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“Wonderful visit to Yap”

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Manta Ray Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Colonia
Certificate of Excellence
Maine
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful visit to Yap”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

The setting, food, amenities, and especially the staff made our stay at Manta Ray Bay Resort a real pleasure. Everyone knew our names within hours! We were all divers, so the associated diving operation was perfect. The diving was well conducted and very enjoyable and safe. Great rooms, beautiful views. We were there during a typhoon which made things difficult for a couple of days, but the staff handled everything very well. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Portsider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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308 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
California
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Stayed here for four days while diving with Yap Divers (next door). Small hotel (35 rooms?) with genuinely friendly staff and nice if simple rooms, the old sailboat that serves as the restaurant and bar gives it a lot of style. Overall one of the most relaxing places I have stayed at in my entire life.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank appenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level 6 Contributor
740 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This is mainly a diving hotel. Everything is organized for divers with a wide choice of possible dives to do. Main attaction are the Manta rays that you can easily see ona cleaning station but there are many great dives in yap: sharks, caverns and small stuff. Service is good but can be improved.
Overall i really liked the attitude of the staff.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Francesco P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salernes, France
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

I would recommend this diving resort unconditionally. The people are friendly, the bedrooms fantastic, huge and beautifully furnished. The restaurant is on a wooden schooner. All guests are called by their first names and all staff know you in a few hours. The diving is fantastic. I saw mantas , dived with big reef sharks , really closely! Also did a dusk dive to film thee famous Mandarin fish on the reef. I was there foe New Year. We had a lively party on the boat with a massive screen to show our dives and to celebrate New year . Yap Island is one of the first places in the world to welcome the New Year in. The islanders live a traditional island life, fantastic costumes with massive round stone as money outside their houses. Go there once in your life!

Room Tip: Choose a double room with balcony looking out on the right side of the boat.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lesleykrohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2013

Great property and great staff! The rooms are really nice and all have great views! Room rates and the restaurant prices are good too! Dive staff was outstanding and made the diving easy and memorable! The staff also makes the airport transfers very easy. Yap and the Manta Ray Bay Resort is worth the travel!

Room Tip: All Rooms are good, you can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank DannyWink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NOVA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

Bil Acker’s resort is great. It deserves more focus than to be ‘just” an extension to a Palau trip. After doing just that a few years ago, I and a dive pal decided to give Manta Ray Bay its own billing with an 8-day supersize visit. This turned out to be a good decision.

In full disclosure, as a photog I’m after interesting behaviors and sensibilities. I don’t need a single destination to offer everything, and prefer not racing from one spot on the reef to the next. I’d sooner tarry at a few sites and get to better know them and their denizens…such different treasures emerge each time, especially at different times of the day and lighting, different depths,, etc. This trip I was trying out my new ‘flo’ dive kit, so …repeated visits to a few great spots, and the calm, crittery ‘slow and easy’ dive site, were just the ticket for my purposes.

Happily, I ran of time long before I ran of critters, places and angles to explore at the handful of dive sites that I visited.

What I liked best:

- mantas, mantas, mantas. Hearing recently of the shallower “stammisch” cleaning station was what got me off my duff to make the trek, and these magnificent creatures did not disappoint. You may be tempted to complain about the limited visibility, but remember the mantas are also feeding. Keep still and they’ll come close enough that you’ll soon forget about not seeing 30 ft away. We visited every day and had them all but two dives, exhilarating. We had dives going more than an hour and a half … the guides treat you as adults and no one chases you out of the water when the action is good.

sharks – lovely cluster of grey, white and black tip sharks trolling along the gin clear walls at “vertigo.” During my visit to Palau, the sharks had stayed out too far for photography…just so many divers with folk swimming out into the blue. Here, with just 4 or 5 of us, sharks are less shy and close up photo ops were aplenty.
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Although Mantas and sharks get top billing, both these locations also offer good critter and behavior spotting. Stammisch is actually a healthy coral reef with good reef fish behaviors to watch in between the manta visits. At Vertigo, I could not go more than 2 feet without finding another cleaning station.
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Southern outer reefs. Adjust expectations about density and schooling fish here (this area gets commercially fished); you may well see these (as we did with barracuda and parrotfish) - but its hit and miss. So focus on whats before you… magnificent stands of healthy coral. The caverns is an intriguing maze of swim-throughs and plenty of macro life if you can tear yourself away from a wide angle mentality the location seems to beg.
- Canyons extending off the outer reefs seem little touched by human presence...our forays into these areas turned up unexplored but rich populations of cryptic juveniles of every sort – fire gobies, rock mover wrasse, crabs, nudies, etc. etc. Here, bring your macro, get close to the deck and watch the rocks come alive.
- Bill hosted an outer reef day trip on the larger boat which was a special treat

