a 10-minute walk is too much, it is also possible to organise tours from the resort.  The downside is that you are then very much restricted to someone else’s schedule.

Other things to do in Sepilok

If you want to travel a little further, you could visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre or Labuk Bay Proboscis Centre.  Alternatively, you could head back into Sandakan for a visit to Turtle Island. Ideally, you should book in advance, as numbers are restricted and it’s a very popular trip.

Kinabatangan River Cruise

After our stay at the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort, we were picked up to go on a 2-day Kinabatangan River Cruise.  We had booked this in advance with Nasalis Larvatus Tours.

We did the 3 Days/2 Nights trip and stayed at the Nature Lodge, Kinabatangan.  This is an absolutely amazing jungle experience, which we would definitely recommend.

Sunset on evening River cruise, Kinabatangan, Borneo

Restaurants in Sepilok

Mama Wati's

The best restaurant in Sepilok for an authentic Malay experience is Mama Wati’s.  From outside, you might not even realise it’s a restaurant, as it is in fact her home.  However, inside you get a very warm welcome and can watch as Mama Wati cooks a tasty, traditional Malay meal in front of you.

The atmosphere is informal, but friendly and was a great place to chat with other travellers.  Moreover, the food in Mama Wati’s is cheap, but tasty.

The Lake Bistro

Eating at the Nature Lodge at Sepilok in Borneo with great Lake views

At the opposite end of the spectrum is The Lake Bistro.  This stylish restaurant overlooks a beautiful lake, in the Sepilok Nature Reserve.

The Lake Bistro serves a choice of Western and Asian food.  The prices were more expensive, but the location is exquisite.  You could just stop for a beer, if you didn’t want to fork out for dinner.

The Nest

The Nest is the on-site restaurant at the Sepilok Forest Edge and is where we ate every evening.  The food was very tasty and there was a nice atmosphere in the restaurant.  Although the other restaurants are only 10-minutes’ walk, the road is unlit and I can’t imagine you’d want to go back in the evening.

The food choice at the Nest was predominantly Asian, with a few Western alternatives.  After we’d eaten, we were able to stay at our table and relax with games.  The dining area was open until 10:30pm each evening.

This is also where we ate breakfast.  Breakfast was average and the jams did attract a few early morning wasps.


We loved our stay at the Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.  The surroundings were well-maintained and the surroundings breathtaking.  The accommodation was stylish and clean and the staff were all friendly and helpful.

In addition, it’s in an excellent location for the Sepilok Orangutan and Sun Bear Sanctuaries.

mother and sons standing on wooden bridge in grounds of Forest Edge, Borneo

Alternative accommodation in Sepilok

You’ll find several other  nature lodges in Sepilok, all of which are walking distance to the Sepilok Orangutan Centre.  Other good options for luxury accommodation are Sepilok Nature ReserveSepilok Jungle Resort, and Nature Lodge Sepilok.

For budget accommodation, you’ll find plenty of homestays, but none of them are in walking distance.

We hoped you enjoyed our review of Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.  If you have any questions, please comment below.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission. (Read our full Disclosure Policy)

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Avatar for Jan
Wendy White 3rd August 2020 - 9:15 am

I’ve pinned this for when we can travel again. We are hoping to visit Borneo so will look at this accommodation. It looks and sounds incredible.

Avatar for Jan
Jan 3rd August 2020 - 9:33 am

Borneo is a great place to visit. This accommodation is perfect for trips to Sepilok.


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