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Valerio G
Torino

Not a resort, does not worth the price

1.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Aug 2016via mobile
Experience based 4 days stay in August 2016. Couple of experienced Asia travelers, between 30 and 40 years old, normally lodging in guesthouse, familiar and fine with cheap and easy accommodations. Non divers, just snorkeling.

Pier: destroyed by the sea storm long time ago and never fixed. Dangerous to climb, not protected by handrails. Not recommended for kids.

Room: bed is ok, bathroom and furniture are old, dirty and rusty. They both smell bad. Mirror is dark and rusty. Water is warm all the time, but sometimes not available in the entire village, when available is always salty and sometimes brown.

Food: repetitive, based mainly on rice, served 3 times per day at buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fruit is provided. Often fruit juices or coffee are not available. Water and tea bags are the only free drink available. Breakfast is Asian style (noodles, eggs, vegetables, ...), no milk or fruit jams or sweet pastries. Bread toaster available but randomly bread not present. Generally the food area is dirty and rusty.

Beach: the area immediately in front of the village is ok, the immediate surroundings, water and sand, are full of plastic rubbish, wooden stuff, car tires. Nobody seems interested in collect the trash and keep the swimming area clean.

Entertainment: not available

Staff: minority of them speaking English, dive/snorkeling staff kind and polite, ground staff often unwilling to serve. What is really missing is an overall management and coordination of the staff. The Chinese manager is walking around without any value added, unbelievably he smokes in the restaurant among guests during lunch and dinner time. Also other members of the staff smoking while serving customers.

Wifi: available but password is not given to the customers.

Conclusion: if interested in just eat, dive, sleep, then ok. If looking in a relaxing and mid luxury resort (as per pricing) then, not recommended.
Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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9 - 14 of 102 reviews
Reviewed 10 August 2016

I Usually refrain from Posting complete slam jobs however the week myself and my group of travelers had experienced I feel it is warranted,
while we were sent photos of a lovely resort with warning of speratic wifi we came accepting these facts,
the truth be told upon arrival we were told their pier has fallen down the day before in bad weather (ok this seems acceptable except when we inspected it later it appears to have been collapsed for quite some time, and the fact they actually don't even have a pier it belongs to the neighbouring properties leaving the entries and exits of the boats at low tide via water entry.)
The Showers were alt water based so you never could get really clean again this would be fine except the water pumps broke every day for 5 days, (able to have 2 showers in the entire time) Toilets couldnt flush without this water, your rooms are suplied with 4 bottles of drinking water a day... except they were only refreshed once, so you were forced into buying bottles from them if you wanted some fresh cold water. (there was a filtered water unit but when there is 23 of you there isnt much to go round)

Power shuts off 4 times a day and you must manually reset the air conditioner. (beware this power fluctuations can kill your electrical devices.)

when guests ran out of toilet paper and they requested more the manager would just tell them it would be put in tomorrow (14hours later)

our room was an unfinished room with mold on the wall, no door for the toilet, a ticking door on the shower and no tiles glued down all while missing all the edge tiles. made it quite noisy to walk on.

Ill move onto the stall, the best staff out there were the dive instructors Ali and Karl... bad news is thy are actually freelancers and aren't employed by the resort. Rose who worked at the resort was lovely and friendly even with her limited english, so I am sorry to rose for her having to be lumped in with this.

Wifi we were told on arrival that it was not operational but as the week went on we found out that it actually did work just the manager would not give out the password, (why would you lie to clients?) when complaints were brought forward to the manager and booking agent they blamed a language barrier as the main issue, however we had native speaking malay with our group who would be the central point of contact when we couldnt relay the issues effectively.

with 2nights to go the resort ran out of alcohol and told us it probably wont be refilled untill after we left, out malay speaker spoke directly with the manager then in native tounge about it and recieved a rude attitude telling her to come to him instead of politely coming over when she asked to speak to the manager.

onto the dangers of the resort:
in the time we were there my dive buddies swapped dive equipment 4 times for leaking hoses, mouth pieces and inflators, on girl had an entire first stage fail at 15m shutting off all her air, fortunately 90% of the divers on the trip had 50-1000 dives under their belt) but afterwards there was no checking of the gear or getting in to see how many of their its were broke (but from what I saw the answer is all of it)
People complained to the resort of getting electric shocks from the water in their taps and shower, as a result nothing was done about it and they would shower in other peoples rooms as a result (room 8 if you're wondering )
there is also bare wiring and a 3phase terminal near a clothes line at one of the back units that is just ripe for small children to go touch (note: YOU WILL DIE IF YOU TOUCH THEM)

Boats broke down,

Food was lovely but as the meals were set time there was a long space wherre there was no snacks other, than a small packet of tea biscuts, nothing available for purchase or to eat from 15:30(teatime) - 19:30 (dinner). Never enough food at tea time,

View was amazing, diving was great in the areas that haddn't been blown up by dynamite fishing.

in the end we had to source our own alcohol for the last night by private chartering their boat to bring the alcohol in. and the resort was just poorly run and organised with No communication to the guests.

If I am to return to Pom Pom I will be staying at the other resort or spending my time with T.R.A.C.C group rebuilding the reef. save your money and don't waste your time with this resort.

Room tip: stay at a different resort.
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Shinigami268
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 10 August 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.

Room tip: Room 7, tiles not cemented to the concrete - very noise at night
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank WADiverDave
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 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.
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