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“Land of the Smiling People”

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Kungkungan Bay Resort
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Bitung
Certificate of Excellence
Stuart,florida,usa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Land of the Smiling People”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2011

My husband and I stayed at Kungkungan Bay Resort in November of 2011. We were with a group of friends that totaled 12. We flew in from Florida, Oklahoma, New York, and England. Several of us work in the diving industry as dive boat captains, instructors, or crew members. We chose KBR for the wonderful photographic opportunities they offer. Several of us are avid underwater photographers. Many of us have been to Indonesia before. We had several professional u/w photographer friends who specifically recommend KBR to us. One of our group brought a camera housing that developed a problem. The staff at KBR went out of their way to bring the housing to a near-by local camera expert to try to resolve the issue. This field fix proved successful enough for our friend to complete her vacation using her camera. Had this not been done, 3 weeks of around the world images would have been lost to her.
Our stay at KBR was perfect. The rooms were wonderful. The boats with our gear were always ready for us. The guides were extremely knowledgeable both in and out of the water. The dining room was beautiful and the staff was always so attentive. The food was great. It was nice to be able to choose from several items at every meal. I once was very late getting to the 'snack between dives'. The hot chocolate was finished. One of the girls went to the kitchen and made more especially for me ( and brought me some cookies). We were at KBR on Thanksgiving. The chef surprised us with turkey dinner, which was delightful.
The photography was outstanding. Our guides were extremely helpful locating allusive critters for us.Their 'house reef' is specular. I'm not sure how they got that huge frog fish to come in to the dock while we were there or how they got the Pigmy sea horse to pose head on for me but it was much appreciated.
A few years ago, several members of our group had stayed at a near-by resort in Lemba. We commented on the huge differences between KBR and the other place. We all would return to KBR but not to the other resort. Now that we have returned home, our dive boat customers and friends will hear of our stay at KBR and see our photographs. We are sure that the dive community in southern Florida will be told all sorts of positive comments from us. My only complaint is that the time you spend at KBR tends to go by too quickly. We would loved to have spent more time there in the land of the smiling people.

Jayne Martin
PADI Instructor # 20073
Steve Sillier
PADI Instructor # 66297

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jemsws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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241 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2011

This resort could really be amazing, but it's not.

Rooms - Lovely. Enormous, clean, comfortable. Bug nets over the beds, amenities you need, big nice bathroom & balcony.

The resort itself is also very beautiful, great views and very relaxed. Pool and spa were very nice, but beach is not for swimming (garbage in the water etc. )

Food - Was mediocre at best and both me and my sister got horrible food poisoning. Not a way to enjoy your holiday! We did not eat anywhere else so it must have been the resort. We spent 24 hours vomiting followed by a few more days of general unwellness.

Diving - muck diving is pretty cool. Lots of wierd and amazing critters. Highly recommend the area. As for the operation itself, it is well below adequate.
1) Attitude. The dive shop operator had a really poor attitude, belittling my friends who are novice divers instead of trying to make them comfortable.
2) Equipment. The equipment my friends rented was absolutely horrible. Management said most people bring their own. That's fine - If you are not going to maintain your equipment you should not be renting it out. They had no depth gauge on the regs and the pressure gauges were faulty! Obviously the lack of proper equipment cut our dives short and was not safe, especially since they were novice divers and could have panicked had they not noticed and actually ran out of air.
3) Divemasters. Their guides are not all certified divemasters, some are just rescue diver certified. When my friend's equpment failed the guide led us all back to the anchor line and then suggested we leave them there to hang out until our return. I didn't think this was a good idea given they had no idea how much air they had and they are both novice divers.
4) back to attitude. The manager of the dive operation didn't seem to care he had given us faulty equipment. He refunded for one rental but not for the dive which ALL 4 of us had to end after just 15 mins. Needless to say we did not dive there again. I dont even think he said sorry.

Also, I would say this place is overpriced. The rooms are nice but everything else is not.

Room Tip: Maybe this place is ok if you are not diving with them... or eating at their restaurant...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank tripadviseU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darwin
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2011

From the time we arrived in KBR we were welcome as if we were part of the family. Beary was a great host to this resort. He made us feel as if this was his house and we were his VIP guests. He didn't just help us but he looked after us. It was always casual but professional at the same time. He went out of his way to ensure that our stay here was the highlight of our holiday, and it truly was! It wasn't just with us but we noticed how he interacted with other guests as well that he made all of us feel as if we were all friends.

All the staff at KBR are always friendly and warm. We know the ground staff and housekeeping was always around but they didn't stand out so we truly feel like we're at home. Love it how we go out for a long breakfast then came back to a clean room then went out for dinner and again came back to a clean room. Our kids love it here too and never complain to be somewhere else. And when we do go out to town my kids always wanted to go back to the resort.

Food at KBR restaurant was always freshly cooked either for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. As long you never drink the tap water, I can assure you that you will never have tummy problem. Everything here was always fresh! It was suprising that their western menu are up to a high standard. My husband love their American burger. He said it's how burgers supposed to taste like! When we stayed at other hotels/resorts before we often get dissapointed when ordering just a simple burger or even a bowl of chips. You even get geniune fresh cheese here!

