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“Not recommended”

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Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed here with the intention of doing some diving and snorkelling for a couple of days. By the end I could not wait to leave the place. The accommodation is pretty basic to say the least. The worst aspect for us was the mice and rats. We had mice in our rooms at night. The rooms have lots of little holes and crevices for them to enter. It seems this is normal/expected for Mabul homestays. One afternoon I also saw a fairly sizeable rat walk past the front door. The packages include meals (as do most of the other 'homestays' on Mabul) but don't expect much. The food is prepared at absolute minimal cost - a typical meal is a bowl of boiled rice and a fish head. If you stay here (and weigh more than 50kg) I would advise you to take some additional food, but seal it up properly so it doesn't attract mice/rats in your room.
As a general point the island of Mabul was a massive disappointment. Don't be fooled - this place is no tropical paradise. The first thing I noticed when arriving was the amount of rubbish including plastic bags, general waste and human excrement floating in the water around and directly underneath the homestays. This combined with the busy boat traffic there is no option for snorkelling near the island. You must take a boat out away from the traffic and filth.
If you want to dive Mabul and Sipadan then I would strongly recommend that you stay at a decent hotel in Semporna and enjoy the boat ride to the islands each day. Spend one day diving around each of the 3 islands and you'll have seen the best of what they have to offer. Alternatively, you could spend 2 days at Sipadan and skip the other two islands. Sipdan is what Mabul should be like - protected and unspoilt. To be honest, on leaving I felt some guilt for staying at Mabul and contributing (albeit in a small way) to its environmental problems.
Overall Seahorse Sipadan Scuba is probably quite a typical Mabul homestay but for us is was a bad experience and very overpriced for what it is. The experience tarnished our trip to the islands, but Sipadan made it just about worthwhile.
One last tip, make sure you are absolutely clear on exactly what you're paying for and how much before going - have written evidence (emails etc).

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank DTS279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 55 of 60 reviews

Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights in October 2012, we found the accommodation whilst basic the best option compared to the others in this price range on the island.

The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was good. Plus free tea and coffee throughout. They also offered good day trips.

Would recommend Sea Horse and would like to return one day.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Benpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

Went there in large group of 16 friends (team Building). The place is quite simple some have their own bathroom some need to share. Some have 3 bed room & some are two bed style.
Went there for 4 days 3 night. The place quite ok for cheap backpakers style accomodation.
The food was rather simple but ok for a short stay. Unlimited drinking supply of water & simple bread at no cost.

Dive Experience
I have about 9 dives all together. But the location choose by them was excellent.
They have among the best local divers. They knows what we want to see & i'm impress on how well they took care of us. Most of my dive i spotted turtles & lots of sea animals (nudibranch, frogfish, stingray, octopus, squid, peacock shrimp etc2)
Some of us only 1st time divers & some are experience one. Normally the ratio between divers & DM are 1 to 4 or max 5,
My Dive Master spotted a lot interesting sea creature.Turtle is quite common. And i know that they know the place quite well. We have enough safety stop & always reminded to take enough water & food.
They are quite organised with regards to the dive plan & quite helpfull & always happy.

At night they ask us to join & sing local song & play divers games.. The last day quite touchy for us when everybody started to sing & dance... A memorable experience for our group..

Pros:
Value for money & its a people to people service.
Good for budget dive & large groups.
Great team of Local divers (DM)

Cons :-
Power supply only at night (hot during the days).
Food need to improve.
Water supply quite slow.

Room Tip: Ask for the room with their own bathroom.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Timbermad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, traveled solo
Thank Benny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: February 2017, traveled with friends
Thank Malin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank boracho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2015
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Room Tip: dalla 1 alle 6 camere vista mare
  • Stayed: August 2015, traveled as a couple
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Thank CottonCandy2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge

Address: Mabul Island | Office : Lot A1, 1st Floor , New Township Seafront, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Semporna
Price Range: $37 - $205 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Seahorse Sipadan Scuba offers from Budget to Luxury Scuba Diving Accommodation, PADI Dive Courses, Snorkeling & Island Hopping to Paradise Islands of Semporna Like " Sipadan Island " The world most Famous dive destination.Facilities :* Airport Transfer* Room Services* Restaurant* Laundry Services* Dive & Snorkeling Equipment Rental* Broad band Internet connection* White sandy beach * Baby Sitter on request * Carbonated & Beer for sale* Souvenier shop.Note : All rooms are Sea View . ... more   less 
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