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“A true paradise!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maratua Paradise Resort

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Maratua Paradise Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maratua Island
Certificate of Excellence
Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
107 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A true paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013 via mobile

The resort is in a stunning bay on the outer side of Maratua island. Here the sand is incredibly white and the colors of the sea are wonderful. Nothing different from most famous Polinesia, Maldives or similar. Really stunning! Water villas are very large and confortable, with outside private space and wonderful panorama. The restaurant is self-service based with basic choice, but eating is not what you should do in this paradise. Around the resort is possible to swimm and make snorkeling between thousands of colored fishes and big turtles! By boat is possible to visit Sangalaki (wonderful white beach), Kakaban (jellyfish lake) and Derawan (beaches and snorkeling) at a reasonable distance. Dont miss the snorkeling all around the island: turtles, octopus, cuttle fish, sting ray, corals and an incredible variety of colored fishes. Absolutely a paradise, worthy to stay at least a week, don't miss it!

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Rysiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

Turtles, rays, lion fish, eels, trevally, catfish, puffer, sea pike and angelfish - that's what I saw just from the walkways of the resort! A 20 m swim to the house reef and I got to see triggerfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, wrasse, damsel, anemone fish, reef cod and lots of others which I could not even name. I went to Maratua specifically to swim with the stingless jellyfish on Kakaban island but I must say I ended up enjoying my stay in the resort even more.

It is a long journey to get to Maratua but it's well worth the effort. If you are picky the resort itself has a number of weak points - the wi-fi did not work, the water villa rooms get unbearably hot in the afternoon, the food is monotonous and waste water from the showers and wash basins drain directly into the sea. But that did not deter me from enjoying every minute of my stay. I was snorkelling 5-6 hours a day and could not get enough of the crystal clear waters and stunning views. It is a picture postcard tropical island - turquoise and blue waters, powdery white sand beaches, coconut palms and lonely piers.

A trip to Kakaban is a must but be aware that this is a popular destination and on busy days there are 300-400 visitors a day. It can get crowded next to the small lakeside jetty but a short swim out will easily bring peace and quiet with hundreds of jellyfish all around you. [Note: fins are not allowed in Kakaban Lake.] There are four species of jellyfish in the brackish water lake, which makes it even more interesting that the more famous Jellyfish Lake on Palau. One intriguing species settles upside down in the shallow water on the fringes on the lake, apparently filter feeding.

On Maratua itself some of the coral is damaged, the resort staff blamed a crown of thorns infestation a few years ago but it seemed to me to be a combination of fish bombing, careless anchoring, overuse and the crown of thorns. Nevertheless there were lots of fish, the coral appears to be recovering with better conservation practices and on most days I had the reef to myself early in the morning and in the evenings.

Maratua also has its own stingless jellyfish lake - Haji Buang Lake - where the jellyfish which may be a different species from the Kakaban ones. They were described as almost transparent. I did not manage to visit this lake as you need a guide to find it.

On the last day of my trip the resort was almost deserted and I spent an hour sitting on the steps of the restaurant, watching and photographing a lionfish as it hunted its supper. That magical time alone was well worth the effort to get to Maratua.

I'll be back since I want to go to Haji Buang Lake and Sagalaki Island to swim with the mantas and to experience Maratua again.

Room Tip: If you love turtles ask for Water Villa #9. When it is high tide you can watch the turtles grazing o...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AlexR48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
109 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2013

I don't have to say a lot about this resort. Just come and experience it by yourself. The location is close to Kakaban, Sangalaki and Nabuco. Very convinience for islands hopping and diving or snorkeling.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Wardono
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

I recently stayed here for six days. We had a water villa and were with a group of friends doing a dive trip to Maratua and the surrounding islands.

Maratua is a bit remote. To get there, we flew into Balikpapan, then caught a domestic flight to Berau, from which we took a short car ride, followed by a 3.5 hour boat ride. The resort staff met us at the airport in Berau and took care of everything. There were ten people in our group, so they arranged separate boats for the guests and for the luggage. When we arrived at the resort, our luggage was already there. On the way to the resort, the seas were calm and the boat ride was uneventful, just long. On the way back to Berau at the end of the trip, things were a bit choppier and we really felt it during the first two thirds of the ride when we were traveling over open ocean. These are small vessels so the ride can get a bit bumpy when there are large swells. Just something to keep in mind if you get sea sick easily. Traveling with a neck pillow is recommended as the seats on the boat aren't the most comfortable and it is a long journey.

