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“only for hard divers” 3 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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Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Munich, Germany
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“only for hard divers”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

You must be clear: you are only going to stay at the oil rig because of the diving! then it is a
fantastic dive spot, a unique experience, food much better than expected, stuff friendly but not really compassionate, amazing crazy divers there, 3 to 6 dives per day (night). WiFi DOES NOT WORK !
The rig is in a really bad shape and to fix that, they would have to rebuild it. but it is clean (almost) and the stay there is really something special.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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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269 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 (45)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012 via mobile

Positives: the idea is v cool, location is great v close to top dives, food was good much better than expected, diving was sensational (but that's not because of sea ventures)
Negatives: rig is in a bad state of repair - they are doing some renos which they promised would be finished (including fixing the lift) by the time of our booking but it was nowhere near done - it looks like they've spent v little on maintenance for the last ? years and it now needs much more than the paint job, the room smelt of oil/grease and the noise of the generator was intrusive, the soap provided in the shower dispenser was industrial grade Harpic for cleaning floors (I saw it being put in), the wifi never worked, sparks flew out of the lights in the games room at one point whilst we were playing pool.
BUT,
I would have been happy to ignore all of that if the attitude of the staff had been different. A few of them made an effort (eg Craig), but the others including management didn't seem to give a toss. At best they were watching the clock trying to do as little as possible. At worst they seemed annoyed that customers were on board (other guests said the same as me). Once they have your money...
Lastly, the diving gear was tired and the safety standards are pretty loose.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

My partner and I stayed at the rig last year and had a phenomenal experience- fabulous diving, great food, friendly staff and superlative dive instructors. The rooms are a bit small, but who cares, you are only sleeping in them, pleanty of other spots on the rig to relax in, and besides, most of the time you are underwater anyway. Beautiful breezes, and the clankity old platform sounds a lot like a Bob marley song every time it hauls you up or down. LOVED it!!!
Laurie Young and Chris Arnold
melbourne

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

I stayed in Seaventures dive resort this Christmas and was both positively and negatively amazed by the experiences. Diving in the area is absolutely great. Alhtough Sipadan permits are limited, there are also very good dive sites around Kapalai and Mabul, just next to the rig. However, I managed to dive in Sipadan on three of my seven diving days, and thouroughly enjoyed also the rest of the dives.
The staff is very helpful and there is a sort of family feeling on the rig, as it is a small resort and small group of staff. The divemasters were good and the dives well organised. A big thank you for all of them! Absolutely great job!
The food was absolutely amazing. Only way to not gain weight with this service is to keep diving as much as you can!
The negative bit was the rig itself. Although there's a lot of room on the rig, only a fraction of it is actually in use and reasonably well maintained. That is basically just the main deck. Sundeck that used to hold a bar, looks terrible and there are not other facilties on the rig than the one bar on the main deck and a games room. There has been a shop, but not anymore. Wireless internet does exist, but non of my appliances was able to connect to the grid, it was just so slow. Even the one public computer in the office didn't have connection when the weather was worse.
The room was windowless and stuffy and in desperate need of renovation. I stayed in a dorm room, so the more expensive ones can be in better shape, I wouldn't know.
The decks were very slippery, seriously dangerous with all that water. I heard some renovation or non-slip floor installation is planned in this regard. But really, the whole rig needs a revamp, badly.
So if you are there for the diving only and don't mind roughing it a bit, Seaventures is a good option to dive the area without major blow on your wallet. However, be prepared to face a low level hostel type of accomodation and surroundings, not a well maintained resort.

Room Tip: If you are a bit claustrophobic, make sure you pay a bit extra for a room with a window.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2011

I have just spent two fantastic weeks on the Seaventures Oilrig. I was trepidatious about choosing the rig but it has turned out to be one of the best dive holidays I've ever had. The rig is huge, so you needn't worry about being feeling cramped. Everything on the entire rig is organised for the hard-core diver. Within an hour of arriving we were underwater, and that set the tone. Each day you are assigned to either the Sipadan pattern or the Mabul/Kapalai one, depending on the availability of permits for Sipadan. I was lucky enough to hit a quiet spell so I got to go to Sipadan 8 times in 12 days, with 24 fabulous dives there.

