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“Hostel: Horrible! - Diving: Super!”

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Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers (Semporna)
Certificate of Excellence
Karlsruhe
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Hostel: Horrible! - Diving: Super!”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

To begin with: I had a one day dive at Sipadan with Borneo Global Backpackers and the trip was perfectly organised - fantastic experience! Thus, if you want to DIVE with them - GO AHEAD!

But: The accommodation was in very poor condition! At least the dorm room in which I had to stay as part of the package was actually not acceptable. I am regularly sleeping in backpackers hostels and know what standard to expect. For instance, the toilett flush should work, which did not. Based on the other reviews I had been already warned about this and therefore stayed only one night, direclty leaving Semporna after my dives with the night bus.

If you stay more than one night in Semporna: do yourself a favour and don't sleep in one of their dorm rooms.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Weert, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

I stayed 5 nights at there backpackers lodge in Semporna. The staff is nice and they try to keep the place clean and comfortable. the dorms are really in bad condition, everything was brook, the floor, the bads, the shower and te sink. The rooms were very smelly to.
I wouldn't stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank reizigerWen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

One of the best places to stay in Semporna, if you ask me. Staff is nice, rooms are clean and matrasses and pillows good. Hot shower! I stayed here two times because I really think it's a good hostel. I don't know anything about diving with them, but for sleeping it is absolutely fine.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anouk155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipoh
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

My friends and I came in a group of 8. We took the Triple Room & Family Room. Both room are clean and tidy. The staff there are friendly. We arrived in the middle of the night, the staff still smiling at us and welcome us to the room. It was warmth enough after a tired flight journey. The location is just a few minutes walking distance to local shops and market. Reasonable price.

Room Tip: They don't have a lift (you got to carry your luggage up to your room). But they do have spaciou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mitchiwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2013

We stayed in dormitory,but only for one night as its absolutely not worth 25RM. Broken toilet and unusable cold shower,not really clean room,smelly common area and terrible beds...no,thanks. The only common area is an table with chairs opposite to reception where noisy,rude,and non-sympathic locals works. There is an microwave and fridge,drinking and hot water for guests,price include free breakfast. Located about 500m from center,but you dont need to walk there,its better to stay in any other place.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Vojtech000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2013

Unlike other travellers we didn't make any reservations for diving at Sipadan. When we arrived in Semporna/ Mabul every touroperator to this dive-heaven was fully booked. Except for Borneo Global Backpackers....... we paid a bit more than average but we booked with these guys anyway 'cuz we HAD to see Sipadan.
Sipadan itsef was very nice, visibility was not the best, but still: the diving was very special.
The thing we were absolutely NOT happy with was our tour-operator itself:

Global Backpackers is mainly run by locals, and the way they work is terribly chaotic.... from the receptionists to the people who work in the wet/equipment-room.
When we were booking the trip, prices went up and down, and up and down - the receptionist gave us a different price every two minutes. VERY confusing. Just be clear. So: make sure you don't make you pay more than reasonable.
The day of diving itself: it took ages before they got us the right gear (they just grabbed something without looking at us or asking our sizes. Of course someone with shoesize 43 will not fit in a finsize 38 ... ).
The wetsuits and gear were in bad condtion and looked like it could fall apart anytime. Wetsuits had holes in it everywhere. (shark-attacks? ;-))
Anyway - the worst thing was the guy that was supposed to be our 'dive-guide'. So much more a dive-guide: our man was 'Sandrix' - a Philipino guy with a big mouth and clearly not enjoying his work. He was abolutely not attentive, helpfull or interested. He slept all the way to our divingspot, hardly told us anything beforehand (about the site, currents, depth), just laughed hard when one of our diving-gauges (meters) exploded while gearing up (! - this had never ever happened to any of us divers on board before - quite dangerous - so we all felt a bit uncomfortable), he was not pointinig out at anyhting while under water (well.. except for some sharks.. but DUH.. we could SEE these were sharks) I was pretty sure he was even sleeping under water.... and when we came up at the surface of the water, the boat was nowhere to be seen. Our big-mouth-guide forgot to make a good appointment with the boat-guy ... besides this, one of us had big problems with his ears, so couldn't get down that quick. But this guide just ignored it and went down under water and forgot all about him.

Diving at Sipadan was really nice, but really: Do NOT book with this organisation if you don't have to.
Or at least: make sure you have a good dive-guide with you who you feel comfortable with.

Room Tip: Diving at Sipadan was really nice, but really: Do NOT book with this organisation if you don't h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SarahLu_NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

OK dorms. Upside is the very helpfull staff that helped me arrange airportpick and even change it to 06 Am in the morning with another resorts van with ease. For me its more valuable with helpful staff before luxurious interior. Short distance to the diveshops. I recomend this to backpackers.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Unevik
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 24 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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