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“Great Deal: Lovely bungalows and a wonderful diving spot just next door”

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Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
81 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Great Deal: Lovely bungalows and a wonderful diving spot just next door”
Reviewed 12 May 2013

We (a young couple) have had a lovely stay on this lovely island - it was one of the highlights on our journey round the world. Daniel's homestay did the best to make our stay a great experience. They have had organized a fairly priced pick-up from the airport (100,000 IDR, Daniel and his son have picked us up themselves) and droped us off at a hotel to spend the night (Celebes close to the habour). The next morning, they have picked us up again and we have taken a speed boat to the resort (200,000 IDR for the whole boat). We know that you can have it a little bit cheaper when you take a metered taxi from the airport and then, take the public ferry to Bunaken. But it would take you more time and bargaining power and you would need to walk from the village in Bunaken to Daniel's homestay (about 20 min), which can be exhausting in the heat. We thought it was quite comfortable this way as we have arrived at 9am and could spend the whole day in the resort.

We have taken the cheaper bungalow option which is 20,000 IDR per person, including breakfast, lunch and dinner and tea/coffee and water as much as you want (there are no restaurants on Bunaken). The bungalows have not been fancy but have all you need and in this wooden houses with outside bathrooms you get in holiday mood immediately. I think this is the best option for budget travelers and we have heart from other travellers that there are no cheaper places to stay on Bunaken (we could not check it though). We got upgraded to a better bungalow (25,000 IDR) as there have been loud construction work in the bungalow next to us. We have not asked for this and it was very nice of Daniel's to offer this. However, I am sure that all budget travellers will be happy with the cheapest option that I have described before.

We have been diving (there is a diving school in the resort) in this wonderful location (so many colorful fishes, turtels and a strong current) and the dive masters have been very nice and have giving us instructions. It was very professional. However, we have had to ask if they could bring the oxygen for emergency cases every time and they did. I have suggested to improve this (but it seems to be normal in Indonesia that there is no oxygen on board so do not be shy and just ask so they will bring it on board).

It is no place for beach holiday as there is no real beach on the whole island but it is excellent for snorkeling and diving. We have also seen dolphins and pilot wales.

In total, we would recommend Daniel's and would come back.

Room Tip: Take the cheapest bungalows (20,000 IDR per person) which are pretty and offer you all you need. The...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Jumarei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 reviews from our community

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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2012

I didn't have a good experience here. The manager is a fraud, he will try to get money out of you in any single way ( telling you that the only available room is the deluxe, while that is not the case EVEN IF YOU'VE PRE-BOOKED). And the equipment of the diving center is very poor.

BUT: The rooms are clean and the food is good.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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4 Thank Traveleroneonetwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bunaken Island hotels

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2012

We spent 2 nights at Daniel Homestay and dived with Immanuel diving center (located at Daniel Homestay).
We are pretty happy with the place, the staff, and the food for the 150,000 Rupees we spent. I would recommend it compare to other places more expensive which offer the same at the end of the day.
The bunaken island are recommended for diving. The island are not as beautiful as the Toggian. So go there only if you are keen diving.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the reception have good wifi reception while the other doesn't.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank popov66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2012

I can recommend this very nice Resort. Ive been there for 7 days with friends. I had a Standard Bungalow . It was very clean also the Garden. The food was terrific. Ive paid for 3 excellent Meals and Accomodation per Night 15 Euro. I enjoyed the Snorkeling direct from the beach and the cheap yourneys with the Diving Boat. They charged me only 5 Euro to go together with the diverrs 2 times a day. The Staff was always friendly. Other Types of this kind of Accomodation much more expensive on this Island. . This is the place to be for all Travellers who are would like to go snorkelling and stay in a cheap and clean place.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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2 Thank frangipani E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2012

Two separate reviews: one for the resort (nice) and the other for the diving center (to avoid)

RESORT:
The resort is very nice: a dozen bungalows surrounded by lush greenery and a slice of beach stolen from the mangroves.
The bungalows are all equipped with bathroom and fan, but the deluxe has air conditioning.
Breakfast is Western-style, with fruit and toast or pancakes. Meals include rice, grilled fish or meat, tofu and vegetables.
Often in the evenings the resort staff rigs up a jam session in front of the beach with homemade instruments! The accommodation at Daniel's Resort is extremely nice.

DIVING CENTER:
Separate mention for the Immanuel Divers, diving center attached to Daniel's Resort.
The "divemasters" are local boys with very little experience, most of them have just the open water license, briefings are hasty and superficial and underwater guides do not seem to pay much attention to their customers.
But the real problem is Stephen, a french man that looks managing the dive shop.
He's quite rude and unfriendly, but I don't care about this.
What I saw is more more important.
A guy diving with this dive shop, after 3 days dive, in the evening began to feel pain in the joints and shoulder (likely if not obvious symptom of decompression sickness).
Stephen look at him and says in front of all the people: "Are you stupid? You wanna die?".
He took the boy and brought him to the office, asking him questions and checking the dive profile.
Left the office I asked the guy if Stephen had given him oxygen, but the guy said no.
I explained to the boy that in these cases it is URGENT to take oxygen, he is back in the office by Stephen twice, but Stephen has always diminished the problem by saying that there was no need of oxygen.
At the same time gave him the address of the hospital in Manado to go the next day (is it strange if he says that there's no problem!!!)
Me (divemaster with more than 1500 dives) an one instructor try to intervened and tried to speak to Stephen and asked him why he did not given oxygen, but Stephen was "too busy" to chat with two tourists and see us made ​​a sign with his head to tell us to wait.
Shortly after he disappeared.
We took the next day the boy to the hospital in Manado and, of course, had decompression sickness, aggravated by the fact that he was not promptly administered oxygen.
The boy had to start some cycle hyperbaric chamber, losing international flight back in Europe!

