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“Pom Pom island resort is the place to be if you like diving or snorkeling.”

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Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Pulau Ubin, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pom Pom island resort is the place to be if you like diving or snorkeling.”
Reviewed January 21, 2011

I think that Pom Pom island resort is a nice place to be if you want a relaxing get-away or just to spend time with family and friends. Snorkeling in the early morning or late evening as the sun is not so hot, is just the experience of a life time, maybe swim with a few turtles along the way. Most days there are snorkeling and diving trips to other islands to see different Marine fish. The room service is great. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided which is great value. Erika Ng

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank Ng_Family898
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2011

Pom Pom island is a wonderful place, and I would recommend it without question to any of my friends. And strangers for that matter.

As keen divers, we have spent time at a number of different islands and resorts. This holiday was a return to the Celebes Sea, and we selected Pom Pom based partly on its good reviews and partly because we wanted to try somewhere new, having stayed at both Lankayan (further north), Sipadan Mabul Water Village (to the south), and at Mataking, just a stone's throw from Pom Pom itself.

Our stay began with our speedboat transfer to the Pom Pom jetty where we were met by smiling staff members who relieved us of our luggage and guided us to reception where freshly squeezed juice and a hot towel were waiting. We were then registered by Philippe and Sally, managers at the resort who proved to be wonderfully constant in their good humour, friendliness and advice throughout our stay.

Before heading to our beach chalet, we were taken on a mini-adventure by Sally into the island's natural vegetation to deliver a hapless hitchhiker on our boat - a juvenile coconut crab - to his new home. This was great as we also got to learn about how the island manages its water, grows its own produce, maintains its reef and generally does its best to act in an ecologically responsible manner - a great example of how an island should strive to be run.

Our chalet was simple and perfect - spacious, quiet, shady and secluded, with a huge bed and a large balcony, overlooking a strip of white sand. The chalet came with air-con - not really necessary, but pleasant to have on in the evenings - a large bathroom with a walk-in shower and twin sinks - more luxurious than we expected in that respect, but a lovely plus. At both entrances (front and balcony steps), there are foot baths and outdoor showers, making sandy interiors a thing of the past.

The resort's free wi-fi is limited to the dining area and closest chalets, but is a big plus - whilst surely not cheap to operate, we were not charged to surf as in most other resorts off eastern Sabah.

Meals at the resort are served buffet-style in their massive (we called it the "mega-banda") wooden restaurant-reception area; the quality of the food was good, and in terms of variety was never the same during our five day stay. Excellent fresh fruit (papaya, melon, bananas, dragon fruit during the Christmas season) was available at every meal, in addition to fresh baked donuts and drinks throughout the day.

A highlight for us was the mamak station at dinner time - a food stall where the chef du jour whips up dishes to order. On noodle night, mee goreng, fried bee hoon and other regional noodle dishes are made to your liking - the best of these was their smokey, Penang-style char kway teow; some of the best I've had anywhere, and that comes despite previously living in Peninsula Malaysia for over ten years. On other nights, their chargrilled lamb and spaghetti bolognaise are also pretty scrummy. Another nice touch was that the chef came out to speak to my partner about his lactose intolerance, and ensured that there was also something extra for him to eat, despite most things being dairy free anyway!

As for life under water, Pom Pom compares very well to all of the resorts mentioned in the first paragraph. However, where Pom Pom stands apart is in the quality of its house reef - I have never seen one quite like it, and the variety of marine life is stunning. Snorkelling at low tide on the first afternoon for 30 minutes in 2.5 feet of water revealed blue spotted ray, Picasso trigger fish, parrot fish, two hawksbill turtles, lion fish and anemones with damsels (think "Nemo") and commensal shrimp in place, animals that you usually have to dive to see so close up. Diving there one evening with the resort manager turned up papuan cuttlefish, beautiful dragonets including Mandarin fish, cleaner shrimp, and even a blue ringed octopus.

The diving itself was excellent and conducted on nearby islands; the dive gear is in good condition, with plenty available for rent, and dive boats and crew that are are all professionally run, with more of that great fresh fruit aboard for snacks between dives! This is a great area for macro life; as such, you won't see any sharks, which is a shame, but not an issue in the face of all the other things to see!

