Hotel

Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

KUHARA, Tawau

Reviews

Tripadvisor
From 597 reviews
The most helpful reviews
Choojx
21 Sep 2020
We made a direct booking to the property; good to know that the package is all-inclusive (meals, airport & boat transfers, jetty fees etc except snorkeling gear/alcohol/snacks). Our first time in Sipadan/Semporna. The good: 1. As a non-diver, it is so convenient that we were able to snorkel around the 2 designated snorkeling spots within the resort. Beware of jellyfish! We got stung. 2. No 'island hopping' packages offered. I hear if you want to; best to book seperately online or from jetty (and have them pick up from kapalai). So great thing is, it's so exclusive here and they ensure to close the snorkeling sites at certain hours so you can head off for the designated meal times at the restaurants. 3. Spotted 8 turtles, a moray eel, sting rays, sea snake etc just snorkeling or walking around the resort! 4. Wine is available for purchase at RM120 and RM165 per bottle; beers avail too. If you bring your own, you'll need to pay for corkage. Fair. 5. I don't know why reviews wrote about food being served like refugees. I loved the food especially dinner! Just the queues can be quite long but worth the wait. 6. We took the 6.30AM boat ride transfer back to jetty and to our surprise they served us a specially cooked breakfast even before the opening of breakfast hour. How sweet. Transferring to airport was a breeze compared to transfer on arrival. 7. We were not told what room we booked for assuming it is all the same; we got there and found out that our room is a suite (room 75) with a huge private deck. Loved it. The only thing is there's no phone to call the buggy but it's a nice short walk to the man-made island and the restaurant anyway so I highly recommend this unit for being quite central and with a perfect open view. Just, no fishes swimming past. If you want a chance at turtles swimming past; try getting rooms 8-12. 8. You don't need to bring your own coffee sachets etc there's plenty of free-flow tea & coffee served at the resort & snorkeling area The bad: I've to cut down on the 5star rating due to service. 1. Inefficient pickup (driver not communicated that there would be 2 groups for airport to jetty transfer but soon resolved after a few phone calls and us finding for someone with the 'kapalai' signage) 2. Inefficient communication at jetty office - we arrived by noon and only when asked, they said we can head for lunch ourselves as the boat will arrive at 2+. However there was not an update; we ended up leaving the jetty close to 3PM and arrived at the hotel by 4PM. 3. Room service... Sure, they made our beds ONLY and refilled amenities. On day 2 and 3 I found that my coffee cup from day 1 was uncollected/unwashed. Stuff not arranged; bathtub not scrubbed down. And a lot of dust under the bed. No wonder it took them only 10-15 minutes (about 4 housekeepers) while we took a stroll outside. 4. No online payment. You must have a credit card or bring sufficient cash. 5. Briefing was in chinese; I couldn't understand a word. All in all, this is a must visit place. Highly recommended even if you're a NON-DIVER like us :)
limkimheng
12 Jul 2020 - Friends getaway
Such a waste to such a beautiful place. One of the best of mother beauty being captured but when comes to payment. Can be a nightmare without cash. Cannot swept credit card and boat delay as Manuel payment is problematic. Solve this and let people enjoy all the way to the end.
Bhavneet C
06 Jan 2020 - Couples
I stayed at this resort for 4 days, 3 nights with my boyfriend. First, the pros: 1. The resort is beautiful and the location is uniquely special. 2. The staff are fantastic and very lovely and friendly. 3. The diving was excellent. Conditions vary day to day, and luck is a big component, but sipadan truly is a fantastic dive site. What they don't tell you: 1. The resort is catered towards Mainland Chinese tourists. All the staff speak Mandarin for this reason. The lack of diversity in guests felt strange. 2. We did a 4D/3N package which guarantees 1 dive at Sipadan and another day's dive at Mabul or Kapalai. When we arrived, we were told we could ask for additional dive permits at Sipadan for our 2nd dive day. The pricing for this was opaque, and there was a miscommunication with the price. Sipadan dive permits cost 140 ringgit + tax, so 148.50 ringgit total. However the resort charges 636 ringgit per diver for the permit. This felt particularly predatory. Check with your tour operator exactly how many Sipadan dives are included and what the price is for additional dives at Sipadan. This was not made clear to us when we booked. 3. Food is buffet style for all meals... the food was hit or miss. At the set mealtimes, guests go early and the best food goes first. 4. The rooms are nice but can get quite hot. There is an underpowered AC unit and the shower water is solar heated, tepid at best. This was managable, but not great, especially considering the overall cost. 5. We felt the value and price of the resort were not great. We paid 7468 ringgit for the 4D/3N package for 2 divers, plus the additional Sipadan dive. In the end we paid about USD $650 per night for the room + dives. Based on this amount, the accommodation and food was not worth the price.
mengking86
05 Mar 2020 - Business
My visit to Kapalai was arranged by the resort management. Prior to my visit, I have visited Semporna several occasions, but this visit totally change my perception towards it. After 45 minutes travelling from it's own jetty in city, I was greeted with it's breathtaking surroundings . The quality of its facilities, food and services is top notch. The package of offered by the resort, makes travelling to kapalai an enjoyable one. Pickup from the airport directly to the island. Also the staffs make us feel safe throughout the journey. Not to mentioned all meals are being take care of. Drinking water, water heater and 24 hours electricity available throughout the stay. Definitely will visit Kapalai in times to come. Kudos to the management team
michaelmphotographer
18 Feb 2020 - Couples
If you are a diver, this has to be on your short list of places to go. Sipadan is one of the best spots in the world to dive and Mabul has unbelievable macro. The dive guides are the best and you can do a sunset or night dive on your own at the house reef. It's easy to navigate and is full of marine life (Mandarin fish come out during the sunset dive). At the time we visited, there was almost no one at the resort due to the virus situation. We had a private guide for all but two days and those two days only one other couple joined our boat. Usually the resort is full and most guests are Chinese. The room was spacious and comfortable. You have a lot of privacy from other bungalows. Great view from the balcony and we saw turtles and stingrays just beneath us. There is no TV but we didn't mind at all. If you need entertainment, make sure you bring a laptop with some movies. Staff was friendly and accommodating, everyone was friendly. Food was served mostly buffet style and was good but nothing spectacular. Dinner is cooked Malay style so beware of bones and food is often not much warmer than room temperature. Even so, we enjoyed the meals and always had more than enough food. We spent six nights at the resort and it was just about right. We dived Sipadan twice which was great but were equally impressed with the macro in Mabul. Definitely worth the price, especially if you get the entire resort to yourself like we did. If you come in the next few weeks, you are likely to have the same good fortune :)
Location
Insel Sipadan Sipadan
maps
1
Night

