Mabul, a small island with sandy beaches and coconut palms, is located at the north east coast of Borneo in the Celebes Sea. The resort is located on the western side of the island. To get there fly with Malaysian Airlines via Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. From there it is approx. 1 hour by air-conditioned minibus to Semporna and another 40 minutes by speedboat to Mabul.
Accommodation & Facilities
The resort is built on poles above the reef. The complex comprises of 14 tastefully decorated over-water bungalows. They are equipped with air-conditioning, fan, shower/WC with hot water, minibar and a private ocean view veranda.
The restaurant is located in the large open main building. Here you also find a small shop and the hotel bar. The restaurant serves three delicious buffet meals per day. Water, tea, coffee and light snacks are available in the afternoon free of charge.
The Ka'andaman spa at the hotel offers a variety of treatments. This spa may also be used by guests of the Sipadan Mabul Resort.
Sipadan Permit System (as of April 2010)
Due to the tremendous popularity of the Sipadan drop off, the Malaysian government was forced to introduce a permit system to safeguard the fragile underwater environment and limit the number of divers to 120 per day on this particular site. As a consequence, each dive center must compete for a total of 120 permits per day to dive the Sipadan reef walls. These permits are allocated only 24 hours prior to each new dive day.
As a result, agents and operators alike are unable to guarantee the number of dives at Sipadan Island to be allocated to any resort guest for the duration of their stay. Getting one of these permits seems to be based on luck as much as on the general booking situation in the region (an argument to schedule travel into the off-season), and we have indeed not noticed certain resorts being favoured over others. Resort managements do what they can to keep this system as fair as possible, and to give everyone a chance to visit the Sipadan dive sites at least once in a 3-4 night period. To make the most of this precious opportunity, day boats often schedule 4 dives per day in rather quick succession for those carrying the Sipadan permit.
Guests with their own laptops can use free wireless LAN in the main building. A computer in the office may be used for a charge. Mobile phone reception can be patchy.
A real dive resort with beautiful over-water bungalows. A great choice for divers who like it comfortable. Accessibility to the house reef is excellent. There are very good dive sites, especially the combination of Sipadan with its large marine life and the sites around Mabul with macro sites make diving here very diverse.