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“Disappointed”

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Raja Laut Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 October 2013 via mobile

After reading the reviews we were really excited to stay here, however it did not up to the reviews or expectations. Upon arriving we found that both owners were absent. They were gone a significant amount of time before we arrived and failed to let us know they would not be there. The remaining staff were all Indonesian, spoke little English, and gave mediocre service (including cold meals).

We decided to stay at this resort to dive with experienced, passionate guides who loved diving. Instead we dove with an average guide, who wasn't very knowledgeable about the reef and didn't speak English all that well. The owners required a 70% deposit before arrival, told us we would be diving with them, knew they weren't going to be there when we arrived, and didn't tell us they would be absent or offer to refund our money.

While the cat is away, the mice will play.
Very disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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2  Thank Fuller_04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
roberto m, Owner at Raja Laut Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2013

Dear Guest

1- I cannot accept when you write: "knew they weren't going to be there when we arrived".
Raja Laut was without me or a deputy manager for 3 weeks, 3 weeks in 1 year and this was due to an emergency as I explained you more than once.

2-I inform you about the problem as soon as I could and I explained the situation. You weren't certainly left alone, my lawyer, who speaks a good English, was in charge for the period and accordingly to a group of 5 divers that left the day after your arrival, they were more than satisfied by their staying.

3-you wrote me I didn't care about you: I contact my staff as soon you were in Bunaken to check if everything was fine, I wrote you emails during your staying asking a
feedback, I offer you complimentary spa treatments.

4-As for the diving: I would have been busy with your friend Open Water Course so it wouldn't be possible to dive together. We find a freelance instructor for your companion and you told me he was happy about the experience. Our dive guide is a Bunaken native and has log thousands of dives here, I wouldn't say he doesn't know the reef.

"Most things disappoint till you look deeper"
GRAHAM GREENE, The Comedians

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Reviews (222)
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87 - 93 of 222 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2013

Hey,

I was on Bunaken in August for 9 days. I didn´t sleep in Raja Laut Resort but I decided to do my PADI Open Water Course there. The both diving instructors Roberto (owner) and Amedeu were so friendly and patient. I got a 1-1 course which one was perfect. The equipment is pretty new and works very well.
I can recommend this diving school to everybody!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank 89maha19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

It's a tough place to leave, especially when you are laying in the hammock post-snorkeling and writing Tripadvisor reviews. The owner (Roberto) wasn't here when we were staying, but Amedeo, his business partner was and despite him being here alone (poor guy), things seemed to run mostly fine. The food was great, especially lunch and dinner. A few people came and went whilst we were here and we asked for breakfast to be changed to Indonesian food (Nasi and local fare), versus just toast and peanut butter/jam. They were happy to accommodate, but it was spotty. Most days we had to ask for anything more than the two slices of toast.

Lunch and dinner is plentiful and tasty and there are always leftovers. Somewhere in the middle of our stay, the banana tree that was a fixture in the dining area disappeared so our free fruit options were none-existent for a few days but later corrected.

The atmosphere is very relaxed here; it’s a small family place, with staff knowing you on first name basis. Even the dive staff addresses you by first name, which is a bit shocking if you can’t reciprocate initially. The dive equipment looks shiny and new and hisses when the right valves are opened and nobody seemed to have an issue with any of it, as far I could tell. I only snorkeled while I was here. I had a decent set of snorkel gear and having no hair, asked for a hood so as not to burn my cranium during hours and hours of snorkeling. This is the fifth place I’ve been snorkeling (Mexico, Thailand, Kenya, Galapagos before) and certainly one of the better spots. There are tons of fish of all sizes and colors, varied reef structures, hard and soft coral, and incredible visibility (50 meters) in most places. I’m not sure why people dive here, because there is so much life between zero and ten meters anyways. The “house reef”, which sits 50 meters off the shore in front of the resort, is probably one of the better spots to go for a relaxed snorkel on a lazy afternoon.

