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“Great resort and excellent diving” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lembeh Resort

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Lembeh Resort
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Bitung
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great resort and excellent diving”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

My wife and I visited Lembeh Resort on Nov 2 - 11, 2013 along as part of an 11 person group. While my wife had a rough set of flights over from Ottawa Canada, the staff at the resort went well above and beyond to ensure she was comfortable. We would like to compliment the restaurant staff and chefs for ensuring that her gluten free diet requirements were accommodated with nice variety. All the staff were very attentive to any request and ensured everyone was well looked after.

The Lembeh Resort is in very nice location and the staff ensure it is kept in very nice conditions. While we didn't encounter any issues with our unit, our friends in the next unit had their AC unit fail one evening and the staff at first attempted repairs and when this didn't correct the problem rearranged their accommodations for the evening so they still had a nice sleep and replaced the unit the next morning.

We stayed in unit 3A which we were very surprised by. This is a very large double room unit that went well beyond what we expected. The outdoor shower was a surprise especially for people who come from cold climate (it snowed at home while we were here) however it ended up being well used especially after a day of diving. The bed turn-down is just another example of how the staff want to ensure your stay with them is as pleasant as possible.

The dive operation is very well run and we would like to compliment Lauren, a fellow Canadian, and all the staff. In particular I would like to mention two of the dive staff although all of them should be mentioned. Our DM for the week was Opo K and this man was amazing at finding the various critters that makes Lembeh famous. I am still amazed that he knew all the names of the various critters especially all the nudis. During the week we had a presentation of photos taken by Opo S. While english was not Opo S' first language and you could tell he was nervous at the start he gave a very good presentation on how he had progressed from point&shoot to DSLR. When he presented his pictures we were just awestruck by the detail and quality of his shoots.

While this was our first visit to Lembeh Resort and the trip to get here was long we hope to make future return trips and would recommend this resort to anyone who is looking to go beyond just another set of reef dives. The dive and resort staff will make sure that anyone's visit is memorable.

John and Diana R

Room Tip: We stayed in unit 3A which was great, . One of our group stayed in unit 11 which was up the hill an...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John_R_1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danny C, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Warm greetings from Lembeh Resort! Thank you very much for taking the time to write this review. We are thrilled to hear that you and your wife enjoyed your stay here and that you were pleasantly surprised by the spacious room.
We do our best to accommodate any dietary requests or requirements and are pleased to hear that your wife was happy with the variety and quality of her gluten-free meals.
Thank you as well for your kind remarks regarding the dive operation, your dive guide, and the evening dive guide presentation - we think it's a great way for guests and guides to get to know each other better in a relaxed social setting and many of our guides are great photographers too!
A final sincere thank you for recommending us to others. We hope to welcome you back in the future.
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589 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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Singapore
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

Our first (long-awaited) trip to Lembeh Strait surpassed all expectations. The whole team at Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh went out of their way to make our stay extra special. We enjoyed the highest level of friendly, professional service from the warm welcome at 1am at Manado airport, to the fond farewell at the end of our stay.

The resort itself is tastefully designed to complement the natural beauty of its setting. The well-equipped villas are nestled in the hillside, affording spectacular views of the Straits while protecting the privacy of guests (the steps aren't too steep but you need to watch your footing after dark, especially when you descend to the well-lit restaurant). The mosquitoes are a bit of a nuisance and the rooms would benefit from a few mosquito coils in the evenings. The choice of outside shower is a special treat for those who don't mind sharing the space with a few bugs and you need to be prepared to encounter spiders and lizards in the nooks and crannies of the wooden-walled rooms. The staff are never too far away to come to the rescue and the villa itself has a full range of modern comforts. It was hard to leave the comfy veranda outside our villa each evening but the friendly banter and tasty food made it compelling to join the other guests in the bar for a lively exchange of critter stories or to enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner overlooking the resort. (one tiny point - the wine list is quite limited so if you may want to take a few bottles of your favourite tipple if this is important to you).

During our stay, both the resort and the dive centre provided an impressive level of flexible and personalised options that were designed to suit our individual preferences. We were a mixed group of 2 non-divers and 2 divers, the latter spanning 15 to 2000 dives respectively. The dive centre designed a tailor made experience for each member of our group, including a Padi ‘discover scuba diving course’ for the non-divers and a one-on-one photography course for the more experienced diver.

The standard of guiding on the dives was exemplary. We saw an awesome range of critters and all our guides went out of their way to fulfil our individual critter wish lists and share their impressive knowledge of species identification and underwater photography. I was particularly grateful to the Lembeh photo-pro Sascha Jansen for his patient and tailor-made tuition. I can highly recommend his DSLR course, especially for those who want to get the most from their underwater photography during the trip. Sascha was also able to provide a tailor-made lesson on post-editing which I found invaluable.

