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“Friendly Resort and Great Diving”

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Celebes Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Semporna B&B and Inns
Reviewed 23 November 2013

I stayed at CBR for 16 nights while I completed a professional-level BSAC underwater course offered by Oceans Below out of Koh Toh, Thailand. There were 2 students, me and another woman from Australia, and two instructors, so we had one-on-one attention. My only complaint is that the time went by two fast and I wish that I could repeat it all over again.

The resort is not luxury but it is nice and in my opinion priced accordingly compared to how few options are available in this area.. The highlights to me were the staff.(of course you gotta love the manager, Nurul, who you want as your new best friend and the funny and always energetic dive master Zainal). Overall, all the staff were friendly and really cared that you enjoyed your time on the island. Lots of warm, genuine smiles...I like that. :-)

So on to the diving because that's where this place really shines. They have top notch boats, equipment, instructors and dive masters. Top that off with all of the amazing things that you'll see underwater and it really was an "eye full". My first check out dive we see a "blue ringed" octopus who posed long enough for me to get a pic. This was right off the house reef where I also saw so much more during my stay - huge green turtles, ornate ghost pipefish, nudibranchs, frogfish, flying guanard, lots of different kinds of moray, ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorse, blue and black ribbon eels, etc. A reef down from the house reef I saw my first mandarin fish. The nearby dive sites also have alot to see, like Mataking (gotta do the shipwreck and the jetty) . Both are teeming with fish life. The one thing about the diving that was hard to get used to is that the area is still subject to bomb fishing and it's taken a toll on the reef. There are areas that are not affected, but many which are. You will still find lots of amazing things to see but it is sad to see this unsustainable practice still in place. It is illegal but hard to police so that's why it still continues.

The resort can also arrange a day for you to go to Sipadan which we did...and of course it was wonderful! So if your journey brings you to this wonderful part of the world, take time to visit the wonders of diving around Pom Pom Island and I recommend you do it with CBR. :-)

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank LindaA99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 September 2013

If you are looking at this place it’s probably because you want to go to see the islands but don’t want to pay the high prices of Pom Pom island or other resorts. We stayed for 4 nights for this reason and didn’t want to leave.

The chalets are nice and spacious, and of a decent standard. Some of the moaning on here is ridiculous as in life you get what you pay for, so yes the showers are saltwater showers and as a result the bathroom fittings are a little rusty, but that’s as bad as it gets. It’s clean, quiet and spacious. The staff are very friendly and helpful as well.

The food was good enough, and certainly loads of it. For lunch and dinner there seemed to be 2 main meat dishes and plenty of rice and fresh vegetables for vegetarians/fussy eaters, and toast/jam are available 24 hours a day if you want a lie in and miss breakfast.

If you are thinking of going here you must do, the archipelago is simply stunning. I’m lucky enough to have travelled a lot but these islands are the best I have ever seen, so it’s worth getting up and doing the snorkelling trips. So much marine life, white sand and clear turquoise sea as far as you look, so perfect for snorkelers or sunbathers…..it’s as close to paradise as you will ever come, so go now whilst it hasn’t been developed and before the Chinese invasion stand on and ruin all the coral.

TIP: Go and sit on the jetty in the evening and watch the night life creatures start to pass by….turtles, sting rays, zebra sharks, sea snakes, crabs and porcupine fish all come out to play! Also walk round the island and sunbath in front of Pom Pom resort as that stretch of beach/sea is truly stunning.

