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“Yes, Go There!”

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Celebes Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Semporna B&B and Inns
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Yes, Go There!”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Dive, eat, sleep. Dive, eat, sleep. Have everything taken care of and that's all you do during your entire stay. The island and dive sites nearby are insanely gorgeous. Go crazy jumping off the jetty and roll about on the sandy white beaches during your surface intervals (you'll have a hilarious bunch of dive guides to do that with). Good food and comfy beds at reasonable price, what more could we ask for?

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank qinglai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Stopped here to get my PADI whilst on a tour of Malaysia and Thailand - it was the best part of the trip. The staff were very friendly and the transport organised all the way from and to the airport.
As the boat approaches the island it's like travelling out of the real world and into paradise! Our scuba master was amazing, able to manage a group of different abilities and have them learning together in no time. Initially I found learning in the sea a little unnerving but it was a great way to get the most out of our time there. We saw the whole cast of "finding Nemo" and swam with giant turtles.
We left the island with a full logbook and many, many lovely memories.
If you don't want to dive its still the perfect place to relax and forget the stresses of the world.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank AJWillia_ms45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

We first decided to stay at this resort because it was the most affordable one we could find around sipadan island and did not fall under hostel/backpacker category.
It turned out to be a very pleasant stay.
The room was spacious and clean. Not luxury but pleasant enough. They have open lounge and dining area, facing the clear blue sea.Staff were friendly and helpful. Meals were freshly prepared everyday.
The island itslf was just beautiful. We didnt dive, just snorkelling. But there were so many things to see. We saw more than half a dozen of turtles.We can even see them swimming from the beach.It was really a special experience.
We only have one comment. The shower n tap water were all salty eventhough it was supposed to be fresh water. So just bear that in mind.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RaimiR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

A quick summary: I can't imagine a more beautiful and relaxing place to spend a few nights in peace and tranquility. We recently stayed here for 3 nights on two diver packages and were very sad to leave.

Pros:
- the staff are super-friendly and accommodating! Guido (the marketing manager and part-owner) even went far out of his way to help us secure permits to dive Sipadan and arranged transportation for us to/from Sipadan (the resort doesn't have permits to dive Sipadan and so we had to be ferried to Semporna at the crack of dawn and then ferried back at dusk). Guido went way beyond the call of duty and we were extraordinarily grateful. You can tell that he really cares about his guests.
- The dive masters at the resort are professional and safety-conscious, while the dive boats and equipment are in great shape. The dive masters know their marine life and did a great job pointing out various creatures. The dive sites around Pom Pom are good and you will undoubtedly see plenty of turtles.
- the views from the resort's white sandy beach with electric blue waters are unforgettable!
- there is an awesome covered but open-air space where guests mingle with the staff to eat meals and couches to just chill out. there's nothing else to do on the island (except visit the other resort on Pom Pom) so enjoy it.
- the price is right in comparison to some of the really fancy resorts in the area. yes, it's not nearly as cheap as some of the hostels on Mabul, but we had to stop on Mabul to drop off some other divers who dove with us at Sipadan and we were grateful that we were not staying at their hostel (and we didn't even me much more than they did)
- the rooms are large and spotless and the beds are extremely comfortable. i'm a stickler for cleanliness and our rooms easily met our expectations. The A/C worked perfectly. Towels, soap, and shampoo were all provided.
- pickup/drop-off from Tawau airport and from Semporna were very smooth.
- wifi generally worked very well.

Cons:
- the food could definitely use some improvement, but there was always enough of it and there were veggies and fruit with each meal as well as crackers, coffee/tea, bread, peanut butter, and filtered water available at all times (the management is aware that the food leaves something to be desired and it sounds like they are working on it).

In summary, if you are a diver looking for a relaxing getaway in a clean and friendly environment at a reasonable price in the area, look no further than Celebes Beach Resort! Highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank euph222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elsewhere
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

We spent 4 days here, one diver package on non-diver package.
This resort was not what I expected. Let´s start with the good:
The transport (pick up/dropp of) was well organized, the dive guides were very friendly, equipment and safety was excelent, the island is very beautifull etc, but in fact and now comes the disapointing thing which makes it all average:
The food was very disapointing, and sometimes not enough of everything for everybody, we expected more seafood, but usually we got meat. The breakfast was pretty much toast with peanut butter and some eggs and no fruits at all. The resort does not sell fruit juices or cocktails, just softdrinks and beer. The accomodation had only small windows to open, no fan no moskito net. The reason why we go to an island is to have a fresh sea breeze at night, but because of the lack of bigger windows and a fan we had to switch on the aircon and so we missed the fresh air....
The accomodation is clean and yes faces the sea, but some of the huts from far away! When we put our towels on the ground for getting new ones, we found out, that the cleaning staff just took the old ones and folded them again!!
At least the diving sides are o.k. You will see a lot of turtles for sure and lots of smaller stuff, but corals are rare at many spots because of bombing and bigger fish disapeared. All in one sentence: If you just want to dive and don´t care about luxury, food or drinks, you will be satisfied, but don´t go there if you partner want´s to spend the days without diving, the non-diving package is far to expensive...

Room Tip: Take room 1 or 2. They are close to the beach with seaview
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank W W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I am glad that I start my diver's life by staying and taking the PADI Open Water course at the Celebes Beach Resort (CBR).

