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“How many times in life do you get to stay on an oil rig?”

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Seaventures Dive Rig
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Gravesend
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“How many times in life do you get to stay on an oil rig?”
Reviewed 4 March 2010

I heard about Seaventures from a friend who had stayed in 2009.
The staff were so friendly that I didn't really want to leave.
The food on the rig was glorious, I wasn't so impressed with breakfast on Sipadan.
The rooms were basic but clean, comfortable and air-conditioned.
The diving at Sipadan and Mabul was awesome. There was plenty to see on the house reef too although the vis wasn't great due to the weather at the time we were there.
We had some entertainment one night in the form of a live band, various members of staff took turns and looked to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.
We had a great time and wouldn't hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TulaGravesend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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442 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Cambridge, ON
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 February 2010

These guys went above and beyond to ensure we got the best diving experience possible! Amazing diving at Sipidan complimented by unlimited, free day and night dives off the rig itself.

You pay for basic accommodation (it is clean, it is airconditioned),

The food is decent and its buffet so you can have as much as you like.

Alcohol is extra but reasonably priced (limited selection)

The staff is incredible though, they manage really well to cater to the different demands of Chinese and Western divers, and the dive masters really go out of their way to show you the best of what Sipidan and Mabul have to offer.

The staff are awesome, they really make the place!


If your primary reason to visit Mabul is diving and you are looking to do it on a budget this is the best experience in the area!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank CJDEVILL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kota Kinabalu
2 reviews
Reviewed 11 February 2010

I had a fantastic trip to Sipadan with Seaventures... the staff were friendly and welcoming and you quickly settled into the wonders of Oil Rig life.

The Dive Masters were talented in spotting all the macro critters around Mabul and underneath the rig itself; Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish, Frogfish, Cuttlefish and the occasional monster turtle that we needed no help in spotting!

The highlight was most definitely seeing a Hammerhead Shark come out of the blue towards me at South Point, Sipadan! It took a few glances, checked us out for a bit and then headed back into the blue - incredible!!

Seaventures is an Dive Holiday like no other - I will return!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank cmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malaysia
1 review
Reviewed 11 February 2010

Resort staff are all very friendly.
The Dive Team are very good with good knowledge of the Dive Sites.
Food was great - serves good variety of it.

Would definitely go back again!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank askkang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanford, CA
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2010

Our family of four divers stayed on the Seaventures Dive Rig for six nights in late December, 2009. We were happy with every aspect of our stay.

Because our stay was at the start of the rainy season, the rig wasn't nearly full -- there were no more than about 15 divers each day. On the good side, because the rig can obtain Sipadan permits for at most 11 divers each day, and some of the other guests were doing courses or reserved much later than we did, we were able to go to Sipadan every day of our stay except one. (We requested one day of Mabul & Kapalai diving; we might even have gotten Sipadan that day had we wanted.)

On the down side, the visibility was considerably lower than what one can expect in the peak season. Nevertheless, over our stay we saw everything we could have hoped for: prevalent sharks and turtles, schools of barracudas, jacks, and bumphead parrotfish, frogfish, leaffish, mandarin fish, pygmy seahorses, the list goes on and on. Sipadan deserves its reputation for superb sealife, while the "muck diving" at Mabul, Kapalai, and under the rig is a lot of fun, especially for photographers.

With the tradeoff between visibility and Sipadan availability, it's hard to say whether we would have preferred a high-season visit.

The dive operation is a fairly well-oiled machine (no pun intended). We had the head divemaster, Mando, for our orientation dive under the rig and for most of our boat dives. His sense of humor was excellent, adding a dose of fun to every briefing, boat ride, and dive. He was relatively loose: briefings were brief; he showed the way and pointed out lots of interesting stuff, but he didn't keep close track of divers -- buddies were free to separate from the group if they wished. That all worked well for us, but divers wanting closer supervision might be slightly disconcerted.

Each day included either three dives at Sipadan starting at 6:00am and returning to the rig before noon (it's about a 20-minute boat ride; boats are very comfortable), or an 8:00am start with two morning and one early-afternoon dive at nearby Kapalai & Mabul. Independent diving under the rig was permitted until 8:00pm, and it was possible to buy additional Mabul or Kapalai boat dives for a very reasonable $25 per diver. (For example, we bought an extra boat dive to Mabul one day at 5:30pm when the mandarin fish come out.) The divemasters are also willing to join for under-the-rig dives if asked, for example we twice had a divemaster come along to show us some extra-special creatures.

