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“Basic, yes - but also great!!!”

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Billabong Scuba Homestay
Reviewed 16 June 2011

We stay for 5 days and have great time there!!! This place is a backpackers place, but it's nice, clean and you have your own room if you want privacy. I will go back for sure, to this place if I come to Borneo again one day!

First at all, the manager mr. chuck arrange our missing luggage comming to the island - next he did not want any paid for that or the diving equipment we have to rent for one day, until we get our own. He also arrange 2 dive days at Sipadan 10 days before we arrive, and also get a snorkler acces to Sipadan in one day. Don't think there is any thing he's not able to handle:-)

The staff there is great people! very helpfull and spent all the time you want with you after the dives.

This is not a four or five star hotel, but a place with the basic things you need, such as good food, drinks, a good bed, toilet, bath, place to rinse your dive equipment and all others things you need. This is a place with very warm and friendly staff, amazing diving at mabul, kapalei, sipadan ect. and a wonderfull place to relax and enjoy the nature around. It is a small place where people get together, but tyou should also take a walk around the island, its very nice:-)

Tina Kristensen from Denmark

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Timibej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 June 2011

Didn't stay at Billabong but went diving with them (we wanted less basic accommodation). From what I've seen the accommodation is basic but the food (which I got at lunch when diving all day) was good (better than where we were staying!)

The dive instructors are enthusiastic and friendly. There is a new bloke in charge of the diving and i suspect the place will go from strength to strength. Unfortunatly he does not manage the rooms which i think is a mistake on the owners part. The staff who do manage the rooms (basically just one woman behind a desk) was unhelpful, rude and unwelcoming and actually made me feel like she was doing me a favour by allowing me to dive there (and spend several hundred pounds!). By rights, she should have had nothing to do with me as i was not staying there but it appears she feels she rules the place. It's a shame.

Someone else on here said that the DM's were inexperienced, some are, but they are all friendly and some are very experienced..... same as anywhere!

If you are diving try and get out to seaventure, lobster wall and eel garden especially. Sipidan goes without saying.

Happy diving.
x

Room Tip: stay on the dragons good side!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank theflyingdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2011

We are a couple from Holland. we are not the youngest one, but we like to travel and we go backpack. in april we stayed for 5 nights/ 6 days at Bilabong Mabul. we really liked it. The staff was very kind. They let us make stay there at home. Very nice people relaxed and helpfull when asked. The food was in buffet form, but every day was delicious. It is not only the staff but also the divemasters were oke. we went to good diving spots good organised. Had absolutely no problems with the diving gear. The diving days were well organised. So, were there no complines. Yes, well had no warm water running in the shower. To shower we need to fill a basket with water and then poor the water over yourself. It would be nice if you could put your clothing on a shelf. But you can also go to a 5 star hotel.... One day I bought some fish from a local fisherman, and the head cook prepared it. It was the best we ever had. Well if you want a good stay at Mabul just go to Bilabong. We loved it.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank borneo1052775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2011

Me and my boyfriend spent 4 days 3 nights at Billabong Scuba and had a fantastic time. I am disappointed reading negative reviews- if you want the Hilton, go stay at Another dive centre for ten times the cost!
We loved the fact it was basic no frills dive resort with fantastic service and great dive masters.
We had a room with a private bathroom- well worth the tiny extra cost.
We dived both Mabul and Sipadan and the boats and gear was all fantastic.
The BEST thing about this place is that it is a small company - meaning if you are the only one signed to go on a dive... Then it's just you and the guide! Much more personal than Other outlets. If you are there for the diving then give this place a go!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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Thank Loopoo12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2011

The guy who called FC has purpose a Sipadan diving package for us and the package is not helpful. We were trying to amend the schedule to fit for our itinerary and his reply as below:

"...If you want to have sipadan....please do everything with us..otherwise please do with them.."

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Service
4  Thank ks531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2011

When we picked a homestay I have expected basic accommodation and basic food.

However, what we did not expect is the lack of thoughts in all aspects. There are simple things (cheap things) which they could have done to vastly improve the room and facility. For example:
a) a couple of nails in the toilet so we could hang the towel. the toilet door is none functional as the door is larger than the door frame. They might as well not put in the door and put in a wash basin instead (there was no wash basin).
b) A simple shower for divers to rise off the salt water after dive at the gear rinsing area.
and the list goes on.

The food is ok at first. However, they literally serve the same food for a few meals consecutively. Even if they do switch the main ingredient, they cook it the same way so it all taste the same. By the second night, we are dying to leave the place.

Service is definitely basic as well. Though polite, they made us feel that they just want to get things over with. I've been to many dive resort and most of them if lack of nice accommodation and ambiance. They make it up with superb service and warm attitude.

Things about billabong you should know:
The rooms are next to common area- quite noisy. Try to get room 12-15 onwards if you must stay there as it is slightly further from common area and it brighter.
No wash basin in the room and of all the rooms we had- none of the bathroom door are functional.
Take care of your gear and stow it away yourself every night. They do not lock the gear. We lost a few stuff one night due to strong wind.

In my opinion, Billabong fail in all aspects.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank ChloeC_KL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2011

- bad service
- inexperience dm
- poor choice of food! Ate the same stuff for 6 days! No varieties!
- unorganized dives. No schedule/ time given on the next dive after surface interval!
- poor briefing
- all the dives are always in a rush! Can't dive in peace!
- not photographer friendly!
And the list goes on..

  • Stayed: March 2011
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3  Thank Angetan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Billabong Scuba Homestay

Address: Lot 28, 1st floor, block E, Seafront, Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Billabong Scuba Hotel Pulau Mabul

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