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“Without a shadow of doubt!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kungkungan Bay Resort

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Kungkungan Bay Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Lembeh Strait, Bitung, Indonesia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Bitung
Kent
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Without a shadow of doubt!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

We stayed in KBR (Kungkungan Bay Resort) last year which we loved and was so pleased to be able to return again. Its a bit of a trek from the UK but well worth it.

We were met by Fritz from KBR at Sam Ratulangi airport (Manado ) and were soon on our way to the resort. Its takes around 90 minutes from the airport depending on traffic.

We were excitedly greeted by Beary the resort manger who welcomed us back and we were shown to our room T5 (deluxe bungalow). Our bags / dive gear soon followed. You are not allowed to lift a finger once you have arrived here. Dive gear is then left outside your room and the lads from the dive school collect and set it up ready for diving. Everything is treated with the uttmost care and respect.

The Room

The room was a wooden bungalow just oposite the sea with a large decking area with a glass table and comfy chairs perfect for chilling and checking out those dive photos.
Inside was a large four poster bed, desk with tea making items, settee, coffee table, TV, and double wardrobe and a mini bar with soft drinks and chocolate (payable if consumed). The generous bathroom was of slate with a bath, walk in shower and large sink area completed with hairdryer and complmentry toiletries. There were adornments of little flowers dotted around the rooms. Air con with a ceiling fan.

Food.

The food is excellent and is cooked to order at every meal time. You can request larger or smaller portions too depending on your appetite but portion sizes were generous. There is a varied menu and some items are available at any time of the day. Food is always fresh and hot and the wait from ordering is never long. You can choose to sit outside right next to the sea or inside the restaurant. My favourites were Sashimi with wassabi, fish chips, Mie Gorang, Smoked Tuna Al Fredo , Churros, tuna and cheese toasties to name but a few choices. The waitresses are very attentive . Tea and coffee is provided. There is a bar in the upper part of the main building although alcohol is not the cheapest in Indonesia.

The Diving.

Well this is why people come here. The diving in the Lembah Strait is utterly superb. The dive centre is very well organised by Kai and Barb (and Neo!!!). Rental equipment is well maintained and of good quality. Apart from putting on your wetsuit everything else is managed by the dive team including cameras. Everything is run like clockwork. There is a camera room for keeping your camera in after dives and to charge / change any batteries. There are plenty of rinse tanks for kit and cameras. Guides carry your cameras to / from the boat with due care and respect. Boats are never crowded and at the very maximum 4 divers to 1 guide. Towels and fruit and water are provided after every dive in the boat although after the 8:15 dive you return to KBR to tea,coffee,hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. Dives are at 8:15 , 11:15 and 2:45 plus night dives,house reef and Mandarin Fish dives can be arranged. The longest boat ride is about 10 minutes away. The dive guides are worth their weight in gold. They dont miss a thing and beleive me some critters are about the size of your little finger nail!!!!

I cannot compliment enough the care and attention they give to guests from guiding to helping you with kit and cameras. Diving is a combination of Coral, Sand,rubble and muck so is very varied as is the underwater critters.There are over 50 sites and each day is well planned the day before. Sometimes Kai and Barb present a pre dinner slide show which is excellent.

General.

The grounds are well maintained with a decent sized pool with the usual sun loungers and sun umbrellas. The whole resort can be walked in about 5 minutes and everything is on the level apart from the Hillside Villa. Trips to other places can be arranged if you can tear yourself away from the diving. There is an excellent spa so you can pamper yourself which is open late so there is plenty of chance to indulge yourself after a days diving. (also a good bribe if you have a non diving other half!!!) We stayed on an All Inclusive basis which included diving (not kit hire) All meals, tea and coffee. Extras:- Kit hire, dive courses, Mandarin Fish dive, Soft and alcohol drinks ,tours and massages.

