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“Great Diving pity about the food.”

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Kungkungan Bay Resort
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Bitung
Certificate of Excellence
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Great Diving pity about the food.”
Reviewed 5 September 2009

Kungkungan Bay Resort is set in an attractive location with a black sandy beach in the very friendly land of North Sulawesi. It really is the land of the smiling people.
0ur Room
We had room 3a cottage suite. This was a great room with views straight out to the Lembeh straits. There were two double beds that were very comfy, Large bathroom,sitting room and a wrap around verandah with chairs to make the most of the views. We were very pleased with the room.
Food
The menu is tired and limited. The food is cooked to order and at times the wait for food was unacceptable. This we brought to the attention of the owner and the manager who are aware and are working on this. We found in the evening if we went for a drink and ordered our food at the bar it seemed better as the waiter then came up to tell you when it was ready. Breakfast could be frustrating if you were diving as you often had to wait even when ordered the night before. I feel a buffet style breakfast for divers would be better.(This was the case at Kima Bajo see separate report )
The dining room overlooked the sea and the Lembeh Straights and there were a few tables on the verandah.
Health care
When my husband was ill with a stomach upset the management and Mark the owner were very good and arranged for a sun lounger to be put on our verandah for him to recuperate. They also said if needed they would get a doctor and to ask for any help. We were very grateful for their help.
Trips
I went on the early morning trip to the local fish market,produce market , school and Buddhist temple. It was well worth the early start 6 am. So much to see and an insight into the lives of the people.
Highland tour
A fantastic all day trip 8 am to 8 p.m. . We had a car to ourselves and a guide from reception. What a day so much to see, from the Waruga stone graves,rice paddies, volcano craters, lake and fish farm restaurant (delicious) , coloured lake at Tondano and the traditional houses at Woloan. With as many stops for photos as you wanted and stops at local roadside stalls for Mangoes and bamboo ware. We would really recommend this trip.
Tim the dive manager arranged for us to hire a local boat for the day together with a member of the restaurant staff as an interpreter. What a magic day. We got to see all that we wanted, a fish farm, local village, monument with a full size Dakota plane on it! and a picnic on a secluded beach then a trip around the harbor and on to a magic white sand beach to paddle and enjoy the sun. Our guide really made the trip special and shared her country with us.
Diving
The team at KBR are fantastic with the most amazing ability to spot critters. They are very safety conscious and adaptable. They are keen to make sure if possible you see all the critters you want and the dive sites you want. I really enjoyed my first muck diving experience and got to really enjoy the challenge of finding the bizarre life forms. There are also sights with the most amazing coral ,sponge and anemones with such beautiful colours, Nitox is available which I used and found very good.
The house reef is well worth a visit both during the day and the night. The Mandarin dive is amazing.
The only concern is that some of the boat engines played up at times and so dive sites were changed because of this. Hopefully this will now be sorted with the change of management.
Tim the New Dive manager and Renier new resort manager have great plans for KBR together with Mark the owner.
We felt that we were part of the KBR family while we were there. A big thank you to all at the dive centre.
Though we did not use the spa we heard good reports of it.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swift-simba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
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English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2009

I am not one taken to using superlatives, but this resort deserves them. The resort is clean and well maintained. The staff is friendly and service-oriented. Meals are cooked to order -- no steam tables or buffets -- and the food is good. Rooms are large and comfortable. The spa (and spa staff) are good. The diving is fantastic.

One goes to KBR to dive, and the diving is excellent. The dive team takes care of you, carrying and washing equipment, making small dive groups (4 or fewer people) that get on together, and choosing dive sites according to guests' wishes. The equipment isn't new, but it is well maintained. KBR specializes in muck diving (critter viewing), so don't go here expecting beautiful coral walls. Instead, you see pygmy sea horses, octopi, frog fish, nudibranch by the score, cuttle fish, etc etc. The list goes on and on. The resort caters to photographers.

Although there are many excellent dive sites, be sure to try the house reef. There are great coral gardens on both sides of the sand shelf. You will be by yourself, no other divers around and no schedule to keep, which is very relaxing. The dive team gets your equipment out to the end of the jetty; all you need to do is kit up and go in.

There are, of course, a few negatives. The mattress fits into a frame in the beachfront cottages, and tall people will kick the frames. Because everything is cooked to order, service in the restaurant can be a bit slow. There is absolutely no night life. Non-divers don't have much to do. There are occasional electric power failures, but the resort has backup generators so the failures are only slightly inconvenient. The wireless internet is very (!) slow.

Given the opportunity, we would definitely return to KBR.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DivingPhool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey, Channel Islands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2009

We were collected at Kima Bajo for the transfer to KBR by Ati. Extremely efficient and very friendly - to be honest that can be said for all the people we encountered in our two weeks in North Sulawesi.

KBR is a great resort with friendly, super efficient staff. We were lucky enough to have been there when one of the owners, Mark and his wife, were visiting from the US. They were over to meet with their new manager Renier. Brilliant people with some great future visions for the the resort, you could hear the cogs turning every time Renier went by!! Equally they value their guests input too, as Mark said everyone is part of the KBR family and that is very much in evidence.

The food was fantastic and the restaurant staff very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone. Your wish was granted without any fuss or bother.

The diving was supberb, we saw critters we have only ever seen on TV or in magazines. The dive operation was excellent - Eco Divers again as with Kima Bajo (well done Kerry and Jim). The guides knew where to find exactly what you wanted to see and made sure you were never disappointed. The Manadrin dive is a must!