About Accommodation

FAQ
What is the address of Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort?
Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is located at Insel Sipadan Sipadan

Reviews

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4.5
From 597 reviews
Cleanliness
4.5
Rooms
4.5
Location
5.0
Service
4.5
Value
4.0
Couples
275
Family
72
Solo travel
19
Friends getaway
131
Business
4
Choojx
21 Sep 2020 -
We made a direct booking to the property; good to know that the package is all-inclusive (meals, airport & boat transfers, jetty fees etc except snorkeling gear/alcohol/snacks). Our first time in Sipadan/Semporna. The good: 1. As a non-diver, it is so convenient that we were able to snorkel around the 2 designated snorkeling spots within the resort. Beware of jellyfish! We got stung. 2. No 'island hopping' packages offered. I hear if you want to; best to book seperately online or from jetty (and have them pick up from kapalai). So great thing is, it's so exclusive here and they ensure to close the snorkeling sites at certain hours so you can head off for the designated meal times at the restaurants. 3. Spotted 8 turtles, a moray eel, sting rays, sea snake etc just snorkeling or walking around the resort! 4. Wine is available for purchase at RM120 and RM165 per bottle; beers avail too. If you bring your own, you'll need to pay for corkage. Fair. 5. I don't know why reviews wrote about food being served like refugees. I loved the food especially dinner! Just the queues can be quite long but worth the wait. 6. We took the 6.30AM boat ride transfer back to jetty and to our surprise they served us a specially cooked breakfast even before the opening of breakfast hour. How sweet. Transferring to airport was a breeze compared to transfer on arrival. 7. We were not told what room we booked for assuming it is all the same; we got there and found out that our room is a suite (room 75) with a huge private deck. Loved it. The only thing is there's no phone to call the buggy but it's a nice short walk to the man-made island and the restaurant anyway so I highly recommend this unit for being quite central and with a perfect open view. Just, no fishes swimming past. If you want a chance at turtles swimming past; try getting rooms 8-12. 8. You don't need to bring your own coffee sachets etc there's plenty of free-flow tea & coffee served at the resort & snorkeling area The bad: I've to cut down on the 5star rating due to service. 1. Inefficient pickup (driver not communicated that there would be 2 groups for airport to jetty transfer but soon resolved after a few phone calls and us finding for someone with the 'kapalai' signage) 2. Inefficient communication at jetty office - we arrived by noon and only when asked, they said we can head for lunch ourselves as the boat will arrive at 2+. However there was not an update; we ended up leaving the jetty close to 3PM and arrived at the hotel by 4PM. 3. Room service... Sure, they made our beds ONLY and refilled amenities. On day 2 and 3 I found that my coffee cup from day 1 was uncollected/unwashed. Stuff not arranged; bathtub not scrubbed down. And a lot of dust under the bed. No wonder it took them only 10-15 minutes (about 4 housekeepers) while we took a stroll outside. 4. No online payment. You must have a credit card or bring sufficient cash. 5. Briefing was in chinese; I couldn't understand a word. All in all, this is a must visit place. Highly recommended even if you're a NON-DIVER like us :)
limkimheng
12 Jul 2020 - Friends getaway
Such a waste to such a beautiful place. One of the best of mother beauty being captured but when comes to payment. Can be a nightmare without cash. Cannot swept credit card and boat delay as Manuel payment is problematic. Solve this and let people enjoy all the way to the end.
Bhavneet C
06 Jan 2020 - Couples
