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“disappointed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Monkey Dives Lodge, Borneo

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Monkey Dives Lodge, Borneo
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Bum Bum Island, Semporna 91300, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
神戸
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We have had booking for 2weeks.But after 7days,we changed staying nights to another place.

Unfortunetly, the owner has been absent staying in hospital caused of accident
when we arrived there.
Also, it has hidden high cost of transport to Semporna and other islands.

Poor wifi and cold,low pressure of shower.
By the water shower I have got to catch a cold, unable to snorkeling.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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44 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    22
    15
    5
    0
    2
See reviews for
4
12
2
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Keningau, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

For non-divers like me, they really take good care of me, we visit like 6 island in 5D4N, the boatman really know good spots for snorkelling.There are few types of room there, we choose the private room instead of the dorm,since we seek for more private time. The room is only occupied by fan, it's a but humid in hot day time, but everything turns better when night falls. Its quite an experience to sleep in the lodge since u can actually feel a bit of the wave on the sea. Overall, it's really worth more than the price I pay!

Room Tip: I pick the number 1 room, nice sun rise view in the morning.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

We spent 4D3N in early January 2014 with our kids aged 6 and 9. We had a fantastic time both on the lodge itself and the snorkeling and diving trips.

The lodge is basic but in a great way which means that there is atmosphere here in contrast to a boring resort. The staff, especially Sascha, were truly interested in making sure we had a good time. Our kids loved jumping around on the lodge and playing with the cooks daughter Fida. As our son does not tolerate gluten we had contacted the lodge in advance informing them if our situation. Sasha and the staff had researched thoroughly prior to our arrival and made sure gluten free options were available to us.

The snorkeling and diving trips we went to on Mantabuan and Sibuan islets were nothing less than fantastic. It's like stepping into Photoshop.....

In brief, if you're looking for a standard package deal look somewhere else. But if you want an unforgettable experience in the Semporna archipelago with sympathetic staff and combine great snorkeling and diving options with intense relaxation, then there is only one option - Monkey Dives.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

Basic and simple accomodation with an extra dose of tranquillity and hospitality, the perfect recipe for a memorable stay.

This lodge is cut off from everything else but not from the necessary comforts like wifi and hot water. One can rest and switch off while diving and snorkelling on beautiful, remote islands under the expert hands of the staff.

The common facilities and the rooms themselves are very clean and you will want to adhere to the shoe-free policy to keep it that way. Flexible and affordable packages that are real value for money are offered including delicious food.

We will be back!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Putrajaya, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 4D3N and it was awesome. The ambience is very calm. Took PADI diving course and the dive instructor is cool and very helpful. Enjoyed the stay and the food. Of course, u wont fancy fine dining while you are away on the sea.

Just in case you need some snack for late night catch up, bring some snack or fresh fruits from Semporna town.

Price wise, it is reasonably charged and worth the experience!

Room was ok. It's non air-conditioned and I think it is fine coz you can always open the window for the fresh breeze of air.

Nice setting for sunset view.

Thriving sea creatures in the house reef, you dont have to go far to find healthy nudibranchs, seahorses, lionfish and some other rare aquatic life.

Keep it up, Monkeys! Hope you always have something to surprise me on my next visit! Definitely will come again for my next dive trip in Sabah.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Let's get one thing straight. You do not travel to Borneo to stay in 5* hotels, with mattresses as thick as snow and total silence in your room. You go to Borneo to experience a different world from the one you know at home, to immerse yourself in a different culture, a different environment and to take yourself OUT of your comfort zones. If you constantly strive to stay within your comfort zones in a place like this then you are going to be constantly disappointed and it is unbelievably self-involved to blame the place you're staying because it isn't like your own house back in sunny USA.

Monkey Dive takes you completely out of your comfort zone and into a completely different one - an amazing one. You are staying on what is essentially a wooden platform built in the middle of a sea channel between the mainland and a small island. It's in the heart of the local sea-dwelling community, and yet you feel totally safe, totally welcome and still totally cut off from normal civilisation. If you don't want that then you shouldn't have even flown to Borneo in the first place.

We arrived in Semporna totally bewildered and unsure of where we were and where exactly we were going, but Fizlee, the manageress, gave us total telephone support on how to get to the pier for boat-ride to Monkey Dive. And as soon as we met up with her, we felt part of their family. The people working there were real people - the types you come to meet often on your travels around Southeast Asia and people you remember forever. Warm, fun, helpful, interesting, accommodating people.

The setting itself was peaceful and at the same time awe inspiring, with gorgeous sunsets as the call to prayer rings out around the coast. The swimming pool - an enclosed area of sea with tropical fish and plants living below - is genius and the communal areas are perfect to continue the book you put down when you got off the coach. Fizlee's sea food was exceptional and her versatility and accommodating nature with trips, prices etc was even more so.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Here is the crux issue with this place:
The price they charge assumes you are staying in a remote idyllic place, however the accommodations are very basic and you are staying in a bad location! There are no benefits to staying out at this lodge with respect to travel and trips.

The lodge is located right next to a large island with a very large community. There is a lot of garbage around and noise. In the morning, you hear prayer calls at 5am.
The rooms are very very basic, with almost non-existent walls. We slept terribly during our whole stay because we heard everything that was going on around us, including snoring from every single other room and late night work work that some of the new divers were doing.

Do yourself a favor and either pay more and stay at an actual remote place or just pay less and stay in town with better accommodations.

On top of all of this the owners are very far from accommodating. They will nickle and dime you for everything.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monkey Dives Lodge, Borneo

Address: Bum Bum Island, Semporna 91300, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Semporna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Leave the comfort of a Hotel and Resort behind! Welcome to Monkey Dives Lodge Borneo – A local experience like no other.Monkey Dives Lodge Borneo is a 7-room FLOATING wooden lodge about 20-minute boat ride from the little town of Semporna, Sabah. Ideally located in Borneo, we provide full board stay for adventurous (or not) and simple travelers, divers and snorkelers. All year round, we offer packages for all diving and snorkelling aficionados in several wonderful islands to choose from. Let your imagination and travel desire make the decision for you. In addition, we offer various PADI dive courses to accommodate different scuba diving levels. We make sure you get to experience some of the best diving in Celebes Sea, Sulu Sea and our macro heaven, Semporna Channel. Let Monkey Dives take you on a tour to experience Bajau Laut's (also known as the Sea Gypsy) unique country-style of living, that will totally leave a mark on your travel experiences. Visit the local fishing village or the seaweed farm and learn about ocean agriculture business. Add a little romance by enjoying the beautiful pink/orange sunrise and breathtaking sunset (remember to have your camera all the time) from the Monkey deck. And if you are lucky, you will get to see some turtles hanging loose and swimming in the channel.Here at Monkey Dives Lodge Borneo, we continuously demonstrates our commitment to the environment. We promote and teach eco-diving, run our lodge in an environmentally friendly and clean manner, as well as, collaborate with few NGO to assist in research on current environmental issues and marine life preservation. We would like to invite you to join Monkey Dives Lodge in Semporna and look forward to serving you in the near future! Cheers! ... more   less 

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