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“Outstanding service and a view into paradise”

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Divers Lodge Lembeh
Ranked #1 of 3 Bitung B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Outstanding service and a view into paradise”
Reviewed 8 May 2014

We have been guests at the divers lodge for 8 nights in april 2014. The service is stunning, each day new towels, also at the boat, a pristine bungalow (we have been on top at Rajawali) and the most individual dive package we have ever been into. The peace and quiteness of the lodge contrast well with the serious diveplan up to 5 dives a day. We appreciated the contact with the other critter enthusiasts that offered a lot of posibilities to improve the knowledge of sealife and underwaterfotography. Benny and Rob have been alway inviting us for comments on how to improve, but as much as we tried, it was hard to challenge them to do better as it was almost perfect. Perhaps the lunch at the boat lacked a bit of fantasy and soft drinks are to be payed, but that is really a minor aspect. We really had difficulties to leave the place and understand perfectly well why there are so many repeaters. Last but not least there is a huge bibliotheque that provides everything to identify the rare species of Lembeh Strait. We wish that this place will stay like this and wish Rob all the best for the other projects at Halmahera!

Room Tip: Rajawali, 40 meters upon sea-level, almost 200 steps requires some fitness, but what a view!!!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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2 Thank J_rgen_S20132013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Level Contributor
46 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Stayed here in February 2014 and we were very touched by the kind people working at this resort. They were very welcoming and we felt right at home and wanted to extend our stay. We also appreciate the resort's efforts to be eco, Rob sounds like a wonderful person who cares very much for the environment and we were sad we didn't get to meet him but definitely support his work. The food was good and plentiful, the bungalow we had was spacious and clean and we loved hanging out at the terrace... what a view! that lagoon was very tempting to go kayaking in, but since we knew we couldn't swim in that water because of the jelly fish we never went. The calmness and stillness of the lagoon in the morning however was just amazing, I think I had never had such a peaceful sleep in my life before.
The dive guides were very friendly, because the other guests had private boats, we ended up having a whole boat and 2 guides to ourselves! After only 2 dives I had already seen a mimic octopus and 3 flamboyant cuttlefish which I had been longing to see. Of course there were many other critters but those were my highlights.
There was only one issue that I would like to point out which we already mentioned to the staff but we had a problem with the regulator and BCD on both dives since they hadn't brought a spare on board, they had some leakage problems, nothing too serious but worth taking care of.
Overall it was a lovely stay, thank you to Andolin and the rest of the staff for being so warm, kind and welcoming. We hope to meet again soon (and by the way we are still waiting for the picture she was supposed to send us on our last day...).

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Travels200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We stayed at Lembeh Divers Lodge in November 2013 and had a real great time! The hospitality of the staff, the friendliness and the good mood of the employees is heartwarming and we truly felt welcome. If we did not make it to coffee / tea time at the common area, the cake was brought to our bungalow, which was on top of the mountain and had a lovely view over the sea. The bungalow itself was very clean and had all kinds of amenities that made our stay comfortable. Food was really tasty and divers, typical Asian which we truly enjoyed. Dinner was taken as a group and always the time to exchange on all the creatures one had seen during the exciting dives.

This leads me to the diving which was great! We are both not very experienced divers and therefore decided to take a private boat, which we had never been offered anywhere else and which we truly appreciated. Thus we had two dive guides for two divers and were very well looked after so that we always felt very secure. We saw fabulous creatures and every dive was an adventure. When the guides realized our love for frog fishes, they never tired of searching them for us. Also on other critters, we could voice our wishes and were brought to according dive sides that promised the kind of critters we were looking for. The Lodge was also very flexible in accommodating our additional wishes. We had not booked that many dives upfront as we did not know what to expect. But after we saw how great diving was there we decided to book further dives and even a night dive, which was a first for both of us and also went quite smoothly. We could really extend our dive experience in a very pleasant way and saw some really amazing fish and other creatures.