Hats off to Mark and his co-owners for having the vision to build such a great place and continuing to ensure it remains that.

Would we go again - most definitely, making plans as this is being written!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TheMasonsJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2008

It was a long journey to KBR but singapore airlines were excellent. We were a group of 12, 10 divers 2 non divers. We arrived at Manado and were quickly gathered together and put on an air conditioned coach and transported to KBR we arrived at about 9pm, we were welcomed into the resort by Cary who was standing in for the usual managers Steve and Miranda, from start to finish she couldn't do enough for us, check in was painless and then we were given a menu to order our evening meal, after we had eaten we were shown to our rooms which were large and airy, two queen size beds complete with mozzie nets, the bedroom had an electric mozzie appliance and the lounge had the coils which we lit every evening, there was a fridge, tea and coffee facilites and two bottles of water provided every day, we arrived at the dive school at 7.30 next morning and had our briefing before setting off for our first dive, safety was always paramount and i was very impressed with all the dive guides, we were in a group of 4 and had two guides Robbie and Puri for our weeks diving and i cannot praise them highly enough, i had a wish list of all the things i wanted to see and they went out of their way to make sure it was granted, the diving was amazing, inbetween dives we had cookies or cakes freshly baked with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, For the whole holiday we were waited on hand and foot, nothing was too much trouble, the staff always had a smile for us and when we finally left they all came to say goodbye and were singing as we got into the coach, i can honestly say it is the first time i have ever had a tear in my eye as i left a resort. Would i go back to this resort - you bet i would.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Bernese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaford, Delaware
Level Contributor
194 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

Anyone who wants to go diving in the Lembeh Strait should stay at KBR. We stayed for 12 nights with 10 days of diving, and enjoyed every moment of our stay.

The traditional houses are nicely appointed and have great views from the front porch. A/C, mini bar, bathrobes, toiletries and satellite tv give you all the comforts of home.

The dive operation is flawless with extremely knowledgeable divemasters who guide you through the sites. Dives are well timed throughout the day so you never feel rushed, or left waiting. Your gear and cameras are handled by the staff and the diving is extremely easy. There is plenty of room to hang wetsuits so you are never dragging them back to your room. The camera room has lots of counter space, and electricity to charge the batteries. Hot beverages, fresh baked goodies, fruit and clean towels are offered after dives to really spoil you.

Above water there is a great swimming pool to lounge in the sun and relax, and a well stocked bar for evenings with beautiful views of the Lembeh Strait. The food is always delicious and there is plenty to choose from so you don't feel limited in your selection.

Service in the restaurant, at the front desk and in the rooms is as great as the dive service. The resort is well managed and seems to anticipate the needs of their guests.

We are so happy that we visited KBR and would highly recommend it.

  • Liked — Clean, fresh, well-maintained
  • Disliked — not one complaint
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank wlk902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2008

We arrived at KBR having spent 7 nights in a resort on the western side of the island. It really exceeded our expectations. We stayed for 6 nights. The managers and the staff are very friendly and efficient without being 'in your face', the accommodation is lovely; we stayed in a traditional house which was detached with a lovely view and an equally lovely interior. The photos on the website don't really do it justice.
The dive centre is very well run and the dive guides are brilliant.

I disagree with the review about the food being bland. When the manager greeted us, one of the things he mentioned was that Sulawesi food is extremely spicy, so for the non Indonesian clientele the chef will tend to take the spiciness down a notch, but all you have to do when ordering is to ask for your food to be 'local style' and it will come hot,hot hot! which I love. I can also recommend the fish which is incredibly fresh and perfectly cooked.

There are thoughtful touches such as hot drinks and pastries after the 1st morning dive and hot chocolate after the night dive. Ample supplies of drinking water are supplied to your room.

I would love to go back and I'd recommend anyone who's thinking about Sulawesi to go to KBR and to dive the Lembeh Straits.

  • Liked — the lovely house on stilts, the great diving and food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank 74white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level Contributor
172 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2008

We stayed a week here before going to Tasik Ria in Manado. Eco divers is the dive operator at both resorts and they were able to arrange a package that included all meals and diving in both places and transfers. KBR is a small resort and almost everyone there is a serious diver. But it would be a great place or any topical vacation.

The meals were all from the menu and were excellent. The staff was the most friendly we've ever seen. We had a quiet cottage with a 4 poster bed with mosquito netting (which we didn't need) air conditioning. The resort also has a freshwater pool where they try (weather permitting) to have a BBQ once a week. Ours was rained out just as we were getting ready to eat so they quickly moved everything inside.

There were 3 single tank dives a day from small boats - up to 8 divers and 2 divemasters but I don't ever remember them being full.
There was also unlimited shore diving from 8AM to 6PM but if you did all 3 boat dives all you could do was 1 additional shore dive after the afternoon dive. Night dives were available almost ever night and are well worth the additional cost. They also do a twilight dive to see Mandarin Fish. After the 1st dive, the wonderful young girls that serve us in the restaurant bring coffee, tea, hot chocolate and snacks to the dock. After the second dive the greeted us lunch menus so after we rinsed and dried off, our lunches would be ready.

After 7 days and 26 dives we went to Tasik Ria in Manado for 7 more nights.

  • Liked — Friendliness of the staff
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 2skidivers
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 
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Also Known As:
Kungkungan Bay Hotel Bitung
Kungkungan Bay Resort Indonesia/Bitung, Sulawesi

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