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“had a great time, loved the village and people.”

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Sipadan Water Village Resort
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Reviewed January 10, 2011

We arrived at the village after the 1+hrs on the bus from Tawau airport and then the 30 min boat trip to be pleasantly surprised with the village. All the staff were very welcoming and the rooms were very comfortable with wonderful outlooks over the water.
We were a family of 5 adults, 3 divers and 2 non divers, however, this is really a holiday for diving people as there is no real area around the village where nondivers can snorkel or just lounge on the beach. As a result of this the two non divers did an assisted dive and followed this then by completing the PADI OPen water certificate, which we really enjoyed. The dive masters and instructors were first class and very patient and informative with the students, and completely professional with their approach to the diving. Well done Bobby, Valentine, Froi and everyone else. This was a great experience, especially at Sipadan where the divers were lucky enough to have two days with amazing underwater life on show.
The rooms were completely comfortable with a nice Malay feel to them. We had a standard bungalow and a delux bungalow, the latter being slightly larger with a larger bathroom, but both were well set out and had all the amenities we needed. Each bungalow has a wrap around verandah which can be incorporated into the room by opening the shutters across two sides of the cottage, making it breezy with fabulous views of the clear water and coral all around the bungalows. It is truly picturesque.
The food was plentiful, delicious and with great variety. Buffet style was well done as there was such an array of dishes that there was plenty for everyones tastes. Again the staff were so pleasant and keen to serve us, thanks Harry and Rosie.
We stayed for 5 night but could have stayed longer and considering the diving and food was incorporated in the price, we think it was very reasonably priced for the level of service we had. We had stayed the previous week at a much more expensive resort in a different area of Borneo and the SWV was as good and the service really much better.
The whole time here was a most pleasant experience and we will be looking to return at some time, especially to bring the other two non diving members of our family so they can also learn to dive and experience the fun we had here.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 9, 2011

This is my second time to SWV and it was was as amazing as the first time i staryed there. on my first visit i was a lone traveller and the DM's, staff & manager looked after me. The second time round, it was the same and i had the most amazing holiday. it was the best i have ever had.

xmas day was great- amazing food, great entertainment and lot's of fun and laughter.

new year's eve was the best new year's eve i have ever had. it was such a laugh, there was entertainment, games and lot's of dancing. they really went to town & put loads of effort into it.

the staff are the friendlist i have ever come across, the manager can't do enough for you and i would consider him and the DM's friends after my 2 visits to SWV.

Junior in the dive centre was so helpful... he went that extra mile. he is such good fun als.

all the DM's are funny and have amazing sense of humour as well as exceptional marine life knowledge. they are super funny and we spent most of our time there with them, having a laugh.

the food was great, xmas day and new year there was lamb, turkey, sushi amongst many other things.

the rooms are amazing... such a great view looking onto the sea... so peaceful and relaxing.

and lastly.... wow, the diving is A star, the best place i have ever been. sipadan 515 is the best dive i have ever done. so much stuff to see. the dive centre is very well run and organised and the DM's are amazing to dive with as they are chilled and funny under the water also.

anyway, thanks SWV for making mine and my hubby's new year and xmas one to remember and for looking after us so well when we were there. i think i have made some great friends and i hope to see you again soon :)

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HongKongNat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2010

I joined a group of Malaysian Chinese scuba divers and enjoyed 4 nights and 4 days of dives with Sipadan Water Village.

The transfer was well organized to and from Tawau airport. Nice comfy air con van. Then private speed boat. It is about 2+ hours.

On arrival, staff lines up at the jetty to meet and greet. It would be a much nicer experience if they could throw in a round of icy cold soft drink on arrival.
Same happen on your departure. They kept waving to you until you are so far away that you can't see them. Very professional good bye wave! LOL.

The room is nice and clean of good size. The furniture is very old school. Be warned that there is no air conditioning. To achieve max air flow, I preferred to sleep with my door open. But my room mate is not too fond of my care free idea. The bath room is actually dated. But hey ppl come hear to dive. I particularly enjoyed the hugh balcony for sun bathing in between my dives.

There is a mini mart selling drinks at the same price you would pay for your mini bar.

There is a lack of entertainment at night. There is no TV in your room. The bar has no noticeable music.

Buffet style of meal is included. The selection is good but I had MSG overdose after my trip. Watch out! The staff at the restaurant can do the standard smile and greet. But they are not interested in carrying a conversation or sell you drinks.

At nite, the house keeping staff will come around to put on the electrical mossie repellant.

If you are not a diver, bring your book and you will have a peaceful holiday.

Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
1  Thank JeremyC2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2010

Actually as per my knowledge, this resort is situated at Mabul Island and NOT Sipadan Island. We have to take a boat ride heading to Sipadan for diving. The room's condition is quite cozy for me; but don't have overly high expectation that the wood fixture would be looking in tip-top condition or new. Some rooms are small and some even have outdoor pool / jacuzzi. So it depends.. If you are lucky like me, you will be able to see green sea turtles visiting your sun-deck / balcony around sunrise; coming up close for some inhaling / exhaling ;) You may also walk around the villages; you will see many wooden mini houses , kids with minimal clothing playing, adults selling seashells souvenirs etc.

