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“'Heaven'”
Review of Mabul Beach Resort

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Mabul Beach Resort
Reviewed July 26, 2014

We were lucky to have been able to stay at both the beach and water bungalow resorts(see separate review)
After our Island resort stay at Lankayan Island was cancelled last minute, we phoned the resort to see if any availability on anything they had left. Fortunately they had a garden room, which we stayed in for 5 nights. The pick up was smooth and straight forward. On arrival shown around the Island & given a cool drink.
Within an hour of arriving my husband was out diving!. The package deals they do are great, for both diver & non diver. 3 boat trips a day, which was great. It meant that I could go out with my husband and whilst he was diving, I could snorkel. The current could be a little strong especially around Kalipai, but Life jacket given and help was always at hand. Personally I chose to miss the 2nd trip and relax on the deserted beach!! There was not much shade, just a couple of umbrellas. The sunbeds were not very comfortable. Plastic S shaped, which was not easy to get on & off!!

The dining room was busy at the start of meal times. Food was plentiful (if you got in before the Chinese)The only thing that you had to pay for was alcoholic beverages.

Our room was very basic, but clean. The bathroom was a wet room - quite literally!!. Air-con & ceiling fan, helped to keep the room cool. It was very dark in the room. Nice verandah to sit on. Took advantage of pre dinner G&T, which we had taken with us.

It was nice to walk to the sunset bar with the cool breeze on an evening. The resort is very quite. Very few people were about after 10pm
Loved the kick back & relax atmosphere. No dressing up, no shoes. It was great.
Watch out for the resident Monitor Lizards. They are Huge :)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank CarterFamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 28, 2014

We had the most amazing stay at the Mabul Beach Resort on Mabul Island. It was truly like staying in paradise! We were unsure about the safety of this part of Sabah but felt very safe and looked after on Mabul Island. We stayed in a dorm and it was true luxury, but still very affordable.
If you are coming to this part of Borneo, skip Semporna and come straight to the island. And there really is no competition to the Mabul Beach Resort. It is clean, comfortable, affordable, the staff are helpful, the food is fantastic. And it is really in the middle of one of the most beautiful places in the world!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jordan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

Great! I can say great about all staying. We bought diving packages with Scuba Junkie. We stayed in VIP bungalow. It was clean, big, simple and nice. Shower with hot water. A/C worked properly. No problem with electricity. So everything you may need on small island you can find there. Perfect staff! Very friendly, very helpful. They have cozy atmosphere like you are with family or with friends. It was great to feel that. Unbelievable delicious food. You don't have kettle in room, but you can drink it in dining hall. My thanks to all staff! they made my holidays very special and unforgettable!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maria U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here during the last week of our honeymoon and I put hours of research into looking for somewhere nice but affordable. We were delighted with this hotel - the rooms, location and staff are fantastic. The food was great too - we were used to buffet style after 5 weeks travelling but you do have queue here as food is only available between certain times . Really delicious though.

The best thing about this place is the diving. We have been diving many places around the world and Sipidan has always been on our wish-list. You MUST book early to secure a permit - we met so many people who didn't realise they were so difficult to get. The staff at the resort and Scuba Junkie in Semporna are all great. We had such a good time with our dive masters. When you're spending all day with this person its important to be sociable - we couldn't fault any if the DMs. Paco was especially amazing. All speak excellent English - its actually run by a Welsh guy! After spending over a week in remote Indonesia where we had to draw pictures in order to be understood it was nice if not a bit surprising to find so many English speakers.

The boats are all in great condition and the staff really do enforce safe and responsible diving - no touching, don't get too close, no litter. Scuba junkie (who own the hotel)also do so much good work for the local community. Mabul is a tiny island and the hotels stretch of beach is right next to the local sea gypsy community - they live on one side of the peering the hotel is the other! The people are really lovely and it was really nice seeing the good work scuba junkie do in the area - regular beach cleans,shark awareness programmes to stop fishing, turtle hatchery & an education centre for the sea gypsy children.

