For diving in sipadan, you have a choice of resorts on Mabul, the floating resort of Kapali, or Semporna if you really want a long boat ride out to the island. It seems late Jan early Feb is the quiet time. The resort gets 12 permits, and didn't even have 12 divers every day. Even when it is busy, capacity is only 50ish, so you have a good chance of getting a permit.
Rooms are basic, but OK. Bathrooms are well past their sell-by-date but clean (apart from the beach bar facilities!). Meals are hit and miss - often food is cold, and although it is varied comes nowwhere near the standard I've experienced on red sea livaboards. Check google maps for a view of the island, Borneo Divers resort is clearly visible with rows of chalets.
Biggest disappointment was the communication of dive schedules (with only one group diving it should be simple) and the running of dives at Sipadan. it's a 7:30 depart, 3x45 min dives and back by 1:30 in time for lunch. Very minimal surface intervals, set up for short visits, not several days diving in a row. Dive guides were also not interested in making the dives interesting. I don't care if they are bored, I'm paying them to guide me and enthuse me.
Free internet works some days, and is dog slow. Maybe it was only because it was quiet season, but the resort generator was only run in the early mornings and evening, so the late checkout time meant sat about with nothing to do.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the East Coast of Sabah, just off the coastline of Mabul Island, Borneo Divers Mabul Resort is passionate in showcasing the best of Borneo’s beautiful and lush marine life to the world. Mabul is arguably one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life anywhere in the world. The reef is on the edge of the continental shelf and the seabed surrounding the reef slopes out to a depth of 25 to 30m. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Borneo Divers Mabul Island Hotel Pulau Sipadan