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“All that you read of this awesome place is true, which is why I have written this glowing review!”
Review of Misool

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Misool
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

For the past five years, my husband and I have taken a two-week scuba vacation in May to the South Pacific or coral triangle. First, there was Taveuni, Fiji, with abundant fish in a rainbow of soft corals. I kinda felt sorry for the next place I would visit. But that would be North Sulawesi (Indonesia), at Siladen – with its gorgeous corals and fabulous fish life, and Lembeh - where there were creatures, which I am pretty sure, arrived from other planets. Wow – again I felt sorry for the next place. That turned out to be the Atlantis Resorts in Puerto Galera and Dumaguete (Philippines), where again, among the throngs of fish and healthy corals, I managed to encounter unique marine life I had never seen before. Good luck to the next place. That was Sabah, Borneo, where in addition to the massive, tame schools of fish in Sipadan, and the crazies in Mabul, and even those in the deep blue of Layang Layang, I also saw unique land animals – including pygmy elephants and orangutans. Talk about a tough act to follow! That act was Misool Eco Resort, in Raja Ampat. Now I feel sorry for the next place.

If you want to see beautiful hard and soft corals all mixed together, go to Misool. If you want to see reef mantas and oceanic mantas on the same dive, go to Misool. If you want to become blasé over pygmy seahorses, candy crabs, and reef sharks, go to Misool. Want to see wobbegong sharks and epaulette sharks? Go to Misool. Hairy squat lobsters, sexy shrimp, and pom-pom crabs? Go to Misool. I could go on, but you probably get the picture. If not, my husband has dozens of great photos he could share with you! The diverse and profuse marine life and varying seascapes were spectacular. The only possible complaint from a diving and photographic standpoint was slightly poorer visibility than we had experienced in our other trips to this region. Photographers, brush up on your backscatter reducing techniques!

Then there was the staff and resort itself. Each staff member was helpful, warm, friendly, happy, and courteous, and aimed to please (and sometimes tease). Our dive guides, Ferry and Djamal, were exceptional at finding all the little critters, and great fun to dive with (Djamal, possessor of the worlds greatest smile, even found those penguins we asked for!) And the resort… It looks somewhat unassuming from a distance, but as you get closer, you are struck by its beauty. The water cottages are fabulous. We had #5, which provides an unobstructed panoramic view that we could enjoy from the large deck that offers several comfy seating options. The air conditioning does not get the room super cool, but the fans inside the mosquito netting get the job done. Be prepared for those mosquitos. They don’t buzz around your ears, but outside the mosquito netting, they sneak in and get you. (I threatened to bite back, but they must not have understood English.). Stairs from the deck lead to a well-protected, shallow lagoon and house reef filled with everything from turtles to baby reef sharks (Just watch those last few slippery steps!). On our farewell snorkel, we even saw a spotted eagle ray skimming along the shallows.

The restaurant was a focal point where, when not diving, we could eat excellent, healthy, and varied food while socializing with the other wonderful guests. The dive center is also a well laid out focal point, with nice photo work stations, and couches where you can check out all kinds of references or catch the evening presentations, and an area where you can attempt to get on the internet (for a fee). The internet? Kinda, sorta. Kinda frustrating. But they make that clear. (What can you expect in such a remote area?).

The resort also offers several worthwhile topside diversions. We were too reluctant to give up dives to go on more than one, but that was an excellent boat trip through “The Labyrinth”- a twisting, turning confusion of channels through beautiful tropical islands. Along the way we visited 5000 year-old petroglyphs and swam through a sacred cave with impressive stalactite/stalagmite formations. Other guests took the village tour and visited a jellyfish lake and seemed to enjoy themselves. For the romantically inclined, you can be “marooned” on an isolated beach for a few hours of tropical seclusion. Even the short walk over the hill to the newer facilities on the other side of the island was an adventure, offering stunning views of the resort and the surrounding islands.

Equal to the exceptional resort stay and dive sites, are the wonderful efforts and accomplishments Misool has made towards conservation and education. Catch their presentation explaining how the resort was built almost completely from downed wood and recycled material and even sports an organic sanitation system that eliminates human waste without pollution. Learn how the founders, Andy and Marit, with support, established the Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary, plus an enormous no-take zone. They help to support research on mantas, and reef restoration. They have trained locals to patrol the area, and they provide them with the means to do so. They not only cover salaries of their employees, but also those of patrol rangers, and several teachers in the local villages. They have built a school, and ranger stations, and they provide books for school libraries. Recently they started up a number of recycling centers, with requests to start more. So while Misool comes at a price, it is not all being pocketed by the owners, but rather given back to the community in so many ways. I cannot praise Misool enough for their achievements in creating a true “Eco” resort.