Stephen has proven very unprofessional and has put at risk the health of the boy, causing him to lose a lot of money and a return ticket.
ABSOLUTELY AVOID THIS DIVING CENTER!

Remember that in Bunaken is the rule of diving with the diving attached to your resort ... the choice is yours!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Gabriele F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NL
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2012

the cottages are nice. I had a "superior" one. they have a semi-outdoor bathroom which I love. (the regular cottages ones did not seem that nice; small and toilets without a flush).

The resort / staff is friendly, but only on a superficial level. You can notice you are considered one of the many tourist (you are just a number).

Be aware: like other tourist, for the first night they put me in the "deluxe" room (for the price of a normal room/cottage), because the regular cottages were supposedly booked. The next day I realised they lied. Other people who came AFTER me and did not make any booking DID get a cottage. Why they lied to me, I am not sure. It was high season. And the deluxe rooms are rooms in a concrete building at the back of the premise, not cottages on the beach. They don't have any charm and are perhaps for that reason are less popular. So, I think in the beginning they just try to sell you a room that nobody else wants!

When I checked in they said I could transfer the next day to a cottage if I wanted. The next morning however they said it was not possible anymore. All cottages were suddenly booked again. After having found out that they lied to me about this before, I just took a look my self. During check out time several cottages were vacant and being cleaned (with a key in the door). I just locked one of the cottages, took the key to the reception, confronted them with it, and demanded that they had to keep their promise. Suddenly, without any problem I could move in ;-). In short, a vague and dishonest handling (during high season), but otherwise a nice place to stay (especially if you want to do some diving)

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank bobob21nl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2012

We stayed here for about 5 days in May 2012.

A very mixed bag. Certainly the place is nice and comfortable, but it should come with a SEVERE WARNING.

Okay, first the good bits.

The bungalows can't really be faulted. The rooms are clean, you knew the bedsheets had been washed properly, and the mosquito net shone white and was in a good condition. The bathroom wasn't scrubbed clean, but you could tell someone had done more than just throw a bucket of cold water round the floor. The bungalows are a little cramped together (certainly more-so than other resorts), so if you want privacy you might want to look elsewhere.

We liked the nice little touches – bucket on the steps to wash your feet, lightswitches next to the bed, hooks on the wall. So easy, but missing from most places in Indo.

The balcony was a comfortable place to spend the day, but you might want to bring a hammock or steal the pillows from inside. The WIFI was reliable and a good speed (we Skyped our friends from our balcony). There is endless tea/coffe/hot water in the dining area.

The food was of a very high standard, a good variety with lots of meat/fish, and there was always more than enough.

The snorkling directly out of the front is absolutely amazing, both in terms of coral and fish.

HOWEVER...............

If you stay at Daniel's then you will not be permitted to dive at any other operator than Immanuels (the attached dive centre). And if you do? Well, here is our story.......

We did one dive with Immanuel's when we first arrived. We were not inspired by the very impersonal experience, a surprise from a dive centre whose motto is 'dive with friends'. We felt the briefing was not detailed enough, for example there was no clarification as to what whould happen at the end of the dive (i.e. ascend together or in buddy pairs). Our dive guide was already in the water while we were still kitting up (a good thing we didn't have any problems), and he never even introduced himself or asked how the dive had been afterwards. Both my wife and I are fairly experienced divers, and do not need our 'hands holding', but it would have been nice to know that the staff cared if we enjoyed or were comfortable on the dive.

Because of our poor first dive, we decided not to do any more dives with Immanuels, but instead went next door to Iwan Jawa, where we were much more impressed by the friendly Roberto (owner) and Buddu (dive guide). We did just one dive at Iwan Jawa the next day.

When Immanuel's learned we had gone elsewhere, the manager (Felix) of the dive centre invited us into the office for a chat. He explained that there was a rule on the island that if you stay in a particular guest house, then you must dive with their associated dive centre. This was a rule that all accommodation followed, even though it was never displayed or opened admitted anywhere. Because we had broken the rules, we had to leave. Immediately. It was almost 4pm in the afternoon at this point, but the manager was insistant. "No, it is best if you leave. You leave now please. We get your bill." We were speechless. We had unknowingly broken an unspoken rule, and were being given just minutes to get out. They didn't ask us not to dive with the competition, they didn't ask us why we were not diving with them, they didn't give us until the next day to find alternative accommodation. They simply wanted us out, and were very aggressive about it. We were understandably not happy with this treatment, and the discussion became quite vocal.
Overhearing the raised voices, the wife (Grace) of the owner came to investigate. Felix was shoo-ed away, and Grace did her best to calm us down. She explained that the rule did exist, but acknowledged that we were not to know and that therefore we could continue to stay here. She agreed to display this rule in the recpetion in the future, but i was not conviced by the cincerity of this claim. This is particularly true since I've read another Trip Advisor review since our stay of the same thing happening.

Needless to say the experience left a very bad taste in our mouths, and we continued to feel uncomfortable around the resort, although the other staff were pleasant. We had done as much diving as we had hoped to do, and had another full day on the island before leaving.

This place could have been one of the best places we had stayed in Indo if it had not been for the unforgiveable treatment we recieved from a particular staff member, and as a result we would NOT recommend this place. Please vote with your feet and stay elsewhere until they get their act together.

Karl and Harriet

Room Tip: Rooms to the left hand side are a little cramped together
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank karlstewart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay

Property: Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay
Address: G 18 Jln. Arie Lasut, Bunaken Island 95233, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Daniel`s Resort Aka Daniel`s Homestay Hotel Bunaken Island

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