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“Avoid garden room 8!!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sipadan Pom Pom Resort

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Sipadan Pom Pom Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   A-2-1Karamunsing Capital, Lorong, Kapital Block A2nd Floor | 88000, Kota Kinabula, Sabah, Pulau Sipadan 88000, Malaysia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Avoid garden room 8!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

I stayed at the resort for three nights with my 3yr old, the island is very beautiful and the beach incredible (especially if you walk along out of the resort a little), the staff also extremely kind and attentive to me and my little boy - however I was unhappy with my room and very disappointed with how this was dealt with.

We booked a garden villa, not because it was cheaper but because I was travelling with a small child and with naps and early nights I wanted something really quiet. I asked during the booking about this and explained our needs. We were given garden room 8 on arrival and I strongly recommend to any other travellers to avoid this room. It is the closest to the kitchen and the furthest from the beach. Instead of being quiet we had a constant buzzing of the generator, small vehicles parking at the back and the regular pumping of the large water tanks. The view from our sun beds and deck consisted largely of the rear buildings and kitchen and at night two security lights, very strong orange luminous light, is put on and shines directly into the bedroom.

The cleaning staff clipped up a couple of towels in the bedroom window to help reduce the light pollution at night, but nothing could be done about the noise, or the feeling of disappointment each time we returned from the lovely beach past the more picturesque villas to our spot. We undoubtedly had the worst room but I gather I had paid the standard rate for the season. The villa we had was newish and part of a set of 4-5 identical ones which appear to have been added onto the row of garden villas at a later date, I think this last one was one too many and is too close to the back of the main building.

When I complained and asked to change I was flatly refused and also patronised by the manager who insisted there was no difference between my villa and any other, which was quite simply untrue. I was told no other room was available for any of the nights we were staying, which I doubted when staying as I saw closed villas and the dining area was never more than half full, but I cannot prove...I feel the manager would have sworn White was black rather than admit any of my complaints were true and simply continued to argue with me rather than offer any practical solution. She stated that as I had paid in advance no discount or refund would be available under any circumstances anyway.

So apart from the amazing beach time, I did a lot of parenting in terms of managing naps, rest or early night to the constant noise and ugly view. It really coloured my stay.

The communal buffet is also a little disappointing, the food is bland and over cooked, more like school dinners than 4 star resort.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Budapest, Hungary
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

Visited Pom Pom Island in december for 3 nights -- what a fantastic way to spend Christmas. Staying in the beach villas, it felt like we had a gigantic aquarium teeming with the most amazing marine life right in front of our bungalow. We happily spent the whole time snorkelling, swimming -- and were luckily able to swim with the turtles -- and enjoyed the tranquil beauty of this idyllic island. It was one of the most relaxing and beautiful beach vacations I have had, I only wish I could have stayed longer.

The villas themselves are spacious and comfortable. And while the resort is not going to win any culinary awards, the food was quite good for such a remote location. The staff were helpful and friendly. We also visited the spa, for a wonderful massage -- one of the best I have had.

If you want to get away from it all, but still want some comforts, I can't recommend this island paradise more.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Amsterdam
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

We loved our stay at Pom Pom Island.
We stayed in a garden villa (because we booked quite late) for one night and a water villa for three. We definitely thought the water villa was worth the extra cost. The water villas are clustered around the end of a pier, there are lots of turtles and tropical fish at the steps of your villa, wonderful! The layout of the resort leaves plenty of space for nature, with vegetables are grown on site. The staf were very friendly, and the food was fine.
The biggest attraction for us was the nesting turtles. We were lucky enough to see a nest hatch, and the turtles released into sea. An unforgettable experience.

The area is famous for its diving, unfortunately there has been (and still is!) a lot dynamite fishing and poison fishing going on. On several dives we heard dynamite blasts, very sad. Worse was the terrifying close call where we actually saw a dynamite staff drop down at no more than 10meters distance. It was only thanks to the the very fast reaction of our dive master that we (two very experienced divers) were not injured. The very sad reality is that there are still people driven to practices like dynamiting reefs, regardless of consequences... Didn't let this ruin our trip though.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Stayed on Pom Pom for 3 nights in early January 2014 and it was a dream. Garden villa was great; food was plentiful and varied; staff are literally running to help you with everything; got a free 10 minute massage at the spa and returned for a free yoga class and steam room session (thanks Agnes!); snorkeled with tons of lovely fish and turtles; saw the most beautiful sunset I've ever experienced; walked and later snorkeled around the island. I had been concerned about security in East Sabah and particularly with Pom Pom Island, but we saw police guards arriving and leaving on shifts from the island. Never saw them otherwise, but felt safe knowing they were there. The only small complaint was that we had trouble finding the correct jetty as we were staying in Semporna already and didn't take the transfer from the airport. Overall, an incredible gem of an island. Just amazing.

