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“Felt like part of the family”
Review of Tangkoko Lodge

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Tangkoko Lodge
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Felt like part of the family”
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I loved my time at Tangkoko lodge. We felt like a part of the family. Bobby is fantastic as a guide and also for what he does for the local community and conservation in the area. The rest of the family are very friendly and the children were lovely too - always interested in what we were up to.
The rooms are basic but all you need - a bed, mozzie net, fan and bathroom. Electricity comes on at night which is all you need really. The food is excellent too.
Walking distance to the village and beach and the forest where macaques, tarsiers and cuscus await!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, Nederland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Let me start with a few words to thank the owner of Tangkoko Lodge, Bobby for his hospitality in being our host for the few days we spend in the national parc. He is one of these guys that you will always remember as your guide, friendly and keen te help anywhere/anytime, with even some basic understanding of Dutch.

Although basic, Tankoko lodge is a cosy nice little resort with quite comfortable rooms (aircon). Prices come along with 3 meals which are absolutely delicious. Having a little communal dining area down the river, where the jungle is literally starting just in front of the doorstep, gives the place a very social, but yet relaxed atmosphere.

Highlights of the place include jungle tours (no do not book these directly from Manado, you will spend way to much $$) with friendly local guides that spot everything where the parc is famous for. Also the beach next to the jungle is absolutely amazing (~30min walking from the lodge), empty black volcanic beach sands bordering reefs where monkeys sometimes come and check out to spot the intruders. Needless to repeat, we loved it here.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sander1058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2013

Basic bungalows with little furniture, that we can consider as clean in Indonesia.
The owner does his best to arrange the trips and is a very funny guy.
Looking for tarsiers and black monkeys was fabulous.
It is good for a night stay, but I would not recommend to stay longer in the place, which is functional, but I would not consider it as comfortable.
The location is perfect to go rapidly in the forest.
A very good chicken curry, by the way!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mathide m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomohon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Tangkoko Lodge is a small resort but it is definitely a great place to stay..
This little place (7 rooms only) situated a bit out of the village so not too noisy

If before the electricity in lodge used the generator and only start in afternoon till around 11.00 pm, now the have 24 hours electricity.

Also, this is important !!! some of the rooms have the air conditioned,...great

The Food was excellent- nicely cooked and presented, The menu was perhaps a bit limited.
The staff at the lodge are lovely; really friendly and helpful. The owner of the lodge Bobby and his wife are very friendly and always taken care.

For me if you stay in Tangkoko Lodge it's more like you are in your 2nd home.........

Finally Tangkoko Lodge is extremely recommended.... you have to try..

One downside to our stay was that this part of Sulawesi is a predominantly Christian area, and the local people are amazingly enthusiastic about Christmas, to the extent of having amplified carol services down in the valley, at 5.30 a.m. You really don't want to be woken like that!

Apart from the church noise, we found this a really nice place for a cool-off break.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank JefryR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

