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“Great Value, People, Service,diving and kid friendly to boot”

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Two Fish Divers Bunaken
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 11, 2010

World class diving in an incredible, undeveloped location that is relatively easy to get to, fantastic service, great food and kid friendly to boot. What’s not to love? Especially for parents who dive.
We just got home from an amazing trip to Bunaken Island where we stayed and dove with Two Fish Divers. We met one of the owners at a dive show in Singapore and after hearing how kid friendly they were, we were convinced that we needed to give it a shot. We have an 18 month old and our goal for the dive show was to find kid friendly dive destinations.
Let me say that we were not disappointed. The staff was fantastic with our son and completely put us at ease. My wife was able to go diving every morning without worrying. Every day when we returned our son was busy having fun playing with the nanny and usually several other staff members along with the owners’ small children. I know how challenging it is to find a place that caters to parents with small children. I would strongly recommend Two Fish to diving families with small children.
The resort was clean and well ran. Abraham, the operations manager was friendly, personable and eager to insure that everything was perfect for our stay. The food was great and the rest of the staff was always helpful.
The dive operation was also well run with friendly, competent dive masters and staff. The boats have an abundance of shade and the diving is some of the best on the planet.
I’m rating the rooms four, not because they are on par with a high end hotel, but because they are great for what they are indented to be. The resort is a budget resort that caters to divers of all levels. It’s not a Sandals or Club Med and is not intended to be, but is excellent for what it is intended to be, and the value cannot be beat.
If you are a diver (with or without small children) and like being around unpretentious down to earth people, then I would highly recommend this place. We had a fantastic time with friendly and interesting people from all over the world. We will be returning soon.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Calmday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2010

I want to stay one month in Bunaken with Two Fish Divers in March 2010. I had not been back since 2004, and was very impressed by the resort (rooms, facilities, gardens, lounging areas) and the dive operation. Despite having grown in size, Two Fish Divers stayed a friendly place with great individual attention paid to guests. The dive guides are extremely well trained and friendly and in general the staff and owners try to accommodate all wishes. Based on tides and currents, you might not be able to do your chosen dive site on a specific day, but maybe the next., and dive guides will make sure your diving is safe and fun, based on the conditions, while trying to take you to a maximum number of sites during your stay. The diving is very good value for money, flexible - they'll really bend oever backwards to make your holiday enjoyable There's a good atmosphere in the resort, with various areas to sit, chat or rest, large deckchairs facing the sea, sitting areas with wifi internet to send your pictures and check your emails, a nice cafe for a beer at the end of the day, etc. The gardens are beautifully maintained. Bungalows all have a terrace with hammocks and are spread through the gardens, with plenty of space between bungalows for your privacy. Standard and budget rooms are what they are announced to be, convenient, you do not get cheated on the merchandise. Read the website carefully and you'll see that all the information is there, and the pictures really reflect what you'll get. One great advantages also is that you can book your Bunaken and Lembeh holiday with Two Fish, and they'll organise your transfer to their Lembeh resort, which is also a beautiful and friendly place to stay.
I warmly recommend Two Fish Divers for your holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank CamilaLuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2010

Two Fish has a lot of potential, however it needs some work to make it a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for its guests. True, Two Fish is a budget resort, however when it gets to a point where you start thinking about being home again, something is wrong.

The cottages are kept clean, although poorly constructed, with holes in the walls letting mosquitoes in. The shower had very poor water pressure and on the second day began to smell. Likewise, the toilet required the old bucket and pail treatment given inadequate water supply. A stagnant creek (full of rubbish) in front of some of the cottages does not make for a pleasant atmosphere after a morning's dive.

Probably most disappointing was the food. Incredibly bland and not much of it. Breakfast consisted of cheap, refined foods (long-life milk, cornflakes, sugary juice, little fresh fruit) and lunch and dinner did not incorporate some of the great Indonesian flavours that are easy and inexpensive to make with a little effort. In short, the food was really lacking imagination.

On the positive side, the staff and dive guides are very helpful, friendly and efficient. The diving experience was very positive and we will certainly visit Bunaken again. However, we will not be staying at Two Fish as for a minimal amount more (less than 10 Euro per night) there are more comfortable and more enjoyable places to stay on the island.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank arbez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TwoFishBunakenIsland, Owner at Two Fish Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2010

These types of reviews can give a very distorted view of our resort. This reviewer only stayed with us 2 nights before moving to another resort for the last 3 nights of his stay, for the benefit of other readers here are a few points to balance things up a bit:

- There were 12 other guests staying with us at the same time, they were perfectly happy with the food, cottages, resort, etc. In fact I asked the other guests personally if all was ok (I am the owner), and they completed positive surveys at the end of their stay (we ask all departing guests to complete a customer survey).

- We are a budget resort that provides clean & comfortable cottages for divers and travelers at affordable prices, and we have to reduce some of the frills to keep the price down. We are also a dive resort (not a resort with diving) and we have perhaps the best dive service in the area - we have 4 western instructors, 2 local DM/Assistant Instructors, 5 local diveguides, 3 dive boats with oxygen, new & serviced dive equipment, emergency evac procedures, etc. With max 20 dive guests it makes for very a small/personal dive service for both beginners & experienced divers!

