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“Fantastic resort for divers and relaxation”

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Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic resort for divers and relaxation”
Reviewed 30 October 2013

Had a fabulous and memorable holiday there.

Great customer service.
Resort staff was friendly and warm.
Spacious villa accommodation - felt like 2nd home. Love the private sun bathing balcony with comfy deck chairs to stretch out on. Overlooking the marine life at the foot of the villa. Watched the turtles coming up for air and swimming around the villa.

Scuba dive crew was excellent with patient and knowledgeable Scuba Dive master guided trips.
Powerful and fast speedboats with friendly crew to take us to the destinations inclusive of Sipadan island diving/snorkeling.

Peaceful and restful - scenic sunsets, infinity horizons, aquamarine blue clear waters, clear skies at night, breezy balmy nights.

Sumptuous buffet spread of meals. Food and drinks available - both local and international selection. Multi-language dive books from Japanese, Korean, English....

Have been back multiple times and each time is the people and warm hospitality that made the difference. From airport pickup to resort and back.

Highly recommended resort.:)

Room Tip: For scuba divers, request for the villas closer to the Dive center. For honeymoon couples, there ar...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank J W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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540 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Its not easy to get here but once you arrive, you will understand why you had to pay so much. Kapalai is in the middle of nowhere and usually tourist are not inclined to come out here unless you are a diver. Yes this place is expensive but thats because everything must be brought in from mainland. There is no tv, no aircon but it didn't bother us. I'm just too happy to turn off my phone and enjoy my snorkel and 5 dives everyday. There is no need for aircon as the sea breeze is very cooling at night while you sip on your beer and you wake up to birds chirping in the morning! What more can you ask for? The waters are very clear, the marine life is amazing, you gotta try it. You see ALOT of marine life. All of my friends who saw the picture couldn't believe this is Malaysia. Food wise, don't expect too much from it but hey, you are diving after all. Can't have the best of everything right?

Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank susanko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
malaysia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

One ofthe best and beautiful Resort in Semporna, the amazing marine life, crystal clear water very cgood for honeymooner diver, chill up with the amazing view of the sunrise and sunset,
.... price you pay worth the nature beauty, come with friends that enjoying the beauty of the marine life and the uniquely culture in the small town of semporna. dont miss the sea gippsy of the sea....

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Naturetrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2013

Prior to my trip, I'd been told that SKDR--although pricey--was the best place to stay at out of all the resorts in the area. Per diver, it was approximately SGD1400 for 5D4N (not including air fare and other stuff like dive gear rental). I must say: I had absolutely no regrets and felt that it was well worth every penny spent.

I booked my trip via Asia Diving Vacation. If you're not too sure about how to go about planning your dive trip, you might want to consider them as they're very professional and on the ball.

From the moment I touched down in Tawau, I was taken care of. It's about a 1.5-hour car ride from Tawau airport to Semporna jetty and the boat ride from the jetty to SKDR is about 45 minutes.

Everyone was very warm and welcoming when we arrived at the resort. Check-in was very smooth and we got a great room right next to this open area where we'd swim (you can also snorkel here) when the tide was high around 5pm.

About the room, it was massive. I loved the space! With one queen bed and one super single bed, you could definitely fit 4-5 people in there so imagine how 2 people would feel. The bathroom was gorgeous. There's this window right beside the bathtub where you can see the water below. Loads of fish!

The sun deck was also very nice. Lots of space to dry your dive gear/whatever else and there are two sunbeds too. The view was amazing, just the open sea. Don't worry, your neighbours won't be able to see you because the deck is blocked at the sides. Also, from the deck, you can see plenty of turtles, rays, and fish just hanging out below. At night, you can hear the turtles come up for a breath or two and the stargazing you can get done here is unbelievable.

**By the way, you might experience strong winds/storms at night and the noises you'll hear can get pretty... creepy. Don't worry too much, even though you feel like the whole house might get blown away, it's very very safe.**

As for the resort in general, you'll appreciate how many lounge chairs/hammocks/spots to just sit and chill out at there are. They're all over the place. One must-see area is the "island", which is basically an extended sun deck that has a long walkway bridge leading to it. Here you can see the clear blue waters and the creatures up close. Great for more sun tanning and photo opps. In the evening, it goes without saying that a beer or two here isn't such a bad idea.

Now for the diving. Sipadan was absolutely amazing. The best dive ever. We saw countless bumpheads, turtles, sharks, and barracudas. The viz was incredible! It's quite an early dive so be prepared to get up around 4am for this. But it's really worth it. The other sites nearby, like Mabul, really aren't that great though. People really do come here just to dive Sipadan. But as mentioned by many others, divers go on a permit-basis so check with the friendly folks at the dive centre. Speaking of which, the dive crew are very professional and they'll look after you so you'll be in good hands.

The food at SKDR isn't that fantastic but it's alright if you're not very very picky (you can't be pickier than I am, I am already pretty spoilt). The bar isn't that exciting so don't expect much for F&B options here. If you're a tech addict, there is WiFi (yes, even in the middle of the ocean) but signal is quite weak so don't bother with your gadgets too much.

I definitely want to come back!

Room Tip: Request for a room away from the main dining hall.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Samantha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Location, chalet, diving ... all perfect ... BUT very expensive.
Food is basic and even worse if you take into consideration that if you do not come early enough there is no more food available and service is rude.
Our major complain is about food experience: very basic (while we like asian food), for mass attendance (low quality) and even on Sipadan, other diving resorts had better food arrangements than we did. To top it all when we asked for ice cubes (to get a drink on our balcony) the ice machine was broken (fair enough) but we were asked for a cork levy for our drinks (which we eventually refused).
This was our first very expensive experience in Malaysia. Unfortunatly further experience in Malaysia proved also very expensive compared to other countries either in Asia, Middle-East or Europe.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PBBParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

Such a beautiful location with friendly staff and helpful dive instructors. Would definitely recommend :) They had amazing dive sites such as sipadan. An early start for this dive site but so worth is..especially when there is an amazing thunder storm to be seen.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Almere, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013

If you are a diver and want to be in heaven, do not look further this is the place! awesome cabins ...while you sit outside the turtles, fish are passing by. romantic dinner in the open air..great reefs for macro photography!

I would suggest to do island hopping here and plan on other islands also a few nights. From here you can dive the famous sipadan which is the best of the best.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MarzDavao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

Property: Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort
Address: Kapalai, Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A few minutes by boat from the islands of Sipadan and Mabul but a full world away from it lays the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boasts a mile-long sandbank of powdery white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure while gazing out to the miles of brilliant turquoise stretching into the horizon offering the purest image of natural serenity. Dive spots Sipadan and Mabul can be reached in just a few minutes by speedboat. Sipadan-Kapalai is an ideal destination for diver and non-diver alike seeking a great holiday experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan
Sipadan Kapalai Island Hotel
Hotel Sipadan Kapalai Island

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