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“an OK experience, but be proactive to maximise your experience here!”

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Selingan Turtle Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pulau Selingan
New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“an OK experience, but be proactive to maximise your experience here!”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

It's the only accommodation option on Selingan Island for the turtle hatchery and turtle watching. It's included on our packaged tour, and covers lodging, meals, boat trips and guide to the island.

The accommodation are basic, ensuite but are air conditioned! Neverthless, clean, tidy and well kept. Beddings and towels are provided. There are no additional amenities such as toiletries, wifi, coffee and tea making fascilities, TV, pools, etc. Do bring bottled water from Sandakan. However, they can be purchased from the island store if you haven't. Tea and coffee are supplied during meal times - breakfast, lunch, dinner and after dinner whilst waiting for the turtles arrive to shore. They do have a rental shop for snorkels, tubes and fins.

If passive and just did what your guides instructed, one may find the experience staged and practiced. So, I encourage you to wander around the island, and perhaps join the staffs for a friendly football (soccer) game in the evenings from 4.30pm (before dinner). We came across the ranger quarters and a tub of newly hatched baby turtles (it's dangerous to leave them in the heat of the sun or even release a large batch to sea during the day due to human activities and predators) and we had some one-on-one time with the little ones! They allowed us to release a couple to sea on our own, and we are still keeping our fingers crossed for their survival! The last proactive thing to do is to head out to the beach again when access is open to the public at 6am. We saw the last female laying eggs in daylight before heading back out to sea :) Much better photography as a result!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank wonol030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

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Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

It's quite expensive to overnight at this island, but we had an amazing night there. From the Jetty to this Island, it takes around an hour to reach by speed boat. There are only limited rooms available for this island. Went for snorkelling cause there are not much activities can be done there.But there a lots of fishes, star fish and corals. It's kinda interesting to see and experience all this. The accommodation is just having the basic stuff we need like, two single bed, soap , two towels, air-condition, bathroom... It is still clean. Food is okay. Need to wait for the mother turtle. but it is an amazing experience to see mother turtle to lay eggs , how they preserve the eggs and release the baby turtle to the sea.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LavinPeggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roosendaal, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

This is the island you dream about. Superb beaches, snorkelling and island vibe. This has it all. And the 5th star are the turtles that hatch here every evening. An experience you will never forget. The rooms are really basic, but who cares after the cute hatchlings have been released into the sea.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Joost V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We visited here as part of our borneo adventure - it was one of the 4 trip experiences we did.
Firstly about the property - we knew it wasn't going to be luxury accommodation as with the other 3 experiences but this was probably the most basic. The rooms were clean in general but the bedding and towels were very, very old and worn and there was no hot water to shower with. The food was also very poor quality. We spent the day on the beach and my husband and daughter went snorkelling, which they really enjoyed. I stayed on the beach and although it is quite pretty, the sand flies that particular day were in abundance!! Really not pleasant!! When walking round the accommodation blocks, the grounds are not well maintained and you do not get the idea of an idyllic island which you do when approaching from the speedboat.
As for the turtle experience- the hotel was full that night so we were split into 2 groups. Luckily we were group 1 and were called to watch the turtles at about 10pm. We did managed to see the mama lay about 48 eggs and then you are taken to the waters edge to see some baby turtles released. As this was happening, it started to pour with rain so we had to run back to the lodge. 10 minutes and it was over and done with. Unfortunately, group 2 never got to see any of it because of the rain. I know the weather is not down to them but surely they must read the forecast!! After all, it is only the turtles you go for!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank grantsleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2013 via mobile

As other reviews have stated,rooms are very basic but the experience of seeing the turtles makes up for it. You do have to be prepared to wait for the turtle call,we didn't get it till 11pm but we got to see a mother turtle lay 100 eggs and got to help hatchlings back to the sea...once in a lifetime experience! Snorkelling during the day was also incredible...we found Nemo!

  • Stayed August 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Mrsagarlick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

This is a lovely secluded island which is fairly unspoilt.

The rooms and bathrooms are very basic but you are unlikely to spend more than 2 nights here so it's totally fine for that. Food is very bland and simple, reminds you if being on a school trip.

This is all irrelevant though as the experience here is all about the turtles and that really us magical although very quick!

Definitely a worthwhile trip to make

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
Thank SevLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2013

This was one of the highlights of our Malaysia trip and really recommended. The accommodation is relatively basic, but was clean, functional and functioning. Good shower and plenty of hot water. We have certainly stayed in much worse. You have to remember where you are - and the same with the food, which was tasty and freshly prepared, if not with a wide choice. The only surprise was that only tea and coffee are included with the meal and you have to purchase water separately - water from the tap is not drinkable. Beer is available in the small shop as well. As others have commented, there is not a lot to do on the island during the day, except relax into island life, enjoy the snorkeling, walk around the island looking at shells, see the other wildlife (monitor lizards, bats etc.) gape at the sunset - It was not difficult to think we were having a good time! You will enjoy it more if you take good insect repellent as the mosquitos are quite something though.

The actual turtle laying thing was very special - You are very controlled, probably rightly, although the hustling to move speedily and not to look around at the rest of the beach, did grate a little at times. You get to see one turtle laying, but the likelihood is that there will be others all around doing the same. What would have been wonderful was if there was a hide at the back of the beach where one could just sit and enjoy the sight of these extraordinary creatures making their way up the beach, digging their holes and then lumbering way back to the sea, without being hurried along. As it was the whole thing from being taken down the beach to see the turtle and then ushered back to see the eggs reburied in the hatchery happened within about 20 minutes, whilst the release took about 10 minutes, but was equally special, seeing the little turtles flap down tot he water and swim away. Our teenaged children particularly enjoyed our visit here.

Others have said this is a bit of a spectacle - and it is, but visitors to this island fund much of the conservation programme, and which also runs on two other islands in Malaysia which are not open to visitors and a few islands in the Philippines, which are very close, so I feel the showing of two turtles a night (which is all that is allowed) is probably justified for the greater good. It is obviously up to each person to make up their own mind about this, but I feel much more strongly about turtle conservation having done this, than I did before, and it can only be a good thing for turtles if most visitors come away feeling as I do and better educated.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank steppeagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Selingan Turtle Island

Property: Selingan Turtle Island
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 Turtle Island 2.5*
Number of rooms: 337
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Also Known As:
Selingan Island Hotel Pulau Selingan

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