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“Wonderful with only one caveat”
Review of Lumbalumba Diving

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Lumbalumba Diving
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2011

For the mot part, the place was amazing. The owners and staff were veery personable, the meals wonderful, the prices for diving competitive, and the feeling most intimate. My only complaint is that they rob you on the non-diving day trips. For example, four of us did a half day trip and and we each got charged as if we'd each been the only one on the trip ( and a pretty hefty price as well ).

Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Traveler777071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
poelboy, Owner at Lumbalumba Diving, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2011

Dear Traveler777071,

Many thanks for your overall positive comment and high ranking you gave us. It always makes us feel good when our guests leave the resort with nothing but good memories.
That is why it hurts to see the remark about your feeling being robbed on the half day tour you made. Since I think this can potentially create wrong impressions for other viewers I like to explain , from our point of view, what this is about.
Currently, (May 2011), our price per person for a full day Minahasa highland tour is 75,- euro and for a half day 60,- euro.
With 4 persons this price goes down to 45,- euro for a full day and to 40,- euro for a half day.
This last price is also what was charged, according to, and published in, our land tour price list. So nobody got charged as if they had been the only one on the trip.... The price was also known on forehand.
For this price, we provide an air conditioned car, English speaking driver and guide, lunch, drinks and one can more or less choose where to go within the time span of about 4 hours.
In this particular case, the tour lasted about 6 hours and that was because eventually, after visiting a local market, the trip turned into a rather memorable "dog rescue operation".
It is true that in comparison to a half day, a full day is cheaper, but that is because cars in Manado can not be rented per half day and also the diver /guide can not do much else that day. Specially not if half day trips last longer then 4 hrs.
So yes, price wise, it would be better to choose a full day trip instead of a half day. In lots of businesses this is common practice;
Single occupation is in proportion always more costly then double and a one way ticket is not half the price of a return ticket....
Also, looking at the land tour prices offered by other similar facilities in the region, we are on the low end and more then competitive. We don't think our prices are out of proportion.
But, still, one can think that the price of 40,- euro is a rip off for the given services and everybody is of course entitled to such an opinion.
However, from my business point of view I cannot answer any different that in that case the choice of taking this tour with us should not have been made.
We don't know our guests budgets and we could have given you cheaper alternatives in your wish to explore the Minahasa highlands. For example, with public transportation.
Any ways, I can't do anything about it any more. Our feelings are still a bit hurt seeing this comment on Trip Advisor, but I hope that my explanation has given some insight in this "..only one caveat" about Lumbalumba Diving.
I like to end with when, we hopefully meet again in the future, we will again charge you at least 40,- euro for a half day highland tour, (organized by us and with 4 participants).
After all we have the full intention not only to "have" Lumbalumba Diving, but also to "keep" Lumbalumba Diving : ) : )

Wish you many good dives and safe travels,

Sincerely,
Roel

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Reviews (129)
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74 - 80 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2011

Spent a week here and could not the more pleased with the accommodations. Roel and Juud are excellent hosts. Good food and great diving. The grounds and bungalows are charming, and the infinity pool is a nice amenity. Manado is not the most attractive city, and it is unfortunate there is not much else fun to do besides dive. Still, if diving is your thing and you just want to relax, then this is your place. I would say the reefs are still quite healthy, esp. given the large population living in close proximity. Not many big fish here, bit an abundance of small things like seahorses and smaller fish species. The nice thing about LumbaLumba is that they have both excellent coral diving as well as muck diving nearby. For that reason I would stay here versus Lembe Straits. Also LumbaLumba staff help run the hyperbaric chamber for the island which suggests to me that they care and know a bit about safety.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank nofusscioppino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2011

Flexible, an eye for detail, friendly, good service, clean, good food, considerate, accommodating, nice, in short really a resort you need to consider if you plan to travel to the region. Your trip will be a relaxing and nice one - you don't need to bother with anything and can focus on what you came for.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Been_around073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2010

I have just spent 3 weeks at this resort, and was completely taken a back on the quality of service found in this resort.
It is not what one would call a posh resort, with silk sheets and latests mod-cons, but by not being that it still achieves a high standard of service that leads to relaxation. Why?
Well, simply put, at no point is one confronted with any stress, the communication between staff and management is smooth and calm.

