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Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Nearby Hotels
Seaventures Dive Rig(Pulau Sipadan)
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
Certificate of Excellence
  • Beachfront
  • Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
  • Breakfast included
  • Pool
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Reviewed August 21, 2012

We were really impressed with the resort because of the beautiful blue waters and coral with such a range of beautiful fish right next to the beach. We saw more fish in the waters just by standing next to the jetty than we saw snorkelling all over the seychelles!
The resort is set up for divers, it really is a fantastic place if you dive. But even if you don't dive there is plenty to do. you can go on snorkelling trips and see the wonderful turtles and other fish and coral.
the food was pretty average in standard in my opinion, it is also geared up more for the chinese visitors, there were lots of them arriving at the time we stayed. we had been hoping for some true malaysian cuisine, but this was not available. but we could manage ok for the time that we stayed, it wasn't so terrible.
the beach huts were nice and had a lovely view from the balcony to the ocean.
bring some good books with you or some other entertainment, as there is not much entertainment at night time on the resort - just the snooker and darts room.
Staff on the resort are friendly and helpful, especially the diving team. Our kids did the first part of the PADI diving course while we were there.

Room Tip: we stayed in beach hut because the other one next to the sea was not available. If the sea huts are available it is really worth it to take one. But there are only five of them, so they go quickly.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank julie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed 4 days at the beginning of August. Everything at Pom Pom Island Resort is quite efficient and pleasant enough - from the booking via internet we made, to the transfers etc. Rooms are in the form of small chalets with private balconies and beach furniture for the beach chalets, so very spacious, clean and comfortable. Our room had a king sized bed and our kids had 3 single beds in theirs. They loved the hammocks outside our rooms facing the beach. The sunrises are spectacular from the room if you are up at 6:00, as are the sunsets from the pier. Bathroom is huge! Each room had phone, mosquito repellant, kettle and fridge. Prices of drinks in room are as to be expected of a resort and quite acceptable in that context. Just remember to switch the mosquito repellant on in the evening and you will not have any problems in the room.

Found the staff at resort to be quick to offer help and polite. The chef at the restaurant is always smiling, friendly and his banana spring rolls are amazing. Just don't think about the calories! All meals are included and in buffet style. Good variety but choices get very predictable after 4 days. They do well given the limitations of available ingredients though. Staff are quick to clear dishes, etc. Dive staff will mingle at dinner time to explain about trips for the next day. Coffe, tea, water, cold drink, and snacks available all day.

Dive center is good and more relaxed about timing than others we have experienced in Sabah. Given the weather was changing, so sea conditions getting rougher at this time of year, that was acceptable. The dive masters are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Great at spotting camouflaged, hidden, or small creatures under water. Corals are sparse and mainly rubble around the island due to fish bombing in the area in the past, but the dive masters still manage to find lots of unusual creatures. On one dive near the peir, I saw several creatures for the first time- orangutan crab, yellow leaf fish, different species of nudibranch (still looking for their names), pygmy cuttlefish which were less than 2 inches in length- as well as many other fish, mantis shrimp and eel and large green turtles. We also went on a trip to Mantabuan Island which is nearby for 2 dives. Corals were abundant at the 2 sites we visited there, and we saw a hawksbill turtle having a chat with a larger green turtle, which made my day. There were lots of the usual reef fish and a large sepia cuttlefish, but having spent the previous week diving at Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai, and earlier in July at Lembeh Strait, it was pleasant here but not so impressive.

The resort has a resident marine biologist, Melissa, who is very knowledgeable and personable. She is always willing to share her knowledge and answer questions. She gives interesting talks every evening on various subjects and they run a turtle walk each night at around 9:00 to check for turtles coming up to lay eggs (these eggs, if patrol is lucky enough to get there before poachers, are relocated to the hatchery on the resort). We were also able to join Melissa in planting corals on a frame to help recreate the damaged reef. The resort has a package where you can plant and adopt 4 corals for RM250 which includes your dive to do so and progress reports on your adopted coral's growth. Additional corals may also be purchased. This was a very pleasant experience and the children had a great time. Melissa has big plans and will tell you what the money will be used for, which includes training of staff. If you want an introduction to conservation work, and very patient explanation about replanting coral, turtle egg rescue etc, combined with a relaxed and relatively luxurious holiday, then this place is ideal. The program is varied and interesting enough to draw attention to the problems faced by turtles from poachers, and the damage to the reef. I also believe they have the only turtle egg hatchery on the island.

