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“Home-styled managed resort = awesomeness”
Review of Murex Dive Resort

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Murex Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 April 2013

This would be a purely dive vacation and will be staying at the two Murex resorts - one on mainland Manado, the other on Bangka Island (which I will be writing a separate review).

Arrived on a full flight from Singapore and was greeted by the Murex staff with a great big smile! Important to note, you need to inform the Murex staff which resort you will be staying as there was a small glitch and they send us straight to Bangka Island. It's an hour by car to both resorts from the airport but from Bangka Island to the mainland resort, it's a 2 hour ride! So information is critical. Though we took a total of 3 hours ride to our destination, it was a scenic but bumpy journey. Best if all, we stopped to taste the local dishes and it was an awesome experience. So the long ride was a blessing in disguise!

We were greeted by the owners themselves upon our arrival and they profusely apologize for the miscommunication but it was not really a bother cos we had a good driver and a scenic route. Though we miss a half day of diving, it was made up by the warmth of the Battuna family. We just loved family run resorts or hotels cos everything is just so personal and warm. Dinner was home styled cooking and exceptionally delicious. Don't expect a full spread of buffet type dishes. What was served was simple but awesome!

Evenings at Murex is a quiet affair and if you want to get away from the stress of city life, this is the place. No phones or TVs in your room. However for connectivity, they provide free wifi in the reception / dining area and really, if you need to watch TV, just head to the second level and a TV and library awaits you. Look up at the stars or just sit and hear the crashing of the waves is simply the art of doing nothing in the evenings.

Our room was simple yet adequate for our needs. Aircon or fan options. Large and spacious bathrooms too! Though the resort is situated just off the main road, one cannot hear any vehicles movement. The only sounds in the nights are waves crashing and the night critters. Lovely!

We did three dives a day and best of all, the dive boats were not crowded. Our local guide was great tho his dive briefings needs to be polish. It is a three quarter day out at sea with tiffin carrier lunch boxes (I love it and there is enough food for all) plus soft drinks and fruits. We dive mainly at the Bunaken area - from small critters to large preys and even a pod of dolphins on the way back to the resort! If you are not too tired after 3 dives, a 4th is welcoming at the house reef depending on wind and tide conditions or you could simply chill out at the swim pool, which to me, is the best dive training pool I have ever come across. Well design in terms of depth changes! There was an Instructor Training Course being conducted while we were there. So if you are not a diver and want to be one, best place to learn!

Overall, we had an awesome stay at Murex - for the diving but most of all for the personal warmth of the family styled run resort - beats the chain resorts!!! Oh, we spent half a day in Manado town - just don't head there during the peak hours as traffic is a nightmare! Nothing much in town too. Better off doing a dive! One more things, they have two wonderful and obedient dogs - a Great Dane and a Mongrel. If you love dogs, you will fall in love with Donner and Twinkle. Happy divecation!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Maxmaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 - 65 of 124 reviews

Reviewed 14 February 2013

My 19 yr. old daughter and I stayed at Murex Manado for 6 nights in February, 2013. For 5 nights we were the only occupants, but the quiet was welcomed, and the staff were available when needed, but not intrusive. Our room was next to the large lovely fresh water pool. There is no sandy beach, but nice ocean swimming is available off the front of the property. We took a day to ride the bus into town and a day to go on the National Park bird/monkey watch walk. Traffic around Manado and the airport is incredibly choked, bumper to bumper at all times, so it's nice that the resort is about 400 metres off the main highway.
The food is standard fish, rice, vegetables, beef, chicken, many good fruits, cereal, pancakes, eggs, toast, etc. No need to go hungry.
Rooms pleasant, and I love the outdoor shower facility. Staff extremely helpful. Diving is good south Pacific coral diving. Visibility gets better a little later in the year. Staff is wonderful, and the welcome in palpable.
We then spent 4 nights on Bangka Island--quite a ways from anywhere, again in a very uncrowded setting. Diving sites were around the island, and a village walk through the jungle and along the beach was a highlight.
On Bangka, the bungalows were right on the water, white sand beach, and great snorkeling right out the front door. Pretty romantic place. Again, loved the private outdoor shower.
Of course, visiting later in the year when diving visibility improves also brings more customers at the resort. Trade-offs everywhere!
Overall Murex is not a theme-park type family resort, without a large abundance of activities, but for one looking for quiet, diving, snorkeling, local surroundings, and some activities described above, it is a fabulous place.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank johnnytropics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2013

Located close to Bangka Island, this is a great location to base yourself for scuba diving or snorkelling around north Sulawesi. The surrounding gardens are peaceful and quiet, yet the resort is only a short drive from the main business centre of Manado.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Meandering_HeatherM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2012

