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“Nice location and atmosphere, but still some issues to fix.”
Review of Sunset Beach

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Sunset Beach
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice location and atmosphere, but still some issues to fix.”
Reviewed 1 February 2013

Pros
Sunset beach lived up to its name: a great location for sunsets. Food: Average breakfasts but delicious lunch and dinners with reasonable servings so you won't go hungry. Good location, a short distance from Wakai. Some phone reception at the restaurant. Value for money at 150,000Rp per person. Snorkelling trips were good with heaps of coral and fish.
Staff are very friendly.
If you're looking for privacy, during the wet season you may find yourself  the only one here.
No rats were seen, maybe they have been eliminated.

Cons:
Only transport from Sunset Beach is Uni's boat, so of she is not here, or does not visit, there is no way to go snorkelling or visit any other islands.
The roof of our hut had a hole in it, which let rain soak our bed during a storm (despite promises it would be fixed shortly after our arrival).
No replies to our three emails and two phonecalls to sunset beach to book accommodation. Luckily Uni was waiting outside the ferry web we got off. 

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Molamot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Berlin, Germany
1 review
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We spent 3 weeks at the Togeans. One week with Uni. We enjoyed the time a lot and I wonder a lot about the review of Sabrina. We always had enough food and it was always a good taste.It was the only place where we even got chicken and beef one time. We made many trips by boat and 2 walkings to the next village by low tide, and we payed only for one trip, because we wanted to go to riff 2 and that is far away. Yes, there a rats, but we also have seen rats at other places. Of course the huts are basic, but nice as well and it is Togean and not the Maledives. And it was really the cheapest place there. You cannot expect a 4 star resort and pay a hostel price.
We recommend this uniqe and very friendly place, where locals make the business in a warmful way. Ana

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank gipsyroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Switzerland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2012

I was travelling for 2 weeks in the Togean Island and got stucked at Sunset Beach for 4 nights during the end of Ramadan. This was the worst place i stayed on the Togean Island.


- You pay for 3 meals, i had never enough food, even i asked every day for more. They can't even cook enough rice.
- The breakfast is the worst i had all over Indonesia. They serve you a dry piece of cake, thats all.
- The rooms were dirty when i arrived, even i booked beforehand
- I had many rats in my room, which i didn't have at other accommodation on the Togean (has nothing do to with the surrounding jungle)
- They make advertisement with free snorkelling trips. One day it was free, the following days i had to pay for the same spot. (even they are cheap it doesn't feel right)
- Bungalows are ok, but compared to other accommodations i have been (check my other reviews) are the worst one

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sabrina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TogianSunsetBeach, Owner at Sunset Beach, responded to this review, 4 October 2012
Hi Sabrina and Urswi,

I will write one reply to cover the complaints that you have both raised in your two reviews.

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the problems during your stay at Sunset Beach although I think that some of your comments are strange.

We are a new resort but have already had many guests that have stayed with us that have had a great time and are already planning to come back. We normally receive very few complaints but we ask that any problems are reported to a member of staff so that we can try to solve the problem. However, any complaints we receive will be looked at so that we can try to make improvements for future guests

I find it strange that anyone can become “stuck” at Sunset Beach. We provide free transport to and from Wakai and we even provide free transport from Sunset Beach to and from Kadidiri where there are 3 resorts, even though people coming from Kadidiri have been charged up to 200,000 Rupiah to come to Sunset Beach by the resorts on Kadidiri. We are happy to arrange a chartered boat to other resorts if requested.

Food
Regarding the problems with food, I will admit that there was a problem during your stay and offer my apologies for our failings. Most guests staying at Sunset Beach often say that they can’t eat all of the food and our staff normally take any remaining food home to their families. We seem to have misjudged the amount of food the opposite way while you were there but this rarely happens and we will do our utmost to prevent it from happening again.

Unfortunately there are no supermarkets in Wakai and even normally it is difficult to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. We are trying to build a network of people that can provide us with fruit and vegetables before it goes to market.

We have also recently planted over 150 fruit trees including Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Banana, Rambutan, Manggis and even Durian. We hope that in the future, guests will have a larger choice of fruits when they are in season.

Towards the end of Ramadan many of the boats from Gorontalo and Ampana stop running for a few days to allow the staff of the boats to prepare for the end of Ramadan celebrations. This results in less produce in the market but with everyone desperate to get their own supplies for their own celebrations it is even more difficult than normal to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and fish even privately.

Breakfast is normally freshly cooked pancakes with papaya, pineapple, mango or whatever fruit is available in the market.

This is the first Ramadan we have experienced while running Sunset Beach so I hope that we can learn from our mistakes and try to plan ahead.

Rooms
Rooms are cleaned as and when guests arrive so that they can see that they are being given clean sheets. I have stayed in rooms at other resorts myself where the room has been cleaned but then had no guest for 4 days. When I went in to the room, there were gecko droppings on the bed. It doesn’t give a very good first impression and I think you will find that most resorts will clean a room as you arrive. Newly arriving guests are normally offered tea or coffee while the room is being cleaned.

