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“Nice budget place”

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Singamata Adventures Semporna
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice budget place”
Reviewed 18 June 2013 via mobile

We booked a 4d/3n package online with RM700/pax,flight from KL to Tawau airport with airasia,booked a van from tawau to semporna(singamta office).its about 90km from airport to semporna town,take about an hour to reach.
Everything is good,nice view,small but comfy room with aircond(with sharing bath room),food not great but ok,good snorkeling experience,verry helpful and friendy staff,a verry joyful trip for me.will comeback again someday.
The only big downside is,the staff (a woman) in the office dosent treat us like guest at all...really unpolite!

Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Alex T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2013

My experience at Singamata was largely underwhelming – and I arrived fully expecting budget accommodation. I visited with my boyfriend and spent 3 nights in a deluxe room, hoping to recover from our climb of Mt Kinabalu directly beforehand. The location was fantastic for relaxing, with plenty of hammocks scattered around the boardwalks and stairs directly into the ocean for snorkeling. The island snorkeling trips are also fun (more later), though not the best value. However that’s pretty much all this place has going for it.

The accommodations even in the deluxe room were incredibly basic, cramped and not good value for the price, especially in Asia. The double bed was tiny and old, the only other furniture in the room was a little old desk in the corner, and the bathroom was basically a “wet room” that emptied into the ocean – about 10m from where we set off for our intro dive. Keep that in mind when snorkeling around the hotel! The electricity is turned off during the day, so there are no fans to lounge under on a hot day. We still enjoyed hopping between hammocks and the water to cool off, which is lucky because if you’re not diving, there’s not much else to do.

Be prepared to have the office staff try to sell you on diving programs when you check in, even when you don’t have enough time. (Remember to consider your arrival and departure flights – and if you’ve just climbed Kinabalu, you probably WILL be a bit sore.) There was also some waiting around to take the boat out to the hotel, as mentioned by other reviewers. We ended up being the only guests on a boat otherwise full of staff who seemed to show up late. Use any wait time to walk into town and stock up on snacks and any alcohol you fancy – once you’re at the hotel, there’s not much available.

Food was a fairly bland and repetitive spread. We aren’t fussy foodies but we enjoy exploring other cuisines and felt that we had that opportunity wasted for the 4 days we were there – and being stuck out on the reef you have no other food options. Since I can’t eat fish there were several meals where I basically ate rice and fruit, which might be fine for some but frustrated me that fabulous Asian food was available literally just on the horizon each evening.

There seemed to be about 6 guests total during our stay, but many employees who sat around and watched us. We tried to engage in friendly smiles and quick chats at first, then gave up and just felt creeped out by the end of our stay.

Feeling stir-crazy after 2 days, we did a day trip to a nearby island to snorkel. This was the highlight of our stay, and definitely worth doing if you’re not diving. The island was gorgeous, the staff brought a simple lunch along, our guide actually had a sense of humour and he was great at taking us to specific places he obviously knew were haunts for sea turtles and big fish. It was a relief to have a change of scenery!

All in all, stay here if you’re part of a larger, younger group on a tight budget and you’re planning to spend all day diving. For anyone else, I’d recommend spending only a little bit more to stay elsewhere, where you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank alleelea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pontianak, Indonesia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2013

Getting through the Singamata office in Semporna can be a little tough, the people inside seemed a bit distracted, but once we jumped on a boat and got to the resort itself we had a great time. The rooms are small and quaint, but the location is amazing, the beds are perfectly comfy after a day of diving, and they feed you well at the buffet (it's also vegetarian girlfriend approved). If you are going out during the day, just make sure you tell them that you want a vegetarian meal and they will be happy to prepare one for you. The boardwalk of the resort surrounds crystal clear water that you can swim in whenever you like. They also have a small natural aquarium that you can snorkel in at any time of the day - filled with huge fish!

