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“This place should come with a warning” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay

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Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay
Jl.Arie Lasut Kombos Permai G/18, Bunaken Island 95233 , Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“This place should come with a warning”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

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.

HOWEVER...............

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

Room Tip: Rooms to the left hand side are a little cramped together
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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50 reviews from our community

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4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We stayed here four night as part of a Dive Package. All meals are included in the price. We had a large deluxe bungalow: large bed with mosquito netting, table and two chairs, table with a mirror, plenty of floor space to put our bags down. Electric outlets to charge your electronics. Flush toilet, toilet paper, towels. We also got “blankets,” which were really more like larger towels.

The coral reef in front of Daniel’s is the most amazing we’ve seen anywhere!

The only weird thing about staying on Bunaken is that if you leave your guesthouse and walk around, there are no other restaurants or shops to go to and the people aren’t very friendly. It’s seems that all the dive centers here are all-inclusive and as a result there’s no reason for tourists to leave the compound. So only a few people on the island are making money, and the inhabitants don’t seem happy about that.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

The place, location and rooms are okay (only the bathroom smells very bad and the water is not working always!), but the people are VERY unfriendly! If you exactly hold on to their plan and you dive with them, you may have a good time there, but my experience was very bad. We went diving with another diveshop instead of their own diveshop. When they found out they wanted us to leave our room! The dive-instructor Stephen was already ignoring us from the first day because we did not want to go diving with him (just because we wanted to go to different spots). Very rude and unfriendly!
When we were checked out and waiting for the boat to Manado, the manager came to get us. He brought a police-officer and another guy from the homestay. They were really aggressively telling us that we on purpose demolished the room (can you believe that?!?!). When we tried to explain that the rickety bedlamp came of the wall when we tried to hang our own musqitonet, they told us that we were definitely lying and we had to go to the police with them. After screwing the lamp into the wall ourselves (!!) we still had to pay for te electrician and almost missed our boat.
If you go to Bunaken, don't take the risk that they will spoil your holiday and don't stay here! (The neighbour Ferdinand can offer you nice and friendly accommodation and staff + good diving!)

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
munich
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012 via mobile

Daniels is simply the best value on bunaken. Bungalows are basic but clean and comfy. Food is good and the staff tries to vary as much ad possible. The dive guides have good knowledge and really good eyes to spot the smallest creatures down the sites. Enjoyed it a lot

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sinsheim
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

In October we returned from our two weeks trip to Bunaken and it was a memorable experience. Unfortunately I have to say this was not due to the services of Daniel's Homestay but in spite of.

To plan our trip we had contacted a German called Papa Klaus who runs a very helpful website about Bunaken (www.bunaken-klaus.com). Following Klaus’ suggestions we asked Daniel's Homestay for accommodation and for our diving trips we contacted Ferdinand Nuij (ferdinand.nuij@gmail.com), a Dutch freelance diving instructor who lives on the island. Ferdinand lends his diving boat “Kurnia” (together with its captain Feki and a diving guide) to groups of divers. Since we were four quite experienced divers and one snorkeler we saw this as a great opportunity for us to explore the Bunaken islands on our own and to save some bucks on the dives. After some delay due to the uncertain internet connection on Bunaken we arranged with Ferdinand about the boat, crew and diving tanks and Priscilla from Daniel’s Homestay sent us the voucher for board and lodging at the homestay. In her e-mail Priscilla stated explicitly that we would pay the normal price instead of the promotion price for divers since we wanted to arrange the dives on our own. This was in July, about three months before our trip started.

When we arrived in Manado at the end of September everything seemed fine. Some guys from Daniel’s picked us up from the airport and brought us by boat to the island. Once we were there we found the accommodations a bit Spartan and the concentration of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris in the sea in front of the resort reminded us that civilization is never far away but of course you can’t expect too much from what is one of the cheapest resorts of the island.

The real problems started the next morning when Daniel the owner of the homestay asked us to his office. Here he told us in a quite rude way that we only could stay if we decided to do our dives with the diving of his resort. We were quite surprised to discover that Daniel had not been informed by his daughter Priscilla about the terms of our booking (at least that’s what he told us). It seems that Priscilla stays in Japan from where she coordinates the online bookings for the homestay (or tries to). Even after we had shown the printout of Priscilla’s confirmation e-mail to Daniel he stuck to his decision: “Dive with us or leave the homestay within the next day”. As we intended not to break our agreement with Ferdinand Nuij to rent his diving boat we had practically been kicked out.

We were a bit worried to find ourselves without a place to stay on a small island far away from home but thanks to the precious help of Ferdinand we soon found accommodation at the nearby Kuskus Resort (http://bunakenkuskusresort.com/), slightly more expensive but way more comfortable. Ferdinand hired Son, the head of Kuskus’ diving center, as our diving guide and this turned out to be a great choice. Son is a wonderful person, extremely reliable as a guide (which unfortunately is not to take for granted on Bunaken) and absolutely incredible in finding and pointing out all the bizarre and often hardly visible wonders the sea around Bunaken has to offer. If you are keen to meet families of seahorses, ghostpipefish, neon luminescent cuttlefish (http://tinyurl.com/77ox877) or the mimic octopus then ask Son to take you to the recently discovered diving sites Aba and Wori Point. If you are more into big encounters then you should ask Feki, the captain of the “Kurnia” for a dolphin tour and with some luck and the hints from local fishermen waiting for thunas out on the sea on their selfmade catamaran canoes you could even meet a family of spermwhales! (http://tinyurl.com/86s9tft).

A special thank you to Ferdinand, Feki, Son and Papa Klaus who made our trip to Bunaken such a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012 via mobile

Basic cottage poorly mantained, sheet not So clean, bathroom door was not closing properly, food was okish, the staff is quite friendly.
My overall impression about the place is that is collapsing and they are not doing anything about it.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

Very good, but be careful to the manager: it's a little trap to leave, cos the day of your departure, there smiles fall and the scam begins - be very careful!
They take you in hostage to leave, they ask you so many expencive money if you want to leave, they doesn't matter!
Diving club = Price dives & Equitment: very correct.
The staff: the worst of all my life diver!! (15 years dives) they are very bad for the supervision and compliance with safety the most basic!

Room Tip: in front of the beach, to the other side the restaurant
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Daniel's Resort aka Daniel's Homestay

Address: Jl.Arie Lasut Kombos Permai G/18, Bunaken Island 95233 , Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Daniel`s Resort Aka Daniel`s Homestay Hotel Bunaken Island

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