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Scuba Jeff Guest House
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Reviews (153)
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All reviewslobster wallmabul islandhome away from homesea gypsiesguess househis guitarreggae barwooden planksfresh seafoodhanging outsea breezenight divingbasic amenitieslunch and dinnertawau airportriceworld class
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93 - 98 of 153 reviews
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Just 1 bed with a fan, complete meals (always love the taste of fresh fish when it been served), and you can ask the 'mak cik' at kitchen to cook for any seafood stuff that you buy from the local people (its better to get the staff to deal direct with them for a good price and of course, have to pay laa some for the special cook servise), free flow of tea or coffee, hot water is availabe al all time to make the hot drinks, basic condition of bathroom, toilet which is fairly clean as the staff do the cleaning quite frequently, Wifi which only available when electricity supply is ON from 6pm to 8am next morning, so make sure all the electronic gadgets been fully charge at nite for day time use, no TV provided as you can get a full HD of wide open sea view from the dining hall 24hrs (but I saw there is a TV at the cafe) and most the guest won't miss the amazing sunset moment at every evening, a sundeck for some of us who want to do a 'mabul style' jump into the super crystal clear sea..rent a snookel gear and can see lots of beautiful creatures at 'ScubaJeff Garden' which is just infront of the house. Quite often can see turtles rooming around this guest house early morning. Great dive sites nearby the house, Lobster wall is the nearest site which it just 5-10 mins away by boat, rent the equipment because the site never fail to show the amazing underwater life like turtles, rays, eels, lots of fish, small macro creatures; lovely nudis and flat worms make the macro lovers feel like been in a heaven. The instructor and divemasters is very good and helpful to spot the all the good stuff at every sites we have been dive, to make sure I won't miss anything down there and they even share their knowledge and experiece when we review back the pictures I have taken. Like people said, sharing is caring,
Friendly staff is always waiting arrivall of guest, all of them is local people from the island and few of them can speak English well. Some of the staff can play a guitar well, makes one of the nite feel more lively with lots of beautiful song; yeaahh, we sing all nite long.
Meet Jeff, the owner, is a great pleasure, very humble guy, well entertain to all of his guest, try his best to make his guest just feel at their home and the best part about him, he never miss to do the morning greeting everyday when the guests come for breakfast at the dining hall.
A small cafe for some of us who want to get some of other foods and drinks with affortable price (for me its still cheap when compare with some of other island in penisular), souvenier shop offers lots of cool stuff, nice T-shirt, pants etc and you can just walk around to see the island cultural and lifestyle. Surprisingly there are a lots of kids around this such small island, running and swimming around here and there, as they just enjoying their own time at the home.
The arrangement to be at the island is very straight foward; airport transfer from Tawau airport to Semporna (1hr approx) and boat transfer to the island (1hr approx) have been pre arranged via confirmation thru email with the staff station at Semporna office. Be as early as possible on your arrivall because for sure you don't want to reach the island in the dark and plan to take evening flight from Tawau as the boat schedule back to Semporna jetty is not frequent, unless if you willing to pay the cost for 1 boat.
Leaving from Jeff's house always left some sentimental feeling about this Mabul Island..which makes me feel to come back here again (Opps, I did actually) because the hospitality that I'm getting with the amazing nature around here...is worth more than RM65...

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank ArezAbdullah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We book the place for honeymoon when we saw the Honeymoon Package in their website last year around Oct-Nov 2012. Our booking is actually for 3-7 Feb 2013. When I emailed them back to double confirm the booking on Dec, they told me that the package is no more available, but they offer me VIP room. Well, we're okay with that since we saw that the room is quite okay. 12 hrs before our flight, the staff called & told me that the VIP rooms is also not available, so they said they will help me find other resort (they only have dorm room with share bathroom which I'm not prefer for my honeymoon).

Arrived Tawau in the morning, the staff pick up us from airport and told us that other resorts in Mabul is full, so we have to take the dorm room. My husband & I were so disappointed & we have to pay the fees accommodations & activities before we take our boat to Mabul.

Arrived there, I almost cry seeing the room & the toilet. I already mentioned few times in my emailed & through phone call that I'm going there for honeymoon & that’s what they prepared for us? I have to go to other resort to use the washroom since I cannot stand the dirtiness for their toilet. The food also not good. They only serve fried noodle (I think they only fried with soy sauce) and some kuih in the morning and for lunch & dinner, they will serve plain rice, fried or sweet sour tuna & vegetables. Just imagine that we have to eat the same menu for 5days. I actually already booked candlelight dinner for my anniversary on 4th Feb 2013, but they didnt prepare anything. Owh ya, forgot to mentioned that this area is not hygiene to snorkeling (u know why lah), so you should go to other side of the island if u want to snorkeling.

Our night also disturbed by quarreled cats on the roof. Our 2nd night here, our roof already broken & they didnt even care to fix it for us.

