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.

“Waterworld Abode”

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
Scuba Jeff Guest House
Ranked #2 of 3 Pulau Mabul B&B and Inns
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Waterworld Abode”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

An excellent place, if you are looking for an adventure. If you are a type of holiday-maker who wants crumpets and tea in bed with a jacuzzi in the bathroom, this place is not for you; but if you love to explore the depths of the ocean as well as the quaint life styles of sea gypsies, you will be fascinated by this place. A very wet boat ride from Semporna brings travellers to a hot cup of tea and cakes waiting at the deck of Scuba-Jeff.

At first glance, it looks quite basic, but as you settle in, you are charmed by the homely hospitality of Jeff and his staff . Its like being in a country house, except this is built on stilts, with the sound and sight of waves as your constant companions, and breathtaking sunsets to be viewed from the deck.


Be ready to rough it out. Its a great way to teach pre-teens a sense of adventure with basic facilities.Time to switch off from the world. The rooms are ideal for back-packers and big groups. Bathrooms are shared by the guests, while the Honeymooners bedroom has an attached bathroom for privacy. The little windows open to the view of the gypsy village. The premises are not recommended for families with kids under the age of 8 as there aren't a lot of activities, but highly recommended for children of 10 and above. Time to introduce them to diving.

The entire area is filled with underwater marvels, which are experienced during the several dives facilitated by Jeff and his dive masters. My family viewed turtles, much to their delight.

Rickety wooden platform lead to the gypsy village with hundreds of kids playing in the sand. There are several bars in the island.Beer, Fresh coconut juice, burgers, noodles are available at little shops in the village.When you visit the resorts, they seem boring, as compared to the vibrant atmosphere of ScubaJeff, where sunset breeze brings party life and strumming guitar to the deck. We thoroughly enjoyed staying there and plan to go there again as well, in the future

Room Tip: The choicest place to sleep is on the deck on a full moon night. An experience not be missed!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Zaufyshan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
    33
    22
    12
    37
See reviews for
8
36
12
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

A total rip-off, with highly misleading information. We booked the "honeymoon package" for 790 RM, which was presented to us as a very romantic package in a charming room, including attached bathroom, pick-up, three divings, snorkeling, fishing, etc. A very unkind person came for the pick-up. The room was a cabin put on the pontoon itself, thereby trembling when someone was walking on it. No intimacy at all. No glass in the window. Not a drawer to put your clothes (the closet was filled by the boss' stuff). The attached bathroom was a toilet with plenty of water on the floor and no flush. No electricity (it started from 7 PM to 7 AM, like wifi). No diving: we were said that this was not possible if we did not have the PADI while I had sent an e-mail prior to booking insisting on the fact that we were not experimented divers. No sheets: we were said that they were drying and would be ready the next day... so that we would had to spend the night on a mattress wrapped in plastic. No candle dinner as opposed to the description, but rather some very unpleasant food served in a dark room. In the morning we were awoken at 6:00 am by an extremely loud music coming from the next pontoon (especially as the windows had no glass). In a nutshell, a total rip-off. Only good point: some people from the staff were very kind (not all of them though). Now it makes me lough but when we were there we were about to cry (and we are really not of the picky kind). So if you want to have a pleasant holiday, do not go there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank TravelMarcel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

I'd read some great reviews about Scuba Jeff so was really looking forward to my visit here. However right from the start we had problems.

Firstly we booked the accommodation well in advance but never received anything from them regarding how to get the the island in the first place. I only realised this on the evening prior to our stay when we were staying deep in the jungle and had no wifi. To cut a long story short we turned up at dodgy semporna and had no idea where to go but ended up getting dumped at another hostel whose staff were kind enough to call scuba jeff on our behalf. Little did we know they actually had their own office in Semporna which if we'd looked closer we'd have seen but it wasn't made clear when we made the booking that we needed to go there.

