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“A wonderful place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort

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Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A wonderful place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2012

The beauty of Bunaken Cha Cha, aside from the truly stunning sealife all around, was its easy and relaxed simplicity along with charm and warmth in abundance. Raf and Reiko were easy-going and welcoming hosts and their friendly, accommodating team made for a genuinely special experience. I booked very late, just two days before I travelled,and the airport pick-up and boat transfer was all there as arranged, along with a warm welcome on arrival. And it only improved from there.
As a rather reticent lone traveller I was a little uneasy about the shared eating arrangements - we all sat down to eat together for every meal and were assigned our places to make sure that we had a chance to meet everyone else properly - but such was the atmosphere created that everyone was very relaxed, nothing felt forced or uneasy, and we all fell into conversation as if we were long-time friends.
The rooms are simple but equippped with everything you need. The aircon does go off between midnight and 6am so that the resort can turn off their generator for a few hours and use the solar power provided by the island. By this time the temperatures had come down and it was not too warm. But those used to sleeping in cold rooms might find it a bit uncomfortable. As mentioned in another review, the charged internet at USD10 per day was unusual and I know that Raf has explained his reasoning for this. I guess if nothing else, it encourages one to forget about the outside world for a while.
All meals are included and were very good with every effort made to accomodate varying dietary needs. Unless you have strong willpower, don't expect to lose weight staying here!
I am not a diver, but did join the boat each morning and go out snorkelling with one of the local guides who work for the resort spotted things I would never have seen on my own. Although this was my first time at a resort aimed principally at divers, we were all treated equally, something I feel from reviews of other places may not be the case.
Raf and Reiko have developed a very successful place at Cha Cha. Although they call it a resort themselves, to my mind the word has come to mean a much more overblown place than this; it's more of a retreat where one can really relax. I went with the aim of a few days away from a busy work life and the madness of Jakarta and that is exaclty what I found. Even without the stunning sealife just a few metres off the beach in front of Cha Cha it would have been very good, but with, it was exceptional.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ceebyjeeby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Bendigo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2012

We had a wonderful time at Bunaken Cha Cha... scuba diving all morning and relaxing all afternoon. The hosts are extremely welcoming, the staff friendly and helpful, the accommodation very comfortable and the food excellent. Our room was 20 m from the ocean - a wonderful spot. The only problem was we had to leave too early. We stayed 5 nights, and wish we could have stayed a few more. A great place to go as a couple, and for families as well. We enjoyed mixing with the other guests in the communal areas. The diving was so relaxing. Huge turtles, many different fish, very colourful coral and many different sites to dive. We will return.

Room Tip: Rooms with air conditioning are better. The rooms at the front near the ocean are fantastic, with t...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2012

This is our fourth time at Bunaken Cha Cha. It continuous to be an outstanding place. Beautiful location, great food, diving is excellent and the equipment and guides are fantastic. The resort is very clean and well-functioning, and if you need anything the owners (Raf and Reiko) and other managers make sure you can get it. This place is great for singles, couples, and families.We wouldn't stay anywhere else. We always meet other great people there, and many, like us, are return visitors. Bunaken is a great place to stay as you are very close (minutes) from the diving, the evenings are beautiful, the island is a nice place to take an afternoon walk, and it's a beautiful location.

Room Tip: Up to you if you like A/C or not.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dhoopstick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vejle, Denmark
Level Contributor
92 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

My 3rd stay at Cha Cha was just as good as the previous two: Even though the staff was new and the owners not at home, Bunaken again presented world class diving and relaxation!

After having spent a week at Raja Ampat, Indoenesia/West Papua - which is supposed to be some of the best diving in the world (and so far I agree) - I was afraid that Bunaken would let me down: But it did not! The visibility was good, the temperature around 28 degrees both above and below water. The dive guide was local and had excellent eyes, he found a lot of special stuff that I hadn't seen before even though I've dived the walls surrounding Bunaken island +40 times now. The new dive boats are spacious and the low season meant that we were only 3 divers aboard. At 2 dives we met other divers underwater, otherwise we had the waters all to ourselves for the whole week:-)

The food at the resort is good and varied as always, and the continuous improvements of the facilities means that it never looks worn out. The staff is friendly and if you fancy a break from the diving I highly recommend a full body massage - it's both good and cheap.

