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“IT'S NOT WORTH IT!”

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Living Colours Dive Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Certificate of Excellence
Olstykke, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“IT'S NOT WORTH IT!”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Living Colours Dive Resort from the 29th January - 7th February 2014.

Dive equipment and guides:
Very good

Food:
OK, but really missed the opportunity to order (buy) egg. pancakes, a shake or some fresh fruit. It was possible to have semi-dry biscuits and overripe bananas.

Accommodation:
The immediate impression upon arrival was quite good, BUT -
• It was far from clean. Dirty along the walls. Mosquito net dirty.
• When water was used in the washbasin there was a smell of sewage.
• Hot water comes from a gas heater. You have to fight the heater every time you want a bath – and then the water was too hot.
• Nice big porch, which could not be used because the ants had occupied the furniture
• The water came in through the roof during a heavy rainstorm - fortunately not over the bed.

As we did the payment and checkout we told them about the smell of sewage and the leaky roof. Naively I thought that they beat some of the cost. No, it seemed almost as if Mia took it as a personal insult.
When Living Colors Dive Resort wants to be a resort of high standard and we had to pay 50 Euro p.p./night (low season) it is referred to above absolutely not good enough.

Overall - a big disappointment and I really don’t understand that so many have notified Living Colors Dive Resort as 'excellent'!
There’s really room for improvement!
IT'S NOT WORTH IT!

If we come back to Bunaken we will definitely not stay at Living Colors Dive Resort .

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ghita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2014

We just returned from a combined trip to Bunaken and Raja Ampat. This included our third stay in the Living Colours Dive Resort on Bunaken Island. As always we enjoyed seeing all our friends and diving in the wonderful reefs of the Bunaken National Park.

The stay at LC was nice and enjoyable. The bungalows are comfortable and still well kept. Aldy and his team in the kitchen produce good meals and there is always plenty.

If you plan to stay in LC it is important to know, that the resort is located on a hill, so you have to do a couple steps from the beach. On the other hand you are rewarded with a wonderful view and a nice breeze in the evening. The beach is located behind a belt of mangroves, which are protected, so it might not be the ideal place for a beach holiday. It is known that Bunaken is somtimes hit by plastic garbage coming from Manado (a big city and the starting point to bunaken) the locals do what they can and especially after the big floods in Manado they have done a big job cleaning the beaches.

So why should I go to Bunaken and Living Colours? FOR DIVING, MEETING GREAT PEOPLE, FAMOUS BEACH PARTYS and to ENJOY YOURSELF.

As for ourselves, we will be back for a fourth stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rolf S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Thank you Jaska, Mia, Ali and Heini ...and whole smiling staff of the Living Colours dive resort. This was our fifth time and we are already looking forward to visit you again. After diving around the world this is our favourite location, still.

Hidden behind the protective mangroves it's is a real hide-away. The whole set up, both down on the beach (Safety Stop bar, library/relaxing corner and diving facilities) and up on the hill (restaurant, bungalowes), is well designed and beautifully embedded among the tropical forest of the Bunaken island. Yes, there are few steps to climb on your way up to the restaurant and bungalows with a beautiful view over mangroves and the Manado bay, which is great and keeps us moving a bit - after all, everyone needs a bit of excersice on holiday as well. And no worries, everything heavy is carried for you.

On top of the fact that Bunaken is almost in the center of worlds marine biodiversity, this is a unique location on the whole 8 km3 island - a bit apart from others and with all major ecosystems of the tropical sea within a swimming distance. Just take your mask and fins and enjoy: mangrove forest is amazing to discover during the high tide with all its inhabitants, including shore crabs, mudskippers, snake eels, baby batfish, cardinalfish and many others (and during the low tide you can simply walk the beach and in shallow water ponds to find shame faced crab or a mantis shrimp). A bit further out is a dense sea grass meadow. Plenty of starfish, clams, snails and all forms of juvenile fish there. Few kicks more and you'll meet first corals, microatols surrounded with fish, and finally you reach the house reef and it's epic wall that disappears into the blue. Great for the ones who do not SCUBA dive at all but want to do some serious snorkeling.

In Bunaken you can enjoy the whole range of marine ecosystems. Pictoresque reefs, both walls and slopes, lagoons, mangroves and sea grass ...and good news for muck divers: there is plenty of great sites to study silty sea floors and their strage inhabitants. Lembeh is of course great, but Bunaken is not to be underestimated at all. And night diving is simply great: we've seen far more life here than for example in waters of West Papua. From this corner of the island you have ideal access to both mangroves, sea grass, reefs and muck-sites, including Manado wreck.

Diving boats are great for day trips. In Living Colors they are traditional Indonesian boats that are well adapted also to occasinally rough seas. For diving they are perfect: enough space and easy to operate. Easy access to water and back. There is both shade and places to enjoy sun between the dives. And smiling DM's did look after all equipment you forgot! But the best part is that you can set your foot on bare ground after dives and enjoy space and rainforest sounds around you.

We've always had nice food and service here. Everything works and if it didn't it was always solved sooner or later. Atmosphere is very relaxed, helps you get on the mood as well.

