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“Incredible diving, incredible resort: my 3rd stay” 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
Jakarta, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Incredible diving, incredible resort: my 3rd stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Just got back from my 6th visit to Raja Ampat and my 3rd stay at Misool Eco Resort. MER is better than any other operator or liveaboard in the area, and the diving gets more incredible with every year that the no-take zone is in place: I saw grey reef sharks, whitetips and blacktips on every dive. Every year there are more and more of the usual reef fish, and more and more adults are found (usually only the juveniles are common, as the adults are eliminated by overfishing outside the no-take zone): more schools of jacks, bigeye, golden, and giant trevallies; more malabar groupers, including some that show little fear of humans; more snappers and grouper of all varieties, plus so many of the common reef fish (antheas, damsels, cardinals, triggers, parrots. morays, etc etc) that it's like swimming through a dangerously overstocked aquarium. There were many more of the big oceanic mantas than smaller reef mantas on this trip. The highlights were a family of blotched fantail rays, the largest with diameters of up to 3 meters; a 2.5 meter guitar shark; a sargassum frogfish; a bottlenose dolphin (these are everywhere on the surface, but it was my first time seeing one underwater); and the vast number of predators feeding on veritable landscapes of anchovies swarming across the reefs. I missed the scalloped 3.5 meter hammerhead though- skipped that dive. As for the coral, it is the healthiest I have seen, comparable to Triton Bay (which to me is the best).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

After reading a very negative review of Misool Eco Resort, I must add my voice to the vast majority of visitors who raved about the resort. Our stay in early March 2012 was everything we were hoping for, from the stunning beauty of the location to the terrific staff to the fantastic diving. We certainly hope to return in the near future to savor again this truly unique hideaway.

  • Stayed March 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

The topside scenery around this resort is stunning to behold. And the diving is certainly good, if not great (due to large amount of damage from former explosive fishing practices.) However, this really was the most expensive and difficult to reach resort I have ever been to in three decades of dive travel. Coming from LAX it took 2 days to reach Jakarta, one day of resting up, one day to reach sorong, and another long and tiring day to reach the resort from Sorong. For this amount of hassle, I'd expect the diving to be significantly better than the other...somewhat lesser remote locations i've been to. Well, this was just not the case. The diving was good...but the amount of time and trouble to get there along with the high price tag made this a vacation that will not be repeated. Also, there was major, major swarms of mosquitos in the early mornings and evenings. This was a point of some misery. ON the other hand, the people were top knotch, as was the food and service. I just wish there was a little more "eco" in their eco resort. This place had a lot of diesel and a lot of floating trash to call itself an "eco" anything.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aubonne, Switzerland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Misool Eco-Resort offers a stunning aquatic experience, currently oriented towards diving enthusiasts, without skimping on the comfort that provides for a well-needed rest at the end of a long day above or below the surface of the crystal clear waters. As others on Tripadvisor have noted, the quality of the food is in a league of its own, easily challenging the top restaurants of most 4 star hotels.

For me, the reason for selecting Misool Eco-Resort, was the fact that the raison d'être of the resort is to provide funding for the maintenance and patrolling of a No-Take Zone marine conservation area that its founder had already set up.

Above all, what I appreciate about this place is the people. Whether it's Andy, the owner, who, motivated to finance this marine conservation area, built the resort with his own bare hands (and those of some buddies); or Calvin and Becky, the Dive Centre management team who combine academic research with their role as dive guides; the English-speaking Indonesian dive guides who guarantee a maximum diversity of dive sites to visit (5 dives a day), or the friendly restaurant staff, currently led by Courtney, whose knowledge of the food life-cycle from choosing the appropriate soil for vegetables, via the creative dishes he places on your table, to the ecological approaches used to dispose of kitchen waste are matched only by his ingenuity to pull all of this off on an island 100km from the nearest market; and spa staff, who bring their equipment to the privacy of your sea-surrounded balcony; all these people collaborated to make our stay on Misool Eco-Resort exceptional.
Incredibly, at lunch on the final day of the week, a couple suddenly decided to get married. As another guest was qualified to conduct a wedding ceremony, the whole resort (staff and guests) decided to make this happen that evening - a Jewish wedding of two South Africans, celebrated by an American "reverend" on an Indonesian beach, with our 7-year old daughter as flower girl!

Room Tip: If you are choosing Misool Eco-Resort for its marine life, ask for one of the water cottages on the...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 90 cities Reviews in 90 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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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