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“Perfect for families & divers” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sipadan Mabul Resort

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Sipadan Mabul Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pulau Mabul
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Perfect for families & divers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Best place we stayed in Sabah, somewhere to totally chill. wonderful diving at Sipidan, and the resort being car free is perfect for families...kids can run free wherever they want. Our room was basic but clean and comfortable, and the service & food was excellent - especially the fresh tuna sashimi, straight out of the sea. The only downside is the rubbish strewn around the illegal Phillipino community (which you don't really need to go near) - a problem all over Sabah, with thousands of plastic bags and bottles dumped in the sea a particular problem.

Room Tip: ...unless you want to splash out, go for one of the cheaper rooms (standard), get a first (top) floo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nikitak13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

One of the best diving trips that I have been on. We decided to book this trip after we did a 8 day land tour and thorougly enjoyed our stay at this Resort. Great staff, great food and great diving. Enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank searcherofsouls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

Our family of 3 children (aged 8,11, & 13) plus parents stayed 5 glorious nights at Mabul Water Bungalows. The accomodation blew us away with the beauty and impeccable functionality of everything. Spotless rooms, sublime views, gorgeous decks, amazing food. The children did the Discover Scuba Diving course and received an excellent introduction to scuba diving from Jackey, who was a gifted and patient teacher. I was thoroughly confident in their abilities to manage in their practice dives in the lagoon with him at their side. Couldn't have asked for a better start to their diving education. We snorkelled and Scubaed at Sipadan, Kapalai, and various spots around Mabul. The skill of the boat drivers was greatly appreciated, as they picked us up wherever the current took us on our explorations, and we saw such incredible marine life! Our thanks to all the staff at MWB. Their professionalism and warm smiles made the trip an outstanding success.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Monica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London UK
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed for 10 nights on this beautiful island! The rooms are pretty basic but great air conditioning and no trouble from any mozzies. The beach cottages are charming rather than luxurious - but the beds are comfortable - clean linen most days and towels daily. Shower room is interesting as the roof is netted round the sides and open to the outdoors - adds to the charm though. Our cottage fronted onto the beach which was the best location as some others are set further back.

This really is a flip flop only resort - you have to take shoes off in all the main buildings and your rooms - they leave bowls of water for you to rinse your feet though. The dining room is lovely and the food is overall to a good standard - only moan would be the chicken - more bone rather than actual meat... After 10 days I was craving some home food comforts - but you never go hungry here! The wine is a little dubious too - but Tiger beers are in good supply!

If you are staying at the water bungalows - they really are only a 5 minute stroll away - but you can get golf buggys or they provide bikes - but it really isn't that far to mooch forward and back to. The spa there is lovely - had an hour massage and it was amazing!

I did my open water course at the resort - and had Patrick as my instructor. He was incredibly patient - and takes things at a pace that suits you! Very thorough - but prepares you fully for the open water diving. I did find it hard however learning - doing the book work and studying whilst everyone else was out at Sipadan coming back with tales of what they had done that day. So my advice would be - do the confined dives and studying before going - and the open water dives in the clear seas of the resort and get out on the boats as soon as possible.

The diving was awesome - I never expected to see so many sea turtles in one place - sharks and hundreds of tropical fish just swimming around as if you are in a giant aquarium with them. The Divemasters are great too - pointing out sharks in the distance - or turtles clinging to the side of the corals. One tip though - they get very excited about Nudibranches - which were basically coloured slugs... but if that is your thing you won't be disappointed.
Definitely take up a Sipadan package - we had a permit - but ended up going multiple times as I think it was fairly quiet - it is truly an amazing underwater paradise!

All in all a fabulous experience and highly recommended!

Room Tip: Go for front beach bungalow - rooms 150 - 146 were amongst these..
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MadsLondonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

I would say it is the best accommodation on Mabul Island. The food, the room, the people and the surrounding, nothing to complain about. I still miss the food now. :D

We stayed in the land resort with a balcony that can overlook the beach and sea. The room is comfortable, clean and thoughtfully prepared with electronic mosquito repellent and a pail in the washroom. I love to found a little bit this and that which show the heart and effort the management put into. The shower water is a bit salty in land resort, but not a big deal, consider the resource limitation.

The place is well-organized and take care by well-trained people. It has a house reef which you can dive and snorkel anytime with a buddy. Too bad I'm only there for snorkel, but more than enough to enjoy myself~ The Celebes Sea house thousands types of fishes, how I wish I could name them all~ Meeting the schooling of jack fish is one of the best experience I ever had!

Totally in love with the place!

Room Tip: Water bungalow provides bicycle you can ride around the island. Land resort do not have a bicycle bu...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank johandy27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
219 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

We had a wonderful stay at Sipadan Mabul Resort - 5 days/4 nights. We were very pleasantly surprised at the level of welcome, orientation, and organization that accompanied our stay here. As we travel throughout Asia frequently, there is often a lack in hospitality/communication that can affect one's stay, but not here!

This is an ideal stay for divers as trips are planned for divers at three different destinations each day. We explored around the island and came away feeling that Sipadan Mabul Resort was definitely the best option for this island stay. There are two other 'water bungalows' stays, but no beach, and plenty of 'hostel' type stays for backpackers, but again, no beach. However SMR has beach space, a sunset bar, nice little bungalows, a clean restaurant, and nice company. The staff were helpful and very pleasant. The diving around Mabul and Kapalai Island was interesting, but you must see Sipadan when you visit. MAKE SURE that you indicate that you want a Sipadan package - there was serious confusion around who had a booking/permit fees, etc. We complained to our agent and they ended up paying our Sipadan fees for us. Make sure that you get those details in PRINT from whoever is liable to ensure that you can dive at Sipadan.

All in all - highly recommend!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessie810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012

The resort offers a large choice of accommodation and the quality of your stay will depend on the one you selected. The most basic chalet can be a bit noisy with issues in the bathroom while the rest are very nice and for the water bungalow perfect. Food is very good, staff is very nice and helpful and the resort is very clean. Regarding the diving, the equipment is a bit worn-out and they don't have enough dive masters so you have to be careful, diving at 7 or 8 is not fun at all. But they will always try to find a way to satisfy you!

I will definitely go back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Matt_B_Tokyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sipadan Mabul Resort

Property: Sipadan Mabul Resort
Address: P O Box 15571 Kota Kinabalu, Pulau Mabul 88865, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SIPADAN-MABUL RESORT (SMART) is situated at Mabul Island overlooking the well-known Sipadan Island. It is a dive destination resort that began its modest operations back in 1993 and has since grown into a well-established and reputable resort as it is today. SMART has 42 land-based chalets (22 unit stand-alone detached chalets, 18 unit standard semi-detached chalets and 2 unit suite chalets) which can accommodate up to 84 guests at any one time. All chalets are built from native materials of Borneo, mostly twin-bedded, equipped with mosquito screens, air-conditioning and come with attached bathrooms with hot shower facilities as well as free Wi-Fi internet access in the room. Other facilities include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool spa, large dining hall and bars. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan Mabul Hotel Pulau Mabul

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