Located on the island of Mabul, the S.M.A.R.T. resort is used to access the Sipadan dive sites (it is not possible to stay on Sipadan itself). The resort boasts a beach, a pool and a bar on stilts. The standard chalets are semi-detached but we prefer the more private stand alone chalets. These wooden bungalows all have a terrace, air-conditioning and hot showers.
The new water bungalows are attractive, individual stilted chalets over the sea with stunning views. The tastefully decorated rooms have minibars and satellite TVs as well as air-conditioning. Each room has two bikes so that you can cycle the short distance to the restaurant and bar on the island if you wish. The water-bungalows do have their own restaurant and bar so after a day's diving or snorkeling you do not have to venture far for the delicious seafood and other cuisine served at the resort. As well as the bungalows there are a few chalet suites at the resort which are newly renovated and located on the beach. The suites are well appointed and more spacious than the chalets, having a separate living area.
Please note, if you are planning on diving it is worth bearing in mind that there is no guarantee you will dive Sipadan. To protect the site there are only 120 dive permits issued per day and especially during the peak summer season there are significantly more people staying on the surrounding islands than permits available. If you pre-book on a dive package there is more chance you will dive Sipadan than if you just book accommodation and 'pay per dive' when you are there. In our experience if you are booked on the dive package you will normally have the chance to dive at Sipadan. This however, is not guaranteed and on rare occasions we have had clients staying for several days that have only been able to dive Sipadan once. A six night stay normal secures at least one day's diving at Sipadan. If you do not dive at Sipadan you will go to alternative sites such as Si Amil, Mataking, Kapalai or Mabul. There is a 40 Riggs per person per day entry permit for all divers, snorkelers or visitors to Sipadan Island which must be paid at the resort.
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Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Sipadan, Mabul & Kapalai Islands