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All reviewsdive resortfishsea breezemarine lifeno air conartificial islandchinese touristswatched turtlesprivate terraceplace is beautifulbuffet stylefull capacitysea snakeslunch and dinnerkota kinabaluan aquariumdining hall
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8 - 13 of 568 reviews
Reviewed October 31, 2017 via mobile

We have just flown to Sandakan after staying in Kapalai Dive resort for 4 days /3 nights

I was slightly apprehensive about the stay due to the bad reviews that have been posted recently.

TRAVELLING TO THE RESORT -
We flew to Tawau, then an hours coach trip to Semporna jetty, where you are picked up by boat and transferred to the resort ( about 30 mins )

THE RESORT -
On approaching the resort I was overwhelmed by its beauty. It is truely breathtaking, we were welcomed off the boat by the staff and given drinks whilst we checked in. Next was an orientation of the resort (again, it's BEAUTIFUL)
The resort is very well kept and every care is taken to ensure the natural marine beauty is preserved.

THE ROOM -
We opted for a new room - no air conditioning but in room 54 there is the breeze from the prevailing wind keeps you cool of a night. Modern and beautiful decor with the most magnificent balcony where we viewed many turtles, blue spotted rays, sharks, clown fish trigger fish pipe fish, banded sea snake, barracuda, sail fish. The rooms are absolutely beautiful and you can get golf buggies around the resort in the heat.

FOOD -
The food is not amazing, it’s is mainly catered to the Chinese and each dish is not labelled. There is an egg station however and a barbecue most nights.

The diving in Sipadan is absolutely AMAZING!!!! The list of fish and marine life we saw was endless! We can’t wait to return to this resort it is absolutely amazing

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Elle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 21, 2017 via mobile

Went in the month of October for 5D4N dive package. We had a great time diving there with our dive guide Glenn, who had an eye for even the smallest critters :)

1. Transport from Tawau
They'll load you on a bus and transport you to the pier (~1hr), where you'll be taken to the resort via speedboat (another 1hr bumpy ride!). Not the best experience for anyone prone to motion sickness.

2. Resort and rooms
The resort is huge with over 60+ rooms but there's ample space for everyone. Beautiful scenery everywhere and comfortable accommodation. We stayed in one of the newer rooms so it was furthest away from the dive centre and restaurant.

Although it seems they were at full capacity when we were there, we didn't feel that it was too crowded at all.

3. Food
Food is served buffet style. Breakfast - fresh eggs, waffles made on the spot, toasts, local Malaysian fare like kway teow goreng, curry chicken. Lunch is similar to breakfast. Dinner is mostly seafood (crabs, prawns, fish) with spaghetti, rice etc.

Beverages like coffee, tea, milk, juices are available throughout the day with muffins, cookies etc.

4. Dive centre and diving/snorkelling
Glenn was our dive guide for the three days in Mabul/Kapalai and Sipadan. He was amazing! Do note Sipadan is 4 dives while MBL/KPL is 3 dives per day. Unlimited dives on house reef is also available.

The best part is most guests are NOT here for diving so the dive group was kept small.

The dive centre staff were helpful and helped with cleaning our gears! Refreshment was also provided between dives.

We snorkelled around the resort as well, and there's plenty of space to do so. Just a note that they do not force you to wear life jackets for snorkelling, but currents can get quite strong.

The only downside was that smoking was allowed in the dive centre. Otherwise it would have been perfect.

5. Service
The resort staff were professional and always ready to greet with a smile. Note they do speak English decently well. Thumbs up to the buggy drivers who were always made it a point to "tompang" us back to our room!

The majority of guests were from China, but they were all quite well behaved (no shouting, running around or being rude) when it comes to meal time etc. All in all it was a good stay!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jiayingyeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 27, 2017

This is a SCUBA DIVE (snorkel) location ONLY.
This is NOT a honeymoon destination.
The location is incredible and worth seeing and experiencing for 1 or 2 nights only!
The dive center is excellent (equipment & staff were top)

The resort itself - the rooms are spacious but by no means luxury. Rooms V2 or from 50 and above are the best rooms (not 43)!
You cannot freely swim in the sea (scuba or snorkel only).
Ping pong tables are good fun in the evening, but they need to be cleaned and maintained.
Aside from the scuba dive center, the resort is generally lacking and needs some TLC and some managerial improvements. The staff are polite but come across as if they cannot be bothered to work.
Food is served as a buffet style but is more like canteen style.

Room Tip: Only stay here if you are scuba diving and don't mind canteen style food
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank NALondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 24, 2017 via mobile

First of all, If your are a diver (does not matter which level) you must come to kapalai... this is the best but the best dive site of the world. I have travelled for 38 hours to get there and İt really worthed it, even for the third time. Fantastic diving, good service for divers, amazing crew and amazing dive guide and friend, Don. Especially if you take pictures, you are pampered both underwater and above the water. They find and show amazing creatures, carry your camera and tell you what lens to put on etc. Words are not enough for the experience...
However, you should not expect much from the resort; no air condition (but nice breeze), food is not for eurapean taste and not much facility.
I really appeciate if the management change the chef:) because I will come back.
Wait for me Don.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank Kasikci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 9, 2017 via mobile

The resort is overcrowded with chinese families shouting. There are long queues for lunch and dinner. Chinese jump from the jetty and scare every fish away, feet splash, smoke, stand on the corals and there is trash everywhere. Very far from a dream destination.

Stayed: August 2017
10  Thank Ruijika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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