Semporna has not much selection of exiting Hotels, Dragon Inn is a good choice in terms value for mone , has also dormitory, definately not luxury, a bit unusual, the restaurant is not bad.
The place is built on stits, about 700 meters from the bus terminal and the town center, boats to Sipadan and Mabul leave next to it.
The hotel is at the end of the road and is surrounded by sea on three sides... The village of the Sea Bajaus is just acrosss the waters... The hotel has 63 rooms and suites... It has all the basic amendities for a 3* hotel including central air-conditioning, IDD telephone, CTV, coffee and tea making facilities etc... There is also a covenience shop for your need... A fully equipped health centre comes with gym equipment, steam bath and suana facilities...
The hotel also has a business centre and function rooms for conferences, banquet, wedding, seminars and workshop... For F&B, there is the Lepa Cafe for both Asian and Western food... The Igal Lounge provides a relaxing ambience to cold or hot drinks and snacks accompanied by soft and relaxing in-house music while admisinr the sea outside...
I didn't stay here. Instead I stayed in its sister's hotel - Sipadan Inn (RM85 Oct 2008). The rate here is RM60 per night. I saw pics of the room and they are clean. The reception area is small, but centrally located in the city with nearby local restaurant.
There are some other cheaper budget stay, but the condition is not so good. Depends on your budget.
I stayed in Room#6 for 5 nights. It has window facing the sea. Room was clean and service daily. When I complained on certain matters, the reception had it fixed immediately. Good service with adequate air-con. You can have breakfast in the nearly local restaurant. Room rate RM85 before 15% discount due to long saty. (Oct 2008).
The dorm rooms in Dragon Inn have about 15 beds, and only 2 fans. At night the mosquitoes are swarming everywhere, so you either need a mosquito net or to spray yourself every 2 hours throughout the night. There are also loads of rats that will bite trough anything in search for food. For the price of 15RM you can get a dorm bed in town with AC and a huge free breakfast, so skip this one.
The whole hotel/guesthouse is placed on stilts in the water, so when you look down through the floorboards you see small fishes and stuff. That is very nice but not worth it with the mossie/rat problems.
My stay here was good. It wasn't 5 star or 4 star. But it was a cosy place to stay. They serve you english breakfast - toast, eggs, baked beans, banana, juice, coffee, tea, milk etc...
The rooms are ranged from how much you want to pay.
They give you a deal, if you dive with scuba junkie you get 50% off the original price. Which is good, they are close to each other. I stayed in the ensuite room and I paid 50RM. It was worth the price. satellite tv, toilet, double bed, closet and make up table.
The staff are really friendly.
I stayed here just one night.
Bed was not confortable, A/C with a lot of noise was not working well, during the night was cooler outside than inside the room. We could not leave open as mice were running outside.
The poorest breakfast I ever had in my life.
update Jan 2010
For the date I've been there the place was recommended by LP.
It's not the price you pay, it's what you really get which is poor for being Malaysia.
Just go 100 meter far at same price it would be much better like I did further times I've been in Semporna.
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