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“100 reviews :-)”

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Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Regensburg, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
319 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“100 reviews :-)”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

So, I seem to have the honour giving the 100th review on cha cha.

In short, the nature there is unbeatable. The house reef is so good, that during days some 4-5 other resort's boats show up and sent their divers down the same place where you only need to walk into the water from the beach belonging to the resort. I was there for snorkeling only.

Raf and reiko are wonderful hosts, and everybody is integrated in the community of the resort right away. Food is decent, seems to be always one western and one indonesian dish served, that go well with rice, so you have a choice.

Nature however takes its toll in the night, after 11pm, when the aircon gets shut down by resorts eco policy, it seems every animal around gets its hour to make incredible noise, adding to the humidity and stickyness of the tropical night (keeipng the aircon running at night would have been the better joice! Personally sacrificing the hot shower would have suited my needs better). The fan is of little use as it adds much to the noise. So plan for some sleep during day, when the tranqulity and slight sea breeze allows for it. As the resort is built in the hill, there are some very steep stairs around. Also the jetties at manado to get to the boat require some climbing. The resort itself has no jetty, but you can jump from the boat into the shallow water

Overall i can recommand the place, the reef is all worth it!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Christoph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Barnegat Light, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2014

If you want to go on a dive vacation to North Sulawesi, you can't make a better choice than Bunaken Cha Cha. Raf and Keiko have created a great small resort in the midst of the jungle that is that is quiet, clean, comfortable, and just about everything you could ask for in a great dive trip. Our dive experience there was among the best during our extended travels in Malaysia and Indonesia. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We spent a great four nights at Cha Cha in January. The staff was great, our room was great, the food was great and the diving was great. There were some challenges because of a significant rain (which flooded Monado) while we were there but everyone at the resort made sure that we didn't experience any issues from the rain. We missed the owner Raf, who seems beloved by everyone, but our surrogate host - Allen, was great company. Raf was very helpful in sorting out our reservation and taking care of transfers, etc. We had two great dive masters including Henche Pontoh, the recent discoverer of a new species of pygmy seahorse - Pontoh's seahorse. The wall diving was excellent. The dive team (boat captain and crew) provided excellent service.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kent J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vejle, Denmark
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
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
    • Value
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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
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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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