We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

“Outstanding Resort - a real secret” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Outstanding Resort - a real secret”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

We absolutely loved this resort - 2 adults, 1 teen. Stayed for 5D4N. Every staff member was friendly, helpful, efficient and professional. The scuba diving was great, the snorkelling off the beach is amazing, tons of stunning fish, rays, turtles, coral, starfish. Our deluxe bungalow was roomy, clean and with stunning ocean views through wide doors that slide back and open onto a spacious patio. Food is buffet style for every meal and always delicious, fresh and plentiful. The turtle hatching program is excellent and we watched numerous 'batches' of baby turtles released to the ocean. Totally recommend.

Room Tip: deluxe ocean front bungalow was spacious, but I believe the regular bungalows are just as good but h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ClaireBear007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StevaeW, Manager at Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Thank you Claire, for writing a review of our lovely resort. We really appreciate the kind words. The entire staff enjoyed having all three of you here, and look forward to your next visit. We will plan something special for you to welcome you back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

389 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    222
    116
    32
    11
    8
See reviews for
77
230
6
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

Stayed at the Pom Pom Island Resort together with my family. The booking of beach villas was professional and the staff is service minded. Upon arrival in Tawau, we were picked up by staff to take us the 1.5 hrs drive to Semporna. Here we were efficiently transferred to a speedboat which took us to the island in 45 minutes. Check-in worked fine and we got a pair of good villas close to the reseption area as requested. The beach villas are spacious and well equiped. Rooms were cleaned every day, but most of my family experienced bed bugs.
The resort has a very friendly and service minded staff. We were invited to release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean and go for a night search around the island to look for turtles laying eggs. Our kids (5-11) had such a good time running around the villas and on the beach.
The food at Pom Pom Island resort is OK. Do think they should offer some more varieties to meet the needs of foreign tourists.

Pom Pom was a great experience - great beaches, perfect water, sea turtles, sunshine every day.... But the hotel needs to improve on its overall standards in order to justify the high price.

Room Tip: Chose beach villa closer to the reseption area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Håkon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StevaeW, Manager at Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 9 November 2013
Hello Mickey, and thank you for taking the time to review our resort. We appreciate you and your family spending your vacation with us, and all of the kind words in your review. I would like to point out that what some of your family members experienced isn't bedbugs, but what we call no-seeum's. They are very small sandflea's. You don't feel it when they bite you. But you will feel it within the next four to six hours. They are seasonal, and usually only bite certain people. We have had one person in a couple bitten, and the spouse not bitten at all. This is one of the ways we know that they are not bedbugs, as bedbugs are not picky about who they bite. If you let us know while you are here, we can suggest an oil that stops them from biting you.
We hope your travels home were safe and peaceful, and look forward to your return to Pom Pom Island Resort in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

After seeing all the good reviews we decided to take advantage of a bank holiday to visit Pom Pom resort. I do not understand how it has attracted so many favourable reviews....
I was expecting a luxury resort on a private island and I am really not pleased to have spent so much money (550US/night for the beach villa) to stay at this poorly maintained resort.

The trip to get there: from the airport a mini van picks you up, you put your own luggage on the mini van and off you go (you basically have to do everything yourself in the resort, except cooking which was the only thing I wish they let me do since the food was way below average). The van drives you for 1 hour and half in the middle of palm trees, not a single bit of forest is left in this area which is very upsetting. The van takes you to the pier and at the pier a dusty filthy boat driven by unprofessional people waits for you. On the way to the resort the boat was literally packed with all sorts of boxes (getting a spot of grocery shopping in with the guest transfers).
During the trip the boat got stuck a few times as the sea is COVERED in plastic bags, bottles and general trash that will go in the overboard engine and get you stuck..not a pleasant feeling.

When you arrive at the resort you still see plastic trash all over the beach. The sea is covered by plastic so the plastic will get to the beach but no one in the resort will bother to pick it up.

The rooms: there is a bed, a fan and air con. In our room the air con did not work properly so we ended up waking up sweating in the middle of the night. The rooms are so dark you will have to use artificial light at midday to see anything. They are basic and definitely not worth the money you spent. We had to wait 1 hour to receive the luggage we left at the lobby (well the lobby is actually the restaurant).
The beach villas are literally on the beach, taking space away from where the turtles are meant to lay their eggs.
We had to pay everything in advance but I discovered from other people who refused to pay in advance they paid at the resort.

