I stayed at Mataking for about a week and had a fantastic time there. Living in Shanghai can drive you a bit nuts sometimes and being in the exact opposite environment was quite literally a breath of fresh air: fresh air, nature, good service and people who care. As a Shanghai dweller and part time dive instructor I’m not just picky about service but also very keen on seeing a smooth and responsible dive operation. Mataking did a great job in any of these areas.
From the moment of arrival till the moment of departure there was not a moment I needed to worry about much. Whenever needed, staff was there, whenever quiet was desired they were invisible. My dive gear was taken care of fast and professionally, dive staff was always on call and did a great job at making me feel comfortable and at home. They were just the right amount of accommodating, eager to show things, but not willing to disturb the marine environment too much just for a photo op.
Having a resident marine biologist made it possible to go a bit in depth on some subjects and made the diving even more enjoyable. She seemed to know a lot about the local turtle population and it was great however to experience the hatching and release of baby turtles.
Except for the turtle hatcheries Mataking also tries actively to combat dynamite fishing, rebuild the reefs and educate the local population on the importance on environmental conservation. All very important and noble initiatives, not undertaken by any average dive resort.
All in all a very pleasant and refreshing stay thanks to the local staff and marine biologist.
“Nice stay and staff!!”
It was a nice stay in Reefe Dive Resort. Nice staff always concern about our needs! Also great variety of activities; kayak, diving, snorkel and swim in amazing beaches. Also we love baby turtles in the Turtles Hatchery. Great restaurant and bar. I will repeat for sure!!
“Excellent trip i will go back real soon”
This place is just so beautiful you will have to experience yourself. staff are supper nice. food were great! I have nothing to complain about my 4 days and 3 nights stay in this resort.
I am already in love with this island, the sea, the snorkelling experience was the most beautiful things i have even seen in my life so far.
wonderful trip with my family. See you Mataking real soon!
Romain Collinet, 22 July 2013
“Gorgeous honeymoon heaven!”
I visited Mataking with a group of friends in 2009. Being one of the furthest islands in the East Coast of Sabah, the boat ride to Mataking was a little ‘strenuous’ but as soon as we set foot on the dive resort, everything was worthwhile! Beautiful and secluded, this place makes a great honeymoon destination – especially if the couple also dives!
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, 2 July 2013
“Will definitely be returning one day”
We will definitely be returning one day (hopefully very soon to witness our adopted turtle nest hatching in September!!) and I can fully recommend the resort, especially to diving and snorkling enthusiasts – there is just so much to see and the staff are spot on!
Harpenden, United Kingdom – 2013-05-03
“The best place in the world”
I have heard a lot of nice reviews about this place, but whatever i met there exceeded all possible expectations. I have never seen such kind of hospitality. We were treated as the most welcome visitors. It is really shocking when ALL staff ( not only receptionists) came to the jetty just to greet your arrival. Villa was more than outstanding (I don’t know about deluxe rooms). I have no enough words to express my gratitude. I would say this is the best place in the world. Here we have seen miyads of sea turtles, few stingrays, many barracudas, jack fishes, bumbheaded parrotfishes etc, etc, etc.
Management of hotel provides a lot of different activities. If you are lucky you may find a turtle nest on the wild beach, then shift all the eggs to the hatchery to protect it from birds. At peak season ( June- July) you may take part in bringing newborn turtles from hatchery to the sea. You may take cooking classes, handicraft classes, snorkeling trip with marine biologist etc, etc, etc. We had a Sipadan Island trip, which was provided by hotel at the top level, giving us opportunity to swim in the center of big fish school, with sharks and turtles swifting here and there. Unforgettable !!!!!!!!!!!
Food was very good.
Be careful when swim from big to small Mataking during high tide – current is so strong, that it won’t let you to swim back to big island.
New Delhi, India, 14 April 2013
“Great island and super diving!”
Stayed there for a week, enjoyed the beach, snorkelling and the turtles. It’s a very calm island, perfect to relax!
Of course we did a trip to Sipadan! This was very well organized with a “guide” for us divers and a “guide” who snorkelled with the children while we were diving! This was amazing! The bubble maker for the kids was also very well organized and professional. We loved it!
Shanghai, China, 25 February 2013
Travelled with my partner here for 5D4N and stayed in a premier deluxe chalet and had a wonderful holiday.
The food was wonderful-lots of choice; fish, meat, vegetables, 4-7 different salads alone and a live cooking station etc. Also lots of fruit and cakes which were so tasty. There is access to tea/coffee and water all day in the main restaurant.
Hotel room was so large. I honestly wouldn’t feel the need to stay in a King Chalet unless there were more of us travelling together. It was cleaned daily and I had no complaints at all over this.
Diving was excellent-the staff were very friendly (Rob, Jenny, Jerry, Viktor, Maija and Paco). On our arrival we were offered a permit to Sipadan which we jumped at-apparently they receive 7 per day (but certain criteria have to be met-see Sipadan in the Lonely Planet book).The staff made the whole experience so relaxed and enjoyable. For most dives we were close to the island, great variety, lots of turtles, nudibranch etc and were taken by boat-all equipment was prepared by staff and placed onto the boat. There was never more than 3 of us to one dive guide. However, the highlight was Sipadan (only 150RM because there were 6 of us!!)…if you can, do more than one dive at Barracuda point and rent the underwater camera too (from Mataking). At Sipadan Mataking they provide great food too and I’m sure if you had any requests that these would be met.
Everyone on the island was incredibly helpful and friendly. I would not hesitate in recommending this resort. The activities are also excellent-so difficult to get bored!! Activities include: night walk (we saw a coconut crab and a turtle on way back to sea after laying eggs), mini-golf, Island tour.
Other trips include fishing and cooking courses (dependant on numbers). We really really enjoyed the bird watching which was for 2 hours in the morning. The guide was knowledgeable about the birds and has made his own guide which I would have like to have bought a copy!! We saw some doves, bats etc and a Kingfisher!
Would love to go back. We had the best time and I would thank the staff on the resort for giving us such a pleasant and memorable holiday.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom.. 27 October 2012
“One of our best holidays”
Our week in Mataking has been fantastic!
We spent there the last part of our Malaysian trip and after all that travelling (two families with five little kids,) Mataking was really a nice present.
Our kids were thrilled, snorkelling was beautiful, we could see the little turtles released to the seaside, the big turtles swimming near the shoreline, the Sipadan dive, beautiful beaches and walks to the small attached Cecil island, the staff is very nice.
Our kids keep asking us to come back.
Monza, September 2012
“5 Star Character”
I have read all the reviews on this site and feel compelled to write my own. I wouldn’t say this was a five star hotel experience but it was in terms of character, warmth and charm. We stayed for 4 days 3 nights, my two boys 6 and 4 and loved it. There was plenty of space and entertainment we could easily have stayed longer.
As for the coral I have never seen such beautiful colours, book the boat and explore if you are not a diver. On our last morning we went snorkelling from the spit and saw seven turtles, pure magic. We saw turtles released too – I recommend this resort without hesitation, however if you want a silver tray experience go somewhere else! It is reflected in the prices. Thank you to everyone at Mataking for a truely memorable holiday.
London, United Kingdom, 10 June 2012
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