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Billabong Scuba Homestay
Reviewed July 24, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights to do our Open Water Cert. The owner Faizal (Mr Chok) was very good with his communication when we were planning the trip, was able to organise our Sipadan trip and contrary to other reviews was very busy, so much so that he had to arrange for another instructor from another resort to take us! If you are expecting a 6star resort then this isnt for you, but then again if you have champagne tastes on a beer budget alot of things around the world will disappoint you. We had an amazing group staying at the resort- Aussies, Danes, Germans and Swiss and had plenty of good times. The only thing that was evident was that timings were rarely staunchly adhered to with delays of up to 45mins in some instances. Overall we had a good time, shared some excellent diving with great people and had more than enough food at every meal.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TopLeaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 2, 2011

I have no idea how much effort or expense is required in running this kind of facility on an island where everything from compressor filters to toilet roll has to come by speedboat from the mainland.

If you like your home comforts then this is not your best choice of accommodation on the island. However, if you just want somewhere to put your rucksack so you can have the opportunity to dive Mabul, Sipadan and the surrounding reefs without paying through the nose then this homestay was pretty good.

The rooms were clean, the bathroom functioned, the toilet could be flushed, food appeared, the dive gear was in good nick and three boat dives a day happened regularly.

I wouldn't do a dive course here. It's not what they are best geared to do.

And I would love to see them stick a septic tank on the end of their sewerage pipe, but then again there are 200 homes on the island to which that could be applied, and there is a reason Mabul has so much "Muck" Diving!

Room Tip: Rooms 11 and 16 looked out onto the sea.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Nurhazlina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2011

We stay for 5 days and have great time there!!! This place is a backpackers place, but it's nice, clean and you have your own room if you want privacy. I will go back for sure, to this place if I come to Borneo again one day!

First at all, the manager mr. chuck arrange our missing luggage comming to the island - next he did not want any paid for that or the diving equipment we have to rent for one day, until we get our own. He also arrange 2 dive days at Sipadan 10 days before we arrive, and also get a snorkler acces to Sipadan in one day. Don't think there is any thing he's not able to handle:-)

The staff there is great people! very helpfull and spent all the time you want with you after the dives.

This is not a four or five star hotel, but a place with the basic things you need, such as good food, drinks, a good bed, toilet, bath, place to rinse your dive equipment and all others things you need. This is a place with very warm and friendly staff, amazing diving at mabul, kapalei, sipadan ect. and a wonderfull place to relax and enjoy the nature around. It is a small place where people get together, but tyou should also take a walk around the island, its very nice:-)

Tina Kristensen from Denmark

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Timibej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

Didn't stay at Billabong but went diving with them (we wanted less basic accommodation). From what I've seen the accommodation is basic but the food (which I got at lunch when diving all day) was good (better than where we were staying!)

The dive instructors are enthusiastic and friendly. There is a new bloke in charge of the diving and i suspect the place will go from strength to strength. Unfortunatly he does not manage the rooms which i think is a mistake on the owners part. The staff who do manage the rooms (basically just one woman behind a desk) was unhelpful, rude and unwelcoming and actually made me feel like she was doing me a favour by allowing me to dive there (and spend several hundred pounds!). By rights, she should have had nothing to do with me as i was not staying there but it appears she feels she rules the place. It's a shame.

Someone else on here said that the DM's were inexperienced, some are, but they are all friendly and some are very experienced..... same as anywhere!

If you are diving try and get out to seaventure, lobster wall and eel garden especially. Sipidan goes without saying.

Happy diving.
x

Room Tip: stay on the dragons good side!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank theflyingdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2011

We are a couple from Holland. we are not the youngest one, but we like to travel and we go backpack. in april we stayed for 5 nights/ 6 days at Bilabong Mabul. we really liked it. The staff was very kind. They let us make stay there at home. Very nice people relaxed and helpfull when asked. The food was in buffet form, but every day was delicious. It is not only the staff but also the divemasters were oke. we went to good diving spots good organised. Had absolutely no problems with the diving gear. The diving days were well organised. So, were there no complines. Yes, well had no warm water running in the shower. To shower we need to fill a basket with water and then poor the water over yourself. It would be nice if you could put your clothing on a shelf. But you can also go to a 5 star hotel.... One day I bought some fish from a local fisherman, and the head cook prepared it. It was the best we ever had. Well if you want a good stay at Mabul just go to Bilabong. We loved it.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank borneo1052775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2011

Me and my boyfriend spent 4 days 3 nights at Billabong Scuba and had a fantastic time. I am disappointed reading negative reviews- if you want the Hilton, go stay at Another dive centre for ten times the cost!
We loved the fact it was basic no frills dive resort with fantastic service and great dive masters.
We had a room with a private bathroom- well worth the tiny extra cost.
We dived both Mabul and Sipadan and the boats and gear was all fantastic.
The BEST thing about this place is that it is a small company - meaning if you are the only one signed to go on a dive... Then it's just you and the guide! Much more personal than Other outlets. If you are there for the diving then give this place a go!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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Thank Loopoo12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2011

The guy who called FC has purpose a Sipadan diving package for us and the package is not helpful. We were trying to amend the schedule to fit for our itinerary and his reply as below:

"...If you want to have sipadan....please do everything with us..otherwise please do with them.."

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ks531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Billabong Scuba Homestay

Address: Lot 28, 1st floor, block E, Seafront, Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Billabong Scuba Hotel Pulau Mabul

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