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“There are far better places” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Murex Dive Resort

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Murex Dive Resort
Jalan Raya Trans Sulawesi | Desa Kalasey I, Manado 95361, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 34 Hotels in Manado
Frankfurt, Germany
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“There are far better places”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

My wife and I spent three nights at Murex Dive Resort in Manado. This was a return visit to Manado and Bunaken dive sites for me, but a first time for my wife. On my previous trip, I stayed a much bigger hotel and dive resort only a kilometer further along the main road. For this trip I was looking for a smaller resort that would be a little bit more personal. When I booked Murex I was using reviews on TA as my source of information. The reviews of Murex were sufficiently good enough that I decided to book the three nights at the resort. I am not sure what this place once was, but what ever it was, it is not that anymore. What I found was a nearly empty hotel, disorganized dive operation, and an ageing, tired resort. We were never introduced to anyone who could be called the manager. There were people who seemed to know what they were doing, but a proper manager never surfaced.

Our very first encounter with the disorganization was at the airport after our arrival. I had organized a transfer and was expecting to find a representative of the hotel at arrivals holding a sign with my name on it. What I found as a man holding a sign with the Murex logo, but another party’s names. When I questioned him about our transfer, he had little or no English, and even less of an idea about my transfer. I motioned for him to call the office and ask about the status of our transfer. He did, handed me the phone, and I spoke to someone at the resort. I was informed that the man I was looking at was indeed my driver and the sign he was holding was a mistake. Okay, we all make mistakes, but this one seemed to me to be a rather important one given that had I not asked I would have assumed there was no transfer and I would have had to deal with the situation. Not impressed.

On arrival at the hotel, a representative who subsequently, we did not see again for the entire duration of our stay met us and explained the details of our stay. We indicated we would like to do a house reef dive that afternoon. She said no problem; she would let the dive operation know to expect us. After going to our room and organizing ourselves, we headed for dive center. There was nobody there, and nothing had arranged for our dive. I had to go hunting to find someone and explain our desire to do a house reef dive. He seemed to be in charge, of what I am not sure, but he managed to organize the tanks, weights, and provided us a bit of a description of the reef. By this time, it was already pushing 5:30 so I knew this was going to be a dusk dive turning into a night dive. I was not looking forward to an unguided night dive in unfamiliar water. However it was fine as we are experienced divers, but I was not confortable. Things improved considerably the next and subsequent days. The diving was excellent; the dive guide was very good.

What I will say is that the staff we did encounter was very sweet and did their best to make us feel comfortable. The food was generally good, but lacked variety. Breakfast was sub standard and evidently produced with little understanding of the guests who stayed there. This is a no-brainer in my mind, but again, one of the many details that seemed to elude the management. On that point it should be noted, not once did a manager materialize during our stay. For a small resort of this nature, this is inexcusable. Even the large resorts make sure you are aware of management should there be an issue.

So, in the final analysis, dive Manado Bay and Bunaken? Definitely! Stay at Murex? Not a chance! There are far better operations by far.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
AngeliqueBatuna, Owner at Murex Dive Resort, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Thank you for your review and honest appraisal of Murex. We are currently in transition and have a lot of room to improve. We certainly take your criticism seriously. As soon as our transition plan is in place, we will communicate this to our dive community. Once our amended management is enacted you will see positive changes quite quickly.

Thank you again and we will strive to not have this type of review repeated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This would be a purely dive vacation and will be staying at the two Murex resorts - one on mainland Manado, the other on Bangka Island (which I will be writing a separate review).

Arrived on a full flight from Singapore and was greeted by the Murex staff with a great big smile! Important to note, you need to inform the Murex staff which resort you will be staying as there was a small glitch and they send us straight to Bangka Island. It's an hour by car to both resorts from the airport but from Bangka Island to the mainland resort, it's a 2 hour ride! So information is critical. Though we took a total of 3 hours ride to our destination, it was a scenic but bumpy journey. Best if all, we stopped to taste the local dishes and it was an awesome experience. So the long ride was a blessing in disguise!

We were greeted by the owners themselves upon our arrival and they profusely apologize for the miscommunication but it was not really a bother cos we had a good driver and a scenic route. Though we miss a half day of diving, it was made up by the warmth of the Battuna family. We just loved family run resorts or hotels cos everything is just so personal and warm. Dinner was home styled cooking and exceptionally delicious. Don't expect a full spread of buffet type dishes. What was served was simple but awesome!

Evenings at Murex is a quiet affair and if you want to get away from the stress of city life, this is the place. No phones or TVs in your room. However for connectivity, they provide free wifi in the reception / dining area and really, if you need to watch TV, just head to the second level and a TV and library awaits you. Look up at the stars or just sit and hear the crashing of the waves is simply the art of doing nothing in the evenings.

Our room was simple yet adequate for our needs. Aircon or fan options. Large and spacious bathrooms too! Though the resort is situated just off the main road, one cannot hear any vehicles movement. The only sounds in the nights are waves crashing and the night critters. Lovely!

We did three dives a day and best of all, the dive boats were not crowded. Our local guide was great tho his dive briefings needs to be polish. It is a three quarter day out at sea with tiffin carrier lunch boxes (I love it and there is enough food for all) plus soft drinks and fruits. We dive mainly at the Bunaken area - from small critters to large preys and even a pod of dolphins on the way back to the resort! If you are not too tired after 3 dives, a 4th is welcoming at the house reef depending on wind and tide conditions or you could simply chill out at the swim pool, which to me, is the best dive training pool I have ever come across. Well design in terms of depth changes! There was an Instructor Training Course being conducted while we were there. So if you are not a diver and want to be one, best place to learn!

