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WADiverDave
Mataram, Indonesia

Great diving but all down hill from there...

1.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 10 Aug 2016
The diving was great although the dive boats need to be better maintained and made suitable for diving, did I mention the wharf collapsed the day before we got there... bare footed shore walking was a nightmare.

We arrived for lunch had a quick introduction to the key people and were promptly advise that they had wifi...but it was broken, a bit like everything else we were to find out. 23 scuba divers most of who enjoyed a cold beer at night, Oh wait lets put the warm beer at the front of the fridge and keep the cold beer cold.

It was OK for the manager…he had his own fridge and didn’t he get upset if you demanded what was available in his fridge but not available for the guest.

We complained about the water or lack there of every morning and by late afternoon we had water for a few more hours albeit salt water.

The tiles on my room floor were not sealed and made a noise every time you stood on one - try sneaking into a room with this...you even got an electric zap when you turned on the water occasionally - that kept us on our toes.

When the beer ran out with 2 days to go we were basically told that that was all they had, so we arranged for a delivery with one of the local dive guides who we found out later was abused by the manager for doing this...why the manager didn't arrange more beer no one will ever know - maybe it was a communications issue - so he claimed! Muppet! We had a native Malaysian in the group who you still ignored!

I don’t think the manager had any customer experience – well he may have had in China as he spoke only Chinese which certainly helped.

We were told that we could pay by credit card for anything we used or purchased however like the wifi – that was also broken so luckily most of us did bring some local currency to sort out our bills. Our tour leader was unable to pay for the trip but was another story I will leave for him….

I hate to say it but this could have been such a great trip had the resort manager bothered to assist or listen to the complaints we raised with the staff rather than spend all day in his office ignoring his guests.

My guess is that he could have had a great time if there were no guests to bother him.

I know 22 other people on this trip that all experienced the same issues and were not happy campers, and doubt very much that they will rate this place above terrible.

Thanks for the memories Celebes but I for one won’t be back.
Date of stay: August 2016
Room Tip: Room 7, tiles not cemented to the concrete - very noise at night
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
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11 - 16 of 102 reviews
Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

Located in Pom Pom Island, a peaceful place, beautiful sea, variety of marine life, reef and corral, sea-stars, sea turtle.

The resort is a simple and casual guesthouse, basic facilities, but nice people. The resort provide a morning trip to different islands nearby for snorkelling or driving everyday which is fun.

The worst are having rubbish and plastic bottle all around the beach around the island, would all visitors and people there please protect the environment!

Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank 183arthurk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 31 July 2016 via mobile

I stumbled upon this place after my initial plan to mabul/sipadan fell through and it was a pleasant surprise. The staff held my reservation without making a deposit. My emails were promptly answered prior to arrival. A driver came to pick me up from tawau airport and drove to semporna jetty. Payment is settled at their semporna office before you head to the boat.

This resort caters to mostly Chinese families and tourists. Food is almost all Chinese food. The staff speaks limited English. The dive master, who's also in charge of running the resort, greeted me upon arrival.

Room is clean and specious. There's power and hot water 24/7. Tap water is salty. The house wifi does not work. Get a celcom SIM card before arriving it will save your day (if you want to stay connected), it's the only mobile provider that works on this island.

Water is crystal clear but unfortunately lots of garbage (from semporna). Staff does clean up the beach but only to dump the stuff somewhere else on the beach, which is a shame for such beautiful island.

I felt very safe here. Malaysian army patrols the island at night and they are on every dive boat that goes out.

I had a fun time diving. Dive master was very nice and we would go over our sightings underwater at the end of day. Plenty of marine life to see with good visibility. (Thank you xiao-loong).

Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank Nakedcrib
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 14 July 2016

Took a direct Malaysia Airlines flight to Tawau and 3 of us got a direct pickup from the airport going to Semporna - drive took almost 2 hours due to some major construction, but the boat ride from Semporna to Pom Pom Island took just about 45 mins.

It was low season so it was lovely and quiet. Divemasters and instructors (one of us was doing Open Water) were warm and definitely passionate about what they did.Weather was slightly overcast and we lost one morning to bad weather but otherwise the weather was peachy. House reef was full of surprises, and the sites shared by Mataking, Kapalai and Mabul were also accessible.

Rooms were spacious, air conditioned and there's electricity 24/7 to charge your toys. There's an awesome lounge/TV area where meals are served (foods alright, not amazing) and there's a special room for underwater photographers to set up their gear too.

Things to remember:
Mosquitos are a real problem. Bring some insect spray and repellent.
Phone coverage: Maxis is non-existent. Celcom and Digi is sporadic. House Wifi is just as sketchy. You can whatsapp and maybe instagram/facebook a little but anything heavier is tough.

Room tip: Depending on availability, you can get the chalet doubles at longhouse prices
Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank zainalamarz
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 April 2016

I went to Mabul last year and thought I would cover this side of Semporna, having heard much about the dive site. Mabul and Sipadan were good but they were crowded, more expensive and Mabul was dirty. In contrast Pom Pom was private, quite, sea life was equally good and very good value for money.

The resort itself is small but rooms were quite new and clean. Yes toilets were rusty and a bit run down but the air condition and hot water worked well, and rooms were cleaned daily. Water was salty but you can use their free drinking water to brush your teeth. Its not 5-star so don't expect the Mandarin, but compared to some of the rough and tough lodging I've had before, this was good stuff.

No complaints about the food - it was plentiful and good. No complaints of hoarding. Wifi was not working when we were there but there is a telco tower on the island (Celcom) so connectivity was always good. There is only 1 TV at the lounge but after dives and some beers, all one thinks of is sleep anyway. Don't think of bringing your family along unless they dive or snorkle - they might be bored.

DIve equipment was fairly new and rental was part of the package. The 2 DMs, Robin and Axu were friendly and really knew their stuff. Lots of great macro stuff in almost every dive. Waters were clear and really calm at this part of the island. Only shore night dives were allowed but don't be fooled, there are lots of things to see 50 meters off shore.

It wasn't crowded - maybe off season, but it worked really well with small groups.

Now, on top of everyone's minds is security. I felt quite safe during the whole trip. Why? Soldiers patrolled the island at night. There was a curfew after 6pm and we were not allowed to wander around the island then. On every boat dive away from the island, there were always two armed soldiers on board. Safe? Sure!

Compared to the other up market islands charging RM1k or more per person, this was great value. I think I'll go back again. Soon.

Tip: Try to organise a trip to Bohay Dulang, an island just opposite. Its a national park and views from the top are suppose to be great (go goggle).

Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank PeterFong67
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 17 February 2016

- The services provided was very good. Friendly staffs and very helpful.
- Nice and quite place to stay.
- Delicious food for hungry divers. But yes, other regular customers have a same feeling too.
- The Dive Master really cool...

Date of stay: February 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank WanorWM
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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