Guesthouses, hotels and resorts
There's a decent selection of budget accommodation in Semporna town. That said, unless you arrive too late to catch the boat to Mabul, there isn't any good reason to stay here.
Clean with all the creature comfortsBlock D, Lot No. 19-24, Semporna Seafront
T: (089) 781 766;
After a few days of island living, a night at the Sipidan Inn feels like luxury. The 32 rooms have all the creature comforts including air-con, hot power shower in an enclosed stall and even a hair ... Read the full review of Sipidan Inn.
Diving and drinkingBlock B Lot 36, Semporna Seafront
T: (089) 785 372;
Scuba Junkie is a backpacker magnet, and not just because the bright blue building is unmissable. The draw is the bargain accommodation, quality dive centre and Semporna's liveliest bar (you won't be ... Read the full review of Scuba Junkie Dive Lodge .
Budget hotel with dorms and dive centreLot: A5-A7, Ground Floor, Semporna Seafront Resort Township
T: (089) 919 148;
This budget hotel is slightly cheerier on the inside than the outside and offers dorms too. Rooms are spacious and clean, though minimally furnished, and all guests enjoy creature comforts like ... Read the full review of Holiday Dive Inn.
Floating hotel with some major flawsSemporna Waterfront, near the jetty
T: (089) 781 088;
The notion of a stilt hotel “floating” above the water sounds charming, but the reality of Dragon Inn is quite different. The rooms may be unique, but the windowless design makes them feel gloomy ... Read the full review of Dragon Inn.
While Mabul is no paradise, staying on the island means shorter boat rides to dive sites and the ability to snorkel off the beach. All places operate on a full board basis, providing three meals per day and all the filtered water, coffee and tea you can drink.
Flashpacker favouriteMabul Island
T: (89) 785 372;
The latest addition to the Scuba Junkie empire is this 24-room beach resort on Mabul Island. There's something to suit all budgets, from fan-cooled dorms to spacious chalets, and we'd happily stay in ... Read the full review of Mabul Beach Resort (by Scuba Junkie).
The world's only dive rigNear Mabul Island
T: (88) 261 669;
If your ideal holiday is eat, sleep, dive then this is the place for you. Seaventures occupies a renovated oil rig in the middle of the sea, so diving is literally all there is to do. The cabin rooms ... Read the full review of Seaventures.Over 500 ringgit 1 vote Luxury
The best pool on MabulMabul Island
If you can stretch your budget to 765 ringgit per day including three dives, Borneo Divers should be on your shortlist. Guests stay in wooden chalets surrounded by gardens and enjoy creature comforts ... Read the full review of Borneo Divers Resort.Over 500 ringgit 1 vote Luxury
Small homestay with a big heartMabul Island
T: (12) 285 7043;
Like most Mabul homestays, Spheredivers is set in a wooden longhouse on stilts above the water. The seven rooms are modestly furnished with thin beds and fans that run overnight when the electricity ... Read the full review of Spheredivers Lodge.120 to 250 ringgit 1 vote Midrange
Something for all budgetsMabul Island
T: (089) 781 866;
They've kept the homestay in the name, but Billabong now has a full range of accommodation, from basic fan rooms in their wooden longhouse to swish air-con chalets on stilts above the water. It's ... Read the full review of Billabong Scuba Homestay.
Worth consideringMabul Island
T: (89) 782 289;
Seahorse Sipadan strikes the right balance between cheap and comfortable. Set in a stilt longhouse above the water, the rooms are brightly painted and have a mix of single and bunk beds with proper ... Read the full review of Seahorse Sipadan Scuba.
Simple homestay, personalised divingMabul Island
T: (12) 8229 984;
Arung Hayat is one of the smaller operations on Mabul with 15 rooms in a stilt longhouse overlooking the Celebes Sea. While the rooms are nothing to write home about with a few beds, a fan and a ... Read the full review of Arung Hayat.
Mabul's party placeMabul Island
T: (19) 535 5229;
If you're fussy about where you sleep, keep looking. The rooms at Scuba Jeff's are very basic with communal bathrooms you would not want to walk into barefoot, but it's the cheap prices and party ... Read the full review of Scuba Jeff.
Hit or miss accommodations and divingMabul Island
T: (089) 781 002;
The old adage you get what you pay for certainly applies at Uncle Chang's. We stayed in the four-bed fan dorm and found it stuffy during the day and infested with bed bugs at night (check the ... Read the full review of Uncle Chang's Backpackers Lodge.
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Sights to see in Semporna and Sipadan Island
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