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“Very good island for turtle spotting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Selingan Island Resort

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Selingan Island Resort
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2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Pulau Selingan, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pulau Selingan
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Very good island for turtle spotting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

This was our 3rd night of a short tour out of Sandakan - the last night after 2n on the Kinabantagan River all arranged through SI tours who were excellent.
After the 1 hour speed boat from Sindakan Sim Sim Jetty we arrived about 1130am.
The Island is a National Park - so has Rangers permanently stationed here to monitor the turtles. The accomodation is run by Crystal Quest. This is a small island (approx. 500 m across) with one side of the island available for snorkeling — which was fine. Very shallow reef with bleached corals - but some new coral growth evident and a really great array of marine life to see. Not the best in Borneo I'm sure but pretty good in safe waters. The beach is picture postcard pretty, very quiet as only limited numbers on the island and watched over by lifeguards.
Accomodation was fine - 4 chalets each with individual rooms. Our 3 rooms in chalet D were good - very clean with hot water. Even had an AC which seemed a bit OTT on such a small island — would be better if they put mosquito nets on windows so that you could have sea breeze with fans. Food and canteen were pretty dismal. Crystal Quest has a monopoly on the food and accomodation and came across as having a lump it or like us attitude.
The turtle watching in the evening (all Park Rangers) was great. There was very much a no touch rule and everyone respected the no flashes/no lights shining at turtles. No nesting was disturbed. The Rangers came across as caring, informative and committed.
They want to get you off the island at 0700 the next day — certainly you have to vacate room then. All a bit bonkers — another Crystal Quest issue. We managed to negotiate through our SI guide to leave at 0900 - which allowed us some time on the beach and further snorkeling (from 0830) before we left.
Also worth mentioning the Turtle islands are part Malaysian and others belonging to the Philippines. However, even with recent troubles further south in Sabah before our arrival we felt safe throughout our trip.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our trip here — despite Crystal Quest.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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Benitachell Spain
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We have just returned from a visit to this island - I did check on tripadvisor before hand so had a rough idea what to expect. Our luggage was left at the hotel to which we were returning for a few more days. We took rucksacks with washing gear, change of clothes & swim wear. beach towels and snorkeling equipment can be hired for a small charge. The room was very basic but clean, as was the shower room, overhead fan plus old air con unit!! The food provided is local cuisine very basic and not to every one taste. The staff very nice and their prime care is for the wild life in particluar the turtle - the afternoon we spent on the beach, white sand and warm sea. The fish world is fabulous really enjoyed the snorkelling colourful fish and plenty of them. We saw quite a few monitor lizards one quite large, a sea eagle several times. Dinner served at 1830 followed by a short video and a tour/talk about the small museum. We were told there is no specific time for the turtles to arrive, any time after dark. We have to wait until she has dug her nest, if she becomes startled due to noise etc she will go back to sea. Our call came at 2130 she had been digging for an hour! we watched her lay 98 eggs - it was such an experience. She was a first time mum therefore had to be tagged - we were warned that it does hurt and to look away if this caused you upset, it is necessary and from her reaction it did hurt :( Once the eggs are laid they are removed immediately by the rangers - and taken to the hatchery. This involves the rangers digging a 'nest' covering it over and placing wire protection against the monitor lizards. We then went back to the beach to watch 21 hatchlings released - so brilliant. There were five turtles on the beach that night and a total of 337 eggs. It is a brilliant experience BUT it is not five star - it is very basic accommodation as is the food, so don't go expecting someone to be waiting on you everything is self service !! We watching the Green Turtle lay her eggs - there is no flash photography allowed - I can't tell you how many times we are told this but there is always one !

Room Tip: these are wooden huts close to the beach so none were better than the other
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Melbourne
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

As part of a 4 day three night tour with Borneo Eco tours we started our first night a Selingan Island. I did not expect much, but did at least expect a clean room. It was disgusting to say the least. Beware, if you are there to watch the Turtles hatch, they could come ashore anytime between 7PM and 7AM, so be prepared to wait all night, with no wake-up service, no, you have to hang around till they hopefully arrive. The food for lunch and dinner was the same, and in my world, unedible. With luggag, there were also no assistance and you are responsible for packing, unpacking and carrying your luggage from the boat, across the beach to your room. We saw turle hatch, but again were not invite to see their relase to the ocaen. The only good part of our stay was the swim in the ocean off a beautiful beach. So, to all planning to do this trip, I would advice skip Selingan Island and go directly to Sukua Rainforrest Lodge. To close off, I do support the efforts of the Turtle Sanctuary, but come-on, if you need more funding, invest a little more into your potential funders.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Spending a night on Selingan Island is more than worth the long boat ride out there. It's a tiny island (no more than 300sq m) that houses a turtle conservation and research facility, however a small number of people are permitted to stay each night to join in on their activities.

The island is peaceful and beautiful, the accommodation is small but impeccably well kept. Lunch, dinner and breakfast buffets are provided, and the food is fresh and tasty. You can swim, snorkel, relax and watch the sunset with a beer. "Turtle time" is right after dinner. A brief tour through the small museum is very informative, then the group heads onto the beach to witness the Green Sea Turtle laying her eggs (most nights are lucky enough to catch one). The eggs are collected for conservation efforts, then the hatchlings are released when they're ready. This is how the night ends, as you also get to witness the baby turtles being released into the ocean.

If you like turtles, and relaxing for a day on a tropical island, I recommend coming here. It will only take just over a day out of your schedule.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Releasing the overflow of baby sea turtles in to the island before anyone else woke in the morning was the most amazing experience ever! Being fortunate enough to witness two mother's beach to lay eggs during the night was amazing. Monitor's roaming the island, coral and beautiful fish in the surf for snorkelling and walking a sunset on a remote island made this an unbelievable experience. The room had two beds, four walls, a roof, air-conditioner and geckos to keep the insects at bay (granted it wasn't a Hilton or Le Meridian - but then again they don't have endangered turtle species or a wildlife reserve...) If you're going for comfort maybe watching Nemo on the TV is a better fit, but if you're going for an experience which leaves you breathless and teaches you the importance of conservation then get yourself on the next boat, get your hands dirty and enjoy mother nature's gifts (trust me, those who went to bed early, woke up late and were expecting room service missed it all!)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

After a bumpy boat trip we arrived at Turtle Island, as I expected it was pretty basic but adequate for everyone's needs. The rooms were clean and the food although basic, was fine. They are not set up to cater for luxury dependant tourists, the focus is on the turtles. We were very fortunate to see a turtle come up at night and lay her eggs, and also to see a batch of hatchlings released into the ocean. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Banbury
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Well, the room was tiny and like a dormitory with spartan twin beds and no facilities at all beyond air conditioning and a small bathroom. It was just adequately clean.

But... you are staying in paradise. Who cares about the room when you have the incredible experience of staying on your own desert island? It's the only place you can stay there, after all.

There's not a lot to do during the day besides aquatic pursuits. However, as early as late afternoon we were able to see a couple of confused tiny baby turtles heading for the sea on the beach. And then the fun really starts in the evening. The experience of being about nine inches from a green turtle whilst she was laying her eggs will live with me for eternity. And the babies! So many hatched the night that we were there that everyone was asked to help round them up as they were running off in all directions - the park rangers simply couldn't cope. Having tiny baby hatchling turtles in both hands was a dream come true as we helped orientate them towards the sea and their freedom.

One of the most incredible evenings of my life, and an experience I will simply have to repeat at some point.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Selingan Island Resort

Address: Pulau Selingan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Pulau Selingan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pulau Selingan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Selingan Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 337
Also Known As:
Selingan Island Hotel Pulau Selingan

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