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“Dive operation is super, all the convenience of a stay on a liveaboard”
Review of Truk Stop Hotel

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Truk Stop Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Chuuk
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
283 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
“Dive operation is super, all the convenience of a stay on a liveaboard”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

I am reviewing this as a dive resort, The hotel is fine--it is clean, relatively quiet. It isn't fancy, but hey you're not here for interiors. Truth is, it reminds me of an Eastern European hotel I've stayed in-- you never worried about the cleanliness, because you could see where they'd scrubbed the paint and varnish off everything. I booked two dives a day with my room. Note there is a fake site out there for the hotel, which does not respond and advertises for liveaboards and other dive locations. Be sure and use http://www.dive-truklagoon.com/

The hotel is located just on the south end of town, and as of my visit, the paved road ended about 5-10 minutes before you got to the hotel. Visitors who had been there before all celebrated that at least some of it was now paved. Right now the hotel is about 20 mins from the airport and there are spectacular potholes between the hotel and the paved road. Some of htem seemed like they might contain heretofore undiscovered wrecks. But I digress

The real reason to stay at this hotel is the dive shop. They're great. The equipment is top notch and they can rent everything you need or merely take you out. They're expert guides who know the wrecks and the lagoon well. They read my abilities and tailored my dives to them, at the same time growing my skills. While I was there, most of the time there were only three dive guests, one day there were four and on the weekend it got busy, so they divided the 6 of us onto two boats.Staff is helpful and instructive without ever being judgmental or talking down to you. Some diver instructors in my experience can be too cool for school or gearheads. These guys are mellow and helpful but still keep you safe and well looked after.

Unlike some dive resorts, you prep your equipment and it is brought to the dive boat for you. I recommended this place to a friend with a bad back who only like liveaboards because he desn't have to carry equip. Like the TV commercial--you set it and forget it. The boat staff will help you checkout/adjust what you have, pass you what you need and always make sure you're hydrated. I have been on liveaboards where you traveled longer distances to the dive site than you do from the hotel dock. They even have access to a private island landing so you can use the toilet between dives

The guides I worked with were great at showing me the wrecks, pointing out sea life (One guide even spun me around to see a black tip shark!) and taking you around and through ships. During a particularly memorable dive we came across a green turtle who was "guarding" an opening into a ship. Curious, when we went inside (not the originally planned route) my guide was checked to see that I was comfortable and took me onwards showing me everything planned from a new approach

The wrecks are exceptional. From what they contain--tanks, trucks, planes, bottles, phones, operating tables, everything really--to their condition and their coral covers. Many of the wrecks were like doing a coral wall dive. There are over 40 sites, and you can get in up to 4 dives a day. Some sites are shallow, many are in the 80-130 foot range and a good number even deeper. It is a smart idea to get Nitrox certification while here if you do not already have it. The dive shop will blend Nitrox for your depth each dive.

OK the downsides: The food at the restaurant might be the best on the Island (the Sushi was certainly good) but it will not be why you visit. The best dish I had was the short ribs, the Pizza was bad--Boboli-type crust, sweet sauce too much cheese (I'd been warmed not to order extra cheese and I didn't!). The only food on the Island is what is importted, and things run out. WiFi is erratic (had to ask for a reset at least once a day) and in public areas only.I don't watch TV, but I think it is an extra charge. There is no elevator so you have a one or two flight of stair walk. Water in sink is not potable, but every room has a replenished water dispenser. Oh shower was really large and pleasent

Room Tip: I chose the ocean view, which was nice but not exceptional
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank santjordi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Over the lunar new year I spent five days at the Truk Stop Hotel and completed 10 dives. Overall I had an excellent experience. As other have noted, The sole reason for visiting Chuuk is to dive. If you're not diving, there's nothing much else to do. I made my reservations through the web site. Responses and reservations came quickly. Given the poor condition of the roads in Chuuk, the hotel's location near the airport is also a great benefit. The staff was friendly, treated me very well and were as helpful as possible. My room was basic but clean. The restaurant menu was limited but okay. The bakery produces delicious treats.

