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“Learing to SCUBA dive in Paradise”
Review of Misool Eco Resort

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Misool Eco Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Learing to SCUBA dive in Paradise”
Reviewed 12 March 2013

Never have I travelled so far and for so long and yet been completely delighted with the destination. My experiences at the Misool Eco Resort in the Raja Ampat Region of Indonesia mitigated the arduous nature of the adventurous journey to get there.
MER is not a typical tourist destination. You will not find hoards of fellow tourists, crowded museums, polluted air, shopping, or frankly any of the normal accoutrements found at typical vacation resorts around the world. What you will find:
1) Comfortable air conditioned private well designed water cottages with stairs leading from the deck into the Chrystal clear water below.
2) Breathtaking vistas in every direction.
3) Delicious meals with an Indonesian flair.
4) A well designed and equipped dive center staffed by competent and friendly dive professionals.
5) The most remarkable and beautiful dive sites in the world replete with an amazing array of underwater flora and fauna protected by nearly 1500 sq km of no kill zones located within the Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary.
6) A friendly and accommodating staff catering to all needs.
7) Relaxing massages provided in the most beautiful setting imaginable
8) Hosts Andrew, Marit, and Sahul Miners who will challenge imaginations of guests with their stories of converting a shark finning station into an eco friendly and a world class dive and snorkeling resort.
9) Friendly like minded compatible fellow guests.
10) A photographer’s paradise.
My decision to spend nearly two weeks at this remarkable dive resort was made before I ever considered learning to dive. After nearly 7 decades of fearing sharks and other underwater creatures, I decided to become certified as a SCUBA diver. I completed the initial pool and class instruction in Pennsylvania and was skillfully guided through the open water dives at the resort. The only downside to my incredible experience is that I doubt I will be able to dive anywhere else in the world. I must return.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank F Laird E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool Eco Resort, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
Dear F Laird E,

I am delighted to read that your stay with us helped you to overcome nearly 7 decades of fearing sharks and the underwater world! Those are truly inspiring words.

And thank you for all your kind feedback. You are quite right that "MER is not a typical tourist destination," and I'm glad that you braved the long journey to discover how unique we are. We loved having you here, and hopefully you'll be back again before too long.

-Marit
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Beijing
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2013

Many appreciations have with good reasons already been given to Misool Eco Resort. Everything worked perfectly from the pickup in Sorong airport, the transfer to Misool, the stay at Misool and the transfer back with overnight stay in Sorong. From the first moment it felt more like staying with family than at a resort, the feeling were emphasized by a very friendly and supportive staff and by Andy and Marit always being around during the day. When hearing the amazing story from Andy how the Misool Eco Resort project was started, all the challenges (and innovative solutions) and achievements during the 2.5 years journey to the opening and the engagement in the preservation and in the local community, then it is easy to understand the devotion by everyone involved here. This is not just something set to be managed, it is a life project to be maintained.

The scenes above and below water are beyond imagination. When arriving to the jetty we got the first glimpse of the beautiful corals and clear water ... and when walking on the path way to the restaurant we were met with 8-10 small blacktipped reefsharks swimming around in shallow water in the lagoon. A sight really appreciated.

We stayed in the Villa Santai on the South beach on the other side of a small hill opposite the restaurant and dive-centre. This required crossing the hill several times a day, a good way to get exercised before diving or dining. Our villa were adequate in size (we were out most of the time anyway) with a big over-shaded terrace. The villa placement were very secluded and the beach perfect with white sand and clear water. We often found ourselves completely alone on a long stretch of beach.

The snorkeling around the island are spectacular. The reefs are well preserved, the underwater life so rich of (schools of) fish and other creatures. Sharks and turtles are almost impossible to avoid. The snorkeling gives promises for excellent diving ... and the promises were more than kept. What is noticeable is the quality of the reefs, the amount of fish (which doesn't seem to be disturbed by the divers) and the clear water with visibility well beyond 25-30m. All dive sites range from good to excellent with Magic Mountain being on top of our list. And all within a short boat trip. No excuse for not enjoying each dive.

The set breakfast, lunch and dining gave good possibility to meet the other guests and it gave a special atmosphere that we all were arriving and leaving at the same time. Meaning more time to build up relations and share stories.

