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“Dissapointing”

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Sipadan Water Village Resort
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Reviewed 6 July 2013

We decided to stayed at two different resorts. Three nights at the Seaventures Dive Rig, which surpassed all of our expectation and five nights at the disappointing Sipadan Water Village resort (SWV).

We paid $140 per night more for the Sipadan Water Village than for the dive rig, and if the room and cottage would be the only difference then the $140 might be justified. But since the Seaventures Dive Rig was just a lot better in general we think that the Sipadan Water Village is completely overpriced.
If we would go again, we would stay 7 nights at the Seaventures dive rig and the last day and the last night before flying back (when we have to stop diving) maybe in some other resort with the beautiful cottages. Anything other than Sipadan Water Village.

The dive centre was a bit of a disappointment in organisation and service. Don't expect great food or much variety left after the first 30 minutes of each meal time and also don't expect engaged staff. But you will get begging children.

We wrote up more under http://mnm.at but the gist of it is that the Sipadan Water Village web site sets false expectations and is simple a mediocre resort in a beautiful location, but with prices for a luxury resort.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank mnm_travelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 July 2013 via mobile

If you wanna go Sipadan, you have to stay at least 5 Days 4 Nights until your turn to get the permit to the Island. But we only stay 4 days 3 nights so doesn't get the chance to go Sipadan. Nice resort, good service, fascinating view from M105 room which is facing the sea. Just the snorkeling scene not variety enough and looks almost same so I'm a bit disappointed. But I still wanna go for second times for diving package in near future. Also, the sea a bit polluted with rubbish and if have someone help to clean it up that will be good. Also please be more strict to those stepping on the corals, they are dying fast. T-T

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank lewiscarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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: £264 - £365 (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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