That said, the diving was fantastic. Cindy and Rob have years of experience on the dive sites and are expert divers and divemasters. Though many of the dive sites are near the deep side of recreational diving, Cindy tailored my dives to match my experience, which made the diving interesting and fun. In addition to diving the wrecks, there's also an opportunity to dive near a reef with black tipped reef sharks, which I really enjoyed. The limited activities on the island made it easy to develop a rapport with the other divers at the hotel, which also made my visit more enjoyable.

Keep in mind you're in a remote location with limited recourses not only at the hotel but on the island overall. The cost is reasonable considering the remote location and the fact that most things need to be brought to the island from somewhere else.

If you're coming to dive, don't expect a 5 star resort, anticipate having limited access to telephone, cable tv and internet, you'll have a great experience. Regardless of your diving experience level, you'll benefit from and enjoy diving with Cindy, Rob and their team.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

To tell the truth, I would like to assess the hotel and its dive shop separately, because the former is pretty humble, and the latter is superb.

Speaking about hotel, I would point out that:

1. Rooms are rather basic and very tired.
2. Restaurant menu is very poor.
3. The place is apparently overpriced.

Meantime, to dive with hotel's dive centre is a real pleasure. Cindy is an outstanding professional - simply the best. Diving is brilliantly organized, and Cindy's care for particular needs of each of her divers is incredible.

Therefore, I would give 3 to the hotel and 5 to the dive shop. That is why finally I'm giving 4.

Room Tip: Take an ocean view room.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Drunia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

Stayed at Truk Stop for 12 days of diving over Christmas. There are 2 parts to this place...

The dive side is sensational run by Rob and Cindy we dived for 9 days on closed circuit rebreathers. Everything we needed was provided including all gases and Sorb at good pricing. The diving was sensational and they just let is do our own thing but always accompanied is on the dives of we wanted a tour of any of the wrecks the dive staff always carried our gear and helped us anyway they could. Plenty of praise here for the operation.

The hotel is ok the whole place needs some money spent on it. The beds are clean but old and uncomfortable, the rooms general cleanliness was fair but no attention had been paid to them in some time. The restaurant and staff friendliness really let the place down the food was poor to average with little choice. Buffett lunches and dinners meant you had to eat what was provided and could not order anything else. The one saving grace is the on site bakery.

Overall we had a tops time at Truk Stop but would not recommend the hotel to anyone other than divers looking for some of the best wrecks in the world.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Chriso_Diver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

My wife and I spent two weeks at the Truk Stop for some world class wreck diving and were not disappointed. As others have said, you need to put things in perspective, as this is a small remote island in Micronesia. The combination of the restaurant, hotel and scuba operations provide some great Scuba diving on the island all at one location with some small stores nearby. There is also an onsite bakery that operates with the restaurant that sells some very good chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Everyone was friendly at the hotel and around town. The AC, TV and hot water worked and we always had power. We did experience spotty and slow internet connectivity but we were able to connect daily.

We also took an evening trip to visit the Blue Lagoon resort for dinner. If you want to dive 3+ times a day you might want to consider one of the two scuba liveaboards that operate in Chuuk. Suggestions: Get Nitrox certified before you arrive. This diving is for experienced divers due to dive depths of 60 - 135ft. and penetration diving. Visibility was usually 40 - 75ft.
The Truk Stop (Cindy H) was quick to respond to questions and have a great website with additional details.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bob1cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, FL
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

On Chuuk, you have basically two options: Truk Stop or Blue Lagoon. Unable to get a room at the Blue Lagoon, we stayed at Truk Stop and are glad we did. Rooms are simple, but clean and pleasant. You can't drink the water in the rooms, but rooms have a mini fridge and the market is about a block walk away. Restaurant service is pleasant but island time. Some of the best tuna sashimi was had at the Truk Stop. We did go out to dinner at the Blue Lagoon, and while it was pleasant and good food, it was a bright room full of easily 100+ divers. We prefer the small quaintness of Truk Stop.

