Located in central Sandakan on Jalan Lebuh Dua, Central Hotel (or Hotel Central) Sandakan is a clean, well maintained budget hotel with very friendly, helpful reception staff. It is just a few minutes walk from the market and also just a few minutes walk from the waterfront and restaurants.
Rooms are not large but the beds are fine and bathrooms clean with good hot water service. There are no dining facilities (i.e. rates do not include breakfast).
One point to note is that the entire hotel, rooms and lobby, is non-smoking - good for most but it did come as a bit of a surprise to me as I had booked through wotif.com and asked for one smoking and one non-smoking room (the web site suggesting this was possible).
If you are a budget traveller and have just spent a few days in the jungle, this hotel is a good option.
We arrived in Sandakan with no reservations or ideas of where to stay. After getting dropped off in the city center, we walked to several hotels and looked at their rooms and rates.
Hotel Western was decent place for the price. The rooms were clean, had both fans and A/C, hot water and the beds were comfortable. Deluxe room was 78MYR split between two people.
There was a computer for internet by the reception counter, but no WiFi was offered in the building.
No breakfast was available.
Two adults and one 13 year old stayed at Paganakandii for one night before venturing to the Last Frontier Resort for two nights. Anton, who owns Paganakandii cannot be faulted for his hospitality. The room comprised of one king bed and a set of bunks. Ensuite was an open shower (fantastic showering etc listening to the sounds of the jungle). Their web-site is not deceiving - it looks exactly like it. The Last Frontier Resort owners, Jason and Gert cannot be faulted in any way. Their web-site also looks exactly like it is, even the 538 steps to climb. Jason's cooking skills should be in a "silver service" restaurant. Take your kids - they will love the place. Please remember that the price we paid at the Last Frontier was for 3D/2N - all inclusive of meals, river cruise (x2) and trek.
The views from the eating area over the jungle and listening to all the jungle noises - only place like this in the area.
I stayed in Nature hotel Room 305 for RM58 (Oct 2008). The room has air-con, which I needed after 3 days in jungle. The room also has TV and attached bathroom. The room is clean and centrally located. Good stay. See more pic for the room view.
The accommodation here was basic, this was to be expected, as you are a long way from anything and the way to reach here is by Boat.
It was clean, which is the most important thing for us.
The people in the room above made a lot of noise which you could easily hear, so the walls must be quite thin!
Breakfast was basic, but o.k.
Our meal at night left me with little to eat. Only asian food, and all very hot and spicy.
I didn't have anything else with me to eat, so perhaps a tip, take something to nibble on if you don't like hot & spicy food.
See my to do comments. It really is basic but what a welcome and what wildlife. How to sum it all up - There are no strangers only friends to whom you haven't been introduced - nowhere is this best understood. I hated to leave (although as an unfit 40 something 3 days is about as much as I could manage)
Too many to mention - If you don't go you'll be missing a unique opportunity.
Did a 3D/2N stay out at their river camp. It wasnt very busy so got to go on quite a few river safari's plus a day walk through the jungle as well as a night walk. Guides were cool and chill and very good at spotting wildlife.
Saw alot of probiscus monkeys, macaques and an orangutan.
Very cool cruising around in a small boat through narrow waterways tracking down wildlife.
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