We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Our 6th Stay Here - Good Stay, Spoiled by Animals”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Pulau Sipadan
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Our 6th Stay Here - Good Stay, Spoiled by Animals”
Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

Seventh year in Mabul/Sipadan, my sixth stay at the BDMR. Yes, I have written reviews on this place before but every visit's different. The usual pick up from Tawau where we stayed overnight, to Borneo Divers's new office at the jetty in Semporna and the 30-odd minute boat ride to BDMR. Some changes at the dive center/jetty include a washroom where previously it meant a dash back to the room if you could hold it that long! New beach bar at where the old dive center used to be located, with the souvenir shop cum provisions store also located at the bar when it used to be at the dining hall.

The dive guides are as usual very good. Our personal favourite is Lianah, and there's Tonny as well. It is good to see that Sorian aka Mr Sorry has appeared in a couple of reviews prior to this one and they are all positive. Yes, Mr Sorry is a funny guy.

Food has gotten better over the years and the staff are ever so friendly. The dives, of course, are excellent.

Our trip was spoiled by several divers who thought they could see big things all the time, forgetting that the whole area is rich with critters as well. Very demanding, not considerate at all.

And the divers from China and Hong Kong! Loud, rude and the way they grab food would guarantee pigs to die of hunger because these people would eat even pigs' swill! I hope someone would videotape their behaviour and upload it to Youtube for the while world to see! When they take the food, it's like everything's theirs and nothing's for you because they paid for their food and they don't care if you did too.

And then you see the food wastage after...sickens you that some animals actually have human form.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

235 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    89
    92
    34
    10
    10
See reviews for
22
86
33
4
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
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
SA
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We visited as a group of 12 and can confirm what has already been said regarding the excellent diving and food in the resort, as well as the very friendly and accommodating staff.

Booking office in KK were very friendly and everything was done as requested. Airport transfers were on time. Wi-fi at resort needs to get upgraded.

Management went the extra mile to get us additional Sipidan permits. Brilliant diving at Sipidan.

I will visit again.

Room Tip: Scuba kit rental is not expensive and the Resort's kit was in good condition.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Staal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014 via mobile

This is my first time staying here albeit my third trip to Mabul/Sipadan. The accomodation is clean and basic, but the bathroom could be improve a bit as the room that I got had the bathroom windows permanently closed hence it could be a bit of a damp smell.

The food was awesome. Never in my life I had lamb in almost every lunch and dinner. Even the food they took to Sipadan is betond expectation.

This is a heaven for divers as they do 4 Sipadan boat dives and if you are lucky during the low season you might get to go to Sipadan twice. Even the house reef had plenty for you to see and brush up on your diving/photography skills. Thumbs up to the dive teams.

The pool is on the small side but good for you to get the recovery swim after diving the whole day.

We managed to witness release of turtle hatchlings into the sea but missed the turtle egg laying as it happened the day before we arrived.

All in all a great resort for divers and would definitely consider returning here in my future trips.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank LaZirahs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mons, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

A fantastic dive location and accommodation. Each balcony looks out onto lazy turtles and rays going about their lives. Food fantastic, dive facilities second to none and near by Sipadan will take your breath away with the schools of Barracuda etc

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank iceman_icestreet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2014

My wife and I were there in August 2011.
When we get to Semporna we take a cab to the address that was indicated by the tour operator and we have an Office of the Borneo Divers, located in the port of shipment where we could leave our bags to go get something to eat, because it was lunchtime.
Then we were sent to the boat that took us to the island of Mabul, where we would spend 3 beautiful days to rest and dive.
When we arrived we were greeted by one of the dive masters of the resort, which introduced us the resort and explained what the rules and timetables to comply.
Shortly after we arrived, I made my first dive was not beyond the dive center located right in front of the island with access by a bridge. This diving is done for they have the notion of our diving skills and can put people into groups with similar diving level.
The second day was spent doing dives in Mabul, all with a level of very good quality.
The last full day was passed in Sipadan, which is one of the best places in the world for the practice of diving. There is no doubt, he is one of the best, both in terms of visibility (+ 30 m) as the quantity level of species, with a special focus to the incredible number that you can see turtles, eating, swim and even sleeping.
Is the perfect place to observe these animals.
Usually what's are stipulated 3 daily dives, but as this site is so special that our dive master and team toasted us with 4 dives in this paradise.
The last dive was in Barracuda Point, where we saw some barracudas and a school of Jack fish which turned out in surround us, such seen in many photographs of diving.
That was awesome!!!
As for the resort, the staff was impeccable, the bungalow was well decorated, the bathroom was always clean, despite being very basic, with no luxury.
Meals always buffet, and for those who were only 3 nights, were always varied, being on one of the nights, dinner served outdoors accompanied by a little show interpreted by staff at the resort.
The spaces around the bungalows were treated well and the pool always cared for.
What if you can point out how negative through the issue of next to the beach in Mabul, along the bridge connecting to the dive center and in some dives in Mabul you find various types of trash, mainly plastic bags, is not in great quantity, but always gives the impression that there is an oversight, Was explained to us that is due to the existence of small village that lies also in Mabul because people who live there have no ecological awareness, although the resort staff do some awareness-raising to the population, but older people are not very active.
Passes all for a question of social development and citizenship; After all, we Europeans, in our past we does the same thing.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marco_Polo30071969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Hi

