We stayed with Manta Dive for a total of 5 nights. When we first arrived on Gili Air we were greeted by 2 horse drawn carts. These we didn't even ask for, but the man was from Manta Dive and he asked for us by name so we thought, why not? The ride was quirky but you can easily walk to Manta Dive from the ferry area (about 20 minute walk). If you have a rolling suitcase, you won't be able to walk easily as the roads all around the Gilis are of sand.
We originally wanted one of the bungalows (Sasak style) but we didn't book far enough ahead of time so we got one of their modern rooms at the back of the property. They are quite spacious and the aircon is fairly good. Our room had an in-room safe too which was nice. The bathroom is outside of the aircon and the shower being outside. I read that another review recently about Manta Dive and they said they had fresh water showers, our room had salt water (not as salty as the ocean mind you) nor did our mums' (who had the room next to ours) room either. They too had salt water showers.
Wifi is slow and is best at the front area of the property (next to reception/dive shop). Though, they do give you access to the next door Wifi but I never did try it out. Internet on the island is mediocre, so don't expect much in the way of speeds while you're there. Besides, you should be enjoying the sun, snorkelling and diving ;)
We ate a few times at the Waterfront Restaurant. The food was good and the staff friendly. You could also order the food to be taken back to your room if you were so inclined.
My wife and I did the SSI Intro Dive course with Nick. Nick was awesome and made the experience a whole lot of fun. We started off at the pool located at Manta Dive and then in the afternoon went over to do our first dive at Hann's Reef. If we didnt have other hobbies we would have probably done the Open Water Cert with Nick too, but the Intro Dive was enough for us at the time.
You can snorkel off the beach at the front of Manta Dive, though do so ONLY at high-tide. Low tide you can not only harm the coral, but you can also harm yourself. There are 2 clinics on Gili Air, but no hospital. A teenager from a family who arrived after a few days of us being there was cut up pretty bad because they didn't heed Manta Dive's advice not to snorkel at low tide. He cut his hand up pretty good and had to be ferried over to Lombok to receive stitches. Poor guy couldn't enjoy the rest of their stay because of it.
You will also notice that in the afternoon a lot of boats from the other Gili islands will anchor out in the water in front of Manta Dive. Gili Air has some of the best snorkelling in the area.
We would definitely go back to Manta Dive if we found ourselves on Gili Air. If you find yourself at Manta Dive, try to do at least the Intro Diving course. It's a great experience, especially if you have an Instructor such as Nick!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Manta Dive Resort, 11 beautiful rooms, all air con, hot water, safety box, swimming pool, generator (many power cuts on island), all dive courses and fun dives available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Manta Dive Gili Air Hotel Gili Air
- Manta Dive Gili Air Resort Gili Islands