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“Mabul Beach resort is beautiful, diving incredible and staff friendly and knowledgeable”

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Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving
London
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Mabul Beach resort is beautiful, diving incredible and staff friendly and knowledgeable”
Reviewed March 4, 2010

Scuba Junkies has a new resort out on Mabul island about 45mins boat ride from Semporna. It was recommended by a number of people we had met travelling through Borneo. The resort is on the beach at Mabul island. The bungalows are beautiful and spotlessly clean with sliding veranda doors and hammocks on the porches, between the bungalows is all pretty flowers and plants and the common dining area has a big upstairs bar area with comfy lounging sofas, views out to see and nice cool breezes in the evenings. Food is all inclusive and is absolutely delicious!

The staff are very friendly, incredibly professional and excellent guides for diving. During our week of diving we had 6 different dive masters/instructors and all of them were excellent pointing out rare creatures and taking us to the best dive sites (of which there are many!)

We weren't too sure of our travel schedule so booked only a week in advance (to dive Sipadan you need to book EARLY as it's all permit based and gets full quick!) I got put on the waiting list for Sipadan for all of the days that we would be there and staff do there best to get everyone on the waiting list out for a day's diving at the protected site. We were lucky enough to get out on our third day, Sipadan really is something else the diversity and scenery of the reef there is just spectacular!

Highly recommended. We are already planning our next trip back here!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank HawksbillTen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
North Yorkshire,UK
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2010

My wife & I, both over 50 yrs old,stayed on Mabul Island for a week at the end of January and had a great time. The resort had not been officially open for all that long but the organisation worked well.

We were met at Tawau airport and shared the Minibus to Semporna. handy if you get to share otherwise you pay the full RM80. Still not expensive.

Stayed at the Seafest Hotel for the one night before travelling out to Mabul Island, saved on having to pay for a private transfer costing RM350, and at our age a Backpackers Dorm is not our thing.

If you dive on the day you transfer you should not have to pay anything for the trip and your luggage is neatly lined up in the dining area when you have completed your diving.

Checked in with Scuba Junkie office, which was near the end of its refurbishment, but was still oporational. Checked out what diving we had got including Sipadan and found we had been allocated three days diving on Sipadan. WE BOOKED SIX MONTHS IN ADVANCE!!!.

There was a Waiting List for those people who failed to book in advance, as clearly requested, on the Scuba Junkie web page. While we were there most people staying for more than three days seemed to get at least one days diving on Sipadan.

Having found out what time to be back at the Office the next morning we went to our Hotel.

The Resort is located along side a Local Village, and between two other Resorts, but you rarely notice this unless walking along the jetty or lounging on the beach, although there is another Resort on a converted Oil Platform directly in front of the Resort.

The room at Mabul Beach Resort had both a Double and Single bed and an on Suite shower and toilet, with Sun Warmed water. The resort also has Dorm Rooms and some rooms with Hot Water and AC, although you pay a bit more for that.

At RM99 per person per night we were well satisfied with what we got.

Meals were all served Buffet Style, were of a good standard and the food was plentiful.

There was a good bar and comfortable lounge upstairs from the Dining Room, which is a great place to Chill after a days diving or socialise aftrer Dinner.

There were White Boards in the Dining area and on the Jetty showing which boats were going where and who was doing what for the next days diving.

All the Diving Equipment was reasonably new, so as far as we saw no one had any problems, appart from the occaisional slight leak from a Pillar Valve 'O' ring.

The diving was brilliant, the visability was a little poor early on in the week, sub 5 metres, but improved to 15 metres plus by the end of the week. We never went to a Dive site more than once, appart from on Sipadan where we did South Point Reef twice in 9 dives. Totally different dives, a strong drift dive on the first visit. Not warned about the current on the day which some what worried a diver with only 13 dives, but we all survived once the DM got us all sorted out.

This is the only criticism we have with respect to any of the Dive Staff. All of our other dives were well led at a comfortable pace following good briefings by staff who we interested in what we wanted to do and pointed out the less noticeable and therefore more interesting Marine Life.

All the Reefs and Marine life looked healthy, with the exception of one part of South Point Reef which had a lot of damage on top of the reef at one point. This was described to us as either Storm Damage or possibly Dynamite Damage.

My Macro Photo work improved a lot during the week, loads of life never seen before, but one of the highlights was hanging near the top of the reef at Barracuda Point on Sipadan while Hundreds of Large Barracuda patrolled the edge of the Wall.

