Mataking Island
Mataking Island
4.5

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles31 reviews
Excellent
22
Very good
6
Average
1
Poor
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Terrible
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Btb_19
11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Family
Summary: Mataking is marketed as a 5 star luxury experience but you’re probably only bound to get a 2 star experience at best. The water is blue and the food is good but that’s about it. This is literally the DIRTIEST island I have ever come across in my life and there’s mounds of RUBBISH every single place you set your sight on (I’ll let the pictures do the talking). The island is very small (30mins max to cover the entire island on foot), has no wifi, the rooms smelled like sewage and there are very limited activities. Staff are friendly but are of not much help. There are also lots of bats on the island in case anyone has any allergies.

Rarely write reviews but figured I’ll do it this time so I can save some of you the money. Please opt for Perhentian, Redang, Tioman or Lang Tengah. I’ve been to all of the above and Mataking doesn’t even qualify to be on the list. As someone who loves our Malaysian tropical islands, I say with a heavy heart that I would genuinely not recommend anyone to visit Mataking.

Detailed review:

Price: ~RM2.2k per person for 4D3N excluding flights. Incredibly steep compared to other islands in my opinion. Unfortunately, there is also only one accommodation option on the island so we had to go with this. Mind you, there is no Wifi on the island and there is only Maxis and Digi for phone

Nature/Environment: I can’t even begin to explain the amount of rubbish that’s all over the island. It’s so bad to the extent where you’re literally having to snorkel through trash floating on the sea. The resort staff mentioned that the trash is coming from Indonesia. Even if that was truly the case (which I have my doubts), the resort management should take the initiative to clean it up as it comes to the shore. Seems pretty hypocritical to have a turtle hatchery on the island but also have tonnes of plastic bottles, bags, etc that can kill turtles and other marine animals anyway….

Rooms - We got a 3 single bed Garden View Chalet and for some odd reason the rooms here come with transparent glass doors for the shower and toilet. Had to stand outside the room each time one of us wanted to use the toilet. On Day 1, our shower head was broken. On Day 2, the pipes started leaking and created a mess. Thereafter, the entire room smelled like sewage until we checked out.

Activities: There is only one resort on the island and the only activities are kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving. No water sports like parasailing/jet ski, etc…There’s also only the bar in the resort so there is nothing much happening after 10pm. The gym was also under maintenance.