If you ask our staff to clean your room for you at any time during your stay they will be happy to do so. However, our staff have been advised not to enter a guests room unless requested to do so, or if they have been given permission by the guests staying in the room if, for example, a light bulb needs to be changed.

I have complete faith in the staff at Sunset Beach but this is to avoid any suspicion being thrown onto our staff for any mislaid belongings.

Rats
I won’t deny that occasionally we have rats at Sunset Beach. I’m afraid that rats and creepy crawlies are one of the hazards of travelling in Asia and staying in wooden bungalows as you will notice if you read reviews of other resorts in the area. However we try to keep Sunset Beach as clean as we can. For example, the beach is cleaned every morning and bungalows plus their surroundings are cleaned when they are vacant as well as general cleaning every day.

We feel that wooden bungalows, using local materials and local carpenters, complement the surrounding forest better than concrete rooms which need ventilation (gaps that animals can crawl through) anyway in the heat near the equator.

However, I was very surprised to read that you saw rats at Sunset Beach but not at any of the other resorts you stayed at.

If you read Karelcremaks review dated 5 September 2012 for Bolilanga entitled “Place in paradise with rats” he says “Food was the downside in part due to ending Ramadan. We lacked fresh fruit and fish was in general not good”. It’s fairly obvious that Karelcemaks saw rats and also had a problem with food. Maybe you were lucky not to see rats at Bolilanga ?

Snorkelling Trips
Snorkelling and fishing trips to nearby locations have always been free and we plan to ensure that they will remain to be free in the future. By the way, we never go to the same spot unless weather prevents us from going somewhere new or we are asked to.

If we take guests a bit further, we normally ask for a small contribution towards the cost of petrol which is normally still a lot cheaper than at most other resorts.

I was a little bit surprised that you complain about paying 25,000 Rupiah to go to the Jellyfish Lake from Sunset Beach but were quite happy to pay between 50,000 and 100,000 Rupiah at Sifa Cottages to go to the nearby reefs which are about half the distance. We feel that 2 Euros is extremely good value for a trip that normally takes between 3 and 4 hours.

Cash Cows
As we are a new resort we probably have to work harder than the already established businesses to gain a good reputation and it would be suicidal to charge people sleeping on the floor of the restaurant the same price as being in a room. This has definitely not happened in the past and will definitely not happen in the future either.

Guests very rarely have to sleep on the floor of the restaurant but if it happens we ask that they contribute towards the cost of food, even though nearby snorkelling and fishing trips are still free as well as tea, coffee and filtered water.

Charging full price would clearly not be the way to attract guests to stay longer at Sunset Beach.

We sell the cheapest Beer Bintang in the Togian Islands and 2 Euros per person for a 3-4 hour snorkelling trip won’t be enough to go into early retirement.

You say that Sunset Beach was the worst place you stayed at in the Togians. Ok, If that’s your opinion then I’m very unlikely to change your mind but I’m sure I won’t be the first or last person to disagree with you.

You also say that Bolilanga and Malenge Indah both have better food and service and our bungalows were the worst you stayed in.

All of our rooms have an attached bathroom with western style toilets and running water and are only one year old. Malenge Indah is a great resort that we often recommend to our guests but their bungalows are 7-8 years old and have a squat type toilet next to the kitchen which is shared between guests and staff.

Bolilanga is also a great resort and also have wonderful food so I can’t argue with you that, in your experience, especially with the problems you had with our food, that their food was better

However, the lack of reviews from both of you of Bolilanga and Malenge Indah is strange but also very revealing. The Togian Islands have a very tight knit community and we are happy to recommend other resorts to our guests because most of the owners are related to Uni.

This includes Sifa plus the owners of Bolilanga and Malenge Indah.

Both of the owners of Bolilanga and Malenge Indah are insistent that they do not know you and have even shown their records of guests staying at their resorts in order to prove that you did not stay at Bolilanga or Malenge Indah, so it seems a bit strange that you can make comparisons between Sunset Beach, Bolilanga and Malenge Indah.

In private messages my offer of a couple of beers as a goodwill gesture was pounced upon as an attempt to offer a benefit in order to remove the previous review. I am quite happy to repeat the offer of a couple of beers in full view of the general public as a goodwill gesture, again, with no strings attached.

I have apologised for the problems you experienced but will let readers make up their own mind whether it is worth avoiding Sunset Beach after reading your two reviews along with my response.

Regards, Ian (Uni’s husband)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 28 September 2012

We arived by ferry from Ampana and didnt had a clue where we are going to stay, then we met Uni, the owner of Sunset beach, I liked her straight away, she also phoned up another resort in the Togians to ask if trhey have room for us!!!!
But we decidet to stay with her at Sunset beach, which was the best choice to make!!
The rooms are very spacious, there is running water round the clock, the food was great, prepared fresh (and I do mean FRESH) everyday, my sister even spend a morning in the kitchen with the chef, just to see the way how to prepare such good food!!
we went out fishing with Uni and her brother twice, and we ate our fish that we cought!
The time at Sunset beach was just great, if I ever make it back to Sulawesi, I will definatley go back there!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank danzhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2012

I stayed there for 4 nights with my girlfriend. I stayed also on 3 other resorts on the Togeans.

