We spent 6 nights at this resort. We initially hoped to stay longer but there was little availability due to our late booking (1 month out). Do not pay any attention to any travel warnings in place for the unrest that took place in Lahad Dhatu in March as we found no evidence of any problems and the visible local military in Semporna and on surrounding islands was very reassuring.
We have nothing but praise for this resort as this was one of the most relaxing holidays we have had. The resort is focussed on giving their guests a great experience and ALL the staff do this in a genuinely warm, friendly and professional way.
Our transfer was hassle-free with a pick-up from Tawau airport followed by an hour and a bit drive through to Semporna. At the wharf we were met by a resort rep and our luggage was transported to the boat. There are toilets here and a small shop (if you want to quickly stock up on any snack items as there is only a small souvenir shop at the resort). The boat ride was 45 minutes.
Check in was smooth and efficient with each new guest being met by members of the resort team on the jetty. Room functionality was explained well (i.e. hot water, air con, beach towels, lounger protocol etc.). Even though we arrived mid-morning, our room was ready and we were able to settle in and relax before lunch. Thank you Ashley for being so efficient, informative and friendly!
We stayed in a beach villa. The water was right out in front and each villa has its own hammock and x2 loungers on the sand. On the very large verandah we had another two loungers which were great to use if you wanted to sit out of the sun. The rooms are very spacious and clean with plenty of storage for clothes and luggage. The rooms are not overly luxurious with flashy fixtures and fittings but you don't need this as you are at the beach! Furniture and decor is simple and modern with traditional feel. Bathroom amenities were shampoo and shower gel. There is a mini-bar and drinks were the same price as the main bar.
We found the buffet meals to be of a very good quality with great variation each meal time. There was also a chef onsite with daily specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Coffee, juice and snacks are always available. We had BBQ one night which was a nice twist and every fourth night the resort puts on a local dance show. There was also a turtle conservation presentation talk one evening during dinner. A good variety of alcoholic drinks - wine, cocktails etc. were available, although the wine was quite expensive but to be expected.
You can make you holiday on Pom Pom as relaxed or as active as you wish. Snorkelling in front of the resort was always available. When the tide is in it is a great swimming beach and if the tide is out, you can head out to the end of the jetty for some snorkelling. Corals, fish and turtles were in abundance. We were able to sit on our deck and spot the turtles mid-tide that had come in to eat the sea lettuce. On several occasions we were able to snorkel with the turtles just 40 metres out in front of our villa. There are nightly turtle nest spotting walks guided by the resort's marine biologist, Tess, who was very informative and passionate about this cause. If you do the turtle walk, however, we suggest you wear reef shoes or trainers especially if there is a particularly high tide as when we did this walk, we were often in water calf deep and had to jump over tree branches that were jutting out over the beach making it easy to lose your flip flops or fall over. Unfortunately the staff member at the front of the group holding the torch, strode on ahead meaning the group became separated and, despite us being quite intrepid and outdoorsy, we found it difficult to walk safely in the dark - perhaps this minor issue could be improved for future high-tide walks.
The resort also held a beach clean-up event that was well-attended by guests and resort staff. I hope they are able to make this a regular event. On the whole, I really liked the way the resort is trying to promote conservation and I feel that there could be many more opportunities for them to develop this aspect of their business as this could be a real attraction to guests and a unique point of difference between Pom Pom and other resorts.
We spent 4 days diving the various sites within 20 minutes boat ride from Pom Pom as well as the reefs surrounding the resort. As a newly certified diver, I could not have asked for a better or more positive experience and my confidence has increased as a result. All the dive centre staff were welcoming and professional. Raynor, our dive guide, was particularly patient and knowledgeable and he showed an astute awareness of the needs of the divers in his care. He is an asset to this team - Thanks Raynor! If you want to dive Sipidan, we suggest you contact the resort in advance to see if a permit can be arranged.
The only frustration we experienced during our stay was that the wifi was down for our first 4 days. However, perhaps this was a blessing in disguise as we were able to fully switch off.
Would fully recommend this resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A beautiful peaceful, paradise island resort with PADI Dive Centre, dive packages available with luxury accommodation. Enjoy diving the 6 nearby islands surrounding Pom Pom Island, amazing macro plus beautiful coral fish and turtles. Resort has range of luxury detached beach and water villas constructed for every comfort. Packages include 3 meals per day plus snacks, juices, coffee and tea, etc in our famous traditional Malaysian restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sipadan Pom Pom Hotel Pulau Sipadan