We had a wonderful stay. A BIG thank you to Beary, Linda and the dive team (especially Kai, Jony and Jeff ) for making us feel so welcome and especially for the special birthday surprise (just how many staff can you fit into a bathroom of T5??? ) Lots i can tell you!!!.They decorated my room with flowers, banners and balloons and then all jumped out to surprise me (which they did!) and chef made me a Chocolate brownie birthday cake which was very,very yummy!!!

Would we return?? Without a shadow of doubt.

We used RegalDive who were competively priced and excellent.

Room Tip: All rooms are nice but not all have a bath as well as shower (if having a bath matters!)
See more room tips
  • 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
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177 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (42)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Swedish first
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English first
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

When the owner of Kungkungan asked me "How is your room... good?"
I responded "it would be good for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie so for us its amazing"

Infact when we first stepped into the beach front cottage suite I lost count of how many times my wife said the words "amazing" and "fantastic".

So we arrive at Manado airport and are greeted by a smiling Kungkungan staff member who takes our bags to a sleek ninja black SUV, equipped with tinted windows and AC. After the two hour scenic drive we arrive at Kungkungan bay resort and already the A and F words (amazing and fantastic) starting pouring out of our mouths.

So into reception we waltz and our greeted by a damp towel and a refreshing juice by yet more smiling staff. There we have a chance to speak with Linda who is probably the most helpful manager on the planet, there is no question she cant answer and no problem she cant fix from sorting out our domestic flights to room upgrades to countless questions over email... she can do it all and... as seems to be a trend in Kungkungan smile at the same time.

Up the stairs to the restaurant and we are met by the owner Mike and yet another manager Ice. Mike is more than happy to share stories of how he started Kungkungan and the first time he observed a mimic octopus posing as a sea horse and he adds a personal touch to the resort... you feel part of a family .

The restaurant offers panoramic views of the house reef and lush green jungle that fringe the black sand beaches. Now being a veteran of liveaboards and dive resorts I must admit that I was a bit confused when I was handed a menu. Though I was comforted to see my wifes face mirrored my confusion. "What is this" I thought no buffet we crowd of hoverin divers. No infact I could actually choose exactly what I wanted to eat, from the first course all the way to dessert.

The food is fantastic and not only that you can have it in your room, room service for all!

"Yes but what about the diving" I hear you cry
So lets clear this up I work as a scuba Instructor and pretty much everything I saw at Lembeh made me feel like an open water student on their first dive in the ocean. Devil stingers, ribbon eels, 5 or 10 nudibranch per dive, anemone fish sharing anemone with porcelen crabs and all sorts of shrimps, mantis shrimp, flamboyant cuttle fish... and la piste de resistance a mimic octopus plus a wunderpus, coconut octopus, longarm octopus, veined octopus OK I will stop there.

I missed so many great things that should be added in here but all in all its a fantastic place great staff and its Lembeh strait its what every diver with a close up lens needs in their life.

Thanks again guys, and special thanks to serra are multi lingual waitress, muchas gracias amiga nos vemos pronto hasta luego

  • Stayed February 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.
KBR_Management, Manager at Kungkungan Bay Resort, responded to this review, May 5, 2012
Dear Will,

Thank you very much for writing a review. It was really nice to meet you and Cora. We are glad you love the beach front deluxe villa with the beautiful view of our private bay. It is a beautiful room with big private balcony and a very short walk to the dive center and the restaurant. It is in the perfect location.

Mark, the owner, and our staff are very happy that you feel like part of our big family. You met the right person, the owner himself, to hear the story of Kungkungan Bay Resort from the beginning. This was a paradise dream come true for the owner, and we are committed to make this place a dream come true holiday destination for everyone.

Thank you for noticing every details of our great service, from the pick up to the greeting upon your arrival, the delicious food, and our beautiful over the water restaurant. The dives are just as amazing as our paradise. Every critter is very special and unique, and our dive team making sure that our guests enjoy every one of them.

