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“Spectacular diving in Mabul” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort

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Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort
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Mabul Island, Pulau Mabul, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Chaiyaphum, Thailand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Spectacular diving in Mabul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

We had an amazing time in Mabul.

Diving included some of the most incredible locations, Sipidan is a must!

Scuba Junkie dive masters were all of a very high standard. Well controlled and confident.

Accommodation and meals were just what we needed!

All round a great experience and would recommend it to anyone and everyone!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Milano
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

The location is nice, full of young people, with some simple bungalows. The resort has also a nice bar and a meal area where you can use their wifi connection free. They also have a laundry service.
The dive centre is well equipped (also the snorkeling equipment is nice and free) and the instructors are very experienced and they let you feel really safe underwater! Every day they arrange dive excursions in different islands and on sipadan (even if some excursions are quite expensive, as most of the diving centres are). However the price for the courses (we made the advanced open water) was fair, approx. 240 eur per person.
For what concerns the food, it is of quite a good quality even if the menu is almost the same every day, and they do not cook fish, just meat, noodles, french fries, pasta, veggies, rice, etc..
The price of the resort is not so high if you consider that you don't have to spend any more money for eating, except for beers and cocktails.
We would go again in the same resort if we will be in sabah in the future!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Im still not sure how I feel about this place.
When I booked I was put on a waiting list for Sipadan...I found out once I was there that this basically means you are not diving at Sipadan. Had I known this before I would have booked somewhere else since the reason you go to Mabul is to dive Sipadan.
The place is really nice. It seems to be one of the most popular on Mabul so I guess the chance of getting a Sipadan permit is quite low unless you have booked months and months in advance. There were around 25 units, and a large dorm room so there are a lot of people there as the place is usually booked out.
The food was nice, but nothing amazing. Its a buffet style and served at certain times.
It is really expensive accomodation...even if the room doesnt have a/c.
The staff are really nice and helpful, and we didnt have any problems dealing with them.
I was diving while my partner was snorkelling. For me it was a really full on day of diving. You basically get up, have breakfast, dive, lunch, dive, dive again, eat, sleep. Its really tiring! I would probably go for 2 dives a day next time. I ended up doing 2 days diving of 6 dives in total. 5 were at Mabul, and 1 at Kapalai. I was a little disappointed there wasnt more dives away from Mabul.
The diving however was fantastic....but it wasnt Sipadan!
We left a day early as we knew we were not going to Sipadan. Theres nothing else to do on the island except diving. The beaches are not the best, and snorkelling from the island is average.
Overall was quite disappointed with the whole experience.
Borneo Divers next door was a lot quieter, so maybe try them?

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

I opted to stay at Scuba Junkie Mabul for 5 nights in a dorm room. The dorm had 5 bunkbeds sleeping 10 people and three bathrooms. The dorm was of a high quality although it was quite hot at night time to sleep despite having three modern wall mounted ceiling fans. The food was reasonably varied and of a good quality. Water, tea and coffee were provided free of charge and available all day. Squash was available at breakfast and dinner but not lunch. There was a bar upstairs which was fairly reasonably priced. Evening activities were laid on twice during my stay including a band night and quiz night. Overall the resort was well kept. The downsides of the resort were 140RM/110RM dorm charge (Non Diver/Diver), you can get a dorm for 40RM/70RM (without/with food) elsewhere on the island. Also, Mabul is an island full of contrast, be aware sea gypsies are living next door discarding rubbish in the water, going to the toilet on the beach, children beg as you lay on the sun loungers (i caught one going through a friends bag) and stray dogs wander the beach (they can be aggressive at times), hidden charge of 50RM each way transfer cost plus 10RM port depature tax. If your here to dive and not do anything else it's probably a perfect place for you for a few days. If you are a non diver or a couple/group of friends with non divers in you may be disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sausalito, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

We stayed seven nights at Scuba Junkie’s Mabul Beach Resort in May 2012. Great all round experience—from the reservation process, transportation to Mabul, enthusiastic resort/dive staff, comfortable rooms (we stayed in the VIP and aircon rooms), to the efficient dive shop.

We stayed the night in KK and took the morning flight to Tawau, and arranged a private transfer from the airport to the island. Very convenient. Costs more than the daily scheduled boat transport to Mabul, but well worth it if you don’t want to spend the night in Semporna.

Small dive groups (2-4 divers per DM), rental equipment in very good order, comfortable boats. Really enjoyed diving with the dive masters -- thanks Sophia, Aziz, Cindy! Sipadan was amazing and also enjoyed Si Amil (beautiful island).

MBR-SJ seems to attract divers of all ages from all over the world (we are in our 40s from California). We appreciated socializing with others post-dive in the bar and beach areas.

Also very much appreciated the environmental focus, both above and below the surface. Pleased to see the no-fish on the menu policy.

For the price and dive operation, you can’t beat MBR-SJ. Highly recommend.

Side note: We also stayed four nights at another high-end resort located on the sand bank, but we preferred the dive operation and atmosphere of MBR-SJ.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Palmerston North, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Everything was nice and easy from the beginning, they picked up us with my partner at the airport. We spend the night at the basic but clean Semporna backpacker. When we arrived to the Mabul Island, we were impressed by the resort, a piece of heaven for us! However, beside the nice bungalows, the Island itself is a bit dirty, due to the many resorts and to the local villagers.
We found out though that Scuba Junkie is the only resort to provide a free rubbish collection service for the local villagers, which is a GREAT initiative quite rare for such resort, they are really concerned about the sustainability of their business and how to involve the local people, just talk to them!
The diving was great! Friendly staff, warm water and fish everywhere! The food was ok but not fantastic, oblyiously I don't fancy much malaysian food...

Overall, go for it! For a reasonable price you get what you are looking for, great dive and relaxing time! In addition they are putting a lot of efforts for marine life conservation and sustainability of their resort, it must be praised!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Aalst, Belgium
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

First of all, like i read in other reviews, you definitly need to make a difference between the hostel at Semporna and the Mabul Beach Resort.
The hostel for me is just a passing through, and what you can expect for that price: a bed to sleep in and a shower (although that last one was not very inviting...) The food in the bar downstairs does deserve a recommendation and we regretted not eating there the night we arrived.
But then... the transfer to the Mabul beach resort... I can honestly say that me and my friends were very excited when we arrived (soaking wet from the trip but very enthousiastic for our diving adventures to come!) :D The place is very clean and very well maintained. We stayed in a fan room with 3 with a rather extra large bathroom, so very comfortabel indeed! And our own private balcony! After our first day we immediatly decided that we wanted to extend our stay for 1 more day and we did not regret that for a second!
The food is very good (buffetstyle so you can choose what and how many), especially if you keep in mind what you pay for the whole package (accomodation, food and drinks, diving). The bar serves cocktails for a very decent price and depended on who you get ;), they are generous with the alcohol... so if you don't go diving very early the next morning...
The diving with scuba junkie exceeded all of my expectations: professional, funny, down to earth, interesting, dive masters that really know what they are doing and are very enthousiastic to give you all the information you need, pre and post diving briefings, ... I really enjoyed diving with them and if it wasn't that far to fly i would be back in a second! Sipadan, book in advance people, spots are limited and that is a good thing for the island! Diving at Mabul and nearby islands is great but the Sipadan experience ... well, mindblowing would do i think ;) Sharks, jacks, barracuda's, sharkshagging ;), turtles, floating on the currents, fighting the currents, the big blue and nothing else,.... truly amazing!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort

Address: Mabul Island, Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24

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