Went there as a group of 3. The island is stunningly beautiful. The boat trip from the mainland is quite rocky (wavy) but I guess it's seasonal.
The beach, room and the dining lounge is nice. There is no electricity on daytime. Wifi only available at the dining lounge. It is not an issue anyway because you will be outside enjoying the scenery or going to the seas for snorkeling or diving. The place is so relaxing. You can rest at the dining hall watching tv, sleep on the hammock or on the beach chairs. You can order some fresh coconut too for your pleasure.
The food are buffet style and is very nice. You get three meals a day so you no need to worry about hunger.
The room are comfortable and the bed is nice. The chalet are new and looks nice with local paintings hung on the wall. the downside is the water quality. It is a bit smelly (smell saltish) and we feel sticky even after bathing.
I am not satisfied with the service by the staff.
We went for snorkeling. We have two session of snorkeling on the first day and one session on second day. The staff attends lady tourist and chit chatting with them for long time and ignoring me when I'm getting the equipment for snorkeling. In the end I am the one that have to ask for the equipments.
On our first day we done snorkeling at two spots. We were never been informed that the two spots are actually means two session combined. There is no staff to guide us and we are left with question marks of what our next activity is. We have to ask the staff every time for information. Only when we get down from the boat we know that our two sessions are indeed finished for the day.. If we didn't ask, we would be wasting our time for the next "session". We feel like we are begging for the staff to tell us anything. We definitely do not feel being welcomed here.
Regarding the snorkeling, the boat actually ties their boat onto a coral. It is disheartening to see this.
My friend who went for scuba diving actually being denied taking the last session on the next day because she is taking flight on the night. Based on the information we get before we reach this island, one can insist on diving on the day they taking flight but they will need to sign an indemnity form. But here my friend is totally denied from getting the form as well.
We went to see the sunset at a village at the opposite side of the island. The villagers are friendly and the kids will be very friendly to you. Only later we know that the young girls are actually after my girlfriend's necklace. They ask from her whether she can give them her necklace, when she declined, they went to the other tourist to ask for their accessories instead. They are "friendly" with you but they actually want something from you. Staff and villager never scold the children for doing this. So tourist beware of your belongings. If you don't understand their language do not lend them your belongings otherwise they think you are giving it to them.
My friend wanted to buy the beer, and when she paid for it, the seller (in the dining lounge) didn't return the change, assuming the change is a tip. My friend was very angry because she never said it is a tip, and he just kept the money quietly without informing my friend, When my friend ask from him the change, he said he got no money for change. So basically he pocketed the change money. Very bad service.
There is no tour guide to guide us anyway and we followed other tourist group with tour guide for night walk and sunrise.
On our day back the boat operators rush us back to the mainland, going through the rough seas. It was raining heavily and the sea is very rough. Several times when the high wave comes we thought we will be swimming in the sea.
Thank you for the rough ride, we swear we will never visit the island again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bembaran Beach Resort is a charming beach dive lodge located on Mantanani Island of the coastal area of Kota Belud. Kota Belud is well known for its beauty and concentration of cultures.DescriptionThe long term goal of the dive lodge is to become the best choice in Mantanani Island, Kota Belud for beach lodging by creating a differentiated experience capitalizing on low budget rates and its unique location in one of the most attractive parts of Sabah West Coast. BBR plan to be more than a great beach lodge. We plan to create an atmosphere that surpasses the standard fare for Kota Belud. Expanding our exposure via the Internet and introducing Kota Belud to people those have not yet discovered this year-round paradise will allow us to maintain an average occupancy rate and average profits.Creating an “Eco friendly Dive Lodge” which is often more beautiful and palatial than where they are traveling from will ensure many return guests. The riches of Kota Belud have always drawn a significant number of tourists to the West Coast area. BBR has two distinct competitive edges that differentiate it from the competition. The first is the low budget rates. Despite this, we recognizes that their mission is to ensure that their guests have a comfortable stay with them. BBR second competitive edge is the location where we are secluded at the Southern Point of the island.The facility is so wonderful in part because of the traditional style chalet which is a memorable place to stay. It is also unique because of the location, overlooking the ocean, a beautiful area surrounded by our own beach front and our second beach (dugong beach, Mantanani Paradise) which is a 8 minute walk. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bembaran Beach Resort Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia