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“Just brilliant!” 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 30 Hotels in Sandakan
Bath
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Just brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

Everything is true, after all the reviews I had read I was worried we might be disappointed. But it was just the most wonderful place. A true little paradise island. it's not brash and over the top, everything is low key, informal and that's part of it's charm. You feel you really are in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The wooden chalets are spaced out around the beach and are very comfortable inside with good bathrooms. There is a lovely balcony overlooking the sea, wooden sun loungers and hammocks, it is very private.
The staff were lovely, and the food was excellent, a great choice, well cooked, the best we had on our tour around Borneo. The restaurant and deck area are really gredat with plenty of places to sit inside and out.

My daughter and I weren't diving, but quite honestly the snorkling was just fantastic, especially around the jetty, we saw rays, sharks, eels, and spent a morning snorkling with a turtle it was just wonderful. My husband and son did a beginners' dive course, the whole dive set up and instructors were extrememly professional and helpful.

Our teenagers loved it, despite there being no other teenagers and no activities - they didn't want to leave! It wasn't honeymoonish either, with a great mix of families, divers and young couples and friends.

On our last night we had a turtle laying eggs under our chalet - so that just made the whole experience there just perfect!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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312 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 (49)
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Stockholm
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

This little island is so beautiful! The bungalows, chalets, are spacious and very nice, right on the beach. We had two wooden sun loungers on the beach in front of the chalet veranda, as well as a hammock in the palm tree. Honeymoon material for sure (beds quite hard though, as we found in every hotel in Sabah). Although, we didn't have much time to spend there, since we were diving. The service in the dive operation and the restaurant was absolutely top class. Very friendly and attentive. We were not so impressed with the diving as such, but the visibility was quite poor so we did not see the sites very clearly. Not so many colours and corals. The also have a turtle conservation program on the island. And wi-fi in the restaurant area. There was a sitting room with satellite TV which was excellent, since our child could stay there the time we were diving.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 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 1
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Chelmsford
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2009

First impressions upon arrival - paradise, however, at the time of our visit the villa allocated did make a difference. We were first allocated number 8 which is the through route for all arrivals, departures and anyone going to / from the dive boats. It was also next to a building under considerable reconstruction, meaning that the lap of the sea on the shore was spoiled by sawing and hammering...we were allocated another room (number 3) and that was one of the best, although the bathroom facilities were not as good. Vegetarians may struggle a bit as the majority of dishes are fish or meat, but you can get by on rice, chips, salad and fruit. The dive facility is very well organised and we saw a lot of rays, turtles and shark, although visibility could be a problem at many of the sites. I would recommend it for a short break for divers, especially any who like have an environmental consciousness.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Londra
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2009

After a week in the Mabul purgatory, we arrived in heaven!

Lankayan island resort is fantastic. Peaceful, great staff, friendly helpful and fun.

The dive operation is run smoothly, the dive masters are professional, organised, always helpful and good at spotting small stuff as well as larger animals (we saw a number of sharks including bamboo, leopard, white and black tips, cat shark, guitar shark).

The chalets are independent so they are quiet and private. The verandah are large and spacious and have a lot of covered area so if it rains, no problem, you can still dry your clothes and dive gear! The rooms are air conditioned. Bathrooms are clean if a little spartan. 4 towels are provided to each double room, coffe/tea making facilities are available but no hair dryer.

The beach is lovely all around the island. Crystal clear waters, baby black tip sharks gliding by all day. Hammocks and beach loungers are available to each cabin.

The food is buffet style, with a lot of fresh fish too - yes, a lot of it is fried, so a little heavy but it's well cooked. The waiting staff are always smiling, polite and friendly.

There's wireless internet (with a charge) and a phone you can use with a calling card. Mobile phones have no signal.

Overall a really nice stay, enjoyable, relaxing and some good diving too.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Discovery Bay
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2009

I went here with my husband and teenage daughter.
We enjoyed every moment of the stay and we were already talking about going back the moment we arrived back at the mainland.