We gave Serra your message and she was happy to have her name in the review. Please say hi to Cora for us. We hope to see you both again in the near future.

Take care,
Linda
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

My husband and I arrived at KBR for a 5 night stay following a Raja Ampat live aboard, intending to relax and read our books. As fans of blue water, coral reefs, currents, pelagic action and liveaboards we anticipated that land based muck diving was not for us. We were wrong and were totally hooked after our first dive! Muck diving is fascinating, the critters are stunning and bizarre and on every dive we were seeing things we had never seen before.

The dive operation at KBR has thought of everything a diver could want. Breakfast was served if you wished on your large veranda to save time walking the short distance to the restaurant. Boat transfers ranged between 2 and 8 minutes, towels water and fresh fruit on the boat, hot showers at the dive centre and all equipment including cameras taken care of for you. There was even tea/ coffee and biscuits after the first dive where they then took your order for lunch. We did 3 boat dives a day, night dives and house reef diving was also available.

The room was beautifully furnished clean and spacious, about 50 meters from the dive centre and on the waterfront. The bed was very comfy, the water hot and wi fi never failed. Room service was prompt.

All of the staff from the owner Mark to the guys tending to the gardens were welcoming inclusive and friendly. Their service and attentiveness could not be faulted. The food was very good and substantial. The restaurant was temporarily located in the bar area due to refurbishment of the ground floor restaurant, but this did not detract from the ambiance or the quality of the service and the food.

On our second evening we discovered the Spa... The massages were wonderful and very reasonably priced. We both went every evening for a massage before dinner.

So in the event we did rest, relax and read our books but we also had memorable and interesting diving, with all the diving convenience of a liveaboard and with the benefit of a large comfortable room in a picturesque personable resort. We will definitely return to KBR.
Angela and Jonathan

  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KBR_Management, Manager at Kungkungan Bay Resort, responded to this review, May 6, 2012
Dear Angela and Jonathan,

Thank you for writing this review about your experience with us. We are very happy that you found our room was beautiful and food was very good. We are glad to know that you had memorable and interesting diving with us. We are lucky to have such a good location in Lembeh strait, especially "the muck diving “ so you can see the unique and unusual fishes.
We also appreciated your comments about all of our staff and Owner being friendly. We want to make sure that you are well looked after.

Thank you again for this review and we really look forward to welcoming you back to KBR.

Best Regards,
Beary.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnhem, The Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

For the first time that we visited Kungkungan Bay Resort was in 2002.
We heard about the great diving in the Lembeh Street.
We were not only surprised by the beautiful creatures under water but also by the hospitality of
the people at the resort.
And because of that we ‘ve been visiting Kungkungan every year, sometimes twice a year.
This year will be our 12th time that we come to Kungkungan.
And that is because of many reasons:
1. Service is very good – rooms are made up twice a day and there is enough coffee, tea and water in the room
2. Food is good. Besides the a la carte dishes, the cook will make you Manadonese specialities on request, if possible. And sometimes we had barbecue’s with excellent food too.
3. The diveguides are very good, some very experienced. Mostly they can find the underwater creatures you ask for, even the very small ones.
4. Because of the bungalows and cottages are situated in a flat area you don’t need to climb uphill or many stairs to get to your room. That makes it very comfortable.
5. The cottages are very spacious with all the comfort you need with two queen-sized beds and large bathroom
6. The broad jetty with the warm water shower invites to take part to every dive event, as the floatable end of the jetty makes it easy to get on and off the boat
7. Because of the central location at the strait most of the dive sites are reachable within some minutes, which means that you return after every dive to the resort to enjoy refreshments and lunch or have fun at the pool or spa or take some rest