For non-divers it might get a bit boring as there is nothing else to do. It could be a good idea to have some hammocs or deck-chairs in front of the bungalows so that guests could relax and enjoy the lovely view there -and not only at the Terrace in the common area.
Other than that Lembeh Dive Lodge is a perfect location for all divers that like personalized hospitality and nice little resorts.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Judy_Niko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DLLembeh, Owner at Divers Lodge Lembeh, responded to this review, 9 March 2014
We are really very happy that you enjoyed your stay so much. And thank you for reminding us about the deck chairs. The old ones are broken and we simply forgot to replace them. Attaching a hammock here turned out to be more difficult than it seemed to be I am afraid ;-). Indeed the best thing you can do here is diving. However, it can be fun to take a kayak and make a trip in the bay or, if weather allows it, further out. Lembeh Island offers also nice walking/hiking. Many of our guests really like the land trips we offer as well.
Best Regards, Rob Sinke
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Riga, Latvia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

I will start from the review of the hotel. It is excellent!!!! We would not want for anything more: we were met in Manado airport at midnight (although our flight from Makassar was 2 hours late), we were even offered a small dinner at about 2 a.m. when we arrived at the Lodge, our bungalow at the very top of the hill was beautifuuuuuul, with excellent views from the windows and from the terrace. All the meals were very tasty, the staff did everything they could to make us happy (although, as described below, we were unhappy about diving), even the dogs and cat were soooo frindly:) Therefore the Lodge is very highly recommended, also considering the perfect price/quality performance.

However, we did not enjoy the diving at all. You really have to be a true lover of macro and critters to enjoy diving in dirty Lembeh straight which in fact is a narrow strip of water right next to the busy Bitang port where all the big cargo ships leave their waste. The Lembef straight is full of waste - on the top of water, below the water, on all beaches etc. Yes, there are those famous creatures below the water, but you have to look for them between the garbage...

After Lembeh we went to Bunaken National Park where we enjoyed diving in excellent conditions and cristal clear water and also saw a lot of strange creatures, especially during the perfect night dive (which, as they claim in Bunaken, really seems to be the best in the world). So, you do not have to dive in garbage to find pigmy sea horse or scorpion fish...

So, in conclusion, if you are a real critters/macro diving lover and are not afraid of diving in garbage, then Divers Lodge is your best choice in Lembeh.

P.S. As we were so unfappy about the diving, the management arranged for us diving at the other side of Lembeh island which has quite nice walls and a lot of small fish, which was really nice.

Room Tip: We stayed at "Eagle" cottage which was at the very top of the hill (which means that you h...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank VinetaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DLLembeh, Owner at Divers Lodge Lembeh, responded to this review, 9 March 2014
This must be one of the nicest and most useful reviews on Tripadvisor. Extremely nice, since you rated our place as excellent, although you were so disappointed with the diving. We feel that as our shortcoming too. We are having many guests who stayed with us more than 10 times. And often for more than 2 weeks for each stay. This makes us forget that indeed diving at Lembeh Strait is not for everybody. Some of the dive sites within the Strait really offer very nice corals. But unfortunately these sites are open to the heavy swell from the North in January. If you are in to beautiful sea gardens, good viz and much fish, Bunaken is absolutely a better choice. Or even much better: our Weda reef and rainforest Resort at Halmahera.
Thanks again and best regards, Rob Sinke
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Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

My husband and I came here for diving and all the wonderful creatures underwater, and wonderful creatures we saw, and photographed, and were very happy. We had a private boat and guide, which was very nice and not much more expensive than sharing with other divers. The guide (Bobi) was very good at finding stuff, and was frendly and professional, and spoke reasonably good english despite what we were told before. The only complaint about the diving is that I don't think they rinsed our gear after the day's diving, though taking care of the gear was part of the service. And we are pretty sure that my husband had bad air once, he had a bad head ache and nausea and dizzynes after one dive, and it lasted the rest of the day.

The resort was nice enough, but not super cosy or beautiful. The bungalow (our's was Musang) was very spaceous and clean, but again not very cosy. Bug-proofness was very much appreciated though! However the commong dining / sitting area was very cosy and it was really nice to sit at the sofas after dinner and exchange diving experienses.

Overall this was a good resort, though maybe not our favorite one, and the diving is really great!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank IiIjankukka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Let's start with the most important - diving is great in Lembeh and the dive guides (at least the one we had) really know the place and can find you just about anything you want to see. We did all together 15 dives and saw everything from mimic octopus to dozens of frogfish and pygmy seahorses. We had booked a private boat and guide which worked very well, but eventually we ended up following the same dive schedule as all others so could have used just the normal package. We had also booked all of our dives in advance but I agree with some of the other posters here that you may not need to do that, you will likely fit in anyway and not booking all dives in advance would give you more options if you want to have a slower-paced day in between to relax and take it easy.