However, on one of our turtle walks, we met by chance the marine biologist from the smaller resort next door. This man also seemed knowledgeable but was of maybe less pleasant disposition than Melissa, but given the circumstances, that may have been due to the events of that evening. On researching the resort next door, I found that the conservation group TRACC are based with them, and they have a few chalets but mainly tent accommodation. They may be more suitable for those seeking greater involvement with replanting of the corals and projects to attract larger fish back to the area. Their resort did not look as luxurious or beautiful of course, but their ideas on the group website seem very intriguing.

I think the official name for this resort is Pom Pom Island Resort (which is what is on their official site), so the name on this website, putting Sipadan into the name is a bit misleading. We knew the distance to Sipadan was not easy from Pom Pom which is why we stayed near Mabul the previous week.

But as an island, and as a resort, with no intention of diving at Sipadan from here, this is a good base for diving at other nearby islands, or even at the sites around Pom Pom itself. Water is really clear. There is a lot to see both snorkeling and diving, if you look. Even just walking on the pier or beach, you can see turtles, starfish, lion fish, bat fish, clams, etc. Be careful though, as the lion fish are stunningly beautiful but have a venomous sting. Just follow the rule of not touching anything and all will be fine. Would return.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank hawksbill2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Just returned from 3D/2N package on PomPom. The Island is beautiful, although there is a lot or rubbish that comes ashore from the mainland. The staff do a beach patrol around the resort to keep it tidy, but other segments of the island have a lot of litter washed ashore. It only takes about 40 minutes to walk around the entire perimeter of the island. There is only one other place for accomodation on Pom Pom and it is a backpacker set up. We splurged and booked a water villa (there are only five), this was a wonderful experience since we have never stayed over the water like this before. The water villas are at the end of a long pier, built on stilts right over the water. Each villas has a private balcony (with lounge chairs and rainshower) with steps leading into the water. You can see the sea life right from your balcony, actually you can see it from anywhere on the long pier. When the tide is out, it is actually too shallow to snorkel, so we walked in the sea (being very careful to stay on the sand and not touch the coral - there are also sea urchins so be careful). When the tide was high, we actually found it too rough to snorkel around the villa, there was only a window of time during the day when the water conditions were confortable to snorkel. When the tide is coming in, or high the waves hitting the stilts shake the entire villa. You can actually feel the place moving and the steps leading into the water bang with every wave. The view is beautiful, and the bathtub has a wonderful view of the water. It is very private and very roomy. We had a Queen Bed and three single beds all in a row and still had a tonne of room ! The beds were comfortable and the villa was clean and tidy, all be it a little "rustic". The aircon was not great but kept the room somewhat comfortable along with the overhead fan. They provide you with housekeeping and give you not only fresh towels, but fresh beach towels everyday. There is water provided (although the tap water is good to drink) and tea making facilities in the room. There is no tv, and no safe in the room, but if you have valuables you can keep them is a safe in the main office - these are safety deposit type boxes and are only suitable for documents and laptops etc. They will not fit a large camera, and the staff understandably do not want to be responsible for that sort of thing, so you will have to keep it with you or leave it in your room. We made sure to lock all the doors and windows and did not have a problem. Meals are taken in the main building which is open, but we didn't have a problem with insects, and the fans and the breeze off the water do a good job in keeping the temperature comfortable. The food is good and plentiful and there is a variety, although by the third day it did seem a little repetative. We didn't find the snorkling to be great, the conditions were murky and the sea life was not as good as we have experienced elsewhere. My husband had a day where he did three dives. He said the dive master was excellent, but the diving was not great, especially the third dive which was done just off shore (could have walked to the location). He was