This place is amazing - totally blew me away. My piece of paradise...
The staff were attentive from the moment we were picked up by a pre-arranged transport with the resort from our inn in Semporna to the jetty and all the way to the wonderful reception given by the friendly and attentive staff when we arrive at the resort. They really did go all out to make us feel warm and welcome and this is from the word go till the time we step off the island - they waved us off till quite a distance!
The rooms have wide open decks with lounge chairs and opened off on two sides plus windows. This made it constantly airy with sea breeze and gives an amazing view to wake up to. The waters are so clear that you just want to step off your deck and into it.
The only downsides to my stay: The water pressure in the shower was lacking, pillows too soft thus 3 stars for sleep and no laundry service available. Overall amenities in the room are the standard fare, nothing any more spectacular than what it says, but the view compensates the shortcomings.
As a place for my first foray into snorkelling, I'm told by my more snorkelling-experienced travelling companions that I was very lucky to have done it here as the number of corals and sea life I saw totally outnumbered what they have seen in their many other snorkelling trips in other locations around Malaysia added up.
We were never given less attention as non-divers by the staff at the dive center. They were absolutely experienced, and friendly at all times. You get free-flow coffee and snacks at the dive center for whenever you are taking a break from when you get back from your dives or snorkelling. We loved hanging/lazing around on the deck at the dive center, talking with the dive staff or just among ourselves, till evening - you get an amazing sunset while watching the tide comes in. Absolute serenity, total bliss! As our stay were rather short, our chance of getting a permit to snorkel at sipadan was more than halved. Each day only 120 permits are issued out and this is shared amongst the dive centers in resorts from Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, as well as independent dive centers from the mainland in Semporna. So it's akin to winning a jackpot. In the end we didn't get the permit but were told our chances increase if we were staying a little longer (we stayed 3D/2N). We went there aware of this fact as the resort told us beforehand but we chose to take a gamble. Still we were not disappointed as we were taken to Kapalai and it was still amazing. We also did some snorkelling around the resort reefs on our own and another trip to one part off Mabul with a guide.
Food was good at all meals. In fact, we were unusually surprised at how good they were! The mini-mart even have a small mail-box by the counter and they will sell you the stamps right there if you choose to send a postcard. We sent a postcard to a friend in Australia...
There are lots of places to just hang around and watch the reefs around the place even in the evenings and nights. We saw 2 large turtles swam into the area next to the open-air restaurant on both nights. Were told they were almost semi-residents of the resort :) You see different sea vreatures coming out around the reefs at the resort during the night.
There are not many places I've travelled to that I'd say I'd go back to but this is one I will want to go back to over and over again - even just to laze on the deck at the dive center after a great dive/snorkelling or just laze in your own room with that amazing view...Well worth the long travelling from Kuala Lumpur, very well worth it!
Price wise, we got a great deal from the resort during one of those travel fairs. Even without the package, I think it's still a steal for what I can get there. Great people, amazing view, fantastic food - a real holiday where I can leave my world behind.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sipadan Water Village is a resort built entirely over the water on stilts. In its design, Sipadan Water Village has achieved near utopia in its layout, splendid water cottage accommodations with flowered sidewalks, wonderfully prepared Asian and Continental cuisine, and impeccable and personable service! The dive program is comparable to none as everyone at Sipadan Water Village has an attitude and passion for what the sea has to offer. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sipadan Water Village Hotel Pulau Sipadan
- Sipadan Water Village Pulau