If you’re looking for luxury in a true tropical paradise then the Reef Dive Resort is the place for you. Soak in the sun on white sand beaches or find relief in the spa’s Jacuzzi – relaxation is guaranteed at this romantic location. Only 40 minutes from Semporna, the Reef Dive Resort on Mataking Island is surrounded by fringing reefs and numerous dive sites filled with unique macro fauna and large pelagic creatures. This beautiful resort offers deluxe, premier, and executive chalets which can accommodate up to 70 guests at time.
Diving at Mataking Islands has a lot to offer. Many divers staying at this resort usually do not intend to visit Sipadan Island.
However, it is possible to arrange for trips to Sipadan Island. Because Mataking Island is far away from Sipadan Island, you will need to book earlier if you intend visit Sipadan Island.
The boat ride is about 80 minutes from Mataking Island to Sipadan Island. You will get 3 boat dives at Sipadan Island on the days you have a permit to dive there.
Your chances of diving at Sipadan Island
This resort has 7 Sipadan Island permits. Based on this allocation, you will be able to visit Sipadan Island at least once with certainty if your duration of stay is at least 3 days 2 nights. If you are only staying 3 days 2 nights, then plan to take the 6pm or later flight in order for you to have 24 hours surface interval time.
Additional boat transport fee to Sipadan Island may apply. Please see rates for details.
The Reef Dive Resort recognizes that Mataking’s beautiful jungles and coral reefs must be protected for future generations to enjoy. As such, the resort takes great measures to be eco-friendly and to support reef building conservation projects in the area.
The Underwater Post Office
In March 2006 the Reef Dive Resort sunk an old wooden cargo ship in order to create an artificial reef that would promote coral growth. The 40-foot ‘Mataking 1’ was seldom used and it was decided that the boat would make an excellent home for marine life. However, this is not just any artificial reef – it is also a real underwater post office. Divers can purchase postcards at the resort’s gift shop, place them in a special sealed envelope, and deposit them in the mail box at the front of the ship’s wheel house. Twice a week cards are collected and mailed around the world. A special stamp reveals the unique origins of the postcard. There are 5 underwater post offices in the world; this is the only one in Malaysia.
Reef Ball Project
In the recent past, dynamite fishing was a common practice in the waters around Mataking. Although no longer used, this destructive fishing method caused great damage to Mataking’s reefs and marine life. Today the Reef Dive Resort is working with the Reef Ball Foundation to create artificial reefs using their innovative reef ball method. These concrete structures are specially designed to encourage the settlement and growth of coral larvae. The Reef Dive Resort staff have been trained in the construction of reef balls and guests are welcome to participate in the creation of a new reef.
The Friendship Reef
In July 2006 the Reef Dive Resort and its partners created an artificial reef north of the island’s house reef by using wooden boxes. Made from mangrove wood, forty of these boxes were tied together and stacked to form a tall tower. The structure was placed 20 meters below the sea and measures 13 meters in length, 7 meters in height. The Friendship Reef provides a home to many schools of fish.
Coral Reef Farm
In another effort to promote the growth of coral reefs the Reef Dive Resort is working with mariculturists at Inno Fisheries Sdn Bhd to create new reefs from coral cuttings. At first, two to three centimetres of live hard coral was cut from wild colonies and glued onto a small piece of concrete. These cuttings were arranged on wire cages called "coral culture tables" and placed on the sandy bottom of a shallow part of the ocean. The corals grow from these tables and can be used to create further coral culture tables. Some of these cultivated corals are used to restock the reefs around Mataking, while others are exported to aquariums around the world in order to finance the project.
The Reef Dive Resort strives to have as little negative impact on Mataking as possible. No water is extracted from Mataking’s underground reserves as this would disturb the island’s delicate ecosystem. Instead water is transported from the mainland. The resort also collects broken coral to place around the island’s plants. This traps water in the soil for the better survival of the island’s flora.
The Reef Dive Resort has plenty of facilities to make sure you enjoy your stay. The wireless broadband Internet connection, satellite TV, mailing service, telephones and faxes mean you can stay in touch with the world if you choose to do so. Or you can leave the world behind at the Jamu Spa and treat yourself to a deep tissue massage, body scrub, or coconut bath. Take a walk through the resort’s exotic garden or climb the 20-meter King’s watchtower for breath-taking views of the island. The resort’s Reef Restaurant and Coral Bar offer Malaysian and International food along with the freshest seafood. On the weekends you can join in a beach front barbecue.
If you enjoy staying active you can join a beach volleyball or soccer game, socialize at the entertainment lounge centre, or head over to the resort’s activity desk to book an island excursion. Mataking’s beautiful reefs make Scuba diving a popular excursion and the Reef Dive Resort’s Dive & Sea Sports Centre can suit you up for your dive activities.
Don’t worry about your valuables while you travel around the island, the Reef Dive Resort has an excellent safekeeping service.
There is plenty to do on Mataking Island and the Reef Dive Resort can help you do it. The resort’s activity desk can help you explore Mataking, which is actually two islands connected by a narrow sandbar. You can have a guide help you explore the lush jungle of surrounding the resort on Mataking Besar or help you across the sandbar to the smaller Mataking Kecil. The desk can also arrange a picnic for your outing.
The activity desk can bring you out bird watching, fish feeding, fish catching, or kite flying. Tours of the nearby Peacock sanctuary or of the seaweed and fish farm can also be arranged. Coconut bowling competitions and treasure hunts are frequently organized for guests.
Of course there is also plenty to do in the water from ocean kayaking to kookaburra boats to snorkelling. If you are looking to get off of Mataking, island-hopping expeditions to neighbouring Pandanan or Timba-Timba Island can be arranged. The islands of Tun Sakaran Marine Park can also be visited – these include Bohaydulong Island, Bohayan Island, Kalapuan Island, and Baturua Island.
After a long day of scuba diving, island hopping and touring you may want to unwind at the Reef Dive Resort’s Sunset Bar barbecue, take in a cultural performance, or relax to the islands guitar entertainment. If you’ve still got energy there are night-time jungle treks where you can search for turtles laying eggs, scuttling coconut crabs, and fire flies. You could also hit the resort’s dance floor and boogie the night away.
The Reef Dive Resort offers a total of 49 rooms to choose from: The Garden View Deluxe room of which there are 24; King Chalet room of which there are 8; Semi-Detached Chalet of which there are 4; Beach Chalet of which there are 8; and Villa of which there are 5.
The Premier Deluxe Rooms are individual rooms linked together in traditional long house fashion while the Chalets are bungalows raised on its own stilts providing more privacy with high pointed ceilings.
The luxurious Villas are the latest addition to this resort offering individual beach houses overlooking the beautiful sea.
All rooms come with remote controlled air conditioning unit and ceiling fan; coffee and tea making facilities; and private shower bathroom with hot and cold water.