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“great place to stay for diving holiday”

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Sipadan Mabul Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pulau Mabul
Reviewed 8 April 2015

Its not 5 star, but had everything we needed. The food was great, buffet style, always plenty of it. Rooms were clean and cool, lovely outdoor shower. Nice to have a pool for after diving. Nicer, I think, than the water bungalows, because you could wander around a bit. Diving equipment was in good condition, guides were excellent, we particularly liked Sam. And we got to dive Sipidan twice!!!! This is one place I think we'll go back to. For those concerned about security in this part of the country, Sabah has made a big effort in this area with loads more policing and curfews etc. There was a large police prescence that made itself felt. We felt perfectly safe.

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Rachel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 March 2015

Stayed there from March 1. to 6. 2015. I was welcomed by Eva, who is the manager on duty, of the water bungalow section. She really know what the word SERVICE means! Whatever things you want to know, she has the solution! :-)

I was guaranteed one day diving on the housereef of Sipadan, but got two, ho-ho! 5 wonderful dives, 2 which were filmed by one of the dive-crew. The DVD costed me MYR 229,-, but it's worth the money. In addition to the Sipadan dives, I also had some good dives around Mabul.

This is the first time I stayed in an "over water bungalow", and it was a great experience, but it comes with a price. A real thanks to Eva and her staff, who gave me outstanding service and attention. Not to forget divemaster Ryan, who took good care of me on the Sipadan dives! Thank you Ryan, for taking security seriously! :-)

Room Tip: Water bungalow is recommended, but you have to pay a lot!
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  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Hans Petter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2015

Right, lets get some things clear. This is not a small tropical island where you can walk around alone on a white beach. Mabul resort have around 100m of beach, the rest is occupied by the 2000 local fishermen or workers from the different hotels on the island. In addition to sipadan mabul resort (smart) they also own the water bungalows on the other side of the island but they cost more. Swimming from the beach is not allowed because of stonefish and stingrays, so jumping into the water from the water bungalows or catching a boat is your only options.

In addition, I most say that the place is pricey, and it would have been nice to get some additional treats when staying there. For the standard chalet you really dont get anything beside a bed and a bathroom. There is no TV, no safe, no cooler for your water, you get one single power outlet, they dont have madrasses for the pool chairs, and the buffet style dinner consist of 4 - 5 different types of warm dishes on a rotation.

Still - as a diver, I must admit that they can charge a lot just for the location. The house reef alone is worth a visit, and sipadan is everything that you hope it will be. The equitment for hire is of good quality, the boats and the divemasters are great, everything works without any hassle and you can consentrate on the beautiful diving.

My recommendation - go here if you can dive, choose something less pricey in vietnam or the philliines if you just want somewhere to get some sun on a beach.

  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank AtleIndrelid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2014

This is my first review ever after years of diving. I having been traveling all over the world for many years going to places I feel are "scuba worthy". I am from Florida and mostly dive in the Caribbean. I decided to take a "bucket list" vacation and travel to the other side of the world...Malaysia and the Maldives Islands. I knew a lot about the Maldives but honestly didn't know much about Sipadan Island. I was actually talked into going to Sipadan by a travel agent who helped with my Maldives trip. I stayed at the Sipadan Mabul Water Bungalows and this is why I am writing my first ever review. When I booked my reservation I was to stay on the land resort called SMART and was booked to share a room with someone. I must tell you that I am not one to enjoy rooming with a stranger and do enjoy my "alone" time while on vacation. With that in mind, I arrived at the Tawau airport where I was picked up by a staff member from the resort. I was the only person he picked up and got into the van for the hour ride to Semporna. I am so used to arriving at airport and being one of a group of people picked up to travel to the resorts. So now I am worried that I made a mistake since I am all alone in the van. It starts to rain about 15 minutes before getting to Semporna and I am thinking ....great not looking good so far. We arrive and the van drivers grabs my luggage and tells me to go to the dock around the corner. I see this boat that is not the best looking and he tells me to take a seat. I jump onto the boat and notice that there are some other Malaysian with kids joining me. No worries, so we take off and I am looking out of my window seat of the boat and notice all the trash in the water just floating on top. So now I am really questioning my choice of coming here. We travel about an hour and we come up to this beautiful resort out in the middle of nowhere. I am met at the dock by staff who quickly grab my luggage and walk me to the dining restaurant. This is when my whole vacation turned from, "oh my god what have I got myself into" to "holly crap this is heaven".