Room Tip: Ask for room 1....right on the front overlooking the sea and still quiet.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Mancunian_1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013 via mobile

Heading out to the island we were caught in a huge storm and found ourselves wishing the resort had more than the inadequate boat we were on - little more than a dive boat with side flaps that didn't reach all the way, leaving us drenched and cold by the time we reached the island! Staff was very welcoming though, and rooms comfortable, though our shower wasn't working and wasn't fixed during our stay. Rooms are set back from the beach, which I liked, as it meant you didn't have to sunbathe in front of someone's room. Food was pretty good, and beers very reasonably priced for Sabah. Snorkelling trips to different islands every morning were included in the price. Beautiful beach - we snorkelled with turtles just a few metres from the sand! Overall good value for money in this overpriced part of the world :)

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank nyenyedzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Celebes Beach Resort is located on Pom Pom Island off Semporna. It shares the island with only one other dive resort, albeit upmarket. It enjoys a wonderful and rather isolated location.

The property's accommodation units comprise of number of a number of twin accommodation units. Each unit comprises two separate rooms with their own entrances and bathrooms. The rooms were generally clean and air conditioned. All other facilities from then on were very basic i.e. towels, soap and shampoo. The faucet to the sink was badly positioned as it tended to wet the surrounding table top area. Water pressure in the shower was rather weak at times. A pail of water was provided to wash the sand off your feet before entering the room. I had to ask for a mat to be placed at the entrance to dry my feet.

Food was generally poorly prepared and boring although I must say that the quality of the ingredients and raw materials were of an acceptable quality. Flies were the next problem and they seemed to be everywhere during breakfast and lunch. This was a definite health hazard.

Another health hazard was the fact that the water in the bathrooms (pumped from the ground) was not chlorinated and the face that we used this to brush our teeth etc. When I discovered this, I opted to purchase mineral/drinking water to brush my teeth and gargle.

The dive sites were average although there were a couple of good spots. In between dives there were some scenic views on the way. The dive service station itself was a rather basic operation and unremarkable.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank HKChong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

We recently stayed at CBR for 5 days 4 nights. We got a good deal from the resort at the previous dive expo (MIDE).

The rooms are big, there is aircon and hot water showers. My only beef about the room is that it can get a little funky if not aired properly. Maybe an extractor fan in the toilet might help. Also the toilet door is wholly glass. I would have preferred a bit more privacy and would suggest maybe just a sticker panel on the door.

The diving is superb with a lot of little critters just off the beach in the house reef. The nearby islands like Mataking have very interesting dive sites with lots to see too. A must visit is the shipwreck post at Mataking. We did not arrange to get the waterproof letters the day before but there is a post box at the shipwreck where you can mail your letters.

The dive shop is well run and all equipment look to be in excellent condition. They offer a variety of dive courses and if you are looking to take some qualification please be sure to speak to Nurul the manager to make arrangements before hand.

All in we had a fantastic time, a chance to relax and unwind. I could not recommend this place more.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank byyap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013 via mobile

This is definitly a diving place so don't go if you don't dive. But if you are already a diver or if it is your first experience this is the right place. Don't expect a nice hotel with facilities. This is more a guesthouse style hotel, with very simple rooms and basics facilities. But be sure that you will find one of the most beautiful diving spot with a very professional staff
Will definitly go back there for diving!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank piboulette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

The accommodation is on tiny island in the Celebes sea so you practically have the place to yourself. the rooms are basic, but very clean, nicely decorated and comfortable. The food is OK - served at set times during the day in the communal area.
Turtles visit very frequently to eat the sea grass so the chances of seeing and swimming with a turtle is very high.
We went to snorkel, while the rest of the visitors and staff were really focussed on diving. However, they were happy to take us out on the dive boats to go snorkelling and the staff were welcoming to us.
It's quite expensive for a snorkelling trip - but the location is pretty stunning. Probably worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Celebes Beach Resort

Address: 1 Romantic Beach | Pom Pom Island, Semporna, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Semporna
Price Range: £27 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Celebes Beach Resort is a new secluded two stars resort located in the Celebes Sea. The resort is based on Pom Pom Island where the peaceful white sandy beaches seem endless and the waters are a perfect turquoise blue.Whether you are interested in an idyllic beach holiday or experiencing a new quality of diving. Celebes Beach Resort has it all. ... more   less 
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