Last Updated : Wednesday, November 09, 2016 08:54:04 PM

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

There are 5 resorts on Mabul Island :

1 - Sipadan Water Village Resort (on water)

2 - Sipadan Mabul Resort (on water)

3 - Borneo Diver Resort (on land)

4 - Seaventure Resort (on sea)

5 - Mabul Beach Resort of Scuba Junkie (on land)


and 3 Budget Dive Centre on Mabul Island :

1 - Uncle Chang's Sipadan Mabul Dive Lodge (on water)

2 - Sipadan Dive Centre Mabul (on land)

3 - Mabul Backpackers (on water)


Borneo Divers Mabul Resort
Sabah Malaysia

The resort has a large diving crew with very experienced guides that knows the dive sites well.

Lots of dive boats ready.



Recent years seen the steady increase of resort guests in Chinese.
They cam from all part of the vast China and hence they quality may vary.
Some friendly and sociable. Some do stupid things with corals and marine life.

The house reef is probably the best dive site in Mabul area. Lots of fish life and variety.. turtles, lion fish, nudibranch, pretty much everything in a very accessible spot and at 10m max-depth means you don't have to worry about deco. There can be current at times and the visibility is generally somewhat worse than other Mabul dive sites. They have unlimited dives at the house reef which is just brilliant.. just find a buddy, pickup a new tank and dive. That simple. I was doing 4 or 5 dives every day.


The same as all other resorts, dive trip to Sipidan is bases on quota.

The quota allocation situation is unpredictable. Some people are lucky to get more then the other.

Boat schedule to Sipidan from the resort is  5:30am boat and 8:30am boat.

Most divers go on the first 5:30am boats for a better chance to see more fish.


Airport pickup and drop-off service between Tawau and Semporna is servicing well.

The resort has their private jetty at Semporna Town.


The quality and variety of food is standard foods as you get in all other resorts. Fresh and no repeat menu.  But sometimes a change of chief cook may produce a change in quality of foods.


Sometimes  the food is made to suit the majority Chinese guests tastes. And Chinese is well know for hogging all the foods. But they learn fast and they are improving since their government official travel guideline reminding them of their behaviour in the overseas.

The BBQ nights is a bonus .



This is a 10 years old 3-star level  resort. Though a bit worn but acceptable. Clean and all your basic need. Divers come here for the seas not the rooms.

Mabul Island is a diving destinations not a travelling destination. The resorts are diving resorts not backpacker resorts.

Divers pay a lot of money to the government just for permits to Sipidan Island. The resorts here are pretty expensive.

If it wasn't coming here for one of the world best dive site, your holiday in this Mabul Island would be overpriced for a basic stay.

And many well travelled divers  have returned over and over.



The whole Mabul Island is in shortage of fresh water. So do not expect the water in the bathroom is really fresh water..


There were lots of books on marine life to browse through.

All the staff at Borneo Divers were very friendly.

The Dive Masters really made an effort to point out special marine life e.g. nudibranch, sharks, crocodile fish, etc.

Unfortunately the wifi did not work most days but this wasn't a huge problem. The showers are all saltwater.

Stayed August 2016, travelled with friends

“A budget hotel in great location”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 27 August 2016
I chose this hotel only because they were the only ones that could provide permits to Sipadan one week in advance in high season and with only 2 nights stay. The staff was nice and friendly, the food was decent, the rooms and bathroom ware mediocre, more like a hostel room on the beach. Though you are not going to spend time much time in the room, we tried to avoid it as it was a bit depressing, so was the little pool in front of our cabin. Most of the guests at this hotel were chinese, some showed up at dinner table in speedos and nothing else, loud, obnoxious but well, whats to do, just different table etiquette amongst cultures....

Stayed July 2016, travelled as a couple

“A very good choice in Mabul”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
We booked the 4N-5 days diving package and we weren't disappointed. The dives in Sipadan were memorable. Such a fantastic experience. We could have dived there twine during our stay. However, the dives in Mabul are crap. The hotel itself is very good. The room was clean and comfortable, the garden was beautiful and the common area very nice. Food was not great but ok, the swimming pool wasn't that great but at least it was good to have it. The only main negative comment we would have is regarding the staff. Most of the divemasters aren't so friendly and are quite arrogant. But generally speaking, we had a very good experience there and would recommend to book here.