Arriving at the resort, we were greeted by the staff, given an introduction to the resort, and shown to our rooms. We were in Water Villa #2, which was close to the dive center and restaurant. It's worth noting that the water villas are only water villas when the tide is in. At low tide, which occurs in the mid morning, the entire resort will be over sand. However, when the tide is in, it's quite lovely. The water is a warm turquoise and it's easy to see turtles, rays, and all kinds of fish swimming around the villas and other buildings. You can also snorkel here if you want to, which was a lot of fun.

The room itself was fine. It had a king-sized bed, desk, sofa, coffee table, mini fridge, wardrobe (which included two large umbrellas), and a large bathroom with both a tub and a shower. The show was a little small but adequate and it had a mini hot water heater that worked well. The room also came with both air conditioning and a ceiling fan. We never really needed the air conditioning as it only really got warm in the room during the day when we were mostly out. At the back end of the room was a large balcony overlooking the sea. Opening the doors gave a nice breeze through the room. The water villas are also slightly staggered to give a little more privacy on the balconies than one would otherwise have, but you don't have complete privacy.

The restaurant and bar at the resort were adequate. They had indoor and outdoor seating with most of the seating indoors, but the dining area was spacious and airy. The food itself was average. Coffee, tea, and hot and cold water are available 24 hours a day along with some snacks. For breakfast, you get a choice of eggs, toast, and some local fare. They don't do eggs very well: too much oil and too much heat. The local food was okay. Lunch and dinner are both buffet style. They sometimes have a soup, which is usually okay. They always have fish, another meat dish, veggies, usually one other dish, and french fries. The taste is generally just okay and the meat dishes tend to be somewhat tough and chewy. The bar serves soft drinks and Bintang beer. The beer isn't cheap, but then it is a remote island resort, so one ought not expect it to be so. I thought it would have been nice if they had a little more variety to the beverages available.

The dive center consists of three areas: a room for storing rental gear (which we didn't use), a compressor room for the tanks, and large room for storing the gear you're using. The compressors were nice and well maintained, which was great to see. The storage and changing area has several racks for hanging wetsuits and a series of cubbyholes along the back wall for people to store dry items and whatnot. Each room then gets two baskets and a rack for hanging and storing the gear they're using. This worked fine. There are showers along one side so that people can shower after returning from their dives without needing to go to their rooms. There is also a camera room in the back where you can charge your gear. Near the entrance, there are a series of tubs for rinsing gear, including one dedicated to cameras. This was handy.

The dive boats they use are adequate for groups of up to ten divers (though it can get a little cramped with this number, especially when everyone is gearing up and getting ready to jump into the water. They are what you would expect -- smaller boats with no dedicated dive platform -- but they worked fine and had proper tank storage and retention so things don't fall or roll around. Water entrance is by backward roll and exit is via ladder. The ladder is stable and the crew are reasonably good at assisting divers with getting in and out of the water.

I mentioned in the title that the resort is in need of an upgrade because it's not inexpensive and is in an exotic location. As such, I would expect the fit and finish to be a little better in terms of the construction, amenities, food quality and variety, etc. I've done quite a lot of trips like this around Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines and would normally expect a fair bit more for the price and locale. That said, the service was decent and the people were nice.

