* Prices may differ from that shown
My boyfriend and I recently had a wonderful holiday in Malaysia. As part of our trip we decided we would like to visit Taman Negara, reputed to be the oldest jungle and the best kept tropical rainforest. Some friends of ours had been before and they recommended we stay at either the Rainforest Resort or The Woodland Resort. After comparing the websites of the two we decided to go with the Rainforest Resort.
The Rainforest Resort is situated in the Malaysian village of Kuala Tahan in Pahang. The village itself is really quite small and is mainly consistent of accommodations which serve as base camps for accessing Taman Negara. Kuala Tahan is approx 70km from Jerantut, 260km northeast of Kuala Lumpur and 280km west of Kelantan. The village is accessible by either road or boat - for ease (and because it was a lot quicker) we opted to get a taxi there from Kuala Lumpur.
From the Rainforest Resort it is a short walk (5-10 minutes) to the riverside where you catch a boat (RM1 per person each way - roughly 20p) across the short width of the river to the entrance of Taman Negara.
Rooms and Rates
The Rainforest resort has 6 choices of room available - Deluxe, Superior Deluxe, Premier Deluxe, Family Suite, Junior Suite and Executive Suite. According to the website these rooms range in price from RM207 (£42.80) to RM621 (£128.40) per night, however I am not sure how up to date these prices are as we actually booked a Deluxe room and paid RM185 per night which is obviously less than the website states. They also appear to offer packages for a few nights accommodation with meals included although Im not sure if this is up to date either (see below my comments on dining)
The reason we chose the Deluxe room was basically because it was the cheapest available and we couldn't see any difference on the website between this and the Superior Deluxe, and although the premier Deluxe offered a king size bed instead of the single and Queen size bed we had, the difference in price, we felt, was simply not worth it.
Our room was a decent enough size - certainly big enough for the two of us. It featured a single bed and a Queen size bed with a couple of bedside cabinets, a small fridge inside a TV unit with a TV on top and had an ensuite bathroom. The bathroom too was adequate for our needs and we were never short of hot water in the shower.
The Rainforest Resort is an open resort so you do not need to go through Reception to enter it and our room was in a row of rooms with another row facing us across a small courtyard area. All if the rooms in this block were just one level, so everyone is on the ground floor and everyone has a balcony on the back of their room. Unfortunately we did not get the opportunity to see any other rooms so I cannot comment on how these were laid out. One key is given for each room, but there is no key deposit taken.
The cleaners came every day to straighten up the room and make the bed, and left small free bottles of drinking water too.
We were satisfied with the room we had and the only issue we had was that our back door to the balcony (a sliding glass door) did not fit along the runners properly so you could not slide it closed but rather had to lift it to close it into place. The balcony outside did not have a view of anything but it was nice to have your own outdoor section and it was a reasonable size with a couple of chairs.
Breakfast for 2 people was included in the price of the room. For breakfast you just needed to walk over to the cafe dining area next to reception and find yourself a table. Breakfast was fairly basic - there was cereal, juice, tea and coffee and then a selection of Malaysian cooked food such as noodles and curry, but it was sufficient.
The area in which you had your breakfast is open all day for you to sit and relax in and there is a small shop there where you can buy snacks and drinks. With regards to any other dining we were quite confused - on their website they advertise a cafe, a coffee house and an outdoor BBQ but we only found the cafe area where we had breakfast. On our first day there we arrived about 2pm so we went over to explore a bit of the Rainforest then headed back about 5 and had something to eat on one of the small restaurant/cafe boats on the riverside. We then headed back to our room and around 9pm thought about going to get some food - my boyfriend went over to check it out but couldn't see anything happening so asked at reception to be told that the restaurant closed at 6pm and the only place to get food after that was one of the riverboats. Luckily we had some snacks and things in our room so just ate these and for the rest of our time there we went back down to the river to eat dinner at night. This wasn't a problem for us as the food on the boats was very nice and cheap too but we did find it a bit strange that there was no food available at the resort.
The Rainforest Resort offers a range of activities on its website and I believe these can be booked either online or at Reception. We did not book any activities through the resort as everything we wanted to do we could do by ourselves ie jungle trekking and the canopy walkway but they did also offer a night safari, a trip to small village, rapid shooting and paintball.
Booking a room here was very simple - I simply went to the Booking Online section of their website and entered my information. I believe I had to enter my card details but no payment was taken until we checked in. After booking I received an email confirmation from them which I printed out took with me. They do charge you for one nights stay if you cancel with less than 7 days notice.
The only downside to our visit here was not, I believe, the Resorts fault however it was quite unpleasant. On our first night we thought we would sit out on our balcony and share a beer that we had bought from the hotel shop. We turned on the outside light and immediately noticed about 10 large (small mouse size!) flying insects outside on the balcony - seriously these things were huge and very mean looking. I have no idea what they were but they were scary and there were loads of them everywhere and they made an horrific noise. We had noticed the noise a bit earlier but it sounded so regular that we thought it was some kind of alarm or something but turns out it was these flying creatures. (Also later in the night they started making another noise which was rather like cats fighting!) We decided against going out on to the balcony and later on went in search of the restaurant (as above) and saw these things were everywhere out the front door too! I am not good with insects generally so these things really freaked me out although I am sure they couldn't do you any harm as otherwise there would be some info or a warning about them in the hotel - wouldn't there? We did see these outside of the hotel as well although not in such high numbers - they appeared to be attracted to light which is why I think there were so many around the hotel as they had all the lights on around the rooms so you could see your way. As I said I don't blame the hotel for this but it was a shame that we couldn't sit out and enjoy a nice evening on the balcony.
I believe this hotel is slightly overpriced as Malaysia is generally pretty cheap, however given its location I can understand that they can charge more because there is not much choice available. The hotel itself could do with fresh coat of paint as it is starting to look a bit shabby but to be honest that is not much of a problem for me. It is well located to access Taman Negara which is what we were there for and the room was sufficient for our needs so I would definitely recommend this hotel should you be visiting the area - although the lack of dining may put some people off.