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“Lack of respect for the reef and National Park”
Review of La Rascasse

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La Rascasse
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Lack of respect for the reef and National Park”
Reviewed 21 August 2014

Myself and a friend stayed at La Rascasse for three nights and two days of diving. Both me and my friend have done a fair bit of travelling and diving around Indonesia and South East Asia so have reference to compare the place to.

On the first day we were asked if we wanted to do wall or muck diving, we said wall. On the first day we were taken to dive a wreck, which was ok and then a site that appeared to be where all of Manado's plastic waste ends up. The reef was degraded and mainly rubble with nothing to see. I felt bad for our dive guide as he was trying hard to find stuff that was mildly interesting to point out but to little avail. I am not sure why La Rascasse think this is an acceptable place to take paying customers. We decided not to even bother doing a third dive that day as the previous dive had been so poor. Neither of the sites we were taken to were walls as we requested so not sure why they bothered to ask what we wanted to do in the first place...

The main thing that spoiled my visit was the other guests, they were returning guests who were very overbearing in what the group was to do... For example which dive sites we visited, what time the boat was to leave, they also did ridiculously long, deep dives, mounting up deco and coming back with empty cylinders, this meant that all the other divers on the boat had to wait for them and also had to do long surface intervals, only being able to get back in the water on their say so.

My main issue however was the complete lack of respect for the reef shown by guests... People wearing gloves and touching EVERYTHING! On several occasions I saw divers grabbing onto corals and sponges literally breaking them in half, lying across branching corals in order to take photos, mimicking a sex act on a sea cucumber causing it to extrude it's insides and one guest even attempted to "ride" a turtle. La rascasse really need to enforce responsible diving and respect for marine life! Plus remind their guests that it is actually prohibited to wear gloves within a national park.

The food was pretty average, but there was plenty of it. On the first day when asked what we wanted to eat we were very clear that we did not eat fish. Despite this everyday we were brought fish which we did not eat. The chef then seemed offended and actually asked us of we did not like his food. This was embarrassing and really we should not have been put in such an awkward position in the first place.

Our dive guide was good and clearly wanted us to have an enjoyable experience, after the first day he could clearly sense that we were not happy with the other divers and managed to sort out for us to be on another boat.

Our second days diving was a much more enjoyable experience, we dived the walls of Bunaken Island which were phenomenal! Beautiful coral and sponges, 26 turtles (some the same size as me!), sharks and eagle rays.

When it came to paying we wanted to pay by credit card, an hour before we were due to leave we were told we had to travel half away across town (half an hour in traffic) to pay in some random shop by card. Really it would have been easier to pay by cash if they had told us in advance that paying by card was such a hassle.

One of the few positives about this place is that it is extremely cheap.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Rachael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
85 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We stayed at the hotel for 5N and we did 3 full day of diving (3 dives+1 night dive every day).

In comparison to the resorts directly in Bunaken island, this resort has a very good value for money.
In our package they provide breakfast, lunch box on the boat and dinner, dive equipments, boat to bunaken, and dive guides.
The lunch and dinner are normally quite good.

Every day we take 45-50 minutes to go to Bunaken. The night dive was either mud dive or on the house reef nearby, which was also very interesting (lion fish, scorpion fish, cuttle fish, octopus, puffer fish, box fish, sea slugs, anemon crabs, etc)

It is also possible to make a day trip to Lembeh (2 hours with their shuttle) for 3 mud dives. This would be our alternative if diving was not possible in Bunaken because of bad weather.

In the last day we made a day trip to Minahasa to see a crater, small waterfall, love hill. The car and driver were also arranged by the hotel.

The staff were very friendly and helpful.

We met several guests that came back for the second, third time, or even more.

In total it was a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank martinmetal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

I came to this place this december for dive..and i almost remember all the staff names...they were so friendly and helpfull.

Location just right not so far from downtown, you can take public transport or rent a car from hotel (extra charges but not too expensive) or you can just 5 minutes walk to City Extra Seafood Resto (quiet famous in Manado),

No question for Dive guide and boat guy about services..really good..

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank randywid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow
2 reviews
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Advantages:
Cheap diving (25$ per 1 dive),boat goes to bunaken (since 4 persons per boat),good dive sites in Manado (the futhest from town),but it's obligatory do 3 diving per day, and money doesn't return if you miss. There is old and slow boat (gasolin poures)
There is sea view good room, but 2 rooms in 1 house (room after repairing,own patio,air conditioning,fridge,but TV doesn't work and there isn't 1 light)
There is excellent dinner, but lunch is asian and quite light

Disadvantages:
You shouldn't pay ahead, because indonesian owner don't respect his guests and did very noisy night party until 0-00 before our departure
Owner put cheap offer on the Agoda, but it wasn't true

Room Tip: not shared house (noisy neibo
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pokupkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

