To anyone thinking of staying or diving at Scuba Jeff's on Mabul Island we would strongly advise you not to bother.
The staff take laziness and incompetence to a new level, Tahir the so called on-site manager was totally useless and the supervisor Patricia was the same. The only person who did any work was the boat captain Dasir. He was incredibly helpful with guests and on the boat, the other staff were content to sit around smoking, playing guitar and watching TV and made no effort whatsoever.
Despite being a very budget operation several of the PADI courses offered were more expensive than other vastly superior resorts on the island.
Snorkel guests were just shown to the equipment room and left to kit themselves up, a difficult task when there's no light due to the power only being on between 6pm and 6am. There was no forward thinking or planning at all, we watched several times when other guests were waiting to be taken back to the mainland but couldn't leave as they had run out of fuel and had to go begging around the other diveshops or the village. They would only think about doing this 10 minutes before they were due to leave despite having plenty of notice.
There was no oxygen available for emergencies but apparently there were agreements with other companies that we could use theirs if required - thankfully we never had to find out if this was the case. The boat was often packed full of 30+ guests which made it dangerously overloaded and watching the staff trying to organise divers into the water along with the snorkelers was chaotic. Other companies running same sized boats limit numbers to 18 passengers maximum. One day 40 people were scheduled to be on the boat before some cancelled.
The bins were rarely emptied which attracted a lot of cats which howled all night. The toilets often had dirty nappies and toilet paper in the bin for days on end and were only cleaned when we insisted as we were gagging from the smell so couldn't even use the showers.
The food was generally poor quality. There was an onsite cafe that sold burgers etc, however, after seeing they were kept in a broken fridge we didn't dare try them. Food was included in our package but we ate out for most meals as did a lot of the guests! Food was always brought out at the same time regardless of whether guests were back from diving or snorkelling and the staff were always the first to be eating.
Wifi was advertised on the website but was non-existent due to the staff playing youtube videos non-stop we would then have to then go and ask the staff to stop downloading stuff which they would do for about 5 minutes before resuming.
We were amazed to see the number of good reviews but interestingly they all seem to coincide with Jeff being around, when he's not it's like staying with a group of kids having a party when the parents are away. Despite telling Jeff this he didn't seem to care!
Do yourself a favour and chose a properly and safely run company to enjoy your stay on Mabul!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Simple, budget accommodation on Mabul island in stilted longhouse right over the sea. Look out of your room to the infinite sea views or across to the local fishing village bustling with local life. Room rate includes all meals, tea, coffee, water. Friendly staff will treat you like family and make you feel at home. Snorkel right off our jetty or join our dive trips to the famous sites of Mabul and Sipadan. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Scuba Jeff Guest House Hotel Pulau Mabul