While we did not do any courses on the rig, there were several people doing them, and reports are that the instruction is excellent.

One small warning: the crew weren't always super-careful about tank swaps. A few times we discovered non-refilled tanks before a dive, and one time a BC was loose enough that a tank came out.

In terms of accommodations, don't expect the rig to be five-star, by a long shot. They do a pretty good job with upkeep, and the rooms are clean, but it really is a renovated old oil rig, and it's tough to keep things in good shape on the water. The huge area with the dive deck, eating, and socializing zones is very nicely set up (the many "gardens" of potted plants are an especially clever touch), and a it's a wonderful place to simply hang around. There are various other public rooms but we never used them. The basic double guest rooms are just that: small and basic. However, for only about $20/day extra we booked one of the two "family suites" (a misnomer since they also sleep two). It was amazing: about eight times the size of the basic rooms, with carpeting, a king-size bed, leather couches and glass coffee table, etc. We highly recommend going for it.

The food was plentiful, mostly Malay style, lots of fresh seafood, and very good. The staff on the rig were friendly and competent. The elevator that brings you down to the water to board a boat or dive under the rig is truly unique. Overall, we very much enjoyed the atmosphere and functioning of the rig.

We can't compare the rig to the more expensive options on Mabul or Kapalai, or the cheaper option of staying in Semporna (a bit of a dumpy town) and enduring the longer boat rides each day. But if we went back, we would most certainly stay on the rig again. One suggestion (based on our positive experience and hearsay): Book as early as possible, and make sure to express well in advance your desire for Sipadan permits.

Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank widom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2009

This place is a converted oil rig just off the coast of Mabul island. They sort out transfers to and from Semporna or the airport at Tawau at no extra cost that are efficient and hassle-free.

The rig is well-maintained, it is painted bright colours and they clearly maintain it very well. Our room, whilst on the small side was immaculately clean, and the fittings all seemed quite new. Hot water shower was great after a day in the sea. The rig boasts a couple of open platforms for sitting around in the sunshine, one is covered and is where we ate our meals. There is also a games room that was being renovated whilst we were on board and a tv room, and free Wifi on deck but to be honest most of your time is spent diving, sleeping or eating. Food was fantastic - they don't let you get hungry here. For our early starts we had toast and jam with coffees at 5:30, then a breakfast spread on Sipadan island after the first dive. Lunch was ready when we got back to the rig, a buffet with a good choice of dishes and plenty of fresh fruit. Then the pastries/muffins get rolled out in the afternoon when you just start getting peckish and then a slap-up buffet for dinner - the first night we were there this was an enormous BBQ with fish/squid/beef/chicken/lamb/roasted veg. Fantastic. All hot and cold drinks are available self service all day.

The diving was very well organised, they have plenty of boats to ferry everyone off to the various dive sites. We have read about people not getting Sipadan permits at other places - well we managed to go twice whilst we were there, I think Seaventures has a decent amount of permits every day for the number of people that they can accommodate on the rig. The house reef which allows you unlimited diving suffered from poor visibility whilst we were there, but we still went down a couple of times and there is plenty of stuff down there, you just have to get pretty close to see it. Sipadan was as expected excellent diving.

I suppose it is less beautiful than the stilted villages of Mabul and Kapalai, but it's great value and how cool is staying on an oil rig?

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RSL80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guangzhou, China
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2009

This operation had gotten some bad reviews in 2008. They have taken the critisism to heart. Our bathroom had been newly painted and new fixutres put in. The dive masters were very attentive and helpful, Upon arrive my husband and I were given a briefing of the rig and the dive sites and taken on a personal orientation/check out dive. Later that day the same dive master took the two of us and two others on a boat dive. On the dive to Sipadan there were 11 divers and one dive master, which seeem a bit high to me, but he was very careful of all of us. At one point I got caught in a current and he swam out to bring me back to the group.
This is not a 5 star luxury hotel. But it is basic and clean. The diving was great and plentiful. The food was good too. Some nights a band plays. My husband sat in to jam and had a ball. If you are looking for luxury and romatic walks on the beach, this is not for you. But if you are looking to have a fun time diving, diving diving-this is the place.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Agent428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Seaventures Dive Rig

Property: Seaventures Dive Rig
Address: | off Mabul Island, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Number of rooms: 25
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

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