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“Great getaway and out of this world diving”

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Nomad Divers Bangka
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great getaway and out of this world diving”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

The recently set up resort is the perfect place for adventurous travellers looking to do some amazing diving whilst staying in a cosy and impeccably clean resort.

Sophie and Simon are great and so is their staff and while there is very litle to do besides diving during the day they

The bungalows are spacious and the beds comfortable.

All the diving sites we visited in the 6 days I spent there were different from one another and we saw a lot more sealife than we were expecting (no dugong unfortunately :(

Tips: ask Sophie and Simon to make a roasted piglet one night, it's delicious; go on a night dive, go for a walk on top of the island where you will get an incredible view.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emanuele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 7 November 2013
Hello! Thanks for writing a review, we really enjoyed having you guys here and hope that you get to come back so we can show you the dugong!
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

Nomad Divers completely exceeded our expectations. This is a small and cozy resort run by Sophie and Simon from the UK. It is almost a year old, with 4 lovely cottages set by a small stretch of beach. My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 nights in the beach cottage which was a bonus - the space is ample, with a double bed, shelves, an outdoor shower / toilet and even an extra single bed right by the entrance! We had a little terrace with space to dry our towels and swimsuits.. also 2 chairs to sit on. There was also drinking water available in the room. A lot of thought was definitely put into the design of the cottage and we were very comfortable throughout our stay. There were hammocks on the beach in front of our cottage for relaxing in between dives. Sophie and Simon are also currently building some comfy lounge chairs to add to the little luxuries on the beach.

The diving in Bangka was amazing. Dolfi, our dive guide spoke very good English and made us feel comfortable underwater given we had only obtained our Open Water just a few days ago. He had a good eye for spotting the tiniest of creatures and was always in a good mood. The staff at the resort from the captain of the boat to the cook were all very friendly and pleasant. Food here was EXCELLENT! We did not have any expectations as we had moved from a resort on Pulau Bunaken that served us tuna and rice for lunch and dinner every single day we were there - but Nomad really makes an effort. We even had a roast pig on our first night which was a treat! We had fruits after each meal and were lucky to get some chocolate donuts with rainbow sprinkles (yum!).

Finally what set this place apart was the company. Sophie and Simon were wonderful hosts. They were always available when we needed them and their passion for diving shines through in everything they do. They put their guests first and their positive energy was what made our stay so enjoyable.

This is the perfect getaway if you love diving and really just want to chill with great company. We can't wait to be back here. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Get the beach cottage if you can - it's the only one by the beach at the moment and it's jus...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Gazpi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 8 November 2013
Hi guys, we had a really good time with you, lots of fun! It's also such a pleasure to dive with brand new divers discovering the reefs and marine species for the first time, we hope to see you back here for your Advanced course! And we may come for a few drinks in Hong Kong soon!
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Katikati
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

My husband and I came to Bangka with the express of idea of him doing as many dives as he could and me doing absolutely nothing. That's exactly what we got. Pete had a fantastic time, managing to get 29 dives in in the 10 days we were there. I saw photos and videos and at the end of our holiday thought it might be a good idea to try diving myself, the diving looked so good. Watch this space. Simon and Sophie were wonderful hosts, it felt like we were staying with good friends not at a resort. The accommodation was perfect, the food wonderful, and the staff very gracious. It was very difficult to leave such a place. Well done Sophie and Simon, hope to see you again.

Room Tip: Beach front is neat!
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeteSan2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Hello! We're glad you had a good time with us, you were great company and we had a lot of fun with you! We really look forward to seeing you next summer with the rest of the family!
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Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
84 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2013

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!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
Helpful?
Thank AlisaAAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 19 September 2013
Hello, thanks for taking the time to review us, we had a lovely time with you guys! We always ask for feedback as, being a new resort we just want to improve. We had a carpenter here last month making new furniture out of local Bangka wood and have printed and framed some fabulous guest photos for the rooms so hopefully they are now brighter and better! We also have future plans for solar power which will allow each cottage to have its own power supply and also hot water! I agree that after a night dive it would be lovely to have hot water but at the moment it's in the future planning stage only. I hope you enjoyed your travels afterwards, best wishes, Sophie
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Sydney
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2013

Nomad Divers, run by Sophie and Simon from England. It has been open only four months and offers only four bungalows at this stage. The property is nestled among the mangroves with a small stretch of sand out front and around the beach-front structures. It is quiet and remote (10-15 minute walk to the village) but I never felt bored – perhaps I was too busy diving or feeling exhausted. The bungalows are spacious, clean, if not a little sparsely furnished, and have a huge outdoor bathroom.