I have been struggled about the place which I should take my PADI course before going to Sipadan, one of the best dive spot as ranked by the Discovery. For those who intend to go diving at the Sipadan, they may either take the PADI course from those dive shops that are located at Semporna, the town which most divers depart for the Sipadan dives.

Since the PADI course is indeed intensive in nature, I decide not to take the course at the dive shops at Semporna because I believe I do need lots of rest after the daily course at a peaceful environment which a town can never offer.

By taking the course at CBR, this lovely island does help easing the tension from the course by the amazing and relaxing environment. Energy regain by the rich marine life during the dives so as the stunning sunset, starry nights.


PADI experience
The course is being conducted in small group, meaning you will be taken really good care by the instructors in terms of the techniques required, theory discussion, Q&A, etc. Since the course is conducted at the shallow water area right in front of the beach, time and energy is saved.

Rich marine life
The marine life under the water is awesome, both in shallow and deep water areas which usually won't take >10min swim from the beach. Sea turtles, giant trevally, so as all macro life are everywhere whenever you dive. I am impressed by the experience of seeing sea turtle laying eggs on the island. Just pick a full-moon night and walk around, mother turtles can be easily found.

Feels like home
I like the atmosphere at CBR most. Whenever after lunch/dinner time, guests from all over the world all rest and chat at the common area. This just feel like home~!

要去有名的西巴丹Sipadan潛水,可是又想待在那些在名信片上的resort基本上是不!!可!!能!!的,除非,像我一樣的誤打誤撞的找到在Pom Pom島上的CBR。

要去西巴丹,傳統上只有兩個選擇,那就是待在Semporna或是Mabul。Semporna是個漁村小鎮,有各式各樣的吃的,可是就是一個落後的小鎮囉,會待在那基本上都是因為所有潛店都在這。可是那些長長海灘、日落此等在想像中的假期就不用奢想了。Mabul是離西巴丹更近的離島,有好些潛店在這也有住宿,可是看reviews好像住的很一般,吃又很克難…

幸好找到在Pom Pom的CBR,從Semporna到這大概40min by boat。船沒停定就一定會被那private beach的美景剎到。沒辦法,看過去不就是那些typical 水清沙幼的長海灘嗎?!!!在那邊上了PADI課,每天就是從飯店的private beach下去就是上課的地方。 看到sea turtle完全不是問題,只差在看到幾隻,或是有多大隻而已~! 也正因為上課的地點就是在private beach,所以來回的時間、精神都省了。

而飯店對上課跟用餐等時間配合的非常好。那也就是說,上完每節課上來,洗個澡就餐點就準備好了。有別於一般的resort,CBR沒有很高級的用餐環境,吃飯的地方就是一個public area,陪你吃飯的就是海浪聲、星星跟月亮。也因為大家的活動很自然的都會集中在public area,所以也很自然的吃完飯就會跟其他的guests聊天看電視,好像在家一樣!更重要的是,因為CBR目前的房間只有十來間,所以不會吵,更不會擠。試問誰想放假的時侯跟人家擠呢~!

在CBR每天都是過著不穿鞋的日子。每天早上的活動就是跟sea turtle游個晨泳,再來上課,吃下午茶,再來吃完晚餐又是海灘漫步。這邊的sea turtle很多,在滿月的時侯走走很容易會看到sea turtle的nest。我更幸運的看到一隻剛生完的sea turtle,還護送她回海裡呢。重點是~!整個過程只有我跟男朋友兩個人~可以想像嗎???整個世界就是海浪聲、滿月…

Pom Pom畢竟跟有名的西巴丹是位在同一area,所以這邊不用出海,單是從private beach游個十幾分鐘就可以看到很多不同的魚跟macrolife。Survey下在Semporna潛店上course的價格,沒吃沒住設備要另付費,再看看CBR什麼都連在package內,岸潛潛到死,真的超划算~!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sterlam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

I had such a wonderful time with CBR. The staff and Dive Masters were incredibly friendly and helpful for my entire stay. The resort organized transport from Tawau to the island and overall made everything so easy that all I had to really remember was to breathe whilst diving. Nurul and crew are happy to hang out when we're not diving and share their dive experiences to help you improve, whether it's with your breathing, buoyancy, or with a camera. The instructors on staff are very knowledgeable and make the course fun. I did my Rescue course with CBR in 3/4 days and genuinely feel confident I could actually save someone if it ever came to it (as well as helicopter spin the instructor on my shoulder:) )The dive sites that CBR visits are world class for macro enthusiasts. Turtles, Nudis, pygmy seahorses, lion fish, frog fish, octopi, and a variety of pipefish are all quite common and the dive team find most of them for you on the regular. Overall a fantastic experience that I would gladly do again and again. Thanks CBR!

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean and have a clear view to the beach. Rooms 1 and 2 are closest to the lounge...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Celebes Beach Resort

Property: Celebes Beach Resort
Address: 1 Romantic Beach | Pom Pom Island, Semporna, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Semporna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Celebes Beach Resort is a new secluded two stars resort located in the Celebes Sea. The resort is based on Pom Pom Island where the peaceful white sandy beaches seem endless and the waters are a perfect turquoise blue.Whether you are interested in an idyllic beach holiday or experiencing a new quality of diving. Celebes Beach Resort has it all. ... more   less 
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