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“Must go once in your lifetime.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort

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Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort
3.5 of 5 Specialty Resort   |   Kapalai Island, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ipoh, Malaysia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Must go once in your lifetime.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

Sipadan Kapalai DIve resort is really a nice resort, my husband and i love it very much. The crystal clear water attracts our attention. You can see the lovely corals under the sea water. The room is spacious, have a big balcony, you can lie down to see stars and enjoy the sea breeze. And if you are lucky, can see the turtles pass by. Small, medium and big fishes are jumping and swimming around. I love everything of the room, but no air-con. If no sea breeze, might be very hot and my husband couldn't have a good night sleep. The resort will prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not many choices of foods because one of their objectives is do not waste food, but i'm ok with it. You wont get hungry because they provide bread, coffee and tea for morning till night. Besides that, is a good place for snorkeling if you are not attached with dive package. You can snorkel at jetty, many types and colorful fishes. Is a big aquarium. Have a walk to artificial beach, white sands beach with sea stars around.Bring your own snorkel equipment, so don't have to waste money to rent it. I will go back again with my husband. It is just amazing!

  • Stayed March 2012, 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
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384 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (49)
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Selangor
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012 via mobile

Right now in sitting by the balcony of this resort, and all I can say is, I don't wanna go back! the room exceeded my expectation, food was not bad, service is good, the sea water is crystal clear! To all those reading this review right now, don't think twice, just make ur way here. I will definitely make a trip back here :)

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

Great dive crew, rental dive gear was excellent and super well maintained. Sipadan is a fantastic dive (the other spots, not that much), hotel is clean and reasonably organized, staff is helpful but the quality of the food is very poor, with no options if you´re not into their big, greasy buffet. A good place for divers.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Ubatuba
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

A lovely hotel, good food and excellent diving!
Nice staff!
The only complaint is the transfer from Tawau, the driver was crazy and drove extremely fast and dangerous.
The dives under the hotel pier are easy and interesting. Sipadan is a must!
The hotel rooms are big and charming.

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
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Roatan
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

This resort is overpriced for the value. We (2) spent 6 nights there with the diving package.
Sipadan Island is a true gem as far as diving experience is concerned - Problem we only were taken there for 2 out of the 5 days of diving. This was a big disappointment due to the other days we went to other nearby islands - We went down to 60ft on the first dive at one of these other islands and what they don't tell you is the locals there use dynamite to go out fishing. It was great to spend all this money and be down to 60ft and have dynamite dropped down on top of you. Shame on the government to allow this type of activity that kills the reef and apparently some divers every year. I can say we were very lucky on this trip and refused to dive any more other than the Sipadan Island because it is somewhat protected.
It would have not been so bad if the management at this resort were smart enough to organize other activities at the resort (like crab races, volley ball tournaments, etc.) but it is basically diving and not much else. As reported in other reviews the food totally sucks (unless you can eat fried chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day). This resort should hire a "resort" food and drink manager to at least do a better attempt to present the food and set up a better serving line because some of the other guests lacked manners and it became a free for all. Very disappointed in what was offered for the money as far as food and diving. They could at least make an attempt to bake a cake or something for desert instead of old stale sugar bread.
The Dive Masters were very good but be careful - we brought our own gear and someone popped out one of our $65 dive compasses out of our console.
This would be a great resort if the management got it together and worked on getting repeat customers because to me it was a bad experience and I would not return to this resort - there are other tour operators and dive resorts locally that I would try first before going back to this one.
Never Again

Room Tip: Rooms have not A/C so try to get a room facing into breeze - outward looking
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

Lovely resort. It is built on a sunken island, so all the chalets are on stilts and from a distance appear to be simply floating in the middle of the ocean. The double room we had was huge, and the bathroom was lovely, with the bathtub set next to the window so you could look upon the water below and if lucky, spot a turtle while taking a bath.

The food was average, and does tend to get a little boring if on a long stint here, but food isn't the reason you would be staying in the resort in the first place, so this didn't bother us too much.

There's no TV unit in the room, but being in the middle of paradise, it is not something that is missed. My boyfriend and I also loved the balcony which felt so open, but yet, with the way the wooden panes surrounding it were made and the way the whole resort is laid out, allows for a spot of tanning with no fear of tan lines.

They would do well to invest in new dive equipment, however, as the wetsuit my boyfriend got had a few rips and tears in it, and the regulators we had definitely showed signs of being very well used.

All in all, a lovely resort, and would definitely return again.

  • Stayed August 2011, 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

Our group consist of 14 people. We arrived at Kapalai almost lunch time and we were given a warm welcome, cold towel and also a briefing on the "do and don't" in the resort. The staff there very friendly from their office in Semporna to the resort from the boatmen, bellmen to all the service crew. The scenery was breathtaking, fanstatic surrounding with all the greens and flowering plants around, crystal clear water and big and comfortable chalet. The sunset was very pretty. It was amazing when we saw a few turtles taking a breather next to our bedside.we really enjoyed ourselves with the good food, the snorkeling and the discovery scuba Lastly we would like to thank all the staff for the wonderfully hospitality.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort

Address: Kapalai Island, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Pulau Sipadan
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A few minutes by boat from the islands of Sipadan and Mabul but a full world away from it lays the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boasts a mile-long sandbank of powdery white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure while gazing out to the miles of brilliant turquoise stretching into the horizon offering the purest image of natural serenity. Dive spots, Sipadan and Mabul can be reached in just a few minutes by speedboat. Sipadan-Kapalai is an ideal destination for diver and non-diver alike seeking a great holiday experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan
Sipadan Kapalai Island Hotel
Hotel Sipadan Kapalai Island

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