But last but not least : the friendly people give us a warm feeling everytime we come to Kungkungan. It feels like coming home.
After ten years of diving in the Lembeh Strait it’s still full of excitement. Every time we find new creatures that we’ve never seen before.
These are some of the reasons why we want to recommend Kungkungan Bay Resort to everyone who wants to know the local people and to enjoy the great diving in the Lembeh Strait.
For us this is one of the best and comfortable resorts we’ve ever been and for sure we will return to this place, just like they use to sing the KBR-goodbye song : Kembalilah sayangku !.( come back to the place you love )

Room Tip: every room is spacious as mentioned in the review
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
uk
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

great resort with fantastic service and a great location right on the waterfront on Lembeh Straight. No hills to climb (with the possible exception of the one "hillside villa") all others are watefront unlike many resorts here, some of which require a car/van ride before getting to the dive boat, others are all cliff / hill side

great critter muck diving with a fantastic array of the bizarre and unusual. highlghts this trip -

blue ring octopus, hairy octopus, mimic, ambon scorpionfish, tiger shimp - hairy,painted,giant,randalls,warty frogfish etc....plus @no 1 watching a flamboyant cuttlefish hatch....spectacular

good private house reef right off the resort with resident pygmy seahorse amongst other sites

good spa,pool,restaurant & bar for deco time..

Room Tip: all good - hillside villa is up hill!
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  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2012

My husband and I stayed at KBR for 13 nights Jan/Feb 2012 and had a great time. The dive set-up is one of the best I have come across around the world and the dive staff, from guides to boat captains were absolutely brilliant, couldn't do enough to help and were outstanding at finding all the small critters I wanted to see. The bedrooms were gorgeous and the only part of the resort that needed a facelift were the public areas (reception, dining room, bar) but Mark the owner told us he will be upgrading these facilities to a similar standard to the rest of the resort this year. The food in the restaurant was lovely, with a choice of both western and local cuisine - no buffet food which is one of my pet hates - and all the waiting staff were fantastic. My husband did suffer from a small bout of food poisoning but the staff were very apologetic and concerned for his well-being and it didn't spoil our holiday at all. If you are looking for somewhere to stay whilst diving the Lembeh Strait I can't recommend the staff and hotel enough - they go out of the way to ensure you enjoy your stay :-)

  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

We visited KBR in Dec 2011 /Jan 2012, we stayed for 9 nights on our trip and the staff were fantastic, they were always smiling and nothing was a problem. The restuarant was amazing with a huge menu choice for every meal - not a buffet!!!. We were at the resort for New Year's Eve and they had a fantastic gala evening, organised by Berry, the manager, with the staff putting on the entertainment which was really special and also a fireworks display. The resort was charming, made special by the management and staff. The Diving was out of this world, I was amazed by the dazzling marine life and the dive centre staff were the best ever. I have dived all over the world and the KBR dive centre was by far the best dive centre I have dived with. Kye and Barbs were very helpful , very professional , as were the boat crews and dive guides. Who would never give up on looking for critters. We loved 'neo' the swimming cat. We would recommend to anybody looking for a special holiday to stay at KBR even if you do not dive its a very relaxing and very safe place to stay with a excellent spa to help you chill

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kungkungan Bay Resort

Address: Lembeh Strait, Bitung, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Bitung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kungkungan Bay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR to its friends and soon to be friends) is proud to be the resort that introduced Lembeh Strait to the world. Being the first resort in Lembeh means we got first choice on locations. Our resort is located in its own private bay which the resort is named after. KBR is the only Sea Level Luxury resort in Lembeh. KBR is a full service resort which includes The only 24hrs full menu service Restaurant in Lembeh, Capt. Billy's Bar serving American Bar Food and Great Drinks, our full service Tepi Laut Spa (Seaside Spa) does Massages, Beauty Treatments, Manicures and Pedicures, and of course our PADI Dive Center with Equipment and Camera Rentals and 32% NITROX. Come join us and we will put the Dream into you next Dive Vacation ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kungkungan Bay Hotel Bitung
Kungkungan Bay Resort Bitung, Indonesia - Sulawesi

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