Mabul's latest, most exclusive resort offers privacy and luxury previously unavailable in the area. Diving at Sipadan is world class and this dive resort provides accommodation to suit. There are high class furnishings in each air-conditioned bungalow, equipped with satellite TV, minibar, security safe for valuables, and huge dual-aspect private balcony. Villa suites are also available. Single travellers may be permitted to share at non-peak times.
Enjoy the luxuries of Mabul Water Bungalows and make use of the available facilities at the nearby Sipadan Mabul Resort (under joint ownership) with jacuzzi, massage, swimming pool, sea kayaks and beach volleyball.
The scuba centre boats will collect you every day for 2 dives at Sipadan (subject to park concessions), with a third dive back in Mabul or Kapalai Island. Nitrox is available for those qualified to use it, and if you need yet more diving, then there's unlimited complimentary shore dives at some of the favourite Mabul sites, such as Froggy Lair, or direct from the resort's own jetty, where you will find an excellent artificial reef.
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 guest permit numbers allow, there is a 3 dives in Sipadan (including packed lunch). Alternatively it will be a 3 dives 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.
Mabul Water Bungalows Resort offers a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with a minimum 6 days / 5 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, by filling an entry permit purchase order form while booking the resort. By filling the form the chances of obtaining permits are better. Permit fees and diving service (approx. US$ 135 per diver) will then be paid on arrival (if permits are obtained). 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 10 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, Semporna jetty fees, drinking water, hot drinks, snacks. Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):
Scuba equipment (approx. US$ 47 per day), Sipadan permit fee (approx. US$ 36 per person per day). 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), scuba computer, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (approx. US$ 11 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, return resort transfers from Tawau airport/hotels and suggested hotels in Semporna, internet access. Villas also include 1 assorted fruit basket and bottle of wine (on arrival only).
Accommodation excludes (mandatory):
Malaysian tourism accommodation tax - approx. US$ 2 per room per night. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival. Single Supplement:
If you are a single person you must normally pay in advance for a single supplement, but you may be able to share at non-peak times. Optional extras:
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 southern beachfront of Mabul Island. It is a 40 minute speedboat ride from the port of Semporna. The resort will provide a return transfer from Tawau Airport to Semporna and Mabul.
Recommended Tawau arrival flights:
From Kota Kinabalu:
Malaysia Airlines: MH2121 (07:40-08:30), MH2137 (12:30-13:20)
Air Asia: AK 6272 (07:30-08:25), AK 6260 (09:10-10:05)
Malindo Air: OD1702 (13:30-14:20)
From Kuala Lumpur:
Air Asia: AK5744 (06:15-09:15, or 08:10-11:10 on Tuesday), AK5746 (times vary)
Malaysia Airlines: MH 2660 (07:30 - 10:20).
From Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines MH 3093 (09:20-10:00)
Boat departures from Semporna to Resort are at 10:00, 12:30 and 16:30 hrs. Please note that if your flight arrives before 15:00 then you are able to make the last boat transfer at 16:30 hrs. Diving on arrival day is only possible if you arrive to the resort on 10:00 hrs boat schedule. Please be ready at Seafest hotel's lobby at least 30 minutes before the scheduled boat departure if you transfer to Semporna overland from Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan or Lahad Datu.
Recommended Tawau departure flights:
To Kota Kinabalu:
Malaysia Airlines: MH2134 (18:15-19:05), MH3056 (21:20-22:30).
Air Asia: AK6261 (10:35-11:25), AK 6263 (15:05-15:55), AK6267 (17:10-18:00), AK6265 (21:50-22:40);
Malindo Air: OD 1701 (12:25-13:25), OD 1703 (18:30-19:30)
To Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia: AK5747 (11:30-14:20), AK5749 (16:10-18:55), AK5741 (20:50-23:35).
To Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines: MH3062 (10:20-11:00 OR 12:35-13:15)
Transfer times from MWB to Tawau Airport are 07:00, 11:00 and 14:00 hrs. Please plan 3 hours between resort departure and flight departure time.
Note that you will have to stay overnight in Tawau or Semporna if you arrive or depart on any flight which is not mentioned the above. If your flight out of Tawau is before 10:00 hrs you must depart the resort 1 day earlier for overnight stay in Semporna or Tawau. Airport transfer for such guests is only for those overnighting at Seafest hotel. Unscheduled or private boat transfer can be arranged with additional surcharge for individual and group.