Overall, we had an awesome stay at Murex - for the diving but most of all for the personal warmth of the family styled run resort - beats the chain resorts!!! Oh, we spent half a day in Manado town - just don't head there during the peak hours as traffic is a nightmare! Nothing much in town too. Better off doing a dive! One more things, they have two wonderful and obedient dogs - a Great Dane and a Mongrel. If you love dogs, you will fall in love with Donner and Twinkle. Happy divecation!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

My 19 yr. old daughter and I stayed at Murex Manado for 6 nights in February, 2013. For 5 nights we were the only occupants, but the quiet was welcomed, and the staff were available when needed, but not intrusive. Our room was next to the large lovely fresh water pool. There is no sandy beach, but nice ocean swimming is available off the front of the property. We took a day to ride the bus into town and a day to go on the National Park bird/monkey watch walk. Traffic around Manado and the airport is incredibly choked, bumper to bumper at all times, so it's nice that the resort is about 400 metres off the main highway.
The food is standard fish, rice, vegetables, beef, chicken, many good fruits, cereal, pancakes, eggs, toast, etc. No need to go hungry.
Rooms pleasant, and I love the outdoor shower facility. Staff extremely helpful. Diving is good south Pacific coral diving. Visibility gets better a little later in the year. Staff is wonderful, and the welcome in palpable.
We then spent 4 nights on Bangka Island--quite a ways from anywhere, again in a very uncrowded setting. Diving sites were around the island, and a village walk through the jungle and along the beach was a highlight.
On Bangka, the bungalows were right on the water, white sand beach, and great snorkeling right out the front door. Pretty romantic place. Again, loved the private outdoor shower.
Of course, visiting later in the year when diving visibility improves also brings more customers at the resort. Trade-offs everywhere!
Overall Murex is not a theme-park type family resort, without a large abundance of activities, but for one looking for quiet, diving, snorkeling, local surroundings, and some activities described above, it is a fabulous place.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

Located close to Bangka Island, this is a great location to base yourself for scuba diving or snorkelling around north Sulawesi. The surrounding gardens are peaceful and quiet, yet the resort is only a short drive from the main business centre of Manado.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Dresden, Germany
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Stayed 8 days in November 2012
Murex Manado is situated in the midst of a green garden at the black stoney beach (not first choice for kids) in the west suburbs of Manado (Kalasey), around one hour drive from the Manado International airport.
The staff is very friendly and the rates (40 EUR – accomodation and full board, 10% discount if you stay longer than 10 days – for instance in combination with the Murex Bangka Resort - see my review, very good: kids under the age of 11 are free of charge!!!!) are a very very good price for the standard you get there.
The resort aims for divers but is good for others too: there are several excursions you can do (highlands, volcanoes, rainforest reserve - quite expensive), you can use the clean and big swimming pool any time you want, you can go to the city (cinema, shopping at the big malls, markets, temples, lot of different food and fruit to try if you wanna variation instead of what the hotel offers) or just sunbath! Generally spoken: Sulawesi is an area with extreme natural plentifulness - anyway worth a trip!
To go to the city you can use taxis or the cheap and fast public transport (blue minibusses - if you don’t speak Indonesian – be well informed about routes!) to breathe the local flair.
There are European electrical outlets. Power is sometimes not stable - I never experienced so many black outs like here. There is free WiFi at least in the lobby/restaurant, sometimes even in the rooms.
The house reef is perfect for snorkelers and divers. For diving you go one hour by boat to Bunaken NP (mostly 2 dives – walls!!!, the third dive often is at the mainland coast – very very good too!)
To combine the stay here with a stay at Murex Bangka is a good idea!
I recommend paying cash because they charge additional 3% for paying via credit card (no information about before on homepage or when booking)

  • Stayed November 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noth Carolina
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

My 14 year old son learned to dive last year. I was in Southeast Asia on business and decided to learn also. I had NEVER scuba dove before - I was a complete beginner. I'm a good swimmer and comfortable in the water but tanks and flippers and wet suits were new to me. Within three days I learned how to dive and had the time of my life. The Batuna family runs a great little dive resort. Paul was my teacher and dive master. We started the first day in the pool with me getting comfortable underwater and learning some fundamental safety procedures. By the way, safety was always #1 at Murex. My second day I did a couple of dives just right off the coast there at Murex. My third day I made three dives at Bunaken, which is about a 30 minute jaunt by boat. The diving at Bunaken is FANTASTIC! I'm a rookie but I know good diving when I see it. The water is clear, the aquatic life was fantastic and Murex does a first rate job making it a pleasureable experience.

Now, make no mistake, Murex is a dive resort. If you are a snorkeller, Murex is also good. But Murex is not a beach resort, nor is it a destination hotel with comfortable amenities. The sleeping room is comfortable but by no means fancy. No TV, no telephone, and internet access is sketchy. Food is great and there's a homestyle buffet for all three meals. The food is good but mostly Indonesian style, so be advised. Manado is a short taxi ride away, but I was tired at night from diving and never went into town. So, if you are diving or snorkelling, I think you will find Murex to be a great value and enjoyable. If you are looking for a beach or a very comfortable hotel room, you should look elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for a week in July 2012. In general the hotel is good for the price, the staff is friendly and you have all their attention in every moment, and the diving is superb, with Bunaken only one hour boat trip; the prices of diving packages are very, very cheap, this is the best of all in this resort. But the general status of the hotel needs a complete reformation, starting with our room 6B, with night creatures screaming in the inner roof (i didn't discover if they were bats, cats, or rats, the case is that the night noises were extremely strange). Nevertheless, the hotel in general worths the price, you have better resorts in the area but a higher rates. We will probably come back, some year.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Murex Dive Resort

Address: Jalan Raya Trans Sulawesi | Desa Kalasey I, Manado 95361, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Manado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Murex Dive Hotel Manado

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