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“It was the diving! :o(”

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Two Fish Divers Bunaken
Certificate of Excellence
Tessenderlo, Belgium
Level Contributor
60 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“It was the diving! :o(”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2013

We are very flexible on how dive resorts run their operation. You can read about Two-Fish from others here. Specifically in regards to the mangrove-hike at low tide, too many on some dive outings, the food etc. We can easily accept all that. And we concur with all; Two Fish staff was great. Pool is awesome also.
But we came to dive.
Their wall diving was nowhere near the best we have experienced. Frankly, disappointing. And further, there was trash floating at every single dive site. Maybe due to a recent storm or just proximity of Bunaken Island to Manado. Don't know but we failed to understand the grandeur of it all. Especially with rest stops spent picking up hand-fulls of trash. We have been diving for a couple of decades and we put this area near the bottom third of dive locations. We will not recommend the diving here. Too many other nice places on the planet.
One final thought and this is not specific to Two Fish alone, but why are so many afternoon dives conducted so close to the resort? We know it is about money, but afternoon dives should be done on walls facing west so you get sun. Two fish is on the east side so we repeatedly got dark, close to resort dives in the afternoon. It is a shame when that extra effort is not made.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank RCJO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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341 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

I stayed at Two Fish Bunaken the same week as adw b from Australia. I remember him complaining about the toasters in the morning. But I also remember him clapping when the entire group gave the cooks a standing ovation for their meal one night! But this review is about Two Fish, not about adw b.
The resort was comfortable, our room was budget, very basic but clean. We were hardly in our room anyway - with the awesome diving and lovely pool environment to hang out by.
The local employees were very open and approachable, always smiling or singing. I think Two Fish has done a really great job hiring. No dodgy characters, or unfriendly local staff - even the gardener is smiley. (I'd say this is a very safe spot and would recommend it for the solo diving gal traveling alone.) The local employees made us feel very welcome. The dive guides are incredible - how they can spot so many tiny creatures is beyond me! The boats were well organized, every customer had their own gear crate and the guides were very good about getting each divers personal items back in their correct spot. I felt there was plenty of room to slip into my wetsuit without hitting anyone. :)

I understood that there was no boat dock because Two Fish and the other resorts on Bunaken are in a protected marine park, and it is not legal to kill the corrals and disrupt the ecosystem in front of the resort to put in a dock. I was fine with walking through the mangroves to the boat, it was a ways when the tide was out, but it was an adventure. With the right attitude, it is even a fun venture. I know the dive guides would assist or even carry anyone who asked, happily, (probably even singing) out to the boat. :)

The food was traditional Indonesian fare, with a few Western dishes. We didn't have fish for every meal. It was a mix of fish, pork, tofu. tempeh, and chicken served buffet style with fresh salad, soup, rice, vegetables fresh fruit and dessert with every meal. I found it wholesome, handmade and flavorful, even the homemade garlic salad dressing. I especially liked the DECADENT chocolate mouse!
Breakfast options I felt were good. You could wait for the toaster and have toast, yes, but you could also order eggs any style, pancakes, French toast, Indonesian noodle soup or fried rice with eggs and cucumbers. And there was always fresh fruit to go with breakfast. The kitchen staff were sweet and accommodating, even helping me learn some new Indonesian words! :)

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. I was very impressed with how dedicated Two Fish is to the environment. They are very aware and act as responsible custodians of the beautiful marine park of Bunaken. During our stay, we saw Other Bunaken groups and dive companies that were harming aquatic life or allowing their customers to be disrespectful, and their boat hands were not nearly as kind and compassionate. I was very happy with our choice to go with Two Fish instead.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

Two Fish Bunaken is a fun dive resort with access to excellent diving. The center is quite professional and the dive staff were excellent.
The food here is ok, although it is all very plain Indonesian food - generally some kind of fish and white rice. The rooms are good, and of a similar standard to other resorts I have stayed in on Bunaken.
I'd recommend doing the mandarin fish dive with Two Fish, it is a great experience!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Penny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2013

This is a dive "resort" and as is usual dive resorts are in out of the way places where services and facilities can be problematic.

Our group of 3 men stayed for 6 nights. We booked and paid in advance thinking that we were going to get 3 dives a day included in the price. On arrival we found that we were going to get 2 morning dives every day and 1 afternoon dive on 1 day. Any other dives were to be charged extra. We were surprised as we had all made our bookings separately and we had all thought that the afternoon dive was to be included in the price. Lesson here is make sure what you are getting as the wording can be misleading.

As mentioned above the diving was good, if not very good. Dive staff were excellent, they were knowledgeable about the dive sites, gave reasonable briefings and ensured our dives were safe. They were always friendly and helpful. Pretty much 4 stars for the dive side of the trip.

Only real complaint with the dive side was on the last couple of days when they put 12 divers on a small boat together with boat crew, dive masters and gear, it was crowded! One of my colleagues mentioned this to the manager/owner (Lisa I think her name is) only to be told in no uncertain terms that it was not crowded and that other places did worse. We did not expect her to agree with us but we also did not expect her to respond so aggressively. Some lessons in how to handle guest complaints would not be wasted.

