My husband and I stayed on Kanawa for 6 wonderful nights. It was not enough! I found Kanawa through TripAdvisor and upon booking noticed they had a dive centre. I emailed Ed from the dive centre to arrange for us to do our PADI - Open Water course and as a result, we got 5 nights FREE accommodation in a Bale.
It was the best decision we have ever made, not only was the diving amazing but the Bale is the best way to experience Kanawa! There is no air-con or fans on the island but staying in a Bale on the beach gives you a lovely breeze at night. Also as there is no fresh water on the island there are minimal mosquitoes due to there being no where for them to lay their eggs. Instead water is shipped to the island daily and all other water used for the bathroom is salt water (very Eco-friendly) so no real need to worry about getting bitten!
The house reef is perfect for snorkeling with minimal currents running around the island. You can see turtles, baby reef sharks, parrot fish, trigger fish, frog fish, lion fish and many many more, just by snorkeling on the surface!!
The food was good, limited choice but it's all fresh and well prepared. They are trying to grow as much on the island as possible and they do a daily specials menu to mix the selection up a bit. Not too expensive either (if you compare it to dining out in Bali and the Gili Islands are much more expensive).
PLEASE IGNORE ALL NEGATIVE REVIEWS ON SERVICE!! In regards to the restaurant service, your on an island do you really need your dinner served fast? It is a bit slow during the dinner rush but EVERYTHING is made fresh!! There is only a handful of staff on the island and they are all very polite and speak English quite well and will do anything for you. It is a very very relaxed atmosphere, which is what you want on holiday! However if your in a hurry for food, get to the restaurant early and place your order before sitting down...SIMPLES!
If your not in the water you can trek to the top of the mountain, walk around the island or swing from a hammock, plenty to do but I do suggest diving!! The dive centre on the island is second to none, I have never felt so at home in such a small time!
At night there is not much to do but star gaze or get a Bintang at the "Safety Stop Bar". The stars are amazing, 0% light pollution!
TIPS: Take a torch, take plenty of sunscreen, take some snacks (as between lunch and dinner you can get a bit peckish), take batteries (eventhough there is power to the Bales between 6-9pm, you don't want your camera dying mid-day), take an underwater camera, if you miss the free shuttle to Kanawa don't be afraid to haggle for a better price. The Kanawa office was going to charge us 450k Rp, however we paid 250k Rp with a guy who didn't work for the Kanawa team to take us across.
We would go back in a heart beat! This is our second home...we will be back!
We stayed in a Bale which had a nice breeze in the evening.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.