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“Great diving, a splurge, but excellent value” 4 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
Boulder, CO
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Great diving, a splurge, but excellent value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2010

Spent 4 nights at Seaventures with our family. My kids 10 and 13 were completing their open water certification during our visit I have nothing but great things to say about our experience.
-incredibly well organized in every manner of the operation. I did not find this level of organization in any other aspect of our travels through Malaysia and Indonesia. This gave me confidence in the manner in which they manage their dive operation, where organization and process is a good way to keep equipment running well and to keep divers safe and to not detract from the dive experience.
Every staff member was friendly and very nice to our entire family.
Seaventures bent over backwards to accommodate our 6 year old who did not dive-they offered babysitters, snorkeling buddies, etc. all at very reasonable prices.
The food was pretty good given the fact that all had to be brought via boat to the rig platform.
The rooms were 'oil-rig chic', remember-you are on a decommissioned oil rig. There is noise and diesel smell, but this only added to the adventure for our family.

oh yeah-the diving was phenomenal as well....our kids were paired up with a top-notch instructor who understood how to work with children. some of the divemasters were better than others (as with any dive operation) but in general, they did a good job.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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English first
Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2010

Definitely the best place I ever could have gotten my Open Water Diving licence. Excellent house reef, excellent dives in Sipadan on its doorstep, I could go on and on. Great food and lovely welcoming staff and instructors who make you feel right at home. The perfect place to eat sleep and breathe diving, comfortably. You won't ever want to leave- I didn't!

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

I stayed here for 13 days in July 2010 and had an incredible time both above and below the water. The transfer out from Semporna only took about 40 minutes, I'd gotten a taxi the day before from Tawau and it was easy just buy a voucher outside at the counter. The taxi costs 95 RM but to put it in perspective it is 90km to Semporna and the taxi driver probably won't pick up a return fare so it seemed a fair price.

From the minute we stepped onto the rig everything ran smoothly, we were given a glass of orange juice and had the normal dive paperwork filled in within minutes. We were shown where our dive tubs were and they sorted out hire gear for people. Within 45 minutes of being aboard we were doing a pre-dive briefing for a check dive under the rig. There is a lift that takes you down to the boat or if you're diving under the rig down to just above the water, by the time you're due to come up it has been lowered below the water ready to swim straight into. There is heaps to see right under the rig, with lots of life inhabiting the artificial reef structures. When we were there the currents could be incredibly strong if the tide was on its way in or out but if you dived the ebb or flood tide the water was like crystal (well at least compared to home).

I'd booked a long time in advance to try and get as much time at Sipidan as possible and it paid off. I had permits for 10 of the days that I was there, maybe next time I won't be so lucky but I was more than happy this time around. If you dive Sipidan it is an early start with breakfast at 5.30am and the boat leaves at 6. The boat trip out to the island takes about 30 minutes, you sign the register at the jetty and within 15 minutes you're in the water for your first dive of the morning. You do 3 dives with 45-50 minutes bottom time with an hour or so interval time on the island in between each dive (which sets a pattern of eating, diving, eating, diving, and then eating somemore).

Words can't do justice to the diving here, the walls drop into almost a kilometre of water so on one side you have deep ocean blue and on the other side lots of reef activity to look at. I didn't believe when I first went there that I'd see so many turtles that I'd lose interest but it is almost true. We dived through a school of a dozen reef sharks, found the Barracudda balls most mornings and followed the herds of bumphead parrots along the reef. If you want to see some of my images you can take a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/little79bear/sets/72157624533701646/

You can dive on the afternoon underneath the rig with a buddy or you can organise an extra boat dive at Mabul, Kapalai, or Sipidan (if you had permits for the morning). The extra fees were very reasonable especially if you could get a group of 4 or 5 people together. The dive guides are great, they're always keen to share there knowledge about the divesites and what can be seen there. There were so many things that I just wouldn't have seen without there eyes to spot them first. The sight of my first orangatan crab is something I won't forget anytime soon, it was so small that I couldn't photograph it but lots of memories.

The food was good, there was always more than enough and there was a fair amount of variety to be had. The best meals were the nights that we had bbq and rig band played into the night. I did my rescue course while I was staying on the rig, it was good value, I got heaps of instruction time, and I came out of it a better diver.