The whole experience was one of the most memorable and enjoyable trips ever. We want to say a huge thank you to the awesome team at Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh. We will definitely be back! ..keep on singing!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WorkRestPlay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danny C, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Our sincere thanks for writing this review. It was really a pleasure hosting the four of you and we are so happy to hear you enjoyed the resort setting, room, and comfy veranda.
It was also a real joy introducing your (formerly) non-diving friends to the world of diving. They were model students and their enthusiasm was fantastic!
We are so happy to hear that our Photo Pro Sascha was able to help you get the shots you want - many of our guests take photos and video underwater and it's really gratifying for us when we can help people take their photography to the next level.
Thanks again for staying and diving with us and we can't wait to welcome you back too!
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Boston, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

Lembeh Resort is the go-to place in Lembeh Strait.
This was my 4th visit and the current managers-Ana and Miguel have improved an already great resort..
Rooms are large and most have excellent views of the Strait and the distant volcano. Food is better than most resorts.
The staff could not be friendlier and is always anxious to please. Every request is responded to with a smile and handled quickly.
Excellent massages at the spa
All in all-a highly recommended resort. I'll be back next year.

Room Tip: Some rooms require many steps but have outstanding views.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pwsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danny C, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Thank you and we look forward to having you here again next year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
195 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

This is a property on which I have very mixed feelings.

First the reasonably good part.

The resort operation is well managed by a very nice couple from Portugal - Anna and Miguel. Any request I posed to them was immediately addressed. The resort staff was pleasant and efficient.

Many reviews have discussed the rooms which I found to be adequate and superior by local standards. They are more or less on par with the other top end resorts in Lembeh. As noted the rooms on the cliff side are more modern but involve navigating some number of steps. At night these steps could be a problem as they are uneven in both surface, size, and lighting. If you have problems going up a few flights of stairs - these are not the rooms for you.

The rooms themselves have air conditioning, a cold-hot water machine, and Wi-Fi. The lighting is adequate and most of them on the cliff have good views. Personally I would have preferred a television - resorts such as KBR, Kaswari, and Lembeh Hills all have televisions. On the plus side of the cliff rooms - they are quiet.

Food is reasonably good. As noted in some reviews - items on buffets - especially breakfast were warm vice hot. There was never a problem requesting eggs for breakfast and any other request for lunch or dinner was met promptly and without any hesitation.

Now the bad. The dive operation. All of these comments were conveyed both to the dive center manager - Lauren and the resort managers - during and not at the end of my stay.

I had paid for a private boat and guide for myself and my friend. Here is the statement on the resort-dive center website and in correspondence.

A private boat is also available from 7:30AM to 5PM for an additional $175 per day. The private boat includes your own guide and gives you the option to dive when you like, and for as long as you like. You can essentially create your own schedule with a private boat. Your guide will discuss your personal preferences with you, what critters and dive sites you specifically would like to see, and will give you the option to return to the same dive sites as many times as you prefer. Your personal dive crew will take care of all of your gear and camera equipment, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time in Lembeh hassle-free.

Unfortunately - none of these statements are true.

1. We were not asked where we wanted to dive.
2. We really could not dive when we wanted.
3. We were actively encouraged NOT to dive as long as we wanted.

Our first guide, replaced with two dives remaining, never asked where we wanted to dive despite attempts to discuss and select dive sites. The following is the interaction on the last day of diving that led to our request that he be replaced.

1. Where should we go diving?

Response - a muck dive.

2. Where would you recommend?

Response - dive guide goes to front of boat and never answers.

If that were not enough then there was my attempt to borrow tools to replace a battery. The guide's initial response - "I don't have tools". No attempt or interest to assist. With persistence he says - go to the camera shop. I then find it is closed on that day - known to everyone.

OK, I want to see the dive manager. No manager is found - she is having a day off - I learn later but no second in command is provided. Finding any appropriate tools fails. By the way, after discussing this with the resort manager - he finds tools the next morning.

You might think a private guide with a "dive as long as you want" would stay with you through the dive. Not so. He consistently left after 60 minutes.

As far as dive when you want. There was no way to start at 7:30 AM as that is when the dive staff arrives. My attempts to start before 8 AM were simply ignored. The majority of the dive staff leaves at 4:30 PM. This became very apparent with our second guide who insisted on banging his tank incessantly starting at 4:30 PM because he wanted to return to the resort.

As I told the resort managers - the resort is the sum of the parts. A major part is the dive operation which I found unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, the dive operation is a concessionaire that is beyond the control of the resort managers.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlwaysOnTheAirplane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danny C, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 25 November 2013
Thank you for your review and I apologize on behalf of the dive center that your experience was less than you expected. A full report was submitted which paints a very different picture. Never the less, next time you visit North Sulawesi, please drop me an email and I’ll personally take time to provide you with the best possible service.

Since before we opened Lembeh Resort, my Indonesian wife and I have owned the dive center and are responsible for marketing, have a solid partnership and trusted & honest name in the dive industry. We work very hard and have systems to ensure each and every guest is treated well. We're always receptive to feedback, criticism or anything to help us improve. We are quite certain people will focus on the preceding positive comments.
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2013

I have been many times to Lembeh, by live-aboard or by daytrip from manado but this time I wanted to stay with the critters ;-).
Some years ago there were few resorts but now there is a good choice in places to stay in Lembeh.