Did I say remote? Well yes, getting there is definitely an adventure. From our home outside of L.A. it took over 50 hours of travel to get there, and a little longer to get back. Was it worth it? Undoubtedly. We would gladly go back to any of the South Pacific sites we have visited so far, but when it comes to Misool, both my husband and I agree it is just a question of when, not if, we will return to this little slice of paradise.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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23  Thank cooper-smith1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2014

We stayed at Misool for 12 days in May and absolutely loved it! The water cottage was just as pictured, and it was great to have that beautiful view and nice breeze the whole time. We never shut our doors or used the air conditioner once, it just wasn’t necessary. The netting around our bed was sufficient to keep the few mosquitoes at bay. My husband never gets bit and I always do, it was no different here, but my DEET-free Herbal Armor repellant worked just fine. The owners and staff were all very friendly and always with warm, genuine smiles making us feel right at home. Always attentive and approachable, easy to talk to and fun to joke with.

Of course, the diving was the best part and seeing the Mantas was the highlight of the trip, so exciting to be so close to these beautiful, majestic creatures! The abundance and diversity of the coral, fish, and creatures was amazing, every dive was great. We loved seeing lots of sharks: black-tip, white-tip, and gray reef sharks as well as the wobbegongs and we also enjoyed snorkeling with the baby sharks in the lagoon. The giant groupers that hang out under the dock are definitely worth checking out.

We really enjoyed the presentations on the creation of the resort itself, the biodiversity of the area, and the conservation efforts underway. They are serious about conservation, and protecting the no-take zone. We saw first-hand one day on our way back from a dive, the boat crew spotted a possible fishing boat in the area and radioed its location to the nearest ranger station to go check it out and they were right on it. It’s a good feeling to know that the money we’re spending here is truly supporting the conservation of this area as well as education in the nearby villages.

Overall, a wonderful experience and one we intend to repeat as soon as possible! Since it is a long journey we definitely recommend at least a 12-day stay.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

I traveled to Misool Eco Resort with my two children and was instantaneously stunned by the beauty, staff, accommodations and fantastic diving! The water cottages are definitely quite romantic (which I was not properly using with my two children!). The diving and guides were safe and truly wonderful with my 11 year old who dove 15 times during our week stay. My 9 year old played happily on the beach, kayaked, ran around the resort and helped the kitchen staff. Misool Eco Resort is a special place and a must see if you can pull it off. It was worth every penny! I enjoyed it so much that I already booked our return trip. :)

Room Tip: Loved the water cottages - they all looked nice!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear Jennifer F,

we are so pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay at Misool Eco Resort! Thanks for taking the time to write such a kind review. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful staff, and they are 2nd to none when it comes to their warmth and hospitality. It helps that they also adore children - that makes a holiday so much more relaxing for the parent!

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your family back.... and showing you a couple of new dive sites discovered last week!


-Marit

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Reviewed 26 April 2014

We have travelled quite a lot and have seen more than a single high-end resort including the likes of Four Seasons and Six Senses, and I must say that I was deeply impressed by what has been put together in Misool, not even accounting for the "handicap" of the remote location. We very much enjoyed our stay, really forgot about the hectic home environment, which does not happen often. I could hardly detect any hic-up at all, the resort does it all in a superb way. The location, the set-up, the architecture, the "story", the environment, the food, the service, the diving. Sublime, very well done indeed. We were especially struck by the great level of the food service. Each day was a surprise, all done extremely well and with good variation -- and did not even gain weight! We were also struck by the high quality of your diving set-up, Djamal definitively needs special mention here. He is a true professional, a great human being, I assume a highly valued "asset" to the resort. Even though not all staff spoke good enough English to converse with, we found them all courteous and well trained. This is definitively a must-experience resort!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Capi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear Capi W,

thanks for your very generous feedback. We are flattered to be compared with Six Senses or The Four Seasons - you are very kind. Djamal is indeed deserving of some special mention. He is a gem, a true professional with a heart of gold and a winning smile.

I'm happy that you and your family were pleased with your stay. It is a rare gift to be able to disconnect for a little while from the busyness of everyday life - I hope the afterglow lasts until you come back!

Best wishes from Raja Ampat.

-Marit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

I spent four nights last week following a trip to Sorong. After a terrible experience with religious Fanatics on Sorido and Kri resorts. Here I am back to Raja ampat with great service, pro active staff not too expensive and comfortable accomodations. Thanks to all of you for you kindness and a special one to the Chef who offered a large variety of dishes full of taste. Diving spots being the same that taken by Sorido, I found the speed boats very well maintained and very reliable dive masters. See you soon

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank frederic1711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marit-miners, Owner at Misool, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2014

Dear Sharon C,

thanks for taking the time to write such an in-depth review! We really appreciate it, and I'm sure it will be very helpful to future guests as well.

Amongst all your kind words, thanks are due most of all for recognizing all the love (as well as the blood, sweat, and tears) that went into creating Misool Eco Resort. Our staff do take a lot of pride in their work and see direct benefits in their communities.

We're looking forward to hosting your group and seeing you again soon!

