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“6th time coming home to Cha Cha since 2009”

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Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Vejle, Denmark
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“6th time coming home to Cha Cha since 2009”
Reviewed 3 December 2013

I have travelled fairly extensively for the past 10 years and usually I do not revisit many of them, but this is one of the very few exceptions that prove the rule :-)

Resort:
Being an eco-/nature resort some amenities are of course not present. That said you do get all nature has to offer as it is nestled on a slope in the jungle right by the sea. The possibility of viewing whales, dolphins etc. during the day from the balcony and at night a brilliant starry sky (very little light pollution) with fireflies in the trees. Depending on the season there can be mosquitoes but near the water/restaurant/balcony there are usually very few if any.

Rooms:
All are quite spacious with open style balconies with nice views of the sea and most with aircon during the hot hours of the day. Hot gas powered showers and the optional internet connection makes the package complete. Being in the jungle you do get the joy of the occasional gecko but they are very shy...:-) The beds have been upgraded since my first stay and are quite good - usually the lovely sunrises wake you anyway for breakfast and the following dives. The rooms are clean and treated daily to prevent insects. You can have your laundry done day to day for a small fee.

Dining:
Being on an island there is only the resort option for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee/cake and diner (and a late night drink). Usually I do prefer to have a choice but the food is VERY varied and VERY good (dietary needs can/will be met) and especially with the family style dining it is quite the experience: you get to discuss and chat about (almost) everything under the sun with likeminded guests (have met a lot of good/close friends here over the years) and the managing husband/wife team Raf & Reiko (a feature in their own right and not to be missed!). The staff is always very kind and attentive. There is a fairly assorted bar with coffee, espresso, beer, wine and liquor.

Diving:
Having been to The Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, Greece and Raja Ampat I must admit this is probably my favourite place to dive (Raja Ampat might be a bit better but also a lot more difficult and expensive to get to). I don't go hunting for anything specific but the rich coral walls with the teaming life paints a wonderful tapestry. You can see many different nudibranchs, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, turtles, eagle rays, sunfish, dugong etc. On occasion whale sharks and manta rays pass by on their way to the Philippines. Visibility is usually quite good and in the dry season it can be excellent - temperatures in the high 20's. Two morning dives (with tea, water and biscuits), an afternoon dive and a night dive is possible - my favourite being the night dive; such a relaxing and amazing experience. The 3 day dives also has the option for snorkelling in stead. All equipment can be rented and is in good condition. The dive guides are well trained and very good at finding even the smallest critter. If you fancy critter hunting/muckdiving Lembeh Strait is close by.

Bunaken:
Not much going on which I actually like; a rare chance these days to get away from it all. There are 3 villages on the island connected by a dirt road. All are within walking distance and worth a visit if you stay for a longer period. No cars on the island, only scooters and oxcarts.

Excursions:
Manado Tua: extinct and protected volcano close to Bunaken. Hiking to the top is possible in the dry season to look in to the ecosystem in the crater
Mount Klabat: volcano on the mainland near Manado. Hiking to the 2km high rim for sunrise views should be spectacular - but only in the dry season
Tangkoko: national park on the mainland - home of the Tarsier
Tomohon: a village situated between two volcanoes. You can drive to the top of the extinct Mahawu to walk around the rim (at night the bottom of the crater has green glow to it)
Lahendong Sulphur Pits: self-explanatory - possible to walk over the boiling pits on bamboo bridges
Pulutan village: a whole village dedicated to making clay pottery - interesting for a short visit
Lake Linow: a naturally toxic lake that has the ability to change colour
Lembeh Strait: probably needs no introduction - world class muckdiving.
Lake Tondano: sightseeing along its shores - reminds me a bit of the Italian lakes

In essence this is THE place to unwind among unknown friends while having some amazing dives - enjoy!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank deathboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Tokyo, Japan
1 review
Reviewed 26 September 2013

If the Swiss Family Robinson decided to make a resort, the Bunaken Cha Cha might be the result. The cottages are surrounded by jungle, with no other hotels or stores or roads in sight. Inside your room, with a view of the sea through the canopy of branches, and no sound but the call of birds and the breaking of surf, you might imagine yourself a castaway on a tropical island--were it not for such amenities as air conditioning, a hot shower, wifi... and of course the delicious, gourmet-style meals, served in an open-air dining room and shared with other, like-minded lovers of nature and tranquility. Maybe because Cha Cha attracts a certain kind of guest, there's a sense of hominess and camaraderie from the moment you arrive, and that's just the way Raf and Reiko like it. At dinner one night there were guests from Switzerland, France, Australia, Japan, and the U.S., but we might have been mistaken for old friends given the lively conversation that went on past dessert. If the Cha Cha seems like a place you'd like to visit, then it'll be just what you've dreamed of.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Stevedore813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
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
    • Value
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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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MomoLu
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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