I can't recommend Sea Ventures highly enough both for the diving and the accomodation. I was planning my next trip before I'd left and look forward to many more trips in the years to come. One think I would recommend is staying in Semporna on the night you leave if you are flying out of Tawau so that you can dive that morning before you catch the transfer back to Semporna in the afternoon.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye Brook, NY
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2010

Stayed at Seaventures for 6 nights in August and it was a great experience. Seaventures arranged our airport transfers and got us to the rig without a hitch. The rig is located right next to Mabul, and it's only a 35 - 45 minute boat ride to Sipadan. Seaventures arranged for us to dive at Sipadan for 3 days during our visit. The other days we dived Mabul and Kapalai. .

The staff at the rig is extremely friendly and they made us feel welcome during our entire stay. The rig itself is not exactly the lap of luxury, but it is comfortable and very practical for anyone who wants to dive a lot. The rooms were clean but well worn... pretty much what I had expected. All the basics are there.

The room we stayed in had a view of the ocean, 2 single beds, A/C and a private bathroom. Every day on the main deck they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there are always some snacks and drinks available all the time. The food was surprisingly good, and if there was a dish I didn't particularly like, there was always something else that I did like. My favorite was when they pulled out the BBQ on the main deck for dinner.

The dive staff at Seaventures is experienced and friendly. A lot of people go there to take classes and get certified. During our stay I noticed almost everybody had PADI books they were studying. The layout of the rig makes it really easy to go diving. All the gear is on the main deck and then there is a lift that brings you down directly to your boat.

The water visibility was not that great in August, which slightly impacted our diving experience. But the weather was good and the diving was also still very good even despite the poor visibility. We saw a lot of huge turtles around Mabul and Sipadan. In Sipadan we also saw barracuda schools, bumphead parrotfish, and lots of sharks. Some days the currents were pretty strong, but other days the currents were almost non existent. Mabul and Kapalai had some interesting dives and some good macro photo opportunities.

I would definitely go back and stay again. Great value and great diving. Plus good food and a great house band! (Mando -- I hope you got your Zoom pedal fixed!)

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

The place is good!

Despite it being an ex-oil rig, thus, the smell at times. The place is really well maintained and most importantly, CLEAN!

The house reef was a blast! and Sipadan, though being a permitted area to dive in, they got us all a trip there on our second morning, which was nicely planned. :)

Sides that, their DMs were really awesome, especially Cat and Ben, there were few new OWs with us on the trip, but they took really good care of us. :)

Thanks for the good hospitality!

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

Resort in an ex-oil rig? Rooms in a container house? Created my curiousity. After having visited the other resorts surrounding SeaVentures, we just needed to try something different. And we were pleasantly suprised!

Very organize. This place is well maintained. Food was fabulous! Their BBQ party was awesome accompanied with a live band (comprises of talented staff) and believe me this band is good.

The room is clean. What i like most is the bed linen and duvet. Toilet is clean too. The only dislike for me is the water pressure in the bathroom and the wardrobe (made of steel) in the bedroom. So we normally shower in the dive centre instead of in the room. As for the steal made wardrobe, we didn't use it because it was a little rusted. Other than this, all are well.

Sure, its recommended and if i return diving in Sipadan, SeaVenture will be my only choice.

I wished they could personalize their diving

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
koh phi phi
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

We stayed at Seaventures and did 4 days of diving both around Sipadan and in Mabul and Kapalai as well as a couple of excellent dives under the rig. Seaventures offers great diving for a reasonable price, however, divers shouldn't expect luxury accommodation as rooms are basic but comfortable.
Food is excellent on the rig as is the service and hospitality of the staff there, however, the guides are not as knowledgeable about where to find the local critters as other dive resorts I have been to, but are eager and enthusiastic.
Expect big groups when you are diving, as often the groups will have 8 divers or more and maximum dive times at all the resorts are 45 minutes.
Also I would strongly recommend bringing your own gear on your diving holiday.
I would definitely recommend Seaventures to others coming to Sipadan, service was excellent and they made our diving holiday in Sipadan memorable.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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