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“few days paradise”

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Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Ranked #2 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
Bahrain
Level Contributor
88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“few days paradise”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

Stayed for 3 nights. Afternoon arrival day is orientation dive , thereafter one can join up to 3 dives / day . Dives done in those days were ok - not spectacular , but then there still many many more sites I couldn't check out. Dive team did a great job by accommodating our young daughter by seasoned team member (most members rather young). She'd a turtle sighting while diving on each of her 4 dives. Most dive trips armed security (stationed on island ) also attending but it's not intruding. Nice snorkeling also from dive center possible (next to boat trip offered). Night dives not possible for security reasons at moment.
Lodging was no. 12 "on the beach" with seagrass field shorlty outside (snorkeling with turtles "guaranteed"). Inside rather dark , spacious . Sunrise view from veranda / open doors to wake up. Restaurant for sunsets . Food fine. Employees very friendly and helpful.
As to be expected it's clean all over the place . There's a "exhibition" with info on eco system especially the turtles. Walk around island takes 15-20 min ; sunset side of island basically green (accommodation free) . We'd a lovely stay and hope to be back some day again.

Room Tip: room 12 positioned for seeing turtles while snorkeling straight in front (sea grass field)
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank NLxpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed there mid april for 3 nights / 4 days (reality is 2.5 days) and we loved it. We are a family of 4 with one kid too young to dive.
Plus: The place: beautifull isolated island, fabulous lagoon, comfortable facilities with privacy, all inclusive package, turtles, coral, fishes, diving center on site, easy snorkelling, organization of the resort, welcoming staff. An experience we will not forget !
Minuses: expensive (if you do not want to do 3 dives per day, you can chose pay per dive (100 MYR), given boat schedule you only stay 2.5 days since you arrive at 11.30 and leave at 7am !!! (The staff stays in front of your chalet from 6.15 till you leave the room and give them your luggages), diving sites are not fabulous although very nice. Dive masters are serious but they are not so many and for new divers (my wife and my 10 yo. daughter had just passed their open water) , i advise somebody more experienced be with them.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Laurent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester
Level Contributor
61 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

No doubts this is a beautiful place. The nature parts are excellent including the snorkelling and
turtle hatchery.

However , this is not an inexpensive place to stay. The rooms are only ok- bathrooms could be better and bedrooms are a little dark. Food is generally good but becomes a little monotonous after a few days.
The dive centre was not the best by any means and I thought the equipment was a little tired and dated.

However I would definitely recommend this place because its special in its own way.But 3-4 days is enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank mmsaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
61 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

This is a well kept paradise, sustainable tourism! Fabulous island, fantastic snorkelling. Really well organized and run, lodging above all expectations, good food! An the staff on the island make sure you behave in a responsible way towards nature (corals, turtles etc), always polite and helpful. I think this paradise might last through numerous years of tourism without getting spoilt - for the good of all of you that have not yet had the opportunity to go there.

The snorkelling is absolute top class! Plenty of live corals everywhere, rich fish life. You can snorkel from the jetty or from a boat, you' ll be pleased either way even if you are an experienced snorkler!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank plingelingan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2014

After a hour and a half not a particular comfy boat ride we finally arrived. The island is stunning, the rooms are large, spacious and very clean. The restaurant food is more varied than expected and of a high quality. The dive school is great with knowledgable very friendly and fun crew. All the staff seem to be really happy, they were always laughing and seemed to be having fun which made our trip so much more enjoyable. This place is defiantly worth a visit absolutely loved it. A bit on the expensive side but I would go again for sure. A cautious note, look at your government web sites to see if it's safe to go, east Malaysia gets visits from pirates from the Philippines - total shame