- We have many plans for making improvements to our resort & cottages in June & July 2010. These include new cottage furnishings, water system & hot water as well as some landscaping.

- Correct, there are other resorts nearby that are more comfortable, and they charge more, some even double & triple our price. This is normal, I think that many travellers are used to choosing hotels from 1-5-star, and the same kind of consideration should be taken when choosing resorts.

- Water – we admit that the water power is not as strong as in 5-star resorts. Most guests are happy with the current system as its part of the island experience, but we want to improve and are putting in new water tanks and water system in July 2010.

- Our 9 cottages are made of hard-wood and are built by professional builders. In the heat the wood dries up and shrinks causing some gaps, when it rains the wood expands again, this is one of the consequences of being in the tropics. I have checked the cottage and there are no holes that let in mozzies as was suggested, just 1 or 2 very small gaps caused by these weather changes. However, all the cottages are netted and have electronic mozzy thingies so the cottages are mozzy free. We actually do not have much of a mozzy problem on Bunaken - only half-hour at dawn and dusk, and if you are in the restaurant or beach café at this time then a quick spray on the arms & legs normally does the trick.

- The "stagnant creek" is actually a small gulley that directs rain water from the hills in the middle of Bunaken (behind our resort), through part of our resort, and out to the sea, and we agreed with the local village to keep this open. The gulley gets full when it rains/high tide (up to 1m deep!), and empty when no rain/low tide, but doesn’t affect the resort or guests in any way. Some of our improvements to the resort include landscaping this area, and a landscape-designer will be visiting soon to give us some options.

- Breakfast: we offer cereal with UHT milk as there are no cows or fresh milk in this area. We also offer fruit, eggs (any style, any amount), toast & spreads, and Indonesian options such as nasi goreng, fried noodles and noodle soup. We have signs on the walls that advertise all the various offerings.

- Food in general, we have listened to our customers and have improved our food considerably. Guests are now commenting that its very good, and are putting Excellent or Good on the surveys.

When choosing resorts on Bunaken, guests can stay with one that offers European food and even one that offers Japanese food, its just a factor of price. However, you are visiting Bunaken and we think you should get Bunaken food.

All our cooks are from Bunaken and make some very good Bunaken food. The resort where the reviewer moved to is javanese - the staff are from java, the owner is from java and the cook is from java. As a result all the food is from java - we think this is like going to singapore and only eating ham-burgers! (Geography lesson – java is about 1,000 miles from us).

PLEASE TELL US!
We welcome comments from guests, but please let us know when you are here so that we can do something about some of the issues – its YOUR holiday, we would prefer to make things better so you can enjoy it more!
Its frustrating when we are told that there is "no problem really, we just found a more comfortable cottage in another resort" and then have to read about problems in a review.

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Reviewed May 20, 2010

I recently (February 2010) visited Two Fish for the second time (the first was in 2005). I find some of the reviews here quite unfair to Two Fish. Two Fish does not, as far as I read their web site, pretend to be a 5 star super luxury dive resort. My experiences with Two Fish is varied, from quite bland (the food), to perfectly adequate (the cottages, dive rental gear, dive pre planning), to good (reservation, readiness to fix problems in the cottages) to great (dives, high degree of accepting our dive profiles and dive times, almost always accepting our site wishes, boat service, staff courtesy) to totally amazing (value of the diving compared to the price Two Fish charge). I have never ever done so many so good dives even remotely close to the price I got. So if doing a lot of long (one hour +) dives at great sites for a very low price per dive is your idea of diving, Two Fish certainly delivers. I will certainly visit again.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank BentC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

Diving: We stayed for 5 days in January and our dive guide was fantastic and so overall the dives were a lot of fun. However, the operation is super regimented and it was really annoying always getting the answer "We'll see" when I asked what sites we were going to on the next boat out. I would have enjoyed more information about the sites and a clear channel to put in requests for sites we want to go to.

Accommodation: Really disappointing. We stayed in budget lodging all over Indonesia, so I am not comparing this to a high end destination. The rooms are not insect proofed properly and not properly ventilated. No fan in bathroom means very odd smells. I have stayed in other budget dive resorts before and I know it can be done well, but it really feels like a lot of "penny pinching" at every turn here.

Service: Booking staff is great, but actual service at resort is lousy. When we had cockroaches on our ceiling (what the hell? seal doors better) and went to ask for insect spray, the staff said "sorry the kitchen and storage room is closed. We'll get you some tomorrow". The procedures for pick up and drop off in Manado were very strange and confusing.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mitmbaphys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TwoFishBunakenIsland, Owner at Two Fish Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2010

I am not sure what you mean by “super-regimented”. We have a schedule for diving, is this what you are you not used to? All the dive resorts and liveaboards that I have been on in the last 20years have had the same type of schedule otherwise no one would ever go diving.

