We stayed at Mataking for a short dive trip while visiting friends in KL last October and it was wonderful. I can't wait to have the chance to go back. We dove every day, one day at Sipidan. The diving was great: dive masters are very knowledgable and attentive, many dive locations are very close, some just a 5-10 minute boat ride, so you come back to the island between dives which is very nice. If you want to go to Sipidan, which I highly recommend (dive or snorkel), you need to talk to them ahead of time and arrange it since they have limited permits per day.
We mostly did dive but the snorkeling around the island was some of the best I have ever experienced. I wish I didn't wait till the last day to do it. I would suggest to get there early day 1 and snorkel right away. The waters are calm and easy to snorkel right off the beach and to the tip of the smaller Mataking. They also have night walks where you may be able to see a turtle laying eggs (we did!) We were even able to put the eggs in the sanctuary and adopt them to do our part to protect the turtle population.
The staff is very nice and the food is good - they even tried to accommodate my dietary restrictions (strict vegetarian) as best as they could even though the concept was foreign to them. The rooms, even the cheapest, are sizable and nice. Everything is maintained and very clean. They do brush the walks daily but that comes at an environmental cost.
Negatives of our visit:
They burn everything (garbage, leaves that they brush from the walkways, etc) using great amounts of lighter fluids. There must be a better, more environmentally friendly way; composting practices would be wonderful to see learned and used here.
They are not too vigilant about collecting the garbage items that wash onto the beaches/sandbar. I can only imagine that this is an unending problem as on the mainland it seemed the locals used the ocean as their garbage pail. If the resort could do their part to clean it and to begin to try to educate, that would be wonderful. On our walk to the little Mataking island I ended up picking up a plastic crate that washed ashore and filling it with other washed up items. (When I got back with it the staff person just stared at me instead of helping dispose of it.) I would prefer someone be picking up these items than sweeping the path to my room of fallen leaves multiple times a day.
- Also Known As:
- Pulau Mataking Reef Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan
- Pulau Mataking Reef Dive Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island is an exclusive romantic & diving destination in the Celebes Sea, located just 40 minutes boat ride from Semporna, East Coast of Sabah in Malaysia. It is a promised island with majestic treasures, natural warmth and friendship for holiday makers, spa lovers, honeymooners and divers alike. Whether it is a retreat for yourself or exciting undersea exploration, you’ll find Mataking the perfect choice.The resort is caressed by the tropical sea breeze. Our executive king chalets, premier deluxe rooms and brand new luxurious beach villas designed in traditional architecture offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation for up to 100 guests in a serene and cozy environment.Enjoy Malaysian and International cuisine with an enticing spread of fresh local sea food or relish the weekend barbecued favorites at our sea facing restaurant. ... more less