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.

“Came for 3 days, stayed for 10!”
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
Certificate of Excellence
Fremantle, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Came for 3 days, stayed for 10!”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

I planned on going to Mabul for three days diving (two at Mabul and one at Sipadan) and had such a fantastic time that I ended up staying for ten!

As expected the diving was excellent, but made even more rewarding by the fantastic dive staff - always smiling and ready to lend a hand. Eva has an amazing eye and always managed to find some cool stuff that would otherwise have passed me by! Calixto was also great value and fun to dive with and although I didn't get much of a chance to dive with Jon as he was busy teaching, he definitely knew his stuff and was always happy to give some advice.

Although the accommodation is basic (which is to be expected at this price range) it is clean and comfortable, and the atmosphere nice and relaxed. The local staff are incredibly friendly and always ready with a smile and they cook up plenty of great food.

And as for the location, well what can you say - a long house overhanging the water with plenty of interesting fish swimming around under the decking (a couple of small cuttle fish and eels were fighting it out one afternoon, with the cuttle fish coming off second best!). It's hard to beat swinging on a hammock at the end of the day enjoying a fantastic sunset with a beer in hand!

All in all a great place to stay and I found it really good value for money considering the number of dives that I did and the quality of the experience. If you are after 5 star accommodation with air conditioning and all the mod cons, then this probably isn't the place for you. BUT if you're a bit more laid back and want a fantastic place to stay on a tropical island for a reasonable price then you'll do well find a more inviting place than Mabul Backpackers!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ando_on_hols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

155 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    51
    21
    10
    17
See reviews for
12
45
45
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
Gavle, Sweden
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

GREAT service, good food and the diving was amazing. If you want a good stay with nice people for a nice price, you have it here. Jon the instructor helped me and my friend with our open water certification. He was a really good teacher and when you dives with him you feels safe all the time. He know how to do it very well and helps you with everything to become a good diver. I had an amazing time with everyone there and I am so happy that I did this trip to Mabul/Sipadan.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Felix A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Da Lat, Vietnam
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

My partner and i went for 2 days and stayed for a week,
We dived and met good ppl, sipadan was awsome but i liked diving around the island better
Thanks to 2 great divemasters Jon n Eva , they were so helpfull with everthing,
and were excited about the underwater life which made us excited, i learnt so
much out there definately would go back
The staff were really lovely also and had a great sense of humour,
Dont expect a wide variety of food, by the end it got alot better but its very simple,
good thing EGGS FOR BREAKFAST and CURRY FOR DINNER
if u love both of them then u will be fine
I would say, if u dont like jam take something else to spread on the bread
otherwise take your own snacks.
Showers were good although cold but suited us we didnt care,no aircon either but who cares!
All in all if your easy going u will love it but dont expect a resort its small and comfortable family like place
Thanks guys!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Apjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Great location with a boathouse overlooking the water. You can chill in the sun, shade or just jump in the water. Rest of accommodation is basic so don't expect a resort or something. Prices for dives and accommodation are good.

Obviously the diving is great in itself. We enjoyed the dive staff very much who really added in the diving experience. Safe briefings and all dive masters made a great effort to show you the best spots. Jon, eva and caliexto are super friendly and really go out of their way to make sure you have a good time. We even got a birthday cake organised!! If you are very lucky you might get Jon's magic fifteen minutes show....

Atmosphere is very relaxed and very suitable for couple or single divers. To sum up; if you are looking for a basic backpackers with excellent staff, good food and amazing fun diving you came to the right place.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roberto_Balzarelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marsillargues
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

I were in this place for 4 days with my family. This is one of the cheapest place in Mabul but I think it could be really better. The owner is just good to ask you for money. Staff to dive doesn't care about you, not able to say hello on the morning for example. Only cooking staff, local people, are nice. Good food but bad rooms. For sure the place is amazing so it's a pity not be be better.
You can find better just nearby for few RM more.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fred C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The staff is extremely good and the lunch and dinners are delicious. Breakfast could do with some variety. The diving is amazing with Jon and Eva. They do an excellent job and taking you to some amazing spots and ensure your safety and happiness, especially if you are a beginner diver. The environment is very clean but very basic. Don't come expecting anything fancy. You get what you pay for. The bathrooms are shared marine toilets, they do a good job at keeping them clean. The resort has electricity from 6pm to 6am and there is no a/c just a fan and the breeze from your window. The view from the deck is stunning. If you are looking to rough it, this is the place to be. If you are looking for something fancy don't come here and complain. Pay the extra money and go somewhere else and spoil yourself.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank skellyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

I had an amazing week at mabul backpackers. Remember: its a budget place. I think the people who wrote negative about this place, expected the best for the cheapest. But believe me, for a budget stay, this is amazing.
The service is great, the staff is very kind and the stay is good.

When i arrived with a friend by bus, the taxi driver picked us up right in time to bring us to the office where we could book the budget package. Im on Couchsurfing as well; that can make a difference (!!!).

I stayed eight nights at this place.
The food was good for me; three times a meal and in the afternoon a snack. There is Bread and jam and bananas all day if youre a little hungry. Unlimited tea, coffee and water. The breakfast was can be eggs, sausage, Rice, mie goreng, beans in tomato sauce and/or sweet (fried?) Bread. Really Nice!
Lunch and diner is a buffet of rice (off course; were in Malaysia), fish, vegetables, chicken, fruit (papaya, watermelon or bananas) and water that the friendly staff will serve you water when u finished your drink.

The rooms are fine as well. You have a fan that will work from 6 pm till 6 am (like most places on the island), because of the electricity. Sometimes the (quick) Wifi works at day time!!! :D
The western bathroom is basic, like they are on the most places when its on an island. One of the two showers give good 'power' when u want to take a shower.

The divingtrip to kapalai 'house reef' was good for me. I am a beginner, but the staff (Eva and John) showed us Nice micro life underwater. Good briefing, good equipment and i liked the dive. The only 'problem' was we had to go up too early; 46 minutes of diving (for me too short). I had 70 left of my air, so i could have dive longer.. But i know, it always depends on your buddy/group.

Its Nice to hang around the Homestay. You Can relax on the sundeck, watch the beautiful sunset or see how the local people live on their boats or how they fish when its low tide. Sometimes you can see a turttle swim by!!

You will find trash next to the Homestay And in the water, but hey; that's mabul island. Every place will have this 'problem'. Only the luxery resorts are a little more clean.

If you stay here, you have the clean beach of the resort next to you. You are allowed to use their beach and shops.

My plan was to stay three nights, do diving and go back to kk. But because of an spiderbite that i got from indinesia, i couldnt dive said the doctor. After a few days i had to come back to the doctor. The boss took good care and arranged a boat and taxidriver to bring me there and back. Very kind!! The return at the end of my stay went fine as well.

I will miss this place because of the nice people, good food and...everything..

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DutchLeonie
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
14.4 mi away
City Inn Semporna
City Inn Semporna
#5 of 7 in Semporna
31 reviews
16.3 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
265 reviews
0.1 mi away
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
#8 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
75 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.1 mi away
Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge
0.3 mi away
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
#10 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3 reviews
14.5 mi away
Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort
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