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“Rustic paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kri Eco Resort

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Kri Eco Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Rustic paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2013

Diving in Raja Ampat is amazing and Kri is a romantic, although very simple, paradise with wonderful location. We really enjoyed the rooms on the water and the local food was great and plentiful. The staff was all very nice and friendly. We had such a great 10 day stay. Its strange for a dive resort not to offer boat dives on a saturday and it can upset the avid divers but since we knew it before we travelled that wasn't an issue even because its quite relaxing to read a book on the hammock of your water bungalow, or even go snorkelling. The snorkelling is also great and you can get in the water directly from your room. The mandi style bathroom was always clean during our stay and the room was cool enough so not having air con was not a problem. The hardest part was the cold mandi after a full day of diving, they did supply hot water after night dives though. Its a very basic eco resort but the perfect place to relax and forget about "civilisation"...

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OsTugas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
87 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

I stayed in 3 accommodations during the 17 days spent in Raja Ampat.(RA) Since RA is very difficult to reach and nearly all internal movement is by boat most visitors only stay in 1 lodging and lack any opportunity to compare accommodations. I can compare 3 options. Raja Ampat Dive Lodge ( an excellent on-land hotel), Doberai Eco Lodge a seriouslly deficient backpackers homestay- see my reviews) and Kri Eco Lodge. All 3 had knockout, gorgeous natural settings.
Kri is the original dive accommodation in the Raja Ampat area. It is built on the superb Kri Reef where all the original scientific evaluations of the incredible biodiversity of the Raja Ampat area was done. It is between a hotel and a "homestay", meaning picturesque but simple palm thatched, stilted over-water, wooden bungalows containing 1 or 2 shared units with a broad bridge connecting the bungalow to the land. There is 1 single unit and 1 (soon to be 2) units with private attached hot-water mandi and toilet. Each unit has 24-hour electricty, quiet but powerful fans, good tasteful lighting, ample sitting areas, balconies with hammocks and a large shared common space with the adjoining room. Mosquito nets are attractive room-sized tent-like structures larger by almost a half meter on each side making it easy to get in and out of bed. There were few bugs when I was there. I still took anti-malarials and put on insect repellant for after-dusk activity or when walking in the jungle while I was in Indonesia.
Every detail of these simple accommodations has been carefully thought out to make them as comfortable as is possible in a thatched cabin in a very remote part of the world. The units share 3 or 4 on-land, separate thatched large and comfortable cold-water mandis for washing each with a separate flush toilet. Fresh boiled drinking water is provided in each room. Free, various quality hot coffees and teas as well as honor bar access with snacks are provided 24 hours a day in the dining pavilion. The natural setting, oceanfront on the shore 'tween high jungle hill behind and the broad beautiful blue Dampier straight is gorgeous. The view is across the water to the distant green islands. Each unit features excellent wooden ladders into the sea so one can go swimming or snorkeling easily either directly from the room or from the fine, white sandy beach on which the resort was built.
The excellent, very tasty and interesting meals are taken, family-style with all the guests at common tables in a a large dining pavilion/ bar/ library/ internet space. My fellow guests from Holland and Bavaria were very likeable and interesting having dived all over the diving world. One expects to meet adventurous world travelers in such an out of the way place.
The antics of the very large resident great barracuda lurking under the dining room, black-tip reef sharks, school of large-scale mullet and other resident fish clearly visible in the calm shallow crystal waters of the seaward side of the dining pavilion are far better entertainment than any TV in my opinion.
Both Kri and it's 4-star sister hotel, Sorido Bay, around the corner, easily accesible by beach walk (10 minutes) at low tides, have gift shops with many excellent postcards (unavailable elsewhere in RA or Sorong City), books about marine life, t-shirts and local Papuan handicrafts for sale.
Sorido has a library and small museum of local WW2 artifacts collected by the Dutch owner of both resorts and where he has his own house. The Resorts set the pattern of devotion to preserving the RA environment which is the model now for all other resorts and hopefully the Indonesian government for sustainable small-footprint eco-tourism. He funds a small marine research institute which regularly hosts visiting scientists and students.
Kri guests were invited and boated to Sorido for an informative and entertaining evening Power Point talk by a marine biologist from the Scripps Institute in LaJolla, California. Topic: "The Benthic", including a history of Man's search into the ocean depths and such fascinating subjects of underwater volcanos, methane seeps, whale (carcass) drops and the incredible eco systems they support. Tea and home-baked peanut butter cookies were served.
Most guests at Kri are divers. Programs were very well organized with excellent preparation on a very experienced professional level. This operation really knows all the dive and snorkel sites. Safety is paramount. I went on a dive trip to "the Passage". My snorkel guide led me easily and safely into several caves and through the channel and its' giant rocks with very "interesting" and powerful currents. I added archer and an interesting cardinal fish to my life list of finny critters.
A very tasty picnic lunch was served on the jetty of a one-Papuan family, very simple,one-room homestay in a close-by gorgeous bay.
The natural beauty of this area has to be seen to be believed.
The Kri reef is very broad and chock full of marine life from the water's edge to the drop-off and beyond. I was snorkeling many hours every day. The jetty is particularly rich with schools of fish and enormous, brilliantly colored invertebrates, sponges, sea fans, soft corals. Individuals like giant cuttlefish, a big scorpionfish, a tiny, brilliantly-colored flasher wrasse pop into my mind. I added many new species to my "life list". Each trip to the sea rewarded me with great finds and memories. The giant clams, all species, "a dime a dozen". One of the attractions for a snorkeler is the broad shallowness of the reef. There are many separate niches, eel grass, sand, rubble, dense corals, hard and soft, anemones, the drop off, shifting currents, each with it's own life forms to explore easily. One could get close to the fish and really observe them.
My last afternoon snorkel the day before leaving was with the radiant equatorial sun shining through the crystal clear waters emphasizing the brilliant colors of the fish and corals. I looked up to see what looked like a herd of elephants in the water. A school of 50 fully grown gigantic feeding bumphead parrotfish fully filled the water column over the shallow reef. After spotting me they slowly filed past stopping here and there to graze on the very healthy corals before ambling off the 50 meters to the drop-off and into the deep. It was a magical farewell to Kri Reef.