In the bathrooms: the amenities are atrocious and it looks like they have been used by the previous occupants (and the ones before that). There is a gross plastic curtain as shower separator..

The food: chinese buffet style. There is plenty of it but it is disgusting. It all tastes the same.
There are hardly any fruits, only watermelon, melon, pineapple. When I was there they had some bananas as well but they were green so ...you could not eat them until the last day.

The beach: there is plastic everywhere. The lounges are broken and if you want a towel they will tell you to go back to your room and get the ones provided there. Every time you go anywhere you need to carry your towels, your water etc etc because there is no service.

The stuff: the only stuff seen is the one of the restaurant, they are all friendly.

The diving: it is managed very well. The only thing working properly.
Bare in mind sipadan island is 1 hour and half away by boat from pom pom and you need to apply for the permit to visit it months in advance. Going to Pom pom does not mean seeing Sipadan. There are fish and you can easily spot turtles (among the plastic of course).

Other issues: there is no phone reception from the rooms and one day we were left with no interent and phone reception anywhere on the island.

In conclusion: I will go back to the Maldives next time! I honestly find Pom Pom a waste of an island which should be kept in better conditions.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ale2gennaio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StevaeW, General Manager at Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hello ale2gennaio,
I am sorry you didn't experience the wonderful experiences at Pom Pom Island Resort, that everyone else seems to have enjoyed. I was out of the country during your visit, and wished that I had been here to help you understand some of these situations. After reading your response, I find several of the comments inaccurate, and to be fair, would like to set the record straight.
First, Pom Pom has never been advertised as a "Luxury Resort". We are a Beach Resort, and so are equipped as such. Our villas are very nice, and extremely comfortable, but they are not five star, as we've made clear. Furthermore, I have never had a guest tell me that he or she needed to load their own luggage during one of our transfer's, and definitely have never seen this take place. I am wondering what it is you think Pom Pom Island Resort should do about the amount of Palm trees planted in the countryside of the mainland? However, as a side note, many countries I have lived in, cut the timber down, and never replace it. At the very least, Malaysia replants trees, and has done a fine job with this.
I'm not sure how educated you are to living on a remote island, however, most guests are pleasantly surprised that we can offer most of the dishes that we do, being that we are so remote. Finding ways to get fresh food items to this location does mean we will have to put a few things on the transfer boat from time to time. However, if you have an expertise in this field, we are always open to suggestions. furthermore, yours are the first comments I have ever read about one of our boats getting stuck because of rubbish in the ocean. However, just like the palm tree's, I am wondering what exactly you think Pom Pom Island Resort's responsibility is for the litter problems of Semporna? This is a situation in the mainland, that we have no control over. It is also disturbing that you would print such a comment about the resort not picking up rubbish, as we clean the beaches several times per day. So that is a tactical inaccuracy on your part, which undermines most of what you have posted here. Staying with this thought of inaccuracy, our reception is not in the restaurant, it is on the other side of the building, and our beach villas are not right on the beach. You can look at pictures of the beach from the jetty, both on our website, and facebook page, and clearly can not see the beach villas. Besides being the resort manager, I am also a marine biologist. I head our hatchery, and run the entire turtle conservation project here. Point of fact, I can say with great confidence that this is one of the most successful turtle hatchery's in this entire geographical region, if not the entire continent. So once again, I am wondering what you are basing your statements on, when you say that there is no place for the turtles to lay their eggs? We had a record 74 nests this season, and that is a direct statement to the contrary.
Now, while food is a subjective subject, we do offer daily freshly baked breads and pastries, fresh fruits and a fresh salad at every meal. Since we experience seasonal guests from different countries, it is our intention to try to prepare food accordingly. From the middle of September, to the end of November is a high season for our Chinese guests, and therefore we will serve more Chinese cuisine. July and August are a high season for our European guests, and the food choices will reflect that during those months.
Finally, the Malaysian government protects Sipadan Island vigorously, and there is no guarantee that you will dive Sipadan no matter which resort you stay in. They only allow a fixed number of divers to go to Sipadan per day, and all divers must enter a lottery to be included. Although we don't advertise diving in Sipadan, we will try our best to get you a permit if one is available within the dates of your visit.
I hope this helps, and good luck to you in the Maldives.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

