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Borneo, Sabah: Sinurambi

“Lovely place, lovely people !”
Reviewed Sep 2014
What a wonderful stay we had at Sinurambi ! We spent there three days and three nights in this beautiful place surrounded by the jungle, on the heights of KK. From the large wooden terrace, the view to the South Chinese sea and the islands is magnificent. Rose and Terry make you feel like at home. They are so welcoming, warm and friendly. It was a real pleasure for us to have our dinner with them every evening. Terry will share his love for durians (it worked with me, but Maryline is still not convinced...), his enthousiasm and his passion for engines... :) The food is absolutely delicious, with fresh products from the market. The meals are tasty and portions very generous. The staff is friendly, efficient and smily, and this contributes to the good atmosphere.
During our three days, we had a nice treck in the Crock Ranger National park located at 5 min walk from the GH. We could also just enjoy the swimming pool and relax, looking at the surrounding nature...
Thanks again for making our stay with you so nice !
We hope to visit you again soon....
before Dave becomes an astronaut :))
Éric & Maryline (France)
Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple

"It has everything"

We stayed at this gem for two nights, tired and exhausted from a fabulous jungle trip.
We are delighted to give Sinurmabi an "excellent" review, because it fully deserves it.
Rose and Terry were excellent hosts, we loved dinner around the table with exceptional food and conversation. The views from the house are awesome, the pool lovely, the staff polite and our room(s) - Otter House - was clean, comfortable and a joy to stay in.
Rose helpfully organised our transport to get down into the town and the airport pick ups were fine.
We all loved the dogs too :)
The place is quiet and isolated which suited us perfectly.
From your Zimbabwean/Brazilian/British guests - thanks and God Bless. D S and R

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family

“Excellent hosts”

The owners Rose and Terry do everything they can to help. Rose was an absolute gem to deal with while booking and went far beyond expected. She was extremely patient with changing plans and booked a white water rafting trip and even paid upfront for it before we arrived. Terry is engaging and helpful and obviously wants guests to feel comfortable and welcome. Our son mentioned he liked spaghetti bolognaise and in the evening he had it. Another guest also was given his favourite dish. The food is fantastic and all the guests sitting round the table is a good experience for sharing travel and life tips! The views over Kota Kinabalu town and over to the South China Sea are beautiful. Rose and Terry have lots of dogs so it wouldn't suit if you have a thing against dogs but if you are a fan of family run, built from the soul places, this is for you. It is not a resort hotel which you can find anywhere but a unique place run by genuine, kind people.
FIona L & family.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family

“Beautiful memory staying in Sinurambi”

I went there with a friend this Jan and only stayed 2 nights coz of a tight schedule in Borneo. I'm really glad that I stayed in Sinurambi which is unique in its architecture and with so nice owners. The view to the city is breath taking. We had to get a 5AM flight to Sandakan so left early in the morning but the owner prepared us the yummy homemade pancake with honey on the road. Still miss the time there.

Room Tip: Otters cottage .
Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends

“A great base from which to explore Crocker Range Park”

My wife and I were flying from Singapore and had just 5 days to spend in Borneo and selected Sinurambi for its location adjacent to the Crocker Range National Park and proximity to Kota Kinabalu. The views from the decks facing the coast are sumptuous, our bedroom was very comfortable and beautifully furnished and the food was delicious (we took most of our meals at the B&B). But most appreciated was the warm attention received from the hosts throughout our stay. We were put in contact with a very competent bird guide as we are bird watchers and we just had a fantastic time!

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple.
The Lacroixs - Boston.

“Home Away From Home”
Reviewed 20 May 2014
We spent 7 nights in the Honeymoon Suite at Sinurambi and instantly felt at home as soon as we arrived. We arrived at lunch time and had lunch organised for our arrival and all I can say is wow!!! Throughout our stay we tried to make an effort to try all the food options off the menu and none of them disappointed. Everything was home-made and tasted out of this world!! We even asked if we could watch some of the cooking being done and have used some of the recipes since returning home!!!

