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“Beautiful Family Holiday”

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Lankayan Island Dive Resort
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 September 2016 via mobile

We stayed in September with our two adult daughters. We had side by side villas. All of the accommodation on the island is waterfront. The rooms were spacious and clean with a/c plus ceiling fans. If you want the best views ask for a villa at the very far end, numbers 20 to 26. If you want total privacy with garden in front and outdoor shower ask for villas 10 - 14. We didn't notice mosquitos but there were a few sand flies around which you can avoid by not lying on the beach. There are hammocks at the front of most of the villas. We snorkelled from our front door out to the various patches of coral. We didn't dive because we were on the island for only three days. The turtles were the main attraction for us, it was great to be able to swim so freely with so many turtles. Also there are hatchings almost everyday (amazing & sad to watch them mostly all meet their demise via the reef sharks). Because there are only 26 rooms there are very few people in the water at any given time, it never feels crowded. The staff are friendly, attentive and helpful. There is a central dining room, library, relaxation area which also never feels crowded. It is a huge space for so few people so you can easily have your own area. The food is fresh & plentiful. They are constantly feeding you. There is a comprehensive wine/beer list. They don't make cocktails. If you want spirits BYO which you can have on your private balcony. It is extremely chilled. Plenty of time for books and relaxation. It ticks all the boxes for both families and couples. Terrible wifi which limits screen time (which can only be a good thing for most of us). Lots of privacy and nothing to do except talk to each other, eat, drink, dive & snorkel and make friends with turtles in a truly beautiful place.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
4  Thank r-and-r09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 September 2016 via mobile

This place is paradise. 3 days was not enough and we wished we had stayed longer. Everything from the rooms (with a stunning balcony view) to the food was divine. Being vegetarians, we were a little anxious about our options, but the chef was amazing and even cooked specific dishes as per our request :)

The rooms are very spacious and each room can comfortably house 3 people. The island is so tiny, we were able to walk around it in 10 mins!

This place is perfect for just lazing around all day, but there are few activities you can partake in - diving is one, but we didn't see too many people doing this. The hatchery where we saw baby turtles hatching was the highlight of our trip. Other than turtles you can also snorkel around the island - there isn't too much to see except turtles and a few fishes, but being a beginner we really enjoyed it. They also rent kayaks at a reasonable fee. However, the general vibe is relaxed and days end early here :)

If we had to complain, the air conditioning was not the best - but it was not so bad that it ruined our sleep.

Other than this, we would highly recommend this place! Come with a fat book and you're sorted :)

PS: The boat ride to and fro can be a little bumpy - sit at the back of the boat for a smooth(er) ride!

Lastly, for an unobstructed view of the sea, choose chalet numbers 22 and above. Note that the walk to the dining area and reception is longer, the higher numbered the chalet is.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank rajashreee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2016 via mobile

I stayed here for 3 nights and it was very good. Big chalet with an amazing terrace facing the ocean. Water is clear and there's plenty of fish. I attened a baby turtle release twice in 3 days(!!!) The staff is very serviceminded and makes you feel very welcome on this island. I can truly recommend this place.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled solo
2  Thank SilleGuld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2016 via mobile

We had a beautiful stay on Lankayan Island (despite the not so great weather!). Beautiful and well maintained island. Lovely staff. We stayed in chalet 26 which was more remote at the end of the resort and beautiful with the stilts over the sea. All chalets face the sea and are in a line with each other but feel very private. Food is great - about 4/5 courses per session. All pre cooked by the chefs and buffet style but amazing seafood! During the day there are snacks but these are more local pastries and cheese on toast etc, tea, coffee. In terms of drinks only water based drinks are provided. For any soft drinks and wine / beer (and some crisps and nuts) there is a bar which you will need to pay for. My only gripe is they do wine by the bottle only. Cheapest starts at £20 or so pounds. Soft drinks about £0.70-1. They should do wine by the glass as quite a few had wine so there would be a demand for it! Even a restricted number of bottles! Aside from that we can't fault it at all. Such a beautiful place which would be even more stunning in full sunshine. As a note, in case you are an Internet fanatic and absolutely require this here watch out - it's either slow or extremely temperamental. For one day it didn't work at all. That was fine for us as on holiday but just a note in case you needed it!

Stayed: September 2016, travelled with friends
2  Thank travelblogger2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2016 via mobile

If you want remote, stunning location, great food then yes. But for these prices I expect something more. Don't get me wrong, I loved it here but 1, the bungalows lacked a little finesse. It needs a little TLC to bring it up to the similar standard of say the Kinabantagan Wetlands Resorts which beats this place hands down.
Be warned. It does not accept debit cards, or chip and pin. Cash or credit card only.
Alcohol is available at a reasonable price.
It's also 50 miles off shore and if the weather is anything but calm then the ride is bumpy. Not for the poor sailor.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
Thank Baroncustard
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 33 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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