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“We loved it!”

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Happy Gecko Resort Bunaken (Cicak Senang)
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 May 2012

We enjoyed our stay a lot! The bungalows are very well furnished and are set-up on a nice hillside. Also the 5 bungalows have a nice balcony with seating. Willeke (the owner) is realy helpful and friendly. It made our 6 months of travelling closer to home. Not only Willeke made it feel like a family, the whole staff did! And above all, the food is the best we had so far. It was generous, delicious and realy tastefull. Excellent kitchen! Also the attached dive school was realy satisfying. Jimmy is a great guide... Bunaken rocks for diving.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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68 - 74 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2012

I recently stayed at Cicak Senang and agree with the other complementary postings. The food was excellent- lots of fresh fish. However, it is the people who set this resort apart. The dive guide, Jimmy, was perfect. He allowed us to set the pace of the dives, including getting ready and into the water. He has been diving these reefs for over 10 years and knows where the all the critters hide. He is also a safe and controlled diver and communicated well with the boat driver (who was also helpful and respectful). Plus, the dive policy allows guests to stay down as long as they are within safe limits- so we enjoyed a number of really long dives.

Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
1  Thank scubaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We had four fabulous nights with Willeke and Jerry, who are without doubt two of the loveliest hosts you could ever hope to find. The bungalow we stayed in was large and clean; Willeke couldn't do enough to accommodate individual (vegetarian) dietary requests; she has fascinating stories to tell about her experience as a Dutch national settled in Bunaken; and at 20 Euros a day for full board, Happy Gecko is great value. Plus the resort has an excellent dive leader in Jimmy, whose eye for macro detail gave us the best diving we've ever had. Do believe the hype: the diving in Bunaken is mindblowing - you'll see things you never knew existed. We are itching to get back there.

Room Tip: All the resort's bungalows are well spaced, so your privacy is upheld. There's no air con bu...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank owenfairclough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

Definitely a place to stay. The bungalows are larger than what you will find anywhere else in that price range in Sulawesi. They are clean and have a large bathroom, bedroom, sitting room and veranda. It is true that you can have your privacy, as all bungalows are near to each other but not so near to let people see you from their veranda. All bungalows have a view, of course the more up hill you are, the nicer the view, but it’s just a matter of seeing more of the sea and the horizon or more of the tropical vegetation around your place. Unfortunately, Liang beach is not very large and the strip in front of Cicak Senang is tiny, so you have to walk past other resorts to the other end of the bay for a large area to lie down. Anyway, this is the same drawback other resorts on that side of Bunaken have. But the snorkelling off Cicak Senang is very good and unspoiled.
The food is absolutely amazing: we are Italian and we believe we can tell… We stayed there for five nights and we never had the same dish for lunch or dinner (it’s all inclusive accommodation, water is also safe to drink). Before getting there we thought we would be served the usual, kind of boring Indonesian rice dishes, but we were happily wrong. Every meal was a pleasant surprise, tasty and abundant too!
Willeke is a very friendly and helpful host. She does her best to get things organized if you need to, and is genuinely interested in her guests’s needs. She also helped us on the phone when our driver was having problems in finding the way to Gorontalo harbour and make us catch the boat to the Togean Islands. Thanks Willeke!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank giorgiaistanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2011

We had a great 7 days with WIlleke and Jerry. A great ,very helpful staff, great food. For the kids they made special food Fries and chicken... We had great snorkeling spots and especially the night snorkeling was one we definitely will remember. We say crab, lobster, sleeping turtle, spanish dancer, octopus and many lion fish.
Our kids 12 and 13 also had a great time. We sure would recommend cicak senang . We loved it and hopefully we will return some day!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Barbara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

We stayed at this lovely place for 3 nights. You have to know that Palua Bunaken is an Island and everything is shipped to the island by boat. So the prices may seem a bit high, but most of the food and equipment has come from Manado by boat.
We had a basic but very decent wooden bungalow on a hill. Big clean bathroom and a nice balcony with some awesome views.
On Bunaken every place has an all inclusive deal and the food at Happy Gecko's was very good. If you like fish, you will love Bunaken Island.
The Owners were very helpfull and made us feel very welcome. You can snorkel in front of the resort and see some really nice coral with a lot of fish and other sea creatures (we even saw a sea turtle).

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank pabloeskimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2010

- Amazing food. Mostly Seafood. Really delicious and genuinely local.
- Great location. There are a few beaches on the island, but Cicak Senang is on one of the smaller beaches at the far end. Its wonderful if you want a real tropical getaway. In front is a beach and some mangrove trees (where you can snorkel if desired) and right behind the bungalows is a path which you can walk along to get to other beaches, local villages and the other side of the island.
- They also have really good dive recommendations (if you want to break out from using only large impersonal dive shops, then go with Sven, a very safe and super experienced German instructor).
- Owners are half Dutch and Indonesian and 100% Friendly. Wilike speaks perfect English and Dutch (also German and Indonesian of course). Jerry can get you from the pier in the city with their small but fun boat for a fee. He plays guitar and sings with his friends at night. We spent quite a few evenings having a few beers on the terrace and looking out to sea, listening to guitar music and waves lapping the shore.
- Note: the full catering option on the island is highly recommended. The price of a bungalow at Willike's includes 3 meals a day. Totally worth it for a hassel free holiday. If you dive, you get dropped off again in time for lunch and picked up again in the afternoon.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jelena101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Happy Gecko Resort Bunaken (Cicak Senang)

Address: Liang Beach, Bunaken Island 95242, Indonesia (Formerly Happy Gecko Resort (Cicak Senang))
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range: £48 - £49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small and cosy dive resort with only six spacious wooden bungalows on a hillside. Great sea views from your private balcony. Breezy seaside restaurant, with great food and cold drinks. Dive center on the premises with good diving at competitive prices. The owner, Jerry, was born and raised on the island and together with his Dutch wife he welcomes you to come and dive Bunaken. ... more   less 
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