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Reviewed July 9, 2012

Stayed in Two fish resort at end on June for 8 days. The operation is extremely professionally run as dive groups are kept small (max 2 divers per divemaster). Very flexible divng, and food + accommodaton excellent!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Johannes S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Everything about this place rings true. Nike and Tina are here for the long haul and everything from their attitude to guests, their investment in and treatment of local staff, the quality of the food and accomodation and the care of the local environment bears this out. They are a part of the island. The staff are proud of the resort. Music around the bar from Rian and the dive guys is a highlight in the evenings.

Then there is the world class diving. GTs, dogtooth, sharks, thousands of reef fish, spectacular corals and epic walls.

Why arent more Australians diving here?

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank jameshains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

This review is based on the Two Fish Divers Bunaken resort and their dive center, not on the diving which, in my opinion, speaks for itself and frankly, has no relation to how the resort and dive center are managed nor the quality of our experience at Two Fish Divers. A review on their resort based in Lembeh will have a separate post, as the level of service is different in both resorts.

My partner and I've heard great things about diving in Manado, and we wanted to do both the Lembeh Straits and Bunaken National Park. We scoured around, sending enquiries to various dive centers, but went with Two Fish Divers as they had both bases covered, literally, and at an affordable rate. They offered effortlessly easy transfers from the airport to Lembeh, and to Bunaken, whereas our initial first choice, Cocotinos, wouldn't guarantee us a trip to Lembeh (they needed 4 divers or more).

We dived Lembeh first, then transferred to Bunaken from Manado. It was raining torrentially that day, and it was our bad luck we arrived in Bunaken when the tide was low, meaning, the boat we were on was unable to pull close to shore. Bunaken being a national park, docks or jetties aren’t allowed to be built, so we had to trudge through a mangrove swamp with water up to our thighs. I cannot even begin to stress how ridiculously dangerous it was. People were tripping and falling. Imagine having to follow a narrow path with roots in the sand which you can’t see because they’re obscured by murky black water, and sharp pencil roots to both sides of you just to get to the resort – no fun. And that wouldn’t be the only time divers had to walk through the area. A little paddleboat to take us to shore would've been heaven. I’ve to give credit to the manager, Liz, though. She stood at the opening of the mangrove path in the rain (under an umbrella) to greet us, and provided us with towels to dry off when we got into the resort. She really ran a tight ship in a rather strict, no-nonsense, British schoolmistress sort of manner, but effective to say the least. Things ran pretty timely and like clockwork. I like too that she and Brandon made an effort to come chat with the guests during meal times, sharing their stories and experiences. Tina, one of the owners, joined in the 'festivities' too, and is very personable. She approached us at the end of our trip (maybe because we were on the same boat!) to ask for feedback on our experiences. However, she does get quite subtly defensive about negative comments, and reasons she did give seemed like justification for the sake of it. Nonetheless, I think it's fantastic she makes a concerted effort to speak with customers and to ask on, as well as to listen patiently and attempt to rationalise the possible causes of particular situations.

The Two Fish Bunaken resort was much more spacious than at Lembeh, and service was much better. Most of the staff were accommodating and generally helpful. For example, the flushing system in our cottage wasn’t working properly, and they immediately swapped us to a different cottage, taking the effort to bring all our personal items over, and placing them in the exact order they found them in. They also made it a point to remember our names. Meals were served promptly, the food warm and delicious, and they catered adequately for dietary needs. I’m vegetarian, and always had a wide selection to choose from at every meal. They’re currently building a swimming pool on the premises, but they make it a point to only engage in the construction when people are out diving so as to reduce noise and disturbance. I love that they provided a balcony and hammock, and if you're not too perturbed by the 'wildlife' (mosquitoes, bugs, the occasional harmless tree snake), it's a great place to relax in your wetsuit whilst waiting for your next dive. I also liked that they make make an effort with regards to environmental conservation, from picking up underwater trash, to providing separate sorting bins for recyclables.

As for the dive center, what I really enjoyed was the small group diving they offered. They may pack six or more on a boat, but there was always a divemaster (DM) to two or three divers, sometimes even two DMs possibly based on the divers’ proficiency underwater. Of course, most of the DMs are still undergoing training, so some may not be as good at spotting (though they do try), and most speak only some English, so don’t expect very detailed or varied dive briefings. They also try to provide you with the same DM for the entire duration of your stay, which may or may not be a good thing. Our DM was really keen to show us things underwater, which was great, but I think he could have exercised some restraint – poking at sea life and coral just to get the critter to come out from hiding for us to take a picture just isn’t right. Plus, there were many times he unconsciously broke off coral with his reef stick and fins, stirred up a bunch of silt, or swam off without us. I also would also have preferred if they had stuck to a ‘traditional’ multi-level dive profile, as it were, as on most of the wall dives, as it was just them telling us the max depth, general direction to go in, and then everyone entering the water doing whatever they wanted.

That being said, what I think Two Fish is doing well is providing opportunities for the locals. They’re provided with a system of progression and can become boat captains, DMs, etc., and even transfer to other Two Fish branches for exposure and experience.

All in all, I wouldn't go back to Bunaken because the diving quite frankly bored me, but if I ever were to, I would dive with Two Fish again.

Room Tip: Cottage #2 is right next to the septic 'tank', so you tend to get a good whiff of it when you leave the cottage
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gingerbreadoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

Took my OW-padi at Two Fish and have nothing bad to say. The staff was very nice and helpful and the resort was beautiful and at a perfect location. The divecourse was excellent, with a good teacher and amazing divelocations.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank eiln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Two Fish was a great first experience for diving. My wife and I took our Open Water course there and added on two extra days of diving as well. Dion was a great instructor and we felt that we came out of that class as very competent divers. Other divers were taking more advanced classes and it looks like they were enjoying their experience as well. The facilities for that are very nice. The coral walls there are beautiful and the equipment, boats and dive guides were very good. The food was great and the budget room was pretty nice. Although we feel that the guides would benefit from a little better English, our guide was safe, great underwater and showed us some really cool things among the coral walls.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank JimJodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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