Everything here moves. It is very much a living island. Hermit crabs, lizards, monitor lizards, frogs, geckos, three friendly and playful dogs, small snakes that come out at night and fish in the water’s edge, tarsiers, and so on. It was quite cool.

So the diving…..what can I say. Brilliant. Excellent variety which I like – couldn’t imagine doing the same dive 3 or 4 times in one day over the course of a week. Bangka has walls with deep drop offs, incredible coral gardens, black and white sandy and rocky bottoms for great muck diving, drift dives, pinnacles, boulders.... it goes on. It does not however have large pelagics frequenting the waters although there is a resident dugong and I did manage to see an eagle ray. The great thing about the location is that Bunaken and Lembeh, the more famous and popular sites, are an easy day trip away. I did trips to both and still preferred Bangka.

Lembeh is purely a muck diving location, aside from a Japanese cargo wreck which I dived to get my nitrox certification. We had some poor visibility as it bucketed down the night before and didn’t find too much. Bunaken has a massive wall surrounding the island that descends 100’s of metres and the appeal of venturing out into the blue to search for hammerheads, white tips, pilots whales and mantas. We did three dives around the wall, saw one massive beast of a turtle, but drifting along the wall just bored me in the end. The coral was still amazing.

Back to Bangka….the variety of corals, both soft and hard was incredible. And you could spend weeks and weeks hunting for so many species of fish it isn’t funny. This was something I really enjoyed, finding various elusive creatures. I must make a comment here on my guide Rudolfi (Dolfi), a local guy, whom has been diving the area for some time. He had an excellent eye for the macro stuff. I don’t know how many times he showed me something minute and I signaled to him….”how the hell am I supposed to photograph that with this?!?!” One of the best aspects – I think I only saw other divers once on the 12 dives I did in Bangka itself.

I can’t recommend Nomad Divers enough. Simon and Sophie have something pretty good there and it will only get better as they continue to find their feet. It is a very affordable alternative to the 3-4 star resorts around. The staff are very good (Mama, cook, and Papa Dolfi, boat captain, and Dolfi as guide). And if there is a decent group of people there, get them to organise a spit roast pig over the coconut husks. Have a go at turning the manual bamboo spit and carving the beast.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 19 September 2013
Hi J2! Thanks for reviewing us, as a seasoned traveller it was great to have your feedback and it was nice to dive Lembeh and Bunaken with you, we know you enjoyed that pig and think of you whenever we roast one on the beach! Enjoy the rest of your adventure and hope to catch up and see where you end up! Sophie
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

We basically walked up (metaphorically) and had a really relaxed few days of excellent diving, wonderful food and top notch company.
Sophie & Simon have built a great little resort on the basis that people arrive as guests and leave as friends. Their success is self evident and they clearly work very hard to make it look easy.
If we'd arrived on Bangka at the start of the holiday we probably would have spent the whole month there!
Keep it to yourself though, it's beautifully quiet and we don't want to spoil that now do we....

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SimonClooney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 19 September 2013
Hello! Thanks for taking the time to write on here, we had such fun with you two and hope to see you soon, next time you're in Singapore pop over and we'll show you the cus-cus, which we have found, and the tarsiers, which we haven't yet... but we will keep trying, we know they're here!
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Delhi
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2013

My friends and I stumbled across Nomad Divers because our original plans in Sulawesi went a bit wrong - that was such a lucky break! Sophie and Simon (and the three dogs O-Ring, Scoobs and Samson) absolutely made our holiday! They only set up for less than a year. Nomad Divers is a relatively basic and small resort (only 4 cottages) but it has all the necessary comforts, plenty of Bintang and a feel of somewhere secret and exclusive and away from beaten track. We loved it so much we cancelled the final destination of our holiday just to stay there for a couple more days. The diving is excellent - there are very few other divers around to get in your way, the waters are amazingly clear and free from any litter, the fish, corals, and pygmy seahorses are amazing. I even did my PADI Open Water course whilst I was there (Sophie is an excellent and patient instructor!). The food was also amazing - cooked by Mama Dolfi - a pig roast on the first night and freshly caught crab and tuna on the next two nights and nasi goreng to die for! This is a definitely a place to go to get away from it all, switch off your mobile phone (there's hardly any reception and no internet anyway) and have a few days diving in paradise!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Glenn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sophie240, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Hello! You guys were completely mad and we had a brilliant time! We hope to see you again this year for more amazing diving and lots of fun! Thanks for the review!
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Additional Information about Nomad Divers Bangka

Property: Nomad Divers Bangka
Address: Bangka Island, Bangka Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bangka Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Bangka Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
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 

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