Big thanks to all the staff for making our stay memorable. We would love to come back.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jacob_Kristin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool Eco Resort, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
Dear Jacob_Kristin,

thank you so much for your kind words. It was a pleasure having you here with us, and indeed you fit right into our big Misool family! I am glad that our passion and devotion shone through, and that you appreciated the pristine state of the reefs we're protecting. I hope you do come back again to see how those baby sharks in the lagoon have grown.

-Marit
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Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

Admittedly a long journey - but as everyone has said - it was soooo worth it. The speed boat ride was much better than expected - our whole boat slept most of the way. This place is magic!!! Both underwater and over. Pristine, mind boggling diving, creative and delicious food, fantastic accommodation (waves tickling your bungalow as you sleep), talented masseuses, I mean what more could you want! Places like this attract people with an adventurous spirit and you could really tell - the other guests were great. I havent come back from a holiday feeling this high, and this rested - I feel rejuvenated from inside to out. My batteries fully recharged from my full body immersion with spectacular nature, and good company. Andy and Marit are some of the most inspiring people I have ever met - their commitment to protecting Raja Ampat is incredible and filters down to the local communities, in their school projects they run, and the fact they only hire locals to work on the island so that they are giving back to the local community in every way. Go there - you wont be disappointed and you will be as desperate as me to go back! But take the time to understand what they are doing there and why - and what their dreams and goals are for this area - its very impressive and your trip will be richer if you do.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Vavenzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool Eco Resort, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
Dear Vavenzi,

thank you for your feedback - I loved your description of "waves tickling your bungalow as you sleep!" You are right that a place like ours attracts adventurous spirits, and I'm glad that you enjoyed the company of the other guests. It was a great trip!

I am very happy to know that our project has inspired you, and thanks for taking the time to learn about our conservation initiatives. Come back soon so we can update you on our progress.

-Marit
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2013

Yes getting there, especially from the US, is a huge slog across multiple continents and time zones. But it's completely worth it. Food and hospitality were just excellent. Both done to excess and we were all made to feel really special. The lodging was out of a dream. We stayed in one of the water bungalows and everything from the bed to the hammock cut into the deck was very comfortable. The hot water was tricky but no one else seemed to have that problem. The air conditioner was not 100% effective in a bungalow with a high ceiling and thatched roof. But a fan was installed above the bed that actually was a lot more effective at night. During the day we just left everything open to the sea breezes. The shared spaces like the dining area, main deck of the lodge and dive center were filled with comfortable furniture. The most awe inspiring thing is to learn about how the resort was built from locally sourced materials. And when you are there and looking around the property you really get a sense of what an impressive undertaking this is.
But of course the best part was the diving. After diving in many many parts of the world, this was undoubtedly my favorite trip. We saw the most amazing variety of underwater life and had an incredible dive guide....Herry. The dive operation was fantastic. Very efficiently run and the dive guides went out of their way to show us a great time.
My only regret is that we dived so much I feel I did not have enough time to enjoy the property and get more open air spa treatments in the lookout tower/ gazebo.
We cannot wait to return and highly recommend this property to anyone wanting to dive in Raja Ampat...... Don't look any further.....just book Misool Eco Resort....you won't regret it.

Room Tip: All the bungalows are perfectly positioned to offer privacy. Very romantic place.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank zeniatata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool Eco Resort, responded to this review, 15 March 2013
Dear Zeniatata,

Wonderful to hear that diving with us was your favorite trip! I'm very glad that you appreciated the expertise of our Dive Team, yummy food, welcoming staff, comfortable lodgings, and green building techniques. And you are right that our energy-saving air conditioners are not overwhelmingly effective - they'll drop the temperature a few degrees, but not more.

In effort to reduce the need for air conditioning, we engineered the Water Cottages to be energy-efficient as possible, using passive design principles with local materials. The deep shaded veranda prevents sun from directly hitting the glass doors and trapping radiant energy inside. The thatched 'alang-alang' roofing is very thick, which acts as a great insulator. We also insulated the cavity walls with coconut fibers. The stone flooring, just over the sea, and high ceilings with louvred vents help to circulate the warm air out and the cool air in. It's good to know that you found the fans effective in cooling the room enough to make it comfortable.

Please come back and stay a bit longer so that you have time to fit some spa treatments in between dives! Thanks again for your feedback and kind words.