The boat trip to Mabul island was extremely dodgy. No life jackets and a boat that looked like it had been bashed together that morning and which constantly bashed against the waves for 1+1/2 hours. Luckily I don't suffer from sea-sickness or it'd have been hell. On the way back someone's seat even broke coz it was so badly made and they had to sit on the floor of the boat...not comfy.

When we arrived at scuba jeff there was a really cool vibe of young travellers chilling out, sunbathing and chatting, it was really nice. The rooms were extremely basic, no window in our room and paper thin walls but it didn't bother us so much. What did bother us however was the walkway leading from the hostel to Mabul island - the dodgiest walkway I have ever crossed! Like the boat i was made out of wooden planks and looked like it had been bashed together that morning and swayed when you stepped on it - plus there were lots of parts when the planks had broken off and there were holes in the floor...! The local people didn't seem to have a problem with this but it really didn't seem safe to a non-local!

We didn't go diving but we did scuba dive. The first trip we took was perfect, the boat went with us, all the equipment worked and it was great. However the second time I had so many problems, wasn't given a lifejacket, had a dodgy mask and tube that kept filling up with water and when we decided we'd had enough and wanted to go back on the boat we found it had left! We had to swim around for another 15 minutes before it finally came back to get us.

On the plus side however, Jeff is a friendly, fun guy and the atmosphere is chilled and fun. It's a great place to party as the free rum gets everyone drunk very quickly and the sunsets from the terrace are gorgeous. If you're 18, like partying and don't care about things like safety then you'll love it here. Otherwise I'd recommend going elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sazzarina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

We were really looking forward to arriving at Scuba Jeff's on Mabul Island as we were hoping to dive Sipadan. Upon arrival in Semporna we tried to contact the office girl who had told us to call her when we got to Semporna after carting our luggage around the rubbish tip that is Semporna we finally found her and we were on our way. After a rather torturise boat ride we arrived at a backpackers on stilts over the water of Mabul Island. The staff seemed friendly enough but it was obvious that they had no idea what they were doing as Scuba Jeff was in KL but eventually after being asked to pay for the transfers we had already paid the boat driver for we were showed to our room. It was just that a room with a pedestal fan that didn't work. We had paid for meals included and received our meal of well over cooked tuna and boiled melon. After lunch we set off to explore and found that Mabul was also a rubbish tip and absolutely covered in garbage from coke bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene cups and even diapers... Altough the sea gypsy people are super friendly the friendliest I have found in Borneo so far we could not get past the rubbish and after finding a few beers returned to our backpackers to chill out on the deck and maybe go for a swim as the website tells you, you can swim off the back of the jetty. We got into our bathers and parked ourselves in the deck chairs my boyfriend was just about to jump in only to be deterred by the giant poo floating past. Upon further inspection we discovered more poo and a lot more diapers and filth just under the jetty they would like us to swim under. We were so shocked we went back to our rooms as I was determined to sleep away the 2 days we had booked on this hell hole upon sitting on the bed my boyfriends bed went strait through the floor. Dinner was once again over cooked tuna and boiled melon. At 6pm the electricity comes back on and we are expecting to get wifi after trying for a few hours the wifi never worked. Once again returning to my room to try to sleep to hell away. In the morning after a lot of sleep we tried to go and find a beach to spend our day at but it was impossible to find one that wasn't covered in rubbish. The only beaches that aren't covered in rubbish are the big resorts beaches and you aren't allowed to swim on them. It was then we decided that even a hotel in Semporna would be better than this island. We made our way back and packed our stuff. While we were waiting for our boat we met another couple that had just arrived and looked about as happy as we were. They had booked the 5 day snorkeling package and upon inquiring about it it was obvious the staff had no idea what they were talking about. They had paid the girl in the office in full on the boat over here and were told they shouldn't have done that as she has been fired for stealing money from the business and she is only still there as they cannot find a replacement. If these people had not insisted on making sure they received what they paid for (guided snorkeling tours, sea gypsy village tour, big barbecue as the website clearly states) I am sure they would not have gotten what they paid for. After forcing the staff off the deck where they had been playing guitar and smoking for the last 2 days they managed to get a guided snorkeling tour out of them. In the end we left a day early and were relieved to get out of that backpackers and off that island. In none of the websites for Mabul does it say oh by the way you will be living on a floating rubbish dump for the duration of your stay. Maybe if we had of stayed when Scuba Jeff was there we would have had a better time as I have been told he is a great guy. But if your going to leave your establishment in the hands of your staff they should have some idea of what's going on. I will never stay here again and I would never recommend it to anyone not the home stay and not the island. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen as you could see that it was once a beautiful island and it was absolutely drowning in filth. And no amount of free rum offered by the staff was going to drown that out.

