Knowing that Simon and Sophie were just starting up their resort, we decided to gamble on staying here and were glad that we did. We loved the location; the diving at Bangka was incredible and some of the dive sites there were only 15 minutes away, including the dugong which we were lucky enough to see. It was also a reasonable day's trip to go to Lembeh and the Bunaken and the variety when diving all three sites was really great. We felt safe with divemaster Dolphi who pointed out all kinds of things which we never would have seen on my own. There are hammocks to relax in at the end of the day. The resort is set in a mangrove area, which means wading to the dive boat and no beach at mid-high tide. However, a coarsely sandy beach is located a 5 minute walk away. The water here is relatively free of trash which is a nice bonus for Indonesia.
The food here was also a highlight: it was fantastic and varied and we loved that, on days that we were away in Lembeh or Bunaken, we were able to get off the dive boat and have lunch at another partner resort.
The cottages are all newly built and beautiful and kept quite clean. As another reviewer said, they are a bit sparse which is not a problem, but I feel like the flow of the cottage we stayed in might be improved with a furniture rearrangement (one of my pet peeves is the lack of two bedside tables; I ended up keeping my book and headlamp in bed next to me so as not to have to reach over my sleeping husband after I was done reading at night). Some additional hooks might come in handy as well. We had trouble finding places to hang our towels and wet items given that it was often raining outside.
A few small things did strike us that we felt could be improved which I'm sure will be addressed as the resort grows: we found the lack of hot showers quite bothersome. When we were at Nomad in July, there was an unusually rainy, cloudy, and chilly spell in progress (to the point where I asked for an extra blanket after the first night). After diving, especially after our evening mandarin dive (success, by the way!), we were chilly and really wanted a warm shower and found it hard to shower in cold water.
We're relatively new divers, so don't have our own equipment. It was great that all the equipment at Nomad was new, but it was the only place where we've been diving where a dive computer wasn't included in the equipment rental. It would have been nice to have the option of long wetsuits, especially in the colder months.
Sophie and Simon were gracious hosts--Sophie even let me borrow her booties and fins after I got a blister from the rental finds--and very pleasant to talk with over meals. They actively sought our feedback to improve the resort. I think this place will only get better as it grows!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a small friendly scuba diving resort on Bangka Island, North Sulawesi. With daily trips to Lembeh and Bunaken you can enjoy a huge variety of diving with us. We have four bungalows with en-suite bathrooms and balcony and a beachside restaurant, bar and dive centre. ... more less