This is important as the service and ambience of this place is created by just that, the managers/owners spend most evenings having dinner with the guests, whilst enjoying Indonesia food that is not extreme in heat and spices, so enjoyable by any person even remotely acquaint with Asian food, whilst enjoying chats about diving and world issues with a beer (don't expect wine as it is very hard to find in that island!).

The rooms are efficient and clean, with a choice of using either fan or air-con, which is good as I prefer the first, but don't expect a TV or sound system as again here you come to get away from it all, but thankfully if you have your laptop and need to keep in touch with work there is access to secured wi-fi.

The owners have the up most respect for their environment, for which the resort camouflages itself within the local natural beauties, whilst having perfectly kept gardens with gorgeous local flowers and orchids, as well as making sure that the waste is processed or recycled in the ways that they find within the local possibilities or built by them, and the same goes with the way the diving is managed, up-most respect for their natural environment.

Then the main issue, the diving: I can only say one thing...Wow!
the area at the back of Manado is known for it's mac diving, but the good thing about this part of Sulawesi, is that you get mac and great coral walls along the islands of Manado Tua ( a dormant volcano) and Bunaken where as the owner puts it, there is so much to see that you don't see the forest for the trees! and still you do see a lot!

The staff tend to lead a maximum of 2 divers per guide, and in my case as I had not dived for a few years due to health issues, they made sure at all times that I was well and that I was safe; besides that they go out of their way to showcase the large and small things to be found in that area, from the smallest nudibranch to giant turtles and sharks.
Due to the nature of the diving sites, there can be strong currents and still they manage to keep one safe, and what is great to know is that the resort has one of it's staff members who is in charge of the decompression chamber in town, for which if one is insured you can make sure you will get the best care possible where this to be needed!

The food on board and the fun provided by staff is excellent, and if you wish to, you can ask the staff to organise an on board BBQ of fresh fish or chicken with the local sate sauce or chilli sauces, yum!!! and on the way back with the boat you may just be surprised by a pod of dolphins or pilot whales to accompany you for a little while!

After 3 weeks of diving, relaxing by the pool, eating well and so now and then taking one of the local tours to see a live volcano, a local market or the nearby wild life forest with black macaques, I can only say that this resort has helped me recharge the batteries to deal with daily life again in London and I certainly recommend it and I will certainly be back!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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7  Thank Dutchacrobat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

We spent a week at Lumba Lumba, and loved it. The resort is absolutely beautifully tropical, the villas are pretty and spacious, and the infinity pool is to die for. We shall never forget the personal care and attention from each and every one of the local staff members (with owners Roel and Juud who completely devised and built Lumba Lumba), nor the excellent meals. Diving in Bunaken was pretty and relaxing, especially for the colorful walls and exciting 'small stuff'. Absolutely recommend this resort, a perfect relaxing divers' getaway.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MerelV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2010

I am just back from my third trip to Lumbalumba diving and during my first day back at work I was already planning in my head when I can go back again!
Once again Roel the Dutch owner picked us up from the airport and we drove away from busy Manado towards the quiet and beautiful dive resort. We settled into our cottage and I sat on the verandah looking out over my favourite view in the whole world...it's the view that I think about on a cold day in the UK!!
The next day we ate delicious breakfast and then it was onto the dive boat to meet up with the experienced and friendly dive guides. If you like big stuff...sharks and turtles, then this is the place for you. If you like small stuff...pygmy seahorse, frogfish, leaf fish, then this is the place for you!!
The dive guides are what make this place. They are friendly, helpful and even though they might have been to this dive site hundreds of times they still get excited with you as the beautiful turtle swims past.
After a day of diving it's time to relax and sample the home cooked food. With a head full of diving and what tomorrow might bring and a stomach full of tasty food it's time for bed. If you don't want to dive every day there is a beautiful pool to swim in and there are plenty of land tours to go on. Personally I like to dive every day as you never know what you might see next!
I only have one bad thing to say about this place...once you have been it is very hard to go back to your normal life and boring job and you may well find yourself needing to go back again and again.....