We had a great time at the resorts Christmas Eve party, which was hosted by Beary. Great atmosphere, yummy food and alot of entertainments with all the traditional singing and dancing. Beary too was a great entertainer, there was nothing he can't do.

This was the first time we stayed in KBR! Amazing resort, fantastic staff and exceptional service. We highly recommend to anyone who's coming this way. KBR is true slice of paradise and tranquility. We had an unforgetable and a very comfortable stay. Will never forget that sound of wave outside our window. Thank you for everything Beary, you're champion! We'll be back!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank MRXJDVicary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2011

What a paradise! The view from the distant as we drive closer to the resort took our breathes away! The resort look beautiful on the website but even better close up. The entrance of the resort was an instant relaxation and peace of mind. The staff was exceptionally friendly and are always smiling. First impression of the resort is gold! My partner and I immediately felt at home and knew that this is the perfect place for a holiday. The location of the resort is mind blowing! What a perfect place by the cleaned and calm beach. Its perfect because this resort gives you plenty of privacy and warm feelings. The one particular Manager of the resort named Beary is such a busy man alwasy ensuring that guests are happy. He has great local knowledge and speaks English clearly and effectively. This resort is not a big resort which is perfect as its target market ideally for those who wants peace and paradise. For those who are laims to get drunk and be complete idiot on their holiday, go to Bali! All we can say is that we will be coming back.

Tarmo and Feancy

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Norman C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auburn
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2011

Kungkungan Bay Resort managers Kaj and Barbara and their devoted staff provided our dive group with an awesome Indonesian diving experience. The location of KBR was beautiful and minutes away from Lembeh Strait for the most unique diving my husband and I have ever experienced. The main building which includes the restaurant & bar sits over a reef teeming with colorful fish and coral. The staff knew the names of each of us in our large dive group the first day. The lodging accommodations were spotless and well maintained with hibiscus flowers on our beds greeting us upon arrival. The air conditioned rooms with fans were a welcome relief from the hot & humid days and sleeping was excellent in the comfortable beds. The food was delicious and well presented including Indonesian cuisine and American as well. The dive guides were excellent in locating numerous and unusual underwater flora and fauna that we would have never found on our own. I have some great images thanks to the competent dive guides. The last evening included a sumptuous buffet and musical entertainment by the KBR staff was outstanding. To top off our diving experience at KBR, we enjoyed a fascinating land tour to view the black crested Macaque monkeys and elusive Tarsier monkeys, the world's smallest primate in their protected rainforest environment. Thank you KBR for your hospitality and sharing your beautiful part of the world of North Sulawesi and the Lembeh Strait.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CowgirlDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2011

I am a dive instructor and travel extensively in South East Asia for diving.
In fact, my job is to recommend, in my opinion, the best places to stay and to dive.
Kungkungan Bay Resort is always high in my list of resorts. This resort with warm friendly staff is smack in the middle of the Lembeh Straits giving easy access to all the dive sites here.
Apart from the easy access, Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) always bend over backwards to ensure your stay is as good as possible.
Is KBR highly recommended. That's definitely a YES.

Room Tip: Whichever rooms you choose, you can be ensured that the staff will make it the best in the resort ap...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chooi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2011

I've stayed in a few resorts near Lembeh, Kungkungan bay proved to be a better resort in an ideal location.

Being fairly central made all dive sites easily accessible with very short transfer times. I knew what to expect from the diving and the guides in Kungkungan bay resort were exceptionally good, the team also seem to be well trained in handling photographic equipment properly. They keep each camera seperate to avoid them getting bumped or knocked in the rinse tanks.

Food was very good, the Indonesian noodle and rice dishes were especially good (Mie Gorang and Nesi Gorang).

The pool is quite small but was clean and a peaceful area to read a book and although I never used the spa, my partner said it was excellent.

The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, they turned a great holiday in to an exceptional holiday. We did not want to leave at the end of the trip and will certainly be returning to this resort again.

Room Tip: The deluxe beachfront rooms are very roomy and have a generous porch area for enjoying a sun downer.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kungkungan Bay Resort

Property: Kungkungan Bay Resort
Address: Tandurusa, Bitung, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bitung
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bitung
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bitung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kungkungan Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR to its friends and soon to be friends) is proud to be the resort that introduced Lembeh Strait to the world. Being the first resort in Lembeh means we got first choice on locations. Our resort is located in its own private bay which the resort is named after. KBR is the only Sea Level Luxury resort in Lembeh. KBR is a full service resort which includes The only 24hrs full menu service Restaurant in Lembeh, Capt. Billy's Bar serving American Bar Food and Great Drinks, our full service Tepi Laut Spa (Seaside Spa) does Massages, Beauty Treatments, Manicures and Pedicures, and of course our PADI Dive Center with Equipment and Camera Rentals and 32% NITROX. Come join us and we will put the Dream into you next Dive Vacation ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kungkungan Bay Hotel Bitung
Kungkungan Bay Resort Indonesia/Bitung, Sulawesi

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