After reading the various reviews, my husband and I went to this place prepared for cautious diving ("take care of ourselves diving". Thanks for the advice, Grevich), not too fancy amenities and facilities. Sadly, despite the good diving, our holiday was spoilt by the tour operator. Our flight from Balikpapan to Berau was delayed by 5 hours. We were put up in a very bad hotel in Berau. We're not complaining about the condition but the operator's attitude. They selected the flights but did not take any responsibility. Instead, when I asked for a refund, I was served with a very sarcastic "being seasoned travellers, you should know better" kind of mocking reply. We were told that when we finally arrived on the island ready for a good time- what a nice welcome! We got a part refund and also found out there was another couple who had the same experience so it happens often enough.
On top of that, we travelled in a dingy boat on the 3 hour ride to Maratua despite following the operator's/resort's boat schedule. No proper working engines (we had to stop a few times), no toilet, no proper seats, no life jacket in sight, very bumpy, etc. Basically we "tagged along" on the boat for transporting groceries to the island. Tour operator's response to that is "... depend on which unit is available at the Berau Jetty, and usually smaller boat will be operated if there are only few guests to be transferred."
Different parts of the journey are operated by different companies. We got wrong information throughout and again and again, they just said" I dunno what the other company told you. Not my fault. Don't ask me." I'm Malaysian and speak Malay so it was not a language problem.
Diving was very good as mentioned by other reviews but maybe not for long... divers and dive masters breaking corals was a common sight. I really hope the resort would make some conservation effort.
Having said that, food is ok, staff very friendly and service is good. If you're looking to go to this place, be prepared for unpleasant changes and I wish you better luck than us. Good luck, folks!
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- Also Known As:
- Maratua Paradise Hotel Maratua Island