I choose Lembeh Resort, partly by the good reviews here on Tripadvisor but the location is also perfect, no local village nearby so the whole surrounding is quiet, this I like!

After a mail-exchange with the manager, that time Helen, we would stay in cabin nr 12, with a beautifull view and very quiet located.
The only downside was that it's a 110 stairsteps away from the mainbuilding, good for the exercise.

The mail-exchange already gave a good feelimg, as did the reception at the airport and at the resort itself. You instandly feel 'at home'.
This because the managers, Ana and miguel, are so nice and give you a welcome feeling, really they make a difference!!

I could could tell about the diving but Lembeh need no introduction, nr 1 worldclass for critters and nr 2 is far, far away.
What do make the differance are the guides, pffffffffff they need no spectacles and see things we would never see.
The whole operation is smooth, staff is helpfull, dedicated and always smiling.
The guides are perfect, especially Iwan, het is out of this world. He showed me things I had never seen before and were so tiny that I called him 'Eagle-eye'. Iwan is great.

As always there are some points which I would like to tell you:
Ofcourse you come here to dive but after the dive you are hungry. The food is good but to much adjusted to the taste of (mostly) Americans, I had loved it when there was more authentic local food on the menue. But the food was good and enough.

Would I come again to Lembeh Resort: Most definately!!!
Many thanks to Ana and Miguel for there warm welcome and stay.
Regards
Roel and Karin

Room Tip: The number of steps of the bungalows on the right side are less, the steps of the bungalows on the r...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roelduikcursussen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danny C, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Thank you for your lengthy review and we're delighted you choose to "stay with the critters" this visit. Your positive comments are well received and we take note regarding your desire for more local food tastes.
We look forward to have you stay & dive with us again.
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Hong Kong
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

The managers of this resort make this place truly special due to their interest in people and all the little details. Great location and diving. Lots and lots of repeat visitors - which says it all. Simple but lovely spa. Great staff who really look after you and make you welcome.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank KarenCol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnaFonsecaLR, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Thank you very much for taking the team to write this review about Lembeh Resort, it is greatly appreciated. It pleases us immensely to hear you consider this place truly special and well managed. We are also pleased you enjoy the location and the amazing diving Lembeh has to offer. Most of all we are happy you appreciate our great teams, they definitely help make Lembeh Resort the special place that it is. Yes we do have many repeat guests that became friends and that really makes us all ver happy. We all look forward to welcome you back. Warm wishes from Lembeh resort and Critters@Lembeh
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Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2013

I cannot really express any addition words of praise about this resort that have not been said so eloquently in the previous few reviews. As it turns out we were all at the same macro photography workshop and we all had an excellent time.

One addition for me was the ability to have a completely Gluten Free dining experience. I did bring a couple of items (gf soy & oyster sauce, 2 loaves of bread, and 2 boxes of baking mix). Upon arrival I met with the head chef and Miguel (one the the pair of superlative Managers - Ana being the other). The wait/ serving staff knew me by name within one contact and never had a problem/ issue/ difficulty with making certain that I received 100% gluten free food. Over the next 11 nights I ate extremely well for 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks (hey! diving's hungry work) and did not get sick at all!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DocTock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnaFonsecaLR, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 16 November 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review about Lembeh Resort. We are extremely happy to hear that you had such an enjoyable stay with us. Thank you for bringing some of the gluten free ingredients that are so hard to find in a remote location like ours, it pleases us immensely to hear you appreciated our team's effort in making sure that you received 100% gluten free food. We all hope to welcome you again. Kind regards from Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lembeh Resort

Property: Lembeh Resort
Address: North Lembeh, Bitung 95500, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Bitung
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bitung
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bitung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Lembeh Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a boutique style resort tucked into a quiet cove on Lembeh Island and the resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Our location means that we are only 5-20 minutes away from the majority of the amazing dive sites in the Lembeh Strait - often known as the Muck Diving Capital of the world! All our guest cottages include 24 hour electricity, en-suite bathroom with hot water, air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds, wardrobe, table and chair, dispenser for cold as well as hot drinking water, complimentary tea & coffee, mini-bar and electronic safe. Sitting on your verandah, you can enjoy beautiful sunsets nearly every day over the stunning North Sulawesi scenery. At any time of the day you can relax around our fresh water swimming pool and from the afternoon onwards you can visit out Spa where you can relax after a hard day of diving with a nice massage and also run a variety of land based excursions as well.We have 12 full time dive guides on staff, with more than 65,000 combined dives in Lembeh alone. We have very small group ratios, with a maximum of 4 divers to 1 guide. We have a full time Marine Biologist on staff, who assists our guests in identifying all the weird and wonderful critters of Lembeh Strait. We also have the only full time photo/video pro in the Lembeh Strait who teaches a variety of photo and video courses if you are interested in photography. He also has a large collection of rental gear, including point and shoot systems, DSLR systems, and HD video cameras. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lembeh Resort Indonesia/Bitung, Sulawesi

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