Stayed 8 days in November 2012
Murex Manado is situated in the midst of a green garden at the black stoney beach (not first choice for kids) in the west suburbs of Manado (Kalasey), around one hour drive from the Manado International airport.
The staff is very friendly and the rates (40 EUR – accomodation and full board, 10% discount if you stay longer than 10 days – for instance in combination with the Murex Bangka Resort - see my review, very good: kids under the age of 11 are free of charge!!!!) are a very very good price for the standard you get there.
The resort aims for divers but is good for others too: there are several excursions you can do (highlands, volcanoes, rainforest reserve - quite expensive), you can use the clean and big swimming pool any time you want, you can go to the city (cinema, shopping at the big malls, markets, temples, lot of different food and fruit to try if you wanna variation instead of what the hotel offers) or just sunbath! Generally spoken: Sulawesi is an area with extreme natural plentifulness - anyway worth a trip!
To go to the city you can use taxis or the cheap and fast public transport (blue minibusses - if you don’t speak Indonesian – be well informed about routes!) to breathe the local flair.
There are European electrical outlets. Power is sometimes not stable - I never experienced so many black outs like here. There is free WiFi at least in the lobby/restaurant, sometimes even in the rooms.
The house reef is perfect for snorkelers and divers. For diving you go one hour by boat to Bunaken NP (mostly 2 dives – walls!!!, the third dive often is at the mainland coast – very very good too!)
To combine the stay here with a stay at Murex Bangka is a good idea!
I recommend paying cash because they charge additional 3% for paying via credit card (no information about before on homepage or when booking)

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank StefanDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2012

My 14 year old son learned to dive last year. I was in Southeast Asia on business and decided to learn also. I had NEVER scuba dove before - I was a complete beginner. I'm a good swimmer and comfortable in the water but tanks and flippers and wet suits were new to me. Within three days I learned how to dive and had the time of my life. The Batuna family runs a great little dive resort. Paul was my teacher and dive master. We started the first day in the pool with me getting comfortable underwater and learning some fundamental safety procedures. By the way, safety was always #1 at Murex. My second day I did a couple of dives just right off the coast there at Murex. My third day I made three dives at Bunaken, which is about a 30 minute jaunt by boat. The diving at Bunaken is FANTASTIC! I'm a rookie but I know good diving when I see it. The water is clear, the aquatic life was fantastic and Murex does a first rate job making it a pleasureable experience.

Now, make no mistake, Murex is a dive resort. If you are a snorkeller, Murex is also good. But Murex is not a beach resort, nor is it a destination hotel with comfortable amenities. The sleeping room is comfortable but by no means fancy. No TV, no telephone, and internet access is sketchy. Food is great and there's a homestyle buffet for all three meals. The food is good but mostly Indonesian style, so be advised. Manado is a short taxi ride away, but I was tired at night from diving and never went into town. So, if you are diving or snorkelling, I think you will find Murex to be a great value and enjoyable. If you are looking for a beach or a very comfortable hotel room, you should look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Sam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2012

We stayed for a week in July 2012. In general the hotel is good for the price, the staff is friendly and you have all their attention in every moment, and the diving is superb, with Bunaken only one hour boat trip; the prices of diving packages are very, very cheap, this is the best of all in this resort. But the general status of the hotel needs a complete reformation, starting with our room 6B, with night creatures screaming in the inner roof (i didn't discover if they were bats, cats, or rats, the case is that the night noises were extremely strange). Nevertheless, the hotel in general worths the price, you have better resorts in the area but a higher rates. We will probably come back, some year.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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2  Thank yazzalmagro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2012

This is a good place to stay for muck diving. ( 65 euro for 3 dives) You have about 10-20 minutes to the divesites. The pool is clean, big and the pool area nice with sun-chairs. The food is included in the room rate, and there is no other restaurants close by. Ok food, and staff. The owner speaks very well English. The rooms are big, clean and nice. Everything is well maintained. Some things are well worn, and should be replaced. (both in the resort and the dive equipment). It is easily seen that Murex is well established, and it makes us confident that things will be in order. We recommend you to be sure to agree on rates for diving in advance. We were the only divers, and they tried to charge us for being few divers on the boat (40 euro extra per day).
Everything taken into account, we warmly recommend this place for everyone who are seriously interested in world class diving at its best!
Consider combining this place with Murex resort on Bangka Island (see review) and at least 4 days on Bunaken.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ulf Wike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Murex Dive Resort

Address: Jalan Raya Trans Sulawesi | Desa Kalasey I, Manado 95361, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Manado
Price Range: £38 - £82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Murex Dive Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Murex’s casual yet classic vibe makes it your home away from home in North Sulawesi. Choose to dive, explore or just take it easy and relax with friends and family – whatever you decide, exceptional service is guaranteed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Murex Dive Hotel Manado

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