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“Great location, poor service, needs repair.”

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Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great location, poor service, needs repair.”
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Borneo divers resort could be great, but it is not. They have a nicer beach location than the other resorts in the area, their rooms are big, and the buildings for the bar, restaurant and dive center also have great potential. Unfortunately it doesn't seem the place has a management. Our bathroom was in terrible condition (stained floor, bad smell, not even a shower curtain so each shower turned the bathroom into a swimming pool), it looked very simple to fix if someone cared to do it. Same goes to many other aspects of the hotel, food was acceptable but many dishes were served already cold, how hard is it to correct that problem?
The diving in Sipadan (and Mabul) was great as we expected, the dive masters and boat captains did their best for a great experience. But for me the boats were missing a proper place for cameras (water tank), again something simple to provide if management cared to do it. I also need to mention that a piece of my wife's equipment (a nice dive bandana she got in Palau) went missing during the night, so their storage facility is not safe.
We would not stay there again.

Room Tip: All rooms look the same from the outside and when we complained of the condition (smell) of our bath...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PauloK1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Wanneroo, WA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 6 nights, had a great time, would recommend to others.
The dive guides were great and knew their sites.
Had a diver with suspected DCS. The support was very professional with the injured diver being evacuated to the mainland. They provided 24/7 support for him during his stay in hospital.
Beach bar is the place to be at night, with a fantastic band playing on the last night.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WannerooPom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013

We spent only three days at the Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort and were really happy to leave the place. The room was clean but not worth the money. The bathroom looked more like that of a cheap hostel. The staff doesn't have to care much about their customers because demand for Sipadan dives is big. We asked to change the date to go to Sipadan for personal reasons but management said no without even trying to make a phone call or shift people to other days. So we missed Sipadan. Jetty riff is ok, but other riffs are really disappointing. Safety is a concern. We went diving with Barry as divemaster and while we weren't that fast in going down he just disappeared with another diver - leaving four divers including myself somewhere under water. The briefing was so bad that my husband and I just followed the reef for 20 minutes, turned back and finished the dive after 30 minutes. The two other divers that were with us had to interrupt and waited for the boat for 20 minutes. Then the food was the worst part... Cold after 10 minutes. Moreover cooking practice does seem to follow basic rules of hygiene. My husband and I both got upset stomachs and had to live on plain rice for several food after our trip to Borneo. So overall a very disappointing experience, wouldn't recommend the resort to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Iva C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

I took a group of 24 to this resort in July this year. The booking process was smooth-many thanks to Yong in the KK office for your patience and understanding.

During our stay we were well looked after by Ramesh, LJ and others. The food was good and plentiful and the staff went out of their way to help us. One of our party became ill during the trip (no fault of the resort) and the resort quickly arranged his transfer to hospital in Semporna. Not only this they arranged for a member of staff to run errands for him and help out whilst he spent two days in hospital. They also arranged hotel accomommodationn for him when he was released. Nothing was too much for them.

The diving was excellent and everything was professionally managed from equipment rental to camera charging stations and wash facilities. If you wanted a longer dive it was possible. I did several dives in excess of an hour. Yes there may be some rubbish around the beaches, this is no different in remote places such as Lembeh in Indonesia. This is not the fault of the resort it is a whole island issue.

Overall our group were extremely happy with our stay and we will be returning again soon.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Urbanrhino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuurne, Belgium
Level Contributor
84 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

I am not happy after one week Borneo Divers. Arriving at the jetty there is a big pile of rubbish in the water. Really dirty. The resort is ok. They have a nice pool. The rooms are rather basic. A bed, a table, an old spotted desk chair, a small cupboard and very elemental bathroom. The showerwater was warm but lacked pressure. We paid 1000 euro pp for 7 nights including 5 days diving. We had 2 sipadan permits pp at 40 ringits. The dives on Sipadan are nice. Reef sharks on every dive, loads of turtles, huge school of jacks and a whirlwind of barracudas. My wife was happy with the guides, but I want them to show me more than a shark and a turtle(Those I can spot myself). We didn't see any pygmee seahorse. We showed lots of small stuff to our fellow divers but the guides disappointed. After 2 days Sipadan things got worse. Most diving around Mabul is along Walls or what is left of them. Lots of corals have died. My DM was blowing fancy bubbles the entire dive. He repeated his act in the afternoon. I skipped the thirth dive. Rubbish !! The next day i had a guide all to myself !! We went to Kapalai.This was going o be great !! 8 Chinese were thrown in the water with one DM and I went down with my DM. He did not blow fancy bubbles but showed absolutely no interest in the UW life. He was interested in his dive computer and after 45 mins we went up. Every dive we made with Borneo Divers was 45 minutes. House policy ?? I had 2 nice dives: one under Seaventure Rig and one on Paradise 1. Our last day on the resort we were on to go to Sipadan again, but No diving 24 hours prior to flying.While we were there 90% of the resort was filled with Chinese. They are the Asian Russians. No manners, always late and unfriendly.Mabul was one big disappointment for me. Overpriced, very basic, bad uninterested dive guides and cold food in the restaurant. Don't go there !!

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank MANI_DIVER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

I came to Borneo to dive Sipadan Island. This resort is well located. Permits to dive Sipadan are restricted, but when you get there it probably has the best marine life you will ever see. The Parrot Fish are nicknamed "buffalo" because they are so huge and get around in heard-like schools! The joke amongst divers is that "there are so many turtles you have to push them out of the way!" After my stay with these guys I moved to the Uncle Chang resort next door because they had more dive permits.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Peter_Hohaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangalore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2013

I came to Borneo (Sipadan) to get my PADI Advanced Open Water certification and dive the famous Sipadan islands. Obviously Sipadan was an incredible diving experience and so was the one or two dives I did at Mabul. I got my AOW certification in 2010 and I'm posting in 2013 and the reason is that I just went diving in Dahab in Egypt where some friends were getting their AOW certification. When I saw the high standards they were held to and the training/instruction they got, I compared it to my experience at Borneo Divers and realized that I got shortchanged. The instructor Eljer was in a hurry to finish the course and didn't seem to care if I really improved my dive skills. For example, as an excuse to hurry the certification process, he told me that AOW is not really an important certification and that its not very different from OW. For a certification that requires real skills I need to do the Rescue course. While there is some truth in that, I feel that if I had done my AOW elsewhere, my buoyancy control would have been much much better as it is now after it was fixed in subsequent dive trips. I never did any buoyancy skills at BDM. I chose the night dive and navigation for my AOW specialty dives. Because he was in a hurry to get the course done quick, Eljer 'suggested' I do the navigation stuff on land! When I looked a little doubtful, he said we could do the night dive and the navigation dive at the same time. So he had the compass, and a torch (i wasn't given one) and kept shining it on the compass underwater while signalling in the dark! Needless to say, I was clueless and learnt no navigation skills.
In short, Sipadan is incredible diving, some of the best in the world, the dive resort is decent enough but I wouldn't get certified here.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sach5897
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort

Property: Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Address: Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Borneo Divers Mabul Island Hotel Pulau Sipadan

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