Owned and managed by Borneo Divers, the Mabul Island Resort offers you world class macro diving opportunities in addition to the wonders of Sipadan.
The resort has only 30 rooms so it's quite small and personal compared to most of the others in the area. And it's only 25 minutes from Pulau Sipadan, a top notch wall diving destination where Borneo Divers pioneered the sport. You can dive at Sipadan Island (subject to park concessions), as well as the macro-worlds of Mabul Island and Kapalai. There are also unlimited self-guided shore and night dives on the house reef, This is the place to go to for quiet, white sand beaches and diving within a world of pelagic and macro-life diversity.
The Borneo Divers Mabul Resort just seems to keep getting better - the rooms have been renovated, and now there's a swimming pool and 3 bars for your relaxation. There are also gazebos where you can enjoy massages, manicures and pedicures. For those that just can't leave the real world behind, the resort also has free wi-fi internet facilities. Perhaps the best feature though is that the resort remains one of the best value and lowest priced options around, so it's ever popular with the young and fun crowd. It also sees quite a few single travellers who have the option of sharing with another guest.
Special rates apply for Malaysians and expatriates with Malaysian work permits. Please contact us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
PADI dive courses at Mabul: book with us a 4 night stay, plus either the PADI Open Water Diver course or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course (including 2 days of fun diving, with guaranteed dives at Sipadan) at Mabul Borneo Divers Resort. Please contact us for details at email@example.com.
Destinations:Sipadan Island (Diving environment: wall diving, drift diving, advanced divers, very popular; Highlights: shark action, turtles, schooling fish/big pelagics), Mabul (Diving environment: beginner & advanced divers, very popular; Highlights: great macro life/marine diversity), and Kapalai (Diving environment: beginner & advanced divers, very popular; Highlights: great macro life/marine diversity).
When park entry permit numbers allow, there is a 3 or 4 dives in Sipadan (including packed lunch). Alternatively it will be a 3 dive day around Mabul or Kapalai. No scuba on day of departure. The number of dives quoted in the packages above is based on 3 dives per full diving day.
Borneo Divers Mabul Resort offers a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with a minimum 5 days/4 nights scuba package. Permits to Sipadan island are not transferable. For shorter packages or for diving Sipadan more often, there is still the chance to purchase permits on arrival, depending on availability. It is possible to pre-book the extra permits where chances of obtaining permits are better. Permit fees and diving service (approx. US$ 36 per diver) to be paid on arrival. Please ask us for more details.
Resort diving includes:
Dives (as detailed in the packages above), unlimited self-guided shore and night dives at the resort's house reef, boat rides to sites, experienced English-speaking divemaster (maximum 6 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, drinking water, hot drinks, snacks and taxes. Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):
Scuba equipment (approx. US$ 30 per day), Sipadan permit fees (approx. US$ 36 per person per day) payable in advance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card). Optional extras:
Extra boat dives (Mabul / Sipadan), night boat dives (Mabul, minimum 3 customers), scuba computer, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (approx. US$ 16 per tank), dive insurance, soft drinks. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Resort accommodation includes:
Bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinking water, hot drinks, snacks, internet access, return resort transfers from Tawau airport and taxes. Accommodation excludes (mandatory):
Semporna jetty fees (approx. US$ 3 per person per tour booking, payable in advance). Malaysian tourism accommodation tax - MYR 10 per room per night (approx US$ 2). To be paid in cash at the resort. Single Supplement:
This is optional at this resort - single travellers may choose to share accommodation or elect to pay an additional charge for the sole occupancy of double/twin accommodation. Optional extras:
Single supplement on single travellers only (payable in advance). Alcoholic drinks, soft drinks. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there:
The resort is located along the northern beachfront of Mabul Island. Mabul is a 40 minute speedboat ride from the port of Semporna. Borneo Divers will provide a return transfer from Tawau Airport to Semporna and Mabul.
Recommended Tawau arrival flights:
From Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airlines: MH2121 (07:50-08:35)
From Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia AK5744 (07:00-09:50)
From Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines MH 3093 (08:55-09:35)
Transfer times from Tawau Airport to Borneo Divers Mabul Resort are 08:30 and 11:00 - 11:45 hrs. If you arrive on any flight which does not time well with these transfer times then you must wait at the airport for the next available transfer (which could be a few hours) or overnight at Tawau or Semporna. Only if you arrive on the morning flight will it be possible to dive that day.
Recommended Tawau departure flights:
To Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airlines: MH2134 (18:05-18:55), MH3056 (21:05-22:05). Air Asia: AK6263 (15:05-15:55), AK6267 (17:25-18:15), AK6265 (21:45-22:35);
To Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia: AK5747 (13:20-16:00), AK5749 (15:40-18:30), AK5741 (18:55-21:40).
To Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines: MH3094 (17:10-17:55)
Transfer times from Borneo Divers to Tawau Airport are 06:30, 11:00 and 13:30 hrs. Please plan 3 hours between resort departure and flight departure time.
Note that special transfers can be arranged for groups. Individuals/couples can arrange private transfers at additional cost. For more information see our Sipadan resorts travel section. Flight information changes frequently. You are responsible for booking the correct flights.
Dive clubs and group discounts:
Pay for 10 guests and 1 extra person can join free of charge for only US$ 109 for boat and land transfer fees.
If this is your only planned visit to Borneo Malaysia then we strongly recommend that you consider a 2 night add-on stay at the Sepilok Nature Resort, Sandakan in Sabah, to allow you to witness the not-to-be-missed jungle adventures with orang-utans.
The bungalows have been recently upgraded and are set around a delightful and neat tropical lawn. All the rooms in this resort come with twin or double beds and private verandas that overlook the lawn, pool or azure waters of the Celebes Sea.
When Sipadan Entry Permit numbers allow, Borneo Divers have a 3 dive trip running from the resort to Sipadan (including packed lunch). Alternatively it will be a 3 dive day around Mabul or Kapalai. Sipadan is approximately 25 minutes boat ride away from the resort. The Mabul sites are just a few minutes away, and Kapalai can be reached in about 12 minutes.
Dive facilities include:
7 custom built fibreglass speedboats
Nitrox facilities at the resort
Boats are equipped with skipper, GPS, cellphone, compass, and steel ladders
Emergency oxygen on board all boats
Maximum 10 divers per boat
Unlimited self-guided dives on the house reef
Divemasters are provided on all trips as well as snacks, drinking water, coffee, tea and juices.
Back at the resort, there are equipment stations for guests' scuba gear, and rinse tanks for both kit and underwater cameras. The dive centre staff will help carry your gear to and from the boat.
Borneo Divers is a PADI 5 Star IDC Center, so this is probably the best place in Mabul to continue your dive education. Why not become an Advanced Open Water Diver in Sipadan?
The island resort has a range of facilities which will keep you entertained between dives. One great feature at Borneo Divers is that each time you come back, they seem to have added something new to their resort.
Resort facilities include: Dining room with Turtle Bar - Swimming pool with sunken bar, jacuzzi and children's section - Sunset beach bar, beach loungers and parasols - 2 beachside gazebos for massage, manicure and pedicure - Professional underwater video centre - snorkelling - TV room with satellite TV - Free Wi-Fi broadband internet service in communal areas - Beach volleyball - Mini-soccer field - Board games - Library - Babysitting and baby cots - Tour desk
The evacuation plan at Borneo Divers for emergency DCS patients is to transfer guests by speedboat to the Navy chamber in Semporna. This is a direct 20 minute boat ride.
We strongly advise any diving guests to have their own insurance to cover scuba emergencies, evacuations and treatments. See our insurance programme for our recommended holiday insurance that includes cancellation cover and scuba-related accidents.
The resort and all the dive boats carry oxygen and first aid, and a dive master is provided for every 6 guests.
For non-diving emergencies there is a hospital in Semporna - 40 minutes (or 37 km) by speedboat, or a small clinic on the island.
A safety box is provided for your valuables in room and 24 hour security patrol the premises. There is a marine police station next door.
"What a wonderful time I had learning to dive at Borneo Divers Mabul resort. The staff were great, patient and, even though almost all of the other guests spoke mandarin, I had the absolute time of my life! All the staff were really knowledgeable and I felt like I was really safe hands the whole time. They even got me a permit to dive Sipadan on the last day, which was pretty much a life changing experience. I feel like I’ve completely fallen in love!" - Alexandra Finley, UK, 22 April 2018 ...
"Excellent services I received from the staff at BDMR. Equipment was great and well kept. Clean and decent size room." - Miana Auyeung, Hong Kong, 22 August 2017 ...
"Service was excellent. Staff helped in everything, was very friendly. Equipment in good condition. Accommodation and food were also good." - Aliaksei Rusak, Belarus, 12 September 2016 ...
"Staff are all very friendly and helpful. The dive instructor, Eljer is very patient and professional trainer. Food from the resort is good and variety of choice." - Ivan Goh, Malaysia, 25 June 2016 ...