Although Sinurambi is about 25 minutes – 50 minutes (variation due to traffic) from Kota Kinabalu city it is still easily accessible if you want to go out and about and Terry and Rose are more than happy to arrange transfers/taxis for you. We did not feel stuck miles from anything during any point of our stay and spent time staying at Sinurambi for the day and going out sightseeing for the day.

The views were just absolutely breath-taking especially in the evening when it was time for the sunset. They were some of the best sunsets I have ever seen!!! You have to sit on the terrace and watch the sunset, it’s really worth it.

Rose and Terry and all the staff are just absolutely fantastic. So friendly, helpful and make you feel so welcome. We loved having dinner around the table with them each night, chatting and having a little glass of wine or two!

If you are looking for somewhere friendly and peaceful with views and sunsets to die for, not too far from Kota Kinabalu city then you have to stay at Sinurambi!! It is an amazing unique experience.

Room Tip: The Honeymoon Suite had amazing views!
Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple. ( Lisa & Nathan -England)

“A truly unique experience”
Reviewed 2 April 2014
We just came back from our trip in Borneo and we spent few days in Sinurambi when we arrived in Kota Kinabalu.
All I can say is that this is the perfect place for those who want to escape from the usual average Hotel. The place is located close to the Croker Range park, 20 mins by car from the city, on top of an hill with a magnificent view on the coast.We stayed on the Honey Moon suite: large, comfortable and with plenty of facilities.
There is a pool located on a terrace with a view on the coast: the sunset from there was just unforgettable.
The owners,Rose and Terry, and their little son David were absolutely lovely, friendly and helpful.We incredibly enjoyed chatting and having dinner with them (the food was delicious!) This is definitely a place with character, charm and peace surrounded by a stunning nature.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple. (F & Hans)

“An escapade”
Reviewed 3 January 2014
Visited The Sinurambi in Dec2013. Had a pleasant experience, leaving us wanting more. I visited the place with my husband to get away from the busy city life. Kota Kinabalu is beautiful. The owners of Sinurambi are really warm and so are their friends who were there and helped to make our trip such a memorable one. Food was good. It was very private as there were few guests. Anw we were happy to make frens with the other guests present. Dipping in the pool and just enjoying the view made us happy. Watched sunrise from our room! We took the honeymoon suite and it is highly recommended. You just have to wake up, watch the sunrise from your balcony and then hop back into bed to sleep, without having to change out etc. What convenience! Love the endearing dogs and cat at the place. Sinurambi is lovely and homely. Visiting the town wasnt much of an excitement for us though, it was hot and crowded.

Room Tip: Honeymoon Suite is fantastic to watch the sunrise from!
Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple (Singapore).

Date of  stay: 20 Aug 2014

Dear Rose
We are all back in Bangkok and the kids started back at school today so I finally have the computer!
I just wanted to thank you for our stay with you and let you know I have posted a review on Trip Advisor which I think you will like. We really did appreciate your kindness and patience.
We loved Borneo.  We saw so much wildlife in the Danum Valley including Orang Utans and pygmy elephants.   We also loved turtle Islands where we saw turtles hatch and run to the sea.  Truly amazing.  I was very moved.

With very best wishes to you all.
Fiona Lemaire

Date of  stay: Nov 2012
I have stayed at this superb B & B several times. From the individually prepared breakfasts to the individually decorated rooms, this is a beautiful, luxurious place to rest and relax. The bedrooms all have individual ensuites with towels supplied. The infinity pool is clean and cool, with poolside chairs perfect for a drink and a long read. The deck looks out over the whole city of Kota Kinabalu and the best sunsets. Terry and Rose both speak fluent English and Rose is also fluent in Bahasa Malaya. I can not recommend this B & B highly enough. Go and stay yourself; you won't be disappointed.
Jo Ann Perth

Date of  stay: Jan 2013
Rose and Terry offer an wonderfully warm welcome and go out of their way to help and make you feel welcome. At the same time, it isn't too much. They strike the perfect balance and all 7 of us, 4 adults and 3 kids, felt like we were at a second home.
Their house is at the top of a hill and overlooks both the town and sea, and offers wonderful views of the mountain. I'd recommend both the destination and the place and hope to go back there myself in the next year or two.
The house is secluded so is great as a getaway, and also has a pool, snooker and trampoline, so is good for kids. They run motorbike holidays too. Something for everyone, though all these things are not obvious so don't impinge.
Fergus ...Hong Kong

