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“Very nice place to snorkel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Village Bunaken

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The Village Bunaken
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Clara, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Very nice place to snorkel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2011

My sister and I stayed 6 nights at Village Bunaken. The staff was helpful and friendly. The owners Jochem and Angelina were attentive and made sure we enjoyed our stay. The resort is attractive. The pool was nice to have. The food was reasonably good (not outstanding - but it's hard to satisfy an international audience).We snorkeled in different locations in the park and the best snorkeling is right in front of this resort. We saw hundreds of kinds of fish, turtles, nudibranchs, etc. We didn't dive, but the divers there at the time said that the diving guides were awesome - each took groups of 2 or 3 divers and were great and finding even very small stuff. We had a great stay, largely thanks to this resort.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ProfessorEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
126 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 419 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2011

My wife & I love Bunaken. We went there again this past summer & stayed at 'The Villiage' this time. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this place is. Nice people, great food, wonderful service, and if you like to enjoy the most beautiful undersea vistas on Earth - then this is the place for you. Anybody who would give a review of less than 5 stars must be the type of tourist who only likes to sit in the air conditioned room, getting drunk & watching cable tv (the sort of thing anyone can do AT HOME!!!)... This is a place for people who like to see some natural beauty before it's all gone. And if you like warm & personal service with kind-hearted staff, you should give this place a try (because I've been all over Indonesia, and it's the best time I've ever had!).

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Texonesian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

This resort is really awesome. I have been here with my parents and sister. This resort is located at the beach with some mangrove. Because of this the view is really beautiful.
When there is high tide you can go snorkeling on your own. And if you want to dive, there is a diving center intern. The coral and sea life are in good conditions. I have seen in one dive 10+ turtles and mandarin fish. The dive guides are friendly and good. I have seen a lot of different sea life because of them. Oh me and my sister went for a dive with a group of snorklers and other divers but me and my sister are not that experienced so we got own dive guide.
The village bunaken is the only one with a swimming pool which is great. It is really nice when you feel like doing nothing and want to go for a quick swim or to cool down a bit.
They also have WiFi for a reasonable price. I could finaly upload fotos for my Facebook and write emails at my own pace with a releaxing drink at the restaurant.
Besides the accommodations the working personal are really friendly.
In the evening we all played cards untill 11.00pm and the bar keeper kept waiting without any trouble until we went to bed.
We all stayed here happily

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marcomeeuwse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waddinxveen, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2011

This wasn't my first time at Bunaken and the resort. The owners keep improving the resort every year. And even more important, they do maintenance. This is the only resort on the island with a swimmingpool. Which is nice when the tide is to low to go in the sea.

The staff is very friendly and always prepared to help you. The food is good and every time there is something different, except for the rice of course ;-) At tea time they make something special every day (donuts, apple pie, ...)

I can't give a comment about the diving, because I'm only snorkling. The snorkling over here is very nice. You put on your equipment on the beach and off you go. It seems like your swimming in an aquarium.

I'm sure I will be back again!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RubenDeVries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

I spent in Bunaken village just an incredible three weeks. I was travelling alone, but never felt lonely. For a start, the staff is amazing! Most honest and friendly people who i have met. their hospitality is great and they are trying to give them all to take care of each customer as best that they can.
During the time I spent there i was staying two different rooms. Both were very nice and clean. They clean your room everyday. If you have any problems or things to ask, the owners are trying their everything in order to be able to help you.
Food is excellent. A variety of dishes, fresh fish staight from the sea, fresh fruits every day and good options for vegans also.
Living area is nice and swimming pool is a big plus! (is very refreshing to jump in to the pool after dive, or just during the hot day when ever you feel to)
The beach is perfect for snorkling also! You can see lot of beautiful corals, fishes and wall.

My idea was to take an Open Water Course there and i did. the instructor is well trained, and knows its business very well. After my course i made a total of 33 dives in there around bunaken in different divingspots. including 1 night dive under the full moon, wich was amazing! the visbility of water is so good, walls, reefs, corals, animals, fisher and the whole underwater world is indescribable. Two diveguides are wery helpful and they know the best diving spots where to go and what special things to find.

