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“Top Rate Diving; Splendid Rooms”

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Sipadan Water Village
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Top Rate Diving; Splendid Rooms”
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We stayed a week at SWV early April. From the airport we were whisked away to SWV's very comfortable van that will take us on a long, bumpy but picturesque route to Semporna Jetty. (1hr) At the jetty, all we had to do was to step on the the boat as the crew took care of our dive bags and other luggage. We had the boat all to ourselves so it felt very luxe! At least 5-10 staffs were waiting at the dock when the boat arrived. Perhaps, noting that we've been traveling all morning, the attentive staff suggest that we proceed to the dining area for lunch before check-in and dive briefing.
Our chalet is located on the furthest point to the lobby area. It may be a pain on certain days to walk back and forth our rooms and dive center, it was very quiet and private with the windows opening out to the sea and a nearby resort. The chalet was huge, sufficient for three adults (or more); it was a nice touch too, having a set of deck chairs. As our chalet is quite far away from the well-lit lobby and dining areas, it was dark enough for us to see the really wonderful skies. Also, the sound of sea, crashing waves makes them a perfect spot for stargazing (particularly in December during the annual Geminids meteor showers)
Yes, some may say rooms are aged, but it was very well maintained, clean and comfortable, perfect for lounging around after an awfully early, long dive day.
I'll come back to SWV simply because of two points
1) unlimited house reef dives Paradise 1 and Paradise 2. Cuttlefish! Dueling turtles! Lone barracuda and crocodile fish! on top of top rate diving @ Sipadan.
2) well-organized dive center. It drives me up the wall when dive centers do not have an effective system on equipment handling, storage and dying areas. I like the fact that each divers are assigned a locker number and "bcd-reg" hanging area and thorough briefings.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank delphinus2330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 15 April 2012

My friend and I are just back from a 5D/4N stay here and were most impressed with the impeccable service and excellent dive center. While a bit aged, the resort itself has been well maintained, the rooms kept clean with good amenities. The food, while not quite to-die-for, was decent. But of course, most of what people come here for, the diving, is fantastic...which makes this dive center with its very well organized system and new BCDs a much welcomed service.

Room Tip: Mabul wing is closer to the dive center...a good thing when you've to be there at 5am!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PG2SF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandakan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2012

Nice resort but floating nappies and sewage under our water villa don't encourage getting in the water. Several people in our group get nasty ear infections - from the polluted water perhaps. Many of the resorts and none of the village houses have any sewage treatment.
We cut our stay short and went to Pom Pom Island, beautiful and no pollution.

Room Tip: Dont stay anywhere on Mabul Island,
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hari H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

We stayed a week at SWV towards the end of February 2012. We travelled with our local dive shop and had paid for a room with a/c. The room we got didn't have a/c and we didn't sleep for the first couple of nights. We found out our room had been given to someone else who didn't pay for a/c and he refused to move. Fortunately our dive shop operators were wonderful and gave us their deluxe room with a/c. We are loyal customers so we really appreciated that. BTW, only 6 rooms have a/c.

Diving:
Some of the best in the world. I've never seen so many varieties of fish, large and incredibly small. We did 18 dives over 6 days and it was fantastic. The house reef is simply amazing and blew my mind with the check out dive. Most of the dive masters are very good, of course some are better than others, that's to be expected. We really enjoyed Fazio, he's great.

Food:
Being from California we're used to a lot of very fresh and healthy light food. The food at the village made us homesick. It seems everything is cooked in oil, lots of it. By the 3rd day I was giving the plumbing a work out. By the end of the trip I was eating mostly salad and fruit. They did make my girlfriend a nice birthday cake and sing happy birthday so kudos to the staff for that. Generally the staff were all very very nice, I just think they prepare food very differently than what we're used to. But for the money I expected better.

Overall:
We had a pretty good time overall but I'm not sure we would return to this resort. First of all it's a very long trip to get there. Second, it's expensive. But I think what bothers me most is the resorts lack of involvement with the dirt poor village that sits just behind it on the shorts. We walked through that village a couple of times and the conditions are terrible, really bad. That resort brings a lot of money to the island, where does it go? We checked out the resort next door and even though it's much smaller they are involved. They have a spay and neuter program for the animals on the island, they have a turtle hatchery with educational materials and they don't serve any fish at the resort. I have a problem with SWV having things on the menu that I just saw while I was diving. I think they could do more to preserve the sea life and improve the quality of life for the locals that live on the island.

Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank NorcalGSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

The whole resort is built on stilt over shallow water, so the views are fantastic, you're able to see corals and fishes in the water, as you walk around the resort, i always have my eye looking at the water and i've encountered turtle, lion fish, yelow pipefish, eagle ray, wrasse etc etc
Some of the rooms are quite a bit of walk away, takes about 5 minutes of walk from my room to the dive center, so if you're diving, try to ask for a room closer to the dive center. But of course, during your walk, you'll have plenty of chance to encounter fishes and turtles.
The room is clean, bed is comfortable, but furniture's abit dated, my room does not have a/c or television but I dont think we need it, we're here for the great ocean view and the breeze.

- About diving -
good - on time diving, dive center will gear up for you, friendly staff, abundant marine life

not so good - expensive, even though the website say unlimited self house reef dive, its for day time dive only, they charge (cant remember the amount, but i think RM30) per self night dive, why would you charge for self night dive??

During the whole trip we saw - alot of turtle, alot of lion fish, alot of cuttlefish, big school of barracuda, white tip shark, bumphead parrotfish, pikachu nudi, giant frog fish, flamboyant cuttlefish, etc etc...

conclusion
SWV is a great place to stay if you're on honeymoon and both of you love diving, however, if your're here for diving only, it's abit expensive.

Room Tip: Ask for room closer to lobby, some rooms are quite far away.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alfonso-Malaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sipadan Water Village

Property: Sipadan Water Village
Address: Tawau, Pulau Sipadan 91031, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Sipadan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Pulau Sipadan
Price range (per night): ₹ 23,911 - ₹ 33,152
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sipadan Water Village is a resort built entirely over the water on stilts. In its design, Sipadan Water Village has achieved near utopia in its layout, splendid water cottage accommodations with flowered sidewalks, wonderfully prepared Asian and Continental cuisine, and impeccable and personable service! The dive program is comparable to none as everyone at Sipadan Water Village has an attitude and passion for what the sea has to offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sipadan Water Village Hotel Pulau Sipadan
Sipadan Water Village Pulau

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