I will mention a bit about the diving itself here at the end since it's probably why most people would go there. The location of the resort is good. It's on Maratua facing Kakaban. It's easy to dive around Maratua itself, and for those wishing to dive the channel, they can drive you to the other side and take you out on a boat from there. It's also relatively close to Kakaban and Sangalaki. In short, location wise, it's convenient and well placed. They offer both DIN and yoke tanks and you can get nitrox fills if you want them. I dove sidemount the whole time and they did not charge me extra for carrying two tanks, which was pleasantly unexpected. I didn't ask about the availability of deco mixes. I wouldn't expect them to offer this. Some of the sites would, however, have been interesting to explore a bit deeper down as there were some excellent drop-offs. There was a good mix of macro and pelagic marine life. On the macro side, you get your usual smattering of nudis, reef fish, crustacea, etc. On the pelagic side, there are jacks, tuna, rays, and plenty of barracuda. We did see a few reef sharks. They say it's possible to see threshers there, but we didn't on our trip. We also didn't see any mantas when we went to Sangalaki. It's just hit and miss. There are lots and lots of sea turtles, probably more than I've ever seen in any one place. Also plenty of triggerfish, parrotfish (including bump heads), batfish, and a few massive schools of bannerfish. The barracuda in the channel were fun. There were a number of very large schools and a few different varieties. It's good drift diving there but bringing a reef hook would be advisable. Then, of course, there is the jellyfish lake on Kakaban. It's easy to get to and less of a hike than the Palau one. If you go there to snorkel with the jellyfish, please note that there are no floatation devices available at the lake itself (other than a life preserver), so bring your own life vest, etc. if you want to use that. The visibility in the lake was just okay but there were plenty of jellyfish, especially as you swim farther from the pier towards the center of the lake. There were two varieties, neither of which had a noticeable sting. It's a fun excursion. Overall, for the cost and the effort, if you're there for the diving, I certainly wouldn't say not to go, but there are other places I'd probably go first, such as Layang Layang, Sipadan, or Manado.

Room Tip: The resort itself is on stilts over the water so the water villas are actually closer to the main fa...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank hoya94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tangerang, Indonesia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2013

a beautiful resort with good service and spacy room.The sunset is just spectacular.Many kinds of fish swimming near the restaurant.Food is fine,altough i prefer not to eat chicken nuggets every single day.Be careful of small stingrays,lion fish,and sea snakes.Turtle is seen every morning.Once,there were up to 10 turtles scrambling by the dock!The room is pretty spacious.Altough I didn't find the bed comfortale enough,it's pretty clean.Beside the stingrays and turtles I found cockroaches in my bed!Wasn't a pleasure to know i'm going to sleep with this insects!I stayed for 3 nights and found cockroaches in my bed twice!!!It will be very nice to stay there again but please get rid of those pest!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Caecilia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bandung, Indonesia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2013

They have cottages just on the water, with nice view of the open sea right on your Balcony. In sunny days, I see amazing gradation of dark blue, turquoise, and green.

You can just jump and swim from in front of the dining area. But be careful of small sting rays hiding under the white sand. Every morning I can see sea turtles around the resort.

Food is fine, they have fresh seafood, different menu everyday. also bread or some snack for 24hours.

Room Tip: Cottage on the water!
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Stephanie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2013

Maratua island is very beautiful. I can see the lion fish, turtle from my water villa. It looks like swimming pool but in fact it is ocean. I can see sunset from water villa. And the best thing, I can see thousand stars from my terrace balcony and plankton that shining in the sea. It is unforgettable experience in the maratua paradise resort. In the morning, the ocean recede, and you can see white sands in the resort. So beautiful.

I stayed in water villa no. 2. I saw very great view in my balcony, i.,e ocean and a lot of fish in the water. The bathroom is very spacious with bahttube, wastafel, and shower place. My wooden room also very spacious. In the room, they also provide us with such as living room and mirror for make up and hair dryer. However, they did not provide TV since the electricity was derived from genset. The room also have AC facilitation that also very good. I also like the food that provide by the resort restaurant. Eventhough, we eat fish everyday, but they provide us with various of food selection. I like the salad, spaghetti and fried shrimp.

In summary, I love this place and will be back !!!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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 MissRiani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maratua Paradise Resort

Property: Maratua Paradise Resort
Address: Jl. Langoan RT 3 Teluk Harapan | Kecamatan Maratua, East Kalimantan 88825, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Kalimantan > East Kalimantan > Derawan Islands > Maratua Island
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maratua Island
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maratua Paradise Resort is an intimate and comfortable resort resided on Maratua island. We have exotic water villas, the main hall, turtle station pavillion, dive centre all located on stilts over the water as well as beach chalets lining along the seashore. Our packages include diver & non-diver package and both includes full board meals, tea and coffee, snacks and accomodation. In addition, we can also conduct excursion to nearby island of Kakaban and Sangalaki subject to a minumum of 4 guests joining the excursion. For further details, please contact us. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Maratua Paradise Hotel Maratua Island

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