We paid just under £1000 for 5 days, 4 nights with 4 days diving (including Sipidan). All food is included except alcohol or fizzy drinks. This wasn't the cheapest but by far was not the most expensive and was absolutely perfect. We wish we could have spent more time here!

Diving-wise: make sure you get a Sipidan permit. Spectacular diving - I would recommend being advanced as there are some very strong currents. Siabul island was meant to be amazing but we chose to go to Sipidan barrier reef instead. Its always luck of the draw when diving but people saw more at Siabul than we did at Barrier reef but it was still amazing (despite hearing our first ever under water dynamite - dynamite fishing is still a huge problem in Malaysia and Indonesia). We did about 6 or so dives around Mabul and they were incredible. We're not fans of macro diving but the things you can see are just insane!! Saw our first ever frog fish,huge cuttlefish, resident turtles having a nap,sea horses,oragutan crabs,giant barracuda - do not discount Mabul!

Wish we were there now!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Maria_Cardif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Every once in a while you stumble over these amazing places in the world while traveling. Mabul Beach Resort is one of them. I spent a good two weeks here with one of my closest friends on our divetravels. The value you get here for your money is fantastic. The rooms are big, luxurious and always very clean. They have really good cooks here preparing the nicest meals for you 3 times a day, i am quite picky with that cause i am a vegetarian. The people who work here are just giving a little bit more then elsewhere to make sure that you are having the time of your live. And then...the diving....you cannot even describe it...the variety of marine species in these waters and the amounts of marinelife is just mindblowing. I can only say i highly recommend this place for an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Martijn d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

However, at 250 RM a night for a double room, I was expecting something a bit better... at least hot water in the shower! Trying to have a shower after a day's diving in cold water wasn't nice at all. The room was clean (we stayed in a fan room), very basic - no kettle or toiletries, but at least they give you towels. I've stayed at much, much better rooms in Malaysia for half the price!

Food is ok - school canteen grade. The quantity makes up for the quality.

Diving with Scuba Junkie was fun, the dive masters were good (except one older British woman, who was very abrupt and quite rude at times - thankfully, we didn't have to dive with her, she was leading another group on the same boat as us. She seemed very tired of her job and kept on saying how she couldn't wait to have "a day off at the office"). We did several days diving in a row, and by the 3rd day the lunches got very repetitive - same rice and noodles every day. However, diving equipment was safe and the diver masters did everything by the book.

But then, I guess, that's where Scuba Junkie cuts corners - accommodation and food. Travellers are not likely to complain, since they are diving at Sipadan, right? And there isn't really any other choice, this is the budget end of diving and it's not cheap by any means.

P.S. If you try to pay for anything with Scuba Junkie by credit card, they will slug you with a 3% fee, and there are only 2 ATMs near the docks in Semporna, both with 1000 RM limit per day.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Daria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

First of all, make sure, if you want to dive Sipadan Island (different from Sipadan Barrier Reef), to book in advance. I booked a month and a half in advance and when I contacted Scuba Junkie at that time, they could only hold on to my permit for 3 days for me to book with them (you have a permit made to your name when you book). There were many people I met in Semporna and in Mabul Beach Resort that were on a waiting list to dive Sipadan Island and let me tell you that I was happy I booked my stay in advance.

Another thing important to know is that all the dive shops (except those with "their kind of private" location like Kapalai or Pom Pom), most of the dive shops all have a resort on Mabul Island (Billabong divers, Uncle Chang, Borneo Divers, Sipadan Mabul Lodge, etc.). So when you see the price difference, well you'll be next to such resort anyway.

I had a private bungalow with AC. Big room with big comfortable bed (a queen and a single). Super big and clean bathroom. AC worked fine and room was also very clean.

The place is well run and maintained by lots of employees who are smiley and friendly. The food was always a buffet, not much choices, but good honest food with always one veggie choice.

The only downside would be the poor wifi... I couldn't even sometimes get into my gmail inbox. Really bad wifi/internet.

I would recommend this hotel and go back.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Nicolas F
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

Address: Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Mabul Beach Hotel Pulau Mabul

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