On the whole I am not impressed with Tangkoko lodge and also with Tangkoko National Park. However let me start with the good things about this place:
They have some of the best guides working with them, including the owner Bobby. The guide I had (Friednand) was excellent at spotting birds where I would have simply walked past without noticing anything. I am used to tracking birds when I hear them, but in the dense rainforest these guides can 'see' where I could not have suspected! On the premises I saw and managed a very good picture of Malkoha and Sulawesi Scops Owl.
The food is amazing and rather generous portions!
The location is very close to the national park and probably the closest after Mama roos.
The rainforest itself has massive fig trees and I have never seen such wonderful primary forest.
The trip to the mangroves near the village was very interesting and I saw a snake and the much promised Great billed KF.
My last night in Tomohon was in a losmen that should be renamed as a palace! It is called Wailan Inn and it is a wonderfully designed, luxurious bungalow. With great food.
Tarsiers , Celebes macaques and Red knobbed hornbills are guaranteed, although there was a local guide (Not with Tangkoko lodge) who was smoking and feeding the tarsiers with grasshoppers at the same time! )
Now the not so good things:
I paid $530 for a four nights package and I did not find the quality of the rooms in agreement with the money. My first 2 nights were in a wooden hut that had creaky boards and an unclean bathroom. No hot water either. There was also no blanket provided so I went and asked for one. When I spoke to other guests they had the same experience. The 3rd night I was in a better room but it had door-key issues and it was very hard to lock and unlock it. Bathroom door did not work at all. I can understand such issues as it is a National Park, but at $530? No!
The electricity and water supply is erratic. I was brushing my teeth when water was cut off. One night there was no power and came back at 9.30 in the morning.
You hear chain saw cutting trees every now and then. It is un-nerving sound when you have come all this way to have an experience of 'wilderness'.
My planned programme was supposed to begin at 4.00pm but I happened to arrive at 11.30 am. My guide (Elsi) actually had the cheek to tell me that my lunch was "a problem" as it was not included. I found that very mean when I pay more than half a thousand dollars. On arrival there was an Italian man and he actually could not finish his food (generous portions) and kept asking me if I wanted to join in. I didn't as I was told not to. That was not a good start.
I was told on arrival that I had to pay for the transport which was a surprise for me as I was under the impression that it was all inclusive. This meant another $30 out of my pocket. Although this is down to miscommunication b/w me and the guide Elsi.
Then I was also told the dollar to Rupiah rate was 1:10300 when in reality it was 1:10000. I had to sit the man down and question all these things. I told him that it seemed he was all about money money money. I made my frustration clear to him. He then agreed to 1:10,000 rate.
Now the thing that I found the MOST disappointing about Tangkoko: There is no abundance of birds at all. There were no usual 'fillers' to be seen, such as Bulbuls, Mynas, Orioles, babblers, sun birds, doves, crows, minivets, robins or finches which we usually see even without a guide, when we hang around in a resort/lodge like this one. That community of birds is totally missing here (also same in Bali, Java). I did see Orioles (twice) and a sun bird (three times) and a Myna (twice) but in a span of 4.5 days!
On the contrary, the 'rarer' birds such as Hornbills, Scop's owl, Malkohas, Boobooks etc I managed to get pictures of them! I don't know how this works, especially in such pristine forests. I did suggest bird feeds and watering holes on the premises but the guide said that they were purely conservation oriented and did not want to artificially attract birds.
My trip was planned by the guide (Elsi) and he did not tell me that 4 nights would be rather too much. I thus resent spending so long in Tangkoko when I could have done more diving in Lembeh or climbed the volcano in Tomohon.
I ended up doing the Tarsius trip twice as that was more interesting than walking endlessly in the forest for hours and hours to see less than 10 species. Even the birds I saw, most of them I caught a fleeting glance. At the end of this trip I have 10 pictures of birds to be proud of. Compared to 40 in the Gambia and similarly high in India, Peru, Belize etc.
I really wish I had better things to say about this place. I am quite disappointed but at the same time I understand that it's people like us who will help such business. Therefore my review is "average rating". I have tried to be impartial and true to facts. I hope ppl find this helpful.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank sagarak9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2012

Tangkoko Lodge is rustic/ basic lodge but probably the best for birding or any natural history tours for that matter. (The BBC used his services for it's upcoming documentary) They have mosquito nets and several good endemics on the premises. It's close to the forest and has probably the best guide Boby, a very solid guide for Sulawesi and reasonable as bird guides go. 3-4 Nights (of good and sometimes great birding) is recommended.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MrTSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2012

Separate building for separate room, which was quite good. Room is basic and fairly clean. However, bathroom is a bit dirty. Could do with a bit more cleaning.
But my biggest complain about the room is the fan. In day time, they dont turn on the power generator. So the fan was on but it didnt really rotate, and the room gets really hot.
Plus the use wall fan and for some reason place it very high up.
Food was good. When we were there, they have 4 cute puppies..and an owl which was a local resident. But i think the owl got injured the day we arrived and it didnt come back the next day, sadly.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank v_liany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tangkoko Lodge

Property: Tangkoko Lodge
Address: Jl. Raya Danowudu, Bitung, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Bitung
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Tangkoko Lodge Indonesia/Bitung, Sulawesi

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