We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Incredible Diving and Incredible People”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Mabul Backpackers

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Pulau Mabul
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Mabul Backpackers
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Incredible Diving and Incredible People”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2012

I just came back from an incredible holiday in Malaysia, and I have to say that my time at this hostel was great. I loved getting my open water scuba diving certification here. My instructor, Steph, was very patient and very friendly showing me the sites around Mabul, which are incredible. In my open water dives for my certification I saw sea snakes, sea turtles, lionfish, anemonefish, school of jackfish, moray eels, and crocodile fish along with many other wonderful underwater creatures. I am definitely spoiled for my first few dives. After getting certified, I arranged for three more dives in Mabul which were also incredible. The owner of this place also arranged my Sipadan dives with another company although I had to go back to Semporna and that was a little bit inconvenient. This company currently does not have the permits to take you to Sipadan, so you have to ask them in advance to arrange your dives there.

The hostel itself was great except the rooms were very simple (each room has just the beds that were a bit uncomfortable and electricity only between 6 PM to 6 AM). The toilets and showers are OK (they work) and even though they are shared, I still felt like I had my own privacy. The food was good considering they have to bring everything from the mainland, and they provide coffee, tea, and water at all times, which was really nice. The staff were very friendly at all times and they were able to answer any questions I had. The views from the hostel were also incredible, especially the sunset. I would definitely love to come back to this place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carlos C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

152 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    50
    21
    10
    15
See reviews for
12
44
44
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore City, null, Singapore
Level Contributor
109 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2012

The dive master and instructor are just the best. They are very friendly and accommodating to your preferences. The staff are helpful and funny in their own ways. But rooms are less than comfortable and they get very hot in the morning as the electricity is shut off between 6 am and 6 pm. But because its a cosy little place you are bound to make very good friends with both staff and guests. Cant wait to go back. Wished the rooms, beds and showers are improved for the prices they offer. Nevertheless, you will feel very special there.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SabOhara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigamme, Michigan
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

I had a great time at Mabul b.p.

The instructors and dive masters were helpful and experienced, the dives were great too. Besides a wonderful staff, there was an ever present lack of commodities and comforts you would expect at a normal backpackers such as aircon, warm showers, diversity of food served. The maintenance for the dive boat, rooms, and dive supplies seemed to be due to a lack of support by the owner, this is the bread and butter of the operation which seemed sorely looked after.

The staff is what kept me there for 3 nights, I would only go back if the management fixed the basics, just a forewarning.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Justin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights on a snorkelling package! The staff were rude and uninformative. Most of the staff are French and uninterested in non-French speakers or non-divers! The manager was very rude. The package is more expensive than booking everything separately and we felt no value for money. The bedroom we stayed in had holes in the walls and ceiling, it also smelled mouldy and there were small insects all over our bed, there were cockroaches in other rooms! There is no electricity during the day, the showers are barely a trickle and cold! There are only 4 toilets and 2 showers for everybody, not enough and were often dirty. Toulet paper has to go in the bin so it was quiet smelly. The food was okay-normally served cold though. I didnt like the general atmosphere in the hostel either. The island itself is very dirty with litter everywhere. The snorkelling was good but expensive and we saw a floating poo and rubbish in the water!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bugsyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyon, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

We had a really great time during 5 days. Warmth welcomw from the staff at our arrival. Then the dive master were very excellent. They are really reliable and professional, they took us to the very different spot of diving around the island and we discover so many species of fish. They are very attentiv to us and adapt very easily to te level of every of the 3 of us.
Outside the diving they remain very helpfull and friendly. We did 3 dives a day, and between each dives we didn t have to take care about our materiel, we could juste relax lying on the terrace with a tea and always something to eat. They create a very good atmosfere with the other people of the staff. These latest are also always present if you need something. We were surprised by the food, good and change everyday. Sometimes the quantity is a bit average. Anyway we never finish a meal with hunger aymore. We didn t have to worry about anything. Just relax and take good time.

We have found a place with a very friendly atmosfere, and in the same time with peacefull and relaxing moment taking advantage of the nice view from the resturant that give to the see. The place is quiet because out from the village but in the same time you get get easily to the village where people are very friendly. And also by foot you are very quickly to very good place to do good snorkling.

The accomodation remain good value for money even if it is a bit basic, with just room with the bed.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pajean a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012 via mobile

Staying there for two nights with my family. Very friendly and helpful staff. Lovely dive instructors. If you want luxury, look somewhere else. For fun and enjoyment, this is the place. Definitely will come back to this place.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sseme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Koh Lanta
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2012

In life you get what you pay for.. on one side this is a back packers lodge and for the price you pay for a room is about adequate and ok maybe a little thread bare. All these other reviewers need to do more research when they complain about the accommodation.. it is what it is.. if you want fancy rooms with AC then book into one of the 5* resorts if you have the money. The food is ok, but don't expect to get blown away by it. The food could be be better with a little more creativity.. chicken, rice and boiled veg every day gets depressing after a few months trust me. Also why as divers are you reviewers asking for fish? for god sakes our Oceans are in a bad enough state but when divers want fish.. come on..
Now to the positives - the diving.. All resorts on the island share the same water and dive sites but its up to the dive guides to show the special stuff, so even if yr paying top dollar doesn't mean the guiding is top dollar too. Please enquire to whether Albert, Tomo, Nina, James, Marshy, Steph or Mauro are working there as thee guys truly know there stuff. Not only do they have an amazing passion for diving but also a huge respect for the ocean and the marine life around it. Courses that are undertook there are excellent.. i fill in your first 4 dives with such marine life (please see some examples below) must be amazing. As regards for value for money for the diving then I would say you probably can't get better. I don't know many dive locations round the world (and i have dived most) can offer you - Frogfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Blue Ring Octopus , Wonderpus, Sipidan next door, Nudi's galore..

So in summary - if I could rate the accommodation and food and the diving separate then 2* for accommodation and food and 5* for the diving.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NarcosisNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Mabul
29.1 mi away
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
#3 of 5 in Pulau Sipadan
4.5 of 5 bubbles 392 reviews
16.3 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
3.5 of 5 bubbles 261 reviews
0.1 mi away
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
#8 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3.5 of 5 bubbles 75 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.5 mi away
Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort
0.3 mi away
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
#10 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3.5 of 5 bubbles 3 reviews
16.4 mi away
Best Bunk Beds
Best Bunk Beds
#3 of 21 in Semporna
5.0 of 5 bubbles 34 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mabul Backpackers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mabul Backpackers

Property: Mabul Backpackers
Address: 1 Jalan Custom, Pulau Mabul 91307, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Newly built Mabul water longhouse. Clean, smart and comfortable, it is located in a quiet and beautiful part of Mabul Island. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mabul Backpackers Hotel Pulau Mabul

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing