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“Paradise found” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Misool Eco Resort

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Misool Eco Resort
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Misool, Raja Ampat 98483, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Paradise found”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

Imagine a highly remote place on earth that's charmingly difficult to get to and takes you off the grid. Imagine no cell service or television. Imagine people searching for your vacation whereabouts can't find you. Imagine 2-3 dives per day in waters bluer than Sinatra's eyes. Imagine two hour breakfasts (if you want them). Imagine an eco-sensitive resort, constructed by love and hard work for you and marine life. Imagine not being able to find the words to properly tell your family and friends how cool and totally relaxing your vacation to paradise was. Imagine yourself sitting back at your desk at work, wishing you hadn't left the resort, and had followed your fantasy about chucking it all and living on an island. Go there, my friend.

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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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91 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Los Angeles
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

Misool Eco Resort definitely suffers from the burden of high expectations -- which are inevitable given its high price point. Taking into account the remote location of this resort, they obviously face various challenges, but charging approximately $1000/night for a couple to share a cottage makes it more difficult to overlook lapses and deficiencies. At these prices you expect a certain level of accommodation and standard of service that they simply did not meet.

First impressions: After a full 36+ hours of travel, we arrived at Sorong airport and were met in the baggage area by staff, then bundled into cramped cars for a short ride to the dock. Here we waited, standing in a gravel patch next to the boats. And waited. And waited. At no point were we given any formal introduction or welcome. It would have been nice to receive a bottle of water or at the very least been told where the nearest restroom was located. After about 20 minutes, it finally became evident that one of the people milling about aimlessly was in fact the general manager of the resort. Unfortunately, it did not appear that the manager was making much effort to manage the departure process. We were left to stand in the heat for over 30 minutes while the boat was loaded with provisions for the island. Why this was not accomplished prior to our arrival remains a mystery. It's not as if they didn't know when we were arriving. Adding to our frustration, we were never apprised as to our estimated time of departure.

And then, the boats: Both transfer boats were decidedly down at heel, not particularly clean or comfortable. The resort website describes an “air-conditioned cabin”, but the only thing I felt conditioned by was diesel fumes. Having traveled to other dive destinations which require boat transfers, I found this one sorely lacking. We were lucky enough to have good weather both ways and the views were pleasant, but again for a resort at this price point I would expect a significantly more comfortable arrival and transfer process. To be fair, they did serve a light lunch and had cold drinks available once the boat was under way. At one point in the middle of the journey the boats slowed so that some passengers on the other boat could pass some beers they had brought along to their friends on our boat. I was mildly amused to see the aforementioned general manager accept a beer for himself, guzzle it down, and doze off. Perhaps my standards are too high, but I did not find this particularly professional.

Accommodations: The lagoon and over-water cottages are extremely picturesque; however, the cottage is not so much luxurious Four Seasons Bora Bora as a serviceable rustic bungalow – despite their being similarly priced!!! Outdoor bathrooms mean that you will be fleeing a swarm of mosquitos with each nocturnal trip to the toilet (which is full of algae). Note that the island is teeming with mosquitos in the early morning and from 5pm onward – no fault of the resort, but it would be foolhardy to venture out on the island at these times without a thick layer of DEET in excess of 50%. One of the other guests tried the island’s natural mosquito repellent product and promptly jettisoned it, declaring it utterly useless.

Diving: Fantastic dive center, friendly and competent dive staff. Visibility was excellent, up to 30m, but apparently this is above average. Generally this area of Raja Ampat is not known for big animal encounters with the exception of seasonal mantas if you’re lucky, but most divers having invested time and money traveling here should already be aware of this. The reef life was varied and abundant, macro was world-class. The highlight was definitely a dive with huge schools of baitfish, hunting tuna, jacks, and mobulas. Sharks were mostly absent—a likely result of the island’s previous life as a shark-finning camp. It is to Misool’s credit that they have been active in establishing a no-take zone since 2006, and if the abundance of baby black tips in the lagoon is any indication, there may be hope for the region’s shark populations. There are 3 dive boats, but if you are unlucky enough to be stuck on the smallest and oldest of these, prepare for a rough ride especially in choppy waters. Good snorkeling too. Really enjoyed the evening marine life presentations given by Calvin and Becky.

Food: 4 buffet-style Western-Indonesian fusion meals per day. Tasty for the most part although it does run on the greasy side.

Little things that irked me: on arrival the nightly turndown service as promised by staff never actually happened; when the water went out on our last night, the manager was slow to respond; a week of using the organic shampoo left my hair a mass of dreadlocks; the first aid kit on this island 5 hours from the nearest hospital is poorly equipped at best with a mishmash of outdated medications and supplies.

In summary: clearly the founders have done an impressive job of creating a resort in an isolated region with world-class diving. They appear to have their heart in the right place with regard to both conservation efforts and working with the local communities to achieve them. The location is undoubtedly stunning, but the execution and management of the resort leaves much to be desired.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

An amazing week - a beautiful place, a wonderful ethos and fantastic staff - with Calvin and Becky setting the standard and making sure nothing was too much trouble to give us a great time.

Brilliant diving and snorkelling. Great kit, expert staff and fantastic locations close by.

The water cottages were thoughtfully designed. Food and restaurant bar staff lovely. If one thing could be improved - better communication over the few problems with power would have been good. These things happen but do let guests know what is being done to sort it out!

However we will definitely go back

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a week at Misool and wanted to write here to point out two things about the resort
1) It's beautiful and beautifully run by gentle, thoughtful people
2) They work hard to do right by the environment

I wouldn't say that the resort is totally perfect, clearly still working on a few things being new, but the staff more than made up for that by the service and earnestness brought to the way they work with clients and trying to keep this idllyic part of the world pristine (e.g., setting up "no fish" zones to try to protect shark and other endangered species populations in the area)

Our experience there was very inspiring, from the excellent quality and choice of foods to the carefully prepared juices (we miss those papaya lassis!) to the entire lovingly and artistically constructed resort itself, from the amazingly effective dive boat crews to the gentle and accommodating resort staff, to the great things we learnt (from everyone) about the brave conservation efforts ongoing, and the cheerful cleaning people to the wonderful dive masters!

The resort is amazingly sited, withing 15 minutes boat ride to dozens of fabulous dive sites (and I think more than half the sites we dived at were 5 minutes away or less), which makes the experience of diving so much more pleasant to sea-sick prone folks like us (one of the key reasons we did not go with a liveaboard.) Plus you can dive and return to shore for surface intervals and use restrooms/eat marvellous food instead of being forced to hang out on a rocking boat.

Diving was spectacular, as you would expect from Raja Ampat, a 10 foot wing-spanned Manta, three different types of sharks (including baby ones right in the bay where the resort is sited... in fact they swam by our Water Cottage sometimes), unbelievably huge schools of anchovies (I mistook one for a rock formation above us), and masses of weird and wonderful creatures.

A few notes to help your stay if you do come here
1) Go for the lassi's they're great
2) Pace yourself on the food- there's so much wonderful food, you want to be able to fit in your diving suit by end of week
3) Note that the final day at the resort doesn't involve diving, so it's 6 rather than 7 diving days, which might affect which dive plan you want
4) Bring mosquito repellent
5) Bring an underwater camera- even if you have to buy one just for the trip- it's worth it!


  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

Though the trip to Misool is 4 hours by speed boat, it is really worth to spend your holiday in Misool Eco Resort. The owner has a great concept of keeping the 1200km no take zone for fishing. This will bring back the environment to beauty ofthe fishes and the coral reefs. We had an excursion by boat to see the "Rock Painting" which were painted 5000 years ago in the rock in one of those 615 islands. The resort has one of the best dive center. Very well organize and making trips to interesting dive sites where most divers would want to visit. Without hesitation to recommend divers to make the trip there..... And you will agree with me that it is worth the trip.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

My husband and I had our honeymoon at Misool Eco Resort. We absolutely loved it and never wanted to leave. Everything was just perfect. We stayed at Villa Tabisasu which has a loungeroom and a lovely day bed plus a bit of extra privacy. The boat trip over was a bit rough and long so to make up for it we were given complimentary sparkling wine and massages - great! The food at the resort was delicious with plenty of variety. There is a great selection of non-alcoholic drinks including yummy ginger and lemongrass coolers. The wine is expensive but it is expensive everywhere in Indonesia and it is difficult to get wine to the island. We did bring our own bottle of gin (as suggested by the resort) and enjoyed plenty of gin and tonics.

The diving was fantastic and the dive masters were very passionate and knowledgeable. We did the manta researcher experience and a manta ray became very friendly with my husband - floating near him for about half an hour! I wasn't a very experienced diver but this wasn't a problem as the dive masters were very helpful and make me feel confident. I did my first night dive which I absolutely loved. I have so many great diving memories from this trip I only wished I had bought an underwater camera...

One night we had a special private dinner at the "make out point" with beautiful candles and more food that we could ever eat. A perfect thing to do on honeymoon. We also did a kayaking and private beach trip which was another highlight despite some rain.

The staff at the resort are friendly and helpful. We especially loved Daddi who always had a smile on his face.

Overall Misool is a wonderful place full of passionate people. Thank you for making our honeymoon so special.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hong Kong, China
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

The staggering thing about Misool Eco Resort is what they have managed to accomplish here given the logistics and how far away from civilisation it is. They have built a stunning and totally eco-friendly dream of a resort... you really need to watch their slide shows of its creation to appreciate how much blood, sweat and tears Andy and Marit have poured into this place. They don't just pay lip service to the "Eco-Resort" trend either, they live and breathe it in every aspect of this resort's operation. Their efforts in protecting the seas around in the no-take zone are hugely admirable, especially with their involvements in the surrounding villages to get full local buy-in on the concept. Plus their manta research project is now taking off too.

The cottages are gorgeous (especially the decks with the over water hammocks!), the food is great and the staff are unbelievably pleasant. The diving operation is efficient and you are always in very safe and fun hands with Calvin, Becky and co. The diving is of course excellent because it's Raja Ampat, but I would always come back to this resort rather than a liveaboard because of the huge difference they are making here.

In the interests of full disclosure there were a couple of small hiccups that come with the territory when so remote. There were a number of plumbing-related issues such as temperamental showers and total lack of fresh water on some days. I suspect their fresh water system wasn't quite ready to handle the newly expanded resort, so hopefully that's been ironed out now. Also the Nitrox compressor broke down and took a couple of days to fix. Really though, in the grand scheme of what they are doing here, you can't be complaining too much about stuff like this.

Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
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Additional Information about Misool Eco Resort

Address: Misool, Raja Ampat 98483, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Raja Ampat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Misool Eco Resort is an exclusive dive resort and conservation center located in the southern part of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Our private resort island is nestled deep in a vast archipelago of uninhabited islands, in the heart of marine biodiversity. Our island and our scuba dive sites are surrounded by our very own 1220 sq km No-Take Zone. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Misool Eco Hotel Raja Ampat

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