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“paradise island , will definitely come here again!”

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Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 October 2013

My family and i stayed at this resort between 20th okt to 23rd okt 2013. We had a splendid time thru'out our stay there. We booked at the beach villa no 15 and 16 which was right at the end of that resort. That unit was fabulous bcos we had direct access to the beach just outside our doorstep. We were also within a short stretch of beach where turtles like to lay eggs at night ! The pompom island is beautiful with a long stretch of perfectly clean beach and the water all around it is really crystal clear . Snorkelling around the resort is fun especially around its private jetty where amazingly a lot of all kinds of sea creatures could be seen making that area their natural habitat. We were able to see quite a number of green turtles around that area as well. We were lucky to be able to watch day old baby turtles being released to the sea on the 2nd night that we stayed there.

The resort is very clean and the food is really splendid!!! We came on a sunday so we were able to hv a taste of their BBQ . My son who loves scuba diving finds his experience scuba diving in mataking island which is near pompom island , an experience he will never forget.

I will definitely want to come here again !

Room Tip: beach villa 15 and 16
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank drzaikk
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 reviewResponded 9 November 2013

Thank you for bringing your family to stay with us on your vacation. We really enjoyed having all of you here with us, and welcome you to come back to visit anytime. We appreciate the kind words, and hope to see you again in the near future.

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

This resort is amazing.. high level of comfort, good spa, amazing snorkeling... but for how long?
There is a real lack of concern about coral preservation. There are also more and more wastes lying on beaches and killing coral reefs. Waste management is a scourge in this part of the world ... have a closer look at Semporna Bay. When snorkeling, you you may also have to snorkel in a green and warm (~45°C) polluated water which derived from Semporna bay... It is an ecological disaster!!!

Room Tip: garden chalets are also closed to the beach.. ;-)
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GuillaumeEmaresi
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 reviewResponded 9 November 2013

Hello Guillaume, and thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We appreciate you spending your vacation with us, but I hope you will not be offended if I correct a few of your statements. First, while I agree that Semporna's bay is in need of a Government clean up program, this does not change the temperature or color of our waters at Pom Pom Island. Our waters are in fact blue, and the temperature is a steady 27-29 degrees Celsius.
There are no ecological disasters at Pom Pom Island. In fact, quite to the contrary, we are working very hard everyday to keep our area clean, and protect its wildlife. We have a turtle conservation project, a turtle hatchery and a coral propagation project as well. We also use a continuing effort to model our resort as an Eco Resort. We use cisterns to collect rainwater, and a reverse osmosis filter to purify that water for our guests. Finally, as the resident marine biologist, I can assure you that most of the reefs around Pom Pom are very healthy for this region of the world. Thank you for visiting us, and we hope to see you again in the near future.

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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...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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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 reviewResponded 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.

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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.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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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 reviewResponded 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.

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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.

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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
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank AndyW888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Milvia123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £268 - £388 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Sipadan Pom Pom Hotel Pulau Sipadan

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