Date of  stay: May 2009
From the time we were collected at the airport until we left nearly 3 weeks later our group received top service, excellent food and friendly hosting. The setting and facilities were amazing and Rose and Terry treated us like family with nothing being a bother. The spectacular sunsets are a memory that will last a lifetime.
Beady NZ

Date of  stay: Jan 2013
"Feels like home"

The perfect stay exploring Sabah and KK. Great local food, things to do - first hand experience/knowledge and recommendation - help us planning adventures. We became members of the family. Great view, sunset, overlooking KK.
Nina Friss Norway

Date of  stay: Sep 2012
"Magnificant yet Cosy - The Perfect Mix"

While the building itself is remarkable, it is the people who make this place extraordinary. Their house is a labour of love and has the most amazing location and views (they will pick you up from KK and its around 30 mins drive). The bedrooms are very comfortable and quiet, with all the tea and coffee you might want and clean bathrooms and towels.
Rose and Terry are wonderful hosts, making you feel instantly at home and allowing you to feel part of the family rather than just guests - if they invite you to join them for dinner, say yes, its so homely and wonderful!
Breakfast is excellent - you can have something cooked or opt for the fresh fruit, muesli, cereal, toasts, tea, coffee and juices before embarking on your day.
A beautiful infinity pool is the place to be for sunset, and days can be filled with hikes, bike trips, or trips down to KK.
This is one of the places you will never forget, and manages to be extraordinary yet cosy, magnificant yet comfy, and is a superb change from staying in the city.
Sarah R Kuala Lumpur

"A rare adventure"
Had an absolutely magical time with Rose and Terry. The house is stunning and the food is excellent, but what makes it exceptional are the hosts. They were so welcoming, we almost felt like family. My only word of advice to guests - rent your own transportation while visiting to be able to more fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding countryside. I give our visit 5 stars only because I can't choose 6.
Mike -Shanghai

Date of  stay: Feb 2013
Dinner conversations with Rose & Terry over family meals are stimulating and entertaining. Meals are comfortingly varied and home made with tasty fresh ingredients and spices from their garden as well as local markets. Rose & Terry's intimate knowledge of Sabah ensures a rich tourist experience however their pool and deck is a holiday destination in its own right.
Sandra - Oz

Date of  stay: Dec 2012
It was our first time in Malaysia and this was our 1st stop in Kota Kinabalu. The house is fantastic and offers a unique view over KK. The owners Rose and Terry are so welcoming, careful, kind, helpful in every possible way. Breakfast is complete: whether western or malaysian, it's all good ! First choice to stay in KK. One of my better memories of Malaysia.
Aphirak - France

Date of  stay: Mar 2013
Rose and Terry are gracious hosts. We loved The Otter Room which we had stayed in; it was very comfortable. The best part of it it was surrounded by nature. Rose and her team of staff ensured that we were comfortable; for that and their kindness, we were most grateful.
Lim & Lim - Malaysia

Date of  stay: Oct 2011 (coming again Oct 2013)
"Stunning Sabah"

This was my third stay at Sinurambi, and as usual I was met at the airport, this time by Terry. Upon arrival I was shown to my room with its air conditioning, en suite facilities and obligatory stunning views, the rooms are cleaned every day, and clothes left in the washing basket, magically reappear at the end of the day clean and pressed. Once you have settled in you are then shown around the other facilities, infinity pool, snooker room, living and dinning area and the help yourself fridge etc. The location is a little of the beaten track so if you want to explore on your own, a car would be a good idea, but if you ask, someone will run you into town and pick you up later. Or you could go for a walk or even just sit on the deck at the back of the house looking over the fantastic view out to the sea and relax with a cool drink. Each time I have been I have stayed for a couple of weeks and never been bored. I am already booked in for this year. The only think I dislike is having to leave at the end of my stay.
Duncan O - UK

Date of  stay: Apr 2013
"Our Home in Sabah"