Warm regards from sunny Raja Ampat

-Marit

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Reviewed 14 March 2014

Tucked into a remote corner of Raja Ampat we found a gem in Misool Eco Resort. We are dive shop owners of Aquatic World in North Syracuse, NY. We promote group travel for divers with destinations worldwide. We do not take anyone anywhere we have not been to before, and when we visit we look for high standards in four specific areas before booking a return trip with a group. Our requirements for a return booking with a group are: diving - are there interesting things to see?, accommodations - are the rooms comfortable, clean, and well maintained, is the hot water hot? food - are the choices tasty, well prepared, and varied in options?, service - is the dive operation well run, are resort employees and managers helpful, engaging, and happy?. Misool Eco Resort rated very high for us in all of these areas and we were even treated to some unexpected bonuses.
The natural beauty of this location above and below the water is very, very special. There are white sand beaches, surreal blue and green waters, majestic rock formations, lush green vegetation, lovely wooden walkways and hardscape pathways. The hardscape utilizes locally found rocks to construct a stairway that leads to a view above the resort that can be described with words like exquisite, and stunning, and exhilarating! Under the water a baby shark nursery surrounds the resort. These little guys and gals are abundant and easy to see from the shore. The snorkeling, diving, and kayaking on the house reef are a must do, a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend time at Misool.
The cottages and villas have all been built using recovered lumber from this area (no trees were cut) and are designed to enhance the natural beauty of the area. Several of the cottages are built over the water with hammocks that are built right into the deck flooring to suspend you over the water, and stairs that descend directly from the front deck into the water, while others are beachfront villas with beautiful white sand beaches and the ocean just a few steps from the front door. They all have open air showers, air-conditioned rooms, large front decks, and mini bars.
Food is served five times a day to include two breakfasts (one light breakfast before the first dive and another cooked to order after), lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. I found the coconut oatmeal with bananas and honey to be a great way to start a day at Misool. I do not normally like oatmeal, but the combination of these flavors is especially yummy. I found the meals to be varied, healthy, and tasty. Dietary requests are noted and catered to. Non alcoholic beverages are included in your package. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Any other spirits you need to bring with you.
The diving is exceptional. The visibility was very good with water temperature at 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Our dive package allowed us up to four boat dives a day with a maximum of four divers to a dive guide. Nitrox is included in the package rate. We saw schools and schools of so many different fishes swimming in large masses looking like underwater rivers of beautiful flowing colors and textures. We saw Napoleon wrasse, bumphead parrotfish, barracuda, octopus, rays, bat fish, pygmy sea horses, sweet lips, triggerfishes, woebegone sharks, white tip sharks, black tip sharks, mobulas, and turtles just to give you a sampling. We did not see a manta on this trip however a few of the other dive boats did, and reports were they were 18 feet in wingspan. This is the only known area of the world where oceanic and reef mantas coexist together. The coral, soft and hard, are vibrant, colorful, varied, and in great abundance. We had endless photo opportunities of lush coral gardens covered with dense clouds of tiny fishes of varying colors. Walking the beach each evening we delighted in seeing bio luminescence wash up on shore. Not only did we have a beautiful star lit sky, but also a magical star lit beach!
Owners Andy and Marit Miners discovered this spot when it was a center for shark finning. They wanted to make a positive change for the ecology and were able to purchase the land and stop the fishing. Their hard work, passion, and vision has resulted in an enormously healthy reef life and a resort that supports several conservation projects as well as delights nature lovers and dive enthusiasts. Almost all staff members are local and exhibit pride and an eager willingness to be a part of this project that not only gives them jobs, but also supports their communities with school programs, and funding. Evening presentations before dinner on the reef life, conservation, and the story of this resort are especially interesting.
The week we stayed the resort was full with a total of 32 guests. There were families with small children, couples, as well as a large dive group, and a few non divers. Fun was had by all!

Room Tip: Pick a room over the ocean!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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24  Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

IT WAS A PARADISE ON EARTH! One of the high end resorts in Indonesia and gives you the priceless underwater experiences. Although I only spent few days there for the work, it will be the best memories ever.

The water cottage was presented perfect, the room, the decorations, and the view when you wake up in the morning, it's very beautiful. On the beach near the restaurant, you can see few black tip baby sharks all around and other beautiful fishes.

The food was awesome and delicious. They will serve you 5 meals a day, and most of the non alcohol drinks are included in the package as well.

The dive guides, Djamal, Bram and Dadi, they are very helpful in explaining everything and helping you if you wanted to take pictures underwater. If you are fortunate enough, you can the dolphins very close to you and big manta rays. They have spots as well for the "Sunset Beers", which is a very nice spots to watch the sunset with a beer in your hands.

Don't forget to bring mosquitos repellent and sun blocks 50+ spf or if you like the sun very much, you could bring the 30+ spf. Don't expect any phone signals or free internet in this place, because this place is designed for you to really "signing out" from everything. You have to pay for the internet and the satellite phones, so let's not worry much about everything between 7 - 12 days there.

Room Tip: The Water Cottage is perfect for single or couple.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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4  Thank LetitsiaGP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Misool

Address: Batbitim Private Island, 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 #4 of 51 Speciality Lodging in Raja Ampat
Price Range: £306 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Misool 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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