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“Amazing holiday in Mabul!”
Review of Mabul Beach Resort

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Mabul Beach Resort
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Amazing holiday in Mabul!”
Reviewed May 20, 2012

Perfect transport arrangement, clean room, average food and experienced guide. Thank you so very much to everyone at Mabul Beach Resort (MBR) for making our recent trip to Mabul one of our most memorable holidays!

Room Tip: Spacious room.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Isma_18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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London UK
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2012

Have just got back from a trip to the Mabul Beach Resort run by Scuba Junkies (NOT to be confused with their Backpackers accommodation in Semporna). From the moment we arrived at the Mabul jetty on the boat from Semporna I was impressed by the high levels of organisation and professionalism displayed by the majority of staff (I only took a dislike to one guide who clearly thought he was a natural comedian and suffered from the arrogance/macho streak that afflicts a small number of usually male dive professionals - very wearisome) - Ceris (hope I have spelled that right?) one of the resort managers was amazing - she never showed anything but patience, kindness and courtesy even though you know she must have answered the same questions thousands of times - and the dive guide we had on our last day (Kev I think?) was the best guide I have ever dived with in almost 20 years of diving. Relaxed, good humoured, patient and totally professional.

The diving around Mabul and the local sites isn't spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but Sipadan has the 'wow' factor, although the 'wow' wasn't quite as big as one would be led to believe given how much people rave about the place - if its wasn't for the sharks (and you do see them on every dive at Sipadan which is what made it very special for me) I wouldn't rate the dives I did at Sipadan (8 in total) to be any better than dives I have done in the Similan Islands and parts of the Red Sea, where you can also see shoals of Jack, Barracuda and a large number of turtles (these being the other main highlights of Sipadan aside from the sharks). Numbers of reef fish were a lot lower than I expected and some of the large reef fish I would have expected to see were largely absent - as a fellow diver put it, if this is the best diving in the World then our marine ecoystems really are in the most dire straits.

So, some depressingly large areas of dead coral at Sipadan and large swathes of badly damaged coral around Mabul and a huge amount of plastic debris in the sea and on the beaches around Mabul - you name it, we found it (straws, CDs, cigarette lighters, plastic toys and the ever present plastic bottles). Dismayed to also see the Scuba Junkie bar staff giving out straws with every drink [why?] and divers buying plastic bottle after plastic bottle of water, rather than using the free water cooler water to top up an existing bottle. To their credit Scuba Junkies are proactive in terms of their attempts to deal with the 'plastic in the sea' issue and I understand that they have arranged refuse colections from the sea gypsy village next to the resort and they undertake regular beach cleanups. Good on them - the task is massive and never ending, but at least they are doing something to try and help which is more than can be said for some dive resorts in Asia.

Accommodation is lovely - comfy beds, clean rooms - toilet and sink leaked a little and there was the odd cockroach, but I know for a fact that the high end resorts also suffer from the creepy crawlies - but what do you expect in the tropics? They WILL get into even the most tightly sealed room! Food was much better than I had expected and the communal dining area makes for a really friendly evening meal and we made a lot of friends this way.

All in all a lovely and relaxed place to spend a few days - if you don't dive or snorkel you might get bored (there really is very litrtle else to do on the island and you can easily walk round it in 40 minutes), but even had I not been diving I could have happily sat in my hammock for a few days and enjoyed a good book and a few drinks while watching the world go by. The diving wasnt as amazing as I expected, but I would still happily return.

Room Tip: We had an A/C room some way from the bar - glad about this as the bar can get noisy - but there is a...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank PhilLondonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2012 via mobile

Fan rooms, ACrooms (some with hot showers) incl. 3 meals, Wifi, small beach filled with junk, nice bar. The rooms we had as a couple (one fan, one AC) were nice and clean, actually better than the pictures on the internet site. The food hasn't changed and is still absolutely basic. The atmosphere is nice, especially at the bar in the evening. Wifi is horrible, so get everything done before staying around any Scuba Junkie location. There is not much moving around on the island to do as it is small and accommodates very poor refugee villages and in contrast massive luxury resorts which are virtually even worse on the garbage dumping in the sea. This is one of strongest advantages of SJ since they seem to be the only ones caring for the people and the environment. 
The guys then destroyed the good impression when we climbed into the boat back to Semporna. We asked them to cover the bags as the boat was wet and they drive really fast. They ignored it and at arrival the whole 65liter backpack including some expensive stuff was soaked in salt water and we had a flight on the next morning. Thanks guys, that was really idiotic. 

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Lawsteen1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tønsberg, Vestfold, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

We are experienced travelers in South East Asia traveling with kids 3 and 5 years old. We are divers. The diving on Mabul is good but not outstanding, and similar or better diving is easy to find many places in Indonesia for instance. But what is the main pro about diving with Scuba Junkie is the very well drilled organization. Things are running smoothly and if there are problems, it is dealt with efficiently and with a smile. The management and dive guides are very good. It is very good value for money, both the hotel and the diving. We can warmly recommend this place, which you probably choose to go diving at the fabulous dive sites at Sipadan. Just remember to book in advance to get permits for Sipadan!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ulf Wike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naxxar, Malta
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

Spacious rooms with fan & a/c (which is a must since it's so hot!). Food is served canteen style, you have to queue, but there was always enough for everybody. No fish though, since they go by their slogan that 'fish are friends not food'!! Bar area is a nice place to relax. Had a huge spider in our room on our last night, but thanks to the staff that they came to see if it's dangerous or not. Luckily it wasn't! There is a village right next to the resort where you can buy snacks from to keep their economy going! Lots of children asking for money!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank fefa79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forli, Italy
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Nice place to stay, nice spacious room but no wardrobe to put/hang our cloths. We had to live things on the luggage on the floor.
Well organized diver center, professional and good service. Wetsuits a bit warn out but the rest is ok. Fast boats!! Friendly stuff and dive masters.
Food at the restaurant was not very good though. My friend and I had to fight for the toilet one night! Traveller diarrhea?? We went a couple of time to eat at the village beyond the resort afterward, they serve good food.
Despite all above I still recommend this place.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Romagnolo69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brussels
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2012

We chose Mabul as the rooms and diving could be booked and paid for separately, unlike other resorts, which gave us more flexibility. The whole operation is well organised and we got the Sipidan permits we had been promised. The resort itself and the rooms were nicer than I'd expected - well kept and comfortable. The bar area is nice though the dining room is a bit institutional. Food is plentiful, and fine, but not great, though they made an effort to make Christmas dinner on the 25th Dec. In all honesty, I don't think I'd go there is I were not diving as there is nothing else to do. There is a small beach area, more or less clean, but the proximity to the village next door means that their rubbish ends up in the sea, making swimming appealing. It is really sad to see the amazing sight of a turtle swimming in the shallows, but alongside a plastic bag. The resort has made attempts to solve this problem, but so far to no avail. Diving Sipidan is amazing - more sharks and turtles than I have seen in my whole dive career, plus much else. Local diving is less spectacular but there is still a lot of life out there, some of it quite unusual.Dive equipment is decent (except wetsuits but that's not a safety concern) and dive masters are professional. Dive groups are 3-4 with each dive master. I had had doubts about going to this area given that some places are so overpriced but am glad I did, and would say that Mabul is a very good mid range choice.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank marie083
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mabul Beach Resort

Property: Mabul Beach Resort
Address: Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Mabul Beach Hotel Pulau Mabul

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