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. :-)
- 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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