The staff at the resort were very helpfull, friendly and well organised.

The only point we would raise would be that for those people staying more than a couple of days, a system of emptying the Toilet Waste Paper bin in the rooms every couple of days should be put in place, for hygiene reasons.

This is a great resort, well managed and staffed by friendly efficient staff, and we would recommend it without any reservations for all divers, and those wanting a break from travelling and to do a bit of Snorkelling.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank summer1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2010

We went there to go snorkeling right in front of their brand new and really nice resort on Pulau Mabul. Its a beatiful white fine sand beach with an amazing reef full of fish and trutles right in front of it. Staff was very friendly, smily and helpful. The equipment (for diving and snorkeling) is brand new and very good. There was plenty of food and the basic dishes were very good. You can relax and socialise in a comfy lounge area or the big bar. We really enjoyed our time there and would recommend it to everyone.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dumpling79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2010

I have been diving all over the world, and Sipadan was my next to the last stop from a 7-month diving spree, so I speak from experience....;) Not only was this group friendly, safety conscious, and concerned with the environment, but they catered to my desires like no place I've ever been. I told them (as I always do) that I wanted to see the best, and they did everything they could to provide that. In the end, I was more than super satisfied. They have a huge staff and many boats, so I never had to go to the same place twice or dive with inexperienced divers who run out of air in 30 minutes.

In addition to the great diving, the hotel has a house band that rocks! They play on Tuesdays and Fridays, and really, they are great. Finally, the staff at the dive shop, hotel, and restaurant were warm, welcoming people.

I stayed 16 nights, and for sure, this was the highlight of my diving spree. I saw more fish than Egypt, Australia, or Indonesia on every dive, and i saw things I have never seen before. This truly is the best diving in the world, and Scuba Junkie is the best dive shop I've ever been diving with.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank msdiver59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2010

Having read the reviews here, there appears to be two places Scuba Junkie operates, one on Mabul Island and one in mainland Sabah in Semporna.

We stayed at the Mabul Island resort and it was amazing (compared to Billabong Scuba this place is complete heaven!!!)

We paid 180RM for one night between us. Got a nice bungalow, which was clean and tidy. Had a great hammock to lay and fall asleep in.

The food was excellent - really nice BBQ food freshly prepared. The staff were amazingly friendly and helpful.

Only down side is that they wanted 50RM for transfer to mainland (which I thought was a bit cheeky).

Didn't go diving with these guys so can't comment on that.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matthew_benson83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK / Korea
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2009

This is the worst hostel that I have ever stayed in for several simple reasons. The bar is right under the hostel, and on Tuesdays and Fridays they have a band, who play until midnight. It is now Tuesday night, and I am sitting here writing this review because I can't sleep due to the noise.
The bathrooms are also disgusting. They guilt tripped us into paying for an airport pick-up that we didn't order. The internet doesn't work regularly, and the hostel staff are unfriendly and unhelpful.
I hope that tomorrow's diving and snorkelling is better!
Do not stay here under any circumstance. They do not deserve your money.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Robbo1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Semporna hotels

The world
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2009

I am a PADI Instuctor and I have been travelling now around 4 years and diving around the world, but I haven't never been in this horrible place before. I booked first one day diving to see how diving is going to be and then decide to dive more if good. I am so happy that I did that.

We went to Sibuan island to dive three dives. We had two groups of fun divers and one OW student group. On our first dive we saw sand and dead coral patches. Virtually no fish at all. Second dive was to 5-6 meters to "look for Mandarin fish" which we didn't see or anything else than dead coral and more sand. Third dive was pretty much same. Those are the worst dives in my 7 year diving career. Also "divemasters" were arrogant young girls, basicly without knowledge of local diving with really unprofessional behaviour and attitude towards guests.

Their "guest house" toilet's rarely work, there is pile of human waste on every toilet. No running water most of the time and only one working shower, when there is running water. Toilets/Showers are dirty. Sleeping in 6 bed dorm room is small, stinky and dirty too. There is also no security. No room keys. Anyone can enter your room anytime without keys.

I can't recommend this place to anyone. Please go everywhere else not to ruin your long waited scuba diving experience in here like I did.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank dyykkaaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving

Property: Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving
Address: Lot 36 PO Box 458, Block B | Semporna Seafront, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Semporna
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Scuba Junkie Hotel And Diving
Scuba Junkie Hotel Diving
Scuba Junkie Semporna

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