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“Perfect place to learn diving”

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Two Fish Divers Bunaken
Certificate of Excellence
Bandung, Indonesia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Perfect place to learn diving”
Reviewed 24 July 2013

I went there for a week to get my open water certification. I was a bit unsure because it was my first time diving, and traveling alone I didn't expect much fun. Turned out that everyone there is friendly, the staffs, the owner, the fellow travelers.. An instructor introduce me to all guests, a local staff even take me on a motorcycle trip to the bunaken village. They also pay good attention to the students and diving safety.

To make it short, these are some points I love:
-calm & friendly environment, perfect for studying
-good attention for boat, diving gear, diving safety & students
-cheap and affordable price for comfortable room, big enough bathroom
-a beachside bar to meet other guests every night
-cozy swimming pool
-great food!! Yumm!

Room Tip: Going there alone, I used budget room with one bathroom shared for two rooms. I found no problem wit...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephanie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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346 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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English first
Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Going back to somewhere you really liked after a long break is sometimes dangerous as your memories are often better than the reality. In this case the opposite is true. The addition of a pool and other small touches has improved the resort hugely.
The management team [led very ably by Mbak Nona] do a fantastic job, and the kitchen staff turn out a decent and filling, if simple, meal. The dive staff go out of their way to make the experience truly great

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank oldexpatdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vught
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 21 June 2013

Hard to add anything new to the reviews already written. In short:
- professional diving crew: take their task serious, speak good English
- good diving equipment, well maintained
- friendly staff: good service, eye for customurs needs
- clean, well maintained accomodation
- nice place to stay and hang out.

Very good value for your money.

Advice: go in low season! We went in January and we had the resort, the staff and the diving places almost to ourselfs. Yes, it rains now and then, but that doesn't really affect the diving.

The owners are very nice. They even arranged a huge chocalate cake from the Mainland f(at Bunaken: there's no way to buy such a luxurious thing) or my boyfriends aniversary.

Room Tip: Budget room is good quality: there are only two of such rooms, so just one other room to share the b...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lilalah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2013

Two Fish Divers staff and diving crew are awesome. They have a very discerning eye for the tiniest organism that lives in the marine park. All the dive sites are at the most 30 mins from the resort and when you're not diving, you can just snorkel off the shore and see great things. Food is great, even if you are vegetarian. If diving, snorkeling, having a massage at the spa next door, having a siesta on a hammock, star gazing by (or in) the pool, and having an awesome time with the staff enjoying some live music if your thing, this is the place. Rooms are clean and spacious. The cottages have thin walls, so it might take a while to get used to the sounds of nature at night.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank loquitac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2013

I didn't realize just how good the Two Fish facility is at Bunaken until I went on another non-luxury trip in Indonesia.

Bunaken is not luxurious, but it offers great value for money for scuba divers. Bunaken offers clean, well-designed rooms and good food at very reasonable prices. The lodging is very well maintained. The few problems I had with the cottage were resolved immediately. Staff mostly try hard to be helpful. There is constant electricity, provided by generator when the local supply fails. There is also an excellent swimming pool.

The downsides: (1) Although I like warmth, and am not a huge fan of a/c, I found the room too warm to sleep well, as the ceiling fan, even when set on its maximum speed, did not cool the room adequately. (2) There is no beach to speak of, as mangrove populate the shore, and the one cleared area is where the boats dock.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlmatyDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tenbury Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2013

A really efficient transfer from Lembeh to Bunaken . The wet kit had been packed separately at Lembeh and transferred with us in Two Fish bags, so we had no worries about our clothes getting soaked. Two Fish can’t be blamed for the French group deciding to shop until they dropped at the souvenir shop at the quay and delaying us by 15 minutes as we fried on the boat!. They learnt their lesson though when the ladies of Bunaken village brought their wares daily to the resort at half the price!! All in all, the door to door transfer took less than 3 hours, the worst bit being the very busy road traffic through Manado.

Arrival at Bunaken was good – we didn’t have the knee deep in water walk from the boat as the tide was in, and we just got feet and ankles wet. A local fisherman had just made delivery of his catch of the day – the biggest sailfish we had seen above water! Filled us with confidence that we were going to get a fish option!! He proudly held up the sail as we all gathered round taking copious photographs, and wondering how the hell he landed such a big fish in his tiny one man fishing ‘kayak’.

Registration and explanations were given by the very able Nona and Doni. We did have to fill in all the same registration stuff that we had filled in at Lembeh, which was a bit of a pain considering it’s the same dive operation, and the details could have been emailed through. Sorry, but that’s the IT person in me wanting to stop unnecessary duplication of information (or rather, me scrabbling about having to get out and fire up my laptop to get the insurance details off my desktop, because I don’t do paper copies when electronic saves a forest!!).

Our cottage was still being cleaned when we arrived, so we waited around and had a look at the reception area with the dive gear for sale and a lovely DVD on constant play, showing what we were to look forward to.

We then had lunch, which was delicious. The food at Bunaken is really good and varied. Very often tempted to go up for seconds, but not wanting to have to add more weight to the dive! Their sweets are an acquired taste – not my thing at all, because the texture is just not right for me, but there is always fruit on offer. Saying that, there was one evening when there were chocolate dipped bananas rolled in nuts that were as close to orgasmic as you can get!