We enjoyed a delicious breakfast everyday - including pancakes, waffles, eggs , etc.
We then signed up for 3 dives everyday. The first dive would always be relativly easy and it would then get better and harder as we jumped in for the second and third dive. The lunch was delicious as well. Seafood and vegetables prepared by the always smiling cooks was delicious. Even my daughter enjoyed the food and she is quite picky about what she eats.
Afternoon tea and snacks were always enjoyed at around 3 o'clock. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cakes were outstanding and made us ready for the next dive.
The dinner was as superb as the rest of the meals.
We enjoyed all the aspects of our stay and we can't wait to return.

The diving saw a range of different underwater speicies. We saw small fish and rare fish. We also saw 2 sharks snoozing and my daughter (who also dives) and dive master had some close-up contact with these sharks.
My husband and daughter also took advantgae of the unlimited shore diving and went for a night dive. They said that it was amzing and they had a great time. The few wrecks that are located just outside the jetty were "amazing in moonlight".
This was relativley easy diving and the whole family enjoyed it.

The smiling, talkative staff also made the stay more enjoyable.
However, the island is far away form the mainland and I wouldn't suggest spening too long there is nothing much to do except for swimming at the beach, snorkelling, diving and relaxing.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 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 2
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London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2009

This place was highly recommended and had also seen rave reviews on here. It was beautiful, but for the price I would have expected plusher furnishings, functioning toilt & shower, we had to move cabins as ours didn't work, and no drilling/construction in the day. We also had buffet meals which whilst nice, were not as special as we had hoped. We did have a good time and enjoyed the tranquility, but not sure I would recommend it.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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HK
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2009

After 2 days of KK, we were ready to move on to a pre-booked trip to Lankayan Island for 5 days. I found this offer on the Internet and read some reviews which seems to suggestion Lankayan Island to be a nice, relaxing place that focuses on scuba diving so we booked it up hoping for the best. I was apprehensive as to what was to come since as we loaded this tiny boat for our 1.5hr ride to the island. I look some medicine, cranked up my iPod and sure enough got safely got there in one piece. We were told that there were ONLY 20 cabins on the island. We were taken to our cabin and I could hardly contain my excitement. This place was more like a suite! It was very spacious, lacking a bit in furniture but really, who was going to stay in the cabin when we
were approximately 15 steps away from the Sulu Sea which we could see upon opening our balcony door. It was glorious, to say the least!

Every day, our itinerary included scuba diving three times a day fitting in a hefty meal or two in between. Food included many Malay spreads along with some familiar items to ease the tummy. Quality ranged from average to very good. If you're vegetarian, just let them know and they will prepare something for you.

We explored the island during one of our 'breaks' and found army posts with loaded guns epending this undisputed remote piece of heaven. With such beautiful
scenery surrounding us, it was a bit of a surprise to see some very stern army men with their guns ready to rock n roll. Nevertheless, we took it in strides and enjoyed the very nice summery weather daily. At one point, we noticed clouds circling around the island but none above the island with black clouds over the mainland.

I had never done so much scuba diving in ONE trip that at first, was a bit frightful though quickly adapted and really began enjoying it. The crew was very professional, patient and helpful though the gear was a bit older. On one dive, we saw a huge green turtle foraging on some corals disregarding all of us who were just starring at it for minutes. Another time, we got to see a full grown leopard shark resting on the sea floor. It didn't move or anything but seemed very surreal. The water was murky so our visibility (5-10m) was a bit hindered. There were many Nudi Branches that lit up the sea bed along with rays, lion fishes, puffer fish and many macro sea life.

By the last night of our stay, I had fallen in love with this island and was trying to persuade my other half to extend our stay though with great failure. We headed back to the mainland and where arranged by the resort to checked out Sepilok Orang Utang Sanctuary prior to our evening flight. This is worth a trip to see the orang utans in somewhat of a natural habitat and view them during their lunch time.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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 30 Hotels in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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