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Onong Resort
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Reviews (195)
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Reviewed 15 December 2010

This resort is hands down the best value at Bunaken national park, and quite possibly in best value on Sulawesi or Bali (both of which I've traveled to extensively). The staff are very friendly, the rooms are amazing, and the location and view are great, from both resorts (Mapia and Onong). And the food fed to you every night is awesome, a feast of seafood and Italian/Indonesian cuisine that is hard to beat.

Some other reviews on here say that other places are better value for money, well, certainly this is not true, at least in Bunaken. I have stayed in other places in Bunaken and Onong is the one that has the best view and accessibility to the open sea. Yes, the other resorts are cheaper, in some cases a lot cheaper, and they do front the sea, but the "sea" at those cheaper resorts are actually mainly mangrove swamps, not really something that you want to swim in and no point to snorkel in. You really have to go to the beach in order to snorkel or enjoy the beautiful clear water of Bunaken.

In contrast, at ONONG resort, the water is right there, especially if you get a superior room which is literally ten feet from the water. Your snorkeling? Simply put on a mask and flippers and swim out 20 or 30 feet in the calm, safe water and you have incredible reefs and colorful fish. No need to go on separate trips (that you pay for). Of course, Onong resort offers these separate trips if you want to see the most famous dive sites in Bunaken, but my point is on Onong they are an option, while on Bunaken, you really have no choice.

If you go to Bunaken Natural Park in Indonesia and you don't stay here, you are simply settling for a less incredible experience. Most people will probably only go here once or twice, so why not get the best when you do?

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank tiger83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2010

The Onong resort is small and beautifully maintained on Siladen, a small island in the Bunaken Marine Park. The staff (especially Chris) are wonderful, reading your wishes from your lips before you even speak them. The beachfront bungalows were lovely, although the beds were very hard, with thin mattresses and creaking timbers. Food was plentiful and good. The dive team are amazing, from the boat guys, to the guides Bernard, Jimbres, and Opo. They took great care of us and found some amazing creatures which we would certainly have missed.
The dive boats are old and not as well maintained as the rest of the resort. They are OK for just 4 people diving, but more than that gets crowded because there are no typical tank racks. The boats seem not to be designed with diving in mind, but they do function OK and entry and exit is no problem. I personally found the timing of the dives to be a bit off, because we always seemed to be eating before diving
There is no internet access at Onong, and although the next door resort offers use of their wireless LAN (for 10 Euros per day!!) it seldom worked for more than an hour at a time and was very slow. We would stay there again if we wanted to dive Bunaken, more for the great staff than the resor itself.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank itchyfeet_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2009

I believe it is always good to start on a positive note and that is that the diving in front of the Onong Resort (part of Celebes Divers) on Siladen Island is probably one of the best I have ever dived. The fish life is prolific, colourful and cater for those who want to muck dive or sink over the edge into the deep blue.

That's about the end of the positive note and it goes down hill after that.

We picked Onong Resort as I was after something mid ranged between the real low priced and value for money dive resorts (LivingColours) and the high priced full service resorts (Siladen Resort) as my wife accompanied me and is not a diver .... loves the snorkelling. Onong Resort sites in this price point.

When we arrived we found that the superior room (seaview) we had booked and had confirmed not a week before had recently collapsed into the sea, been jacked up and presently uninhabitable waiting for completion of a washed out retaining wall. This was of course an act of nature (or poor workmanship .... or mix) and not specifically the resorts fault, but they'd not contacted us saying we'd now need to take one of their standard rooms ...... and therefore giving us the option to go elsewhere .... which we would most definitely have done.

Extreme disappointment after nearly 8 hours travel from Singapore. Andreas agreed with the situation, apologised profusely but came up with no suggestions .... We'd be stuck with the standard room.

The resort itself is right next to a little village on Siladen Island. The resort is very small and compacted. If you're not in a sea view room (superiors) then it's also quite dark.

In terms of price differentiation from the full service Siladen Resort (about 250 metres from the Onong) beers, cokes, diving, gear rental etc, is exactly the same price ... in fact gear rental is slightly cheaper at Siladen Resort. The only difference is therefore the accommodation, which includes meals (Siladen Resort rooms and meals being in a different league to Onong).

We stayed one night at Onong and then moved over to the Siladen, negotiated a very reasonable price (not much more than what we paid at Onong) and had a great remaining holiday ..... the two resorts are chalk and cheese in every respect.

My feeling with the Onong (and probably Mapia as well) is that the resorts are tied, run down and therefore not priced accordingly. Regrettably for CelebeDivers they're now moving into a Global recession and people should not put up with paying for a resort that's probably only marginally better than the cheap and practical Bunaken Island dive resorts. They appear to have spent a lot on two new superior rooms (that have fallen into the sea but now upright waiting for the next major high tied to knock them down) when I'd have thought changing their strategy, lowing their prices and concentrating on marketing the awesome house reef right in front ......

If above doesn't put you off, ensure the seaview room's haven't again succumbed to mother nature AND have a plan in place if they have upon getting there.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank NZersbackHome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2008

I just spent a lovely week in paradise. Onong Resort is made up of just 6 bungalows, of which 4 are large, spacious and newly-finished beach villas, just a few feet from the sea. They are fitted with air-conditioning but we never felt the need to use it. The island is lovely, right in the midst of Bunaken Marine National Park, and contains, beside the Onong Resort, a colourful local village, full of small, neat, flower-filled houses, and, at the opposite end, the more expensive Siladen Resort & Spa. I went to see it, but it has a smelly, weedy beach, and is extremely far from the coral reef, whereas the Onong Resort is an incredibly beautiful spot for snorkeling and even diving straight from the beach. The resort belongs to Celebes Divers, who also own the more "worldly" Mapia Resort, on Manado. The food was just fantastic; there was always choice between pasta and Indonesian cuisine, just delicious. The diving is extremely well-organized for such a small outfit. You are taken to out-of-the-way spots, none of those "get your elbows out of my ears" Sharm -type dives, large boats, very professional instructors, and unforgettable sights.

We really enjoyed this holiday. It was organized for us through the Italian TO specialized in diving holidays, Nosy Tours, flight Milan-Singapore and Singapore-Manado, all with Singapore Air. Worth the long trip; I definitedly recommend it!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank LucyJeannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CelebesdiversResort, Manager at Onong Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago
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