The resort itself is nice and well kept. Especially the public lounge area is very nice and has great views. The food was always very good and there were number of options ranging from chicken to fried rice, vegetables and fish every night. The bungalows are also very well equipped and clean and there are no bugs inside, but they seem to vary a bit in style and views. Some of them have views to the open ocean side and seem quite cosy, ours was facing Bitung and had more plain and "industrial" style. Also some of the bungalows are far up the hill so if you don't like walking a lot of uphill ask for a bungalow lower down. The wifi only reaches the public area and maybe some of the lower bungalows which is a bit annoying as you have to always walk down even for a quick news check.

The staff was very nice and helpful and everything worked well. The only question mark was rinsing and maintenance of the gear if you bring along your own. We had our own gear and it was always there in the boat waiting for us in the morning, but I'm not 100% sure if they rinsed everything every night as my regulator was tasting salty some of the mornings, so maybe worth cheking that or then just taking care of at least your regulator by yourself. I also had some minor issues with the air as on two dives there was some faint taste of oil in the air and during one of those dives I got bad headache and contaminated air symptoms which went over only later in the evening. At times there was lots of oil on the surface in the strait so it might have gotten into my regulator on the surface before descending, but the symptoms were pretty clear so could have been also an air issue.

All in all I liked diving in Lembeh very much and would come back, but would just pay attention to the things mentioned above when booking / visiting.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Olli H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DLLembeh, Owner at Divers Lodge Lembeh, responded to this review, 9 March 2014
Thank you very much for you review. It pleases us that overall you liked your stay with us. We took your remarks very seriously. Obviously the person who should have rinsed your gear thoroughly did not do his job, since you tasted salt. Again our apologies for this. However, this does not explain what you call bad air symptoms.
A serious headache after diving is often caused by hypo-ventilation. Specially underwater photographers often have the habit to inhale, make the picture and exhale. Bad air is most of the times not caused by polution in the regulator but by contaminated air. A very serious problem. Our Bauer E320 compressor has a Securus system that should prevent this. Fortunately none of the other divers had these symptoms during your stay.
Best Regards, Rob Sinke
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sydney
Level Contributor
55 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

We first visited Divers Lodge Lembeh in a group of eight during October 2012. On the basis of a very positive experience, we decided to return in a group of 10 in September/October 2013.

Our group booked and paid for all our dives ahead of the trip because we had been told that this would guarantee our places on the dive boat. We had been led to believe that if we chose to pay for dives as we went along, then we would have to take our chances on the availability of space.

Everything on our recent trip was going well until my husband slipped in the dark on the path near our bungalow, grazing his leg and foot quite badly. Some of the cuts became infected requiring medical treatment on the mainland. As a result, he was unable to complete seven pre-paid dives to the value of almost 400 Euros.

Notwithstanding the resort’s “No refund” policy, with which we were aware, we thought it reasonable to ask management to consider a partial refund for my husband’s forfeited dives. They declined.

The view that you might otherwise not get a spot on one of the dive boats without pre-payment is debatable. The resort has several boats, only some of which were in service while we were there, and which more than adequately catered to a largely full resort when we were there.

My strong advice to prospective patrons of this resort is NOT to buy the majority of your dives before your trip. There is no need to run the risk of being out of pocket should you be unable to complete any prepaid dives.

I’d like to qualify that my rating of service at this resort does not apply to on-site staff, who tried very hard to please.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank rose285200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DLLembeh, Owner at Divers Lodge Lembeh, responded to this review, 9 March 2014
Thank you very much for your visit. The best compliment we can get, is when guests stay for more than one time with us. The reason for our reservation and cancellation policy, which is clearly written on our web site and our invoice as you mentioned, is as follows. Many of our guests make a reservation for our unique service of a private boat and a private guide. Further, also on shared boat we guarantee never more than 2 guests per guide. So, even if we have 6 boats and only 8 cottages, it can happen that all boats and/or guides are booked on specific days; although we still have available cottages.
But, ofcourse you can book only your accommodation and pay for the dives you actually did when you check out. By the way, this is also mentioned on our web site.
Rob Sinke
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Additional Information about Divers Lodge Lembeh

Property: Divers Lodge Lembeh
Address: Paudean, Bitung 95500, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Bitung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Divers Lodge Lembeh is a small intimate dive resort, which can accommodate a maximum of ten guests. This means we can cater to our guests’ needs and provide excellent attention and service. The bungalows are scattered around the hill and each has its own path and private access. In this way every guest is guaranteed privacy. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Divers Lodge Lembeh Indonesia/Bitung, Sulawesi

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