-Marit
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2012

for a snorkeller who has tried it all, raja ampat is definitely the best. although misool eco resort is primarily geared to divers, it has a wonderful program for those who look at the underwater world from the top.
located in a natural paradise eighty miles from anywhere (if you consider sorong anywhere, which i don't), it nevertheless has a luxe feel. the water cottages are sooo comfortable, the food is sooo good, and the well-trained staff takes pleasure in spoiling their guests.
there is one major flaw: the boat trip over and back is brutal. i can think of several options to solve that problem, and have made suggestions to the staff, but it seems unlikely that any of them will be taken.
nevertheless, if you are strong of heart or would be willing to endure a few hours of misery to enjoy the best snorkelling in the world, this place is ideal. i am making plans to return.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank jhudecz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Being back in a chilly London probably colours my memory, but even allowing for that, Misool was worth the 4 flights and 5 hour boat ride to get there. It wasn't without some areas of possible imporvement, but overall it is a wonderful resort.

I would say that the website probably akes it look a littl emore like the kind of place you'd find in eth Maldives - with all the trappings and creature comforts that that entails. Misool is not that kind of place, so don't expect it to be. It is an incredibly remote place and as its nearest hub is Sorong, Western Papua, you cannot expect them to hav eeverything. They ship in everythng from the water up to the bintang, an dwhen thing sbreakdown or run out, you hav et oallow for them to b erepaired or replaced. We had issues with running water (drinking water was never a problem) a few days, but it is hardly th eend of the world if you can't have 2 showers a day. As a friend said to me, if you are used to sailing, you will not find any of the limitations Misool suffers a surprise, or difficult to cope with.

The staff are to a man (an dwoman) fantastic. On the dive side, Bram and Ferry were bright, articulate, forever smilimngh and laughing, and alway sable to find al lteh critters you said you'd love to see. On th erestaurant side Jane, Rangand Salim were particularly delightful, although Ali (1 and 2) were also charming and perfectly professional. And of course Andy, Becky and Calvin were fantastic in making sure everything ran smoothly day to day and accomodated our every wish.

I think the best accolade I can giv eis that after 4 flights and 2 hours into the boat trip I was seruiously questioning whether anywhere could be worth yet another 2-3 hours travel to get to. It would have to be amazing. As soon as we saw Batbitum materialise on the horizon, we suspecte dit might be, and as soon as we stepped on sure we knew it was. And now I'm home I just want to go back!

ps needless to say the diving was like nowhere I've ever been (which is a lot of places) and Becky and Calvin do a stand out job of explaining their ethos on teh no tak ezone and the manta project. They are to be applauded.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
8 Thank Neil675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2012

Just got back from my 6th visit to Raja Ampat and my 3rd stay at Misool Eco Resort. MER is better than any other operator or liveaboard in the area, and the diving gets more incredible with every year that the no-take zone is in place: I saw grey reef sharks, whitetips and blacktips on every dive. Every year there are more and more of the usual reef fish, and more and more adults are found (usually only the juveniles are common, as the adults are eliminated by overfishing outside the no-take zone): more schools of jacks, bigeye, golden, and giant trevallies; more malabar groupers, including some that show little fear of humans; more snappers and grouper of all varieties, plus so many of the common reef fish (antheas, damsels, cardinals, triggers, parrots. morays, etc etc) that it's like swimming through a dangerously overstocked aquarium. There were many more of the big oceanic mantas than smaller reef mantas on this trip. The highlights were a family of blotched fantail rays, the largest with diameters of up to 3 meters; a 2.5 meter guitar shark; a sargassum frogfish; a bottlenose dolphin (these are everywhere on the surface, but it was my first time seeing one underwater); and the vast number of predators feeding on veritable landscapes of anchovies swarming across the reefs. I missed the scalloped 3.5 meter hammerhead though- skipped that dive. As for the coral, it is the healthiest I have seen, comparable to Triton Bay (which to me is the best).

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank BobbyAceh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Misool Eco Resort

Property: Misool Eco Resort
Address: Misool, Raja Ampat 98483, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Raja Ampat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Misool Eco Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Misool Eco Resort is an exclusive dive resort and conservation center located in the southern part of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Our private resort island is nestled deep in a vast archipelago of uninhabited islands, in the heart of marine biodiversity. Our island and our scuba dive sites are surrounded by our very own 1220 sq km No-Take Zone. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Misool Eco Hotel Raja Ampat

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