This is a very delayed review but hopefully still valid. My wife and I stayed here 4 days and 3 nights as part of our honeymoon and thoroughly loved every second of our stay. (We actually stayed in May 2012 - please ignore the November date as I have no other option).
I will admit that we were a little nervous about booking it (hence the short stay) and our first sight was not propitious as the rig was being repainted at the time. However, our experience was second to none and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel and dive centre for anyone looking to stay somewhere different and experience some of the world's best diving. We only wish we had booked longer.
I am an experienced PADI Advanced Diver and my wife is a relative newby / PADI Open Water diver. This meant that we weren't looking for really challenging diving trips but enough to stretch both her diving skills and my nascent underwater photography skills. From the moment we arrived, we felt in safe hands, the dive team were attentive to our needs and delivered an impressively thorough briefing / introduction. The dive kit was all good brands, used but in good condition and I would estimate at the most only a season old. My wife noticed that the first stage was leaking and as soon as she mentioned this, a new first stage, straight from the packaging replaced it - very impressive.
Every dive was well run and we felt that the ratio of dive guests to staff on each was just right. You didn't feel that you were outnumbered and constantly being herded, but enough to keep an eye on everyone. We got our fair share of opportunities to dive on Sipadan as well as Mabul and around the rig (don't ignore this opportunity as the variety of wildlife here is great).
Back on the rig it is comfortable but there is no getting away from its industrial roots. We stayed in a double cabin and have to say that althought he cabin was little unusual, the bed was comfortable, there was plenty of storage and the air conditioning waseffective. We particularly liked the old intercom box and one-piece moulded bathroom! In all honesty, if you wanted a 5 star designer room, you would stay elsewhere - this resort is for divers and diving and cannot be faulted.
Another big plus was the food. This was tasty, well cooked and above all abundant. I think the cooks were under instructions to keep cooking for as long as there were guests going up to the buffet. And when you had been spending all day diving, you need to refuel. Meals were mostly Asian and Malaysian dishes which suited us down to the ground (we had chosen to travel and wanted to try the local dishes) with a smattering of "western" dishes thrown in for good measure. As I said, it was all well cooked, tasty and abundant.
Borneo is a very friendly country and not once did we receive anything approaching poor service (staff in even simple restaurants there could easily teach staff in high class establishments here a thing or two!) and Seaventures is no different. All the staff were very friendly, welcoming and helpful from the receptionist, stewards and cooks all the way up to the dive team. Previous travellers have mentioned how good the level of service is in the Far East and on the rig it rivalled (and possibly excelled) that which we experienced in other, more "prestigious" resorts.
If you are diver, looking to experience a diving holiday in one of the world's top dive sites with a difference then you should put Seaventures to the top of your list. I cannot recommend it highly enough and my wife and I would love the opportunity to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Seaventures Dive Rig is a scuba diving platform located within Mabul Island, some 30 minutes boat ride to Sipadan Malaysia. Sipadan Island is known as the world's scuba diving mecca. This rustic dive resort package includes diving around Mabul island, Kapalai and Sipadan Island. All rooms are fully air conditioned, Wi-FI is available at free of charge and food are served buffet-style. The unlimited diving on the Rig's house-reef is popular as it is home to some diverse underwater life. Seaventures Dive Rig is a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre offering Scuba Diving courses for beginners to professional. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Seaventures Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan