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“Beautiful island that's being destroyed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bembaran Beach Resort

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Bembaran Beach Resort
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Pantai Dugong | Mantanani Besar Island, Kota Belud, Malaysia   |  
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Hotel amenities
London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful island that's being destroyed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights. The rooms are basic but comfortable, with fan and fully functioning traditional mandi (bucket shower). The staff were very friendly especially as I was the only English speaking tourist - most tourists are from China. The food was ok but they were seriously lacking in drinks. I did have to keep asking the kitchen for water but there were no soft drinks available to buy, just beer.

My biggest bug bear was how people were allowed to snorkel. Most people couldn't swim and were crashing about in the water. There were no warnings about how to treat the coral. Aside from the actual resort much of the beaches are covered in plastic bottles. If you walk around to the villagers side of the island most of the kids are playing with the plastic waste in the sea.

Ths island is beautiful but an ecological disaster in motion.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZamzaniPamin, Manager at Bembaran Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Coral reefs are the foundation of the economy on the Mantanani islands, mainly for the growing tourism industry. However, fish bombing is known to be a major problem in the area. In 1997, a study recorded an average of 2.5 explosions per hour in Mantanani (Pilcher & Oakley), and fish bombing continues today, with significant impacts on the islands’ reefs. The capacity of Mantanani’s reefs to continue to provide the ecosystem services mentioned above is being severely degraded by this fish bombing activity.

Mantanani’s reefs have been surveyed previously. The results of an earlier study showed that Mantanani had 64.6% Live Coral Cover in 2000 (Cabanan, 2000). Over the last 12 years, LCC has fallen to 43%, a reduction of some 30%, changing the condition from ‘Good’ to ‘Fair’.
It appears that blast fishing has largely contributed to the destruction of the reefs around Mantanani. During the surveys, it was clearly observed that most of the sites surveyed were greatly impacted by blast fishing.

However, it was also observed that some reefs are recovering. By controlling the
anthropogenic threats (destructive fishing, anchoring), this can help the reefs to recover faster. A lack of enforcement from local authorities has also lead to widespread use of explosives to fish.

The following recommendations are being discussed to improve the health of coral reefs around Mantanani:
1. The establishment of a marine reserve area or protected area is needed. Protecting reefs in gazetted areas can contribute to increasing their resilience to both natural (storms and disease) and man-made (dynamite fishing and overfishing). It will also help populations of fish and invertebrates to recover.
2. Set up long term coral reef monitoring at selected sites involving government departments and
stakeholders (local population, academia, tourism operators and NGOs).
3. Continual education and awareness campaigns for the local community to raise awareness of the impact of reef destruction on their livelihoods. Also, it is advisable to educate tourism operators and tourists on correct ‘reef etiquette’ to minimise tourism impact.
4. Implementation of legislation and regulations for coral reef management and enforcement is important. Regular sea patrolling needs urgent implementation.
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9 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Stayed for 1N2D (wouldn't recommend for any longer).

Basic lodgings on a beautiful island. AC doesnt really work and the shower is a bucket. There is electricity from 5pm until 8 am which is great and there is good wifi and there is a plasma TV (no English channels-but who needs TV on such a beautiful island). The activities include: night walk (crab catching) and viewing the sunset on the inhabited side of the island (big eye opener for seeing the other side to paradise).

The buffet was ok, however food was only bought out once and once only. After all the other travellers had helped themselves, there was no food left which was really disappointing. Could ask for water from the kitchen staff but this wasn't ideal-it should be available the whole time.

The island is beautiful but the coral is in terrible condition in places. My partner and I are both divers, but we only did a snorkelling package. The trip mainly caters to asians and unless we didn't hear ....there is no warning not to touch the coral or take the coral and some of the coral was even written on!!!!! But then again there's no hope when the boat anchors to the coral.........!!!!! Very very disappointing. Also was frustrating that on our final day we weren't allowed to go snorkelling on the 2nd trip when there's plenty of time!!

I would only ever go back for a day trip-if at all.

Room Tip: Be aware that the weather conditions effect the trips and ours was initially cancelled (not ideal wh...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
ZamzaniPamin, Manager at Bembaran Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
We are grateful for the valuable feedback. As we have just been operating for only 2 years now plus construction, we will work on the feed backs to well improve ourselves for the future.
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Additional Information about Bembaran Beach Resort

Address: Pantai Dugong | Mantanani Besar Island, Kota Belud, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Kota Belud District > Kota Belud
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Kota Belud
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bembaran Beach Resort is a charming beach dive lodge located on Mantanani Island of the coastal area of Kota Belud. Kota Belud is well known for its beauty and concentration of cultures.DescriptionThe long term goal of the dive lodge is to become the best choice in Mantanani Island, Kota Belud for beach lodging by creating a differentiated experience capitalizing on low budget rates and its unique location in one of the most attractive parts of Sabah West Coast. BBR plan to be more than a great beach lodge. We plan to create an atmosphere that surpasses the standard fare for Kota Belud. Expanding our exposure via the Internet and introducing Kota Belud to people those have not yet discovered this year-round paradise will allow us to maintain an average occupancy rate and average profits.Creating an “Eco friendly Dive Lodge” which is often more beautiful and palatial than where they are traveling from will ensure many return guests. The riches of Kota Belud have always drawn a significant number of tourists to the West Coast area. BBR has two distinct competitive edges that differentiate it from the competition. The first is the low budget rates. Despite this, we recognizes that their mission is to ensure that their guests have a comfortable stay with them. BBR second competitive edge is the location where we are secluded at the Southern Point of the island.The facility is so wonderful in part because of the traditional style chalet which is a memorable place to stay. It is also unique because of the location, overlooking the ocean, a beautiful area surrounded by our own beach front and our second beach (dugong beach, Mantanani Paradise) which is a 8 minute walk. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bembaran Beach Resort Kota Belud, Sabah

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