There are many places within an easy driving distance of Kuching which are good for a night or two away. There are the hotels/beach
resorts and then there are also homestays and places where you can camp if you are keen. Again, as this website is dedicated to those with children, we are not going to re-hash what you can find in your Lonely Planet, but tell you what has worked for us and our kids.
The Santubong penninsula has some nice beaches and resorts are found at most of them. Of Santubong Resort, Damai Beach Resort, and Damai Puri, Damai Beach is the nicest. They have a special family room which you can stay in if it is available, if not their standard rooms are also ok. They have a children’s club which is a good place for the children to play if it is raining.
Camp Permai is the last accomodation along that stretch of road. It is not a hotel but has rooms, challets, and tree house accomodation. You are also able to camp at Camp Permai with the camping ground being located near the second beach. It offers basic facilities and does not encourage you to bring your own food in as they have a restaurant they would prefer people to eat at. For further info on Camp Permai check in out in the beach section of the Day Trips.
Lundu/Sematan area has many places to stay. A couple of names that come to mind as being good for our kids when we have stayed are Palm Beach Resort and Sematan Beach Challets in Sematan. Union Yes Bank Retreat in Lundu, and the Gunung Gading National Park. The Bank retreat place needs to be book and paid for in town before you go. It is a great place for a couple of days away and if you ask for a challet on the beach you can sit on the balcony with your feet up while you watch the kids play.
Bau the area around Bau is great for exploring, many of our hash runs are held around this area. A place that we have stayed is Addis
Buan Resort (please note that it is NOT a resort!). They charge a minimal entrance fee and have toilets and showers.
It has a nice river with some Kayaks that can be hired. The owners have built a long house where you can rent a room for the night or you can set up tents and camp. It is fun when you are with a group of people but it is very basic. The rooms have no fans and you will want to take your own bedding.
The last time we went we organised in advance for the owner to cook for us saving us the hassle of taking everything. They do have BBQ’s there. This is also a good place to go for a day trip (in fact it may be better not to stay;)).
To get to Addis Buan head out of town towards Bau. On the way you come to a big junction signposted Bamboo Gardens/Redeem Centre. Head down this road and don’t turn off until you see the signs for Addis Buan. It is probably 20 minutes from that turn off. I will find the owners phone number and post it soon.
Borneo Heights is an area with many new homestays popping up, you are also able to stay at Annah Rais long house (a travel agent should be able to do the booking for you). A few weeks ago we stayed at Bidayuh Annahrais Longhouse Homestay which is run by Joda. This homestay is not actually in Annah Rais, nor is it a longhouse, but it is still part of the Annah Rais village.
Joda and his sisters are amazingly hospitable and were very accomodating. We had a big group staying and used most of the rooms and also had some groups in tents camping. Joda has special homestay packages which include meals, tours, jungle activities, and even a laundry service.
To link to Bidayuh Annahrais Homestay click here
Along the same road to Annahrais is Serimu Longhouse River Lodge. The lodge is located just at the base of the entrance to Borneo Highlands Resort. The Lodge offers simple accomodation in a ‘longhouse’. Rooms have attached bathrooms, and extra mattresses can be requested. The river there is just beyong the longhouse and is a good spot for children to play as it is shallow and safe. They have bamboo rafts that the kids love to play on too. For more information, link through to their website here.