We stayed here for about 5 days in May 2012.
A very mixed bag. Certainly the place is nice and comfortable, but it should come with a SEVERE WARNING.
Okay, first the good bits.
The bungalows can't really be faulted. The rooms are clean, you knew the bedsheets had been washed properly, and the mosquito net shone white and was in a good condition. The bathroom wasn't scrubbed clean, but you could tell someone had done more than just throw a bucket of cold water round the floor. The bungalows are a little cramped together (certainly more-so than other resorts), so if you want privacy you might want to look elsewhere.
We liked the nice little touches – bucket on the steps to wash your feet, lightswitches next to the bed, hooks on the wall. So easy, but missing from most places in Indo.
The balcony was a comfortable place to spend the day, but you might want to bring a hammock or steal the pillows from inside. The WIFI was reliable and a good speed (we Skyped our friends from our balcony). There is endless tea/coffe/hot water in the dining area.
The food was of a very high standard, a good variety with lots of meat/fish, and there was always more than enough.
The snorkling directly out of the front is absolutely amazing, both in terms of coral and fish.
If you stay at Daniel's then you will not be permitted to dive at any other operator than Immanuels (the attached dive centre). And if you do? Well, here is our story.......
We did one dive with Immanuel's when we first arrived. We were not inspired by the very impersonal experience, a surprise from a dive centre whose motto is 'dive with friends'. We felt the briefing was not detailed enough, for example there was no clarification as to what whould happen at the end of the dive (i.e. ascend together or in buddy pairs). Our dive guide was already in the water while we were still kitting up (a good thing we didn't have any problems), and he never even introduced himself or asked how the dive had been afterwards. Both my wife and I are fairly experienced divers, and do not need our 'hands holding', but it would have been nice to know that the staff cared if we enjoyed or were comfortable on the dive.
Because of our poor first dive, we decided not to do any more dives with Immanuels, but instead went next door to Iwan Jawa, where we were much more impressed by the friendly Roberto (owner) and Buddu (dive guide). We did just one dive at Iwan Jawa the next day.
When Immanuel's learned we had gone elsewhere, the manager (Felix) of the dive centre invited us into the office for a chat. He explained that there was a rule on the island that if you stay in a particular guest house, then you must dive with their associated dive centre. This was a rule that all accommodation followed, even though it was never displayed or opened admitted anywhere. Because we had broken the rules, we had to leave. Immediately. It was almost 4pm in the afternoon at this point, but the manager was insistant. "No, it is best if you leave. You leave now please. We get your bill." We were speechless. We had unknowingly broken an unspoken rule, and were being given just minutes to get out. They didn't ask us not to dive with the competition, they didn't ask us why we were not diving with them, they didn't give us until the next day to find alternative accommodation. They simply wanted us out, and were very aggressive about it. We were understandably not happy with this treatment, and the discussion became quite vocal.
Overhearing the raised voices, the wife (Grace) of the owner came to investigate. Felix was shoo-ed away, and Grace did her best to calm us down. She explained that the rule did exist, but acknowledged that we were not to know and that therefore we could continue to stay here. She agreed to display this rule in the recpetion in the future, but i was not conviced by the cincerity of this claim. This is particularly true since I've read another Trip Advisor review since our stay of the same thing happening.
Needless to say the experience left a very bad taste in our mouths, and we continued to feel uncomfortable around the resort, although the other staff were pleasant. We had done as much diving as we had hoped to do, and had another full day on the island before leaving.
This place could have been one of the best places we had stayed in Indo if it had not been for the unforgiveable treatment we recieved from a particular staff member, and as a result we would NOT recommend this place. Please vote with your feet and stay elsewhere until they get their act together.
Karl and Harriet
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Odigeo so you can book your Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Daniel`s Resort Aka Daniel`s Homestay Hotel Bunaken Island