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“Bedbugs” 1 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
new york city
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Bedbugs”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

I am very compelled to share this information.
I stayed at SJ Mabul dormitory for 3 nights. On the first 2 nights, I woke up with severe itch on my legs, arms and shoulders. I asked to switch beds, at which point i SAW a dead bedbug on the new dormitory bed!! I went to the Resort Manager to show/inform her of the bed bug situation. She expressed very little compassion or empathy - she said to me "we deal with this everyday" - well if it was dealt with, there would be NO bedbugs. She also told me that that they will look into it. Well, a few hours later, I met a girl who was assigned to the same bed that I had slept in. So much for taking this issue seriously.

I had also seen a bedbug at SJ Semporna dormitory. Luckily, I saw the bedbug before I slept in the bed so I had a chance to run out of there. I should have known that SJ guests go back and forth from Semporna to Mabul locations so there would be no escaping the bedbugs.

That issue aside, the resort itself was maintained well and the diving schedule was organized quite seamlessly. The food was ok. We were fed the same rice, noodle, and vegetable (diced carrots, peas and corn) dishes everyday, with a slight variation in the meat dish. The coffee/tea was available all day which was nice, especially coming back from the dives.
NOTE: for the 1:30pm lunch, be there ON TIME. There was never enough food because the day trippers also stopped by Mabul for lunch. Fruits and meats were gone in minutes.

Divies in Sipadan was amazing. Incredible. Phenomenal.
Dive sites around Mabul were nice, but Sipadan is a must!!! It's a completely different world at Sipadan!

I would definitely recommend staying Mabul for diving Sipadan - but save yourself the misery and do not stay at SJ

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
San Diego, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

The package price gets you in the game and the accomodations are well kept. Scuba experience is pretty spot on with a high Dive Master ratio to divers. Especially great for newbies. On site lively bar. We had a spit wad war one night which actually was a crack up. Staff is highly interactive when you make the effort. I like seafood and due to local unstainable fishing practices they refuse to serve it. That was a bit rough for me but if you're green you'll happily suck it up.

Room Tip: Most rooms come with a queen and a single bed so best value is for three travelers.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at scuba junkie mabul for 8 days in the delux ac room. Room was great, no complaints, its spacious and clean. Food was okay! We kind of got sick of it really fast but at least we never went hungry. Our biggest problem with the experience was that although the local staff was super friendly and helpful most of the "westerners" (dive masters & instructors) kind of gave us a bad vibe, yah they were knowledgable and "nice" but it felt forced and somewhat fake like you can tell they were impatient. Of course we met a few that were truly genuine.
Overall scuba junkie is a great organization that contributes to the well being of the local villages as well as the environmental / animal protection.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Very nice accommodation, food not so bad but not very diversified.
Just a little bit disappointed that they not allowed you to dive in Sipadan if you don' dive in Mabul 2 days-3 dives/day.
As we were traveling with 2 kids we dive with them 2 days but sharing the dive and even if they have some extra permit they don't allow us to go and dive in Sipadan.
:(
Fortunately we went to uncle Chang's dive center and not only they found us 2 permit last minute, but they even offer to take care for free of our 2 kids so we can dive together...
Our tip is to sleep with scuba junkie which has really nice accommodation (but more expensive) and to dive with "uncle Chang" which really has a more relax atmosphere, lovely people and very good dive master.
Or on the other hand to organize better your holiday and not to do everything last minute as we do...
But this is our style... :D

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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India
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Scuba Junkie were recommended by friends as the best place to dive the Sipadan area with and I wasn't disappointed! A dive shop that take responsible diving seriously and walk the talk on marine conservation and local community integration.

First to the rooms and food at the Mabul Beach Resort - I'd say the room was a tad expensive at close to RM400 (since I was travelling with a non-diver), though all meals are included. The food for veggies was strictly average-tasting and a bit repetitive. It could have probably been better if some variety is added from Asian/European veggie dishes and some dessert with the meals. Too much bok choy!

The great thing, though, and this is really great is that they have a policy of not serving fish and any seafood, since the fishing in the area is not sustainable at all!

As a dive-shop, I had a great experience with all my divemasters - I did 14 dives over 5 days and everything was efficient and well-organised. Spottings were great - some unique stuff like Peacock Flounder, Sea moth, Flamboyant cuttlefish etc. at Siamil - though we missed some frogfish which the other group diving with a Malay DM saw.

The only issue is the Sipadan permits - Scuba Junkie have 7 while a few others have 14 per day! Since I booked about 2 weeks before travel, I was on the waiting list for the Permit to dive Sipadan and they were full up on all days I was there. If they can add a few more permits to their kitty, then the experience of a great dive shop on Mabul would be complete!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
denpasar
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

This is the place to go for diving. Just the house reef has an incredible range of marine life, as soon as I arrived I went for a snorkel and within minutes came across a turtle, sea snake and juvenile sweetlips. There is something for everyone from excellent muck and macro diving to sharks and rays. A trip to Sipadan is a must to see unspoiled reefs and the big stuff, but book ahead as spaces are limited. What made the diving experience even better was the excellent guiding and enthusiasm of the staff every time they spotted something unusual, they are just as excited as newbies, if not more so! I was lucky to dive with staff who are also marine biologists and happy to not just identify marine life, but to share their knowledge about behaviour so I came away with a much richer experience.
The facilities are great for when not diving, open spacious restaurant, bar and areas to relax and socialise. Rooms were clean and comfortable with a balcony and hammock. The food was very good with vegetarians catered for and I love the no seafood policy, the last thing I want to see after a dive is a dead fish on a plate! This environmental consciousness underpins the whole philosophy at Scuba Junkie with waste management, energy conservation and education through presentations to divers and the local community. If you're passionate about diving and conservation then this is the place to go.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brisbane
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Stayed 7 days at the resort with 5 of those days spent diving. The rooms were clean and comfortable. All of the workers at the resort, including dive masters, were extremely personable giving the resort a very friendly vibe. The buffet food, which is included, is very tasty. Hats of to the cooks as they work really hard there trying to keep up with the piggy appetites of the customers. There is a big emphasis on looking after and respecting the environment at Scuba Junkie that we found refreshing. In comparison to other dive organisations prices Scuba Junkie gave the best bang for the buck.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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