For guests staying outside of Semporna Jetty, please make your own way to meet the 1st boat transfer at 10 am. Guests must standby at the jetty by 9.30 am, as our speed boat will depart on time. If you missed the boat transfer then it is possible to wait for next scheduled boat transfer available at 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.
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:
Groups of 10 guests or more - 1 extra person can join free of charge.
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.
20 high quality stilted Water Bungalows (12x7.5m/40x23 ft), 5 Borneo Villa Suites (14x9.5m/46x32 ft), 1 Bougainvilla Suite (17x12m/56x40 ft), 1 Royale Villa Suite (19.5x15m/64x50 ft), and 1 Family House, sit over the clear shallow waters, providing easily the highest grade accommodation in Mabul. Enjoy the spacious dual aspect private balcony offering panoramic vistas of blue sea and the palm fringed island of Mabul.
Suites come with a large oceanfront bathroom and Jacuzzi, private access to the sea, and a large living room. The Royale Villa is designed for 4 guests.
The Family House is the only 2 story building. The bottom unit is a Borneo Villa Suite, the upper story is a Water Bungalow. The staircase is outside the building. This family house will be reserved for guests in the same group that want to stay in villas.
When park guest permit numbers allow, there is a 3 or 4 dive trip 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 boats are:
6 fibreglass boats and 1 wooden boat
Maximum 10 divers per boat
Optional personalised underwater video service
Lunch, hot drinks and drinking water are provided on your boat trips, together with a divemaster.
Unlimited and unguided jetty beach dives with your own buddy are available free of charge.
There are dives available into the famous tomb of Turtle Cavern at Sipadan Island with experienced divemasters, but there is an extra charge for this dive.
Boat journey time to Pulau Sipadan from the Mabul Water Bungalows dive resort is about 25 minutes.
Enjoy a massage in your bungalow or relax by the pool or in the Jacuzzi. For a bit of exercise you can explore the island's shores by sea kayak or play a game of beach volleyball. There is also great snorkelling from right beneath your room.
In house videographers can make group or individual movies of your Sipadan scuba adventures here to preserve your wonderful underwater memories.
Resort facilities include: Restaurants & bars - Swimming pool - Jacuzzi - Technical diving - Underwater video centre - Ocean kayaks - Volleyball - Basketball - Fishing trips - Free usage of broadband internet - Massage - Gift shop - Laundry - International telephone and fax
"Wow! What an incredible and amazing experience. The Mabul Water Bungalows are a dream. And, the scuba diving beyond words. The Mabul Water Bungalows staff are so nice and very professional. I would return in an instant and only wish I had stayed a month!" - Luis Garcia, USA, 6 September 2018 ...
"All was fantastic! MWB staff were all very friendly, wonderful facilities and top equipment." - Susan Hagsteiner, Switzerland, 2 October 2017 ...
"Accommodations were fantastic, food was average, service was excellent, boats were dive friendly, dive boats were punctual. The diver to dive master ratio should be smaller, we had up to 8:1 , too many divers for the dive master to look after and for everyone to see all the creatures, etc..." - Tom Sikorski, USA, 5 November 2015 ...
"Our divemaster Ryan was great, he spotted the tiniest creatures and always kept an eye on us during strong current. The accommodation is lovely and staff are helpful and always smiling. Overall we had an amazing trip and would definitely recommend this place to other divers!" - Niina Marose, Singapore, 6 August 2014 ...
"The diving was SUPER-visibility so so cuz it rained a lot (expected) but wow-the diversity was amazing. I don't think we can dive anywhere else now!" - Gina Wu Lee, USA, 1 January 2014 ....
"Good service was provided, relaxed for the divers with itinerary shown, tanks provided and dives organised. Staff were friendly and helpful. Scuba equipment was of reasonable quality, but clearly not new and should not be allowed to age too much (for example zippers worked but flaps of torn/aged cloth was interfering). Divers appreciate a full experience. So talks about the ecology would be good." - John Deadman, Australia, 14 July 2013 ...