The cottage was slightly smaller than Lembeh, but much the same in presentation. Comfortable, clean, a good balcony and hammock with easy chairs and tea and coffee, fresh water in the room. Everything you need really. We were facing the pool, which most cottages are, and the pool is beautifully warm and inviting. There are two showers around the pool to make sure it stays that way. Lovely way to unwind after a day’s diving.

The resort is much bigger than Lembeh, and I counted 27 diners in the restaurant one evening. However, many are doing various courses. On our first two days there were 8 of us on the boat, which was a little crowded at times, but only because the other group were spacially unaware and would leave their flip flops for you to trip over, and their melon skins on the benches while they gathered at the front sunbathing. The ‘yoot’ of today, eh? What a miserable old fart I am! On our third day, we had the boat to just the four of us. Same format as Lembeh – two morning dives on the boat (60 minute surface interval), back to the resort for lunch, afternoon dive at dentist time (2.30), mandarin dives around 5pm, night dives at 6pm. No house reef dives here as the currents are unpredictable (and you’d have a hell of a job walking back at low tide!). Copious drinks and biscuits and fruit between dives. The boat crew were absolutely fantastic.
We were on Nitrox and the fills were spot on and very consistent.

The diving was sublime. I don’t know what I was expecting really, having dived many beautiful locations, but I was more than pleasantly surprised by Bunaken. You cannot compare it to Lembeh, nor should you. They are worlds apart. Bunaken is about walls, corals and the biggest green turtles I have ever seen. I mean gi-bloody-normous. As a turtle lover, this is my place to dive. Did I mention the countless ornate ghost and robust pipefish, as well as the teeny tiny pygmy seahorses? The reef fish are abundant and too many to name. The tomato anemone fish are so guardy, and will pick a fight with you the minute you want to photograph them. They are so brave! The mandarin fish dive is a photographer’s dream. There are upwards of 20 plus mandarin fish in groups of 2, 3 and 4. If you’re not a photographer, it could get a bit boring as there’s not a great deal to see otherwise and 50 minutes at 5 metres can get a bit cool at dusk. We did manage to find a massive scorpion fish a little way off (my flaming video camera had packed in the day before), so there are things to see in the surrounding rubble.

At 4pm you can meet with your guide to go through your dives and for fish identification. The range of reference books is staggering, but then so are the number of fish that you see.
The park fee is 50,000 Indonesian Rupiah per day, or 150,000 for an annual pass, so we were given the latter, which gives us a lovely souvenir token to bring home (and maybe the perfect excuse to squeeze another holiday to Bunaken in by December 2013?).
You can book a massage for the princely sum of 100k rupiah for an hour (approx. £8). Not bad considering that I used to charge forty quid 15 years ago.
There are plenty of places to chill out around the resort, with loungers in the shade and hammocks strung up everywhere. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent though – the flies bite too, so sting relief will definitely come in handy.
Night time we were treated to the resident band. What a great night! The staff are old hands at turning a tea chest with a length of wood and a single string into the most amazing double bass (tuned by the occasional whack with a lump of wood). They take requests too, although expect a bit of la la la la in the middle when they don’t quite know the lyrics.
Beer prices are the same as Lembeh – 35k for a Bintang, 10-12k for soft drinks. They also do a range of snacks at the bar, as well as milkshakes and fresh juices.
Would we return? Most definitely. Probably do a week instead of four nights, and try and tick off every dive site (there are around 30 on the board). Ask for Rolly and tell him Ria sent you. He is brilliant and so are the boat crew (although as an Everton supporter, the young lad wearing his Liverpool FC shorts was given a tip and told to buy some decent shorts!).

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RiaTenburyWells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Lorenzo's for our first night and I wish someone in the know had told me NOT TO! It's dirty, basic and expensive. Ignore lonely planet on this one, not entirely sure how the writer has got away with recommending Lorenzo's above Two Fish (i'd suggest either they didn't actually do the work in reviewing places or they're not independent). Anyway, after walking to the places either side to find ANYWHERE else, Two Fish managed to squeeze us in. They're virtually the same price and don't compare! Accommodation is light and airy, clean. There's a pool which with the head and humidity was a luxury! Diving with them is great, great dive masters, good boats and equipment etc. Food is great too and there's a nice chilled out divers atmosphere generally. Occasionally it's a little too "business-like" or rigid, but on the whole we had a great stay and they're far better than the other options we investigated on the island.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alexjrobertson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Two Fish Divers Bunaken

Property: Two Fish Divers Bunaken
Address: Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken Island 95113, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small and cosy resort based on Bunaken Island, characterised by:• Beach-side accommodation - wooden cottages with cooling fan, HOT water showers and large balconies with hammocks.• Other resort amenities include 18m swimming pool; 24 hour electricity; relaxing area; beach café; FREE wifi internet; book swap facility.• Small &Personal with really friendly staff.• European management – owned and managed by Tina and Nigel, who have been living & diving on Bunaken for more than 10 years.• No crowds - maximum 20-22 divers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Two Fish Divers Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island
2 Fish Divers Bunaken

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