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Kungkungan Bay Resort
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Reviews (258)
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Reviewed 6 January 2012

I have just returned from KBR where I stayed for 9 days over Christmas with my wife and our two-year old son.
I have traveled and worked as a diving Instructor all over the world in the past 15 years but I had never experienced such an extraordinary combination of diving, resort and staff in one single place.
The diving is run by Kaj and Barb in a super professional but relaxed way. On my arrival day I was greeted by Kaj who gave me the diving orientation and same evening showed all the guests his amazing HD videos and shared his knowledge about all the beautiful critters we were likely to see – outstanding show.
KBR offers 3 dives a day plus a mandarin or night dive, its all single tank dives (I believe they are the only one doing in the island) in very fast boats, average 5 min to the dive site and max 15 min.
The dive guides were all excellent, calm and experienced in all matters of diving the ratio is max 4 divers per guide. They were superb in spotting all the critters you can imagine. Every other day they would switch guides a brilliant system because they all found different stuff but would also work together as a team and try to find the other group to share what they discovered.
The room was spacious and clean. Nice bathroom with super hot shower and excellent AC, my son did also enjoy full packed of cable tv.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, not only Indonesian, but also Western and Japanese, all a la carte superb food they went out of the way and did special meals if requested. The staff was always smiling and friendly, they would play with our son so we could fully enjoy our meal, and was keen to learn Japanese so they could communicate with our son in his first language.
Thanks again to Kaj, Barb, and all the other staff for the most wonderful holiday experience ever. We cant wait to come back again!
Lasse Kristensen Padi Staff Instructor #502851

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Lasse K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2012

I have just returned from my second trip to Kungkungen Bay Resort. It will not be my last.
It is the "Muck Diving" capital of the world and the reason to go there. They KNOW muck diving. On my last dive, I said to my guide "please find me three things: an Ambon Scorpionfish, a hairy frogfish and a Mimic Octopus. He found 2 Ambons, 2 Frogfish but I had to settle for a Coconut Octopus instead. They KNOW their stuff. So to review:

Diving: Unimaginably good for Muck diving - do not go if you want to see schooling barracuda ... Night dives and "Mandarin fish" dives available if as few as 2 divers want to go.

Dive Guides: Excellent. Never stop looking and finding. 60min dives become 70 or even 80min dives because they are still hunting.

Dive organization: Excellent. Always on time, Boat always ready and in good working order. Dive manager always on hand, always helpful and quietly sorting out diving guests differing abilities to optimise the experience for all.

Dive Rental: Most people bring their own equipment but rental computer was Suunto (v reliable) and BCD and wetsuits seemed to be in good order.

Location: Beautiful views over Lembeh Straits to pristine native forest on Lembeh Island from which the sun rises every morning. Passing fishing boats and ferries are noisy from about 6am to 6pm. KBR grounds kept beautifully and full of flowers and butterflies

Restaurant: Spacious over water location - I always ate outside on the balcony where I could watch the Parrot fish and Trigger fish go about their day. The restaurant staff to guest ratio was probably 2:1 so service was excellent and always presented with a big smile. They also came to the dive briefing site in the mornings (with tea/coffee and cookies) to take lunch orders so no waiting for meals when you arrived to eat. Menu was extensive and generally good but not exceptional with nightly "Specials"

Spa Centre and Pool: Never got there - spent all my time underwater so cannot comment.

What makes this place REALLY special (apart from the diving) is the staff. They are so friendly and helpful it is clear that the like to come to work in the morning and clearly care that you have a good time. I have no hesitation in recommending KBR for an exceptional "muck diving" holiday. 5 stars. I WILL be back

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank dermot m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KBR_Management, Manager at Kungkungan Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Dear Mr.Dermot,

Thank you for your reviews and positive comments about KBR and we are very happy to welcome you back.

As we are the first Dive Resort in Lembeh strait we like to give the best service to all of our guests. If you would like to request what kind of fishes you want to see , just talk with Our professional dive team. Our Dive guides have been working for over 15 years and they know exactly what do you want.
On the first day of diving, our guides will always help you by taking your dive gear from the room to the boat , briefing and go diving , and they take care of you need till you are back from the diving. For those people who like to rent the dive equipment, the gear will be taken out of the rental room at the dive center.

We are the only one resort with Restaurant on the water where guests can take meals while they watch fish play on the coral and enjoy the beautiful view of Lembeh strait .

Our Staffs believe that we should serve with the heart and smile to make you enjoy your stay with us.
Again, we are looking forward to meeting you again in the future in the land of smiling people.

Best regards,
Beary

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

On arrival the check in and resort briefing was efficient and painless.  The rooms were nice and seemed to be decorated in a local style, quite spacious with a good bathroom with plenty of hot water.

The food was very good and a mixture of western and local dishes,  i normally tend to play things a bit safe and stick to western style food but after trying some of the local dishes I was converted.  The staff also happily took requests and the chef adapted a few dishes as i have an intollerence to certain foods.

Drinks were a bit pricey especially wine but no more so than other places i have stayed in the far east.

The dive centre manager (Kai) and staff were excellent, i had a problem with my own regulators mid holiday and Kai offered to have a look at them during lunch,  he returned them in time for the afternoon dive fully fixed.  I also had a small leak with my camera, which I only spotted when I started the dive, I quickly passed the camera to the boat crew who quickly grabbed it from me and kept it held with the port facing down to minimise any water damage.  These guys certainly know how to handle delicate camera equipment and deal with problems.  I managed to get out and get the camera out of the housing without any damage. The dive guide waited patiently for me to stow it safely and we continued on our dives.

The sealife is amazing and was a highlight for me, so many different things to see, all spotted by the eagle eyed guides.

I was a bit dissapointed I only dived the housereef late in my trip, it really is an amazing dive site, on par with anything else dived from the boats.  I wish I had dived it earlier in the trap as I would have dived it more often.

Although I wouldn't describe it as cheap, It is good value for money with the food and diving packages.

Thanks to the staff for a great holiday

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank WrecksNReefs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KBR_Management, Manager at Kungkungan Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2012

Hello,

Thank you for taking time to write about KBR in Tripadvisor. We are also very happy that you found our room was nice in the local style decoration. We are proud to say that our rooms are in traditional ethnic to show the North Sulawesi Culture.

Our Chef and Wait staff are always happy to serve what you want to eat from the local and western dishes we provide in our restaurant. We want our guests to enjoy our service in the restaurant to be impressed by what you eat.

Our professional dive team who is there to help our guest’s needs. We have a camera room and rental room and our Dive manager will always be happy to assist you if you have problems with your dive equipments. Many divers say that our dive guides must have eagles eyes to find amazing critters and fishes that are rarely seen. We are the only resort with a House reef. It is a is one of our dive spot all guests can enjoy if they don’t like to go on a boat dive.

Again, your comments are greatly appreciated and we hope to welcome you back at Kungkungan Bay Resort.

Warm Regards,

Beary.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank jemsws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank tripadviseU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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