unable to dive Sipadan, as all the permits were taken for that day, but this resort does not have permits allocated to them, and Sipadan is an hour and a half away by boat; so if diving Sipadan is your focus you are better off staying at Mabul, or in that area. The best part of Pom Pom for us was the turtles ! We saw so many sea turtles swimming around the island, they come in to eat the sea grass and especially when the tide is low, you can see them perfectly. During this time of the year they come in to mate and lay their eggs. There is a nightly patrol at 9.00 pm to look for nesting turtles and guests are welcomed to go along. No Flash Photography !! which means no good photos, but being a foot away from a beautiful Green Sea Turtle as she covered her eggs was Magic !!!!! There is only one hatchery on the island, between the Dive Centre and the Main building, and there are several batches waiting to hatch. We were not lucky, but you can see them hatch and be released back to the sea if the timing is right. Melissa, their resident Marine Biologist is lovely and very knowledgable, and the rangers seem very dedicated. Before this conservation program was started, 100% of the turtle eggs found on Pom Pom ended up at the Semporna market ! This was a great alternative to Turtle Island, where from what I understand, you are guaranteed to see turtles, but they have a revolving door system, where you stay for only one night, and it was expensive when I enquired. On Pom Pom you can sponsor a turtle or a nest, the amount is up to you and the donation goes to support the conservation efforts on the island. (Personal note: we had the misfortune of coming across another biologist (professor) on the island one night and found him to be extremely disagreeable ! He is affiliated with the backpacker's accomodation - hope he's better with turtles than he is with humans). Pom Pom Island was the most expensive part of our Sabah trip, and we found it to be very pricey for what you get, but it was a memorable experience and we enjoyed ourselves. One more tip, when booking flights in/out of Tawau, be mindful of the boat transfers on and off the island. It's no fun sitting around in the heat on the Semporna Jetty for hours waiting for the boat, and there in Nothing to do in Tawau town (1/2 hour from airport). We had a 4-5 hours to kill before our flight which was not enough time to go to the Tawau Hills NP (1 and 1/2 hours from the airport), and the Cocoa Village closes in the afternoon. Tawau didn't have any attractions, and no malls. Most of the shops sell Muslim attire, and there are limited restaurants - we ended up eating at KFC :( . Do yourself a favour and use this town as a jumping point to Semporna to get to the Islands, but don't bother leaving the airport, unless you plan to visit the National Park.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank expatmomof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We spend 4 days (3 nights) in a Beach Villa (#15) at this fantastic resort. This was our first time at a "Bounty Resort" and we enjoyed it 100%. It is a nice small resort with everything you need. Location, view, beach and layout is 7 stars!!! Fantastic. The beach villas were also very good with good space for two extra beds for the kids. The food was very good - maybe the best buffet we have ever tried "for this kind of restaurants".
Would recommend everyone to go there!!
Why only 4 start? Some of the staff could be more crisp and on the toes. But all in all nothing that should keep anybody from going here.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bos_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

On our two week holiday in Sabah, we decided to spend four days at Pom Pom after having read reviews about the resort on this site.
The bookings were easy and once we got to Pom Pom, we were not disappointed. We got ourselves a beach villa which absolutely beautiful and spent our days diving, kayaking, snorkelling etc. Pom Pom is one of the best places to snorkel... We spotted sting rays, moray eels, trumpet fish, bat fish, turtles, banner fish... The works in Pom Pom waters.
Food was great.. Since I am a vegetarian, the f&b staff ensure I got veggie food of my choice with all my meals. One just has to mention what one wants in advance.
The staff is warm and helpful ( had a few cuts thanks to a previous dive and the office staff dressed my wound every day).
The spa is great as well... There is a free yoga session every morning, so one can join that if one has time.
All in all Pom Pom was fantastic, a place one would love to come back to.

Room Tip: Opt for the beach villas
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kavzchat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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