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“Awesome holiday and dives” 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
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Awesome holiday and dives”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2014

Bunaken: We went to the Village Bunaken after several friends recommended us the place. Great staff, reservation by emails though Jochem, on-time pickup and drop off at airport, delicious food and variety in the dishes, great and friendly staff, clean and relaxing environment, great pool and garden, Wifi in restaurant area and in our room.

Room: garden cottage: clean, spacious, queen-size bed with attached bathroom, fan and airco optional, balcony with chairs and hammock.

Activities: relaxing around the garden and pool; walk to the village; snorkeling in from of the hotel: 50m from room great and beautiful corals and wall, option to do snorkeling tours; diving: best wall dives and saw so many things (macro, turtles, sharks, rays, corals,…), good equipment and very nice, helpful and patient Dive Masters and Instructors.

We would go back tomorrow if I could, great short break! Thank you.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank valevh
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
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2014 via mobile

My partner and I chose the Village Bunaken after a friend visited last year and raved about it. From our first contact with Jochem, the resort manager, I was impressed . He answered my emails quickly and made the booking process easy. We were met at Manado airport by our driver on time and then dockside by Jochem and his wife Angelina.

On arrival at the resort we were made feel very welcome with a drink and explanation of day to day procedures and we were immediately impressed by it's presentation. The staff, led by the on site manageress, Lenni were delightful, hard working and eager to please. We especially like Yuni, one of the waitresses. She never seemed to stop cleaning or serving and is thoroughly efficient. The grounds are well cared for and the location is beautiful.

Our room was a Beach Side Cottage.It was simple, spacious and perfectly presented and only 10 meters from the water. It was cleaned perfectly daily. Towels and linen were changed 3 times in 10 days.There is no air conditioning in the rooms and the ceiling fan provided just adequate cooling but when we acclimatised to the heat and humidity after a very cold winter at home, we were comfortable. The fan isn't above the bed, but we found that by sleeping with our heads at the foot of the bed there was more breeze and we were more comfortable at night. The queen sized bed was very comfortable as well. The ensuite toilet and shower were spotlessly clean. The shower water is from a bore and is quite saline. Salt friendly shower gel and shampoo are provided along with shower and beach towels.The Garden Cottages are set in a lovely garden setting behind the restaurant and pool area and are smaller than the Beach Side Cottages.

All meals were served in a spacious open air restaurant. The Village Bunaken's chef, Michael has many years experience in large hotels and worked in Holland for several years. His culinary skills are considerable. The variety was excellent as was presentation and quality. In our ten day stay we did not experience one poor meal.

We were here for the diving. As I've written before, I'm a dive professional and can't tolerate sloppy dive operations. All aspects of the dive operation was to a very high standard. Safety, briefings, equipment and the dive boats were excellent. There was one safety issue, but once it was pointed out, the issue was quickly resolved. The guides are very experienced and were friendly and extremely knowledgable. Our guide Nelwan was the best macro critter finder I've ever dived with. The diving itself was among the best I've done anywhere including The Red Sea. Predominantly wall diving with, at times, very strong currents, it may not suit some divers, but the corals, particularly soft corals and sponges were spectacular. There's very little big fish action, but lots of turtles and great macro.

We will definitely return and have no hesitation recommending the Village Bunaken to our friends and the Trip Advisor community.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank DiveMedic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
214 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

We were picked up in manado and transferred to the island. Staff were friendly and helpful,from the start and all spoke English. It is a small place, but fits a lot in. Eight or ten individual cottages, a pool, bar area and dining room, plus it's own dive centre and amazingly beautiful spa.
All food was included in the price, breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited bottled water, tea and coffee, afternoon tea served each day, food intolerance taken into account, food was of a high standard and plenty of it.
The cottages were gorgeous, fit with balcony and hammock, great for relaxing and reading.
Dive centre was very professional and centered for all of your needs.
Onsite spa was simply paradise, prices slightly more then on the mainland but expected. Would recommend this for everyone.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lifenadventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
101 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

We stayed there for 7 nights and enjoyed the place very much. The diving is simply fantastic and the resort can be very proud of a great, professional, super friendly diving crew.
I would not call it a bargain, price is fair. It is very calm and you can do some runs and walks on the small island. The pool is refreshing and the beach is located really just in front of the resort. Internet works well. If you're not diving you need to entertain yourself with sunbathing and/or reading - not really anything else to do. The breakfast is quite disappointing - with a little more choice it could improve dramatically. At the spa, the massage services are best. We would definitely come back one day and can recommend this place. It is worth to upgrade to a beach bungalow. The beds are excellent.

