I think there needs to be a clear point here somehow that they offer TWO types of accommodation- both in Semporna and on Mabul,and I think they should be rated individually.
The hotel in Semporna is fit for purpose, as somewhere to rest your head either before or after your dive trip. We had a double room with air con which was fine, and had a comfy bed so we slept well, it was fine. Their own restaurant next door did good food, but we also ate at a local restaurant maybe 3/4 shops down the road, which did amazing (seriously cheap) Indian-style food.
Great for those trying to offset the cost of Sipadan....
The accommodation on Mabul was lovely, nicer than I'd expected. They maintained their specific patch of the island well, but the shanty towns that greet you on arrival was still quite a shock. I agree with what others have said- divers are ploughing so so much money into this area- and clearly, most of it is going straight into the pockets of the (probably) Western owners and not filtering down to help this area and the locals.
Semporna is one of the grubbiest places I've ever been, which did shock me- couldn't some of the revenue created go towards helping them upgrade a little? I know it's more complicated than that, but it still seems terrible that we're all passing through spending fortunes that they don't appear to benefit at all...
We're vegetarians, and they were aware in advance we were coming and had staff who were too, so they made plenty of allowances for us which was really nice, we had plenty of choice for all our meals. The food was great and water, tea,a snack of some sort was generally always available.
If i'm honest- after all the hype, we both preferred diving Mabul. Sipadan was good, but we've had better experiences at the Yongala (sorry guys, although you're now voted top!) and I just think everyone's constant going on about how it'll blow our mind...it just seemed underwhelming after that. Plus the visibility was low most the time, which probably didn't help.
Great staff though, great food, and a good night's rest, would go back again for sure.
- Also Known As:
- Scuba Junkie Hotel And Diving
- Scuba Junkie Hotel Diving
- Scuba Junkie Semporna