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“Amazing Dive Trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Seaventures Dive Resort

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Seaventures Dive Resort
Off Mabul Island, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Manila, Philippines
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing Dive Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2011

It was a wonderful stay at d Rig. Nothing fancy, but rooms are clean, cool aircon & hot showers. Quite a selection at the buffet table daily. This is one dive trip I ate a lot!
I cant praise the resort's staffs enough... They were awesome! Very friendly & accommodating. Our guide & boatman are the best. Had fantastic two day trips to Sipadan w/ close encounters of giant bumpheads, huge cudas, sea turtles, sharks & eagle ray! Muck diving at Mabul & Kapalai were as good. Our guides Ricardo & Aireen has sharp eyes at spotting critters. I took a lot of pics & vids!
Definitely a place you will want to go back to!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

I spent days poring through reviews of resorts and scuba dive outfits that offered diving at Sipidan, and couldn't quite find anything that felt right. Either the resort I would read about was poorly reviewed here and seemingly overpriced, or the scuba dive shop was telling us we would have no chance of getting the highly coveted Sipidan permits. We almost didn't go, and then I came across this miraculous gem of a dive hotel. I booked it the day before we arrived and we spent 4 days/3 nights, during which we did 14 dives, 8 of which were at Sipidan (!) We got a bit lucky with the permits, but also Seaventures was willing to confirm that we'd be able to go for at least one day during our stay, which is all we wanted to know.

The packages they offer include transfers from Semporna, all meals, accommodation, and unlimited diving (3 boat dives per day + as many house reef dives as you can handle + 2 dives on the day of arrival and 2 dives on the day of departure, as long as you aren't flying soon after for safety reasons). Their prices are unbeatable, especially the last minute prices.

The dive rig is awesomely cool and looks out onto the over-the-water-bungalows on Mabul island. Much better to be looking out over to the bungalows from the dive rig than looking out at the oil rig from the bungalows! The rooms are as nice as any guest house or budget hotel room we stayed in in South East Asia and have everything you need - hot water shower (there's even a shower curtain...), outlets, comfy bed and bedding, closet, a/c, window, remarkably quiet, cleaned daily. The lobby is a lovely place to gather, eat and set up dive equipment. The food was plentiful and tasty, usually consisting of rice, noodles, prawns, fish, chicken or beef, stir fried fresh veggies, soup, salad, bread, fruit and dessert.

I already miss the elevator into the water where you can just swim off and descend down to the house reef. On our first house reef dive we saw cooler fish than we'd seen anywhere diving. And that was just the house reef! The diving is very organized, especially the way they manage all the equipment - it is a great system that makes it easy for everyone to locate, store, and rinse their gear. The rental equipment was decent. Sometimes it was faulty but they were happy to replace anything that wasn't working perfectly. Best to check it carefully during the initial descent of the first house reef dive.

They let you know the night before if you have Sipidan permits and then you leave at 6 am and have completed 3 dives by noon, leaving plenty of time to either do more optional boat dives (for extra fees), house reef dives or check out Mabul Island. If you don't go to Sipidan you get 3 dives to Mabul and Kapalai, and you get to come back to the dive rig in between them to warm up. It's very enjoyable.

The divemasters are good, paying a lot more attention to the divers than one would think - they leave people to their own thing but they have an amazing ability to spot problems - I even saw them catch someone's drifting second stage before it hit the coral. They know the area well and are great about spotting marine life.

I had a small medical emergency unrelated to the hotel and they sent me medicine from Semporna so I could continue diving. They only charged me for the medicine. It was very generous of them. In general, Seaventures does not nickel and dime its guests. For example, the equipment rentals are calculated based on total days of diving and not the days in your package, saving a full day of rental fees.

Overall we loved this experience and were sad to leave.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
    • 5 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2011

While diving in Borneo, we stayed at SeaVentures, a converted oil rig that was parked about a 1/2 kilometer off the island of Mabul.
It was a good base for diving. Since there were very few people when we were there, we were able to go to Sipadan any day that we wished. We could have gone every day, but we choose to go to Mabul and Kapalai on one of the days.

Some of the highlights of diving at Sipadan and Mabul were the large schools of Barracuda and Bumphead Parrotfish with turtles and clownfish everywhere.
and of course the Mandarin fish and the wonderful diversity of creatures..

The diving at Mabul (the island near the Seaventures Rig) was great although the visibility was quite bad, especially compared to Sipadan. Although the diving under the rig was good, there were some drawbacks. First, it is 60 feet to the bottom and I use air up pretty fast at 60 feet. Second, there was often quite a bit of current and we had to wait several times for the tide to change before going in. Even then, the current on the top could be pretty strong and with the poor viz, you could get turned around and come up on the wrong side of the rig (I did once) They do not allow diving after 8PM under the rig.
There was plenty of life under the rig, but if I were to ever go back to Sipadan, I would choose somewhere on Mabul where I could do 20-30 feet shore dives, even if it would cost me the opportunity to dive Sipadan every day.

We upgraded to the VIP suite, which is about 4 times the size of the regular rooms. It was worth it as I needed the room for my computer and photo gear. Wireless was hit or miss, mostly miss, in our room on the 4th floor. This is an oil rig and although converted it still feels like an oil rig, even if you are in the captains quarters.

