We were riding a modified pick-up truck to take us to our home in Gunung Mulu National Park, the Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa. The painted sceneries of caves, forest, hornbills and more wrapping the truck got me excited on the things we may experience during our stay in this UNESCO world heritage inscribed site. It’s not easy going to this part of Sarawak, Malaysia. On air, only MASwings flies direct from either Kuching or Miri. The long arduous way is by road, boat and a little hike. And what better way to compliment a stay in this nature reserve? Be amidst Borneo’s rainforest.
Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa
As soon as our truck rolled-in reverse along the a narrow metal bridge over Melinau river, I knew we were into some place special. The 101-room Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is the first rainforest resort in the Asia Pacific. Acquired from the 20-year old Royal Mulu Resort before, Marriott placed its stamp of quality and elegance but kept the best of what the former resort was known for. Being eco-friendly, embraced by nature and design inspired by the local culture.
Surrounded by Trees
Aside from being embraced by the clear waters of Melinau River which also serves as a local thoroughfare, Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is surrounded by trees. The whole resort is elevated with connecting plank walkways to lessen the impact on the forest. The walkways connects the main facilities and the accommodations grouped in blocks. Some blocks have both the view of the river and the forest or only the trees.
I felt at home being comfortable in the mountains. I enjoy hearing the natural sound of the birds (and seeing some of them too), the gentle rustle of the leaves brushed by the winds. And sometimes delighted to see a few common squirrels scuttling along tree branches. I sometimes make sure to walk carefully not to disturb some insects like an almost unrecognisable stick insect by our doorsteps.
Cool and Cozy Rooms
The whole resort design is inspired by the longhouses of native tribes. We had a Premier Double Room just near the main common areas. It was a huge 49 square meter room with wooden floors, comfortable chairs, two double beds with a generous number of pillows, a large cable TV, personal fridge, a Nespresso machine, a see-through toilet with tub and our very own private balcony overlooking the river.
While the floor may squeak often times, it was a really comfortable and elegant room. I find myself often staying at the private balcony basking in the tranquility whether meditating, reading a book, or simply having a cup of coffee.
Top Notch Facilities
Coming to Mulu, I did notice how weak the cellular signal here is. There was no data on my network so it’s commendable that the resort have a “working”wifi in the common areas. Not that speedy, but enough to connect and check emails when necessary. Common areas are the River Lounge and Bar area, the lobby and the pool area with a 15-meter long lap pool.
They also have a cute and good looking yoga room by the cafe. Rates are quite steep though at RM 75 per class so I just contented on doing self practice in the area. They also have a full fledged spa and a fully equipped gym. Both are close to each other and have a relaxing rainforest view.
The M Cafe is the lone dining area at the resort. It’s beside the pool and has both an al fresco and dining area. Breakfast are served here. Dinner depends on the number of people. When plenty of guest, they have a buffet. When just a few, orders are by ala carte.
Food in general had been very good. Coffee had been consistently exceptional. I enjoyed the local fares more like the fried mee kolo, umai, laksa and the rendang. American/European fares, pastries and desserts have room to improve though.
Service had been very good too. Staff were approachable and helpful. And the resort had free shuttle service to the national park, making the Gunung Mulu experience seamless. After a day of adventure, Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa just have the right pampering in mind for its guest.
Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa (Book Online)
Sungai Melinau, 98008 Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.