Budget accommodation

Homestays and lodges built over the sea comprise the bulk of Mabul Island budget accommodation.

You do not have to stay in Mabul in order to go snorkeling or diving here. If budget is your main concern, then you may wish to consider staying at a seafront hotel in Semporna, where accommodation and dive packages are generally cheaper.

It is not uncommon for hotels/lodges (especially the budget ones) in Mabul to shut down/cease operations without much notice, due to sustainability or other reasons. When this happens, their websites are often kept alive by others seeking to take advantage of the situation, giving the impression that the property is still open for business. Since the warning by FOMCA we have monitored this closely, so make sure that you are not corresponding with a hotel, lodge or resort that has already gone out of business by checking the listings on our site!

Mabul budget accommodation (with Sipadan Permits)

Uncle Chang Dive Lodge1. Uncle Chang Sipadan (7 Permits)

Wooden lodge built on stilts over the ocean with dorm, double, family and seaview chalets available. All rooms come with private bathrooms.

1 day diving in Sipadan from RM600 (non-divers), RM720 (2 dives) and RM750 (3 dives).

Read about Uncle Chang Sipadan on TripAdvisor

Billabong Scuba Mabul2. Billabong Scuba (6 Permits)

Homestay chalets built on stilts over the sea with different room types available. Options include air-conditioned rooms and attached bathrooms.

1 day diving in Sipadan from RM848 (3 dives).

Read about Billabong Scuba on TripAdvisor

Other Mabul budget accommodation

1. Star Mabul Lodge

All rooms are twin rooms that come with air-conditioning at this clean, budget lodge built over the water. Scrumptious buffet, spacious sun deck and private bathrooms available.

Check pricing for Star Mabul Lodge on: Agoda.com | Booking.com

Arung Hayat Mabul2. Arung Hayat Sipadan Adventures Dive Center

Mabul accommodation consisting of a guesthouse built over the ocean. Fan, air-cond and VIP rooms available. Not to be confused with the hotel in Semporna town called Arung Hayat Hotel (link).

Read about Arung Hayat (in Mabul) on TripAdvisor

Check pricing for Arung Hayat (in Mabul) on: Agoda.com | Booking.com

Spheredivers Lodge3. Spheredivers Lodge

Located within the Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) village on the island, this homestay is constructed on stilts built over the sea. Available: twin and triple sharing rooms with shared bathrooms.

Read about Spheredivers Lodge on TripAdvisor

Check pricing for Spheredivers Lodge on: Agoda.com | Booking.com

Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge4. Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge

Dorm rooms and standard rooms with attached bathrooms, ceiling fans and ocean views available in this homestay lodge.

Read about Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge on TripAdvisor

Check pricing for Seahorse Sipadan Scuba Lodge on Agoda.com

SDC Lodge5. Sipadan Dive Centre (SDC) Mabul Lodge

Beachside lodge with 10 seafront Rainbow Chalets that come with air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms (hot shower), and 4 water-village-view Goby rooms (triple sharing).

Read about SDC Mabul Lodge on TripAdvisor

Check pricing for Sipadan Dive Centre (SDC) Mabul Lodge on Agoda.com

Scuba Jeff6. Scuba Jeff Sipadan

Private beach accommodation or sharing rooms built over the sea available here. Features an ‘ocean hammock’ area.

Unlimited jetty/house reef diving

Read about Scuba Jeff Sipadan on TripAdvisor

Summer Friends Homestay7. Summer Friends Homestay

Homestay built on stilts in the middle of a fishing village with 10 rooms (single, twin, triple & quad sharing) and 6 detached bathrooms.

All rooms are equipped with fans.

Read about Summer Friends Homestay on TripAdvisor

Keep in mind that not all hotels, resorts or dive operators are allocated a Sipadan permit directly from the government. That being said, there is a rich secondary market for permits.

If your dive operator is unable to provide a permit, they may obtain one for you at a premium or book that day with a dive operator who can.

The 12 resorts with Sipadan Permits are respectively located in Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking and Semporna town.