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ilovetotravelglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore,
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I have broken this review into 4 parts: the accommodation; the diving/centre; the food; the turtles.
The room that we stayed in was very spacious and very comfortable! There were 3 beds (a queen, a double and a single) and heaps of room in between. There was also a spacious beach facing balcony. The ensuite was also spacious, but the bracket for the hand shower would not stay in a position to be able to shower under and the toilet seat was cracked and pinched :(
The diving was very impressive! The gear was a bit old, holey wetsuits, leaking BCDs. We were also diving with a "junior open water" and the dive master didn't seem initially to grasp the importance of the limits for this age and selected dive site that were up to 20m. The last 2 dive sites were much more appropriate at 9m so our son was able to view the reef more closely and we were able to relax and enjoy the dive more.
The food and dining area were exemplary!! They have built a large pagoda style dining/lounge area over the water with some glass floor areas for wild life watching. The food was amazing, every meal was delicious!!
The turtles: The island hosts a significant turtle research sanctuary and will alert interested guests to nesting and hatching activities. We had the pleasure of 2 hatchings during our stay. Each hatching was accompanied with some explanation about the turtles and the process. Guests have an opportunity to "adopt a nest" and are also alerted and sent photos when their nest hatches. The turtles are obviously comfortable with the island and its inhabitants as we enjoyed watching 3 turtles foraging bellow the dining pagoda while we dined.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2014

We stayed at Lankayan in mid March 2014 for 3 nights.

The 90 minute boat transfer in the smallish open boat was a bit bumpy - even in calm waters - so we did get splashed but it was fun. Luggage is stored in a closed locker though so no need to worry about that getting wet.

We are a couple who are used to both Luxury hotels (Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton) but don't mind doing budget if it means experiencing a wonderful place. We were going for idyllic location as well as the snorkelling (myself) and Diving (my partner) and expected Lankayan resort to be quite basic with budget bungalows on the beach.

How wrong we were. We were woed the second we stepped foot off the boat onto the jetty and saw the crystal clear water full of amazing fish.
We had a wonderful surprise by the standard of accommodation, food and service. We stayed in cottage 11 which was huge - it had a four poster King Bed, a double bed and a single bed and the room was not at all clutterd! There was a fridge and kettle with tea & coffee and complimentary bottled water.
Air conditioning was not as effective as it could have been due to louvered doors but along with the fan we were comfortable enough. We did not have any problems with noise or privacy.
The room had good storage space, wardrobe and several deep drawers but as previously mentioned, there was no mirror in the bedroom and no plus socket in the bathroom. The bathroom was huge but the shower was an attachment over the bath with no shower curtain. We weren't bothered but I imagine the rooms with seperate shower would be better.

The visability in the water was excellent when we were there and we swam with turtles right off the jetty and saw so many fish species including small sharks. Unfortunately there were a lot of annoying jellyfish about. At one dive site the divers could not come up for a while because the jelly fish covered a wide area of the water surface down to about 5 feet.

The beach is beautiful white sand and the waters turquoise blue - something you don't get at a lot the islands around Kota Kinabalu. It really is like the Maldives.

We were lucky enough to see two sets of turtles hatching one after the other . First 85 tiny Hawksbill turtles, followed immediately by 87 baby Green turtles in the pen next to the Hawksbill. It was a moving site and watching the cute little creatures rush down the beach to the sea was both comical and tear jerking - would they make it or not?

The main reception, lounge/library and restsaurant are on stilts in a lovely polished wood setting with vibrant atmosphere. I was expecting quite limited food with poor cuts of meat but the buffets in the restaurants were great. There was a good choice of both Asian and Western cuisine (pasta, pizza, roast dinner and veg!) and some lovely deserts and fruit plus home baked pastries and cookies with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and juice available all day.
With 3 courses a day filling your belly, you'd wonder when you'll be fit to go in the water !!

We didn't drink any alcohol as it is expensive in Malaysia in general.

The only negative thing I would say is that you pay a lot for the packages whether diving or not and don't expect to pay for extras like snorkelling equipment and each bit of dive gear on top. Luckily I had seen this in advance and had my own snorkelling gear.
My partner also had to pay an extra £80 for a refresher course on the fist day as he has not dived for 3 years, fair enough, it's needed and necessary, but then this took time away from the diving that was included so he miseds at least one of the included dives if not 2.
We noticed other people doing pay per dive when we were there and wondered if this may be a better option if you only want to do a couple of dives.
Personally I think it's probably worth paying up front the Diver package as it's not that much more.

All in all this was a fantastic experience and I would go back in a heartbeat .

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GinaR444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lankayan Island Dive Resort

Property: Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Address: Lankayan Island, Sandakan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lankayan Island Dive Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lankayan Island Dive Hotel Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Resort Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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