If you are on a Sipadan day you get up early, help yourself to tea/coffee/juice/toast, then meet on the platform, which raises and lowers people between the rig and the sea. The boat leaves for Sipadan at 6. First the boat goes to the island (Sipadan, about 20 minutes away) and you sign in. Then you have the first amazing dive. And I mean amazing. I have almost 700 dives around the world and Sipadan is breathtaking. After the first dive you have a breakfast break on the island, then dive 2, then a coffee break, then dive 3, then back to the rig, arriving around 12, just in time for lunch. Your afternoon is then your own and you can either go back to Sipadan for more dives (at extra cost) or you can dive straight from the platform, free. Most people were on the rig for about 4 days and so were getting as many dives in as possible, up to 6 in a day.

If you are on a Mabul/Kapalai day your first dive is at 8, then back to the rig for a break, then second dive at 10.30, then back for lunch and then your third dive is at 2.30, all three dives on either Kapalai or Mabul. Mabul is literally 4 minutes away and Kapalai is about 12. The diving at both is mostly micro, although there are some fabulous swirling shoals of jacks. I'm not a great lover of micro, but even I was enchanted by the incredible things we saw there, including a seahorse, a tiny, tiny cuttlefish about an inch long, the biggest turtles I've ever seen in my life, flambouyant cuttlefish, ghost pipefish and a whole host of the most magnificent creatures I had only seen on Nat Geo programmes before.

I won't describe the diving at Sipadan itself as it is simply indescribable. I am a blue water, deep dives, big stuff especially sharks person and I had the most incredible dives of my life.

The food on the rig is really good. Healthy, varied, with home made bread and a display fridge kept permanently full of delicious puddings/desserts. Everyone complained that they were putting on weight despite the high action days.

The cabins are a bit bigger than you would have on a liveaboard and everything works, except the reading lights above the beds. The shower pressure is very good.

The only drawback is that many of the rooms have no openable windows, so you have to sleep with the aircon on and there were a lot of people with sore throats, colds etc.

The DMs were great, the atmosphere was happy and energised and the boats and dive gear were in excellent condition.

To sum up, I chose the rig for its proximity to Sipadan to avoid daily long boat trips, plus its claim to have a favourable permit allocation. I got both of those plus a really fantastic, well-organised dive holiday. I recommend it whole-heartedly if it's all about the diving for you.

Room Tip: I asked for a room with an openable window and got one, but it was near the generator, so . . .
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011 via mobile

This is my preferred dive resort as I always book Seaventures whenever I dive in Sipadan. I have stayed here four times and brought many friends, relatives and colleagues over the years. The crew are wonderful, the food is good, the dive team is awesome and the dive facilities are well organized. The only drawback is the small cabin rooms, but that's ok because they have a nice open area to lounge around, swap dive stories, share photos, and make new friends.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

I've just spent two nights on the Seaventures dive rig with my wife.

Like one of the other recent comments, I'm also finding it tough reviewing Seaventures. Some aspects of our stay were fantastic, while other really let them down.

Most importantly I guess was the diving, which was fantastic. We were able to get Sipadan permits for both of our days on the rig due to there only being about 15 or 20 guests on board. Going during peak season would be completely different though as they only get 11 permits per day, so I'd think twice about when you decide to go. The dive masters were very good, and seemed very safety conscious. So the diving was very hard to fault really. In saying that though, the three dives we did under the rig and near Mabul island were pretty much ruined by all the rubbish. Surprising there was still a lot of marine life to see, but it's pretty hard to appreciate it when there's trash everywhere. It would be such an easy thing to do to keep the small dive site under the rig clean. I really can't understand why they keep it in such a bad state, especially given how environmentally conscious they make themselves out to be.


The room was fairly basic, but comfortable. Aircon was good, and the bed was ok. Although I'm only just over 6foot and the bed was too short for me, so some people would really struggle. The bathroom was pretty horrible. It stunk, and hadn't been cleaned before we moved in (as in the toilet had't even been flushed which was pretty discusting).

The meals were great. Customer service was pretty average at times.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Seaventures Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan

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