As noted by previous reviews, the admin and response up front is terrible. No replies on emails, lost bookings etc… However, when you get there I believe these guys offer the best diving on Sipadan and Mabul. Fantastic guides, you get three dives a day and all set in a beautiful location. Ok, the huts may not be luxury by western standards, but who cares when you are spending most of your day diving some of the best sites in the world, accompanied by knowledgable and enthusiastic dive masters. As a relative novice with only about 70 dives under my (quite heavy) weight belt, i appreciated the attention. And the sea life we saw was amazing!!! Sharks turtles, rare fish, sea horses, I could barely remember it all to log it. Stunning. And lots of nudi branches in Sipadan for all you slug freaks out there…. If you are a diver go. If you are not, I don't think it would be the best of places for you to holiday as very dive focused. Couldn't comment on the social life as was passed out by 9.00pm every night after all that effort!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank riosol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We stayed from March 17-20, 2014, as it's during the Easter holiday it was required to stayed 4 nights in order to guarantee 1 day @ Sipadan. The time of stay was quite close to the kidnapping that happened in Tawau earlier which my friends might find it disturbing that I was still willing to go. There is a police station next to the resort and staff sleeps near the front of the resort while our cottages are in the back. Honestly if there is something bad is to happen, I am sure that no one can stop it but then at least it's good to know that some sort of "security" is nearby.

Overall, there is really no issues with the DMs/diving there. The lower rating is simply the experience with the dive group from Diving Express Hong Kong (refer below of details). Wifi is extremely weak and we were unable to contact on the last 2 days we were there. Wifi is only available at the dinning area and not elsewhere within the island. Do note that it's an island you are staying so if you need anything special -- like medicine or snacks, you will have to bring those with you. BTW, when checking in at Sipadan, we saw that Borneo seems to be among the few that have the most permits to dive -- 17 permits per days vs some resorts only have few per day

The room itself is nothing to rave about. It was your basic beds, table, a bathroom, mainly 2 sides to each cottage. Walls are thin but you have sufficient hot water and despite the room is basic; I appreciate the cleanliness of it. Rooms were cleaned and towels changed everyday and they did at good job in tidy up the place. Floors were mopped everyday in my room so no stickiness from the salt water/sand.

Food @ the place is not as bad as what some have mentioned. They do have varieties everyday; however it might be quite similar to some guests as it's really mainly Asian food but I find it to be ok for all the days I was there. The only thing is that if you care for ice-cream at night after dinner, you will just have to buy it ahead of time at the gift shop and bring it to the dinning hall and asked them to store it for you; as the dinning hall doesn't sell ice-cream and gift shop closes at 8pm.

Snacks & basic drinks (tea, coffee, juice, water) provided at the sun deck which faces the Seadventure. However, you will need to bring your own towel if you need to use one there or use the same one that was given to you on boat. Make sure you remember where to put it when leaving the boat for your dives as we have problems mixing it with other divers.

The DMs were all excellent and very acknowledgeable. I get to dive with 2 different DMs during my time there. Obviously Sipadan is a place not to miss with excellent dive sites and lots to see. DM Sorian is young, quite new as a DM but extremely funny and energetic with lots of expressions even underwater! He is really good in pointing out the micro stuff and to allow you time to take pics. Brian on the other hand is very experienced. We definitely plan to go back again to dive with them.

The only thing during this trip will be:
(1) We got signed up for the 5:30am Sipadan dive while there was another group starting at 9:00am. When we asked the receptionist why at 5:30am; she only informed us that it was to "see some special fish". The choice of whether we want to see it wasn't even given to us. Simply because some group of divers want to see the fish, thus they have also put us in. We requested to change and ended up at the 9am group instead.
(2) We have requested to dive more than 1 day at Sipadan and was told that "yes, if slots free up". However, there was no waiting list visible; thus we have no idea how they decide which divers to allow the extra permits. At the end, we didn't end up diving there more than the scheduled 1 day
(3) Our stay was during Easter holidays and thus the place was quite crowded. There were various group of divers from Hong Kong but specifically some very bad experience with a group from Diving Express in HK. The divers are rude and cursed very loudly in Chinese at the dinning hall. As I do understand Chinese, I was quite shock at what they were saying so loudly about. And at the end of my stay, 1 diver was pouring water on his friend (who happened to be standing on of the stairs, smoking and feeding fish with bread. Seems like he have no issues about dropping the cigarette ash into the ocean) and happened to be very near us and have gotten us a little wet. So I have just warned them to not get us wet as we were in our plain clothes, sitting to wait for our boat to leave the island. This Hong Kong guy seemed pissed and immediately started cursing loudly and calling me names -- all of course in Chinese while his group of divers did not bother to say 1 word to stop him. The curses were very low-class which will related something like "motherfxxxxx". This continued for 15 mins until I stood up and started screaming back at him in English; it was only then that his friend pulled him away BUT his group which involves the DM from Diving Express continued to sit there and kept their mouth shut. So disappointed that Bureno Divers will allow such dive group in their hotels which simply have no respect for the ocean or other divers. I will NEVER recommend to dive there again if I know the same group from Hong Kong will be there. Of course, I have provided a written feedback to Borneo Divers but no reply from them on this incident.

Highly recommended diving with the DMs and staying at Borneo Divers if you get a chance. Sipadan is really not a place to miss!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Margaret C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pulau Sipadan
28.9 mi away
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
Pom Pom Island Resort & Spa
#3 of 5 in Pulau Sipadan
400 reviews
16.1 mi away
Seafest Hotel
Seafest Hotel
#1 of 7 in Semporna
267 reviews
14.2 mi away
City Inn Semporna
City Inn Semporna
#5 of 7 in Semporna
31 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.6 mi away
Sipadan Inn 2
Sipadan Inn 2
#2 of 7 in Semporna
75 reviews
14.3 mi away
Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort
0.2 mi away
Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing