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“scuba diving and snorkeling paradise” 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
California
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
“scuba diving and snorkeling paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I have dived and snorkeled extensively throughout the world and I have never had a more enjoyable week of diving than the one I just spent at Misool Ecoresort. Every dive was at a minimum very good and many were fantastic. From pygmy seahorse to manta and mobular rays, from schools of large bumphead wrasse to ornate ghost pipefish, from soft coral in every color imaginable to schools of tens of thousands of anchioves and glass fish there was never a dull moment thanks to the no take marine reserve established by resort owner and visionary Andy Miner.

The rooms are very nice and the views are out of this world. The food is fine though this is not a gourmet food destination. The Indonesian dive guides and staff were terrific and extremely friendly. As mentioned by other reviewers Misool is a very remote location and it takes a long time to get there from the U.S. or Europe. The worst part of the trip is the boat ride from Sorong. The boats are neither particularly nice or efficient with frequent engine failures during our stay. Hopefully this will be rectified in the future. That said if you are a serious diver or snorkler you owe it to yourself to visit the Misool Ecoresort.

Room Tip: I stayed in the suite at the private beach. The privacy and views are fantastic though at low tide...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

One thing you have to remember if you are lucky enough to come to Misool is that it is VERY remote. It is a place for travellers, not tourists. You will not find infinity pools or golden lapelled waiters serving drinks that look like forests, but what you will find is an absolutely stunning island (or rather, two islands connected by a gorgeous humpback bridge), passionate staff and absolutely mind blowing diving.

Andy and Maritt are the inspiring couple who made this place a reality. Be sure to talk to Andy as much as you can because he is the most visionary person I have ever met. He built this entire resort out of reclaimed wood, and lived under a tarpaulin for 6 months whilst constructing the accommodation. He devised a 'no-take' zone for all of the seas around the islands and didn't even fish himself from the moment he arrived. There used to be dead sharks floating finless in the sea just off the perfect bay you will spend your holiday in, and now there are juvenile blacktips playing like puppies right under the boardwalks...

Calvin and Becky run the diveshop and are equally passionate. They will tell you anything you want to know about the sea creatures you will experience (just ask them about why sea cucumbers are actually quite cool...), and will make sure your diving is an incredible experience no matter what your level. The dive guides have eyes like bloody hawks - Harri, Dady, Ferry, Jamal, Max and 'manta man' are all fantastic fun and great, safe guides.

Courtney and Brandy (along with their adorable daughter Umbria) are training up the very attentive restaurant staff, and the food for such a remote location is very good indeed. All staff members will be more than happy to talk to you - try learning a few words of Bahasa too if you want to really engage with the Indonesian staff.

The accommodation is comfortable, well thought out and just to my taste. Not horribly over the top as most resorts are, but very nice indeed.

And the diving is...well, it is simply incredible. Take my advice and buy the best camera you can afford, pick up a magnifying glass, a good torch and some decent fins because you will be using them a lot. I saw something new on every dive. My favorite moment was taking pictures of pygmy seahorses (they have 3 different species here - one of which is unique to Raja Ampat) and looking up to see two huge manta's flying in circles around me. The dive sites are incredible and you are almost guaranteed to see pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, leaf scorpion fish, sharks (black tip, white tip, grey reef, wobbegong, epaulette, nurse), manta rays both oceanic and reef, and schooling snappers, groupers, sweetlips, spanish mackerel, barracuda etc. etc. etc. all swimming, hunting and playing amongst 6 times more hard and soft coral than found in the Caribbean. September to December are best to see the Mantas, but vis is lower at around 20m. February will bless you with 40m+ visibility but you will lose the Mantas to more plankton rich seas. Personally I want to experience both!

Finally, do not be put off by the Hong Kong bank account you need to pay your money into (we were). This is totally safe and just avoids the dubious Indonesian banking system. The internet is slow as to be expected on a satellite connection, but useable even for Skype calls if you are lucky!

So, if you are not convinced yet you should be. Pay your money, go and have the time of your life and thank me on your return!

Room Tip: The South Beach is more secluded and has 3 villas on it, so if you want your privacy go for that. O...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond Hill, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

The Misool Eco Resort is the BEST...not because it is the perfect combination of natural luxury, amazing culinary delights, wonderful spa treatments and the spectacular diving in such a remote area...it is the best because this resort has been created in harmony with our world - working with local villages to construct the villas, creating a no-take zone and protecting marine life, the resort owners and staff lead the way in conservation. The coral program, manta research ...all amazing experiences.
Simply loved my experience at Misool...and I will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

this place is very remote I mean extremely remote but if you do get to go there its a dream come true for underwater photographers the diving is amazing to say the least! the grounds are organic and fabulous! The staff is so friendly! I felt so at home here and loved every min! This place is a true gem!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012 via mobile

Extremely good location, friendly staff and relaxed ambience. Snorkelling on the house reef was worth every euro! The boat ride from Sorong to Misool was long and demanding for a family but I hear they have a more modern and safer boat now. It was absolutely worth it though. The management at Misool is nice, skilled and service minded.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012 via mobile

The dive masters were very skilled, professional and fun. Andrew and Marit are two devoted managers who runs the place very succesfully. The local staff were friendly and keen on trying to understand and help. It is an amazing world under the surface that is waiting for you to see in Raja Ampat!
Our luxury villa were great! We saw thousands of fishes, reef sharks and turtles swimming by our house. My four year old son snorkeld with 15! baby black tip reef sharks.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

I'm not sure I know where to start, so I'm going to break things into specific groups.