Therefore, I can only rate you as excellent. Thanks guys.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MarkusDernjatin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

Living Colours is about quality. It is not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for.

This is a professional run resort operating to high standards.

I spent six weeks doing a diving course with them. I experienced first hand their standard of equipment maintenance and care, and the importance it is given. Their guides are local, experienced, qualified and fun, with big, never ending heartfelt smiles. Their English is generally good and always adequate. As for doing a course, you have some of the best dive instructors you will find. You will certainly be a better (and safer) diver as a result of their tuition.

The resort is relaxed, friendly, comfortable throughout and cared for. Good facilities even include a sauna (well it is Finish owned!) The "safety stop" bar on the beach is a great hangout place and curtain sometimes turn into quite a party with locals playing instruments and singing.

Food is good with lots of "caught that day" fresh fish brought in by the local fishermen. A variety of cooking styles and chicken dishes ensure a happy tummy.

Having read a recent negative review (1*) with comments about cleaning the beach and facilities etc I get the feeling that some people will only ever focus on and find the negative points, and in this case unfairly so.

Sometimes the sea does bring in some of the plastic bottles that wash over from manado. This is true of every beach at every resort on Bunaken. Most days you won't even notice it. Occasionally you will. But if you want know to how the resort manages it's beach cleaning, ask the management team and not a dive guide. Remember the tide goes in and out every 6 hours.

Living Colours has shaped and contributed so much to diving at Bunaken over the last 12+ years and continues to offer a great retreat. The number of hugs and handshakes between guests and staff at the time of departure says all you need to know.



  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kdwali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riga, Latvia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2014

Thank you very much to Mia and her team for excellent diving holidays!

We enjoyed every part of it: beautiful bungalows (where you can feel the very feminine Nordic touch of Mia in curtains and small details), beautiful terrace which has very comfy sofa and sun bed, very relaxed Safety Stop bar, very very tasty meals, smooth and friendly service, including pick up from Manado etc.

And diving is excellent as well. Beautiful steep coral walls with a lot of small fish and turtles at almost every dive. I expected more big stuff (we only saw a few White Tips) but I believe it is seasonal. We were not lucky, but our fellow American divers even saw a dunong during snorkeling at house reef.

Especially nice are night dives. I really have to agree to the Resort management that they might be the best in the world. You have a night dive at a steep wall, with occasional currents (which sometimes can get quite strong) and with different creatures at every kick: different kinds of crabs, including my favourite Sponge Crabs, Mantis Shrimps, huge Nudibranches, sleaping turtles, Scorpionfishes and many other creatures which I am not knolegable enough to name.

Big thank you to the dive guides - their English is very good and they really care about you and do their best to make you happy.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank VinetaC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

This place is a total hideaway. When you are getting closer by boat you really cannot see the place from the sea until you are really near and can see a little opening. Behind the mangroves is a hidden gem. I loved the quietness of the resort and the scenery from the "restaurant".

My partner and I spent 10 nice days eating, diving and talking with the other guests. If you appreciate a relaxed atmosphere where things are not taken too seriously this is your choice. The food consists of among other things many shades of chicken. Fish dishes were always fresh and tasty. Many thanks to the resort's great cooks.

The bungalow was cleaned very well every day. I must though say that if you cannot stand big spiders, geckos, worms (kaki seribu), lizzies and insects this is really not your place to stay. This is not about the resort, it is about the nature in this part of the world.

Diving around the island is good. Nice walls, turtles, white tip sharks, colourful fishes and corals and if you are lucky dugongs are here to make your divings really nice. Divemasters are locals and they should improve their english, but with big smiles they create a good and relaxed atmosphere even if they do not keep a proper briefing before diving.

We had such a nice holiday here with people who have a great sense of humor. Thank you so much!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ToniFinland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kotka, Finland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2013

I stayed in LC for 13 nights in bungalow 5. The bungalows are in the jungle so you can expect that not everything is luxorious. Shower is gas heated so it's either hot or cold. And because the bungalows are in jungle there are sometimes unwanted visitors during the night (bugs, centipedes and crabs).

It is very quiet there that it took me couple of days to adjust (I live in busy and noisy street). I had to put on both of the cooling fans in my bungalow to make some noise so I could get some sleep. Sometimes there were some weird noises coming inside the bungalow: gekko trying to kill a grasshopper, gekko stuck inside a night stand drawer, crab knocking over a toilet brush or a crab trying to get outside between ceiling and wall boards.

I did 28 dives with LC. Most of them were wall dives around Bunaken, but also couple of muck dives, a wreck dive and a day trip to Bangka islands. My favourites were the Bangka pinnacle, the wreck, the muck near the wreck and leguan 2. Least favourite was the Fukui. Most of the dives were around 60 minutes. The longest one was 90 minutes.

Thanks to Mia, Heini, Ali, Juliet, Nelwan (too bad he left), Vikli (remember the buddy check), Iwan, Freddy, the boat crew and the cleaning lady.

Also thanks for the birthday cake. It was very delicious.

..dive same same but different...

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ErnoJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Living Colours Dive Resort

Property: Living Colours Dive Resort
Address: Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken Island, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Living Colours Dive Hotel Bunaken Island
Living Colours Dive Bunaken

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