Room Tip: Do not stay here.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank essjaydee1707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

First of all, this place is FULLY RECOMMENDED. Secondly, the location is fantastic! The best part is that, the place is so simple, the kind of holiday i would like always. With the owner (Jeff) and the staff, their hospitality makes me feel like home.

I went there for diving, Lobster wall, one of the diving spots there, is just 5 minutes from the lodge, is one of the MUST go diving spot if you decided to go there. The rich of marine life, and crystal clear water is beyond my explanation. Ah yes, you can bring your diving equipment there, but if you don't have... not to worry, they have the latest MARES diving equipement which you rent it out at a very reasonably price.

If you ask me, would I come here again... I WOULD DEFINITELY WOULD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, Fully recommended

Note: You can also dive in Sipadan, but do make your arrangement earlier before flying here as the Malaysian Government only allow 100 permits a day. Imagine diving on one of the TOP 10 diving spot in the world! Wohooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers!!
Irwan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Irwan_Ismail79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Scuba Jeff Guest House, located on the southern side of the tiny island of Mabul, overlooking the Sipadan Island. The guest house is run by a jolly fellow that goes by the name of Scuba Jeff. He is very friendly, with a troop of equally friendly staff.

The facilities at the guest house is pretty basic, but when you're hiding away from the hustle and bustle of city life, basic is what you want. The meals prepared by the staff are tasty, and some times, you get really good dishes.

Jeff can arrange for snorkeling and diving trips for you. A tour of the Mabul village can be arranged with escorts provided free by Jeff. Anywhere you want to go on the island, his staff will escort you. Snorkeling can also be done at the House Reef, which is 10 feet away from the guest house. The guest house stands on stilts, right on the water.

For a good inexpensive experience, Scuba Jeff Guest House is the place. Beware though - a trip to this place can be addictive!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank azghaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 19, 2012

The owner Jeff puts the happiness of the guests before anything else... It's easy to understand this when you see all of the comments on the wall of the dive shop. The vibe of the place is extremely laid back and has wonderful friendly staff. If you want to enjoy lots of great macro diving, then diving here in Mabul is perfect for you. Photographers will be in macro heaven! The equipment at the shop is very good, so you don't have to worry about poor quality rental equipment like in the bulk of SE Asia for once. Enjoy the sunsets with some nice Filipino rum on the sundeck...

Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Busta2552
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
16.2 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
267 reviews
14.3 mi away
City Inn Semporna
City Inn Semporna
#5 of 7 in Semporna
31 reviews
14.7 mi away
Sipadan Inn 2
Sipadan Inn 2
#2 of 7 in Semporna
75 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.4 mi away
Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort
0.2 mi away
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
#10 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3 reviews
16.2 mi away
Atine Backpackers Hostel
Atine Backpackers Hostel
#10 of 24 in Semporna
39 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Scuba Jeff Guest House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Scuba Jeff Guest House

Property: Scuba Jeff Guest House
Address: Mabul Island, Pulau Mabul 91308, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Pulau Mabul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simple, budget accommodation on Mabul island in stilted longhouse right over the sea. Look out of your room to the infinite sea views or across to the local fishing village bustling with local life. Room rate includes all meals, tea, coffee, water. Friendly staff will treat you like family and make you feel at home. Snorkel right off our jetty or join our dive trips to the famous sites of Mabul and Sipadan. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Scuba Jeff Guest House 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