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“Diving Holiday Super” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sipadan Water Village

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Sipadan Water Village
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Diving Holiday Super”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2013

We booked two water village rooms- one ocean view the other mainland. The ocean view well worth it! Paid extra for air conditioning- so we were further from dive shop. The dive staff was very attentive and equipment rental well run. The last day of diving we got our permit for Sipadan-it was Amazing!! We also did a night dive with Ramil, i would highly recommend it. Christmas Eve dinner and staff dancing made the day extra special. The turkey, roast beef and seafood Christmas dinner was a Feast. Other meals you can ask the chef to cook you catch of the day.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tlfraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
81 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

This is my second visit to swv after 4 years. The transport arrangements were efficient. In fact too efficient, that my request to detour to a local supermarket to get some essentials for my group of 6 in the van could not be entertained. The excuse given was there was no time (maybe the couple in the other van did not but we did and we arrived at the airport really early)

Overall, I felt that the standards had dropped a fair bit since my last visit in 2009. We were welcomed by the staff who were at the jetty but that was the end of the welcome. Admin and check in procedures were a mess and instead of gathering the few groups who were there for an update, it started off with a rude bout of attendance taking by name without even first introducing herself and explaining what was happening.

Before the admin procedures were complete, Felix the dive master introduced himself, all eager to conduct our check out dive for us as check our dives was scheduled to be at 11 am. But our rooms were not even ready and we were herded to the dive centre to prepare for dive admin without the proper assurance of where we could leave the rest of our luggage safely.

Food was a horror. The staff were very friendly and always obliged our requests. Other than that, there was always almost no food left when we walked into the restaurant after our dives, usually half an hour or an hour after meal times start. The food also tasted horrible. This is a stark difference from my experience 4 years ago. Minimally, I think restaurant should put in some effort to ensure that the buffet spread is well stocked sufficiently for the number of people staying there to prevent people from "rushing to get food" and poor guests like us who only got to pick from leftovers. It was definitely a bad experience that repeated every meal time in my 4 days stay.

Rooms were ok, I took the non air con room and appreciate that there was an additional fan. Beds were also clean. It was within my expectations except that I wished that for the type of resort swv is, daily mineral water should be provided free of charge instead.

The dive masters at the dive centre did a good job tho. Special thanks to Felix, Andyrian, Valentine and Allister, our friendly videographer.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank dinnosaur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

Went with a group of 10 divers. It was booked for a week as an all inclusive. This included 3 dives a day. The price I thought was comparable to other week long dive resorts. The village is out over the water with wonderful views. It is an older resort which I found part of the charm. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The dive masters were attentive and all PADI certified to my knowledge. They also did provide resort course dive certification. We went to several different sites including Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan islands. The types of megafauna included large hawksbill and green turtles, Reef and Whitetiped sharks, ray, etc. All in abundance as well an a multitude of fish species. Large schools of big eyed jacks, barracuda, and most exciting to me were the huge bumphead parrotfish. Many different nudibranchs, blind black shrimp and gobies, eels, etc. Most of the coral appeared relatively healthy in comparison to the Caribbean.
I liked most of the food and we enjoyed several off regular menu items for a minimal extra fee, such as stone fish, grouper, prawns, etc. There were plenty of vegetarian items, Asian and Western foods seasoned accordingly.
Wine is expensive as in all of Malaysia. However alcohol was available at additional cost.
In general I had a very good experience there. Also noted that there was an enclosed snorkeling area that was safe, interesting and accessible for those who do not dive also free wifi in the lounge.

Room Tip: Depends if you want to be close to the dive shop or diningroom and bar.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Andi150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