Stayed August 2016, travelled as a couple

“Great Staff and a great timr”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
We stayed next door at Scuba Junkie but spent a lot of time at the beach bar of Borneo Divers and had a great time! They were always very friendly and had great western comfort food.

We ended up getting Sipadan passes and had an unforgettable day diving with the dive master Scott. He was very professional and took us on really amazing dive sites. He seemed to really know the areas! Would highly recommend!

Stayed October 2016, travelled with friends

I am a snorkeler and I decided to make a present to my husband. Sipadan should be one of the world’s best diving destinations.
I decided to book a package of 5 days/4 nights with Borneo Divers on Mabul island because I was sure that he will have at least one-day dive (with 4 dives) on Sipadan. When I booked from 6th – 10th October, they asked me to pay a deposit of 30 % and the balance 30 days before my arrival.

They organized our transfer from Tawau airport to their resort. At the exit of the airport, someone was waiting for us. We went to their minivan where 5 other guests were already inside. We rode during 20 minutes on a road under construction before riding on 2 lanes road until Semporna. The journey took 1 h 20 (94 km). They have their own boat at their private jetty at Semporna and we left the jetty ten minutes later. We arrived at the hotel at 1:10 pm (50 minutes travel with the boat). During my stay, they always took care of my luggage. Willy was waiting for our group and we went to the hotel. Our names were already mentioned on the white board for the following day for diving (3 divers) or snorkeling (5 snorkelers) on Sipadan. After that, we had our lunch. At 1:45 pm we went to a sort of classroom and he gave us some paperwork to fill out and some explanation about the hotel and other general information. At 2:20 pm we were in our bedroom. At 3:15 pm, my husband had a check dive of 45 minutes.

During the night, it rained a lot and we got up with the rain. At 8:00 am we had our appointment to go to Sipadan. The boat left at 8:20 am under the rain and a very choppy sea with many big waves. This kind of weather can occur one or two times a week in October but when we came back to the hotel 4:30 pm, the sea was flat (25 minutes instead of 40 minutes for a distance of 15 km). We arrived on Sipadan island at 9:00 am and we have to register your name. After that, you have your first dive or snorkeling (without a guide).
After each dive, we came back to the island for 50 minutes and you dive/snorkel in front of the military station for security reason and not on the other side of the island (we snorkeled twice on Barracuda point, once on the drop off (the most beautiful spot with turtles) once on Coral Gardens. As a snorkeler, it was my favorite place in the world. I swam with 5 turtles, among a school of jack fishes, bat fishes, bumphead parrotfish and other huge fishes. If you are a keen snorkeler, Sipadan is heaven! After that, I was a bit disappointed when I snorkeled on Mabul or Kapalai (5 – 10 minutes speedboat ride from Mabul). It was not possible to get a second permit (you have to pay 146 MYR/pax – the first permit was 40 RM/pax for snorkeler and diver) because the resort was fully booked due to the holidays in China. 90 % was Chinese people but I met very friendly and well educated people.

The only issue was the bedroom but I recognize that I had essential things such a hot shower with a soap/shampoo in a dispenser, a good air-conditioning, a fan, a safe and a good mattress with clean sheet. The bathroom was very old and the furniture was not modern. It can be a bit depressing. They maintain their wood and their garden very well, so you are impressed upon arrival. The showers are all saltwater but you have some fresh water in the bedroom in a dispenser to wash your face and your teeth. The towels are a bit worn and you normally receive a “beach” towel on the boat (and not at the swimming pool). The first night, we broke our key of our room in the cylinder but ten minutes later, their team was there to replace it.

