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“What an experience.....must go”

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Selingan Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pulau Selingan
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“What an experience.....must go”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2013

Simple food and accommodation. There not much to do in the day, except to swin and snorkel at the rather nice beach, so it turns out to be very nice. After dinner, it all about turtle conservation education, waiting to view the turtles coming up to shore for egg laying, releasing the hatchlings. Really nice experience. We were lucky to have a view of the turtle coming to lay her eggs at about 8pm. Sometimes the wait could be all night.

Tip : please go during the egg laying season, Jul-Sep. During the season, there could a many as 50 sightings per night.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Danloh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013 via mobile

We stayed one night on the typical tourist visit to see the turtles laying their eggs. The journey out to the island is a good hour or so but the views are very pleasant. The accommodation we stayed in can only be described as sub-hostel standard. Rooms were dirty and the headboard on one of our beds was simply black where greasy heads has lain. The shower had an electric plug leas than 6 inches from the shower head - a real health and safety issue in any one's language. The food was plentiful but simple. The worst of it was the turtles laying their eggs - it was like some sideshow with inane drivel from the person who should have been far more respectful of the wonder that was taking place. My wife and I felt that none of this should be the spectacle that it turned into. If you want to see turtles lay their eggs then there must be better than this. This is no nature-lover's experience, but a cheap side show done badly. Stay away.

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
Thank SlackbladderUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
176 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

Considering it is billed as a Resthouse and the island is one hour by speedboat into the Sulu Sea we were pleasantly surprised at the standard of accommodation,a/c and fans, en-suite, the food hall reminded one of an army canteen,
You need to consider a small bag for your essentials on the overnight trip as your 20kg flight bag will certainly weigh you down on this trip.
The opportunity to see Turtles laying eggs, understand the important nature of the work being carried out by the rangers and the release of young into the sea is unique.
The rangers have a negative thing about Video cameras, now with the video capability of bridge digital cameras they should relax their phobia as it is impossible to enforce.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Michael-Barry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

We were on a 3 day 2 night tour with Wildlife Expedition Tours. This was our first stop and we were pleasantly surprised given that we were meant to have gone to Libaran Island (which gets terrible reviews from the trip advisor community) but given its close proximity to the Philippines and the recent troubles is currently closed to tourists.

The boat ride over from Sandakan was pleasant enough. The accommodation is tired and very, very basic, but generally clean. There are 4 "chalets", each of which have 6 or 7 rooms. Bathrooms are ensuite. The bed linen was clean and towels were provided (also clean). There is air con and a fan in the room. There was a switch outside the bathroom for hot water, but this provided very little, so we had cold showers (which in the heat was no problem). Turning everything on seems to trip the generator leading to power cuts, but this all part of the island experience.

I would agree with previous reviewers regarding the food, which was suboptimal and pretty bland. That said, you get lunch, dinner and breakfast the next morning. Woe betide anyone who sits on the wrong table- tables are arranged according to your tour group... You have been warned!!! There is a mini shop which sells beer, water and soft drinks.

We spent the afternoon walking around the tiny island and on the beach which was beautiful. The sea was clean, warm and a joy to swim in. Beware the sand flies.

Before dinner, we had a talk about the turtles and there was a presentation in the museum, followed by a video.

After dinner it was "Turtle Time"! We were fortunate, as this happened at 8.30 pm for us, so no long wait. The rangers were all excellent and the whole process of watching the turtle lay her eggs was fascinating (74 eggs laid). After that, we watched the eggs being transferred to the hatchery. Then there was the release of 49 baby turtles into the sea which was wonderful to see and everyone was willing the little turtles to swim their little hearts out and survive.

Ultimately, the turtles are why you go to the island and if that is your main aim, then a trip here is to be highly recommended - we loved it. The staff there are all absolutely committed to their task and that should be commended. If you are after a 5 star experience, then go to the Rasa Ria instead.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rdr30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

If you take this tour make sure you pack a small overnight bag with essentials, toiletries, bottled water, mossy repellent, swimmers, a towel if you can fit one in .(We weren't told this and had to repack a bag in the foyer of our hotel.) It was a 1 hour speedboat ride to the island and at first glance looked beautiful. We were lucky enough to get one of the newly renovated cabins. They were basic and tidy but the sheets and blankets were stained with holes, as were the towels. The recycled water used for bathing stunk. The food wasn't great, but that was all there was. The facility was run by Crystal Quest who didn't seem to care much about the tourists or the very large rats having a feed on the hatchling turtles. To be perfectly honest, give this a miss and spend an extra night at Sukau Rainforest Lodge which was absolutely perfect.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank debbie p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

We went to the island as part of a 3 day tour with SI Tours. Firstly, SI are an exceptionally well organised, customer orientated, service organisation and we completely recommend them to anyone looking for safari tours in Borneo. The island experience was exceptional. The islands themselves are idylic and a great place to relax and snorkel. The accomodation was very nice (albeit not 5* but it was not what we were there for) and the food was not great, but again we weren't there for gourmet meals. The organisation of the turtle experience was very professional and the wardens were very careful to protect the environment and the wildlife. This added to our respect for nature and the experience overall.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vicki R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

This was our 3rd night of a short tour out of Sandakan - the last night after 2n on the Kinabantagan River all arranged through SI tours who were excellent.
After the 1 hour speed boat from Sindakan Sim Sim Jetty we arrived about 1130am.
The Island is a National Park - so has Rangers permanently stationed here to monitor the turtles. The accomodation is run by Crystal Quest. This is a small island (approx. 500 m across) with one side of the island available for snorkeling — which was fine. Very shallow reef with bleached corals - but some new coral growth evident and a really great array of marine life to see. Not the best in Borneo I'm sure but pretty good in safe waters. The beach is picture postcard pretty, very quiet as only limited numbers on the island and watched over by lifeguards.
Accomodation was fine - 4 chalets each with individual rooms. Our 3 rooms in chalet D were good - very clean with hot water. Even had an AC which seemed a bit OTT on such a small island — would be better if they put mosquito nets on windows so that you could have sea breeze with fans. Food and canteen were pretty dismal. Crystal Quest has a monopoly on the food and accomodation and came across as having a lump it or like us attitude.
The turtle watching in the evening (all Park Rangers) was great. There was very much a no touch rule and everyone respected the no flashes/no lights shining at turtles. No nesting was disturbed. The Rangers came across as caring, informative and committed.
They want to get you off the island at 0700 the next day — certainly you have to vacate room then. All a bit bonkers — another Crystal Quest issue. We managed to negotiate through our SI guide to leave at 0900 - which allowed us some time on the beach and further snorkeling (from 0830) before we left.
Also worth mentioning the Turtle islands are part Malaysian and others belonging to the Philippines. However, even with recent troubles further south in Sabah before our arrival we felt safe throughout our trip.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our trip here — despite Crystal Quest.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DoctorDawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Selingan Island Resort

Property: Selingan Island Resort
Address: Pulau Selingan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Pulau Selingan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pulau Selingan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Selingan Island Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 337
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Also Known As:
Selingan Island Hotel Pulau Selingan

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