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“Good Place, but slow response..”

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Bunaken SeaGarden Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Indonesia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Good Place, but slow response..”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2013

I stay on October 2013, that is on peak season at Bunaken Island. this hotel are slow response and not soo accommodate for transport from Manado to Bunaken.

if you take a Public boat to get here, that more cheap compare you take boat from the Hotel. and for food was standard,
Totally is Good Place, Quite and easy for going to snorkeling. but if you want to Go Marine Park for Snorkeling you need a charter Boat.

some price they euro money eg. Room and Dive Trip, but also they use Indonesian Rupiah

Room Tip: Please choose the room. and for booking recommended for 1 night.. then if like you can add more nigh...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank odesya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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144 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Aarhus, Denmark
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

There are few knowns places left on the earth easily accessible for amazing thrilling experiences.
Bunaken is definitely one of them. And if you stay at SeaGarden you are at the right spot. The best place on the island for easy excess for world class snorkelling. Diving, can not be better. Walls, a bit of current, clear water, ... and small parties. We liked the nice friendly local touch. If you are looking for a real and unforgettable travelling experience, this is it. Go there before it's to late. Thank you!

PS
We stayed two times in a row. One week. Two rest days in Manado in AC room and then back again for another 5 days.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Grete V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, UK
Level Contributor
97 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

From the moment we contacted Sonya, we knew this was the place for us. She was so helpful as we emailed her from Makassar airport whilst we waited for a flight and even moved montains to find us a hotel in Manado, as most where full.

The following day we met her at the Celebes Hotel and joined her on the public ferry boat for a 1 hour chug over to Bunaken, where we were met by their trike taxi which ferried us to the bungalows. Please note if you arrive on your own it's too far to walk.

We were immediately shown to our Bungalow and it was just what the doctor ordered after 6 days of trekking in Wamena, Papua. The place was spotless and had a lovely 4 poster bed with a great mozzie net. Plus there were 2 fans (this was the larger bungalow) and a purified water dispenser. The bathroom was like a new pin and had a liquid soap dispenser. On the patio were two hammocks and chairs etc.

They also have free wifi, which much to our surprise just about worked in our bungalow and ours was the furthest away. But for better speeds the restaurant was best (and trust me we used it a lot trying to book flights). Speaking of the restaurant, well the food was superb and plentiful. You will never go hungry here, as all the buffet meals are provided (as all other resorts). We also had our laundry done. It's more expensive than normal, but then again Sonyas' mother does it all by hand, as they say it gets the clothes much cleaner than a washing machine. It did indeed get our travel stained clothing back to presentable.

But the best part of staying here was the snorkelling. You can go straight from the beach infront at high tide or walk along the beach and go through the mangroves at low tide. We have snorkelled in many great places around the world and Bunaken has to be in our top 3. There are just so many fish and the corals are beautiful. Yes this is one of the very few places on Bunaken which doesn't make you dive. They are quite happy for snorkellers to stay. In fact we were the only divers there at the time.

Ok - so the diving. Well it's great. Mainly wall dives and the corals are pristine. This is what all coral reefs should be like. We had some wonderful drift dives where we just hung and very slowly went with the flow. It was like being on a slow moving ecscalator. Karl the English manager and Alo the dive master were very accomodating and we really enjoyed our dives with them. The equipment is new and well maintained. The boat was good and free water, tea and coffee are provided.

The only problem we had here was that after 5 nights we had to leave as we had to move on. We could easily have stayed a lot longer, as you feel like part of the family. Hopefully we can come back for longer next time.

One last thing - I would suggest booking ahead, as they only had 7 bungalows (a couple more planned for the future) and they can get booked up.

Room Tip: Try for Bungalow 1, it's in a lovely position
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank infoaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

I stayed here for 5 nights in August.
the lovely Sonya met me in Manado for my trip across to the island, we got about 20 minutes photographing dolphins on the way over.
The Bungalows were exactly what I had expected and hoped for; clean, simple and comfortable.

I met Carl who has the Dive shop on my first or second night cannot I recall for sure. I arranged a couple of dives for the next morning. I turned out to be the only person diving that morning and was privileged to have both Carl and Alo (the Dive Master) along with me for my first dive in many years......both were extremely helpful to have with me while I relearned a few techniques. Could not have asked for a better re-introduction to the sport.

If you are looking for some relaxation and the opportunity to dive at your leisure i'm doubtful you will find a better resort and more accommodating and friendly people on the Island. I look forward to returning some time soon.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
84 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

Do you need to read more positive reviews? Well, I can add some more on top of the others.

Value ratio is great considered other options. It aint super cheap, but this is Bunaken, all the others charge way more. The prices are well documented on their website.

Lovely host Sonya and her staff prepare fullboard three times a day. Fish, ofcourse, is cooked at least one time a day, mostly tuna. But there is always a good vegatarian dish added. If you have any needs or requests, Sonya can make your day. Coffee / tea / drink water is free all day, beers are fairly priced considered your on an island.

The location is on the east side of the island so no sundowners. There is not really a beach due to the mangrove. The standard bungalows are good enough with fan and cold shower. Big mosquito nets, big hammock and electricity during the dark hours till 9 am. Only the bed and pillows are a bit hard.

The diveshop which Sonya uses to outsource the divetours offers brand new Aqualung BCD's and good regulators. Better than we have seen in Asia. The dive boat is proper with all the free drinks, snacks and toilet. But you wont spend much time on the boat because the island hosts most of the divesites. The divemasters are experienced and speak perfect English. The logistics are a bit Indonesian so divetimes and departure times can swing around a bit. During our stay there were young children (11 and 15 yo) diving and they felt safe and secure with the divemasters and material. Snorkling infront of the resort is superb and sometimes even better than diving. Expect no big fishes, mostly macro and turtles here.

To reach the resort you can take the cheap public boat. A (one way) personal boattaxi to and from the island to Manado organised by Sonya is a bit overpriced, starting around 35 USD.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mooz_0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

We have a pleasant stay in this resort which is a great place for snorkellers as the corals are relatively near the resort. Operator for the resort Sonya is very helpful to arrange for trip like dolphin/snorkelling cruise, land tour and airport/boat transfer. The resort provide simple meal but everyday they will have different dishes. For breakfast, though it is simple and same each day but the banana pancake is delicious ;-)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelBugSingap0re
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2013

Once again I had a great holiday in Bunaken thanks to Sonya and her great staff. (I've been there 7 times ) As a backpacker,I felt very comfortable in the traditional accommodation,with great meals and a quiet relaxed atmosphere in a beautiful garden setting overlooking the beach and a magnificent snorkelling site.The world class coral and fish are just 50metres into the water and this last trip was special 'cos I saw 2 dugongs an eagle ray ,many turtles and of course brilliant coral and stacks of fish. SeaGarden is just far enough out of town to miss the cocophany of village life, and Sonya,the owner/manager is very well respected in the village and being a local, is extremely helpful with 'local' knowledge and travel arrangements .highly reccommended

Room Tip: wherever you go, check out the room first
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geoff w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bunaken SeaGarden Resort

Property: Bunaken SeaGarden Resort
Address: Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken Island, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7

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