We make sure that guests have the same dive guide for their entire stay, and this is the normal channel for finding out about the dive sites and to put in requests – ask your dive guide. We also have a full-time instructor that you can talk to, as well as a western management team that are very open to guest requests (they eat their meals in the restaurant with guests so can be easily approached).

One of the issues we have in Jan is rain and wind, and sometimes we have to wait until the next morning to see about the weather before we can decide on dive sites for that day. The instructor and western management team could have explained this to you.

There is no fan in the bathroom but there is a big ventilation system in the wall that provides fresh air. You can also ask for air-freshener spray, the cleaners use this every morning when cleaning the bathroom and it would have been no problem to give you your own.

We are not penny-pinching, just being practical what we can offer in our budget rooms for such a cheap price. When you stayed with us they were priced at €12pp/nt, this was full board with coffee, tea, snacks & drinking water. I am also a budget traveler of 20years experience and have never stayed in a place for the same value anywhere in SE Asia. Even so, as part of our planned refurbishment we have replaced all the furnishings and repainted the rooms, but have had to raise our prices to €15pp/nt.

Sorry, but I do not think that the response to the bug spray “we’ll get you some tomorrow” is unreasonable. Our storage room is closed after 8pm so its better if you ask during the day, and we also advise guests not to eat in their rooms as this attracts insects, even if the doors are sealed properly.

All rooms have a ventilation system above the window, and this is netted to stop insects. There is also a fan to keep you cool. We cannot close the half-inch gap at the bottom of the door - in the heat the wood dries up and shrinks and when it rains the wood expands again, this is one of the consequences of being in the tropics. If the gap in the door was problem we could always have given you another towel to plug it up with.

The Manado transfer are a bit confusing for us as well! We have guests who have different flight schedules as well as guest who want to go to Lembeh in the mornings or after lunch so its pretty complicated to please everyone. For departures, we try and let everyone know the day before, after we have talked to everyone to find out about flights, diving, etc. For arrivals, the boat depends on other guests arriving - no point sending the boat at 1pm with some guests when other guests arrive at 2pm.

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Reviewed March 1, 2010

My friends and I stayed with Two Fish Divers in Bunaken for a week in February 2010. The accommodation is pretty basic, there is no hot water and the beds are uncomfortable. We didn't enjoy our stay. The resort needs lots of work, new equipment and new furniture in the cottages. Comfortable sun loungers would be a bonus too. This is basic accommodation, be warned if you want comfort, this isn't the place. We won't be visiting again.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SofinaJakarta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TwoFishBunakenIsland, Owner at Two Fish Divers Bunaken, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2010

Hi Sofina - as I mentioned to you in an email, please check with the resort before you book that they have hot water. When you were here in Feb we did not have this available, and did not advertise this on our web site or anywhere else. Had you mentioned to us that this was a big problem for you when you were here we would have tried to find a solution (boiling water in a pan?), we would have loved to help!

Up until now we have been a budget resort that provides clean & comfortable cottages for divers and travelers at affordable prices, and we have had to reduce some of the frills to keep the price down.

However we want to improve, and I also mentioned in my email that we were planning many improvements this year including: new generator so the cottages can get hot water, new cottages, new furniture, new soft-furnishings in the cottages, comfortable sun loungers, etc. As of this response, all this has been done except for the hot water, this should be installed by mid-July 2010.

You can find out more about our improvements on our blog http://twofishblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/big-improvements-to-the-resort-in-bunaken/

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Reviewed November 25, 2009

The Two Fish Dive Resorts in Bunaken and Lembeh Island have been one of the best dive values we have experienced in the world. This is compared to all of the other dive resorts and liveaboards we have experienced in the Carribean, PNG, Australia and Bali. The trip was 30 hours from door to door and I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Serious divers will be enriched by the biodiversity and variety of dive locations (hard and soft coral, muck, walls and more). We did 30 dives combined between Lembeh and Bunanken and were treated with great hospitality, wonderful fellow divers from all over the world and adventure because of the thousands of marine species we can only witness in North Sulawesi. The food needs improvement but we survived. The Lembeh cook made us a great veggie omelet every morning. Who doesn't like a good Bintang at the end of a dive day? The owners, Tina and Nigel, were hard working, warm and informative. They were genuinely concerned about what they could do to make our stay and dive experience more enjoyable. There are many choices in dive destinations and we plan to return to the dive "hot spots" at North Sulawesi and Two Fish Dive Resorts.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Oceandweller7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Two Fish Divers Bunaken

Address: Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken Island 95113, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Bunaken Island
Price Range: $68 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small and cosy resort based on Bunaken Island, characterised by:• Beach-side accommodation - wooden cottages with cooling fan, HOT water showers and large balconies with hammocks.• Other resort amenities include 18m swimming pool; 24 hour electricity; relaxing area; beach café; FREE wifi internet; book swap facility.• Small &Personal with really friendly staff.• European management – owned and managed by Tina and Nigel, who have been living & diving on Bunaken for more than 10 years.• No crowds - maximum 20-22 divers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
2 Fish Divers Bunaken
Two Fish Divers Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island

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