We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Lowest prices for your stay
Trip.com
RM 1,177
Breakfast included
Agoda.com
RM 1,436
Breakfast included
No booking fees
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
enon89
Ipoh, Malaysia

Need Improvement

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 31 Aug 2016
The dive sites around this resort was superb. Even when dive in front of the resort you can find many nice creatures. The dive center staff are friendly and informative. I think this resort really need some maintenance and renovation.
Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Problem with this review?
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.
Nearby Hotels
Priceline
RM 212
Go to your Happy Price
  • Agoda.com
    RM 202
  • Trip.com
    RM 144
  • Vio.com
    RM 173
5.9 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Free Wifi
Free parking
Beautiful room and interesting lobby. Close to the  big supermarket .
Trip.com
RM 284
  • Agoda.com
    RM 212
  • Vio.com
    RM 261
  • Priceline
5.5 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Booking.com
RM 115
  • Agoda.com
    RM 65
  • Trip.com
  • Priceline
5.2 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Free Wifi
Booking.com
RM 153
  • Priceline
    RM 114
  • Agoda.com
    RM 110
5.0 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Restaurant
Fantastic sea view.
Trip.com
RM 147
  • Agoda.com
    RM 142
5.4 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Priceline
RM 124
Go to your Happy Price
  • Agoda.com
    RM 117
  • Vio.com
    RM 121
  • ZenHotels.com
5.9 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Agoda.com
RM 184
Fully refundable
Easy and fast booking
  • Trip.com
    RM 184
  • Vio.com
    RM 182
  • ZenHotels.com
    RM 233
5.6 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Beachfront
Restaurant
Trip.com
RM 1,727
  • Booking.com
8.2 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Booking.com
RM 130
Fully refundable
  • Trip.com
    RM 91
  • Agoda.com
    RM 74
  • Vio.com
    RM 74
5.2 km from Celebes Beach Resort
Booking.com
RM 2,160
  • Agoda.com
    RM 1,866
  • Priceline
6.9 km from Celebes Beach Resort
View more hotels in Semporna
Reviews (102)
Filter reviews
102 results
Traveller rating
47
31
7
6
11
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveller rating
47
31
7
6
11
See what travellers are saying:
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
5 - 10 of 102 reviews
Reviewed 23 August 2016

This is a difficult review as I always try to be positive, but we will certainly never return to this resort while it is in this condition.

Positives - the choice & variety of dive locations is excellent. The dive center staff are brilliant.

Negatives - firstly - no jetty !!! The process to get guests too & from the resort is crazy if the weather is slightly bad and it is so tide dependent. It involves walking through the waves, trying not to step on rocks or coral, then jumping onto the moving boat. We saw multiple guests getting knocked over by the waves (the staff are helpful by carrying children & standing in the water to try to steady guests) or being soaked & having wet luggage. It is just impractical & dangerous not to have a jetty ! We stayed in August & the low tide was around midday to early afternoon so the boats cannot go up to the beach, they have to stay in deeper water which means you must walk across the shallow water & waves to the boat !

Secondly - The accommodation is totally run down, just basic things are not right. For example, in our first room (Room 7), the floor tiles were not cemented to the floor, they were just laid on the cement floor. There was water coming up between the tiles all the time. We were worried about cutting our feet on the tile edges as they moved when walked upon, plus it was very noisy and uncomfortable to walk on loose tiles. The management explained that they had removed the old wooden flooring due to the water leak under the floor, but had not enough time to lay the new tiles properly. But why did they rent out the room? They did come & put loads of towels & a sleeping bag (?) on the floor to absorb the water & hopefully stop our feet from being cut.

Other issues with the accommodation, there was no fresh water on the island - which is understandable - but the saltwater pressure was a joke. There was a pump but there was also frequent power cuts meaning no water pressure. After 2 nights we were moved to a longhouse room (Room 14) as the resort was full. In this room the shower was a trickle (even with the pump) & the A/C broke in the morning so we had to move again. We found out that the A/C broke down when the power cut happened in the middle of the night due to the main power cable catching fire. The power was only restored at 3 pm the next day. In the last room (Room 12), the bathroom lights never worked, the toilet had no water & the cistern stunk so badly, then in the morning the toilet cistern water was flowing continuously & leaking everywhere. We did not bother to move again but used the bathroom of our children (Room 15) which was only marginally better (their shower hose was leaking, so also very low water pressure).

The room floors were swept and mopped but there were cobwebs (see photo). The cleanliness of the sheets & pillow cases are questionable. The sheets did not match the size of the mattresses at all. The sliding doors into the bathrooms were all loose and nearly falling off the rails. The deluxe rooms do not have fans, but the longhouse rooms do. ?? There were no bedside tables or lamps, in all of the rooms the drawers of the wardrobes were broken.