Food: The food was good and plentiful. Steamed fish, prawns, chicken, etc… Nothing to complain about but nothing to get excited about either
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SwatPat
Singapore18 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
We stayed in MataKing for 4 days in Jul 2019. It is a beautiful location which provides great opportunities for snorkelling. The food is very mediocre. We are vegetarians and had informed the resort upfront so they did help us with vegetarian food options. The rooms/villas are great but service is poor. Everything is charged. The resort doesnt have laundry facility. The beach is not clean and has lot of sharp glass pieces. I had a freak accident on the first day and had to do self-medication as there was no medical support available. Just a blessing that it was me and not the kids! There is no mention of this on their website. We had to complain to the GM of the resort and only then did the staff attend to us especially given my knee injury which put us in a difficult spot.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karatekid7
Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
What a beautiful piece of tropical paradise! The views were breathtaking. Swimming in warm crystal clear waters with sea turtles, colourful corals and schools of amazing tropical fish was a highlight. Everything was seamless from
the airport pick up to land and sea transfer. Another absolute highlight was the friendly, caring and hospitable staff always smiling and welcoming us everyday. Couldn’t believe how great the wifi was! I was able to FaceTime friends and family all over the world while walking in the sea at low tide in the middle of the Celebes Sea. Can’t wait to go back soon!
Written October 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas M
Sparta, NJ39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
Incredible one of a kind experience diving in Sipidan. Rated one of the top ten diving sites in the world. The dive professionals should be complimented for their emphasis on safety and attention to service. Regarding Mataking Island, it was first class from the moment we arrived. The food was good for buffet style. However, we were able to special order specific dishes for an additional charge. The staff treated us like royalty. And don’t miss the wonderful massages at the spa. Can’t wait to return!
Written February 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally R
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
After 2 adventurous weeks in Sabah we had arranged a treaty last few days to relax and do some snorkelling before the long trip home. We were not disappointed! What an island! A fast hour long boat ride from Seporna Jetty brought us to the reef out in the middle of the Celebes Sea with a small resort and dive / snorkel centre occupying half the island. Numerous snorkelling/ dive sites surround the island and further sites are a short boat ride away, with access to turtles and wonderful coral gardens. Step out the door of the lovely villa rooms onto the beach and into the sea and within seconds you can see hundreds of different varieties of beautiful colourful tropical fish and turtles! Much of the coral in the house reef is dead but there is some still living and the lack of corals is made up for by the variety of fish. The service was exceptional - from stepping off the boat and being greeted with a welcome drink to our helpful holiday host and each and every waiter and worker in the resort. The food was good and plentiful and the views whilst dining on the balcony were exceptional. A true tropical island paradise getaway.
Written August 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DebbieLguildford
Worplesdon, UK57 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
After a tiring journey we eventually arrived at Mataking island to a very warm welcome. We stayed in a beach side cabin on the back of the island. This was very quiet and you had the sunrise in he morning.
We dived everyday, the set up was extremely professional and very well organised, couldn't fault any of the guys there. They made sure we went to different dive sites every day and over our 10 days there got to know them all very well. We had two Sipidan trips whilst there which were amazing dives, probably the best we have dived and we have dived all over the world about 200 dives. Even the local dives around Mataking were pretty spectacular seeing reef shark, loads of large turtle, rays etc etc on every dive.
Contrary to what other people have said, we really enjoyed the food. There was lots of different choice of Malaysian food , Chinese, pasta, always fish and different meat choices. Only complaint was not a lot of salad stuff , only one or two fruit choices for breakfast.
The staff were all amazing a special mention to Ibba in the restaurant, he always had a smile on his face and kindly found cheese for us! The egg man also was very kind and Cooked our eggs ready for us.
We felt very safe all of the time we were there. There is a whole army on the island they petrol all the time and also three of them came with us to Sipidan. They also come kn the trips to and from the island from semporna in there own boat ahead of us. We had a few days when we couldn't dive on the back side of the island due to security risk but there were two fishermen that were kidnapped whilst we were there so I think it was a bit heightened.
My only main complaint is that the sun loungers by the beach and on our veranda did not have any cushions which did become a pain especially as we were there for 10 nights. Also you can't take the beds onto the beach. Most of the time we were there we were they only people on the beach sitting sunbathing. Most of the other guests are Chinese and only walk about and take selfies all day long and try to snorkel. It makes for a bit of light entertainment!
There is not any evening entertainment at all apart ftom a singer whom can't sing very well.
My tip is to have dinner around 1930 after the Chinese then you don't have to q up etc. Also the internet is appalling you can only get online very early morning in the restaurant or reception. Don't try and bother otherwise.
We had a fab time all in all, it's very beautiful and the diving us fantastic.
Written July 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JC
Putrajaya, Malaysia9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
- The beach is clean with crystal clear sea water.

- Only 1 resort on Mataking Island, no other residents staying on the island like Mabul Island, making the environment is privacy and peaceful.

- Staff are friendly. The food are tasty and all served in buffet-style.

- Snorkeling is just right infront of the resort, we can see corals, fishes and sea turtles.

- Walking to Mataking Island during low tide (10am-3pm), we can see long sand white beach, a best scene on the island for photography.

- There is a turtle hatchery on the island, we can see baby turtles return to sea after breaking free from the shell. And maybe this could be the reason we can sea turtles nearby this island, like they returning to their exact birthplace !
Written October 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annika M
Akersberga, Sweden32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
We stayed on the resort for 7 days with diving package. We had a great time. All the staff were so nice and serviceminded and most of them have been working there for a long time. The staff at the dive center has long experience. There is really nice diving spots around the island. But the diving in Sipadan is just amazing.

The guests has the same table at all meals in the restaurant, so there is no catfights about the sitting, which is nice. The food is really good.

If you are planning to go to an island in the Semporna area, we can recommend you to visit Mataking Island!
Written July 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Toadiedog
Vancouver, Canada59 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
We arrived from KL into Tawau and were promptly picked up by a driver and taken to Semporna docks where we took a comfortable boat ride to Mataking Island. The island was beautiful, the amenities were lovely. We used the state of the art gym and indulged in a massage. The room were comfortable and clean. We had purchased the dive and stay package. The house reef and surrounding island dives were absolutely beautiful with lots to see. Dive Master Tom was amazing, super knowledgeable and friendly. The menu, although well prepared, is very Asian inspired. Bones in all the chicken and fish. Delicious but be aware so as not to choke on any. I would recommend this resort to everyone.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alf Vary
7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
With 3 dives a day in small groups (just the two of us) you get to know the fantastic dive staff really well. They certainly do there best to show you the secrets that surround Mataking Island and their resident marine biologist can answer any questions you may have. You can even adopt a clutch of rescued turtle eggs! Our host did his best to make us comfortable during our stay with accommodation right on the sea shore, very decadent
For divers who enjoy searching for gems in a coral wonderland Mataking (and trips to Sipadan every day) hits all of the targets we wanted and it’s dead on bang for buck!
Written May 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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