Below are data I collected while I did my research for my Mabul trip earlier this year (1-4 January 2015). The table will help on selecting the right accommodation that fit with your budget and the service that you would like to enjoy. There are many other options available, however, the five accommodations below are those I would recommend you to consider for budget below RM1000
3D2N full board snorkeling trip
I decided to stay at Mabul Beach Resort. It cost little bit more and here is my justification:
- It is located at the high end side of the island where other luxury resort located at
- It have beach, white sand and beautiful deck right in front of the resort
- It offer more snorkeling trip in which if I would like to have the same amount of snorkeling trip with another budget accommodation I will need to top up and it will end up the same amount or even more
- It offer snorkeling trip to Sipadan Barrier Reef
- It has 24 hours electricity
- Based on photos and review from Internet, I conclude that this resort have a better quality in term of cleanliness, the accommodation structure as well as the service delivery as it is run by Australian team and it is turn out to be right 😉
If you come in group at least 8 people and want to save more on budget, scuba Jeff sipadan could be a good idea as from their website they have promotion buy 8 free 1 or discount up to 10% during off season.
Alternatively you could consider Mabul Backpacker as they have build new long house type of accommodation and it is on top of water. For the price they quote, I guess it is worth it.Otherwise, you could combine stay on Semporna and select day trip for snorkeling or diving to save accommodation cost.
Btw, it is not necessary to book airport transport with your hotel as they charge more expensive for it. You can easily get taxi from the arrival hall at Tawau airport and pay at the taxi counter for RM95/way to any destination in Semporna. Taxi can fit up to 4 paxs. As for the return from Semporna to Tawau airport, you can take the airport bus for RM10/person (latest bus at 2.30pm and you can find it nearby KFC) or ride any minifan you come across on the street for RM15/person as we did. It totally safe and took us only 1 hour to reach to the airport.
Feel free to comment below on your plan and budget and I could craft out some plan to fit your budget.
Hope the above info help on your research and enjoy your trip to Mabul-Sipadan Island! 🙂
PS: @Goruapp is giving out 3 pairs of tickets to New York, Paris and Seoul. Join me in the competition now! http://launch.getgoru.com/?refCode=7yaOXGkV #FREETICKET ^.^