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“Budgeted long house with nice & friendly owner”

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Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Reviewed 8 November 2011

Arung Hayat is the best place to experience the local long house, and most importantly the owner is very friendly - Hanif. If you wanted to look for budgeted accommodation and full meal which only RM80, Arung Hayat is one of the best budgeted guest house.

Personally i would say it was good value and it also nearby the local village, which another good opportunity to hang around. Room - it was very simple double single bed with no aircond, the generator only started to use at night after 6.30pm, which is acceptable due to no electrical supply for this small island, everybody is using the generator.

Food - they do provide full meal - breakfast, lunch & dinner. It was not bad and even taste better than some of the 3 star hotel at Sempurna, mostly malay dishes like vegi, fish ( fresh), chicken, rice and some fruits. Coffee & tea is free flow.

Day Trip - Snorkel are in tip top condition and new, we really having fun time - Hanif very friendly and he's so flexible on the snorkeling time. Beside that he also entertain us by playing guitar and singing for us at night time, having some peanuts & snack with some liquor, we really enjoy that moment.

If you looking for a budgeted room with very tip top snorkel, Arung Hayat definately the BEST!!!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Kwan888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 September 2011

Read the review from Heather M on the accomodation: i agree totally. Leaking rooms during heavvy rain, toilet/'bathroom' is not worth mentioning: we brushed our teeth outside and used the outside shower not having to go inside the bathroom. Dreadful. Cockroaches scurrying in the room, which is not a surprise given the state of the Mabul island/village. Poverty, and actually still cholera going around because of the lack of hygiene/water supplies for the villagers. Apart from the resorts, the island has the looks of a dump. Plastic refuse everywhere, also in the water. Food: after one day you know what is coming for the other days. Bring you supply of peanut butter and crackers if you come with kids.
No mosquitos.
The trip from Semporna to Mabul was not OK. Leaky boat, no life vests in high wind and high wave conditions. We only found out once we had left the harbour how far it would be. We were soaking wet and with a 10 year old without life vests we were actually scared. If you can take another boat (from the Billabong homestay, for example) this is a good idea. Prcies are all the same (50 ringgit per person).

The upside is the diving with the staff at Arung Hayat. Good equipment, very flexible staff really trying to give you a good time. My daughter did her open water course with Rubi and 2 divemasters in training (Irata and Yves). And even though it was in english (foreign language for her), she did very well. Divemasters Fran and Nadja try hard to give you a good time. We 'rented' Fran and his camera on one of the dives to take pictures of us and the dive which turned out very nice. Price was very reasonable. So if you want fun dives or a course, go with them. Small groups, individual approach which is a relief from the big time and high price resorts around the corners.

There were visitors staying at Arun Hayat and diving elsewhere. I would say, do it the other way around.....

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Toemaarjongens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
arung h, Director of Sales at Arung Hayat Sea Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2016

“Thank you for your honest feedback! I’m very sorry to hear you had such a bad experience and will be sure to review your comments with my staff in an effort to improve the experiences for our future customers.”

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

When I read all the reviews for this place, I bypassed making reservations at Borneo divers, scuba junkies, etc.

When I arrived to Mabul, I was horribly disappointed.

I'd like to say the good first:

Arung Hayat has a dive operation run by a guy named Rubi, and divemasters Nadja and Fran- they were AWESOME. They knew the dive sites really well, they gave us a lot of freedom and flexibility on dive times and days, we always had small groups, and they even took us to Siamil Island for the day. I am forever grateful for those experiences.

What was horrible was arriving to the long house. I do not have high standards for accomodation when it's on a budget, but the first room we were put in was awful. The toilet didn't flush, a "window" had wooden planks falling off of it, the room was cement rusted over on the walls, the bed was dirty, the room was dirty, at night generators sounded like they were inside our room, and the over all condition was just negligible. After two nights someone told us the rooms on the right side were a little better, and we moved. They were better, but not by much. If you go here, and you are stuck in a bad room, ask to see what else is available.

Also, people had said the food here was amazing. This just was not so. While a couple of meals were OK (fried noodles, grilled fish), generally the meals were the same vegetables, hot dog meat, rice, and tea. For breakfast, eggs, bread (not TOAST), and rice. Not vegetarian friendly from what I could see.

I would recommend diving with Arung Hayat over all the other dive operations- all the other operations seemed to have huge groups, while we never had more than 4 divers to a group. I would not recommend to stay at Arung Hayat, but if you do have incredibly low expectations.

Thanks for everything to the dive staff and DMT's, we really had a great time with you.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
arung h, Director of Sales at Arung Hayat Sea Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2016

“Thank you for your honest feedback! I’m very sorry to hear you had such a bad experience and will be sure to review your comments with my staff in an effort to improve the experiences for our future customers.”

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2011

Reasonable place for the price. Food is included and is fine, but almost the same every day. The do cook a very nice bbq fish for you, fresh! It is one of the older longhouses, there are 10+ of them on this side an worth checking out. Rooms have fan bun big hole in the bathroom roof, no reason for it. The dont dive at Sipandan, try Scuba Junkie who rents rooms here to.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank Paulcup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2011

Wonderful staff and best care, easy rooms over the sea, and "a la carte" diving. We were able to see so many differrent sea animlas....

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank julian1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2011

I´ve been travelling around Southeast Asia since August 2010. Along the way I´ve always asked other people for recommendations on where to sleep and on what to do.
Recently I started looking for a cheap but clean place where I could relax and dive for a while. I just needed to rest after all my travelling.
I chose Mabul, as Mabul and Sipadan are amongst the best dive spots in the world-recommended by many people along the road. And through recommendation of other travellers I also found out about Arung Hayat.

Arung Hayat is a small and comfortable place. It offers atmosphere familiar, which makes it easy to feel at home. Everyone who works there, the local people as well as the dive staff, help you with everything you need or want. They also serve excellent food which is included in the price of the room.

I spent most of my time with the dive staff. Why? Because the quality of the dive spots was amazing, after one day I decided that I wanted to dive more and more, each dive was 60 mins, the group was only two persons and the rental equipment was new. On some days they let me chose where and when I wanted to dive. I´ll never forget the night dive. It was awesome. I could go on and on, but I think these are the most important things to say about Sipadan Adventures dive shop. I was really happy diving with them, it maybe was my best diving ever.

In the end I didn´t have any time to relax :))

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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Thank ENZO1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2011

What can I say... I stayed one week diving with Arung Hayat and I must say that was the best diving experience I ever have had. The staff was very professional, new diving gear and nice place to stay. And last but not least -the staff was very friendly and I had so much fun that I decided stay 4 days longer than I planned. I can highly recommend you to dive with Arung Hayat! The prices are also reasonable and your money wont be wasted.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Aloraway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arung Hayat Sea Adventures

Address: 245 Jalan Pinggir Bakau, Pulau Mabul 91308, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Price Range: £28 - £45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live like a locals with Arung Hayat Homestay!! Located just above the sea water, our guesthouse provide clean, nice and comfortable place for you to stay. The beautiful scenery of pulau mabul with its clear blue sea water will surely amaze you. Since its early years as a guesthouse, Arung Hayat has undergone major renovations and improvement. It begins with a single house with 5 rooms but as our guest increased we extended into 10 rooms but over the years our guest keep knocking at our door hence we decided to built more rooms so today we have total 31 rooms already. (Meals are served 3 times a day with unlimited hot drinks). The long houses are built on stilts overlooking the turquoise waters of the Celebes Sea with a splendid sun set view. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom with 3 types selections either fan, Air-conditioned and VIP room. Electricity runs from 6pm to 6am, like in most places on the island. ... more   less 
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