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“PARADISE ISLAND IN THE SULU SEA !!!”

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Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Ranked #2 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
belgium
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“PARADISE ISLAND IN THE SULU SEA !!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2009

We stayed in Lankayan as the last part of our honeymoon in Malaysia and I must say that it was a very beautiful ending!

When we arrived, we were blown away with the beauty of the island and the colours of the sea. So many beautiful colours!
We stayed in room 24 which was at the end of the island, so we only got neighbours at one side. It was very private and very spacious. The chalet had big wooden doors you could open. When these doors were open, you could see the sea from everywhere in the room, even from the bathroom! At night we slept with these doors open, so that we could hear the sea and when we woke up in the morning and opened our eyes, the first thing we saw was that beautiful sea.

The furniture in the chalet is not that luxurious, but it fits perfect with the simple beauty of the island. The bathroom is really nice, very modern and has all the comfort you need, including a rainshower.

The food was really good, especially the lunch and dinner. To my opinion breakfast was rather limited in choice and not that great, but that was a problem I had during all our stay in Malaysia (except Japamala in Pulau Tioman).

The general atmosphere on the island was really layed back. What do you want? It's like you are Robinson Crusoe. The island is full of vegetation, there are a couple of chalets and that's it!

The staff is really friendly. At night we could sit at the restaurant at the sea, listening to the guitarsongs that some of the staff members played.

Because it was our honeymoon, there were orchids on the bed and they organized a private dinner on the beach for us which was very romantic.

One of the most beautiful experiences in Malaysia, was the release of babyturtles on Lankayan Island. It may sound stupid, but watching those baby turtles struggle to get into the sea and struggle to get their head above the water, was really a very moving moment for me.

One night we woke up by a noise under our chalet. When we got up to check where the noise came from, we saw a green turtle under our chalet making a nest for her eggs. Nothing you come across everyday!

During our 3 day stay, it rained one time till noon. The rest of the days was partly sunny, partly cloudy.

Next to the jetty are very beautiful corals and blue starfish. Snorkelling was great, although you have to watch out when the tide is low. The coral can make some nasty wounds!

After all the jungle experience, Lankayan Island was a welcome break!

It truly was a paradise island in the Sulu Sea! Let's all try to keep it that way!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank caroBelgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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western australia
Level Contributor
224 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2009

I want to go back!
We loved this place. When you arrive and step out onto the jetty it is breathtaking- aqua water, white sand- the whole tropical island thing!
All staff were friendly, the food was great- lots of choice. Coffee and tea on tap with morning and afternoon tea,etc. The chalets were lovely- very comfotable bed and really clean. Snorkelling and swimming was outstanding. Lots of fish, eels, reef sharks, a turtle, etc. You could hire snorkelling gear if necessary as well as kyaks (?sp).
Loved watching the tropical storms come through in the late afternoon, evening.
There were a mix of all ages and nationalities and it had a really nice atmosphere.
Wish we could have stayed a week, 3 nights flew by.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london - uk
Level Contributor
93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2009

We stayed at lankayan for 2 nights in May and had a wonderful time.

We where meet at the airport at taken to the jetty, where we then took a boat for almost 1.5 hours and arrived at the wonderful Lankayan Island.

We where meet at the jetty and luggage was taken care of by the staff, we had a welcome fruit juice and the staff explained the details for our stay. They where great explaining the times for dinner and where to get snorkeling equipment and where to snorkel and all about the turtle protection programe they have on the island. Then they ask the divers to stay behind to explain what happens, and when to have your 'test' dive.

We where taken to our room and it was wonderful, a chalet right on the beach with a great bathroom, large bed with a mosquito net (not many places in Borneo have a mosquito net so this was great), tea and coffee making facilites and a hammock right outside. It really was a great room, we where very happy.

The food was good, buffett style - but there was usually always something we liked. Generally it was rice and some kind of chicken. Nice and simple, and the staff dishing up dinner where always friendly.

The snorkeling was great , right of the end of the dive center and the side of the jetty. We saw soo many fish, my partner saw a stringray and we also saw a shark. We paid to go on a snorkeling boat trip, but too be honest it was better by the jetty (and free!) , we found the further out we went the more jellyfish there where and more of a current.
I also dive, the dive center was good and equipment was good. Im really new to diving and was very nervous and they did look after me and kept checking I was ok. So was pleased with the dive staff. (the only downside is they let me dive deeper than Im qualified, but thats also my fault as I should have said no).

