We read great reviews of this place as a dive resort, but did also hear that the rooms can be a little dodgy. Asked among my own friends and found someone who gave me a decent review, and my desire to stay in an oil rig beats all other consideration, so here we are! I must say this is the BEST decision ever, and I will not hesitate to go back again!
Having said that, of course, I think if you are with a non-diver partner, this might not be the place for you as there really isn't very much to do for non-divers. I think there are some games room but we never did check it out, and there is just so many times you can enjoy the (great) views from the top deck. The beautiful water bungalow just across a narrow stretch of water over at Mabul Island just looks so tempting! I did think we would have felt the other way if we had been staying there though...
We booked a 4D3N package, as thats the minimum for the resort to guarantee you a dive at Sipadan. The staff was very responsive when I was making reservation, and airport transfer was brilliant. The timing are quite fixed (only 3 airport pick up and 2 boat transfer a day) but it worked out really well. We had to wait for a 2nd flight to land, so we spend some time picking up some groceries at the airport. It was then a 1 hour ride to Semporna, then another 30-45min boat ride to the oil rig. In actual fact, you can pick up groceries at the supermarket across from the shop at Semporna, where they would stop to let you do your "check in".
The escalator is really convenient, and the best part is, you get to jump off the escalator (10m at low tide!) for thrills! Our divemaster tells us that you should only do this on your last day as you risk injuring yourself which might ruin your diving at Sipadan.
The dive area is just beside the escalator so it's really convenient when you suit up to go diving, or when you are stripping down after each dive. The house reef was nothing to shout about (maybe it was just the visibility when we were there, or it just pales in comparison to the rest of the diving in the area) but it's cool that you can do unlimited dives there, including night dives! Great place to get some practice in.
There are about 5 deck chairs in the dive shop area, which may or may not be enough, depending on the crowd. On one day, we had to wait quite long to get our own spot, but the next day, it was all empty! Otherwise, you can chill at the bar or dining area. Free flow coffee, tea and juice all day long! They also sell beer and Nescafe Dulce Gusto coffee.
The food was amazing! It is all Malaysian, but we thought everything was great. Plenty of vegetables, fish, seafood, fruits and dessert (usually a few type of cake or local dessert) each meal, and one night, a BBQ was set up! Only thing is breakfast starts a tad late (I think around 730am?), although I think bread is available for toasting all day long, and there are always biscuits in the tin. Definitely no complaints on the food front! For the early Sipadan dive where we set off at 6am in the morning, breakfast will be brought along and eaten at Sipadan Island after your first dive. We had fried kway teow (plus many other stuff) that tasted SO GOOD after a dive!
The diving at Sipadan was amazing. The visibility was not the best when we were there, but we saw loads of stuff. I have never seen so many grey sharks and turtles in one dive! You get to chill on Sipadan Island between dives, which is great (I hate waiting on the boat as I get seasick), and the island is gorgeous. Over at Mabul and Kapalai, the muck diving was amazing, and I love the artificial reefs! We saw so many moray eels and pygmy seahorse is almost guaranteed!
One can take the boat to Mabul Island (5 min away) everyday at 5pm to walk around the village. Or if divers are going out at 1.30pm, one can catch a ride too! So you are not really constraint to the oil rigs if you are not diving.
The room, although not great, was better than expected. We had a twin room, which comes with a window (unfortunately, faces a pillar of the oil rig!). It is also really spacious for a room on an oil rig! The only thing is the water pressure in the taps are strange and you might get splashed all over while brushing your teeth! In our room, we also had a spot of problem with water gathering at a corner of the toilet. Hot water and aircon works really well.
The best part of this dive resort is really its people. The staff was great! We dived with Suki at Sipadan and Helmi at Mabul/Kapalai. Suki is really friendly and shows us great stuff, but muck diving with Helmi simply blew my mind away! He showed us so many tiny little stuff it was AMAZING!! And he is always so jovial and cracking jokes! The other staff (dining area, boat men, etc etc) were also really really nice. Also, we met some really great dive mates here! I think thats the thing about staying at this dive resort which is very geared towards divers, and everybody just hangs out at the dining area talking about the dive(s) past and present. It's a great atmosphere, which I cannot imagine would be as prevalent in the other resorts!
I understand from a solo traveller that you can request for the twin rooms, but open to sharing if someone wants to, and pay the same as a couple travelling together. You will also not have any problem finding people to hang out with! One night, we had a band playing for awhile too.
Would totally go back again. A great diving experience!
- 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