Our cabin (one of the three luxury ones) was much bigger than we thought and everything worked well. Hot water all the time, access to wifi, place was cleaned every day. There was power mostly 24/7 with a few flickers here and there, but far more reliable than we expected. The deck and hammock saw lots of use too. We extended our stay midway for another week. The kitchen staff invited us to a wedding, which was an interesting affair.

My friend took an open water dive course, a refresher really, as she had an old PADI certification, and was not too impressed with the process. First off, she asked for a private course (40 Euro or so more), but then when we got here she was only able to dive after the second day, as there were a few other new students (from another resort) taking a beginner course. She then had some problem with her ears and decided to take a break for a few days. We extended our stay, which was quite pleasant, and then the dive instructor got sick, which resulted in a few days delay and questions as to whether he could safely finish the course. At that point, my friend wanted to cancel the rest of the course and pay for what she did up to that point but was pressured into completing it, so we stayed a few more days. In the end it seemed to all have worked out somewhat, but it could have been a smoother process overall. In talking to the people who come here for diving, it seemed a great place. Maybe not for beginners and not for snorkelers. The dive master was pretty surly (maybe only to me, the non-diver).

All in all we really enjoyed our stay here and can certainly recommend it. You get to know the staff, the people on the boat and the people who run the resort quite well after a few days. Bunaken is a small island, with only 5,000 people or so, and everyone seems to be in each other’s business one way or another. Don’t expect to buy anything here, there are a few “home stores”, where you can buy cookies, some coffee, coke and beer, cigarettes but not much more. No ATM’s, restaurants, pharmacies, doctors or anything of that sort is available here.

Room Tip: Ask for bungalow #3 (superior). The other bungalows don't have decent wifi coverage.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kevin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Raja Lauts superior bungalows are spacious, comfortable and in great shape. We took two diving courses and we are pleased with them, great instructor and really nice dives. The snorkeling is really nice too, both from the resort and the dive boat.

The staff was friendly and helpfull. The lunch and dinner was very good and there was plenty of food. The only bad thing was the breakfast, 5/6 days it was only toast and jam.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Nisse S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013 via mobile

Even it it takes a wile to get there it is wourth every minute and every euro.

As prearranged a boot was waiting for me at the harbour in Manado and brought me strait to Raja Laut.

Diving was perfect and if I could change things I would have stayed the for at least 2 more days to my planned 4. A week is the mininum and you still find new thing. It is wouth it.

Accomodation is nice as well but without AC what is not very easy to get used to it.

Meals are included but on a very very basic level. See pictures to decide for yourself.

Anything else to do on the island: bring a book or two an do more diving.

I would come back!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Roland K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

We had an awesome time at this little resort, with amazing diving, excellent foot, very nice and clean bungalows and lovely people. One of the best choices at Bunaken. We will definitely come back and stay longer!
Thanks to Roberto and his team for this excellent holiday!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank AnnkathrinL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013

...which was the first diving rule we learned as absolute beginners :) Diving or even snorkeling at the Bunaken is amazing!!
We did the PADI within four days of our stay. There were only the two of us in the diving course. As Roberto was busy with another course he assigned us his colleague Amadeo (also Italian). It was a very friendly atmosphere and he cared about us a lot! In the beginning my girlfriend was not sure if she wanted to do the course, because she did not know if she will like it. He told us that after the first day she can choose to continue or not (paying only for the first day). She did like it!! We felt very comfortable with Amadeo as instructor and the diving school as a whole. Everything was well organized! Between the two dives they always served hot tea and biscuits. After the course we also did one fun dive with them before we left for a very good price. Roberto and Amadeo are really doing a great job with the diving school (as we did not stay with them we cannot say something about the bungalows)...

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Guenter F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Raja Laut Dive Resort

Address: | Bunaken Marine Park Pangalisan Beach, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range: £64 - £66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Few km. North on the same east side of Bunaken Island the twin of Raja Laut Resort is born. Stunning ocean views on Siladen Island and North Sulawesi, infinity pool, air conditioning in the Minahasa Style wooden bungalows, secluded and quite place, Raja Laut Coral View is an hidden gem that offer a superior quality standard. ... more   less 
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