My boyfriend and I stayed for just under a week in Kapalai in the middle of June and it was brilliant. We are both divers and chose the resort for this reason: Sipadan is one of the world's top 3 dive locations... a title it certainly deserves.
The accommodation is chalet-style on silts and is one of the roomiest we've experienced; a huge bathroom, bedroom and balcony to boot. Yes, you have limited hot water (activated in the room with a button when required) but we found it ample time for a shower and de-seawatering of long hair :-) The resort itself is a nice size - it didn't feel at all crowded and the staff were always friendly & helpful.
We were very impressed with the general standard of the resort considering it was an hour away from land by boat; both staff and supplies were brought in daily, whatever the weather, and all waste and rubbish was removed for safe disposal.
The food was plentiful and good; meal times were roughly set but we never turned up at the allocated times and never felt we went without or didn't have all we could. There was enough choice everyday that you didn't eat the same thing twice, lots of lovely fresh seafood and as a big a breakfast (cooked or not) that you could manage! There were always snacks available (cakes / biscuits / bread / toast / fruit etc) for refuelling between dives and - most importantly - water was ALWAYS available whereever you were. It was provided daily in your room, was always in dining room throughout the day, in the dive centre and on the dive boats between dives.
The resort is of course principally for divers and I'm not sure I would really recommend it to anyone who wasn't diving... it is literally in the middle of the ocean and unless you like to snorkel (a lot) there's not a whole lot else to do. The dive centre was efficient but there wasn't a great selection of kit...maybe we were unlucky... but my boyfriend struggled to find a wetsuit that would fit his stocky rugby-player shape! The dive staff were very helpful - this is the kind of dive place that encourages you to be VERY LAZY. All your kit is set up for you, so all you need to do is turn up & put it on.... makes for a very laid back stay though!
You get three boat dives a day:
- 5.30am start with 2 dives before breakfast and another at
- 9am start with 2 dives before lunch and one after lunch
- and we think an 11am start with 2 after lunch...maybe...
but unlimited house reef dives - which was great! Sunset dives and night dives were also possible on the house reef. The house reef is literally straight down from the dive centre and has a real variety of fish life. We loved the freedom of being able to go down by ourselves when we wanted to.
The diving in Sipadan was fantastic - my first time for turtles & I stopped counting them after my 3rd dive. Barracuda point is amazing and you have the potential to see hammerhead sharks.... sadly we missed out when we were there (the group before us saw them...and scared them off ;-)
We felt very lucky - our divemaster Alvin was good fun & we were lucky enough to join a group of Malaysian divers who were outgoing, friendly and fun, which made our dives all the better.... I really couldn't recommend this place enough!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A few minutes by boat from the islands of Sipadan and Mabul but a full world away from it lays the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boasts a mile-long sandbank of powdery white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure while gazing out to the miles of brilliant turquoise stretching into the horizon offering the purest image of natural serenity. Dive spots Sipadan and Mabul can be reached in just a few minutes by speedboat. Sipadan-Kapalai is an ideal destination for diver and non-diver alike seeking a great holiday experience. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Hotel Pulau Sipadan
- Sipadan Kapalai Island Hotel
- Hotel Sipadan Kapalai Island