At the Dive Centre, there is a big board read "5 Star PADI Dive Resort". I utterly disagree with the signage given that the resort layout, service level, food, and staffs for the matter are terribly disappointing given that it should be a 5 star resort. Me and my friends were allocated the last chalet, which is very far away from the dining area, dive centre and snorkling centre. Understand that that pretty much depending on luck but the layout is terrible. Food variety hardly varies throughout the 5 days 4 nights stays, the staffs blocked off the entrance to the dining area when the area should be opened for meal for their preperation, eventhough the meal time had started, with no urgency noted. Staffs are obviously not trained to be a 5 star resort staff, communication between staffs were seen shouting accross bridges. Staffs were hardly seen with a smile. The day my group went diving in Sipadan, after the 1st dive we waited for half an hour for breakfast to arrive. No lunch were catered to the island, unlike how other resort practice, divers were brought back to resort for lunch at 2:30pm, with 3 small plates of dishes reserved for 8 very hungry divers, together with 9 plates of rice. When approached staff, she gave a cold look and replied "that's all that's left". Until further complaints were made, then only another 2 hot dishes were cooked and served to the group of divers. Overall experience with the resort was terrible, will never consider going back again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dareal Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sri Kembangan, Malaysia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

Went there for 4D3N with a group of friends. The resort is a little run down but it's location and the sea view is mesmerising. The rooms would need some uplifting but generally it's clean and comfortable.
Services were good and the staff were friendly and quick to help. The buffet was below average because of the limited choices and some food was often too salty.
Request drinking water from the staff if you need more than the daily top up 1.5L.
I dived with the resort and had a pretty enjoyable time with the dive master. There were 7 of us in a group, including 1 Canadian couple. As I've just gotten my OWD, my diving skill is still poor. The dive master, Andyryan, was very patient with me and took good care of all of us in the group. He always ensure that we were around him.
Before each dive, he would briefed us. He has good interpersonal skill and we enjoyed having our dive with him.
Apart from that, the dive centre is well organised. On day one, we were given a locker and the diving gears. We were briefed on how to keep our gears and what to do before and after each dive. Usually, before the dives we just needed to bring our weight belts, masks, fins and wetsuits. After the dives, we had to wash and placed the BCD and regulators on the assigned racks.
There are light food and drinks for divers too.
There are artificial reefs at the house reef. During our check dive at the house reef, it was interesting that there's a huge turtle at a boat wreckage and some other fish.
Overall, this is a good resort and dive centre.

Room Tip: Try to get rooms facing to the east and starts with the letter 'S' instead of 'M'. T...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank s1ngee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

We decided to stayed at two different resorts. Three nights at the Seaventures Dive Rig, which surpassed all of our expectation and five nights at the disappointing Sipadan Water Village resort (SWV).

We paid $140 per night more for the Sipadan Water Village than for the dive rig, and if the room and cottage would be the only difference then the $140 might be justified. But since the Seaventures Dive Rig was just a lot better in general we think that the Sipadan Water Village is completely overpriced.
If we would go again, we would stay 7 nights at the Seaventures dive rig and the last day and the last night before flying back (when we have to stop diving) maybe in some other resort with the beautiful cottages. Anything other than Sipadan Water Village.

The dive centre was a bit of a disappointment in organisation and service. Don't expect great food or much variety left after the first 30 minutes of each meal time and also don't expect engaged staff. But you will get begging children.

We wrote up more under http://mnm.at but the gist of it is that the Sipadan Water Village web site sets false expectations and is simple a mediocre resort in a beautiful location, but with prices for a luxury resort.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mnm_travelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

If you wanna go Sipadan, you have to stay at least 5 Days 4 Nights until your turn to get the permit to the Island. But we only stay 4 days 3 nights so doesn't get the chance to go Sipadan. Nice resort, good service, fascinating view from M105 room which is facing the sea. Just the snorkeling scene not variety enough and looks almost same so I'm a bit disappointed. But I still wanna go for second times for diving package in near future. Also, the sea a bit polluted with rubbish and if have someone help to clean it up that will be good. Also please be more strict to those stepping on the corals, they are dying fast. T-T

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lewiscarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sipadan Water Village

Property: Sipadan Water Village
Address: Tawau, Pulau Sipadan 91031, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sipadan Water Village is a resort built entirely over the water on stilts. In its design, Sipadan Water Village has achieved near utopia in its layout, splendid water cottage accommodations with flowered sidewalks, wonderfully prepared Asian and Continental cuisine, and impeccable and personable service! The dive program is comparable to none as everyone at Sipadan Water Village has an attitude and passion for what the sea has to offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan Water Village Hotel Pulau Sipadan
Sipadan Water Village Pulau

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