The food of the buffet was very good and varied. Breakfast is from 7 am to 8:30 am. The breakfast buffet is consisting of white bread, soup, ham, sausage, beans, noodle, pancake and an egg station. The last day, we took the boat of 6:00 am and we could have a package for our breakfast or a hot breakfast at 5:30 am with noodle, scrambled eggs, toast, watermelon, tea or coffee. Dinner is from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm but most the time they closed earlier (one day at 8:15 pm). Most of the guests arrived at the dinner before 7:00 pm and the BBQ night is on Sundays. They offer you as fruit: watermelon, melon, litchis, pineapple, papaya and bananas. This was the menu of the BBQ night: fried rice, fried noodles, mush potato, mix vegetables, BBQ lamb/fish/beef/squid/chicken/prawn, banana spring roll, slice butter cake. Another dinner was: turmeric rice, curry chicken, crab black beans, roasted beef, cabbage with mushroom, rosemary potato, pak choi with beancurd, meat soup, custard pudding, jam tart, sweet potato wedges. They offer you pasta with a different sauce at each lunch, fish at each dinner but we should arrive very early otherwise they refill it only once (other items can be refilled two or three times). You have water and a juice (powder with water) in a dispenser included in your package during the whole day at your disposal at the dining room or at the jetty. When you come back at the jetty between two dives, you can eat snack like cake with a cup of coffee/tea or water/juice.

Their organization was very good for the transfer, the timetable of the dives/snorkeling’s. They tried to put Asian or western people together. Don't look at the activities at the reception they don't exist anymore.

They don't have a precise number of dives in their package. It is depending when you arrive/leave in the morning of in the afternoon. For my husband, it was one check dive of 45 minutes on the house reef the first day, 4 dives on Sipadan, 3 dives on the third day and finally two dives on the fourth because our plane took off the next day at 2 pm. He has an unlimited dives on the house reef. Don’t forget to take your certifications to show them. Before each dive, there is a short briefing.

The house reef is good but very small because you have boats arriving at the right and left side of the jetty. Borneo Divers has 6 boats. The first meter of the seaside is full of rubbish but there is no trash in the sea at the jetty.

They have a bar near the entrance of the jetty with a convenient store and the room for the massage.

The resort is located between the police and the military stations and I never felt unsafe.

The Wi-Fi was only available in the main lobby/dining room of the resort.

If you want, you can walk around the island: it will take about 45 – 60 minutes and you will be in the village which is very poor and full of small children.

We took the boat of 6:10 am and we arrived at 6:50 am at the jetty of Semporna. The minivan left at 7:00 am and we arrived at 8:20 am at the airport.

The sunset is at about 5:15 pm (but 7:00 pm on Perhentians Islands).

I will return to this resort with its 30 bedrooms for my fantastic snorkeling in Sipadan (the best place to be on my 8-year snorkeling career).


Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort set in a quiet uncrowned location which allow you to really relax and unwind. Each Chalet consists of two rooms. Since the dive sites are close, frequently you will return to the resort for your surface interval so you can enjoy the balmy tropical breezes on your private veranda.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort occupies a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach. Easy access is provided for both shore and boat diving.


The chalets are constructed of beautiful hardwoods in a local style. Ceiling fans and balmy tropical breezes provide ample cooling, but each chalet is also fully air conditioned for your comfort. All units have either twin or double size beds. Private bathrooms provide modern hot showers and toilet facilities. Amenities such as hair dryers and reading lamps are available in all rooms.

Accommodations are provided in attractive and comfortable chalets, all with a view of the beach and the Borneo Mainland in the distance.

The spacious dining hall also serves as a meeting place for socializing, relax or watch an Underwater Video to prime you for the next day's dive schedule.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort offers 30 classy units of semi-detached room in two category :
1) twin-share or
2) double beds

All has a private verandah overlooking the Celebes Sea.
Each room comes with :
1) air-conditioner,
2) ceiling fan,
3) dressing table and
4) a private hot & cold water shower bathroom.

Deluxe rooms are decorated and has added facilities such as coffee & tea making facilities and hair dryer. The resort also offers 5 units of comfortable tents which are air-conditioned for the adventurous divers.

Facilities at Borneo Divers Mabul Resort include :
1) restaurant, bars (3 units),
2) event hall,
3) full service dive centre,
4) professional underwater video and filming centre,
5) library and
6) free Wifi Service.

Borneo Divers Mabul Resort is the only accommodation in Mabul that has a pool.



The Jetty of Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

The Jetty of Borneo Divers Mabul Resort

The jetty overlooked a small shallow reef that was just like a small paradise. Borneo Divers Mabul Resort sits on a pristine stretch of white sand seaside within the island of Mabul.

INDEX - Islands of Sabah  November 09, 2016 08:54:04 PM

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