Hopefully I will return to Cha Cha again one day.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank piaech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

Our family loved our time at Bunaken Cha Cha. We found the accommodation lovely, the food and views stunning and the whole setting way above any of our expectations. We felt that we were part of an extended family and our hosts, Raf and Reiko, really cared for our happiness and well being. It felt as if we'd known them -- and other guests -with whom we connected at the communal dinners -- for a long time. We and our teenagers all partook of the snorkelling and diving options. Ian, the dive master, couldn't have been more patient and professional with all of our different abilities. The reef and fish were spectacular. It was so hard to leave, with the kids saying it was their 'home away from home.' They say everyone raves about Bunaken Cha Cha and now we know why. Can't wait until we can get back there!

Room Tip: There are stairs going up the hill to accommodation.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank maryags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2012

If you read all the other reviews then all we can say is that they are an absolutely true reflection of the "resort". You can have privacy if you need it or equally be part of the "family". The beach and tide pools are a marvellous way to wile away the time between snorkelling and eating. Raf and Reiko manage to create that sort of atmosphere which makes you feel you have always stayed there and in fact belong there. All the team whether on the boats,in the kitchen and dining room, or housekeeping, had an easy and genuinely friendly manner and were attentive without being obtrusive. The location and the reefs almost defy description. As we were novice snorkelers the house reef was fantastic but soon the allure of a boat trip took us to more adventure. It was a professional and very safe experience.If, like us, you are a surface floater this dive resort will make you feel very safe and very inclusive with the diving community. Ian the diving instructor and trip leader was brilliant at this and enhanced our stay both on the boat and at the dinner tables, enormously. Our 11 yr son had an excellent experience on the beach, in the water, and socially. Cha Cha can be what ever you want it to be, romantic getaway, family holiday, or diving adventure. The communal eating tables allow for the sharing of lives and jokes and the tables on the balcony give privacy and time for reflection at the beauty of the place. Leaving the island on the boat with our new friends from Japan there was a definite air of melancholy, just like leaving home maybe. What more can you say.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank roger m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raphael D, Owner at Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Dear Roger
Thank you very much for taking the time to review Cha Cha and we are so glad that you all enjoyed your holiday with us. As you know, there is very little opportunity for the people on Bunaken to study catering or any aspect of Resort work and so it is great pleasure for us, the owners, to hear how pleased our guests are with our staffs performance, I will most definitely let them know and pass on your compliments.
As far as my wife and I , well...... we enjoy people and to be able to see so many nationalities sitting together at dinner time and, not only enjoying the food presented, but talking and joking amongst themselves, language and nationality barriers disappear and everyone has a good time, seeing this gives us a very special feeling.....the very reason why we do what we do.
I truly hope that we will have the pleasure of meeting you all again in the near future.
Kind Regards
Raf
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farmington, New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2012

If you're looking for a vacation that has a beautiful natural location, no pressing agendas and comfortable accomodations, this is for you. All I wanted to do was relax, do a little snorkeling, have everything taken care of for me, food, snacks, travel arrangements, and that exactly what I got. This vacation was worth every penny.

Room Tip: This is easy. Do you want air conditioning or not? All of the rooms are lovely and cared fr everyd...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 588Connie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raphael D, Owner at Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2012
Dear Connie
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, all of us at Cha Cha are very happy to hear that it met your expectations and that you managed to do everything you wanted including Relax, such an important part of Tropical Island Life.
Hope to see you again in the near future
Kindest Regards
Raf
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort

Property: Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Address: Tanjung Parigi, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel/Resort situated on the clean and tranquil side of Bunaken Island comprising 3 Villas, 2 Superior Cottages and 3 Standard Cottages tastefully decorated, all with hot fresh water showers & A/C, exceptional views over the surrounding islands and mountains of the mainland. Cha Cha boasts its own quaint private beach, house reef and in-house Padi Diving Center. The Sea Top restaurant offers a variety of Indonesian, Japanese and fusion dishes with emphasis on healthy eating. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Hotel Bunaken Island

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