Room Tip: Beach bungalow gives an additional ocean flavour - but the other bungalows are also well appointed a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2014

Great communication on booking and provided with helpful information on how to get there and other suitable accommodation in Manado after. Met at the harbour and welcomed by the owner and his wife. Transfer to the island was on a very fast and comfortable boat. On arrival was met by friendly staff (who all remembered my name the whole stay) with a welcome drink.
The rooms are set in nice shaded gardens and a very clean and well appointed with unique bathrooms that have hot water. My room was closest to the road and backed on to a shop playing music which I thought may be a problem, but when the doors were closed it was silent and easy to sleep.
The diving is great, got to see dolphins and pilot whales on the way to the dive sites. The divemasters are very knowledgeable and always willing to help. Would love to come back and stay longer given the chance.

Room Tip: Choose one close to the beach for a great view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rude9577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2014

We stayed at The Village Bunaken for 9 days in September 2013. The writting of this recommendation has been a little delayed, but still we often think back with such warm feelings and good memories that here it is:
The resort is perfectly placed inbetween beautifull tropical trees and palms extending to mangroves in the water. You can see that the construction and styling of this intimate resort has been very well thought throught and breathes a balanced and relaxed athmosphere. The moment you arrive here by boat you immidiately feel that this is the place you want to stay!
We also came here for diving and were more than satisfied! The diving programme is run very smoothly, the guides are very competent, helpfull and cheerful, the boats are fast and comfortable and the dive-equipment is taken care off, so all this makes it very easy to enjoy the moment and the surroundings. The walls are amazing! Bunaken National Park very much recommended!
After a day diving it is realy nice to come back to a place like The Village Bunaken and its good vibes. The combination of diving and this resort is one we dreamt of and was exactly what we were looking for.
We will never forget this resort, the time we spent diving, the guides, the cool people we met and the owners. Thank you Jochem and Angelina for building this beautifull place and being such charming hosts.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lottie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2014

First - we would come back here, as it is a perfect situated place for snorkeling. The place is well run and maintenanced due to very friendly personnel, which takes every effort to make you comfortable. Rooms are spacious and clean. So far, so good and perfect.

But then: I still get mad when I remember that place. Imaging a tropical surrounding where at every tree hang so many fruits as you expect in paradise - and fruit are not expensive here! Local recieps make astonishing cakes and tarts from coconut, jackfruit and others: Bunacken could be a place for a connoisseur. And every budget place gives a better breakfast than this here with usually a juice out of a choice of at least 3 fruits, a fruit platter and the usual stuff westeners like for breakfast. Here is what you get during the day:

Breakfast:
Make your own coffee (Dutch product) by spooning the powder in your cup.
On the buffet you have now:
plenty white toast bread and a toaster
3 (day 1) cheap western plastic-surrounded cheese-leaves
4 pots of sweet stuff like honey, marmalade and chocolate
cornflakes, Milk
some papaya (day one), some pieces of pineapple (day 2), cont with 2-3 little peaces by person.
You can get one cup of juice (Papaya) - and only from the fruit of the day. They can´t make anything else for you even if you are ready to pay for it.
They make 2 eggs for you if you order them.

Lunch and dinner go by buffet, too. Food is fine and tasty - and just enough.
Desert day one: lunch: very little bananas, at dinner again: papaya. At this point even the duch guests started to joke complaining. Portions go by group and table and are so small that nobody dares to take anything (or don´t like Papaya?)

Next time here only with food in my luggage.


Another thing is that they seem to prevent competition around their place. People made arrangements in the neighboring village for boat trips, but the people never showed up. Later we found out, that the people are not allowed to land their boat in the little bay of the resort, if they don´t BRING somebody from Manado. The resort-own boat goes only at maximum 2 times a day, depending on arriving guests. So if you have to do some shopping, you have to spend a full day in Manado.

Dining: there is no diving school, as we thought first. May be better you know already what to do if you go there, as they handle things quite relaxed.

As everybody else said already: the place is beautiful and well run - but it leaves me with an annoying taste.

Room Tip: No beach area and sea view. Take fruit with you, if you like fresh fruit
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beatrix H
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, June 25, 2014
Thank you for your review and some of the compliments. I do have to comment on some of the assumptions in your review. First of all our breakfast has a lot more choice then the other places on Bunaken in the same price range and definitely more than the budget places you mention. We have no limits on the amount you can order. If you are looking for western cheeses, hams/bacon and an extensive breakfast you should have stayed in a 4 or 5 star hotel.

We have a dive center/school already since 2007 on the resort, with 3 dive boats, compressor, PADI courses, etc. This you can read on our website or in the other reviews.

We do not prevent boats from entering our bay for picking up snorkelers if they rented a boat in the local village. This was probably an excuse from the boatman. And even if this was true he could have picked you up 50 meters away down the beach.

I talked to the Dutch guests as well(I am Dutch) and they frowned upon your complaints at breakfast.

We did improve on our fruit choice at breakfast, but I find your obsession with the fruits excessive, judging from you only staying 2 nights and you still feeling mad after 4 months.
Please try one of the other places in the area next time and then you might have a better understanding of the standards on Bunaken.
Report response as inappropriate
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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