On our 3rd day, we finally agree to find new resort, unfortunately what we paid to Scubajeff is not refundable (the room, activities & airport transfer), the money also cant be transferred to a better food. If we buy raw seafood, the charge for them to cook is also expensive (eg: we bought 3crabs for RM5, they will charge RM20 to cook 3crabs, just imagine how much to pay if u want to eat 15 crabs!!)

Early morning on our 4th day, we moved to Sipadan Water Village (SWV), yes, its expensive BUT the snorkeling trip is free (you have to pay about RM50/snorkeling at Scubajeff, extra charge for boat if u want to go a bit far), DSD is only RM200 (RM250 at Scubajeff), snorkeling at Kapalai is free (at Scubajeff, we have to pay about RM400-500 for 2persons), airport transfer is free (RM200 for 2 persons at Scubajeff or RM150/pax), permit to Sipadan only RM40/pax (it's RM450/pax at Scubajeff). Well, I also booked permit to Sipadan under Scubajeff since Oct/Nov lastyear, but they told me that it’s full. So funny that when we asked staffs at SWV, they told us that Scubajeff dont have allocation for permit to enter Sipadan. If I'm not mistaken, only Sipadan Mabul Resort, Sipadan Water Village, Billabong & Uncle Chang have the daily permit to enter Sipadan.

So, please read a lot and think wisely before u come here...

Room Tip: better go to Uncle Chang if you want affordable chalet. Form outside, it looks better. But if have extra budget, better go for expensive resort.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank liyarushi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I was prepared for this to be a very simple place with very rustic accommodations. I was not prepared to not be provided towels, have a shared bathroom down the hall and to be stranded there and have to beg my way off the island. I had made a reservation for three days of diving with transportation to/from the airport. I was picked up at the airport and taken to a backpackers lodge in Seminporna for a trip out to Sipadan the first day. The dive boat dropped me at Scuba Jeff on the way back. When it was time to leave Scuba Jeff they had 20 people arriving and they wanted me to wait until afternoon for a boat transfer to the mainland. But my flight was at three and I needed to go in the morning. I had to keep begging to get a boat for the morning and then it was a tiny boat and we had to stop and siphon some gas from a random boat sitting parked in the "street" on the way. When we got to the dock, a car was suppose to meet us to take me to the airport, but no one arrived. So I had to wander around town with my dive gear to find transport to the airport. The owner was not interested in the operation of the place, only smoking and photoshopping pictures. Next time I will spend more money and go somewhere a little nicer.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else!!
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank Divergirl0922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

it was terrible, they gave us to high prices. We had to pay for visit local village, but it was a normal village and you could go around by yourself, we HAD to pay also for a snorkelling package even when you don't go. We paid 470 ringgit for 2 nights an 3 days. We arrived the first day at 3 in the afternoon and the last day we started from the island at 12 in the morning, so we had only two days. The room for this high price was terrible and the toilet outside and relly dirty.
Jeff wasn't even there and they told us, he is always away and never look at his guest house. I think they have to colse the guest house soon if they continue like that.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank zoey1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Our problems started as soon as we left semporna (and around 3000 RM at scuba jeffs office there) and hopped on the boat to Mabul. We were left to roast in the mid day sun after several engine failures and arrived around 2.5 hours late. Already a bit sunburned as the boat wasnt covered.

At the lodge we were greeted by a group of teenagers who apparently were running the place as 'The boss' (jeff) was out of town. (It appears he is gone a lot, and the place does not run well when this is the case).

These kids seemed much more interested in entertaining themselves rather than taking care of their guests.
We had payed big bucks for two PADI openwater courses, but there was no instructor on the island and no one knew what to do about it(!?) Finally, the staff tried to find a solution (involving a noncertified non-english speaking local) and we declined out of fear for our safety. Suddenly we were told the instructor was in semporna and would come the next day (a bit late to tell us that) to make up for day we lost, the staff took us on a snorkel trip.

Basically this trip involved crappy equipment and a boat run by two 13 year old boys who drifted away from us once we were dumped at a locao reef. Once back on the boat the engine broke down completely, and a passing resort boat had to rescue us and take us back to shore...

After this incident, we had zero confidence in the staff or equipment and decided to cancel the openwater courses. This led to a day long fight with the incompetent teenagers and various people on the phone, who mostly were extremely annoyed by our "complaining".

We finally got a full refund and left this place after two nights instead of five. The time was mostly spend at the other resorts jettys or beaches.

Other nice highlights:
- no jumping and swimming from the sundeck (like in the photos) as toilets leads straight into the trash filled water.
- no soap in the bath rooms.
- cat poop on the sun deck
- mostly chicken and rice at every meal except breakfeast which is noodles and eggs.
- paper thin walls open at the top with the cats walking around.
- no windows, just holes and shutters.
- dodgy walkways and holes in the floor.
- moldy and blood stained pillows
- no electricity from 6-18
- nothing but a fan and a bed in the rooms.. At all

If you don't mind filth and absolute rock bottom standards, if you have your own equipment and are a confident diver / swimmer, then go ahead and book with these guys. Nothings wrong with the reefs.

Just hope the boss is around and the boat don't break down..

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Lasse P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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