"The diving shop was good and they offer a pretty good service. Guides are good and they really take care of safety and different needs. The resort is very basic and mostly indicated for divers who like no frills resort. Most of the guests were Chinese and therefore they prepared mostly Chinese food. The non Chinese guests were really 5/10% only." - Francesco Passeri, Italy, 23 August 2015 ...
"Very well organised. Clean, confortable room. Excellent dive faciltities. Plenty of food. Good, knowledgeable, friendly staff. Good attitude to wildlife and the environment." - Martin Doonan, UK, 25 October 2011 ...
"Very professional operation, good quality services, very good food, comfortable accommodations. Small resort with an "everyone knows your name" atmosphere. Our dive equipment was delayed a day due to airline issues and the resort provided rental equipment for use free of charge and even delivered the equipment between dives at Sipadan once it arrived.
As with all resorts in the area, they struggled in trying to make sure everyone made it to Sipadan. It was a busy time for the area and we only managed 3 trips to Sipadan (one of which we had to pay extra for which was alright) while staying for 8 nights, however they would accommodate others who were only there for 3 nights to get them a trip to Sipadan. This being said, there were no issues with the other sites in Kalapai and Mabul. It is a difficult thing to try to please everyone all the time. The visibility could have been a bit better (end of rainy season), but that is outside the realm of the tour operator.
Bottom line, we were well taken care of and had an excellent week of diving in paradise." - Don and Liz Halina, Canada, 6 May 2011 ...
"Friendly and competent, we received very good service and had a nice time diving and relaxing on the beach of Mamutik island! After being certified, the operator (Borneo Divers KK) threw in a couple of free fun dives - awesome!! The possibility to hire a personal instructor was great, it gave my daughter a more secure feeling and made her more confident." - Leif Pontoppidan, Denmark, 12 April 2011 ...
"Accommodation is perfect, DM and service crew are very friendly. But just I think the food is too simple and keep same everyday. Maybe due to the low season reason." - Yang Jun, China, 11 October 2010 ...
"Everything was nice. Food was alright but nothing special. Rooms were very nice - bathroom was honestly not so nice but not so important. Diving in small groups. Very very friendly staff. Very clean. Very good service like bringing equipment on boat. Anyway, super equipment-service." - Anja Grammlich, Germany, 17 August 2010 ...
"Equipment was in good working order and there was plenty of opportunity to try different options; often you get one type of equipment that doesn't correctly fit. Staff were very friendly & helpful and the facilities were clean and well thought out - best on the island I thought." - Janine Pyne, Australia, 9 August 2010 ...
"It is not 5* luxury accommodation or facilities but it is a clean, well run, well organized, efficient diver-orientated operation." - Roderick Fleming, UK, 22 January 2010 ...
"Staff were great from dive guides to helpers and equipment people at the jetty - very friendly and informative. Our equipment and tanks were always ready on time when we wanted to go for a dive, including for unguided afternoon and evening dives. Diving around Mabul, including the dive straight off the jetty was really very good. We enjoyed the boat dives, and unguided afternoon and night dives from there. Hotel rooms were nice and kept clean by staff. Our bathroom had an ant infestation, but was otherwise satisfactory." - Rachel Dolling, UK, 31 March 2009 ...
"The boat has very good facilities. The staff are very knowledgable and experienced. They are great guys and really had fun diving with them. I always felt totally safe and as a novice diver that is very important. Excellent overall!" - Vera Soh, Canada, 30 December 2008 ...
"Borneo Divers Resort was very nice, cabin (sic) comfortable and clean, general good service." - Marta Marocco, Italy, 14 November 2008 ...
"Well maintained facility, EXCELLENT dive staff, good food, good service." - Connie Flesuras, USA, 13 August 2008...
"The boats were always loaded with our gear, they were very on time with meals and dives and took care of getting our BCDs ready with tanks etc. They didn't clean up for us afterwards but if they broke down our rigs for us too I would rate them as excellent. Divemasters were solid divers with good dive etiquette. Dive sites were out of this world.
Facilities are good but somewhat dated - the showers in our rooms had a sulfer smell to the water and were luke warm, not hot. Beds were comfy, AC was excellent. Rooms spacious. Food was good - plenty of choices but not gourmet cooking. They need more snacks to purchase outside the meals." - Ned Clark, USA, 10 August 2008 ...
"They were very accommodating and helpful. The staff was friendly. This is a place I would recommend and return to when the chance arrives." - Naomi Umemura, Canada, 25 February 2008 ...
"Very happy with the attention to detail when diving. Rooms were comfortable and the schedule was good." - David Brett, Australia, 12 February 2008...
"Everything was excellent. Maybe some newer equipment wouldn't have gone amiss though." - David Reynolds, United Kingdom, 12 November 2007 ...