I found the dive operation here to be more flexible and accommodating than most that I’ve experienced; Dive manager Jon is a good egg and most keen that guests are happy with their experience. Comfortable, shaded boats (max six divers) offer very easy entry and boarding, and the staff was ready to work in any reasonable special requests for dive times, subjects and locations. They also took special care for new divers. As most seemed to have enough after their second tank I had the luxury of deciding whether to dive again upon the mood at the time, and often had the afternoon and/or evening boat and guide all to myself.; I was treated like an adult and never rushed out of the water. Lovely.

Resort, food and rooms: The MNUW, a quirky old schooner lashed to the resort, actually turns out with its several decks to be an ingenious venue for feeding and entertaining multiple groups. Sitting out over the water catches the sea breezes that made it a pleasure sitting outside for dining or taking in a movie on the big screen rigged on the bow.

The restaurant staff to a person was warm and wonderful ; we felt at home from day one. If there is something you want but don’t see it on the menu, ask and at minimum, you will get an honest attempt to accommodate. The fish served here was pristinely fresh. Anyone complaining here of not enough fruits and vegetables, simply hasn’t asked! At our request to try a Yapese meal , for a very reasonable price we were feted with an amazing banquet of Yapese dishes made just for us, whose centerpiece was a colossal fresh mangrove crab; Yum!

I would agree with other reviewers that, while all the rooms are clean and spacious, the ocean view rooms are especially nice and worth the upgrade. We enjoyed being treated to a complimentary upgrade for being repeat visitors, but even so the relatively small difference in price would have been worth it.

My days flew by. Several cultural, hiking and other tours are on offer here; for me, outside the diving I managed to squeeze in some kayaking in the mangroves, a lovely and serene interlude. Other activities must await a future visit.

I should mention that as we arrived in country, we received warnings about mesquito borne infections new to Yap were making the rounds. We assumed upon arrival to the resort that we would be lathering on insect repellent. Happily that was not the case. We enjoyed continual sea breezes that kept us mosquito free. I didn’t receive a single bite in 10 days. While a tour inland or to other islands would certainly merit more precautions, it was simply not necessary at the resort.

Finally worth to note, this is a comfortable place for female solo travelers. I did so on my initial visit, and during this stay crossed paths with several female visitors doing likewise. Ladies, if you want to dive, see mantas and sharks up close and do a bit of critter hunting… but don’t have a built-in dive buddy, come to Yap and enjoy.

Room Tip: facing the ocean for the breeze and view. Spa looked lovely but as I didn't have time to try it...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gloNova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2013

The staff of this resort go out of their way to make you happy. In a couple of days they all have learned your name. The food is good but not much variety, but they do the best they can considering that the supplies coming to the island are far and few between. There is no tv but you can rent dvds at the front desk or a little shop 2 minutes walk. Our room was clean all the time but was showing a bit of wear. If you do not dive no much else to do. The pool is nice but no shade. The dive shop staff, manager Jan Sledsen is a gem! I had a problem on one dive that required a few visits to the hospital. Jan made sure I was taken care of he accompanied me all three times, I can't thank him enough. Our dive boat staff ( Mike and Matt ) were knowledgeable about the dive sites and gave us history of the native people and their island. All around great guys.

Room Tip: Ground floor as no elevators
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank onekoolwave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Manta Ray Bay Resort

Property: Manta Ray Bay Resort
Address: Colonia, Yap 96943-0850, Federated States of Micronesia
Region: Federated States of Micronesia > Yap > Colonia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Colonia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manta Ray Bay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
Manta Ray Bay Colonia
Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap/Colonia

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