I went with my family through Sabah mid of October. At the end we stayed 3 nights at Pom Pom Island. The island is really Paradise. We had a Water Villa which was really outstanding. The Island, the transparent water and marine life, the beach, the view...really outstanding. The terrace on the water villa is fantastic. I saw some comment before complaining about no TV or no internet.
That's the reason why I go there. You can go down into the water from your terrace which is really nice. You can see stingrays, turtles and all kind of marine life from your terrace.
I saw also many complains about the food. Yes the food is in most of the cases very Chinese but it its very good and the variety was outstanding and always different at lunch and dinner.
We all including my kids enjoyed the food.

We also went diving which was another highlight. The Dive center was really great and so nice to my kids. Especially my young son which did two Discovery Dives was really happy!

All in all a really fantastic place to stay and to relax.

By the way, the SPA at the resort is also very very good and not expensive. Surprisingly not many people are going there.....Big thanks to the staff which was so nice and friendly.

So now the reason why I cannot give 5 stars. I heard that GM was out of town during our stay which was clearly visible. When we arrived at Pom Pom Island some local guy was waiting for us, no welcome to Pom Pom Island or something else. Obviously the guy was in charge for Pom Pom Island as the GM was out stationed. No emotions at all whenever we saw him. The same when we left. Furthermore If you are in charge I don't think it is appropriate to run around with an rundown Manchester United Shirt. You always had the feeling that he either don't like his job or that he has not really interests in the customer service.
The other reason why I don't give 5 stars was the fact that we had a big storm at one night. I was told that this was one of the strongest storms in many years, many trees broke over the island and big flower pots were thrown into the sea. That is mother nature and has nothing to do with Pom Pom island.
Nevertheless, fact was the the spend almost 3 hours in this night to fight with all available towels against the water which came through every windows and especially through the door. The
whole house was shaking and even part of the roof of other water villas came down. Again that is not the fault of Pom Pom Island. Issue was that nobody of staff of Management checked after the storm if everything is ok especially on the water villas which was most exposed to the storm. Even next morning nobody showed up to check. I asked if they can replace immediately the beach and bath towels as we had to use all of them against the water but nothing happened until the normal housekeeping came . I would have expected that somebody would have shown up especially after such an storm.

Nevertheless we enjoyed our stay but I wanted to highlight these topics as it impacts the overall impression.

Room Tip: Choose Water Villa 1-3, not 4 or 5 as no shade at all
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AndyW888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

If you are looking for entertainment, pubs, kids clubs and TV then this is not the place for you. If on the other hand you are looking for a “Robinson Crusoe” type holiday with excellent snorkeling and diving then this is it!
First off let me just say that even though it is called “Sipidan Pom Pom Island, it is nowhere near Sipidan and it is also highly unlikely you will get a permit to go there. That said, who cares, because the diving and snorkeling around Pom Pom is superb. We did 3 dives around Pom Pom and have never seen do many different corals and fish, we swam with Turtles, we saw Octopus, Moray Eels, Squid, Barracuda etc and tons of colourful reef fish.
The accommodation was lovely. We stayed in the wooden beach villas, a stones throw from the stunning turquoise ocean. The villas are clean and spacious, the bathrooms could do with a revamp though and the aircon in one of our villas only worked sometimes. The management would do well if they could put mosquito nets over the beds, it would make for a more peaceful sleep.
The restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful. They even baked us our own wholemeal bread, as we did not want the white bread on offer. The food is predominantly Chinese, they do try to put a few western dishes in but more varied cuisine would be better.
So go to Pom Pom if you want excellent snorkeling and diving as that is exactly what you will get, there are no bars and loud entertainment and movies etc this is a serene laid back relaxed island where swimming with Turtles is just about the best entertainment you could ask for.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Milvia123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kuala lumpur
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

