When we arrived at Manado airport we were met by a representative of two fish divers who promptly loaded us and our luggage in to a car for the journey. We arrived at the pier within 35 minutes and were told that the boat would be a couple of minutes. Eventually the boat arrived after 45 mins and then disappeared for another 90 mins. Like the previous contributor we waited and waited until the boat was unloaded and loaded. From landing to the resort was 4 hours which is not welcome after a long journey.
We were welcomed at Bunaken and were soon served a nice cold beer whilst we completed the various forms. Afterwards we were shown to our room and the luggage was soon delivered. The room was spacious and it was a nice surprise to find a large full water fountain. There was a double bed and shelving, also 6 wooden pegs to hang clothes. The bathroom was a wet room, spacious with plenty of hot water. We had a balcony with two chairs, table and hammock, a hot water flask was delivered to the room in the afternoon, however, by morning the water was lukewarm so if you like early morning drinks take a travel kettle.
The restaurant and bar area were great places to meet people of various nationalities and I was amazed at the experience level of many divers, we have 250 dives but felt like novices. Our equipment was loaded on to the boat ready to dive, changed between dives and unloaded and rinsed out. The first day we saw sharks, turtles and much reef life. We had a guide for the 2 of us and he had an extensive knowledge of the dive sites and could spot many critters. The boats were never crowded and there was plenty of water, fruit and biscuits available.
The restaurant was designed to allow divers to discuss the days diving, share tales and generally chat about previous destinations. There was always wi-fi access in the restaurant and bar area. The food was Indonesian, akin to a Chinese palate, there was a bowl of hot chilli available to spice up the food. The food was good but after 2 weeks my husband was desperate for western food again. The breakfast was cereals and eggs, sometimes bananas and the fruit was a bit hit and miss.
We transferred to Lambeh for the second part of the holiday, again transport is an issue, we paid for the transfer but we had to share a car with a driver and 2 other members of staff. It was the most uncomfortable car journey we have ever encountered; we were so compacted together we could not get to our water or move our legs for nearly 3 hours.
We moved to Lembeh after a week and the setup is very similar except that Lembeh’s accommodation is slightly better and the bar area is much bigger. However, the main difference was the diving, the first day I was apprehensive and wanted to return to Bunaken. However, after I had appreciated the difference between the two sites and respected the vast amount of life I was hooked.
Both resorts offer 5 star diving, the accommodation is basic but adequate and it is lovely to fall asleep to the sound of the sea. The guides are very knowledgeable and the staff are friendly. I definitely would consider returning but would take a travel kettle. I would rate this 5 stars except for the transfers and the lack of variety of fresh fruit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.