We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Go for the amazing diving, not the food” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Pulau Sipadan
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Go for the amazing diving, not the food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

I spent 9 days here - 8 days diving. And excitingly, I was on Sipadan diving for 4 of those days. So it would seem that Borneo Divers really do get more permits than most other places in Mabul! (they also run 4 days each day at Sipadan which is one more than most other outfits) Diving at Sipadan and even around Mabul and Kapalai is truly outstanding and Borneo Divers run a very professional, well organised show. Sipadan really does offer some of the best diving in the world (Barracuda Point is amazing) and my big tip is to stay there more than just the 3-4 days that most people seem to do... (pretty much everyone I spoke to was disappointed they hadn't organised to stay longer). It will increase your chances of more diving at Sipadan and give you space to relax and work around weather, tiredness or illness... The resort itself is good - not fancy, but the gardens are pretty, there's a pool, a shabby little beach bar, the dining area is comfortable, the rooms are fine, although the bathrooms are indeed a bit shabby... There's a lot of negative commentary about the food at Borneo Divers - and rightly so. It is well below average, though there's freshly cooked eggs at breakfast and usually something from the BBQ that's okay in the evening (from what I heard the food was pretty average at other places on the island too). So go for the amazing diving, expect accommodation that's okay rather than luxurious (despite the cost) and grin and bear the poor food for a week - you'll be fine!

Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank MandyMeerkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

218 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    81
    86
    32
    9
    10
See reviews for
20
82
29
4
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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

We spent five nights in two rooms.

The good things first:
The diving operation is very good, efficient and friendly. This resort has more sipadan passes than the others on the island .
Staff are friendly

The negative
If you are on a non diver package you pay for a 4/5 star and you get a 1 star.
The bathrooms are terribly simple and only a few drops of water will shower you.
The maintenance of the hotel is lacking. The simple repairs are not done.

Most staff of the hotel seem untrained and there is a total lack of management .

The food is better than expected from some other reviewers, however the dirty table cloth aren't systematically changed, the cutlery runs out and nobody ever asks you if you would like a drink.

What a shame!!!

Room Tip: I don t think there is a good room . Ask for one that doesn't t smell of canalisation....
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Asing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

As mentioned by many reviews below, this resort has 2 major letdowns.
a) the food ranges from barely acceptable to downright awful
b) the allocation of sipadan permits is not transparent and on our 4 night stay we only got one visit whereas others had 2 or 3 (I think you need to be in the know about who to see...). If you do stay here then make sure to get confirmation upfront in writing of the number of visits you will get.

Other than these gripes, the rooms were acceptable (clean sheets, very good AC and hot showers - bathrooms are a bit dated but that doesn't really bother me), the diving equipment was a bit old, the boats very speedy and the divemasters vary as expected from ok to good.
The resort is not really a resort as such, its totally geared up for divers so non-diving family probably won't get so much out of staying there.

I will return to see Sipadan again but not here - better to pay a little more for good food and a more transparent permit system.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lilpea_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

The huts are set in pretty gardens. The rooms themselves are fine - air con worked, bed comfortable enough. However, the bathroom was very grotty, with a leaking sink and a shower that produced only a dribble of hot water. What really othered us was the terrible food. It was tasteless, badly cooked, greasy, boring - and there was no alternative, as the island is tiny and all the resorts are full- board. The staff were average at best - smiles appeared to be extra. My advice: stay at the more upmarket resort and at least get a proper hot shower at the end of the day.

Room Tip: Ask if they have renovated any of the bathrooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SGTiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
160 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2012

There is no better place to stay when on Mabul Island in Borneo. This resort is by far the most amazing spot on the island. The rooms are clean, cool and all you will ever need.
Food is amazing and different every day.
The staff are by far the most happiest ppl around, they must love their job!!
Diving is another review altogether but up there with the best.

Stay no where else but here, you will not be dissapointed!!

Room Tip: all the rooms are great, so just go with the flow.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Simmochelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wimborne
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2012

We stayed here December 2011. Both of us advanced padi divers with photography interests so was looking forward to this amazingly reviewed area. All I can say is pay the extra and go to the sipadon water village. Borneo divers resort mabul failed in every way to offer the resort expectations. The resort looked idyllic by the interior of the chalets was very shoddy. Torn curtains. Water stained lampshades and ceilings. Badly fitting dors and windows. Rusty bathroom taps and pipework and chipped bathroom tiles. Breakfast was made looking wonderful for a photograph but was ic cold and rubbery and could of been served up in joke shop. We presented this to the manager who scolded the chef and on inspection of the kitchens, it s not surprising people get poorly tummies here. Staff in th bar are lazy and getting ce is difficult! The hot water urn is continually bring topped up and left boiling bacteria. Ants walk in the sugar container and the same knife is used by all the guests in the butter and jam pots as the only serving utensils. Disgusting. The dive masters hav no respect for marine life or the environment. They hassle fish and turtles and continually dig out the Coral looking for something for one to photograph. Even some tour operators do not recommend Borneo divers due to their poor hygiene regimes. Were only sorry we had t found one of them to put us off staying here. A poor resort with no monies ploughed back into their organisation to keep standards at a reasonable healthy limit. Sipadan island diving s amazing, but no this company I'm afraid. Signed let down of dorset

Room Tip: Don't expect anything decent and you wont be disappointed
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank caringk9s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2012

Borneo divers is without a doubt the best dive resort on mabul island.

Borneo divers were originally the only dive shop on sipadan before they had to move. They are the ONLY resort on mabul that legally have a permit to have their resort on the island. They also get more sipadan diving permits than any other dive shop!

The divemasters are amazing (Tony and Emily). They really know all dive sites very well and they are fun to dive with. The boat captins are great!!

Dive equipment isnt so good. Very old and in need of replacement. And also very expensive to hire.

The chalets are very nice. Very clean rooms! Comfy beds. Good aircon and ceiling fans. In room safes. Free tea and coffee in room. Hot showers and free shampoo, soap etc.
No wifi in rooms only in restaurant area.

All members of staff are lovely, always have a smile on their face and happy to see you and help with anything.

Food wasnt amazing, but upon arrival we told them we were vegetarians and every meal time we would have plates of our own veggie food made especially for us.


We really did love this place. We was only there for 3 days and was told that we would be very lucky if we would get a permit to dive sipadan at all (which was understandable as we booked it very last minute). We got to dive sipadan two days in a row in the end!!!! The guys are amazing and really will move heaven and earth to make you happy.

Sipadan diving is the best ive seen so far. Vis is really good. And very good if you like your wall diving.

Even if your a non-diver theres still things to do. You can snorkle right out the front and see turtles etc or jump on to the dive boats. Theres also a very nice swimming pool with a swim up bar and loungers. Also a bar/cafe on the jetty with sun loungers also.

We will definately be going back!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank victoria e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Sipadan
28.7 mi away
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
#3 of 5 in Pulau Sipadan
4.5 of 5 bubbles 389 reviews
15.9 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
3.5 of 5 bubbles 258 reviews
14.5 mi away
Sipadan Inn 2
Sipadan Inn 2
#2 of 7 in Semporna
3.5 of 5 bubbles 72 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.0 mi away
City Inn Semporna
City Inn Semporna
#5 of 7 in Semporna
3.0 of 5 bubbles 31 reviews
0.3 mi away
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
#8 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3.5 of 5 bubbles 73 reviews
0.3 mi away
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure
#10 of 10 in Pulau Mabul
3.5 of 5 bubbles 3 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort

Property: Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Address: Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Borneo Divers Mabul Island Hotel Pulau Sipadan

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing