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“A shop uninterested in customer satisfaction or safety”

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Billabong Scuba Homestay
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A shop uninterested in customer satisfaction or safety”
Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

I only dived with billabong because they had a last minute permit for sipadan andi said yes beforei knew it was with them. And I certainly reneged it.there areso many awful things to say about this shop I will just to put it in bullet point
- last minute change to an early morning dive without any notice leaving me having to traipse around the island to inform my buddies
- no greeting when we arrived in the morning, we had to sort out our own gear and only saw our dm when the boat was about to leave
- I knew their gear was crap so I brought mine from another dive shop, my buddy had a broken depth gauge
- dm were useless at finding anything and somehow managed to make one of the worlds best dive sites boring, on the first dive they kept on going back and forwards indicating that there was current, leaving all of us in the water wondering what the heck they were going on about as it was not a strong current
- dm's ignored us completely during the surface interval, Vanessa seemed more interested in her phone
- most seriously, on the last surface interval I had an argument with Otto becuase he wanted to get in the water but my computer was indicating i needed more surface interval due to previous dives. He actually shouted at me " you divemaster, you should know, 45min to one hour thrn you can get back in". He tried to convince me my computer was broken. He then proceeded to spend most of the third dive at deeper than 30 metres which was way below us. This behaviour is dangerous and take this supposed dive opersation from one that is merely bad with customer service and gives you an unpleasant diving experience to a shop that is dangerous.
Dive with them at your own risk but I wouldnt dive with them again if you paid me to.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Gabrielle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Milan, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2014

Billabong is a very beautiful place but you have to be prepared to this experience before going. If you have booked a basic room you won't have your private bathroom and you won't ask hot water in the shower. At first it could seem strange but when you will arrive you will understand that you don't really need a private bathroom and hot water. You'll smile to the gipsy sea children who live in small ships under the buildings and you'll realize how much stupid you were asking hot water! Mabul is a really magic place, you must go walking in the village smiling to people and taking them pictures, they will thank you! The staff of billabong is amazing, il keep them in my heart for ever!
The diving is great and well organized.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cristina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roma
Level 6 Contributor
239 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Going to Sipadan is expensive - even if you choose a low-cost place like this, because at the end it won't be really low-cost. Three nights all inclusive (which makes it nearly four days, because the first day you will arrive her around 9 o'clock in the morning!) will cost you including the visit at Sipadan about RM 1.000 (€ 250) p.p.
You will stay on Mabul Island in very basic rooms (built on stilts over the water), but from here you will also overlook Sipadan Island (30 minutes by speed boat). The lunch and dinner buffet is quite simple but ok, for the rest you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the prospect.

Room Tip: Our rooms were standard, adding some ringit you might prefer chosing one of the more expensive Bunga...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank gitiRoma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Location--Excellent sunset view, big and clean dining hall, newly painting house, good euqipment
Room--Basic, bed is not good w/ rats inside, the rats(I'm sure there were more than one) bit my snacks and even my toe(Awful!) Bad sleep quality
People--Excellent DM, friendly staff

Room Tip: make sure no rats inside
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Wenxiu C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taguig City, Philippines
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

I stayed in Billabong for 13 nights in total. They give you the reserved permits if you have booked in advance. The resort also gets the same number of permits as other bigger resorts, but for the smaller volume of people who stay on the homestay, they are pretty high. Billabong has the friendliest staff, the common area is friendly and conducive to meeting enthusiastic divers. There is a lovely walk bridge that connects the dive shop to the resort and you can jump on the crystal waters at hightide. Theres also the lovely sunset view and Sipadan Is. is vust within view. I would recommend this place to hardcore divers who dont mind the heat, and who arent coming for luxury. Overall, a lovely homestay!

Room Tip: Get a chalet! Lovely! theres no need for a pool, the hight tide opens an olympic sized swimming pool...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

I came to Mabul to get PADI Open Water Certified and found that Billabong was the cheapest option. However, I definitely think it was a great deal! With food included and a gorgeous location, you can't go wrong if you're on a budget.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank mcb22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

The Billabong homestay, as it's called, though not really a homestay anymore, was a nice place. At least to the outside it was one of the nicer looking budget places. Nothing comparable to the fancy big resorts, but more our kind of place anyway. More than anything we were happy to have scored a good deal. Soon it was time for the dives. And what diving it was! We were almost speechless.
I recommend this place if you need a cheap, clean and safe place to stay!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa n
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

Property: 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 10 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Billabong Scuba Hotel Pulau Mabul

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