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“Diving Sipadan: ok but can be better”

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Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers (Semporna)
Certificate of Excellence
Belsele, Belgium
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Diving Sipadan: ok but can be better”
Reviewed 7 September 2012

We did 3 dives at Sipadan with them (last minute), they don't have a permit to dive really early at Sipadan so that's why they do 3 instead of 4 dives with the others (and seems that the early dives are the best). But the diving was ok, Sipadan is a cool place to go, the lunch was ok, the second disadvantage was we had only time to dive 45 minutes instead of low on air.

Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Einstein81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Michigamme, Michigan
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2012

Stayed one night in the dorm waiting to go diving. There is a warm shower and a squeaky bed with a thin mattress and a thin sheet to cover your self when you sleep. Free internet and Aircon are about the only highlights of this place. 22 MR a night is a fair deal.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Justin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2012

I joined one day trip scuba diving Sipadan on december 25th 2011. Dives masters were friendly, profesional and I paid full price (600 Rm/per). I did really enjoyed the food and the three dives at Sipadan. Any where in the world I've been diving the only people I trust are our dives masters and crew on the boat. On our way back to Mabul Island, as usual, I did check our personal stuff on the boat (Camera, passport, money). We had few canadian dollars, few american dollars and 800 RM. Just quick check, and I did see that I was missing half of the money. Before somebody jump out of the boat, I did advise the Dive master that we where missing half of our Ringitt. The answer from the Dive master was: "Keep it low, you'll launch the panic. We will discuss about it at the hostel in Semporna." As soon the first group got off the boat in Mabul, I new we where screwed because half of the crew were off the boat. While I was underwater, the captain and the crew were taking a pretty good tip out of my bag. 100% sure about it, because they were the only ones on the boat while we're diving. At the hostel the dive master told us, that he was so sorry and they could'nt do anything (No doubt, it's too late). Never trust any crew on board, even the dive master who or which ever company you dive with in Sabah. Dear Celebes Explorer, Borneo Global Sipadan Bacpackers crews, thank you for the nice christmas present!!!

Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank bdominic3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2012

was there on 24th December 2011 - 1st January 2012. Total of 9 days for my diving trip, and i've never been bored for 1 second. Every single moment was precious and amazing with full of fun. Was greeted by my instructor - Hafiz even tho its already 11pm, quite late for the night. Was amazed that He waited for my arrival. And we spoke a bit, checked into my room and rest on that night. The staff is perfect with their hospitality. They provide simple and perfect breakfast which is toast with butter/pineapple jam / peanut butter / coconut jam ( kaya ) and you can have it with coffee / tea / or simply plain water ( at least that's what i did )...

I stayed in the cheapest room, RM22/ night. Considering I will be there for 9 days, i cant afford to splurge on accommodation and food.

every morning, the staff will greet me 'good morning' and we chat whenever i'm around..staff are very supportive and understanding in the needs of customers and they provided some tips and some local sights / food to try. The staff even brought and made some for me...was awesome and could only get in Semporna...

dives sites are awesome as well..i did many things that a normal tourist wont be able to do. So i am very privilege to have that lucky chance and hope to be back soon..

upon leaving this place, it was bitter sweet and sad...but i know that i will return some day.

overall, I am happy with the service and i could not wait to go back again..

perhaps its time to change the tag line to "come as a stranger, leave as a family"......hahhaa


cheerss...!!!!

Room Tip: choose view towards the road / old jetty / seafest hotel if you want to have the sea view. otherwise...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Pran_na
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taipei, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 December 2011

I joined its 7days Sipadan liveaboard diving tour and spent one night there before the trip started. The air conditioner is horribly noisy, also the electric generator right downstairs out of your poorly assembled window. Only a towel-thin blanket offered which is not enough at all at night. Health condition is doubted as I got 10 bugs bites on my legs at night, not sure by what but looks very likely flea bites. The breakfast is just toast and butter, and some instant coffee bags. With the charge of 95RM I would rather to stay at the hotel Seafest right next to it, at least they offered much better health condition and buffet breakfast. Similar comment is given by another diver from Florida.

Worst part is, I got a very serious virus infection at the last day of the liveaboard trip, non-stop vomit and diahhear for whole night. I'm sent back to the hotel at 9am next morning and waiting for a 12:00 pick-up car back to Tawau airport. I asked if there is any empty bed for me to take a rest for 3 hours as I was in extremely bad shape at that time, the answer is that I have to pay a whole night charge for that. It is not much at all, just $7, but after I have just joined its $2000 trip and regardless my illness is incurred during it? The whole hotel turns out all empty and no bed is occupied anyway! It's the most irresponsible attitude I have ever met in my life.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ethan1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 12 December 2011

Unfortunately a disappointing stay at the complicated sounding Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers. Admittedly this place is very cheap, but the water doesn't work properly in the bathrooms, which means flushing the toilet or taking a shower involves visting reception and using a bathroom in one of the lower floors. Reason was apparently that they "can't always pipe water to the higher floors". Hmm.

Service was poor at best, and neglectful at worst. Unannounced visit to unsuccessfully change a light bulb was the most amount of contact we had with staff.

Breakfast was less than inadequate - we opted for dry toast as the 'butter' and 'jam' options were less than appetising. We left hungry. Room was dirty and in need of a paint job and it wasn't clear when the sheets had last been changed.

I wouldn't dream of using this place as a dive shop, there are many much better and more professional looking options in Semporna that are closer to the main town centre.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JB_SQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
España
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2011

We have been there 2 days ago and it's a lodge just in emergency case: dirty, heavy air, wifi only in reception.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Monic80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers (Semporna)

Property: Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers (Semporna)
Address: Jalan Causeway | Bangunan SeaFest, Ground, 1st & 2nd Floor, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Semporna
Hotel Class:2 star — Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers (Semporna) 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BORNEO GLOBAL BACKPACKERS SIPADAN & DIVE CENTRE The nearest airport to Semporna is Tawau Airport. Semporna is the gateway to the many islands, over 30 of them. The most famous diving destinations in the area are are Sipadan, Mabul and Mataking islands. Accommodation / Diving Centre ---------------------------- - 4 dorm rooms with 6/8 beds and lockers, a/c and toilet with hot shower. RM 29 per bed in dorm room. - 3 Private rooms with 1 double bed and 1 single bed, a/c and toilet with hot shower. RM 99 per private room. - 2 Family rooms with 1 double bed and 3 single beds, a/c and toilet with hot shower. RM 129 per family room. All beds are provided with pillow, linen and blanket. All rooms are air-conditioned with en-suite bathrooms equipped with hot & cold pressure water heater. Our backpackers place is in a quiet area of Semporna. Our Dive Centre is superbly located in front of the jetty to all Islands. We offer daily diving and snorkeling trips to Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, Timba Timba, Pom Pom and Sibuan Timbun Mata, Bohey Dulang, Mantabuan (Tun Sakaran Marine Park) so we can explore together the amazing macro and stunning pelagic underwater marine life. We can guarantee Sipadan permits, if you are flexible on your dates or if you book in advance. We provide 24 hours reception service with no curfew and lockout. We also offer a simple and light breakfast from 6:30 am to 10 am every day to all our guests. There is free wifi, water, coffee and tea on the ground-floor where we have a lounge area with Astro tv so you can relax as much as you need to. Borneo Global Backpackers Sipadan is located in Semporna, situated in the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. We are within walking distance to the bus terminal, banks, seafood restaurants and shops. Come as a guest, leave as a friend. ... more   less 
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