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“Great Honeymoon Finale”

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Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great Honeymoon Finale”
Reviewed 19 September 2013

Just back from a fabulous 5 night stay at Cha Cha. This was the last stop on our Honeymoon with the plan to focus on some diving and snorkelling and it definitely lived up to expectations!

Firstly Raf offered invaluable help and advice on our travel arrangements from Bali (direct flight with Lion Air) and all the transfer arrangements went perfectly. Always contactable and a great resource when planning your trip.

We stayed in Cottage 3, which is one of the more recently refurbished rooms and done really nicely!! The flowers around the room for our arrival were a lovely and welcoming touch.
The site in general is really well managed, very relaxed atmosphere, great staff and the communal dining offered a really nice change to our trip Yet it is easy to keep your own space when you want. Food was very tasty, varied and plentiful.

This is much more than a "dive" destination and whilst the "wall dives" we did were great the actual highlight was the snorkelling. Now I have been lucky enough to have been to many of the World's top areas (Sipidan, Belize, Ningaloo, etc), yet the house reef offered some of the best snorkelling I have done! The coral on the house reef is truly spectacular and at low tide you are only a maximum of 3 ms above the edge of the reef and drop off. Loads of colourful coral and reef fish; bigger jacks, tuna and barracuda; Moray's, turtles, etc. You do need a pair of reef shoes to get across the shallows and at low tide I suggest a walk up the coast, then drift back down along the edge of the reef. You can also join the dive boat as most of the dive sites are 20mins from the hotel and next to snorkelling areas too.

The biggest surprise was how nice the island itself was. It is a lot larger than you expect and the pathways through it are lovely way to spend an afternoon, going through jungle, small farms and villages with constant smiles and "hellos" from the locals. Make a point of exploring as it is not challenging but very rewarding.

Nothing was to much trouble and we even took the boat out one evening to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine.

Thanks again to everyone!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank sw311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2013

Great place to stay.
Raf and Reiko really make this place special. Almost has a home stay feel to this resort.
You are taken care of the moment you arrive at Manado airport and it really was a fuss free trip.
The rooms are eco friendly and simple but definitely better than some other seaside resorts I've been to.
The diving trips are well organised and you don't have to travel far to get to the dive spots on Bunaken Island.
The night dive is exceptional but you need to let the staff know a day in advance if you want to do any additional dives apart from the 2 morning dives that are included in the dive package.
This place is good for families or groups that have a mix of divers and snorklers as the house reef is very good and nearby too.
Very serious divers who want 3 or more dives a day at more challenging sites may want to try somewhere else as there seemed to be alot of novice divers (including myself) and snorklers at the time of my stay.
The food menu is preset, simple but delicious. Mostly local food is served though and if you have food requests, be sure to discuss this with the owners way before your stay.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank kwc_85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 July 2013

My family absolutely enjoyed our 4 nights stay at Cha Cha. Unfortunately,we did not meet Raf and Reiko as they were on vacation. The English caretaker, Allan and all their local staff were very friendly and made us feel welcome and took care of all our needs.

Cha Cha is a small cosy resort with a communal dinning concept. This made interaction with the staff and other guests very easy. We made lots of friends. The resort is very quiet, isolated and really good place to chill and relax. We did a lot of snorkeling and the water in Bunaken is very clear and clean.

Food is good. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Although one of our rooms had some problem with the air-conditioning, it did not really mar our overall stay. Do note that air conditioning do not work from 12 midnight to 6am if you are a air conditioning lover. This is due to energy conservation efforts. Over all , I would recommend Cha Cha to travelers.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Green A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 June 2013 via mobile

If you are looking for excellent atmosphere and friendliest staff I have met, look no further! Dives are close to perfect and expect to see Giant turtles frequently. Food is excellent and the total price of everything included is good. So if you are planning to go to Bunaken , I highly reccomend it!

  • Stayed June 2013
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Helpful?
Thank HinniHansen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 5 June 2013

This was the 2nd time I was returning to Bunaken, returning to Cha Cha. Finally met Raf and Reiko, who were a lovely couple running the resort, as well as the dive centre. From the moment our feet stepped onto the island, I knew we were in safe hands. They gave us a big warm welcome on the day we arrived, and waved us goodbye until our boat disappeared from their sight when we left. We were lucky enough to get their best cottage, with the whole window right facing the sea. I would never forget the morning I woke up into a room filled with golden sunlight. Attention to details made the whole stay homey feeling yet special. Every meal was a surprise. You would never guess that this little resort hided the best Nasi Goreng and Soto Ayam I've ever tried. Although our stay was short, we got the maximum relaxation, with a few dives in between. The national park's well-conserved dive sites would never disappoint you. If you ever visit Cha Cha, be sure not to miss Raf's post-dinner stories. Better than any story book!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MomoLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buin Batu, Indonesia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2013

My wife and I just got back from a family vacation of 5 nights at this resort with our two kids (ages 6 and 10) and have nothing but positive things to say about our experience at Cha Cha's. The two expats that own and operate this resort have put their efforts in all the right places from the rustic, but comfortable cottages (w/ A/C where it matters), to the quality and varied food, to the helpful and extremely professional staff. If you have a young family and want to enjoy snorkeling with kids this is the place to do it (You can also mix in diving in the same excursions if you are a diver). My kids enjoyed the snorkeling and when they got tired, just hung out comfortably on the boat with the friendly crew while my wife and I continued to float around enchanted by the amazing marine life in this incredible location. If you go, which I highly recommend, be sure to ask Raf to regale you with stories of Fred!

Room Tip: The resort is situated on a somewhat steep hill so be sure to discuss any special needs you may have...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoePollara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Midlands, UK
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2013

We stayed here 10 nights in April.

As North Sulawesi is a somewhat underdeveloped (from both an economic and a tourism perspective) part of Indonesia, and the resort is within the boundaries of Bunaken NP as well, we weren't expecting as "polished" an experience as in say a resort in the Maldives.

However, we were pleasantly surprised by our Cha Cha experience. The (large) rooms and common areas were tastefully furnished, and tidiness and hygiene were excellent, as were punctuality and honesty (it was never an issue to leave the room unlocked, or leave the key in the lock, or to leave little bits of kit such as cameras on the boat or in the common areas). A/C, water (hot and cold) and the internet worked perfectly, no mean achievement in this part of the world. The food (mostly local dishes) seemed authentic and enjoyable, and I enjoyed the good selection of (mostly Italian) wines on offer. Staff were welcoming and friendly throughout.

One of the reasons we came to Cha Cha was its claim to welcome divers of all abilities and non-divers alike and we were not disappointed. As we came at a time with relatively few guests, there was just one boat with both divers and snorkellers. Even so, the locations chosen by the boat crew had plenty of interest for both. The divers (including my other half, who completed her PADI Open Water certification here) were extremely pleased with the divemasters and the boat crew provided excellent support for the snorkellers as well. Options for people not wishing to get into the water at all (and we met some such guests) are less extensive but there are some nice walks on Bunaken itself, beachcombing is fascinating, and the owners are experienced at arranging trips to the mainland (the trip they organized for us to Tangkoko NP went without a hitch).

What sets this resort apart from the others is, as many other reviewers have noted, the personal attention given by the owners (Raf and Reiko) to the running of the resort, which is run as an extension of their own living space and indeed of their personalities. Their enjoyment at seeing their guests having a good time is obvious and infectious. Even if you aren't fully paid-up members of the "Raf and Reiko fan club" you will feel well taken care of. However, we really appreciated this unique atmosphere, and left feeling privileged to have shared it.

We're planning our next visit already :-)

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank artoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 16 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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