Diving at Sipadan is wonderful but getting there can be cumbersome. One of very few choices for a decent stay around Sipadan is Mataking Island. Remote but with enormous strengths. It is a small island, privately owned with a decent beach, though not great.
Rooms are large and with basic amenities including good air conditioning. Very good food ( if you are ok with Asian food). Its greatest plus is its excellent staff. They are always eager to please the guests.
Diving, as is well known, is excellent at Sipadan as well as in Islands surrounding Mataking. Though, funnily, most of the guests at Mataking may not be divers. As a result, though Reef Dive Resort has a quota of 6 Daily permits for Sipadan, on several days they may not have any divers at all. So, unless one is willing to pay for the whole boat, one may find it very uncertain.
The Dive center is very well run by Telly who is also an excellent dive guide. As a dive master and guide Tom is excellent. He knows the dive sites so well and can make all the difference in one’s diving experience. He quickly figures out each diver’s interest and will make sure to give you a good time.
Sadly, there is very little on the island for non divers as snorkeling on the house reef is mediocre.