This was our 4th visit to Sinurambi.
After each visit we feel homesick for the place.
Rose and Terry really make you feel part of the family but will leave you alone if you wish.I never tire of rising early to see the sun rising behind Mount Kinabalu and I must have dozens of photos of the sunsets.The view over the city below is beautiful and the temperatures are balmy due to the altitude.
The staff are caring but unobtrusive.The food is varied and delightful.The choice of wines are very good.Excellent coffee too.
The architecture is fantastic,the rooms fully equiped and comfortable.You feel you are living a millionaires lifestyle!
The best points are the relaxed ambience,great food,beautiful views.It is a way out of town so a rental car is wise if you need to get around a bit.
There is plenty to see and do in Borneo and Rose and Terry have given us travel suggestions which have invariably been excellent.
PeterMac - Sydney

Rose, her family and everyone else we met there were a delight. We felt right at home from the moment she met us at the airport. They were happy to accommodate us in any way possible and to suggest appropriate activities for our family. The setting and the weather were amazing, we had a fantastic time, highly recommended!
By Charlotte A-C . January 2013

"Tranquil getaway"
I was introduced to Sinurambi by a friend. The photos on the web looked too good to be true, but the house is as amazing in reality! Very well organized with well appointed rooms, all very clean and comfortable. The breakfast is very complete for those who want a full meal (I'm a coffee and 2 hard-boiled-eggs-kinda-gal) but Rose convinced me to try their thin pancakes and I couldn't stop at 2. And they have proper coffee, a big plus. I recommend it for people who want a relaxing get-away, definitely a cool sanctuary away from the hot town. I didnt need transport but I understand it's easy enough to rent a car. Drivers in KK are super patient so no worries about road rage there.
Anita S, Singapore. March 2013

"Born again each year..."
I have taken a holiday at "Sinurambi" every year for the last ten years. Yes, every year for the last ten years! Terry and Rose are just the best hosts ever; they make me feel incredibly welcome and at home and there is always something going on if I want to join in, or I can simply potter about and do my own thing. I relax, I sleep, I recharge my physical and mental battery, I excercise, eat delicious asian and Western food and I lose weight! My excema goes away, my smile returns and I realise just how lucky I am to be alive. The beautiful house is set in lush greenery with butterflies and moths fluttering about, and as a beekeeper I am fascinated by the stingless honey bees that nest in the grounds. Quite simply, without Terry and Rose and an annual trip to "Sinurambi" each year I wouldn't be the man I am.

The man from Nailsworth, UK. April 2013

Date of Stay 12 February 2013

We had an absolutely marvelous, memorable time at Sinurambi over the course of five days. The hosts are a delightful couple with a charming young son, the location in the mountains is dreamy, the weather is delightful, the food wonderful, the conversation sparkling ... hard to know where to stop. Unreservedly recommended for travelers who would like to get away from the maddening crowds, which we experienced first-hand at the seaside resorts during the Lunar New Year. Sinurambi even comes with its own outdoor fitness track - the owners drop you off at the bottom of their 5km driveway at 7am and you have to hike your way back up! How could you ever go back to a fitness center treadmill after that!?! We dined most evenings at the property and were treated to a variety of cuisines - from spicy local to hearty old world; all were excellent. My only suggestion might be for visitors to secure their own mode of transportation before arriving, just to provide an extra degree of
freedom to explore the area.

From : Smith - Shanghai dwellers.

Date of Stay 25 January 2013
Rose and Terry are excellent hosts. They open up their own home to us. The dialog with Rose before we arrived (e-mail) really made us look forward to our stay. It simplified our trip planning. We got a lot of tips/activities. The facilities are beautiful, clean and everything you need is present. Excellent local food "at home". We automatically became a part of the family and their friends. Exotic surroundings. Opportunities to relax, exercise and experience local Sabah and KK. Sinurambi is an excellent place to stay. We travel with two kids, 13 and 15. We will highly recommend this place to others. We will be back!
Nina R Friss - Sweden