We have been to many resorts all over the world - Australia, Hawaii, Caribbean, Asia - but Pom Pom tops them all. It is not just the setting and incredible marine world but also the warmth and friendliness of staff and the quality of services and food. All too often, when you check into a resort, there are always issues or incidents that make you wonder if you made the right choice. There was no such problem or blemish for me and my party of seven consisting of two couples and three friends. Our young members had a great time diving and showing off the beautiful photos of the fishes, turtles and corals they snapped; we old timers swam at our private beaches (yes, the resort is so well planned and uncluttered that you virtually own a large stretch of beach and water front with no one else to infringe on your privacy!); and at lunches and dinners we stuffed ourselves with wonderfully fresh food and fruits and drank ourselves silly - their wine cellar is better than many found in five star hotels in Singapore or Hongkong. Truly a gem and great value for money - we will be returning soon!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank keghee2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013

I spent 4 days in Pom Pom island. Besides the fact that the entire resort is totally run down and badly needs renovation (not worth half of what you pay for it), here are 10 annoying things about it, i.e. reasons not to go:
1) The food is horrible. Mostly chinese food (as the clientele is also mostly chinese). But in case you are chinese or like chinese food, I met a chinese guy there who told me that the food was horrible by his standards as well
2) The rooms are spacious but basic to use an euphemism. You pay for a 5 stars resort and all you get is a decent bed and air-conditioning (no TV, no internet, ...)
3) I found quite ridiculous that, after paying EUR400/night, they charge RM10 (EUR2!) for things such as bike rental or in-room internet
4) Even more annoying is to find price lists for everything (see photos attached... had to take them since someone might not believe). For example, they stick a price tag of RM50 to the bottle opener, and even add it to the price list! Or, in the bathroom, they show the price list for stuff like shampoos, and even the hair-dryer!! (and on the hair dryer they wrote "pom pom island" with a marker!!) I wonder, do they have special promotion for professional thieves in this place?!?
5) One more... They'll charge you RM1200 if you misplace a sunbed and it can't be found again! I wonder, how on earth can that happen?
6) There are literally 6 sunbeds on the beach. Just 6, for 40 villas or so. No comment.
7) There are 2 beach bars, but they are empty. No waiters, no bottles... They are just standing there but not actually used. You have to go to the main house for everything
8) Every afternoon, a guy was operating a chain-saw just beside the main house, near the beach. Very relaxing.
9) There's absolutely nothing to do in the evening. They have a projector but don't use it (would have been nice to watch a movie...), no games, no music, no bars. NOTHING. One day we found a small room with a pool table, but guess what... Only 7 balls to play with (maybe because those balls are not on the price list...)
10) Are you still reading? Are you still looking for more reasons not to go??? Alright... EVERYTHING in this place looks and smells old.

On the other hand: 2 reasons why our stay was not a total nightmare:
1) The sea is fantastic, especially for divers. But you can chose a different (less overpriced) resort to enjoy that
2) The staff was really friendly and helpful, they even arranged for a separate boat for us on the way back to Semporna (so that we didn't have to wait for 3 hours in the airport). The staff at the diving center was also awesome, very experienced and professional

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank GilandCintia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Sipadan
23.3 mi away
Sipadan Inn 2
Sipadan Inn 2
#2 of 7 in Semporna
3.5 of 5 bubbles 71 reviews
18.8 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
3.5 of 5 bubbles 255 reviews
20.8 mi away
City Inn Semporna
City Inn Semporna
#5 of 7 in Semporna
3.0 of 5 bubbles 31 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.7 mi away
The Reef Dive Resort
The Reef Dive Resort
#1 of 1 in Mataking
4.5 of 5 bubbles 385 reviews
18.5 mi away
Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort
0.3 mi away
Celebes Beach Resort
Celebes Beach Resort
#4 of 6 in Semporna
4.0 of 5 bubbles 91 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa

Property: Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Address: A-2-1 Jalan Karamunsing | Lorong Kapital, Block A, 2nd Floor, Pulau Sipadan 88000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful peaceful, paradise island resort with PADI Dive Centre, dive packages available with luxury accommodation. Enjoy diving the 6 nearby islands surrounding Pom Pom Island, amazing macro plus beautiful coral fish and turtles. Resort has range of luxury detached beach and water villas constructed for every comfort. Packages include 3 meals per day plus snacks, juices, coffee and tea, etc in our famous traditional Malaysian restaurant. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Odigeo and Hotels.com so you can book your Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sipadan Pom Pom Hotel Pulau Sipadan

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing