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“Dive, relax, indulge and make friends.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lankayan Island Dive Resort

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Lankayan Island Dive Resort
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3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Lankayan Island, Sandakan, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Sandakan
Broadbeach, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Dive, relax, indulge and make friends.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Interesting varied dives, friendly dive staff, lots of experienced International divers to meet. Accommodation was lovely and comfortable, large individual bures with balcony overlooking ocean and close to restaurant. Food was mostly buffet style and eating times were flexible. Very relaxing restaurant area for predinner drinks. We were lucky to see turtles hatching and released by the rangers. Would recommend to other divers and families, a great place to relax and get away.

  • Stayed April 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (48)
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Merseyside
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We went here for 3 nights at the beginning of our Borneo honeymoon, and it was the highlight of our honeymoon. The photographs we have look like a postcard - crystal clear sea and gorgeous sandy beach all the way round the island. We were lucky enough to see a couple of turtles laying eggs, and a nest hatching as well. We would recommend this to couples, it really is a fantastic place to visit. There was a reasonable selection of food available and we didn't experience a bad meal.

Room Tip: We had number 3, closest to the restaurant and also had our own lovely section of beach. We would as...
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  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunz Headz, N.S.W.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

Lovely location. Great for divers and non divers. Excellent snorkelling. Great food. Relaxing. Exquisite bungalow accommodation. 4 nites/ 5days perfect amount of time to wind down from western pressures.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Malta
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

we just came back from our honeymoon and this is by far our favourite place. it is so peaceful and the staff are so dedicated, they try their best to make it perfect. it is quiet, sea is crystal clear ..very good for snorkelling, we also saw some turtles or rather swam with them. gorgeous place. would highly recommend this place.

diving isn't the best, water wasn't clear but maybe we were just unlucky.

wine is very expensive - around 50 eur a bottle!!

  • Stayed June 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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Wanaka
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

Stayed 3 nights and wouldnt recommend any less as the boat trip is at least 1.5 hours each way, plus a bit of waiting around beforehand if you flyin from Kota Kinabalu.

Accommodation is beautiful, especially the family villa which was 2 storeys and as big as a house!

Food was great and plenty of it.

Snorkelling also good, although we had to get out a few times after being stung by jelly fish. We didnt dive but heard the dive sites were pretty good, particularly if you like macro.

We were fortunate to see 5 lots of turtle hatchlings being released into theocean, as well as a turtle nesting one night.

Resort seemed only half full, and I wondered if they actually promote the fact that its a marine reserve- we only discovered that on arrival.

Had children with us and they were fine for 3 days, however may be a bit bored if any longer as they were the only ones there.

Room Tip: room 22 is a 2 storeyfamily villa, so great for a little privacy and space
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile




Think of Robinson Crusoe .... the island with the sun, the palm trees, sandy beaches and nothing on the horizon . Lankayan Island is tiny but the experience huge.

Our stay of three nights was about right, as neither of us are divers and it does become more difficult to snorkel in the afternoon when the water is shallow. That said, in the mornings we saw an enormous variety of fish and yes, we did find Nemo.   However, the high point has to be the turtles swimming below you, it really is an 'Wow' moment. There are jellyfish, but not that many and I'm sure they are harmless ones. Hard to identify, when your partner's legs obscure the view as he sprints back to shore!

The resort puts a huge emphasis on turtle conservation and it really is quite moving, watching the babies run for the sea when you know that only a few make it to adulthood. There were a number of nestings when we were at the resort, but due to the weather conditions we weren't woken (stormy nights).

The accommodation is very comfortable, probably equates to a 3* hotel but trust me, you are not here for the room. Although, I think you have a better chance of seeing turtles on the beach from Chalet 9 and above. The new restaurant is excellent and the only place that you can access WiFi on the island. Regarding the food there was a huge amount of choice for everyone and the staff went out of their way to check for allergies, dietary needs etc.

While the 90 minute boat trip to the island may seem off putting to some - it really is worth it.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Philadelphia, PA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

We ended our 12 day Borneo trip with three nights here here and loved the location and property. 23 chalets (3 more in construction), dinner on a pier stretching well out into the ocean, spectacular snorkeling (take advantage of the daily trips to go out into some of the nearby sites!), good to very good food, turtles laying eggs, hatching and being released every evening, snorkeling with turtles, rays and sharks plus an array of colorful fish and coral that you would normally have to go to an aquarium to see... We loved it all. The property offers a stunning secluded spectacular natural setting that feels like Bora Bora in miniature and just for you and 22 other couples or families. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of families but could imagine that those more in honeymoon mode might not appreciate this balance.... Only other tips would be (1) to check the tide charts carefully upon or even before arrival as there is little/no beach during high tide at full moon and very limited snorkeling around the island at low tide given the shallow water; (2) stock up on food from the buffet when the army or police security contingents pop by; (3) try to get a higher numbered chalet as these offer a little more privacy, less noise from the tides coming in underneath and more beachfront than those closer to the restaurant or diving pier; (4) make sure your property has enough umbrellas at all times as when it rains it pours; (5) be careful on the slippery walkway during/after rain; (5) don't expect the AC to help too much on hot nights as the rooms are not sealed and the units are old and undersized relative to the task and (6) bring a digestif or aperitif as the bar does not stock hard alcohol for tropical drinks or after dinner drinks. Can imagine that a storm would make our smooth 75 minute boar rides in and out into a bit more of an ordeal.

Room Tip: try to get a higher numbered chalet as these offer a little more privacy, less noise from the tides...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lankayan Island Dive Resort

Address: Lankayan Island, Sandakan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Sandakan
Hotel Class:3 star — Lankayan Island Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lankayan Island Dive Hotel Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Resort Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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