Date of Stay 14 January 2013
Have just returned from a wonderful holiday spent at Sinurambi. It really is a very special place, set in a beautiful location with breathtaking views over the rainforest, city and ocean. The house is an architectural delight with well appointed, immaculate, pretty rooms and cabins, all with spectacular views. Helpful, friendly staff are always on hand. Rose and Terry are the perfect hosts, warm and unobtrusive, always available to help with enquiries and arrangements or just for a friendly chat, they've created a welcoming, informal atmosphere. Meals are served either in the dining room or terrace are always relaxed, fun and delicious, with a choice of local foods including fresh fish and mouthwatering local fruits. I spent a lot of time with Bryan exploring and experiencing the local area and cuisine. Amazing bike ride through the mountains, trip to the tip of the island, visits to markets, rainforest waterfall to name but a few! All fascinating and interesting. No shortage of places to visit and all made better by having a guide to show me around. Peaceful and tranquil with only the sounds of the rainforest, Sinurambi would be the perfect, romantic setting for a honeymoon, but equally a great family choice with facilities for children, infinity pool and play area. I enjoyed every moment of my stay and despite the long journey from England, I'm already planning to return next year. Truly a holiday in paradise!
English Winter bird.

Date of Stay 14 December 2012
My family of 5 stayed at beautiful Sinurambi for 4 nights during a two week stay in Sabah and Sarawak. I made the booking through Bryan who was extremely helpful and even arranged our climb of Mt Kinabalu at very short notice. Sinurambi is located on a ridge overlooking the coastal plain and being about 300+m above sea level is noticeably cooler than on the plain which in the tropical heat of Sabah is a great plus. The house is stunning and the room nicely appointed, air conditioned, clean and very comfortable. The outside entertaining areas featuring a great poolside deck are very pleasant and a sit on the "loo with a view" is a must!!! Rose and Terry and their staff are delightful hosts. There to help when needed but unobtrusive. Rose is always ready with a cool drink when we returned home after a day out. We even were treated to massages in a lovely private bale after returning from the grueling Mt Kinabalu climb...perfect! The meals are magnificent. An eclectic variety of local and western choices of food and the communal dinners with the "family" are entertaining and informative. My daughters are fussy eaters but couldn't get enough of the simple, elegant home cooking. A glass of wine or three with the evening meal is always welcome and freely flowing (not always easy to get in Malaysia). Sinurambi is only 30-40 minutes by car to downtown KK and your hosts are happy to drop you there, however we hired a car and found the driving in Sabah very easy. There is wifi in the main living areas and mobile reception throughout. If your into biking Bryan's setup is first class (a serious biking trip is in the planning) but my wife and daughters have no interest in such things but found lots to do in the area and Sinurambi serves as a delightful upmarket B&B in its own right and the biking activities are unobtrusive to other guests. As Sinurambi borders the Crocker range national park there are excellent hiking options right on the doorstep. Rose is passionate about dogs so if your not a fan of a pack of friendly canines roaming the grounds then this place would not be suitable. What makes Sinurambi stand out however, is Rose's empathy with all her house guests making you feel a very special part of the extended "family". We are already planning a return visit!
Martin Pyle & Family...

Date of Stay 02 September 2012

I had seen photos of Sinurambi online before we went, but nothing quite prepares you for arriving in this stunning place. The house itself is fascinating, and it being a home makes it even more special because Rose and Terry are there to welcome you in, make you a cuppa, and share the story of their beloved house. The little plunge pool is great for an afternoon dip and the view is just unparalled - the jungle just drops away below, and the sea glitters in the distance while nothing bu the hum of nature can be heard. The rooms are very cosy and comfortable, with tea and coffee making facilities and plenty of clean linen and towels. Breakfast can be local or western, and we enjoyed museli, fresh fruit, yoghurts, and plenty of tea to set us up for the day, but more filling option are available for those who want something hot. We didn't have time to properly explore the area but many people take their motorbikes and go off on rides, while Terry and Rose can organise amazing trips such as trekking through the forest to stay with a traditional village in the depths of the jungle. You can also be dropped off and picked up from KK or the airport depending on your movements. At the end of the day, gather in the dining room for a dinner with your hosts and your new friends - this is a place you just won't want to leave!
Sarah R- Kuala Lumpur expat

Date of Stay: Oct 2012

Staying with Terry and Rose at Sinurambi leaves one feeling warm, loved, invigorated, adventurous, intrepid and thoroughly spoilt.