Thirdly - we were on a 5 day 4 night stay and you get almost the same food every breakfast, lunch & dinner. The food is ok - but a bit bland to cater for the Chinese guests who make up about 95% of their market. However the staff were very accommodating if we asked for pineapple or watermelon.

Fourthly - the staff were helpful & friendly but they do tend to lounge around the guest area (sofas & TV area) & they are very casual. They should wear a CBR T-shirt to show that they are the staff. They do brush the leaves & clean the beach, but only once per day and only casually. A lot of plastic and rubbish wash up the beach everyday which is a shame for a beautiful place. A minor clean up effort a few times a day will help. There are enough staff but they are not organized.

Fifthly - three out of the five phone/device chargers we took to the island are not working anymore due to the numerous power surges/cuts. The power is, understandably, provided by generators which do trip / fail causing no power situations. I think that the non regular power supply has fried most of our chargers !!

As stated at the start of this review - I try to be positive & keep things in perspective. As we were a party of 4 people we ended up staying in 5 different rooms - they all had simple things wrong like described above. I realize that this is a resort on a remote island but we have stayed at least 9 other Malaysian island resorts (mainly off peninsular Malaysia) and none of them are anywhere near as bad as this (and they are all a lot cheaper). If we had paid low rates (like backpacker rates) for this holiday then I could accept the tired & neglected accommodation & general lack of professionalism in the service attitude, but the rates paid are certainly not backpacker rates. The management and owners of this resort need to seriously consider spending some of the guest revenue to build a jetty then maintain & upgrade the resort. Until that is done then I do not recommend anyone to visit.

Room tip: The longhouse rooms are better than the deluxe rooms because they have ceiling fans - but they are smaller.
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tim D
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 16 August 2016 via mobile

Well, lets start with the good, because it will be quick. The diving in the area is great. The staff are mostly good, the freelance dive masters (who are not employees of the resort) are very helpful and professional. The food was tasty and better than I expected, although chips and chicken nuggets for breakfast is strange. Also the view from the beach is an A+.

And now the bad...
Room looks nothing like that picture above, tiled floors were greasy and not cleaned. Single beds shoved together to make a double. No safe. No toilet door. Basic to the extreeme.
Salt water shower and taps worked sometimes.
Dont think you will have the convenience of flushing a toilet on demand, usually not possible in the morning. Bit awkward for your roommate...
We had no towels and no toilet paper. Asked for some and got one towel between two for 5 days. Got told that we would have toilet paper tomorrow, so I stole napkins from the dining table for the night. Paper turned up the next day but was left on the wet floor in thd bathroom. Asked on subsequent days for a towel, never showed up.
Jetty isnt functional so you clamber from the beach over sharp rocks into boats.
Boat broke down on us 2 days and we missed out on diving, instead having to do a shore dive.
Got told the Wifi doesnt work, it was always 'maybe tomorrow'. Never worked... until one of the dive masters handed us his phone to add him on facebook as we were leaving... and would you believe he was connected to the Wifi....!
Ran out of drinks, although the staff were advised that it might be good idea to get some more before running out 'it will be okay' was the response. So we had to organise our own drinks at considerable effort.
Dive hire gear is pooly maintained, leaky and an accident waiting to happen.
Nothing is clear or organised, kinda just fumbled along.
Manager is arrogant and claimed he knew nothing of any of the above, not sure what his job is if he has no idea of the negatives of the place. He only speaks to Chinese guests too. Sits in his office and ignored the 23 paying divers onsite.
No snacks available for purchase if you were hungry.
Surface interval food was crackers with sugar, disgusting. Not too hard to bring some fruit??
So many things to be improved to match the spectacular diving.
Bypass this place at all costs. Or take out top level travel insurance.

Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank TarynJana
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 12 August 2016

I booked this resort approximately 13 months in advance for a group of 23 of us. Initially things were looking good with a very communicative and informative booking agent. About 1 month before we travelled the booking agent changed to a lady based in Tawau and the communication went from excellent to appalling. I had to send previously required and sent information over and over again. I asked for some information in return on a couple of occasions. The agent took forever to reply and it was clear that she was struggling to deal with the English language. I had sent a deposit to secure the trip and agreed to pay the balance by credit card on arrival. It took weeks for the agent to sort out the balance amount with numerous errors in their accounting.

On arrival we had to walk across hard coral as the jetty had been damaged. They do not even have a jetty - the one they had been using belongs to the conservation group on the island.