Room Tip: The garden villa is slightly cheaper and just meters further from the beach than the beach villas. W...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

Pom Pom island is pretty much about the diverse marine life around it's shores & chill-out time when on the island. It centres around the giant circular wooden restaurant/bar which is a great looking building. Food & accommodation was pretty good for a remote island & turtle conservation is good to see. It's funny doing the night walk with an armed guard which I think is due to the volatile nearby Sulu people and also it's proximity to Tawau which is the shabby port you have to catch the boat from to get here & at the time of our visit was experiencing a bit of political unrest - not that it affected us in any way. We spent most of time diving & snorkelling which was great with a lot of fish/turtles/starfish and too many others to mention. You can even snorkel round the jetty and see a lot things. Probably won't be back as there are hundreds of other islands we want to visit but would recommend this one for sure if you can't decide which island to go to in the area.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

Pom Pom Island is paradise. We had a free head massage on arrival. We stayed in a water villa for 2 nights (right at the end of the jetty) which has a private balcony/steps into the sea with swim in/swim out snorkelling!! On our second day the water was so still I don't think there was a limit to visibility. We dived most days and the visibility was great, water warm and micro life fantastic (but be warned, there isn't much macro life except turtles). Pom Pom has too many turtles (joke). Its fairly tough to avoid seeing at least one per day, on our penultimate day we took a kayak around the island and were surrounded by 4 turtles surfacing and diving around the boat! We managed to arrange an extra long stay last minute in order to get a pass to Sipidan Island, it is definitely worth the stay and cost. Sipidan has the best diving I have ever seen.

The staff were generally very helpful but sometimes their imperfect grasp of the English language was a barrier. I read some negative reviews about the food being just Chinese, this was not our experience. Although I love Chinese food, I enjoyed the food throughout our stay, my partner, Christine, enjoyed it but felt it was a little processed/similar after 5 days.

We went on a turtle walk where you get to see how seriously they take their conservation and on our last day we saw some baby turtles being released into the surf. Very special.

Room Tip: Definitely choose a water villa, particularly the ones right at the end of the jetty (ours was a ...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Dublin
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

I have been travelling for a number of yours and even though i don't consider myself as a picky or moany type there is usually something at least very small that just isn't right. In this case we were actually even trying to come up with something with no luck. Pom pom resort is simply perfect. It was such a treat to stay there and we loved every bit. I will break our feedback into points to hopefully make it more helpful/ easy to scan through:
- transfers: very efficient, on time, took shorter than expected
- arrival: smooth check in process, we arrived earlier and our room was not ready. We were offered some snacks and desserts and within an hour the room was ready (before the official check in time)
- the room: we had a beach villa and it was just perfect. it is so private. Initially we were disappointed that the water villa was not available but in the end we were happy on the beach. Like I said, it help very private. The villa itself is lovely. There is a porch at the front and back. The one at the back had lovely sun loungers plus two more closer to the beach on the sun. The bathroom was large with big shower. The living area was very spacious with a coffee table and plenty storage space. It was so blissfully quiet. We loved the little touches, like the flipflops at the fron and back of the villa and the umbreall in case it rains.
- the main restaurant was a joy to spend time in. Very airy and spacious. Even though we were there in the peak season (Christmas) they set up tables giving each couple/ family a lot of space. The atmosphere at every meal was lovely. The staff were very friendly and helpful.
- Food: wonderful. Great selection, everything fresh, variety so even though we stayed a few days we got to try a lot of new things at ever meal.
- Dive shop - PERFECT! Great equipment, well maintained,great dive instructors, boats. Everything was perfectly organised. The guys helping with the equipment were incredible. The morning dives would start after breakfast (meet at 8.10am, leave at 8:30), involve a dive, then a little break on the island or the boat with tea/ coffee and snacks and another dive. We also did afternoon and night dives. It was incredible. I will stop myself from writing about the diving itself. It is a must see- simply unspeakable.
- check out - we needed to check out at 11 and our boat was scheduled for 1pm. We went snorkling in the morning and had lunch before leaving so managed to enjoy the last few hours

All and all, we didn't want to leave. It was an absolutely perfect break. There was absolutely nothing missing and we can't think of a way to make it a better experience. We just want to go back as soon as possible.

Room Tip: Go for a beach villa
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sipadan Pom Pom Resort

Address: A-2-1Karamunsing Capital, Lorong, Kapital Block A2nd Floor | 88000, Kota Kinabula, Sabah, Pulau Sipadan 88000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sipadan Pom Pom Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful peaceful, paradise island resort with PADI Dive Centre, dive packages available with luxury accommodation. Enjoy diving the 6 nearby islands surrounding Pom Pom Island, amazing macro plus beautiful coral fish and turtles. Resort has range of luxury detached beach and water villas constructed for every comfort. Packages include 3 meals per day plus snacks, juices, coffee and tea etc in our famous traditional Malaysian Restaurant. Contact us for more details and prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sipadan Pom Pom Hotel Pulau Sipadan

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