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“Terribly disappointing”

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Sipadan Water Village
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Terribly disappointing”
Reviewed 15 August 2013

At the Dive Centre, there is a big board read "5 Star PADI Dive Resort". I utterly disagree with the signage given that the resort layout, service level, food, and staffs for the matter are terribly disappointing given that it should be a 5 star resort. Me and my friends were allocated the last chalet, which is very far away from the dining area, dive centre and snorkling centre. Understand that that pretty much depending on luck but the layout is terrible. Food variety hardly varies throughout the 5 days 4 nights stays, the staffs blocked off the entrance to the dining area when the area should be opened for meal for their preperation, eventhough the meal time had started, with no urgency noted. Staffs are obviously not trained to be a 5 star resort staff, communication between staffs were seen shouting accross bridges. Staffs were hardly seen with a smile. The day my group went diving in Sipadan, after the 1st dive we waited for half an hour for breakfast to arrive. No lunch were catered to the island, unlike how other resort practice, divers were brought back to resort for lunch at 2:30pm, with 3 small plates of dishes reserved for 8 very hungry divers, together with 9 plates of rice. When approached staff, she gave a cold look and replied "that's all that's left". Until further complaints were made, then only another 2 hot dishes were cooked and served to the group of divers. Overall experience with the resort was terrible, will never consider going back again.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dareal Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Sri Kembangan, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Went there for 4D3N with a group of friends. The resort is a little run down but it's location and the sea view is mesmerising. The rooms would need some uplifting but generally it's clean and comfortable.
Services were good and the staff were friendly and quick to help. The buffet was below average because of the limited choices and some food was often too salty.
Request drinking water from the staff if you need more than the daily top up 1.5L.
I dived with the resort and had a pretty enjoyable time with the dive master. There were 7 of us in a group, including 1 Canadian couple. As I've just gotten my OWD, my diving skill is still poor. The dive master, Andyryan, was very patient with me and took good care of all of us in the group. He always ensure that we were around him.
Before each dive, he would briefed us. He has good interpersonal skill and we enjoyed having our dive with him.
Apart from that, the dive centre is well organised. On day one, we were given a locker and the diving gears. We were briefed on how to keep our gears and what to do before and after each dive. Usually, before the dives we just needed to bring our weight belts, masks, fins and wetsuits. After the dives, we had to wash and placed the BCD and regulators on the assigned racks.
There are light food and drinks for divers too.
There are artificial reefs at the house reef. During our check dive at the house reef, it was interesting that there's a huge turtle at a boat wreckage and some other fish.
Overall, this is a good resort and dive centre.

Room Tip: Try to get rooms facing to the east and starts with the letter 'S' instead of 'M'. T...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank s1ngee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mnm_travelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lewiscarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MalaysiaGals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hazel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melaka, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StanleyGoh
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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