Sure we loved the white sand, the turquoise water, the tropical breeze but there are a few extras that made Coral Eye stood out in our view.
Mainly it is the unique balance between being a resort AND a marine research outpost which one does not come across everyday. We found it refreshingly interesting to be able to hangout with both established and budding marine biologists who obviously have passion for marine environment/life. Each day there are plenty of opportunities over meals or while lounging around to discuss anything and everything marine related in an informed way (freediving, nudibranches, coral bleeching and filimng dugongs to name a few). It made us rediscover the joys of learning! It was also quite interesting to see how Marco and Clara turned their passion and thoughts into initiatives and hardwork then finally a beautiful and functional reality.
Architecturally, Coral Eye is also a unique and interesting. When we sit under its vast roof, right in the centre table looking out to the sea, we can’t help but to admire the elegant yet functional design behind it. Again it feels more than a resort – it has a collegial and social charm about it. It's a very good example as a result of modern design combined with local craftsmanship.
The private Jetty is also a very nice place to lounge by the day and star gazing by night. As parts of it are being lit at night, lots of fish (including small groups of trumpet fish) are attracted to the area and you can see them from the jetty. Coral Eye also has a nice long beach with white sand and no single other person in view for most of the day. This is also something you can’t get in Bunaken.
The Bangka’s underwater scene from snorkellers’ perspective is also great - lots of interesting critters (lion fish, box fish, puffer fish, lobster etc.) from the limited locations we visited, Bunaken’s underwater landscape is more dramatic with its vertical walls but Bangka (off Gangga and mostly from the jetty) seems to have more variety of hard and soft corals. To snorkeller, I find Bangka is just as interesting in search for critters.
Some personal tips:
Wet season is between Nov –March so try to avoid late Jan/Feb if possible
It takes about the same time to go to Bangka as Bunaken (less than 2 hours from airport door to door)
Room 2 is 1.5 times larger than room 3 (both double rooms). But room 3 is breezier
Jetty is great for night dive/snorkel as you don't even need a boat. It seems different type of fish come out at night.
Bonnie the house dog and her friend love to take walks with guests. Be sure to give them a yell when you want to take a stroll!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Coral Eye is a dive resort and an outpost for marine biology divulgation, located on west side of Bangka Island, North Sulawesi. The Center is open to researchers, students and professionals, which can use our facilities for their research project focused on coral reefs; but it is open also to divers and all travelers moved by a passion for the sea. Coral Eye overlooks on long white sandy beach, divided in two by a volcanic cape. The home reef is not deep and slopes to a sandy bottom. Bangka Island offers a great variety of dive spots, from volcanic pinnacles to muck dives and wonderful walls of North Sulawesi. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Coral Eye reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.