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“Not a resort for honeymooners. Great for diving. Room below average”

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Sipadan Water Village Resort
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Reviewed 24 June 2013

Rooms need to be updated. There are sign of wear and tear. For honeymooners, suggest that you try SMART next door to Sipadan Water Village instead. It is more organized.

Food is boring. Nothing appetizing after a great dive. It is not delicious at all. I was eating so that I have enough energy to continue my diving activities.

There were lots of rubbish floating from the nearby illegal village. You get kids in the boat begging you for money and food. The villages would walk up to their beach front to pee and poo. The wave would wash their poo away and the current would carry to the nearby Sipadan Water Village and SMART resort. Disgusting sight.

The illegal villages would catch the Manta Ray, crabs from the sea and sell it to visitors who stay at the near by backpackers place. It is also very disturbing to watch an illegal village man chopping up 5 Murray eels to cook and feed his families.

Sabah authority should do something about all these illegals who has invaded this paradise place and does a lot of harm to the surrounding environment.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank MalaysiaGals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2013

We did not dive during our stay in SWV, we just joined one of the snorkeling trips which we really enjoyed too. As we went during December, the weather was rather unpredictable. On our second day it was rainy for the whole day and the scenery wasn't as good as what we normally see from postcards. However on the last day the sun finally reappeared and the whole resort was really beautiful. The stay was rather pricey for Malaysian standard but the price is pretty much the same for resorts at the same region.

I had the massage service and I really liked it. However I think the service was also overpriced (RM 140 for 1 hour plus).

However I thought the food at the resort was really bad. They had good ingredients like crab, beef etc but they were really badly cooked for Malaysian standard. Another strange thing is the waitress at the restaurant seemed to selectively provide cut mangoes to certain guests and we had to request for them, maybe I could just be over-sensitive. So if you happen to stay in this restaurant, remember to request for cut mangoes after your lunch.

We also had a walk at the island linked to the resort and it was a bit disheartening to see the villagers living in such conditions and probably the resort could do something about it if possible... One of the villagers even came by our chalet one day by his little wooden boat and asked for some food and money, and we were warned earlier by the resort that it would result if more kids coming to ask for money and so we chose to ignore them...

Overall, not a bad stay but probably we won't be back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a sea view instead of an island view one.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hazel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2013

15 of us from Peninsular Malaysia ( family and friends) decided to have a short break . As everyone else enjoy swimming, they were unanimous about having the holiday in SWVR. I decided to tag along although I was worried about how to keep myself occupied.
It was truly fascinating to see the resort as we approached by speed boat from Semporna. As we reached the jetty, a group of SWVR staff were lined up at the landing area to welcome us.
All the wooden chalets were built on stilts in the waters of Pulau Mabul and connected by wooden walkways. The chalets were reasonably well maintained, although the wooden boards of the walkway shows signs of wear and tear. Although I do not swim and therefore snorkeling and diving is out, it was sheer joy to look into the crystal clear water and observe the many types of fishes and even some turtles from our chalets. I was up early to watch the sun rise as well as staying to watch the sunset. It was so relaxing to be there practically surrounded by the sea. However, we decided to explore the island (Mabul) and besides finding other resorts on the island, we also saw the villagers, some of whom even lived their entire lives on little boats.
While the parents were out fishing in their own boat, their children spend their time rowing in even smaller boats around SWVR. After seeing how little they have, it makes me grateful for whatever I have been blessed with.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank StanleyGoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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  • 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
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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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Additional Information about Sipadan Water Village Resort

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: £276 - £383 (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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