Ask for an ocean front room. Our room was 301, overlooking the top of another building, and on the street side of the hotel. Dogs bark in the middle of the night and there is a little street traffic noise although we were so tired from diving, we barely noticed it.

Take the island tour through the hotel! It was given by Harry, the "bell man" at the hotel and worth every penny! ($25pp). Harry drives you around the island past bunkers on the side of the road to the top of the Japanese lighthouse, to the Jesuit school on the island to "the cave" which is a pass through the Japanese used to use while occupying the island complete with a Japanese cannon. Harry was born on Chuuk but went to high school and college in Oregon. He's been back 20 years, speaks perfect English and is a wealth of knowledge. He showed us things on the island we would have never seen without him!

It is tradition for the local women to keep their thighs covered. They do not wear shorts, and wear skirts past their knees. This was not told to us before we went and even though Harry did say that it is changing as more and more families spend time in the US and other places that don't honor that tradition, a woman would be well served to have longer Bermuda shorts, a skirt or maxi dress with you unless you want to endure the stares of the primarily unemployed male population.

We were told prior to going that Chuuk is not safe. At the hotel, we felt entirely safe and on the tour, with a local tour guide, we also felt safe. Out on our own in the middle of the day, we did have the feeling that had more people not been around or had it been darker, we probably would have been harassed. Like I said above, most of the males don't work and stand around loitering appearing to be looking for trouble.

We dove at the dive shop on premise. It was straightforward diving off of a small diving boat. The dive master was from Utah but made it clear he was leaving in December and excited to leave. The other dive guides were not terribly informative, nor did they speak very good English except Corky, the owners daughter, who seemed to know what was going on. The dive sites were phenomenal and the visibility was fairly good.

If our travels ever bring us back to Chuuk, we would definitely stay at the Truk Stop again.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean front room. Our room was 301, overlooking the top of another building, and on the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mlsearles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Ocean facing shared double room was large, with two full size beds, price is fine for a double (approx $100 per night, but for a single its a bit expensive).
It was clean, aircon worked well, and the shower water was nice and hot and pressure was good. However, on the last night I did see two adult cockroaches scurry under the dresser.

TV requires a digital decoder card which they say is $2 per day extra but I wasn't charged for that. In one room it worked fine but in the other half the channels didn't come in.

The restaurant downstairs had pleasant meals (at time of visit shortage of fish during visit due to rough seas, and no vegetables due to ship delay). They have two bars on site: Mangroove is outside on deck, mainly open for sundowners, and does some decent cocktails if they have the ingredients for them in stock. Hard Wreck is right next to the hotel open mainly weekends with pool tables and karaoke bar behind that. You are able to charge to your room at all of these.

They are able to organise car rentals ($65 per day), and of course the dive centre is right there too. I had the best dive of my life with them thanks to one of their dive guides Jason pointing out nudibranch, pipe fish, and turtles I never would have spotted on my own.

Due to their being full I stayed one night in an apartment that is normally used by one of their dive instructors and that was very basic but also much cheaper and fine for a short stay.

Room Tip: 206 and 207 seemed like very good rooms facing the ocean.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Raroliving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Truk Stop Hotel

Property: Truk Stop Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 546 | Weno, Chuuk 96942, Federated States of Micronesia
Region: Federated States of Micronesia > Chuuk
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Chuuk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All our rooms are tastefully decorated with air conditioning, ceiling fans, en-suite bathroom, private balcony, telephone, TV & DVD player, refrigerator, hair dryer, hot water kettle & fresh drinking water. Safety deposit boxes are available, free of charge at the front desk. Our kayaks are free for hotel guests, you can even take a dive off our private dock. Besides conference facilities, the VIP dining room, and restaurant, we have 2 bars (one indoor and one outdoor). Get a jet lag special massage for half the price! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Truk Stop Hotel Chuuk, South Pacific

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