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“nice but there is a room for improvement” 4 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
Kazan, Russia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“nice but there is a room for improvement”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

KBR is one of the more expensive hotels of Lembeh straits. I can compare it to Kasawari only but based on what I heard from other people KBR is quite a good choice.

Positive
The resort is located on a nice quiet black send beach, there are no neigbouring villages which you will appreciate if you previously stayed in Kasawari and probably in some other resorts. There is a home reef which you can shore dive and which is closed for boats from other hotels. It has the best coral I've seen in the Lembeh straits, i.e. California Dreaming is no comparison to KBR house reef in terms of coral beauty. So make sure to dive it at leat once, you need no guide to do that, navigation is simple there.
Food is ok, people complaining on food quality probably don't realize that good food is not something you're going to find in the Lembeh hotels. Anyway food ismuch better than in more expensive Kasawari and I never was hungry. Also they have a bar with a reasonable choice of liquors.
Dive services are good. Tim, the dive manager is a patient and professional man. The guides are good....

Negative
...but their dive boats suck... Actually their boats are unsafe and they put too much people in one boat which makes gearing up uncomfortable. Kasawari boats are much-much better.
The other inperfect thing is hotel services. Check in was the worst I've met so far. They made us wait for an hour for some "manager" who was in town at some meeting and blah-blah-blah... in the end it was unclear why we had to wait for him, his "briefing" took two minutes and contained no useful information on the hotel.
And rooms (I stayed in that "L-shaped villa", don't remember it;s name) are small, uncomfortable and old. There were no hangers for my clothes, there was no fridge, no room to store my luggage etc. I've seen a larger and more expensive room though and it seemed much more comfortable, But the basic rooms and those "L-shaped cottages" suck.

Other that that it's by Lembeh standards a nice accomodation with eadable food and good dive personnel. Remember, we come to this place for diving :)

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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178 reviews from our community

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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
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Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

We spent a few days at this diving resort (splitting our time between it and the sister Kimo Bajo resort). The shore-side bungalows were quite spacious, with a bathroom, bedroom, reception room and balcony. Only the bedroom has A/C, resulting in little use of the reception room - either you're in the bedroom or on the balcony. The furniture was a bit dated, and the bathroom had a most peculiar style, but everything functioned.

The diving was great, with a friendly and sometimes amusingly chaotic atmosphere between dives. The dive boats + engines were showing their age, which we gather are being replaced "some time soon". On one dive we had to be transferred to another boat whilst ours was towed back.

The food in the on-site restaurant was diverse and surprisingly good. The staff throughout the resort were friendly and helpful. At the end of our trip the staff were quick to assist when our flight itinerary suddenly changed, to the extent of physically helping us rebook flights at the Manado airport.

We'd return if we decide to dive Lembeh Strait again.

  • Liked — Easy access to diving, good food & friendly staff
  • Disliked — Dated furniture
  • Stayed September 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2009

Not much here if you don't dive. However if you are a diver it's fantastic. The diving is amazing just don't expect to be blown away when you first get in. The visibility is often low and the sites often just dark sand. But when the guides (at least 1 to every 4 divers) start pointing out the amazing variety of life there then you know you're in the right place. The hotel itself is first class roo large and clean the restaurant serves great food in a beautiful setting. You only need touch your gear to put it on, it's carried, cleaned and looked after for you from the first moment you arrive. If you have a camera there's a camera room, towels provided. The camera rinse tanks are huge and baskets are provided to keep the camera safe. Cameras are carried from the rinse tank to the boat and back to the rinse tank at the end of the dives. I'd normally have some reservations about this but these guys know what they're doing. If you get the chance to visit Kungkungan Bay don't hesitate.

Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Cambridge, UK
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

My husband and I are holiday divers and I found this resort via google. And what a find it was.

The most strenous thing we had to do all week was put our wetsuits on and off. Absolutely everything else was done for us from start to finish - except for a bit of a blip at the end which I will describe below.

We had a deluxe beach villa - which was great with cable tv - lots of English channels and a bath with walk in shower and room service included in the price. Very comfy bed and all was kept clean and tidy. The two remarks we would make is that the rooms are a bit dark and it was hard to find everything you needed at times without use of our dive torches and the inroom towels are not as big and fluffy as the pool and dive towels are for some reason.