Overall totally amazing and great trip wich went too fast. I was blessed that i met such a great and lovely people, who made my time there even more special.
Im definitely going back!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hanna_Leinonen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2011

We spent a wonderful week at Bunaken Village diving and snorkeling. The resort was in an excellent condition and staff very friendly. Also the owners were around and cared for their customers.

For us the main reasons for selecting Bunaken Village were reasonable price and having a pool (besides of course checking that there's good diving, good rooms, ...) Normal daily schedule for most people was two dives in the morning and then afternoon relaxing at the resort. Only Bunaken Village and some much more expensive resorts offered a pool for salt-free cooling down.

Everything worked well during our stay from booking the trip to arranging transfer from another resort on Lembeh to Bunaken. We got replys to our emails usually within a day and no prepayment was required. As normal rooms were full during our stay they arranged us a spa room for a reasonable price. They also offered an option to pay using online bank to avoid 3 % extra fee for credit card (useful for Europeans).

Dives were spectacular overall and it seemed that every dive had something special (big turtles, crocodile fish, nudis, shrimp, ...) The dive guides all had over 15 years experience in the area and seemed to know all the fish around. One of them had been on Lembeh for a year but got bored and them moved back to Bunaken. :)

We heard that currents around Bunaken can be dangerous and from the boat one can see the see bubling from upswells. On our dives we never experienced bad currents. We were wondering was it good luck or the guides knowing where to go and when.

Minor comments on how the dive shop could still improve itself: the dive guides did not naturally debrief us after the dives but we had to be active to ask them for what we'd seen and part of the equipment was oldish - though everything always worked.

Other places where Bunaken Village could improve are food and cheap air conditioning. Food was good and there I got rid of stomach problems I'd had the whole time in Indonesia. But still the food isn't the level of a five star resort. Air conditioning is available but the price (20 eur/night) is outrageous. The price is the same in most resorts as having A/C requires bringing gasoline from the mainland and running generators through the night (we didn't hear noice of it). But regardless of the reason for high price, as a tourist I want good service at a low price!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Emppu78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2011

After traveling half-way around the world the diving here is really no great shakes. The hotel and diving operation seem completely divided. The hotel itself is very nicely laid out. Dive guides spend way too much time poking and prodding sea-life.
I had my own dive gear and it ended up everywhere. I ended up having to police it everyday. No concept of one diver-one crate.
The water table on Bunaken is stressed, so you bathe in salt-water.
They charge euro5 a day for wi-fi which I think is unnecessary. There is only one mains plug in the communal lounge, and wi-fi/your phone won't work from your room.
Stay up past 9.30pm and the owner will wonder around rattling keys, switching off lights, or simply sitting at an adjacent table and staring blankly at you. Really quite odd.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LondonGenie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bunakenvillage, Owner at The Village Bunaken, responded to this review, August 24, 2011
While staying, this guest always gave positive feedback on the diving and resort services. So it is very strange that afterwards he is not satisfied with staying at the Village Bunaken. If while staying you let us know when there is a problem and we can try to make it better.

He obvisiously thinks diving in Bunaken is not spectacular and that is a personal opinion. The watertable is not stressed. It is a natural condition on a small island that there is no fresh water, like it always has been. The water is brackish and in the dryseason a little more than in the wetseason. All resorts on Bunaken have the same water for bathing.

There is only one internet provider on the island and because of this monopoly it is very expensive to provide this service. Other resorts charge more than twice of what we charge. We do plan to make it free for next year. Wifi is intended for restaurant area use and some rooms are also in range. We are not responsible for phone coverage in the room.

After 22.00 we close the office in the front. As you can imagine we have quite some keys. So I apologise for the rattling. Also in the restaurant there are the main lights and extra lights for mood and while having dinner. Turning some non essential lights off because electricity supply on the island(island main power, so we do not use the generator) is limited at night does not mean we want guest to go to sleep. Guest can stay up all night if they want. The bartender waited for him every night. Even until 1 o'clock or later when all other guests were already sleeping. We never sat at an adjacent table and stare. That would be indeed odd and we have better things to do.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Village Bunaken

Property: The Village Bunaken
Address: Pangalisang, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small scale Resort, Diving center and Spa on Bunaken with attention to detail and a touch of authentic indonesian styling. A place to relax and enjoy the underwater wonders of Bunaken right at your doorstep. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Village Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island

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