I am asked to take my shoes off and walk inside the restaurant where I am greeted by 3 beautiful Malaysian women who offer me a drink of juice and tell me to help myself to the lunch buffet. As I am eating, this very nice women comes over to me and introduces herself as Eva. She hands me some paper work to fill out and introduces me to a dive master. Once I finished with lunch and filling out paperwork the DM takes me around and shows me the dive center, lockers, dive board, etc. Then Eva comes back to me and tells me five words that would change my whole vacation and says, "We have upgraded your room." After the initial shock, she informs me that I will be staying in the Water Bungalows and alone/no roommate. I can not tell you how big a smile I had on my face but my face hurt for almost an hour after..lol

I am taken to my room #209 and it is unbelievable. Probably the best place I have ever stayed on my scuba trips. The room was beautiful and right over the water. I am then taking for a house reef dive to check weights and get me ready for the dives next day. At dinner, a dive master comes to my table and introduces himself to me as my DM for tomorrows dive and that we are going to Sipadan Island. I am thinking now, this can't be true, did I die and gone to heaven???
I understand that you get to to Sipadan once or twice during a stay, but since I was there for 8 days I thought I might get lucky and go twice to Sipadan. Well I was wrong..........I went 7 times, yes that's right, SEVEN TIMES out of 8 days. The dive masters and dive center is top notch and very professional and took care of your every need.

If you are a scuba diver and you have not been to Sipadan Mabul Water Bungalows Resort then you are missing the finer things in life. This place has been the BEST place I have traveled to and it made me write my first review on Trip Advisory. The people there are so nice, always smiling, saying hello and making sure you enjoy ever moment there. The food was unreal. I must have gained 20 lbs eating the food, it was that good. So what I thought was going to be a not so good trip turned out to be my best trip ever. Eva and Jenny are the best and they have won me over and I will make this place that I will come to every year. Trust me people......this place is great. Now it was slow season and not many people there so I assume that is why I got to go to Sipadan Island 7 out of the 8 days there.

So in closing, I just want to thank Eva and Jenny and everyone else that my trip something that I will never forget. I can not wait to go back and will stay longer on the next go around. I love this place......:)

Manny

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank MannyMariani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2014 via mobile

Few days ago our group came back from diving holidays at Mabul.I've seen more turtles than fish,accommodation was simple(nothing wrong with that)but nice and clean,no complaint regarding room service.Food nice(buffet 3 times a day).Staff was OK.Dive guides helpful.At the end of our stay resort gave us dinner at the beach,performed some songs.Only bad thing about the place is that you have to keep everything locked(dive guides kept stressing that out),as I have found it the hard way,my pair of shoes disappeared over night half way through our stay.

Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
4  Thank Dariusz R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2014

This place it well worth your money and more to. We simply loved it. We stayed here for 5 days and were sad to leave because all the staff has treated us so kindly and the facilities were so nice. We stayed in a stand alone chalet with a lovely sea-view. The chalet was nice with lots of space, clean and with a romantic bathroom out in the open.
All was just perfect - and the diving-staff were very professional. We had our one personal diving-chief and she made us fell welcome from the very first second we sat our feet on the island.
Deniah - from out hearts - thanks so very much letting us getting to know you - it was a privilege.
The diving is fantastic and god organised. We can't find anything bad to say about our stay - even the coffee was god.
After this diving trip we toke to Layang Layang with is much more expensive, but what a wast of money. Better to put your money in Sipidan Mabul Resort SMART.

Room Tip: The stand alone chalet is very nice and worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank FamilyJensen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2014

me and my family had the most amazing experience here. We travelled around borneo for 3 weeks and ended the trip here thankfully.

The people are amazing and the location is amazing. (Also the diving of course)

this place is good for anyone.

we have 3 dives a day and after each dive food, tea and coffee were always there in the eating area.

do not worry about rooms if you are super fussy. You are always out diving and snorkeling that we only went to our rooms to sleep

MUST book sipadan day trip!! you can't stay here and not go thats just cruel.

ALSO you can visit the water bungalows on the other side (owned by the same people) we went there for cocktails at night and snorkling. You still get the same amenities as the bungalow people just not paying heaps of money.

Room Tip: beach front is always nice but we had the cheapest ones and were fine with it as you are so busy we...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Broganlynhope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sipadan Mabul Resort

Address: P O Box 15571 Kota Kinabalu, Pulau Mabul 88865, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SIPADAN-MABUL RESORT (SMART) is situated at Mabul Island overlooking the well-known Sipadan Island. It is a dive destination resort that began its modest operations back in 1993 and has since grown into a well-established and reputable resort as it is today. SMART has 42 land-based chalets (22 unit stand-alone detached chalets, 18 unit standard semi-detached chalets and 2 unit suite chalets) which can accommodate up to 84 guests at any one time. All chalets are built from native materials of Borneo, mostly twin-bedded, equipped with mosquito screens, air-conditioning and come with attached bathrooms with hot shower facilities as well as free Wi-Fi internet access in the room. Other facilities include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool spa, large dining hall and bars. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan Mabul Hotel Pulau Mabul

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