Pom Pom is beautiful and relaxing, but coming as a surprise to me (I like to be left alone), one of the nicest parts of this getaway was the people that run it. During our time on an adjacent island (which we absolutely enjoyed), we had a cursory hello from the manager once in an entire week. At Pom Pom, they circulate unobtrusively during meal times and make sure that guests are getting all that they can out of the resort - they really seem to care, and that makes all the difference.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank arobinsonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

I've never been a fan of all-inclusive resorts as they either turned out to be a bit on the snobby side or plain chavish. Pom Pom has however managed to be attentive, but relaxed, elegant but unpretentious.

Resort was built in 2009 and only started advertising in 2010. We were there the week after xmas 2010. They picked us up from tawau airport with a minibus (with a lovely guide and provided water to drink), an hour drive to Semporna jetty. There, you can use the facilities at a nearby hotel, before jumping on their big speedboat with massive engines. another 40 min on the crystal blue sea (pass many houses on stilts) you arrive at Pom Pom island greeted by genuinely friendly staff. Their staff are from all over the world - France/England/Japan/Hong Kong/Malay/Philipines etc and spoke many different languages.

I chose there partly because of their green policies, they're good at recycling and minimizing wastage, and even has a reverse osmosis system to make fresh water (and reuse grey water)

We did our dive course there, instructors were brilliant and really know where to spot sea life. Boat staff were just as great helping us to put gear on and get us in and our of water. between morning dives they served tea and coffees, fruit and biscuit on a sandbar, the photos made everyone jealous.

There's a big restaurant / communal area where they serve buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Having been to other islands before, I was bracing myself with the food (as everything has to be shipped from mainland) but the food was not bad at all, chef was great with dietary requirement and made us special desserts without diary). The was a separate trolley that makes noodles on demand, the chow qwai tweo was best I've ever had (and I'm Chinese!)

We had a beach villa, which is exactly what it says on the tin, right on the beach. Another 2 friends who's just been to Mataking came over to meet us and we were in adjacent villas. we'd watch sun rise (due to jet lag) and jump in for a swim in the morning. Dive till lunch and hangout for the afternoon. You can walk around the island in 40 min, hire a kayak or a bike. you can snorkel along the jetty (loads and loads of fish, stingray, lion fish, barracuda, bat fish etc or anywhere around the island, you'll see loads of hawks bill and green turtle too.

All in all, it was just perfect in the sense that we had plenty to do, the place was beautiful, your own villa is huge. Even the maintenance and cleaning staff seems quite happy there (have seen seen on other islands that they turn into thieves due to poor wages, but not so much on Pom Pom).

It's not a backpacker place, its not an uber luxury Spa resort (where you get annoying over demanding tourists) but a cozy virgin island that offers excellent facilities.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank mowana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
beijing
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2011

Like everyone else we had looked around at all of the other options available in the area and we decided on this resort. We stayed in the water bungalows and although there are expensive it was thoroughly worth it. the island is amazing. After staying here for 5 nights we went went to Mabul for the day (to dive) and we realised that we had made the perfect choice for our accommodation. Mabul was too crowded. Pom Pom gives you complete privacy on your own island. The resort wasn't that busy which made us feel even more special. The diving and the dive masters were fantastic not only was it one-to-one but the dive masters gave us many many tips on all types of diving aspects. There are not many places in the world where you can go snorkelling with turtles! The food was excellent at the resort and there was plenty of it. There is not much to do on the island but that is the whole idea. Splash out and book one of the 5 bungalows you can watch the sunrise and sunset from your bath or balcony.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank adamkirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2010

we stayed @ water villa for 2 nights, my kids love it so much. Overall resort foods is good for lunch n dinner, Is kind of home cooking style but is good. Buffet b/fast is normal , can be improve easy.
I must said the staff is friendly and alway smiling, that made my days ever day n night. I will return next year with my family , keep up the good job and stay rockin' .

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank peking2801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2010

Stay @ water villa, is very convenience can snorkel anytime of the day, room is big n love the sea view. Had a great time over there with all the helpful staff around helping. Will be staying longer then next visit.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ChongJun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed November 6, 2010

Best offer in term of price & quality.
So quiet & relaxing... We were in a beautiful villa, all in wood, on the beach, with a nice seaview !
The staff was so pleasant & attended every need :) Food was so good & various. And the resort ecofriendly !
We enjoyed snorkling & diving... We went to different islands. And we saw many fishes & corals. Really nice places ! And great staff in the dive center.
Fabrice & Naïma

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ncoton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa

Property: Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Address: A-2-1 Jalan Karamunsing | Lorong Kapital, Block A, 2nd Floor, Pulau Sipadan 88000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 49
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

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