The diving instructors and divemasters who took us out on our fun dives were really good at pointing things out as well as providing good conversation on the boat in between dives. We saw HUGE turtles, eels, and groupers. I would highly recommend Singamata for anyone who wants to dive near Sipadan for a fraction of the cost. And, if you do want to go to Sipadan, they can do that too.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JumpKickTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2013

Don´t book the absolutley overpriced backpackers lodge. The crew in the Hotel is very nice and they have a lovley pool with nice game. But that´s all unfortunatly, the Chinese Manager is a mess, she regulates everything and try´s to rip off everybody. The rooms are absolutly overpriced for that value. You don´t have walls and you hear everything from the other rooms, the towels are old and dirty...Bathroom is connected with the other bathroom so you know hear exacty what kind of "job" they are doing. During the day they switch off the electricity!!!! until 5pm. You have always the same food, and the taste is a mess.
If you book the snorkling package they drop you at one spot for the whole day and than they bring you back.
If you book the diving package it´s a good value ad, but the problem is the Chinese Dive Instructor, because he fails more than 50%, that happened when we have been there. Never heared something like that before!!!
They don´t spend the money to bring you to the spot where you see the big game.
There are a lot of good resorts around where you see the big fish in nature and not only in your pool.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank DjangoDuval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2013

Location is nice with 360 degrees seaview since it was built right on top of the coral reef. No mosquitos/bugs which is quite relieving in the tropics climate.
Note the standard package offers mixed dorm lodging and shared bathrooms, we upgraded to the deluxe room which has attached bathrooms for extra $$. Electricity is unavailable from 9-11AM and 2-5 PM daily. you can of course join the free snorkeling tours/go diving or take a boat ride to semporna and enjoy the excellent seafood there.
Food is OK at best... really sociable staff and DMs. I would say its a perfect place if you are single and taking your OW/AOW courses here.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Yue0717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2012

We have no complaint against the hotel during the stay but have little comment on its pre/ post sale service.

Whilst offering 3D2N for Open water diver course, the customer service failed to inform us that it is fatal for a diver to take a flight within 18 hours after multiple dives. For that reason, we had to cancel our return flight and purchased the next day return flight, otherwise we will not be able to complete our PADI Open water diver course.

After completion of our course, we emailed our photos to the customer service for their further action to obtain PADI cert for us. However, the customer service was sleeping on the matter...

So much of customer service and profesionalism for an alleged 5 star PADI training center...

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ChenYuanFei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Whether or not you like this place will depend what you're looking for. I initially thought I fancied three days of doing absolutely nothing on this floating island, but immediately got very bored: it was virtually deserted in early June, which I thought would be peak time. And there's nowhere else to go. But if you fancy complete peace and solitude, or a romantic couples getaway, this may be the place to do it on a budget. The price includes your meals, and the meals are good but not amazing. Shower and toilet facilities weren't the cleanest, there were a few power outages, and some of the staff acted like they didn't work there and you were just some weirdo bothering them. Beds are kind of small but comfortable enough. There was a storm surrounding this floating hotel, and it was terrifying: the whole building shook. Also, it's a bit pointless providing wifi but not even having one computer for guests to use.
But Tony the dive instructor made up for it! I hadn't planned on diving, but the boredom of Singamata drove me to it. This is where I learned, and Tony is an EXCELLENT instructor who stopped me quitting on at least occasions and showed endless patience. I'm really grateful to him, because I've since had some of the best moments of my life diving. Singamata offers really cheap diving packages. And Vicky, who works in Singamata's mainland office, is really likeable and great fun. For me, Singamata's boredom worked out very well in the end...
Not sure what rating to give this: five out of five if lying around, swimming, snorkelling, sleeping, eating, drinking, and NOTHING ELSE is your cup of tea. I suppose it is for some. Otherwise you might drown in boredom. Or you could learn to dive!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SweetPete58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Singamata Adventures Semporna

Property: Singamata Adventures Semporna
Address: Jalan Kastam, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Semporna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort was established in 2007. Built over a beautiful coral reef, the resort offers both tranquility and adventure. It provides an ideal base, not only to divers and snorkelers but to anyone seeking an affordable and relaxing haven to unwind and escape from everyday stress. Being an authorized Padi 5-star resort, we are ideally equipped to offer a wide range of courses catering to different needs and budgets. Our experienced Padi instructors can help you achieve your goals. The resort offers three different room styles, all with ocean views. Plus, we have a a large buffet-style restaurant. We are the ideal choice not only for families and groups, but also for couples, backpackers and lone travellers. Our objective is to provide an excellent getaway… either on one of our brand new speedboats offering daily island trips for snorkeling and diving, or just a tranquil place to read a book on one of secluded sun-decks. We have great diving right off the site, plus we have a sea aquarium with some really large fish that you can swim around or even dive with. We also have free wi-fi for those wanting to stay in touch with the rest of the world, or perhaps show off your beautiful surroundings to envious work colleagues on facebook! Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort – an ideal retreat for divers, snorkelers, families and friends. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Singamata Adventures Semporna Hotel Semporna

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