We asked to be woken up to see the turtles if any came ashore or hatched, and on our second night about midnight we where lucky enough to be woken up. Right next door to us a turtle had come ashore to lay her eggs, it was such a wonderful experience to see this , and we felt quite privalegd as there where only about 5 of us plus the turtle rangers watching.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay at Lankayan and would defo go back, we cant really think of any bad points about the place (except when we went it was cloudy and a little rainy, but that wasnt their fault - and we still loved it!)

If anyone wants to know more, please feel free to message me!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank dazed_dizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
105 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2009

We both agreed with my partner, that was the best spot from our Borneo travelling. The island is right in the middle of sea, totally white beautiful sandy beach, azure sea with great diving and even snorkelling, accommodation is excellent, very nice staff. We have the cheaper type of cottage and it was really enough. From a bathtub you can look at the sea, big terrace, all cottages are in the first row, our own sunbeds. Only one difference is that from the more expensive cottages you can go to the beach right from the terrace. The place is more amazing for divers, because as a diver you have full programme for every day. The place is so quite, that I think it´s not good to stay there e.g. 1 week if you are not a diver. For non divers it´s great opportunity to relax.
Even during snorkelling we saw great marine life, my boyfriend swimmed with a turtle only with a snorkel very near from the coast. And I met a group of 3 sharks - 2 really big only about 30 m from the coast - only with a snorkel!! Small sharks you will see there hundreds only during snorkelling. Diving there was excellent - good dive sites, well it´s not like the Sipadan area, but it´s still amazing - we saw e.g. leopard sharks, turtles..What I really loved about diving there was local dive center and the staff - totally professionaly, comfortable, really woth the money. Our divemasters were Mike and Ben. And both were really excellent. We had a lot of fun with them, but under the water really professional. With each group there are usually 2 divemasters, what is really comfortable, because the safety stop is possible to do for each person separately with one divemaster.
It´s a paradise!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mispule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath
Level Contributor
48 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2009

Everything is true, after all the reviews I had read I was worried we might be disappointed. But it was just the most wonderful place. A true little paradise island. it's not brash and over the top, everything is low key, informal and that's part of it's charm. You feel you really are in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The wooden chalets are spaced out around the beach and are very comfortable inside with good bathrooms. There is a lovely balcony overlooking the sea, wooden sun loungers and hammocks, it is very private.
The staff were lovely, and the food was excellent, a great choice, well cooked, the best we had on our tour around Borneo. The restaurant and deck area are really gredat with plenty of places to sit inside and out.

My daughter and I weren't diving, but quite honestly the snorkling was just fantastic, especially around the jetty, we saw rays, sharks, eels, and spent a morning snorkling with a turtle it was just wonderful. My husband and son did a beginners' dive course, the whole dive set up and instructors were extrememly professional and helpful.

Our teenagers loved it, despite there being no other teenagers and no activities - they didn't want to leave! It wasn't honeymoonish either, with a great mix of families, divers and young couples and friends.

On our last night we had a turtle laying eggs under our chalet - so that just made the whole experience there just perfect!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank blondieBath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm
Level Contributor
75 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2009

This little island is so beautiful! The bungalows, chalets, are spacious and very nice, right on the beach. We had two wooden sun loungers on the beach in front of the chalet veranda, as well as a hammock in the palm tree. Honeymoon material for sure (beds quite hard though, as we found in every hotel in Sabah). Although, we didn't have much time to spend there, since we were diving. The service in the dive operation and the restaurant was absolutely top class. Very friendly and attentive. We were not so impressed with the diving as such, but the visibility was quite poor so we did not see the sites very clearly. Not so many colours and corals. The also have a turtle conservation program on the island. And wi-fi in the restaurant area. There was a sitting room with satellite TV which was excellent, since our child could stay there the time we were diving.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tjongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2009

First impressions upon arrival - paradise, however, at the time of our visit the villa allocated did make a difference. We were first allocated number 8 which is the through route for all arrivals, departures and anyone going to / from the dive boats. It was also next to a building under considerable reconstruction, meaning that the lap of the sea on the shore was spoiled by sawing and hammering...we were allocated another room (number 3) and that was one of the best, although the bathroom facilities were not as good. Vegetarians may struggle a bit as the majority of dishes are fish or meat, but you can get by on rice, chips, salad and fruit. The dive facility is very well organised and we saw a lot of rays, turtles and shark, although visibility could be a problem at many of the sites. I would recommend it for a short break for divers, especially any who like have an environmental consciousness.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Avid1
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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