Luxury water villas
If the folding stuff is no object and two Jacuzzis (because one is not enough) in your own private stilted water villa looking out to sea sounds better than sitting at a desk, Mabul Water Bungalow Resort might be calling your name.
Perhaps the name rings a bell? That may be because the resort is notorious as the sight of a well-publicised kidnapping and murder in 2014. Notwithstanding, this four-star resort is still Mabul’s top spot. Well appointed wooden chalets pepper the ocean, above jewel-coloured waters and vibrant reefs, connected by wooden boardwalks — don’t worry if it’s too far, golf-cart rides and your own bicycle for the more mobile are included in the deal.
The fancier rooms (as well as the double hot-tubs) incorporate glass floors—like a glass-bottom boat, you can sit in the comfort of your lounge and enjoy the underwater world without getting wet. Classically styled, rooms offer all the comforts you would expect at the price point, however we felt some rooms a little tired and noticed minor maintenance issues, but you can’t beat the fabulous setting. Make sure you book as sea-facing room, and the further away from the generator the better.
As with everywhere on Mabul, including the less expensive places, this is an all-inclusive package and meals are served buffet style in the breezy open-air restaurant. Extra drinks are, well, extra. We love the spa, with the same outlook to infinity as the villas, and if the cost of a room here is prohibitive, you can always indulge in a little luxury pampering as a non-guest prices start at 85 ringgit for a foot massage. Staff are cheery and will fall over themselves to help you.
Mabul Water Bungalow Resort is part of landlubbing (and more affordable) Sipadan Mabul Resort. If a sea villa is your desire, and you don’t have the pennies for Mabul Water Bungalow Resort, Sipadan Water Village Resort, next door, may be more within reach, or for a bargain offer, Billabong Scuba.
Address: Mabul Island
T: (088) 486 389; F: (088) 486 628
Coordinates (for GPS): 118º38'7.14" E, 4º14'47.44" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over 500 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
One-night, two-day package, two people. Non-diver: US$643. Single supplement: 50%. Additional night: US$350; non-diver: US$281.
|2,054 ringgit||2,054 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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