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“Pretty Perfect”

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Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Pretty Perfect”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Pom Pom Island is paradise. We had a free head massage on arrival. We stayed in a water villa for 2 nights (right at the end of the jetty) which has a private balcony/steps into the sea with swim in/swim out snorkelling!! On our second day the water was so still I don't think there was a limit to visibility. We dived most days and the visibility was great, water warm and micro life fantastic (but be warned, there isn't much macro life except turtles). Pom Pom has too many turtles (joke). Its fairly tough to avoid seeing at least one per day, on our penultimate day we took a kayak around the island and were surrounded by 4 turtles surfacing and diving around the boat! We managed to arrange an extra long stay last minute in order to get a pass to Sipidan Island, it is definitely worth the stay and cost. Sipidan has the best diving I have ever seen.

The staff were generally very helpful but sometimes their imperfect grasp of the English language was a barrier. I read some negative reviews about the food being just Chinese, this was not our experience. Although I love Chinese food, I enjoyed the food throughout our stay, my partner, Christine, enjoyed it but felt it was a little processed/similar after 5 days.

We went on a turtle walk where you get to see how seriously they take their conservation and on our last day we saw some baby turtles being released into the surf. Very special.

Room Tip: Definitely choose a water villa, particularly the ones right at the end of the jetty (ours was a ...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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397 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    32
    11
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
120 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

I have been travelling for a number of yours and even though i don't consider myself as a picky or moany type there is usually something at least very small that just isn't right. In this case we were actually even trying to come up with something with no luck. Pom pom resort is simply perfect. It was such a treat to stay there and we loved every bit. I will break our feedback into points to hopefully make it more helpful/ easy to scan through:
- transfers: very efficient, on time, took shorter than expected
- arrival: smooth check in process, we arrived earlier and our room was not ready. We were offered some snacks and desserts and within an hour the room was ready (before the official check in time)
- the room: we had a beach villa and it was just perfect. it is so private. Initially we were disappointed that the water villa was not available but in the end we were happy on the beach. Like I said, it help very private. The villa itself is lovely. There is a porch at the front and back. The one at the back had lovely sun loungers plus two more closer to the beach on the sun. The bathroom was large with big shower. The living area was very spacious with a coffee table and plenty storage space. It was so blissfully quiet. We loved the little touches, like the flipflops at the fron and back of the villa and the umbreall in case it rains.
- the main restaurant was a joy to spend time in. Very airy and spacious. Even though we were there in the peak season (Christmas) they set up tables giving each couple/ family a lot of space. The atmosphere at every meal was lovely. The staff were very friendly and helpful.
- Food: wonderful. Great selection, everything fresh, variety so even though we stayed a few days we got to try a lot of new things at ever meal.
- Dive shop - PERFECT! Great equipment, well maintained,great dive instructors, boats. Everything was perfectly organised. The guys helping with the equipment were incredible. The morning dives would start after breakfast (meet at 8.10am, leave at 8:30), involve a dive, then a little break on the island or the boat with tea/ coffee and snacks and another dive. We also did afternoon and night dives. It was incredible. I will stop myself from writing about the diving itself. It is a must see- simply unspeakable.
- check out - we needed to check out at 11 and our boat was scheduled for 1pm. We went snorkling in the morning and had lunch before leaving so managed to enjoy the last few hours

All and all, we didn't want to leave. It was an absolutely perfect break. There was absolutely nothing missing and we can't think of a way to make it a better experience. We just want to go back as soon as possible.

Room Tip: Go for a beach villa
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Srubka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014

We had the most marvelous holidays in Asia. We enjoyed very much our 11 days stay on the paradise island (dec.23rd-Jan 2nd)
My kids and husband really enjoyed their dives. Thank you, Thank you to Ray, Wang, Jessica and Virgilio to take care of them and to let them discovered the beauty of the sea. You are wonderful!!
Even if you don't dive, snorkeling on the lagoon is very nice and very rich on turtles, lionfishes..... Everyday, you could see 20 turtles swimming in the lagoon.

Beach villa was fantastic and neat. Nice view. We enjoyed the time we spent on the deck looking at the sea.

Food was very good, Thank you to the chef for the wonderful DONUTS we ate everyday.
Great staff, very helpful and always there. Thank you Mr barman for your Best capeirina!
We also had a Nice new year Ève and staff made their Best for us, good ambiance!

We already missed Pompom Island and are very sad to come back in Shanghai on the pollution....
We hope we'll be back soon......

From the french family........ All our Best.