Food was great. You ordered off menu and there was lots to choose from and all cooked to order. Restaurant and bar service was very very attentive at all times - faultless even.

Diving and service was again pretty much faultless. We were mainly on a boat with 4 others, all Brits coincidently, This meant my husband and I always had a guide to ourselves. All the dive guides were fantastic and could, of course, spot the tiniest critters and pointed them out before we had even got to the sea bed. It's muck diving which neither of us had done before, and it took a few dives to 'get your eye in' but once we did - the weird and wonderful critters to see was constant. All spoke good english and helped you all of the time. They even carry your cameras for you in a plastic caddy as you walk alongside them across the jetty. Within a very short time, they knew your name and your gear. On surfacing, you get presented with a warm fluffy bath towel, water and fresh fruit. All dive sites within minutes from the jetty.

The only downer was the mandarin dive which was late leaving the jetty which meant we missed the majority of the mating experience and a couple of the usual 'photo shot hoggers'.

The spa was excellent and very very reasonably priced if you are used to UK spa prices like I am. Treatments from $20 up. A nice pool by the spa and the first time I sat on a lounger I was approached by a spa member of staff. I assumed he would be coming along to sell me the spa, but NO. 'Did Madam want a drink?' 'YES please, madam does'.

We stayed a week and we will definitely DEFINITELY be back. Our checkout was a bit rubbish though. We were told our car was leaving at 12 noon and to leave our bags out at 11.30am. By ten to twelve, no-one in sight and our dive gear was still hanging out to dry at the dive centre. We had been told it would be crated and put in Reception for our transfer to another resort on Manado. In the end, my husband went and sorted out our dive gear and had to carry it to the reception himself while I went to check out. This was a bit of a palava as there didnt seem to be anyone around to sort the bill out. When we finally got the bill, they had overcharged us by $500, which, to be fair, when I queried it was quickly and apologetically remedied.

A nice touch at the very end though - I won't spoil the surprise.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Our arrival at KBR after a 3 hour transfer ( a combination of Independence Day & Dive Bunaken festival meant a lot of roads round Manado were shut ) from Tasik Ria ( see separate review) felt slightly disorganized but it may have been because it was lunchtime. After we had filled in the usual forms, and had some lunch ( which was lovely and set the high standards for the week ) we were shown to our room

A short walk along past the dive centre to our beachfront villa -- Wow, it was lovely!! ,Lovely spacious room with huge bed, TV ( it worked but I only turned it on once ), seating area and a desk , Great outside sitting area which was perfect for sitting to watch & listening to the boats . Also there was a huge bathroom with a bath and shower. The whole area was all wood floors except the bathroom which was stone. When we arrived, there was a leak at the sink but after we had unpacked, we wandered back to reception and reported it. It was fixed by the time we had wandered about, got our bearings and had a look at everything.

We had to report to the dive centre at 5pm that evening. There were 2 other groups who had arrived that day. They were to be or diev-hut buddies for the next few days. We were shown round by Tim the dive manager. It really was the easiest set-up I have ever encountered. There was a mesh bag for your mask, fins, weights and any other bits & bobs. You were given a tag to put your name on.your mesh bag, regulator, bcd & camera if required These would be put on. whatever boat you were diving on each day & unless you requested otherwise you kit would be set up. There was a separate fresh water tank for cameras and they were taken onto the boat separately. The only thing you had to do was analyze your nitrox tank if you were using that. There was a large white board with a list of what boats were diving each day, what dive site and a list of divers and dive leaders. plus where the briefing would be. There were never more than 4 divers to each dive leader & each boat usually had 2 groups so they were never too crowded. There were 2 separate briefing huts that were used before each dive for a detailed & comprehensive briefing on the site and what you could expect to see. The dive guides were very knowledgeable and were really keen and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge.