The major problem with Two Fish Divers Bunaken is the food. It was tasteless, uninteresting and boring. For 6 days we were eating basic, Indonesian villager (Kampong) style food. No, that's probably not true. I am sure the Indonesian villagers know about garlic and onions and other flavoursome things. Our cook did not! Most every night we had over cooked boiled rice with a dry flavourless fish. Strangely enough, even though the fish was cooked in different ways it always tasted the same. I enjoy seafood but this was perhaps the worst I had ever had.

Breakfast was always fun. There were about 30 people there and two x two slice toasters. Sadly though the voltage was not high enough to run them both and we had to toast at least twice to get some colour. This gave a great deal of time for us to talk with our fellow guests while we waited. For food I am reluctant to give them even 1 star.

Accommodation was acceptable, the rooms were clean and neat. There was no aircon and they did not have ceiling fans, they did have a small oscillating stand fan though. The bathrooms were extremely basic consisting of a shower, basin and toilet. Hot water was available but the water was somewhat brackish. 3 stars for accommodation.

I was told that the resort has been there for about 12 years so the inability to get boats closer than 50 meters to shore would not be a surprise for them. Sadly though, no attempt had been made to make the morning trek out to the boat easier (perhaps with a floating pier or something). Most mornings we were required to make a 75 meter trek through the mangroves to get to the boat. This was not enjoyable nor was it easy.

Overall, top marks for diving and friendly staff but badly letdown by the food and the attitude of the manager. I would not return, there are plenty of other good dive sites that also have good food and a great management attitude.

Room Tip: Choose a different site :)
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank adw b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level Contributor
154 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2013

We stayed with Two Fish in Bunaken for one week. We found it comfortable and very much what we expected after reading and planning our trip a few times over the last several years. We stayed in the superior cottages, which were comfortable. The pool was great for a dip on a hot afternoon or after diving. The diving was very good...nice healthy coral walls...lots of drifting. Not the place for 'big fish', but very enjoyable diving nonetheless. The staff were friendly and accommodating and the dive and boat staff were all very capable. No qualms about the quality or safety of the dive operation. This place is easy to recommend.

A couple of words of advice: the road behind the property is the only one on the island and can be a little noisy from time to time. Didn't really bother us, but if you are a light sleeper, just bring earplugs and rest easier. When the tide is out, you have to walk into the property from out in the water, sometimes through the mangroves. This can be tricky if you don't have great mobility or proper footwear. Invest in some water shoes or dive booties. We found the food at TFD Bunaken a little hit and miss. In particular, the fish, which had the potential to be very good, was cooked to near-blackness, ending up dry and hard. That was probably the area that could most easily be improved, in our opinion...None of the preceding had a real negative effect on our stay...information provided for the benefit of prospective guests...your mileage may vary :)

Also, we found we spent a little extra on diving beyond the prepaid package that we booked. If you're a keen diver, maybe book a few more dives in advance...save a few $$

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank janenbenNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bandung, Indonesia
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

Spent a week at 2Fish Bunaken and did my advanced openwater course. The cottage I stayed in was clean and comfortable, food was good and plenty of it and the beers were cold! The staff were great and lots of fun, with the office rolling with several changes I gave them prior to arriving with no problems. The diving was fantastic, especially the drift diving along the many walls available. Doing the course was no sweat with good instruction, appropriate briefings and a I really enjoyed the experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rockyonthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2013

It was an unplanned trip to Manado to meet a good friend of mine and decided to take an Open Water Dive course by PADI in Bunaken (i've always wants to visit Bunaken). The PADI website then refer me to Two Fish Divers with it's very well done website page.

As everything were in a rush, they only have Budget Room for me to stay. The three "Two Fish Divers" staffs I communicated with via phone and email are very friendly and patience (as I don't have any confirmation dates to visit Bunaken and learn to dive). Thank you Nike, Ola and Mesak.

Throughout my stay at Two Fish Divers it was almost excellent:
Staffs are friendly
The budget room I stayed in is always clean although it's very basic
Meals are terribly GOOD; provided 3 times (7am, 1pm, 7pm)
Laundry is fast provided it's not raining
Dive course is great, I got a patience teacher
Swimming pool very clean
Bathroom is basic but clean
Wifi connection is fast (but only at restaurant & cafe area)
Provided relax area with hammocks and beach benches

When the sun is set the beach boys will start to sing and/or play guitar at the cafe area until 10pm. The night is quite serene with only night creatures sound, typical "kampong" or village ambiance (but sometimes I can hear motorbike as well).

The only thing I regret from my few days trip with Two Fish is I didn't take picture together with all the nice and friendly staffs there. Nike said it means I need to come back someday. :)

Room Tip: For light sleeper, maybe you want to avoid Budget Room type (shared bathroom). The location is outsi...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Gracelia
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 
Also Known As:
Two Fish Divers Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island
2 Fish Divers Bunaken

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