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Froggies Divers Bunaken
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Reviewed 16 August 2014 via mobile

We spent out last three days of holidays here. It was perfect: quiet an very welcoming. The diving was very nice and professional. There is no pressure and easygoing. The food is excellent and has a big variety. Good wifi connection and a quiet terrace for reading or suntanning. Keep it up! :-)

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank franziskaasia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Froggies_Divers, Manager at Froggies Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

Thank you very much for your friendly review. It was also a real pleasure to share these few days with you and we hope to see you again very soon !

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Reviewed 12 August 2014

This place hosted our two families - 11 persons in total. We enjoyed the very friendly people and the good divemasters. The place is very tidy and quiet. They serve good food and prices are OK. Great for a shorter stay.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank msvanek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Froggies_Divers, Manager at Froggies Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

We are really happy you enjoyed your stay with us in Bunaken and looking forward to welcome you again. Best regards

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

So we transferred from Froggies Lembeh (fantastic, see separate review) to here. As soon as we boarded the boat I understood why they usually encourage people to come here first then move to the new resort at Lembeh! The boat crew look like they haven't been given new crew T-shirts in years which is just a poor first impression and I can't imagine it makes the crew happy either - I'm sure they get well worn but every other centre collecting guests seemed to manage to supply their crew T-shirts frequently enough not to have holes and stains!
Anyway, that aside Abel and Lola met us at the other end of the boat transfer, were friendly and welcoming, explained the setup of the place and asked what diving we wanted to do that day. We then headed to our room, yes they have air con in the standard rooms now - however, there is an extra charge of 10E per night for this (is on the website but hadn't been back to the website since booking). I understand it's an 'upgrade' but since we had already booked it would have been nice if they'd offered it at a token change of the cost of running (maybe 5E?). We declined but then discovered that all the vents around the top of the room had been sealed off with clear plastic, presumably to make the air con efficient - which means there was little the fan could do and the room was was hideously hot despite being less than 5m from the sea.
The room itself was significantly smaller than at Lembeh but we had a standard rather than superior room so that may be the cause. The room also looked generally worn and tatty, scuffed mismatched furniture, the bed was not only 2 singles pushed together (not unusual or normally a problem) but made up with separate sheets and covers and with mattresses that both sagged into their middles. The covers were either a blanket (way too hot) or a strip of sarong type fabric (way smaller than a regular sheet) that could just about cover you if you lay still. It felt like trying to sleep under a towel at the beach. The whole room had the air of a local homestay (brown covers, green sheets and blue towels for example) which is fine when you are paying homesty prices but at Froggies you are not, 70E per room per night (even including food) is not cheap for Asia.
The diving on the 1st day went fine although we had to change out one tank as the o-ring was leaking. The boats are lovely, more spacious than the current Lembeh one (similar to the one being built) and the crew were helpful. Our group was split as the put the more experienced divers on one boat and the less experienced on another every day, I could understand this in many locations as different sites have different depths but here it seems strange as it's all walls where you can just pick your depth - on that occasion the 2 boats actually went to the same site anyway. Abel and Lola both guide on the less experienced boat so we didn't see much of them.
The following morning the diving went less well, 2 guests having to change tanks because of leaking O-rings when they turned their kit on. We got in and on descent my buddy signalled that I had a leak and we needed to surface - after many 'what seriously?' hand gestures we signalled to the guide that we were going up due to the leak - he opted to stay with his other 2 guests who by this point were at 25m. That didn't bother us, he knew we were both instructors and carrying DSMBs perfectly capable of making a safe ascent (a guide from another group also came over to check we were OK!. The concern was that on the surface, no amount of waving and waving a large red DSMB could get any attention from the boat (the current had drifted us maybe a couple of hundred metres), another boat spotted us, checked we were OK and went over to our boat shouting at them! At this point the boat headed over, picked us up, changed my tank - which it turned out was leaking not only from the pillar valve o-ring but in 2 separate places from the tank neck! So not huge volumes of gas but at a risk of failing more seriously. We then asked to be dropped back on a set of bubbles, sadly not Froggies divers but we followed the original dive plan until we hit serious head on current after about 20 minutes, none of our group had turned back towards us so we ascended, hoping we weren't too far from the boat and indeed we weren't.
When we got back to the dive centre Lola asked how the diving went and I mentioned that many of the o-rings were leaking, some quite badly, she said that she knew, they had been ordered 3 months ago but not arrived, this was Indonesia, what can you do. Well to be honest for something that small and light and safety critical personally I'd request they were brought over by a guest, I think most regular divers would be more than happy to bring an envelope of o-rings ordered online and delivered to their house in return for a free beer! That assumes there really were none available to purchase from another dive centre, none at Froggies Lembeh or the dive shop in Manado! When we also mentioned that the boat hadn't seen us on the surface we were told that wasn't surprising, they don't expect you to surface straight away and you should use a whistle, we had tried to avoid that as we weren't actually in distress but what happens if the surfacing diver isn't up to using a whistle? - boat crew are the 1st response and need to be on watch in my view.
Still, we pushed on with the diving - the crew and guides started using soapy water to check o-rings before anyone got in although there were still occasional tank change outs. The one lady using nitrox was irritated as she was getting low fills all the time. Not much Froggies could do about that as I think they were getting her fills elsewhere, we were told they had no O2 available so no nitrox if we hadn't pre-booked it.
The underwater scenery is spectacular and there is some small life and plenty of fish, despite being a marine park however there is none (or very very little) of the big life you would normally associate with steep walls and strong currents. Hopefully if the park continues to stop fishing they'll come with time. Abel did try to ensure that over the 3 days were were there we saw a good range of sites around the area.
The best bit about Froggies Bunaken in my opinion was the food, 3 courses as at Lembeh but buffet style so us non-meat eaters could help ourselves to more of the veggies/fish etc and the chef makes amazing bread. I miss good bread as a Brit living in Asia and Chris tipped us off to ask the chef - just fabulous! Sadly Abel and Lola sat on a separate table from the guests so we didn't have the chance to chat that we did with Chris and Kiara in Lembeh, but I can understand that they probably want a break. We also sat as a group of 4 for the 1st meal and that sort of became our default table so we didn't get to meet the other guests the same way - probably our own fault, we could have sat ourselves in the middle of one of the bigger tables.
On our final day we had to ask for our kit as I saw the crew locking up the dive room to go home with our kit inside it! Didn't fancy packing at 6am the next day. Then on check out we had a battle over the transfer cost, supposed to be 30E each and we'd been charged 80E each (40 from Lembeh to Manado and 40 from Manado to Bunaken) we eventually got it reduced to 40 each for us and our friends (who would never have argued about it themselves). The transfers are pretty expensive anyway (20E per person from the airport each end in addition to transfer between the resorts, as if you have an alternative) and an extra 50E each was extortionate! Oh and no suggestion of a reduced charge for the dive messed up by leaking kit.
Overall, the new management seem very nice but unsupported by the office in Manado either logistically (finding things like o-rings) or financially - the whole resort needs a tidy up, repaint, new/reconditioned furnishings, a tidy up of the grounds, good overhaul of the kit, t-shirts for the staff (I'm not sure Abel and Lola had any at all!) etc. I'd rather pay slightly more for something that was more pleasant or find somewhere genuinely cheap and accept it would be basic.
If It went back to the area I'd love to stay at Froggies Lembeh again but I'm not sure I'd stay at Bunaken, which is a real shame as trying to get a transfer between resorts run by different companies I imagine would be difficult.
I feel somewhat bad airing all this on Trip Advisor but I know Chris wants to improve both resorts any way he can and we weren't given any feedback form at Bunaken - so this is the feedback. I hope in a year or two it's at the standard of Lembeh.