The diving was run really well too schedule which was great since if it said you were leaving at 8:15 that was usually when you were setting off. The dive sites we visted were never more than 15 minutes away. All the dives we did were muck dives although I believ there are some other dives there ( maybe next time ). We saw during our week ( deep breath ) broadclub cuttle fish, ghost pipe fish ( halimeda ,ornate, hairy , bangaii cardinal fish, blue ribbon eel , frog fish ( all sizes and colors ), mantis shrimps ( which I love ) , Pegasus sea moths, many types of stone fish, pygmy sea horse, leaf fish , flamboyant cuttle fish octopus, devil fish, blue ringed octopus, wonderpus, lion fish various nudibrancs and more. The only thing I didn’t see that I had wanted to was a hairy frog fish but I saw a blue ringed octopus which hadn’t been spotted for the 4 months previously.

After the 1st dive you returned to the hotel , where the girls from the restaurant were waiting with coffee, hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies – yum. This was after what was one of the best touches – a warm shower at the end of the jetty. Yup after taking of your wetsuit and hanging it up to dry you could have a warm shower. It was also best at that point to order lunch since after filling in log books with the help of your dive leader who was always quick to get the fish books out to show the group what they had seen it was quickly time for the 2nd dive.

Lunch then followed , the quality of the food was always of a high standard I thought. Then there was a little break before the 3rd dive. After the 3rd dive we like to go for a beer in the bar which was above the restaurant. The bar was a room with a bar at one end and some tables & chairs. It was unfortunately usually very quite while we were there. It would be nice if they tried some promotions or something to try and get some atmosphere. We actually usually then ordered dinner and told them when we would return , this was because it could take quite long for your food to arrive. I always found the food at dinner enjoyable and tasty. There really was no nightlife after dinner so it was back to sit on our decking and enjoy the moonlight.

All too soon our 7 days were over and when we left there were members of staff singing to us as we left. It was a really nice touch

Our stay at KBR was fantastic. The staff from the girls in the restaurant , the gardeners , the housekeeping staff were all really friendly and not because they wanted a tip since that is included. The dive staff were especially great, in particular Ben and Detmon who were our leaders during the week. The dive manager,Tim, was keen to make sure you had the best time possible.

This seems a really long revew but hopefully it covers everything

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Brunei
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

The resort (KBR) is an hour and half away from Manado airport along small country village roads.

Friendly check-in. The assistant Manager Rusam gave us a very good orientation of the resort.

Went to our room - semi detached bungalow by the beach. Perfect. 2 huge queen beds in the bedroom. Lovely sitting room and verandah with a great view of the sea (about 20m from the sea).

For a all-inclusive dive resort, the food is very good. You order from a menu and its not buffet style. For a resort in the middle of nowhere in Sulawesi, their quasedillas were good! Great breakfasts to fill you up before you dive in the morning.

The diving is all about critters and muck. Great dive team and effortless diving. Literally show up and get on the boat. Every thing is packed and waiting on the boat for you. Dive sites are not far from the resort. Usually a 5 min boat ride away. There's a camera room for camera buffs.

If you get bored of diving, there is a spa at the resort. Although not 5* standards, it was ok. Value for money spa package. Foot scrub, massage, lulur and milk bath for USD42! Great for relaxing after diving.

Everyone is very friendly at the resort, the rooms/bungalows are lovely. There is a lovely pool if you get bored of the seawater. Food is GREAT!

Will def go back again. oh ....and there's WIFI at the resort (which I didnt use).

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Lincolnshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

The diving in the Lembah Strait is like nothing I have ever experienced and has changed the way I will dive forever! This is the place for muck diving and we were lucky enough to meet and talk to the owner Mark during our stay. Mark is passionate about diving and we learnt a great deal about the history of the hotel and how it has developed. Tim the dive Manager was excellent and runs the centre so professionally and nothing is too much trouble. We saw creatures that we are unlikely to see ever again certainly not outside Lembah anyway and this was thanks to the knowledge and experience of Tim and his dive team - a big thank you to you all.

We had a deluxe villa and it was wonderful, a great bathroom, great bed, TV, air con, nice terrace to eat breakfast from - only thing that wouold have been nice was own sunbeds near room - some idiots kept leaving towels on the sun loungers near the pool then disappearing - you know how it is!

Restaurant is good, variety OK, only thing for me was would have been great to have a wider choice of salad if possible. I think area will be upgraded next year? Had a spa treatment very good and professional. Everyone at Kungkunghan is extremely friendly and very kind, I really enjoyed our time here and didn't want to leave.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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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