Positive: The staff, especially Miss and her Family, were very nice, friendly and funny! The location is very good for the Sunset. Katrina Beach and the Jelly Fish Lake are near by. Big terrace with Hammock on your Bungalow.

Negative: I never had enough to eat (I’m not a big eater!) even I asked every time for more. Breakfast consist of 2 piece of dry cake. Once I asked Uni, the owner, for more food during breakfast she gave me a few bananas but then she asked me not to tell the other guests because she doesn’t had enough for all of us… The rooms were not cleaned when I arrived at 5 pm. Rats were playing around every night in my room. The promised “free snorkeling trips” cost me at least 25’000.-, which is still cheap but surely not free. If you sleep on the floor in the restaurant because the bungalows are full till the next day, do not let them fool you by paying the full price of a bungalow as they will try to.

Overall, I cannot recommend this place because: SIFA 125’000, Bolilanga 200’000 and Malenge Indah 150’000 offer all much better service for less or slightly higher prices. The food on all other resorts is very much better. Snorkeling in front of the other resort is much better when in fact, there is no snorkeling in front of Sunset Beach. And most important, I did not feel like being just a cash cow for them.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Urswi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012

Okay for a couple of nights, if you arrive after a long trip.
Okay/good: handy location, very close to Wakai. Free transport from Wakai harbour to Sunset (ask for ibu Uni) by longtail boat. Splendid sunsets. Free snorkel trips nearby. (Yes, we really got them for free.) Free transport to Tobil (small village). Lunch and dinner is okay, nothing special, but okay. Price is okay: 150.000 Rp per person for one night including 3 meals. Most places charge 300.000. If you're addicted to your cell phone, this is the place where you actually do have reception/signal (only in the restaurant) every now and then.
Poor: cleaning: they just don't clean the houses (exept for sweeping the floor a bit). Even the sheets will not be changed unless you ask for it. Breakfast: dry (pan)cake. Very, very many mosquitos. Make sure you bring repellent or bayon spirals. Don't leave food in your bag: rats will smell it and destroy your backpack te get it. It happened to many travellers.
Would I recommend this place? Only for 1 or 2 nights to reload your battery and only if you arrive in Wakai. Bomba, Malenge and Walea Kodi offer better (often also more expensive) places.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eliza r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yarmouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2012

We spent 3 weeks travelling around the Togian Islands and Sunset Beach was the best place that we found and we’ll be going back as soon as we’ve saved up some money again.
Their own beach surrounded by natural forest means there is a maximum of about 15 people compared to Kadidiri and Poya Lisa which were already a bit too crowded for us even though it was low season.
The bungalows are big and clean, have a toilet and shower plus you have a brilliant view of the sea and the islands (and of course, the sunset) from the terrace. Hammocks are provided so that you can lie back and read a book or have a mid-day siesta.
If you want to be active instead there are plenty of things to do. We took one of the canoes out for a couple of days and went paddling around the coast. Another day, Mis and Min, the two cooks that don’t stop laughing, showed us the way through the forest to the village where we went to a house where they made brown sugar.
When we wanted to go snorkelling, Papa Uni took us to a different place each day. The jellyfish lake was scary at first but we when realised it was true that the jellyfish don’t sting it was good fun. The nearby Karina beach is beautiful and had some good snorkelling as well.
The food was really tasty and more than we could eat. There were different vegetables every day in a variety of sumptuous sauces and fresh fish straight from the market or fish that Papa Uni had just caught. One day we were even treated to spaghetti when an Italian couple arrived.
The restaurant overlooks the beach and faces the sunset. You couldn’t wish for a more perfect place for a sundowner !
Uni and her staff are very friendly and enthusiastic and clearly enjoy the company of always eager to help. Uni gives useful advice about the ferry and local boats and was honest enough to suggest that we would like Malenge Indah even though it would have meant that we would leave Sunset Beach.

Room Tip: They all seemed nice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Adam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset Beach

Property: Sunset Beach
Address: Tobil | near Wakai, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > Central Sulawesi > Togian Islands
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Togian Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New resort 15 minutes from Wakai with private beach. Free pick-up if you stay more than one night with us. Large clean rooms with ensuite western style toilet and running water in bathroom. New beds, mattresses and mosquito nets + big veranda with hammocks. 3 delicious authentic Indonesian meals included in price. Relax in the huge restaurant overlooking the sea, facing the sunset in Paradise. Trips that can be organised : - unique jelly fish lake - Baju villages - palm sugar production - snorkeling trips - Diving trips to Bombo Wreck **Free use of snorkeling gear! You have another idea for a trip? Feel free to tell us, we'd love to make your plans happen! ... more   less 

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