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Sipadan Water Village
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Reviewed 8 June 2013

We were intrigued at chance to dive Sipadan, and so booked a week at Sipadan Water Village - a serious trek to get to - 3 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, hour drive from Tawau airport and then hour boat ride to the property. Once you are there, that's it. There is literally nowhere else to go. We had paid for 7 days and left after three. The food is really a challenge, and the diving, while good, is not worth the trouble. It is perhaps a Malaysian culture but compared to other dive locations, I'd call this a 'tough love' approach to dives. For most part the guides were not particularly careful about their guests - not enough guides on dives etc. I would never go back - I'm only giving it two stars because despite the basically inhospitable situation at SWV, they have a good location. I am stunned that any reviewers recommend for non-divers - there is literally nothing to do but dive and snorkel.

Room Tip: It really doesn't matter but I would go ahead and pay for air conditioning
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank tootsierollny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 June 2013

excellent. This review has been made after my 4th time visit ~ Every 1 and half year.

This resort is definitely 90 percent for divers, but if you are non diver, you still can enjoy the beauty of celebes sea, do some activities such as snorkeling, canoeing and sunbathing. My last visit, I noticed that there already had special area for snorkeling.

Even the room is clean and cosy you hardly can enjoy it all the time because as a diver, most of the time you will be underwater or at the dive centre. Besides unlimited house reef diving, Sipadan excursion will be the most valuable moment for divers.

Friendly staffs, good food too.

Room Tip: Standard room will be just nice. Some standard room will be located far from restaurant and dive cen...
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank saltedflamboyant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2013

This was not our first trip here and sadly the service and food have gone down. Some rooms have been renovated which are nice and they come and close the windows/turn down the bed every night. What we didn't enjoy was the large tour groups, especially at meal times when they have no manners and leave lots of food on their plates uneaten! The food is targeted towards Asian taste- too much seafood (unsustainable!) and rice dishes. Having stayed at other resorts on mabul, SWV should offer more cheese/cold cuts/pasta etc. One night it was all seafood and I had to resort to eating 2 minute noodles and bread! Not really what I expect when I am paying good money.

Diving- generally the diving is fairly well organised but I don't think our dive boats left on time at 8am once. They were lacking guide dives and it showed when we had 10 people in our group one day. Also, they didn't separate divers into groups based on experience/language/camera etc. I had non english speaking divers jumping on my back whilst trying to take photos- they didn't understand the brief about taking turns etc.

The thing that upset me the most was seeing a large conch shell,coral and sea star on one bungalows balcony that some snorkellers thought would make a nice souvenir.! I reported it to the dive center and suggested they have more signs in chinese about protecting the environment.

Overall it is good value for money but needs some improvements.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BKKME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

It was our first holiday together as we were spending our honeymoon and decided to take the 3 days diving course while we are staying at here. But we went to Sipadan.com Dive Centre for our diving course.

All I can say is, I will definitely come back & stay at SWV. Not only do they offer great & welcoming service, the staffs are friendly, always greeting you with a smile when they see you. One of them even helped us find our way around the village as we need to walk to our dive centre.

The buffet they have for breakfast, lunch and dinner is fantastic. We actually look forward everyday to have our meals. Great seafood which you can order separately. If you already have a budget & not worrying about spending a few ringgits on food, then please please order the seafood they offer!

The room who stayed at was a Junior Cottage. I didn't booked the AC room as it was fully booked. But nevertheless, we had a king size bed, a big bathroom with hot shower and a great view of the sunset from our balcony.

All in all it was a pleasant first time experience and the snorkeling trip they arranged for us was lovely as well, the guides was friendly and always open to questions. Making sure that everyone have a safe snorkeling experience at Sipadan.

I would definitely come back. Especially now that we are both certified divers, will plan the next trip to dive at Sipadan, as we didn't get a chance to. Would recommend anyone going to Mabul Island to stay with SWV, a little pricy but worth it!

Room Tip: Book at least 2-3 months in advance to get the room you want, especially on peak period.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ana_Mohd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

I went to Sipadan Water Village (SWV) last year, and came back again this year. Mainly for the awesome dive sites and excellent service the dive centre provided.

This trip is equally if not better than last year as I saw the huge vortex of barracuda at Sipadan, flamboyant cuttlefish, huge frogfishes, family of crocodile fish, black tip shark, white tip shark, jawfish, turtles, leafy scorpion fish, stonefish, mandarin fish, octopus, various types of cute nudibranchs, a HUGE nudibranch, and many many other different types of sea creatures. Are you tempted yet? :D

Well if you are confident with your navigation skills, I strongly recommend doing self-dive at the house reef of SWV. Paradise 1 is better than Paradise 2 as there are more resident sea creatures there (like turtles).

The down side is, as there are no fans in the sleeping room, you will be sweating profusely if there were no wind (like my 1st night there this year). The air-conditioned room isn't any better as the room's design is not conducive to contain the air. Also, the food there SUCK. So SWV, it's time to think about renovating your chalets and to upgrade your food!

Room Tip: All rooms are roomy and airy - provided there are wind.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank paganchee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

Stayed in June 2012.

Overall an average resort with good dive center and house reef, but weak value for the money paid.

The + : Scenic resort, all above-water accommodation, friendly staff.

The - : Good food but lacks in quality at times, very aged room, uncomfortable bed, restaurant with a canteen-look.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank wcsern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2013

We are a couple who spent 3 days there on a diving package. We paid around $2,700 for the whole stay, which, in our opinion is EXTREMELY expensive. We were therefore really expecting the world, however were greatly disappointed. Here is a rough summary of our stay.


-Pick up in a decent air-conditioned van from the airport

-Carry your own luggage down the pier to the boat

-Directed to have lunch before we check in (food is average, and the buffet only has tap water included in the price. The tap water tastes awful)

-Our room isn’t entirely ready when we check in around 2

-We get harassed by some small boys who spy on us in our room at 10 in the evening (note safety of the rooms is not great as anyone can enter the balcony, even people from outside the hotel who have fishing boats). We complain to reception who find this incredibly amusing (it certainly was not amusing finding someone spying on you just before going to bed). The next day this lady from management (helpful and spoke good English said she would look into it however we were just about to check out so never heard anything).

-Diving was really good, good dive centre and nice dive masters. Shame you need to pay for equipment rental when you are paying so much for the resort stay already. Sipadan diving was amazing.

-Good evening entertainment on one occasion (dancing and singing – definitely lifted spirits).

Overall, a nice resort, lovely location in the middle of the sea, but really not worth the money. Also nothing to do if you are not diving. No phones or TV in the room. Only bad wi-fi in reception area. No TV, no fitness centre, nothing.

Would be fine if it was advertised as a 3 star resort and the price was 5 times cheaper.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MMB11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sipadan Water Village

Address: Tawau, Pulau Sipadan 91031, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price Range: £273 - £378 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 276
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

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