The food on the rig was OK, not great. Just be prepared for noodles and hot dogs for breakfast. and a menu that is heavily weighted towards Chinese and Malaysian cuisine. If you need a hamburger option at every meal, forgetaboutit.
The dive setup (equipment, etc) was really efficient, although it took me a while to get the hang of where to get a clean towel.
Although the description on the web implies a complete computer/photo room setup, I had a hard time finding an available 2 prong outlet to use, even though it was far from full of divers, so make sure you bring enough of the UK style 3 prong adapters.

The diving was a lot of fun and I am really happy to have had a chance to go there. If I were to go back to Sipadan, even though I believe the value at Seaventures was great, personally I would probably stay on Mabul so that I could take advantage of the shallower shore diving. I am sure I would have been underwater a lot longer.
All in all I recommend Seaventures and Sipadan as a destination. The rig I would recommend if you want to maximize your trips to Sipadan.

More details and pictures at http://delargy.com/2010_10_Borneo/album/2010_10_borneodiving_Main.htm

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Las Pinas, Philippines
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

We were lucky to get 3 day dives at Sipadan! Visibility is not that awesome, but plenty of marine life. Dive Crew was very friendly. Some are from my home country - makes me proud to be a Filipino! They even have a band!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2011

Location & Rooms : The rooms are small and the toilets were a bit cramped. Apart from that the rooms were clean with clean sheets and a good air-con. The price is a bit on the expensive side, but was totally worth it for the quirky experience of living on an old oil-rig in the middle of the ocean... well, you're actually just 200mtrs away from Mabul Isalnd but if you take the photo right, it does look like you're in the middle of the ocean ;)

Food & Service : The food is simply fantastic!!! The chef usually does a bbq once a week and it's great! There was always ample food and every meal had at least 2 seafood dishes + 1 or 2 other meat dishes --- Malay and Western style! The service is attentive and they will even notice if you arent taking one particular dish and ask you if you would like them to make something else for you!

The Diving : Well, this was the only thing that disappointed me a bit.... and perhaps it was because our dive-guide (was his name Mando?) was a bit blaze about the briefing and the dives. I was diving alone and wasnt buddied-up (this could be a fatal if ever there was a real problem). But the other guide (Irene i think her name was) was far more interested in the briefing and i thoroughly enjoyed my dives with her. So, apart from the one dive-guide everything else about the dive was great! Even the house-reff is quite nice with a resident massive barracuda!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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malaysia
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2011

My 2nd stay at Seaventures in 6 months and I was not disappointed.

Standards are consistent, staff are friendly, helpful and professional. The rig is suited towards divers who are on a budget. Food quality and spread has improved tremendously since I was last here.

Dive instructors are honest and are experinced, making my 1 day dive at Sipadan flawless though they couldn't do anything about the bad weather. But still, had an outstanding trip.

Rooms are small, compact but you are here to dive and not to lounge about in the rooms. Comfortable enough though.

Would def. recommend this place and will return again.

Next thing they need to add is a massage facility where divers can get a 1 hour or 30 minute massage after a dive. At least they now have a telly so you can watch soccer match's on weekends!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

We stumbled across Seaventures when we were backpacking Borneo and tried to organise a trip to Sipadan last minute. We only had time for 3D 2N from 27-29th December and everybody we contacted told us "Sipadan...forget it!" and were booked out until February. Seaventures guaranteed us one day on Sipadan and it worked out a lot cheaper than anywhere else. It turned out that we got 2 days on Sipadan, which meant 8 out of 10 dives were there! It was mindblowing!

We were expecting everything to be really basic from the price and reviews we read but we really couldn't fault it. Yes you are staying on an oil rig but the service and food are outstanding. The staff are exceptional and will go out of their way to help you (this included one staff member spending 20 minutes sawing a lock off our bag with a knife that had rusted itself in place with our valuables inside... all with a smile on his face. Dinners and lunches were great, we were really impressed with the spread of seafood and 6-8+ dishes in the buffet each night. The seafood BBQ that was put on one of the nights was even better! My only suggestion would be to have a few more cooked veggie dishes/stirfrys as they were predominantly meat, and a lot of backpackers won't go for the cold salad options due to the risk of gastrointestinal infection in South East Asia.

The rooms were fine with air con and well detailed with a nice bedspread and clean, crisp sheets. Whilst the bathrooms look a bit run down they are spotlessly clean also and do the job. We were also impressed with Seaventures emphasis security of our belongings with a key drop box and safety deposit box.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a wonderful stay! After 2 months of travelling and going to many spectacular places, our Sipadan experience is the one we just can't stop talking about! We will definitely be back!

We could not recommend more highly a trip to Sipadan. The diving is insane. We went to another top 10 dive site this year and it was no where near as good. The coral is just pristine due to the Island's protection - it is just like endless football fields of it in the most vivid and bright colours you could ever imagine, with millions of fish. Not to mention turtles, sharks, barracuda, bump heads, rays - who could complain? Seaventures is gold, especially the fact that they have a higher permit ratio compared to the other resorts it seems, and easily the best value for money. So go!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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Additional Information about Seaventures Dive Resort

Address: Off Mabul Island, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
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