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“Basic as expected, but very cosy atmosphere”

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Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Aarhus, Denmark
2 reviews
“Basic as expected, but very cosy atmosphere”
Reviewed 24 July 2012

I stayed in Arung Hayat with my boyfriend for a week in July 2011, and we really enjoyed the stay.
Sure the room was very basic and not particularly clean, but the owners were nice, the food was fine, and the overall atmosphere of the place was brilliant. Perfect for backpackers.

Don't expect luxury, but look forward to falling asleep listening to the waves right under your bed, enjoying a beautiful sunset, talking walks in the very cute fishing village right outside your door, playing with cute kittens in the common area (at least we got the chance to do that), and just hanging out and relax. Arung Hayat is a very 'local' and 'authentic' experience.

When we first arrived we forgot to ask about lunch hours, but when we got back from the beach too late, the owners quickly made us a nice leftover lunch anyway.

Compared to other places in Malaysia, it's quite expensive, but in comparison to local prices of this area, I think it's about the cheapest it gets.

If we were to go back to Mabul, we would probably stay in Arung Hayat again.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ninameyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 July 2012

Although some of the staff are friendly, the service is not very satisfying especially the management. Super noisy and disturbing to sleep at night because you can hear rats running on the roof, facilities is not satisfying where the shower is broken, and the other room supplies like pillow are not replaced with a new one since the one we used looks so old and looks like there might have mites or mold in it.
Im sorry to say,but f i have other option, i would go to the other homestay,

Room Tip: Spherediver, Uncle Chang Homestay are better and more private.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank JayseeClay
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 review, 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
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 May 2012

I never had my holiday in an island until my friends suggested that they want to have an island holiday for photoshoot n experience underwater sight-seeing. We planned our trip together since most of them are from West Malaysia. We reached Mabul approx late afternoon n since i confirmed last minute in joining them faith has landed me to Arung Hayat homestay juz a few minutes walk to where most of my friends are staying. I did not went for diving nor do other sea activities because im not a water girl so i juz hope tht when all of my friends r having fun with the underwater world the surface will not disappoint me. Yes indeed surface was awesome to the max. Talked about the scenaries i had loads of pics taken it was juz breathless. As i awaited nightfall, watching the sun sets from the veranda of Arung Hayat everything looks like a drawing from where im standing really indescribable.

Surface treated me too with friendly staffs that made me felt like im their own, basic home food and other local dishes was served and all are freshly cooked straight from the sea to the wok all the basic needs for an accommodation are well prepared books to read, gameboard, sing-a-long, play-your-own coz they have guitars and i get to interact with the islanders too so as the ever mysterious "Orang Laut"

They also have activities for those who love the underwater world mostly diving as well as snoekeling. Gears are provided and trust me they know most of the awesome dive spots around. Dive or snorkle at ur own time and convinience. I know that most wants to know about diving as well as snorkeling experiences with Arung Hayat but i dont have any but one thing is for sure Arung Hayat gave me an Ultimate Runaway Destination and indefinitely Every Minute Rewarded. You will never ask for more

This is my third time spending my holiday here in Arung Hayat, Mabul and im planning to come again and again for Im in loved forever with this place its never a place that money can buy Im juz out of words to describe to you further about this place so come over n experience yourself the magic of Mabul the comfort of Arung Hayat

Room Tip: Rooms are all attached with own clean bathrooms, basic beds are comfy and cosy you'll wake up fr...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank SophieSofeaSophia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

I have read many websites & comments for different dive shops before the trip. Finally, I stayed in Arung Hayat for 4days 3 nights in Mabul.

The main reason I stayed here is the flexibility. The land transfer & boat transfer has no time limitation so that I can fit my flight schedule & no need to stay Semporna to waste time. Besides, I am non-diver and booked snorkeling before arrival on Mabul. It was flexible for me to try discover scuba diving and 3 dives during the stay. I was flexible to select the dive sites on that day such as Mabul House Reef, Lobster Wall & Eel Garden. I love its flexibility!

Secondly, the shop manager, Hanif was very helpful. He understands what we need. As I mentioned in the email for finding turtle was my mission of the trip, he tried his best to find turtle in the sea for me. At the end, I saw nearly 20 turtles in this trip. Also, I asked so many questions during the booking process. I was very appreciated that Hanif was patient and sincere to reply my questions. He is very nice and friendly.

Luckily, I met a Chinese instructor, Kenneth Lee & a group of Hong Kong friends here. I am not Kenneth’s student. He loved to share diving experience & skill to me. He took care of us for snorkeling and discover scuba diving too. I learnt a lot.
The dive master, Toni has great experience for bringing us to dive site too. We saw a lot. And the underwater world is very nice.

I tried my first dive and finally did four dives here. The package is relatively low-priced and reasonable. It is a nice experience for a starter to stay here to learn diving here.

It was an amazing & wonderful experience.
I miss Arung Hayat, Mabul Island, turtles, nemo & Jackfishs ;)

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kyingkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2012

Lovely guest house. Basic facilities but all a backpacker needs. Room was clean and sheets provided. Meals were all delicious and plenty of options to choose from. The family that run the guest house were very friendly and always smiling, John is a great chess player. The dive instructors, Alessandro and Fabiana are really friendly and helpful and have a great knowledge and passion for diving. We had two excellent dives with them. I cannot recommend this accommodation and dive center more highly!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank HandMTravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2012

This is my solo trip for Eat, Sleep & Dive trip at Mabul, Kapalai, Sipadan & Si Amil. Arung Hayat Sipadan Adventures is the place i stayed for 6D5N. They own a Dive Centre as well. They provide cheap homestay with good accomodation and Food. But for accomodation they provide very simple room with fan and attached bath room. For food they provide local malay food but i m very satisfied with the food and it is tasty. I meet the boss (Hanif) for the homestay and dive centre. He is a friendly guy and he will satisfied whatever you need for. The service provided by the boss and staff is good. For diving i will say excellent. The DM (hanif also the boss of the homestay) is local so he is very familiar with all the dive site around mabul and kapalai. He is very good in searching macro thing for you to snap a photo. For sipadan trip you need informed the boss in 3 month in advanced so that they can arrange the permit for you. You also can request hanif (Boss) as your tour guide for bring you walk around the island. He will never say NO haha. Beside that hanif also introduce some of his "crazy" friend for me and hanging around and enjoy drinking, singing, dancing and play guitar. I'm very enjoy and happy staying there and dive with them. If you are looking for Cheap homestay with good food, room and service then you should go with ARUNG HAYAT. They are the BEST.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Theevopig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandakan, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank Kwan888
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

Property: Arung Hayat Sea Adventures
Address: 245 Jalan Pinggir Bakau, Pulau Mabul 91308, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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