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“Beautiful dive experience”

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Bunaken Divers - Sea Breeze Dive Resort
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Reviewed 2 December 2013

A simple but cosy dive resort on a small island amidst the marvellous marine seapark Bunaken Island. We experienced wonderful dives with a huge biodiversity of the reefworld. Since we were only a few guests, we felt like a family together and had interesting talks together at the shared dinner. The experienced dive guides showed us many big and small beauties of the under water world.
We missed a bit a nice beach. Because of the often strong and changing currents at the housereef, we never went snorkeling. The rented diving equipment and the diving boat was well cared for but also well used and could do with an upgrade (the new boat ist supposed to come in December).
The bungalows are scattered among a jungle garden, well hidden and some with a little view to the sea, luckily we had a seaview bungalow. We loved the veranda and the hammock. The bedroom ist simple but cosy, however, not very clean. The half open bathroom was reasonably clean, but the facilities like shower and tap were not in the best state, so we mostly used the mandi, to pour water over our perspirating bodies. Since they have to get the fresh water from the mainland, it is the best way to refrain from ample showers.
Next to the resort is the village, it is worthwhile, to stroll through. However, on the weekend there were some weddings going on, with extremely loud music and strong beats all night through.
The Indonesioan food was well done and spicy. The staff is very friendly but doesn't speak well English. Overall, we spent a lovely diving week there. If you don't expect a lot of mod cons, you will enjoy it very much there.

Room Tip: It is worthwhile, to choose a bungalow with seaview, since you have at least there some sight to the...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank boxfish70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2013

We actually ran into Terry, the owner, at the Immigration Office in Manado. We mentioned we were headed for Bunaken in a day or two and had a place to stay in mind; However, we couldn't find a place for that night in Manado while waiting for our Visa extension. Lucky for us he has a connection at a local place and booked a room for us there. After waiting hours at immigration, we were told to come back the following week. Terry mentioned his place on Bunaken but since we hadn't done any research we weren't going to stay there. After some thought, though, and Tery telling us that the place we had in mind had mangroves in front of it instead of the sandy beach we were looking for, we opted for Sea Breeze Resort and hitched a ride with Terry that same night. We weren't disappointed. My husband did 3 dives with them and all were excellent. Good guides, equipment and knowledge. We snorkeled right off the beach in front of the hotel. The coral and fish were beautiful. The accommodations were comfortable, even without a/c or hot water, the food was delicious and the staff was friendly and accommodating. Thanks to everyone (you too Ronald) for making our stay very comfortable

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank csinger13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Diving in Bunaken is really good, with fantastic wall diving. Corals are really alive there.
Some equipment old, but a lot of new also. We had problems finding wetsuit small enough, but after some searching we got perfect ones.
Staff is really friendly and helpful, with the australian owner always sitting in the restaurant, evening time discussing with the guests.
I first had booked standard bungalow through Agoda, but when we arrived we saw that we wanted to have our own veranda so there was no problem upgrading to beach side bungalow.
We had problems with toilet not flushing, but they tried to fix that without delay.
Bungalows are clean, with mosquitonet over the bed. Fantastic veranda right at the water.
Restaurant is a meeting area, right on the sea, full board is included and served there.
It´s easy to get to the Island, Seabreeze can pick up and bring to Marina in Manado. 40 min by speedboat. There is also a public boat.
There are no nice beaches on the Island so if you don´t do snorkeling or diving it´s no reason going there.

Room Tip: Beach side bungalow is placed so you can enjoy sunset from your bed (and veranda of course)
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Maggan54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2013

We recently spent three nights at the Bunaken Divers Sea Breeze Resort in a standard bungalow, which was completely adequate. The bungalow was spacious with a comfortable bed, mosquito net, fan, and attached bathroom. There was a lovely private porch out front shared by four bungalows, but most people tended to sit in the open air dining area to read, have a drink or use the Wi-Fi. It is a very relaxing place, with free tea, coffee and mineral water, and the view is lovely. I think the beachfront at this resort is the nicest that we saw, as it is wide open. Some of the other properties might be a bit more fancy, however they are fronted by mangroves, which are terribly important environmentally, but don’t make for a nice view or beach.

The meals are included at Sea Breeze, and they are healthy and delicious. There is lots of choice, usually fish and chicken, vegetables, rice and fruit. Cold beer, pop and juice are available at a reasonable cost.

The Staff was friendly and helpful, and the Australian owner, Terry, was a great host – making the rounds to all the guests and making sure that everyone had what they needed.

We are not divers, and only wished to snorkel in front of the resort, so we are probably not the preferred clientele at Sea Breezes. We were asked to join different excursions, but didn’t feel a lot of pressure to do so and weren’t made to feel uncomfortable when we declined. The resort was not full, but had it been, we may have felt differently.

The snorkelling equipment that we rented was in good condition, and the snorkelling was really interesting and very accessible. The current in the morning was extremely strong, so you do have to be careful.

My only criticism is regarding the tip envelope that is presented to each guest upon check-out. We don't stay at many resorts, so maybe this is normal practice, but I found it to be less than subtle and a bit off-putting. I

Despite this,we would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ksmittyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

I spent a week at Seabreeze and frankly was disappointed in many aspects. The friendly Australian manager encouraged me to book in advance, leading me to believe that it would be difficult to find accommodation in August at the last minute. I was on my own and paid 30 euro per day for a very simple room (not an individual bungalow, cold water only, and no sea view.) Although he continually says that Seabreeze is the best place and has the best food, I definitely did not agree. The menu was monotonous, with little pieces of chicken (mostly bone) and rice and dry fish most evenings. Vegetables were mostly the standard Indonesian green stuff, with an occasional variation and once a welcome dish of eggplant. There were also noodles which appeared regularly. I really did appreciate the delicious fresh pineapple and papaya which were served for dessert. I heard many other guests making the same comments about the lack of variety.

The upkeep of the property is poor. Lots of junk lying under the dining hall and a clearly low maintenance attitude to repairs (broken toilet seats, broken steps, etc) There is no beach here, except at low tide when the sand is mixed with trash that has washed up. So don't expect to lie on a beach chair to get some sun because unlike the other hotels I looked at later, there just isn't any place to sit and relax, except in your bungalow/room or in the dining area.

There is a very "hard sell" approach to get people to dive. There is an extremely unpleasant and obnoxious French-speaking dive instructor who tries to convince all the newcomers to dive, even if they clearly say that this is not their intention. I heard more than a few guests say that they were very turned off by this. I personally did four dives, which were OK. I also went one day on the dive boat, but just to snorkel, and this was extremely disappointing. So if you plan to do this, don't believe when they tell you that the snorkeling is good at the dive spots. This may not be the case. They charge 10 euro for snorkeling, so they try to take as many people on a boat as possible. Many of the guests who did regular diving were pleased with the dives they did here.

I also want to warn people who book in advance about the bank charges in making a deposit by bank transfer. I sent the required 100 euro deposit required, and my Belgian bank took over 23 euro in bank charges, even though they followed the procedure recommended by Seabreeze. It is a pity they don't use the PayPal system which is much easier and cheaper.

After looking around the island at other accommodations, I found several that were much lower-priced, for about the same quality. for example Daniel's Homestay and Lorenzo's only charged 200,000 rupiah (less than $20) per person. I told the manager that I would like to check out after my deposit was used up. He was furious and told me that I was unethical and dishonest, claiming that he had refused many people for the time I had booked. But the hotel was not full at any time I was there, and all the rooms next to mine were empty, so I cannot believe what he said was true. In view of his defensive and aggressive reaction, which made me feel guilty, I stayed the full time I had reserved but I want to warn others not to make the same mistake as I did. Just go to Bunaken and look around. It won't be a problem to find a place to stay if you just look around a bit. And if you decide to stay at Seabreeze, please do so. It is not a bad place and some people really seem to like it. Another thing that the manger did which I disliked was to badmouth other hotels, saying that their dive equipment was bad or their dive instructors were not qualified, etc. etc. I went and checked out some of his claims and did not agree with his opinions.

The last night before I left there was a really great atmosphere, with some of the staff playing music, and the guests and staff were dancing and having a great time. It was a good way to end my stay. The housekeeping staff were very friendly and helpful throughout, and the room was cleaned regularly.

I was told to phone before I left the Manado Harbor by public boat so that someone could meet me upon arrival in Bunaken, but no one was there. After a further phone call and a fifteen-minute wait, someone did finally come to help me with my luggage and show me the way; there is no sign on the main path to indicate when you reach Seabreeze. By the way, the daily public boat from Manado costs 50,000 rupiah (about 4 euro), whereas if you use the Seabreeze boat it will cost you 15 euro per person.

One last point to mention: I was very badly bitten all over my body while staying in this room. I really don't know what insect devoured me, because I covered myself with mosquito repellant every night. But I have masses of bites under my arms, on my stomach, chest, neck, and legs.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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7  Thank Janet W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

I arrived in Bunaken after 48h of plane, transfers, check-in etc. and found the best welcoming ever! The owner Terry is fantastic and when I had a small problem with my boat transfer because of the weather he was the most helpful and resourceful! The dives are amazing, I also saw dozens of dolphins and turtles. The sea-view bungalows have a great atmosphere. I advise anyone who wants to dive in the Bunaken Marine Park to stay in this really good lodge. Good luck with everything Terry!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank MariaMartinelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013

A good and well established resort and worth the visit. The cottages were well maintained and the views across the sea to North Sulawesi are great. I only snorkelled (whilst my friends dived) and the visibility was great and there were loads of amazing fish and corals to see. The diving was apparently great because of the long steep underwater walls. The downsides were the large amounts of floating rubbish in some of the diving locations (which came from Manado) and some of the rented scuba gear (especially the goggles) were a bit worn out and well used, and so frequently leaked.

Stayed: July 2013
1  Thank Glenn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bunaken Divers - Sea Breeze Dive Resort

Address: Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken Island, | Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Price Range: £37 - £58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No fancy stars, bells, whistles, or exaggerated advertising, just a dive resort with a fantastic friendly atmosphere, delicious mixed Indonesian-Western meals, classic wooden bungalows closest to the sea, the all important creature comforts, welcoming resort staff who love to give personalized attention, a modern PADI dive center with professional team, a restaurant over the sea with spectacular unmatched views, large range of PADI dive courses, and other water sport activities & land tours all rolled in to a quality economical package. We look forward to have you join us :)  ... more   less 
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