Room Tip: Just pay for the a/c as the rooms now have no natural ventilation!
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank CatB_99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Froggies_Divers, General Manager at Froggies Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2014

Thank you very much for your review. We are sorry to hear your stay was not as good as you wished, but rest assured your comments didn’t go unnoticed and we will do our best to improve our services.
Please, note that the air conditioning will be included in our accommodation prices next year, as it is in Lembeh. When installing them in Bunaken, we had to make a choice between updating our price list in the middle of the year or leaving it as an option on site. Regarding the price, EUR 10 per bungalow might seem steep, but running the air conditioning for a single bungalow forces us to start the generators 24 hours per day as the electricity provided by the island is not sufficient or reliable enough.
We are aware that the fact that the vents had to be closed is a problem and they will be modified to allow them to be opened to give the option to guests to use natural ventilation.
We are also planning to replace the Sarong type bed covers by standard bed sheets.

Regarding the diving, we take safety seriously and although, our managers join the boats and dive regularly, we rely on the guests feedback to detect some problems. The fact that the boat staff was not paying attention and didn’t see you surface is indeed unacceptable and they have already been reminded about their duties on board.

It is normal for tank o-rings to start leaking after a lot of usage. What is not normal is that they were not changed in a timely manner. We will find a solution to quickly have the necessary spare equipment on board the boat to change them as needed.
The tanks neck o-rings cannot be replaced on the boat, but, they too, can start leaking in time. All our tanks have been sent for hydrostatic testing less than two years ago, which is stricter that even the European legislation requires. There is then no safety concern over a tank failing because an o-ring is leaking. The only result of this being a slight loss of pressure overnight. Some of our tanks need to be taken out for valve maintenance, during which, we will replace the tanks o-rings. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Lastly, food is a really important part of our guest’s satisfaction as well as ours :) We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the food we had to offer. Our chef will be very proud to hear your comment about his bread.

We are constantly working to improve our service and we hope we will have the chance to prove it to you in the future.

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Reviewed 5 August 2014

I stayed 4 nights at Froggies to do the open water course. The staff was very friendly, and as already mentioned, Abel and Lola are great managers who are attentive and also superb dive guides. Hot water and safety box in the room. Easy reservation. I liked the food. Only downside is the price tag, but I can definitely recommend Froggies Bunaken!

Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank Baslerin123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Froggies_Divers, Manager at Froggies Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Thank you very much for your review. We are really happy you enjoyed your stay at Froggies and we hope we will have the chance to see you again soon. Best regards.

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Reviewed 31 July 2014

Positives: Lola and Abel are amazing and like the other reviews suggest they are fantastic in everything from being a guide to an instructor and even a person. I got the flu for two days and they looked after me which is something I wouldn't really expect from a hotel. In addition, the hotel is up front and honest, prices never changed and everything was done prompt and smooth. For Indonesia, it is clean and the laundry service is a nice touch.
Negatives: Food is a bit repetitive, I was there for 6 nights 7 days and I was seeing repeats after about the 2cnd day in terms of food. In addition the mattresses and linen could be improved as while they were clean they were not the most comfortable.

Overall, it was worth the money and if you are looking for a good place to dive,eat and sleep as the advertisements suggest check it out!

Room Tip: The budget rooms don't have sea views. They face the see but you can't see if due to many trees.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Philip R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Froggies_Divers, Manager at Froggies Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank you so much for your interesting review. We hope you're completly recovered now and ready for new adventures underwater.
With the hope to see you again soon, a big big hug !

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