"The resort is well run, the room was very nice, the dive boats, airport pickup and transfers all went smoothly and the food was good. The dive instructor my wife had was very good, and they made it possible for my wife to dive Sipadan which was much appreciated." - Randy Wacker, Canada, 28 February 2012 ...
"The accommodation is really really good, the place is so elegant and fancy while when I first came in they introduced me to every one and how the diving program is running, the rooms are super clean with a fancy balcony facing the wonderful sea." - Meshal Al-Omar, Kuwait, 22 February 2012 ...
"Extremely friendly staff, dive master knowledgeable and able to see tiny things underwater (only visible to us with the help of our camera...). The dive experience is somewhat mitigated with the dive master taking us to the same point more than once, but dives at Sipadan made us forget every other dives. And some of us with over 300 dives (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian ocean) still consider Sipadan part of their TOP 10 dives in the world." - Maxime Poulin, France, 19 September 2011 ...
"The accommodation was fine and the dives were well planned and executed. Facilities and equipment were satisfactory. We dived 3 out of 5 days at Sipadan which was incredibly lucky - we were delighted with this." - Victoria Pearson, UK, 8 September 2011 ...
"On arrival at Mabul Water Bungalows, we were assigned a dive master who would act as our guide for the duration of the holiday. Our divemaster's name was Deniah and she was fantastic. Very friendly and attentive and really made an effort to show us everything, from the tiniest nudibranch to submarine sized groupers, she obviously had expansive knowledge of all the dive sites and knew exactly where to look.
I also did my PADI Advanced Open Water course whilst staying here and I have to say my instructor was brilliant. His name is Patrick Chong and is easily the best instructor I've had. He really helped me nail my buoyancy and taught me a variety of different fin kicks that I didn't even know existed! He was very attentive and totally put me at ease. The diving timetable was very organised and well structured and there was not a moment where I felt I wasn't being looked after. I knew exactly where and when I had to be and what dive site we were going to the day before, all my equipment would have been set-up for me and already on the boat waiting for me.
The rest of the staff were also really friendly and the service we received was impeccable. I rented a BCD, regulator (1st and 2nd stage), octopus and SPG and had no problems. The on-site facilities were of an excellent standard, especially the spa." - Alexander Hislop, UK, 2 August 2011 ...
"Catered to our every need. Excellent caring dive master, we were had with the same dive master which worked well. He knew you personally and checked when required. Resort manager and all staff were welcoming and friendly." - Mark Galaz, Australia, 23 June 2011 ...
"Picked up quickly, just us in the boat and we were dropped at the Mabul Water Bungalows jetty (which was much better than the last time we stayed when we were dropped at the other SMART side). Cold towels and welcome drinks, lunch, smooth check in process, received the room we requested and the whole stay was extremely good." - Clee Nataliea Lowther, UK, 1 October 2010 ...
"Their service was absolutely wonderful - from diving to dining to everyday 'good mornings' - we were in doubt whether to choose SMART (beach resort) or the Mabul Water Bungalows - and we are so not regretting our decision, it was truly excellent." - Gry Anna Nordensgaard, Runberg, Denmark, 28 September 2010 ...
"The equipment we rented was of very good quality, the staff was very helpful and friendly and the facilities in an excellent condition. Most of all, out of our 4 days at the resort we got to dive at Sipadan during 2 days. We had a great time!" - Tatiana Matejskova, Rep. of Slovakia, 6 July 2010 ...
"The Mabul Water Bungalows is a beautiful place, very well done, spacious, clean and well maintained. The service was always warm and helpful. The dive masters and diving help was also outstanding, and Sipidan lived up to its billing as one of the diving wonders of the world. Although the food was very well done for a buffet, for me the buffet style does not provide as satisfying of a meal as when food is cooked to order." - James Hannan, USA, 29 June 2010...
"Excellent dive master (Ronny) and boatmen. A professional and dedicate team." - Cindy Chan, Hong Kong, 15 December 2008 ...
"All the staff at Mabul Water Bungalows were fantastic. It started with Eva the manager and her hospitality, spread to everyone else from there." - Jon Hoffman, USA, 18 November 2008 ...
"This was probably the best dive operator I have used - from the staff professionalism and friendliness to the organization and preparation of diving equipment ahead of dives." - Stuart Thomson, Korea, 6 June 2008 ...