Prepare To Be Amazed By Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, Sabah

Best resorts in Sabah

It was my second time to Sabah and I was excited with the idea of spending two nights in the middle of the Celebes Sea – albeit a sunken island, also called as the Kapalai sand bar.

I’ve heard many good reviews on the resort and my friends and I were absolutely thrilled after looking through photos we found online. Would the resort be as beautiful as in the photos? Would it be safe there? Would we have fun in the middle of the sea?

Boat Ride to Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

My friends and I first gathered at Semporna Jetty before heading to the resort. The speedboat ride is a private chartered boat by Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort themselves.

There are two ways transfer between the Semporna Jetty and Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, but there are only three boat transfers a day from Semporna Jetty to Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort and vice versa. It took about 45 minutes to 1 hour speedboat ride from Semporna Jetty to Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, which also depends on the sea waves.

From the distance

Even from a distance, we knew the resort would be beautiful when we arrived and disembark from the speedboat. It was almost sunset by the time we reached the resort, which was just perfect for photos in my opinion.

Best resorts in Sabah
Let’s check in and get our room keys!

Best resorts in Sabah

As I stepped onto Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort’s jetty, I noticed there were a few uniformed men (and armed) near the resort’s lobby. We were told that there were about 50 armed men (army) patrolling in and around the resort’s waters from “unwanted” visitors (read: pirates) that has been plaguing some parts of Sabah waters lately. However, Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort and about 20km radius from it has so far been very safe up until today.

Location & Architecture

Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is located on top of a sunken island, in the Celebes Sea. You can be sure to not find land anywhere nearby if you decide to stay here for a night or more.

The luxury water villages are built on stilts and looked very welcoming. Designed to be airy, open and comfortable for guests, you can open your balcony door and look at the clear light blue sea or even swim under your room – but make sure to swim from the dive center pier and not directly from your room!

Rooms & Amenities

Best resorts in Sabah
View when we open our front door

It was very refreshing stepping into the beautiful chalet. The room we were assigned to was a triple sharing room; with one Queen bed and one single bed, cupboard, dressing table, sofas and still there were ample space available.

I especially loved the bathroom and the bathtub. Relaxing in the bathtub while sipping a cool drink in the evening and looking out and under the window next to the bathtub is a truly unique experience.

Why? I managed to spot 3 giant turtles during my 20 minutes bath time as I look into the clear waters and breathe in the sweet smell of the ocean.

I lost track of time as I looked out of the window and watching giant turtles swim by while enjoying my warm bath
Best resorts in Sabah
Look! Sea turtles!

The 50 water villages are either twin sharing or triple sharing. Most of the guests here would be purchasing the package stay from their respective tour operator. A 2-nights stay inclusive of diving could cost up to RM2500+ and a 2-nights stay without diving could cost up to RM2100+.

Each package (with or without diving) includes:

  1. Transfer from Tawau airport to Semporna Jetty
  2. Boat transfer to Kapalai Resort (return)
  3. Chalet accommodation for twin or triple sharing
  4. Buffet at the restaurant (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  5. Afternoon snacks
  6. Tea/ Coffee/ Water served throughout the day at the restaurant
  7. Snorkeling gears available for rental
  8. Taxes

Diving package would include all the above as well as:

  1. Unlimited dives in front of Kapalai Dive Centre
  2. No extra charge for night dives in front of dive centre
  3. Tanks, weight and belt provided

Other Facilities

Best resorts in Sabah

Best resorts in Sabah

Best resorts in Sabah

Guests are free to roam around the resort from one end to another. What’s interesting about Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is the mile-long sandbank that you can enjoy with long walks, or just a good time to soak up the sun. The sandbank is only open in the day because by 7pm onwards, the tide begins and the sandbank will be submerged.

Best resorts in Sabah

Best resorts in Sabah
Look at those colours. This photo was not edited.

Best resorts in Sabah

There are other more relaxing activities that can be done too such as snorkeling, kayaking, souvenir shop, game room and full internet access.

Diving instructors in Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort are all PADI certified and they also offer a variety of PADI courses at the resort such as:

  1. Discover Scuba Diving
  2. Open Water Diving
  3. Advanced Open Water Diving
  4. Introduction to Night Diving

What for sure, even though there are no land in sight for miles, you would never get bored at the resort.

Services By Staffs

Malaysian hospitality is always something I could be proud of as a fellow Malaysian. Which is why it is no wonder that my friends and I were treated very nicely when we were at Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort. Not only that, we even had a private dinner on our last night with the owners, all smiles and indulging us with personal stories so that we can understand the origin of the resort and its objectives.

Best resorts in Sabah
Dinner with this scenery? Life is good.

A round of applause for the waiters and waitresses at the resort’s restaurant. The restaurant is mostly filled to the brim during meal times and they are very quick in cleaning up tables or answering to calls from guests.


