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“Heaven on Earth”

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Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Ranked #1 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 June 2016

We visited Lankayan on our honey moon. The hotel was a suggestion of our travel agent who is specialized in diving holidays. It takes 1h45m by speed boat to reach Lankayan, a journey which can be tough for those who are not fond of boats. Upon arrival, there's a tremendous experience. The place is magical, a very small island with wooden houses and two large over water structures, the restaurant/reception/tv room and the diving center. The sand is white and the sea is beautiful, full of fishes which you can see as you are bathing. The staff is tremendously friendly and the food is superb.
There is a turtle rescue center and we were lucky enough to watch turtles nesting and their birth as well.
This is without a doubt one of the nicest places I have ever been and it somewhere I want to return.

Room Tip: Ask for a room further from the reception as the beach is better
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Filipe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 - 47 of 431 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2016

We LOVED our stay here.We stayed as a family of 5 in the family bungalow .Two storey , loads of space ,comfortable and a view to die for .The most amazing water with nothing in the distance except blue ocean.We watched turtles , shark and barracuda swim by our bungalow most days .The snorkelling was great and there is so many turtles you cant help swim past one.The island is very small and well managed .There is a presence of military on the island , I think approx 70 at a time ..You dont see them all but you do cross paths with them occasionally.They are very friendly but the machine guns left me feeling a little uneasy ...When you dive they are also on the boat with you .
We loved the conservation efforts being made on this island and we saw the turtles hatching 2 afternoons, and also saw 1 nesting and laying her eggs.A truly special experience. The diving was nice but the visability was not great when we were there .Loads of macro life , things we had never seen before so that was great .We didnt get the dive package and were happy we didn't .we just booked each day and there was no problem. You cant beat swimming with the turtles though and we all did this just snorkelling out from our room. It was a great educational experience as well ..The dive and reef guardian staff are very knowledgable.
the food was great and varied each day .There was always something for even my fussy eater.Staff are all very lovely .We would definately recommend this dive resort .A truly memorable stay here that we will never forget.

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Sam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2016 via mobile

We came a long way from Canada for our Sabah vacation and our stay at Lankayan Island did not disappoint ! We spent 4 nights and 3 full days here and wished we could have spent longer . Location is isolated and the first day only had 12 guests so we felt like we almost had to resort to our selves ! I dived twice a day and saw lots , even an 8 foot lemon shark ! Visibility for diving was just ok but for snorkelling was gin clear and there were an amazing variety of fish and coral just adjacent to the dive centre . Water was very warm and coral sand, so white ! Tons of giant clam shells to be found ( and left behind ) . Highlight was a Hawksbill turtle nesting and laying 149 eggs directly beside our chalet ! Wow ! Eggs were dug up and buried in the hatchery by Marine Conservation people to help ensure their chance at survival . Food was good , especially the omelettes at breakfast . My only complaint would be the bathrooms in the chalets . Was weird to have no door and a glass wall on one side , so no privacy for the toilet ? Couldn't figure that design out ? Boat ride was fairly long and a little bumpy , but who cares for this kind of location ! Military presence of aprox 60 did not interfere and actually just made us feel safer . ( 2 armed soldiers accompanied us on each dive ) . Hope one day to return !

Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank longliner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2016

We spent 3 nights on the island . We did our 3 dives a day and were very happy with the dives. There is a great awareness by the dive staff and the management of reef conservation. There are abundant turtles surrounding the island. The accomplishment is very comfortable but some units have windows that do not close making the air conditioning ineffective. Be sure to ask for a chalet that has windows that close so that you have full benefit of the air conditioning. The food is very good and the staff very polished and accommodating. The dive staff is very conscientious. We really enjoyed our stay here .

Stayed: April 2016
Thank lunamoonModesto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2016

Lankayan Island is gorgeous! It is secluded and the most beautiful island I have every seen. We stayed for 3 days, and let me tell you what, I wish we could have stayed forever (although I cannot afford it...) The boat ride out is a bit long and kind of bumpy. But we did not have any trouble with being sea sick. The boat is open so you can look out and get plenty of air. We are snorkelers, so didn't do any diving, but the dive shop is very well outfitted with wonderful staff. The snorkeling just right off the island, is the best I have seen. Been to the Caribbean many times and south america, but nothing compared to this. The island seems to act as a nursery too in the shallows (we saw baby sharks even!). Sea turtles and many fish. We also took a boat out for a snorkel at a nearby location - great time! The water is SO blue. Great visibility. We so wanted to see some turtle eggs hatch, but it did not happen while we were there - ah well. There were military men on the island (in their posts with guns too). Everyone was friendly, and I felt safer with them there! Food is very plentiful and everything tasted good with lots of variety! I would go back in a heartbeat - don't hesitate - just book the trip, you won't regret it!

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, but choose the furthest from the dining hall if you want the least traffic.
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank CatM123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lankayan Island Dive Resort

Address: Lankayan Island, Sandakan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 32 Hotels in Sandakan
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lankayan Island Dive Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A jewel like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, an hour and a half boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure of white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lankayan Island Dive Hotel Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Sandakan
Lankayan Island Dive Resort Sandakan, Sabah

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