I stayed at this resort for 4 days, 3 nights with my boyfriend. First, the pros: 1. The resort is beautiful and the location is uniquely special. 2. The staff are fantastic and very lovely and friendly. 3. The diving was excellent. Conditions vary day to day, and luck is a big component, but sipadan truly is a fantastic dive site. What they don't tell you: 1. The resort is catered towards Mainland Chinese tourists. All the staff speak Mandarin for this reason. The lack of diversity in guests felt strange. 2. We did a 4D/3N package which guarantees 1 dive at Sipadan and another day's dive at Mabul or Kapalai. When we arrived, we were told we could ask for additional dive permits at Sipadan for our 2nd dive day. The pricing for this was opaque, and there was a miscommunication with the price. Sipadan dive permits cost 140 ringgit + tax, so 148.50 ringgit total. However the resort charges 636 ringgit per diver for the permit. This felt particularly predatory. Check with your tour operator exactly how many Sipadan dives are included and what the price is for additional dives at Sipadan. This was not made clear to us when we booked. 3. Food is buffet style for all meals... the food was hit or miss. At the set mealtimes, guests go early and the best food goes first. 4. The rooms are nice but can get quite hot. There is an underpowered AC unit and the shower water is solar heated, tepid at best. This was managable, but not great, especially considering the overall cost. 5. We felt the value and price of the resort were not great. We paid 7468 ringgit for the 4D/3N package for 2 divers, plus the additional Sipadan dive. In the end we paid about USD $650 per night for the room + dives. Based on this amount, the accommodation and food was not worth the price.
mengking86
05 Mar 2020 - Business
My visit to Kapalai was arranged by the resort management. Prior to my visit, I have visited Semporna several occasions, but this visit totally change my perception towards it. After 45 minutes travelling from it's own jetty in city, I was greeted with it's breathtaking surroundings . The quality of its facilities, food and services is top notch. The package of offered by the resort, makes travelling to kapalai an enjoyable one. Pickup from the airport directly to the island. Also the staffs make us feel safe throughout the journey. Not to mentioned all meals are being take care of. Drinking water, water heater and 24 hours electricity available throughout the stay. Definitely will visit Kapalai in times to come. Kudos to the management team
michaelmphotographer
18 Feb 2020 - Couples
If you are a diver, this has to be on your short list of places to go. Sipadan is one of the best spots in the world to dive and Mabul has unbelievable macro. The dive guides are the best and you can do a sunset or night dive on your own at the house reef. It's easy to navigate and is full of marine life (Mandarin fish come out during the sunset dive). At the time we visited, there was almost no one at the resort due to the virus situation. We had a private guide for all but two days and those two days only one other couple joined our boat. Usually the resort is full and most guests are Chinese. The room was spacious and comfortable. You have a lot of privacy from other bungalows. Great view from the balcony and we saw turtles and stingrays just beneath us. There is no TV but we didn't mind at all. If you need entertainment, make sure you bring a laptop with some movies. Staff was friendly and accommodating, everyone was friendly. Food was served mostly buffet style and was good but nothing spectacular. Dinner is cooked Malay style so beware of bones and food is often not much warmer than room temperature. Even so, we enjoyed the meals and always had more than enough food. We spent six nights at the resort and it was just about right. We dived Sipadan twice which was great but were equally impressed with the macro in Mabul. Definitely worth the price, especially if you get the entire resort to yourself like we did. If you come in the next few weeks, you are likely to have the same good fortune :)
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