Getting Here:
Getting to MER is not for the faint of heart, or for those less traveled. It is quite a haul from the USA (5 planes and a boat from Dallas, TX). As long as you start the trip with the understanding that the travel is part of the adventure, then you'll be fine. There is a reason why MER is so hard to get to, and once you get there you will truly appreciate the remoteness of the location. If you have an overnight transfer in Jakarta, make sure you book a room at the Sheraton and require a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor (1st floor has some vicious mosquitos). The boat ride from Sorong to MER is not pleasant, but there is good news for future guests. Starting in September 2012 they are replacing the boat we were on with a newer in-board.

Accommodations:
First and foremost, you have to understand that you are going to the end of the earth. This is not, nor should you expect the Ritz or the Four Seasons. Things are not easy to obtain here, and MER has gone out of it's way to use reclaimed wood (let's see another resort take on this level of environment stewardship). While at MER we stayed in Water Cottage #5, which is at the very end. The bed is comfortable, but not plush. One very nice feature is the fan inside of the mosquito net. This allows you to get circulation, which having the mosquito net flapping around. The outdoor bathroom is very cool, and we found the shampoo/conditioner to be perfectly adequate. Each cottage has it's own garden that breaks down the waste, and returns clean water into the lagoon. The outdoor balcony is great for relaxing, with steps that let you go straight into the lagoon for snorkeling.

Food:
The food is good, and there is a decent variety. Meals are served community style, which was great for us. This is not 5 star dining, but then again we weren't expecting that. We expected good food with a good ambience, which is exactly what we got. We were rewarded with the added bonus of having great people (Becky, Calvin, & Andy) to enjoy our meals with. There are 5 meals throughout the day, so absolutely no excuse for being hungry. Some people have written reviews recommending that you bring snacks, but we found this completely unnecessary.

Diving:
The diving at MER during the time we were there, June, was focused on macro. This wasn't the time of the year for the big pelagics, but then again who cares. If you're only interested in seeing big fish, then you're missing 99% of the action. We saw big groupers, napoleons, barracuda, grey reef sharks, decent size blacktips, lots of turtles, and were rewarded with a big manta at Magic Mountain. HUGE schools of fish are the norm here, which is in large part due to the work done by Andy and MER. The macro life here is amazing and will take a few dives to get used to looking for. Macro at MER means pygmy seahorses the size of your pinky nail, nudis no bigger than a thumb name, ghost pipefish hiding in mushroom coral, translucent shrimp, and baby clown fish. We used the larger of the dive boats, Falaya, which was great. Alan, local dive guide, has eagle eyes and can't find anything you want to see or take a picture of.

Scenery:
Imagine what paradise should look like, and you have MER. Between the crystal clear water, the lush vegetation, the Jurassic Park like islands, and the baby blacktips swimming in the lagoon you will not be disappointed.

People:
I've saved the best for last. I will never forget the truly amazing people that we met. The people at MER are what made this a truly unforgettable experience for us. We were met at the airport in Sorong by Brum and Daddy who helped us with our luggage and got us to the dock quickly and safely. Once at the dock in Sorong we were met by Andy (owner), who would accompany us on our trip over to MER. The boat ride was something akin to the movie Perfect Storm, but Andy's strength inspired confidence. Once at the island we were met by Becky and Calvin, and whisked away to our cottage. It wasn't until the following morning that we truly got a chance to "meet" Becky and Calvin. Both Becky and Calvin are truly great people. They are kind and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we wanted. My wife is a new diver, and Becky took her under her wing and made her feel comfortable. Becky, Alan, Maliki, and Calvin were the best dive guides I could have asked for, and were always game for taking us out diving, even when the weather didn't want to cooperate. Even though we ate all meals together, it was at dinner when the conversations got really fun. Each night was spent doubled over in laughter and in great conversation. I would like to think that we took away not only great memories, but also great new friendships.

Summary:
If you want a little adventure in your life, then head to MER. You won't be disappointed, and will come away with a truly unforgettable experience. Say "hi" to Nelly for us, and keep an ear out for the geckos (crazy big sound from such a small animal).

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Misool Eco Resort

Address: Misool, Raja Ampat 98483, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat
Amenities:
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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