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“I feel ripped off” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort

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Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
fremantle
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I feel ripped off”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2009

We originally booked as divers but when I failed my dive medical due to asthma, we changed to snorkelling only which was a little bit cheaper but not much, what they didn't tell us was that we as snorkellers, had no chance of getting to Sipadan. He (Steve, dive manager) was incredibly rude when we complained and basically we were told that he heard this complaint all the time and didn't care. Saying all that, the snorkelling we did do was incredible but it did not make up for the poor attitude and poor resources available at the "resort".
The food was average as were the rooms but I found most of it very clean. Most of the other staff were friendly and courteous but I would not return.
We were not alone in not getting to Sipadan, other divers did not get there while some of the bigger groups went every day, so maybe we were not paying enough!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank janeetal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
20
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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
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English first
Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2009

Packages at this "resort" (stretching a very long bow to call it a resort) are extremely expensive and the only reason people pay such a lot of money is to dive or snorkel at Sipadan Island - their website is full of the glories of magical Sipadan. What the website negligently omits to say and you don't find out until you actually get to Mabul Island and have paid all your money is that there is no guarantee that you will go to Sipadan - in fact, in our terrible experience and that of others we spoke to at the "resort", there is actually a very slim chance that you will go to Sipadan - despite paying all your money!
When I complained to the dive manager about it, he rudely told me that he was sick of hearing the same complaints every day and that the website doesn't actually say that one will go to Sipadan! The illogical of this response confounded me.
According to the resort, the Malaysian government faxes the resort each afternoon a list of the names of 13 guests (oout of 60 resort guests) who have been issued a permit to go to Sipadan the following day. Each day many guests missed out - day after day. Strangely, some of the larger diving club groups kept being issued permits day after day!
The resort management denies all responsibility for the system, but continues to charge exorbitant rates and fails to warn people on their website that few people actually get to go to Sipadan.
The only other thing to do is snorkel or dive around Mabul Island or if you're lucky, nearby Kapalai Island. The snorkelling was mediocre at both places, and again, if the website had been clear and honest, we would never have gone there. It is a total ripoff!
Apart from one or two friendly and apologetic staff (Ramesh in particular), the service at the resort is woeful, the food is ordinary and yet the prices are what you'd expect for a 5 star resort! At most, this one would be 2.5 stars.
As snorkellers, we were treated as second-class citizens and pretty much ignored and left to our own devices - the nasty diving manager told us to just snorkel off the end of the resort jetty. They offer no guide like the divers get in the form of the dive-master. We were just left to our own devices and they showed no interest whatsoever. Not great when you've paid over $250 Australian each day per person!
I tried to demand a partial refund due to all this, but the managers kept passing the buck, getting me to speak to various people and then ultimately said no. I told them that I would make my feelings very clear on sites such as TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank AndreaAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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

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