There were problems every day with showers, lack of replenishment of necessities and dangerous electrical services. Several guests received electric shocks from their equipment. I am not unused to living in remote areas and putting up with most problems. I have worked in remote locations as a diving instructor throughout Africa and Asia. I have stayed at mid-range resorts in Borneo such as Borneo Divers and at Backpackers like Billabong Scuba and Uncle Changs without any issues or gripes. I understand that things will never be perfect in locations like Pom Pom. However, if the manager makes an effort to help you it can make all the difference. Sadly, the manager at this resort has no concept of customer service and is as approachable as a nest of vipers. The man did not even introduce himself to me as the group leader of 23 people which made up 90% occupancy of his resort, stunningly ignorant!

Before leaving Semporna I spoke to CBR's resort staff there who assured me they had stocked a variety of soft drinks and beer sufficient for our stay. By day 2 it was obvious that they had not. Rather than order more for us the manager just let the drinks run out. He showed no initiative to solve the issue at all. As it was we visited the resort next door who offered to sell us a limited amount of drinks. Why could he have not done this? Ali organised an acquaintance to sort us out with drinks which he did and saved the day. For his initiative and good customer service he was rewarded with a dressing down from the manager! The manager has his own separate fridge next to the guest's fridge. One of my guests asked for a diet coke and was told by the manager he could not have one as the diet drinks were his! Common courtesy would be to offer the guest the drink and ask him if he wanted him to order some more for his stay. Honestly the man was a completely ignorant buffoon. The totality of his proactive engagement with us was to leave his protected office to smoke a cigarette often next to our dining table whilst we were eating. He closed the fridges, padlocking them at about 9.30pm each night. Our night dives were scheduled for 8.30pm so, guests coming to the resort bar struggled for a drink. It was only after I managed to get a message to the resort director that the fridges stayed open longer. Again the manager showed no initiative. Why not get us to prepay for the drinks in one fridge and leave it open? The two junior members of staff tasked with serving drinks were completely disinterested. One of them constantly had his feet up on the bar listening to his ipod. Think of the character from Little Britain whose catchphrase is "computer says no" and you have hit the nail on the head.

The diving staff particularly Ali were absolutely top notch and we had great fun diving with them out on the boats. This helped to take our minds off how bad the resort was. However, the boats were also an issue and suffered from numerous breakdowns and took on water on our trips. As for the diving equipment every piece of hire equipment leaked, regulator mouthpieces were torn and we had one complete 1st stage failure at 15 metres. Clearly the lack of maintenance and safety considerations is not just confined to the resort. The diving itself was pretty good with a variety of macro life, heaps of turtles and clear visibility. Unfortunately, some of the nearer sites have suffered quite badly from dynamite fishing and we saw evidence of this on a few dives.

I cannot complain about the food it was varied, tasty and plentiful especially when you consider the remote location. We were told the wifi was not working. However, the manager had wifi and having spoken to other staff at the resort they confirmed this saying that the manager would not give out the wifi passwords to guests or even to other staff members.

I was unable to pay the balance because the Semporna office's credit card machine was off-line. It remained off-line for the whole of our stay. I was asked if I could pay in cash. As you can imagine it is the simplest task to arrange to take delivery of nearly $20,000 at short notice in Borneo! In the end they agreed to accept paypal which did not come without difficulties. I had a Malaysian sim card which I could just get a weak signal from if I walked into the water at the end of the resort. I had to make several payments over several days and even then they disputed paypal's agreed exchange rate and insisted on charging me nearly $1000 extra for fees which were never declared up front. With 14 minutes to go before our boat departed back to Semporna they finally agreed that I had settled the bill.

Throughout the trip I relayed to the booking agent that we were dissatisfied but to no avail. She dismissed my concerns as being down to a language barrier. This was absolute nonsense as we had a native Malaysian amongst our guests! The manager was extremely rude to her. When she asked to speak to him he bellowed back to her that he could not hear her and demanded that she walk to him if she wanted to tell him something. On the last day she tried to discuss the issues we had experienced. His response was to argue publicly with her and wave her away.

In summary this is a lovely picturesque island, the dive staff are brilliant, there is a complete lack of buy in to maintenance or the needs of the guests. The resort manager needs to be immediately replaced with someone up to the task as does their booking agent. When issues were raised everybody blamed each other. The booking agent in Tawau, the staff in Semporna and the resort staff need to share a collective responsibility for all that went wrong, that is how a team functions as a team rather than individuals operating in isolation.

I would recommend you steer away from this resort and spend a little extra to go to somewhere where you will enjoy your hard earned break.

These guys took a lot of money from me, provided all of my customers with an appalling level of service and this costs me as a business. Never again.

Room tip: Go somewhere else
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Urbanrhino
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 11 August 2016 via 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
4  Thank ValerioG465
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

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.
View more reviews