Room Tip: Beach bungalow
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gigi D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We have just stayed at Pom Pom island for 3 nights and had a wonderful time. The arrival was pretty special as whilst walking from the boat to the reception we saw a turtle, ray, eel and plenty of fish from the jetty. This was to be a pointer for our trip as we saw plenty of sea-life both whilst snorkelling and also diving. My wife completed her PADI course at the Dive centre where Wong was an excellent and very patient instructor. I am an experienced diver and enjoyed the boat dives to different islands in the mornings and then a closer boat dive in the afternoon.

The accomodation was great - we stayed in a garden room as all of the water bungalows have been closed after the shooting in November. We felt very safe the whole time we were there and some Malaysian special forces troops landed on the island each afternoon and made them selves discrete whilst ready to guard us for the evenings!

The staff were excellent, very well trained and very friendly. The food was good, buffet style but with enough variety that we did not get bored. The dive centre staff were all excellent, very professional and really made sure we were having a great time.

all in all a great place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Phoenixtom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lubstorf, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2013

We enjoyed five great days at Pom Pom Island Resort.
You leave the boat , look into the clear water , see colourful fish, blue starfish,
nice corals and then friendly staff gives you a heartly welcome.
That is it !
The beach villa was a dream. You could sit on your own terrace or in front of the
Villa and enjoy the fantastic sea view. Only a few steps and you were in the white
sand and then the clear , warm water.
We enjoyed it every day.
Snorkeling, kayaking, walking around the small island all is possible.
The food was exellent. You got a wide variety of Asian style but you could get
Western food, too.
Our special wish were pineapples. Once told we got an extra plate every day.
THANK YOU.
Here dreams become true.
This place is great , it is a paradise.

Brigitte and Peter from Germany.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank PeterundBrigitte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We had a most wonderful stay at PomPom! Beautiful island with fantastic snorkeling and diving! It was amazing, just off the beach in front of our villa we met sea turtles and all the fish you can imagine. The food was good and the staff was most welcoming. We loved it!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Cecilia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonn, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Food was very bad - the whole resort seems to be run under cost optimization criteria. Cheap food, no extras, no nicely prepared tables dining facilities, rooms etc.
The first thing we were asked to do when we received our welcome drink was to read through a 4 pages manual that contained all the things we were not allowed to do on the island, in the room etc. and how the kids should behave (no running, no turtle excursion for kids younger than X years etc.).
The resort appears pretty old and not well maintained - as the music they are playing the whole day in the lunch/dinning areal: 60s - 80s pop songs.
The service staff was amazing and they were definitely doing a great job - but without the right management and investment in the little things as well as improving the food quality this was still not compensating for the negative experience we made. This could be a great place (as you can tell visiting the Spa which is very nice and organized with a lot of passion) but for us the whole experience was very disappointing and not on the same level with resorts we have visited in Asia before.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VisitorfromGermany1
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, 15 November 2013
Hello VisitorfromGermany. I would like to take a moment to address the statements you have posted about our resort. First, I have worked in resorts all around the world, for almost two decades, and I can tell you from experience, that all resorts are run "under cost optimization criteria". This is a reality of the industry, and operation costs sore as prices go up. That being said, our food is not cheap, and many of our guests are surprised we can serve some of the dishes we do, being that we are on a very remote island. We offer many extra's, such as the best wine cellar in the region, a cooked to order chef station right in the restaurant, an excellent assortment of cocktails in both our house bar, and the new sunset bar on the beach, a la carte choices including lobster and tiger prawns, made to order crepes and other deserts and fresh fruit and salad at every meal. That sounds like a lot of extras to me.
As for the list of do's and do nots, they include things like educating guests not to walk on the corals, not to touch the lionfish, be respectful of other guests at meal time by using manners. This is for you, and every other guest who came here to have a civil environment while having their meals. Most of our guests are very happy about this.
Furthermore, this resort does not appear old. It was just constructed in 2008. It is constructed in traditional Malaysian architecture. We assume most guests come to Malaysia to see, feel and learn about the Malaysian culture. And we play music from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and the 2000's, as we have a very diverse clientele from many countries around the world, and need to play something for everyone.
Finally, I would like to close with one last point. This is an Eco Beach Resort. We are advertised as such, and not a luxury five star resort. Well over 95% of our guests rate us very highly, and love every aspect of this resort. All of our staff give great effort to take very good care of you, and that is why we are rated so highly.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 
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Also Known As:
Sipadan Pom Pom Hotel Pulau Sipadan

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