My wife and I went for our honeymoon early December, 2009. What a beautiful place! All of the resort was on stilts over the crystal clear water and looked out to the sea. When you look down into the water you can see lots of fish, bat fish, ocasional turtle and stingray, and in front of the restaurant area lots of lionfish. The diving: AWESOME!!! - I am a dive instructor and have been to some of the best in the world and work at some nice places. I've even been to Palau in Micronesia, and this place is the best i've seen overall! - At Sangalaki we had not only the wide variety of coral and fish that would make any dive great but also lots of manta hovering overhead and passing by. some would hang out at the cleaning station for a long time just feet away while we took photos. at kakaban you have great wall dives and during the break you hike to a saltwater lake in the center of the island (like in Palau but much bigger) and snorkel with millions of stingless jellyfish, lots of fun! at maratua we had some great wall dives and muck dive where we found pygmy seahorses - 4 on one fan and 1 on another - leaf fish, frog fish, leafy scorpionfish, anglerfish, mandarinfish(evening), blue ribbon eel, giant stone fish, crocodile fish, colorful soft, hard coral and sponges and fans, lots of nudibranches. one dive site has tons of turtles - must have seen 50. halfway through the dive i got sick of turtles and started to look for small stuff and thats when i found a ghost pipefish. another dive "the channel" we used reef hooks to grab on to the rock while a school of thousands of giant barracuda hovered nearby and overhead. i managed to get myself and my wife closest to the school and took some amazing photos. one bit of warning to divers: there are strong currents and although the divemasters are friendly and good at pointing stuff out, they are not at all professional in a "take care of you underwater" kind of way, so if you are not a good diver(like those from singapore, haha!) then you might want to reconsider diving here or dive with someone who can look after you.
Because the resort is over the water you have no mosquitos or sand flies to worry about as you do with the actual islands in most of asia, just a few flies trying to eat your food at breakfast and lunch - none at dinner. The staff were very friendly and polite. They almost are too polite! The manager there even bought cigarettes for me at the village when she went home and brought them to me the next day. I never mentioned to anyone that it was our honeymoon, except maybe to the woman I booked the trip through online and to my surprise, the chef had gone out of his way to hand make a heart shaped, nicely decorated chocolate cake for us! The rooms are very big and have air con and a big bed and a big bathroom and a balcony that has the best view in the world. all rooms face the ocean. The showers have hot water but very low water pressure. Their generator must be on the island because i never heard it running. Food is good and there is variety each meal but fish is common although always cooked a different way and its a big nice tasty type of fish so you will be well fed. they also give you fresh fruit for dessert each day, different fruit. beer is priced good but there is no liquor. you can sit out in the open air right on the ocean and eat then have a few beers each night under the stars with a nice breeze. Very nice way to end a day of diving! If you're a backpacker and want to party at night then go somewhere else, you probably can't afford it anyway. diving is the best i've ever done. just as good if not better than sipadan because of more variety of dive sites and no limited number of dive passes as with sipadan and no trash all over like mabul. visibility was 20m+. we also walked to the village one day where the kids like posing for pictures then look at the screen to see themself. if you turn right before the mosque and walk down the dirt road a short ways to the other side of the island there is a very long pier that goes out over the water with nice scenery. The 3 hour boat ride to the island was a bit long but was on a comfortable boat and the view of hundreds of fish houses halfway ther was nice to see. i like to choose a different location for vacation in indo, malaysia, thailand, philippines, png, etc.. each time i take vacation, but if i ever decided to go back to the same place twice this would be on the top of the list. If you are this part of the world for a dive trip, dont miss it! if you are high maintenance or like to party at clubs all night, go to some generic big hotel on the mainland with the other 10 million tourists so that this place can stay beautiful.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.