I really have no suggestions as to how to improve this facility.
But guests should be aware that even the best of overwater thatched bungalows have some drawbacks.
Apparently sounds from adjoining units are audible despite the large intervening common area between the two rooms in most units. I stayed there when only 3 rooms were occupied, an unusual experience so I had no neighbour noise. There is 1 single regular unit and 1 or 2 "Deluxe" single units. Finally all these over-water, non-air-con units are inherently damp from water vapor coming up from the ocean in the wee small hours of the night. I awoke unpleasantly dank. The sun soon burns this off come 7am. Perhaps the divers sleep in their suits because no-one else commented on this.
There are many very pleasant sitting/sunning areas on the very long jetty and off. The western sunset from the jetty, up the Dampier Straight is gorgeous. Deepest blues, turquoise, fiery reds, yellow, orange. The full moon glittering over the calm sea. Listen to the marvelous jungle bird calls, wind and lapping waves. Night-time phosphorescence in the sea. Wow!
There is a very full library of Marine related reference books for anyone to use in the dining pavilion. There was much socializing over the fish and coral guides and comparing photos and videos.
The complimentary excursion to view the Red Bird of Paradise was fascinating. We saw 8 cavorting in the jungle treetops. Plus we got to say "Hello!" in and visit a West Papuan village.
The 60 staff at the 2 resorts, Sorido and Kri, were all very friendly and seemed to just go about their work happily in a seemingly self-directed manner. It is a very well oiled operation. Maintenance is a serious ongoing operation in the tropics. Re-thatching and cleaning is a continuous process. The 2 resorts are obviously carefully repaired and kept-up.
In summary this is a very finely tuned, well-honed, excellent dive resort where every last detail has been carefully thought out to make a great experience for the guests.
An added bonus is its' reasonable pricing (about 1500US$/week non-diving package via a travel agent (Katy Stoyko, at Reef and Rainforest in Portland, Oregon). Another homestay where I spent a few nights , (booking easily available on the net), has a rack room rate the same as Kri while offering severely deficient backpacker-type accommodation. In my opinion Kri is a bargain!
Kri spells out every detail of what they offer. Beware- some other RA acommodations- "resorts" don't mention the lack of electricity, refrigeration, drinking water, telephone or internet services, faulty boats, non-access to the sea at low tides , non-access to the land at high tides, relatively distant limited sanitary facilities....etc.
I stay in a lovely but "primitive" old-style family summer cottage in the beautiful rock, pine and sunlight of the Canadian Shield of northern Ontario so I know and accept boat-access, no power, running water or indoor toilets. There are propane fridges and lights.
Watch out- that RA "resort" could be a most-basic backpacker's homestay! Don't assume any of the basics one takes for granted in a hotel are part of the package! Again I warn potential tourists to check out such basic details before they book their rooms in RA.
Kri is very highly recommended for a South Seas snorkeling or diving or just plain relaxation experience in a spectacular area of great natural beauty.
For me the future choice is the air-con, hot-water, private bath of Sorido vs the South Seas homestay accommodation.
My compliments to owner and management (Jutta was the manager, at the time of my week there) on making and running an excellent resort "at the end of the earth"!

Room Tip: All are quiet, breezy, have gorgeous views and immediate ocean access at all tides.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
17 Thank Kendd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

We just spent a week at Kri Eco resort in raja ampat and had a truly wonderful experience. The diving lived up to our high expectations but this little resort made the whole trip an unforgettable experience.
the staff are attentive, the operation is very well organized yet very relaxed and accommodating. the design and layout of the grounds make daily life very easy. the food was basic Indonesian fare with lots of variety and flavour and well cooked. the staff were very friendly and the rooms were cleaned everyday.
this is a true eco resort, if you are looking for luxury then try their Sorido bay location just down the island. but if you want to have a great experience diving in raja ampat and don't mind washing in a mandi (which are clean and well design and fun for a change) then I would recommend this place.
Many people will say that the only way to dive this area is by live-aboard and that the resorts are poorly located. this may be true for most of the resorts but not Kri eco. they pioneered diving in this area and they picked their location wisely. The majority of the dives were less than 10 minutes away and we were able to come to shore between every dive save for one day were we travelled about and hour to "the passage". On that day a tasty lunch was provided at a beautiful beach location.
the dive boats are small and hold a maximum of 7 or 8 people so the groups are small. the guides are locals who know the sites very well and took good care of us.

Room Tip: If you are focussing on diving I suggest asking for cabins 1-4 which are on the jet and closest to t...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank daveeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2013

This is our first time at Raja Ampat and the introduction could not be better! To begin with the house reef is amazing. Juvenile black tip reef sharks circling around right under the cottage which sits on stilts above the water. Lots of other fish as well. The diving is superb. Mike's Point, Sardines and Arborek are nice, plenty of coral with a mass of inhabitants as well as schools of barracuda on the former two. All the staff are very helpful, dive guides spot fish and critters that are harder to find, food is wonderful and the transfers are punctual and comfortable.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Denys S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarhus, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

It is indeed a long journey, before you arrive at Kri Eco Resort, but who cares, when you get an experience beyond your expectations. Diving in Raja Ampat has been on my diving bucket list for a long time, and I was not disappointed. The diving is extraordinary with crazy colourful corals at “Melissa Garden” and “Anita Garden” at Fam and amazing schooling of fishes at “Sardines”. I can’t really leave out “Cape Kri” or “Blue Magic” just round the corner from the resort – amazing coral life, sharks, pygmy seahorses, nudi branchs and tons of fishes. Night diving included “walking” shark, robust ghost pipefish, wobbegong and all the normal night critters (shrimps, crabs etc.). Raja Ampat is for sure a must for divers - at least ones.
The resort is run very professional (arrival, transfers, daily dive schedule etc), and the staff always meets you with a smile, so you can just focus on relaxing and having a good time. The food is crazy good, and if you think you will go to Kri Eco Resort and maybe loose a few pounds during your holiday, you are so wrong.
I had a great time and will for sure return.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RunePedersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

... as close to nature as you can be! The beautiful little wild island, comfortable bungalow, large double bed covered with a mosquito net, sunrises and sunsets seen from the porch every day, delicious, freshly fish roasted on a stone (!), very nice service... I want to go back! :)

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ewelina_Blaszczyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stuttgart, Germany
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2013

We spent two weeks diving here, with the specific goal to see and document as many different kinds of fish species as possible. We were totally overwhelmed. This is THE coral reef biodiversity hotspot par excellence and this was our best diving trip ever - some of our dives are "historic" for our personal diving records in terms of species diversity and density.
The resort offered all we needed to explore it:
1. A professionally organised dive crew offering up to four dives per day to dozens of sites in the surroundings - all in small boats for 4-6 divers and usually 2 guides per boat.
2. A restaurant with a daily fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner menu (the best, most tasty, fresh and diverse food we have ever had in Indonesia - awesome, really).
3. All else we needed to feel comfortable: a simple, but clean and effective mandy-style shared bathroom, flushing toilet, mosquito nets, WiFi, enough electricity sockets to charge equipment and batteries, drinking water in the room, coffee and tea and small snacks for free, towels and water after each dive on the boat, etc ...
4. Very friendly and helpful personnel and management

We strongly appreciate the "adequate simplicity" philosophy of the hotel: Reduced to the elementary requirements to feel happy and yet quite comfortable and clean - designed for people who primarily come to see and experience the diversity of the reef. For those of you who are used to going to traditional hotels, this place is an interesting experience: "less is more" is what you learn. So yes, it is actually quite comfortable to live in a simple, palm-leaf covered hut with no air-conditioning on the reef flat. And yes, by literally living "on" the water, you do get an incomparable impression of what a reef ecosystem actually means. We also appreciated the efforts of the hotel to minimise environmental impact and for its substantial contribution to the protect the Raja Ampat!

Thank you Max, Dwaine, Ross, the dive crew and the kitchen crew, for making this possible!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nico M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kri Eco Resort

Property: Kri Eco Resort
Address: PT Papua Diving, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 38 Speciality Lodging in Raja Ampat
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Kri Eco Resort 1.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Kri Eco Hotel Papua

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