Just like I said, when you plan your dive trip to Manado and choose La Rascasse, you have nothing to worry about. The airport pickup is provided, and they even take you around Manado for any last minute shopping if you need it. along the way, the knowledgeable driver answers every question we ask about Manado and gives suggestions on where to eat specific local cuisines or where to buy souvenirs...(Indonesians loooove to bring souvenirs back home).
Upon arrival almost the whole crew of the hotel greet us and introduce themselves. The dive crew immediately ask for our dive gears to be prepared for our check dive that day. In less than two hours, we are already on our way. The next three days of diving are amazing. The dive crew really cater to our needs and wishes in terms of dive spots. If we want muck dive, they take us there. If we want wall dive, they show us. They are all helpful and experienced. You will feel safe going under with them.
The food in the hotel restaurant is superb.... just a bit of warning...if you are sensitive to hot/spicy food, please tell the restaurant crew. Manado food is extremely hot. All food are freshly cooked using the freshest ingredients. Tea, coffee and water are available anytime (cost included in the room).
The only thing I didn't put "excellent" in my review is because the time I spend at this resort is too short... I still want to be there... :-)

Room Tip: Try to get a room with the porch facing the bay. The sunset view is wonderful
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ampung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I'm on to my last night of my 7D6N stay with La Rascasse (lag rahs cahs) and I am feeling very contented.

When I arrived at Manado airport on the 19th, I was a little worried and pensive as the driver was just a tad too late. Almost all the passengers have come and gone, and I'm still waiting outside the arrival area, a lone traveller, and looking very lost. Many kind souls came to offer help, and asked about which company was here to pick me up. I was mumbling "Lah Rahs Cahs Seh"? And they said there was no La Racasse driver around! In the end one of the drivers from another dive center called the driver who was supposed to pick me up, and he appeared shortly after, and apologizing profusely for his tardiness.

So I started off feeling wary.

When we arrived at the dive center I was told that we were waiting for the boat to come back, so that it can take me out for my checkout dive. Two hours passed, the view was very nice from the dining area (thankfully), but there was no boat! There's free wifi connection in the common area, so I killed some time reading reviews about the dive sites and the area around us.

No boat ever came. But then the experience just went uphill from this point onwards!

Jeffrey the manager came by to say hi, and he said if the boat doesn't come back soon, I can opt to do the checkout dive in the house reef. We waited for another half an hour, and decided to proceed with the shore dive.

It was a-maz-ing. There is trash everywhere, yes, but the life, wow! Just after we went into the water a cute lil' file fish was skirting around me. Then came the lion fishes. La Rascasse means lion fish, I think, in French, and this place sure is aptly named. We floated around for over 75 min in shallow water and I was loving every minute of it.

During dinner guests are seated according to their bookings. If you're a lone diver, you sit alone, unless you approach other guests to ask whether you can join in. The food is awesome, and the service staff do pay attention to detail. I hardly ever eat fish, so I left my fish dish untouched, and once they confirmed that I don't take sea food they served either beef or chicken for the rest of the meals!

They're quite generous with dive guides, and usually I get 1 to 2 guides myself. At one time it was three divers to one guide, but that was the maximum. And they do take good care of the divers. If one diver consumes air more quickly than the others, they assign a personal guide to that person so that the rest of the group can continue with another guide instead of everyone surfacing at once. There was once I had problems deflating my BC, and had to grab on to the wall so that I can complete my safety stop (we were already in the water for at least 50 min by then). All of a sudden Perez and Andre appeared out of nowhere and steadied me. I was wildly impressed! Admittedly I must have looked very distressed to cause them so much worry!

Since then I had 100% faith that they handle safety very well.

It's not just that. Perez is always on the lookout for superb photo moments. Whether it is of you swimming out from a cave, next to a ginormous turtle the size of a dining table, or at the stern of a wreck, if he thinks you would look good in a picture with that background, he reaches out and offers to take a picture for you. And dear me, I really love the picture of me next to the turtle very much!

During the surface intervals on the boat, the boat crew are extremely helpful too. They'll always anticipate one's needs and ask if you would like some coffee, tea or water before you approach them. If you are struggling with the knob of the tank, they would magically appear and help. The minute you peel off your wetsuit, they offer to hang it up for you. It's almost like they know what you are thinking. And I love their songs and music, those guys can sing!

The sunsets at the resort are beautiful. The staff would actually call you to come out and enjoy the view. The service here is so very personal that it feels like you are staying with friends!

Indeed, when I was daydreaming in the dining area one afternoon waiting for my next dive, the staff served me a plate of fried bananas. It was totally unexpected, and very delicious!

There was also this once, over dinner, when we were talking about the haze situation in Singapore, and that N95 masks were running low on stock. The manager actually drove me out to the city to hunt for masks so that I can bring them back to Singapore. And we had to circle around the city a few times! I was MEGA impressed, and awed that service can be this good!

After ending so many paragraphs with exclamation marks, I have to say I am very impressed by La Rascasse, and I would love to come back again! I do hope they would get the infinity pool done before I come back next time though!

Room Tip: Get the room with a sea view. You can see Bunaken while lying in bed!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jingmei L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2013

Perfect place to start your dive trip at manado bay and bunaken..even to lembeh...
The room is comfy, the staffs are helpful, the food is amazing, the sea view is breathtaking...
The dive center is complete enough for you to take open water or advance license...

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joel_Hilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Rascasse

Property: La Rascasse
Address: Jl Raya Tanawangko Kalasey I Dusun III, Manado 95163, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 19 Speciality Lodging in Manado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
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