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank wonderwend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Fed up with mass-market dive resorts? Here is the antidote. This unique small dive resort combines wonderful personal service with a most attractive setting and to top it all, a dive operation providing the highest level of service you are likely to find anywhere. The resident owners, Roel and Juud Dikkers (a Dutch couple) built the resort seven or eight years ago a few miles outside Manado city, and still manage it with care and attention to detail. The setting is like a mini botanical garden with lovely tropical flowers, orchids etc. (Juud's passion for gardening shows). This was my second visit after a gap of 5 years, the resort has expanded a little and now has a lovely infinity pool to complement the seven rooms. The rooms are spacious, all necessary amenities including aircon, ceiling fan, safe, fridge, endless free drinking water, coffee/tea making, hot showers, a balcony (nearly all have full seaview) with hammock, and, (best of all) no TVs to blare and disturb the relaxed feel. The evening meal is taken as a buffet, everyone eats together, and the food is superb, locally inspired dishes, all fresh foods: many main dishes containing barbequed ingredients. I particularly liked the soups conjured up by the two chefs, the fish soup with lemongras and coconut milk was my favourite, also crab and asparagus.... The bar serves beer and soft drinks. The staff are an absolute delight, all incredibly helpful, smiling and friendly, and will know you by name thoughout your stay. As others have said, it is just like visiting a big happy family as an honoured guest. Evenings are quiet, the entertainment revloves around good conversation with your fellow guests. Or a good book.

The diving in Manado is world class, a good mix of small and big stuff. I saw the largest turtle I have ever seen in 20 years of diving (its shell as big as a large dining table) and the hugest barracuda. Plus seahorses, lots of nudibranchs etc. etc. The dive boat goes out daily for two dives. The guides are led by Maxi and Maria, a married couple who are the most senior of the guides and help with the dive centre management. Dive groups are always small, never more than four divers to a guide on my trip. Several times my group consisted of just me and the dive guide (I did not have a regular buddy with me). The boat crew and guides look after your kit from the beginning of your stay to the end, setting up your gear, fetching and carrying, and washing your gear at the end of each day. You have nothing to do when you arrive at the dive boat in the morning except to bring your book to read, your suntan cream, your dive computer and, if you have one, your camera. Water and towels are on the boat plus your lunch. Two dives and then back to the resort, where you can do a night dive if you want on the house reef or a dive at dusk to see resident Mandarin fish on the house reef.

A lovely way to spend a dive holiday, quiet - the diving is the thing, all the essentials in place, no unnecessary expensive extras. And quite superb friendly service. Travelling to Manado is easy from Singapore, direct flights several times a week at convenient times - the dive centre staff will meet you at the airport and take you to the dive centre.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
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6  Thank AndrewS60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lumbalumba Diving

Address: PO Box 1721 | Sulawesi, Manado 95017, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Manado
Price Range: £32 - £43 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Lumbalumba Diving" is an informal, small and comfortable dive resort in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. With no more than 6 luxurious chalets, (9 rooms), we offer a familiar and flexible atmosphere with the personalized attention you are looking for. "Lumbalumba Diving" is a complete dive resort with own accommodation, excellent cuisine, bar, tropical pool, limited spa facilities, dive center, Private jetty and spacious dive catamaran. Located on a 3.5 hectare, mountain slope, in a lush botanical garden and overlooking the famous Bunaken Marine Park, we also have one of the most spectacular views you can find in Manado. "For us, you are not just another tourist. For you we are not just another dive resort" ... more   less 

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