The food (from bread, bun, pizza, plain porridge with chinese assortment of some-kind, freshly cooked eggs from sunny side up to scrambled with tomato etc, various salads & fruits, desserts from cakes to jelly / pudding, soup, white rice, stirred fried vege, tasty cooked meats from fish, chicken, beef, lamb, prawns for almost every day deserved thumbs up) and beverages (coffee / tea / fruit juices / cold water) served were great enough for me.

The staffs there are warm, friendly, great with smiles and greetings. The Mother Nature's gifts are so kind; yet some human are bad in keeping the water area clean. So do know where to dispose rubbish (that's in the bin) and do be aware that most sunblock are harmful for the corals. If possible, do purchase and use ONLY those which are biodegradable & coral-friendly ones.

Be prepared too for the ride from Tawau Airport to Semporna port (about an hour or so), then about another 45mins boat ride to Mabul Island. Do consume traveling sickness pill as you alight from the plane if you are sea-sick etc. Lastly, enjoy Sabah :)

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TurtleFan4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2010

This is the first time I stop and use my time to write a review from a resort. I travel all over the word for work and vacation and I had the opportunity to stay in places ranging from youth hostel to five star hotels. After 20 years traveling I never face such an unpleasant situation that I need to share once one might need to consider when booking a place in this resort.
I will try to make it short: I arrived at 10am for 5 days holiday when I was informed there was an issue with my payment I agreed with the manager I will send an email to my secretary to follow up once the money has left my account one week before. Two hours after arrived and being chased (literally) for more than 10 times in a VERY impolite way the manager knocked my door and said ‘you have already enjoyed our facilities not you have to leave’ !!! I had on option but pay it by credit card to learn, 2 days after, from the same manager that the first payment was done! There are many ways to solve this issue in a polite and decent manner but was far from what happened. The staff clearly lacks the MOST BASIC EDUCATION to be able to deal with guests.
If wasn’t enough they asked me to leave at 7am even if my flight was at 1:35pm (takes less than 2h to the airport) and on the morning I was suppose to leave they knocked at 5:45, 6:10 and 6:30 in my room saying I have to leave now, without breakfast because there was another guests that had a flight at 10am. So they make me leave without even breakfast to wait at the airport 4h!!! I learnt that behind the scene the owner ( a Chinese named ‘Mr. Ken’) is the responsible for such ‘quality’ of treatment that clearly focus only on his profit. He said to the crew that if didnt pay the crew would, so one can imagine how unpleasant the situation was with all the crew chasing me…
If wasn’t enough the disappointment includes:
Very simple and barely eatable food (compared to ANY simple hotel)
Stinky water in the toilet
Chalet with lacking the basic maintenance
The wood walk path is loose so it makes a lot of noise inside the chalets at anytime someone is walking
The island has an refugee camp with a lot of small noise fisher boats that pass a few meters from the chalets… from 5am onwards…
The chalets are way too close to each other, no privacy at all.
This all could be forgettable with a little of good will if wasn’t for the COMPLETELY LACK OF BASIC EDUCATION from the crew. Not all though the restaurant people and the dive crew are really really nice.
Sipadan is also amazing and worth a visit, but DEFINETLY NOT IN THIS RESORT!!
Just one extra comment, they haven’t reimbursed me yet so I might just have paid twice for something that doesn’t worth half.
There is one point. If you are really going for this resort just write any letter stating you work in Malaysia. Any kind of letter would allow you for around 40% discount. They don’t check so easy discount… but be aware, it doesn’t worth AT ALL.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank rochacbm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

The rooms and amenities are fairly basic but the service, location and diving made up for it! As the resort has been around for 18 years... it is fairly dated but kudos to the management for maintaining it so well. We definitely cannot fault the staff either... they are friendly and accomodating. Always serving us with a smile.
Most importantly, food was good (partly contributed to the fact that we are always famished after a couple of morning dives!). We were there for 5d/4n and everyday we had different dishes - there was a BBQ night, hainanese chicken rice lunch, spaghetti, etc. I must say that it has one of the best buffet spread for an all-inclusive resort!
The diving in Sipadan was fabulous...the place is teeming with marine life underwater. I can't thank our boatman, divemaster and guide enough for making it so enjoyable (Thanks Bobby and Andyrian!). We even had a video of the group of us diving which I recommend. It was good laugh! As we only had 1 day of diving at Sipadan (the resort was packed with divers during our stay and there is a quota to number of visitors allowed at Sipadan), we dived mostly at Kapalai and Mabul - which was OK but not fantastic.
I will definitely go back for more diving at Sipadan. SWV will be one of my top choices for their hospitality and value-for-money packages.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank AnnaLiew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2010

Coming from the east coast of the United States, it takes a long time to get to the island of Mabul off the northeast coast of Borneo -- but Sipadan Water Village is worth it!

Everyone at the resort was so friendly and continued to relate a high level of service made you feel well taken care of. Malaysians really know how to make you feel welcome as a member of the family. Finding someone who speaks english is no problem.

The place is geared toward those looking to water sports - either scuba diving or snorkeling and Sipadan Water Village does NOT disappoint.

The over-water bungalows are breath taking. Ideal for couples on a honeymoon or another romatic getaway. The food is buffet-style. Sometimes over welming in choices but that's a good thing. Unless you want to continue the romance during a private dinner served to you on the deck of your bungalow.

All in all you will have a great time. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled solo
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Thank SteveW037
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 Resort

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: $370 - $513 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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