As a solo-traveller who had not dived for about five years, I was looking for a friendly resort, with great diving, without too far to go for it and that could help me get back into the swing of things quickly. Well: check, check, check and check. Two Fish Bunaken was spot on. From the moment the island appeared on the horizon, to the moment I set foot back in Manado, I had an excellent time.
The diving: Now, I may not have the most experience of diving, but it's far and away the best I've seen. The walls provide a fantastic opportunity to dive at different depths and the sea life is plentiful. The dive guides (max four divers per guide, another plus) know every nook and cranny of every dive site and can show you everything from sharks and turtles to pigmy seahorses. And, seeing as the Drop Off is literally metres from the shore, transfer times to the dive sites are short - or you can just snorkel straight out. If you catch the right current, you can sit back and let it gently take you along the wall.
As I'd missed a few years, Two Fish were more than happy to give me a quick refresher in the pool - put me right at ease.
The resort: In short, it's beautiful. I stayed in a standard cottage room. It had it's own bathroom, a lovely big room and a deck for drying your stuff on, and more importantly a hammock for those afternoon-naps-of-necessity. It looked out over the pool and you could hear the waves on the beach.
The resort is really laid back and friendly. There's wifi in the restaurant and a great bar for the evenings. You don't need to carry cash around with you - just settle up when you leave - and prices seemed reasonable. You can walk into the village for an explore and you may well bump into several of the resort staff while you're there.
The food: Had to consider this one separately. Three meals a day included and they're great. Plenty of local fresh food, and always enough of it! The best thing about it was that everyone eats together, on a couple of long tables. Seeing as I was on my own, this was great and really added to the friendliness of the place. You're often joined by Tina and Nigel (the owners) and some of the dive instructors, so it's a great time for everyone to get to know each other.
The people: Most friendly bunch of people you're likely to come across. 'Nuff said.
The weather: Steaming hot. Went during one of the wettest rainy seasons they've had in a while, but aside from a few evening storms this didn't have any effect on me at all. They know which sites to visit so that last night's storms won't knock the visibility. And anyway, if you're going to cry about a couple of storms, the tropics probably isn't the destination for you.
So, all in all, would I go back? Just try and stop me. The only change I'd make would be to spend a couple of days over in the resort at Lembeh too - where apparently the muck diving is brilliant.
- Also Known As:
- 2 Fish Divers Bunaken
- Two Fish Divers Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island
- Two Fish Divers Bunaken Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small and cosy resort based on Bunaken Island, characterised by:• Beach-side accommodation - wooden cottages with cooling fan, HOT water showers and large balconies with hammocks.• Other resort amenities include 18m swimming pool; 24 hour electricity; relaxing area; beach café; FREE wifi internet; book swap facility.• Small &Personal with really friendly staff.• European management – owned and managed by Tina and Nigel, who have been living & diving on Bunaken for more than 10 years.• No crowds - maximum 20-22 divers. ... more less