Service ♥♥♥♥
Cleanliness ♥♥♥♥
Price ♥♥♥♥♥
Location ♥♥♥♥♥
Overall Value ♥♥♥♥

Beware of Poisonous or Dangerous Sea-Creatures Near Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

It’s all fun and games until someone got stung or bit and there are no hospital nearby. When we first arrived, the first thing that the staff informed and reminded us about was the poisonous sea-creatures that can be found near Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort. Some of the most common poisonous sea-creatures that can be found here are:

  • Sting Ray
  • Sea Snake
  • Sea Urchin
  • Lion Fish
  • Moray Eel
  • Scorpion Fish
  • Trigger Fish
  • Jelly Fish
  • Blue Ring Octopus

We were advised not to wear shiny or metal object when we dive or snorkel nearby either because Barracudas are attracted to shiny objects and there have been cases in Sabah where Barracudas bit some of the body parts with metal or shiny object before.

It is always best to stay away from these animals – do not approach them and more often than not, they will just leave you alone as well.

Other than that, have fun!

Best resorts in Sabah

Best resorts in Sabah
Until we meet again!


484 Bandar Sabindo, PO Box No 61120, 91021 Tawau, Sabah, East Malaysia.
Tel: (60-89) 765200 | Fax:(60-89) 763575/763563

Written by 

LizzaBella is a part-time traveler, amateur photographer and videographer and writer. Connect with LizzaBella through her social medias today!

18 thoughts on “Prepare To Be Amazed By Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, Sabah

  1. OMG cantik gilerrr gambo pun dh cantik cmni!! sedih wakk sipadan msih bucketlist kita!! hahahah adoi la hmm tu bru mndi 20mnt dh jmp turtle 3 ekoq klu 30mnt hahaha 1 kg dorg mai intai awk tau hahahha adoi! syoknya mndi open tingkap cmtu i loike tenang sgt!

  2. Awwwhh missing this trip so much! I think this is one of my favourite accommodations so far. Even just sit back and relax by the balcony of the room can be so therapeutic I can do it all day long. Highly suggested! Btw cantiknya gambar-gambar!

  3. omg Sipadan definitely are have the breathtaking views around them! the resort does looks exquisite and comfy as well, I totally would love to go and stay there!

  4. Oh my Gucci!
    Those views!
    I want them too. Now you make me wanna go there and experience life there too.
    OK. Gonna call my brother (he is in Labuan) and have him pay for the vacation lah.

  5. cantiknya pemandangan di sabah ni,teringin juga nak kesini ngan family nanti..tq dik atas perkongsian

  6. wow !! menariknyaaaaaaaa.. Sabah memang terkenal dengan tempat2 peranginan yang cantik.. hee~ walaupun tengok dalam gambar, tetap rasa macam dah sampai sana..

  7. k mie dah 2 kali ke tawua nie tapi hanya stay kat pulau Mabul aje…mmg kat pulau nie view dia sangat awesome…planning nak repeat lagi 🙂

  8. ya ampunnnn cantiknya pemandangan di sini. teruja kita tengok…sangat cantik terutama yang ada view pantai…mmg kalau datang sini untuk bercuti dan menenangkan fikiran jauh dr kesibukan kota

  9. Wowww…cantik sangat tempat ni. Pemandangn dia..aduhh jatuh cinta sis dibuatnya. Kalaulah dapat gi sini bestnya. Memang teringin sangat nak ke Sipadan.Hope satu hari nanti tercapai hajat nak ke sana

  10. Cantiknya pemandangan dekat Sipadan ni. Even deco dekat resort pun dah memukau mata siap jatuh ke hati. Tengok gambar pun dah syok, apatah lagi merasa sendiri.

  11. Allahu, cantikkknyaaaa…. memang wishlist tapi belum kesampaian lagi. Bila la ada rezeki nak ke sini. Nampaknya kena tunggu time hanimon la kot. tu pun kalau bakal hubby nak bawak.. ahakkksss…

  12. Aduhaii.. Cantiknya pemandangan.. Mesti tambah bererti kalu berada d sini bersama yg tersayang nnti. Nak masukkan lokasi nie dlm senarai wish list AM la..

  13. Such a nice place to explore! Mouse mommy loves the nature of Sabah too, but not yet travel to Sipadan. Love to see the sea turtle happily swim in the sea!

  14. Ya Allah Bella, rindunya nak pi Sipadan. Ni my last trip tau after i pilih utk fokus kepada my family. InsyaAllah soon kembali ke sini. Seronok giler. I akan bawa tripod utk shoot bintang pada malam hari. Langit dekat sini sangat cerah kan pada waktu malam. Hehehe.

  15. subhanaAllah cantiknya pemandangan di pulau nie. nampak indah ebtul. tenang je rasanya. bila lah boleh dapat pengalaman seperti ini. teringin rasanya nak teroka pulau2 cantik yang ada di Malaysia. tambah2 di area sabah sana.

  16. Looks beautiful. I have been to sabah many times but never been to this resort. Should try this resort during my next holiday t sabah.

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