I have been to Borneo five times now and cannot get enough of it.

The house, nestling in the side of a lush mountain, is an airy, spacious hive of loveliness and can be whatever you want it to be: a solid base from which to venture out and explore the wonderfulness of Borneo; or, a safe, comfortable hideaway to rest and recuperate from the demands of 21st century life.

With magnificent 360 degree views down over to KK and the shimmering sea on one side and the awe inspiring Mt K on the other, Sinurambi offers all the comforts of home and boutique hotel rolled into one to create a totally unique experience.

S Jivraj

Date of Stay 18 July 2012
Home away form home
I've never stayed any place where I've felt so at home. Except for the fact that the food was delicious - that never happens at my house. The view was breathtaking and the whole property was just beautiful. The best part, by far, was how warm and welcoming everyone was. You really don't have to worry about anything while you're there - everything is taken care of. I would never want to stay anywhere else in that area and I highly recommend this place!!

Date of Stay 31 January 2012
Paradise found!
What a fantastic holiday! Everything about our stay exceeded our expectations. Of special note are the breath-taking 360 degree views, gardens and fabulous food. The breakfasts and dinners are provided freshly prepared each day and were some of the best food we encountered on our trip. As part of a four month world-tour, this wonderful home was a real highlight and stuff that dream holidays are made of. We received a very warm welcome from our hosts and their team who looked after us during our stay. They really meant it when they invited us "to make yourselves at home".....if only home-life was like this everyday! In addition to enjoying the pool and hospitality during our stay, we also went for walks in the forest, shopped for exotic foods at the lively local market and dined by the waterfront in KK town. We loved our time here and must congratulate our hosts on creating such a relaxing and enjoyable holiday experience for anyone lucky enough to stay with them.

Date of Stay 25 April 2011
Blissful stay
We stayed in the honeymoon bungalow for 3 nights in April 2011. The view from the bungalow is amazing, looking out through the jungle to the town of Kota Kinabalu below.. We were so well looked after by Rose, her family and the maid and cook. We opted to stay in for lunch and dinner and share our evening meal with the family and other guests in the main house - which we were told (and they meant it) to treat as our own. Lots of great food, company and comaraderie with talk about everyone's adventures during the day. The cook will cater to your tastes - she made the best curry we had in Malaysia! The bungalows are spacious, clean with their own shower/toilet and the most comfortable bed on our trip. There is also a lovely pool, again with the best view over the jungle towards the ocean. We loved every moment of our stay!

Recommended for: Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Tourists without a Car, Romantic Getaway

Janice Moreland

Date of Stay 28 October 2009
Paradise for bikers and travellers in Malaysia
Sinarambi has spoilt us; we don't want to visit anywhere else in the world! Terry and Rose are superb hosts and the fully staffed Sinurambi is a delight for a few days or a week or more. The views really are breathtaking, and if you ride motorbikes (650cc) be escorted on the fantastic roads round Kota Kinabalu. The roads have been designed with bikers in mind; long curving sweeps that climb up and down mountains, cross little streams, through rice paddies and mountain jungle. The views are beautiful and you will have time to take it all in as you stop 6000ft up mountains to have tea and take a break from the saddle. The food in Malaysia is very tasty, with an emphasis on fresh local produce. I have threatened Rose's cook, Uli, more than once that I am taking her back to Australia with me! I can not recommend a visit to Terry and Rose highly enough; you won't be disappointed.

Recommended for: Adventure Seekers, Sightseeing, Romantic Getaway

Jo-Ann Sim

Date of Stay 27 June 2009
Home from home
We stopped here in Summer of 2009 for 2 weeks. You could not ask for better service, the views are out of this world. The rooms are first class, the meals cater for any and everyone, wonderful food. There is no local transport, but if you do not have your own, Rose or one of the staff will take you into Saba and collect you. and they collect and take you to the airport. If you do not want to eat in, Rose can tell you all the local places to eat, we had a suberb Indian meal for about 5 a head for all you could eat. Rose and the maids (Uley and Agnus) go out of their way to do all they can for you, and make your stay perfect.

Recommended for: Adventure Seekers, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway



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Photo Credit: Mills collection