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“A little slice of heaven - Diving on Selayar” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Selayar Dive Resort

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Selayar Dive Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A little slice of heaven - Diving on Selayar”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

The trip to Selayar is an adventure in itself. A five hour drive to Bira habour followed by a two hour high speed boat ride to the resort brings you to a picture post card spot with azure sea, a stunning house reef and beach backed by forest covered hills. The accommodation in individual huts are comfortable and spacious, and comes with its own bunch of friendly geckos that keep the unwanted insects like mosquitos under control. Jochim, the jovial German resort owner, is a highly experienced diver who is the guardian of the reef and he has protected the reef for more than a decade, and the results are plain to see - fantastic life on the reef, mostly macro. Being so remote, the logistics of setting up and maintaining a place like this is no mean task and Jochim has done a fantastic job. The team has created a warm family-like atmosphere where everyone seems to get on, and food, drinks and friendliness washes around like the warm currents in the sea. Diving is easy in the clear waters and Jochim who was our dive master provided opportunities for deeper dives to view palagics and, while they were challenging, it was safe and a great adventure. The long jetty provided a platform to reach the drop off for day and night dives without the boats and a great place to hang out, watch the stars and contemplate the peace. The resort provides two boat dives a day and unlimited reef dives. There are no noisy generators or boats, except for the odd passing fishing boat, only the forest birds and sound of the ocean lapping on the beach telling you its time to dive. The food is great and nothing was too much trouble for this great team. Looking forward to another visit sooner or later.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
5 Thank Panduka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

Selayar was a fantastic. Unlike other resorts, Selayar is small and like staying at a private beach house. The bungalows are very comfortable and are spread along a beautiful beach. You can swim straight out to the gorgeous house reef (about 200m out from the beach) or walk out to it on the jetty. It's remote, relaxing and just what we needed after an incredibly busy 2013. My partner dived twice a day from the dive boats and usually did a night dive as well. He loved it. I snorkelled every day a couple of times, usually going out on the dive boat once a day and puttering around the house reef with other snorkellers at other times. Saw so many turtles, it was awesome. Water temp was 28C and visibility varied between 10-30m. We went with a couple of friends and made more friends there. The staff are great. We wouldn't hesitate to go back.

Room Tip: All bungalows are gorgeous - some closer to the restaurant & dive centre than others. Depends wh...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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?
2 Thank Janette S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ubud, Indonesia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

SELAYAR DIVE RESORT IS AWESOME. Run by a jovial German guy, who has been a dive master for 25 yrs, you will be in good hands. Food is great, service is excellent and what an idyllic little island spot. Small, personal and friendly resort. I also loved travelling around Selayar. On my way to Selayar Dive Resort I stopped at a small village on the coast and as I stood under a tall coconut tree, I watched the agile, brown leathery, muscular Sea Gypsy village man effortlessly scale the tree, machete dangling at his side and somehow perch himself in the top fronds to search out the best coconut for me. The fresh coconut dropped at my feet with a thud and burst open to reveal the sweet coconut juice. With a huge Selayar smile, the man carved a drinking spout and showed me how to drink from the top – no straw required. I joyfully returned his smile, with love. I felt we understood each other in that moment.

I was visiting an interesting bamboo village on Selayar Island, home to the Bajo people. They only live in the village for five months of the year and then head out to sea on their small, colourful, traditional wooden fishing boats roaming the seas, as they have done for centuries.

My destination was a remote outpost, the Selayar Dive Resort, run by a jovial, German character by the name of Jochen. The resort is only accessible by boat. The journey had taken me fourteen arduous hours, from Makassar in South Sulawesi to the idyllic Selayar Dive Resort; a beautiful, charming eight-bungalow dive operation made even more appealing by the fact it is so difficult to access. As Jochen says, “Anyone can jump on a plane and stay at a hotel near an airport. Guests who come to my resort are interesting. They find out about my place and they come, even though it is quite difficult to get here.”

I had tried to fly to Selayar Island from Makassar, which is the most direct route, but the air service had been temporarily suspended (due to some paperwork not being signed), so it became a long travel day involving a private car, a local ferry, a pick up (by a local policeman) and finally a transfer by local fishing boat, via the Sea Gypsy village to get to the dive resort. The effort was well worth it.

What I discovered on Selayar Island was a combination of spectacular diving, a dramatic 70-metre deep reef wall, beautiful richly coloured coral, sleepy turtles, a unique marine environment and a rich, traditional culture on an unspoilt, non-touristy island.

What really stole my heart though, was the people. The smiles of Selayar and the warm hearted welcome you encounter everywhere you go is a rare find in this fast paced technical world we live in now. The culture is steeped in history with the ethnic boat building Bajo people, the Sea Gypsy ocean dwellers, a unique hill tribe village and extremely friendly local townsfolk.

What is particularly appealing about Selayar Island for divers is its accessibility to the Takabonerate National Sea Park, which is the third largest coral atoll in the world, next to the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. With this major drawcard you would expect to find developed tourism, several dive resorts and 4 and 5 star hotels, but this is not the case. Selayar is a secret find and you really feel like time has stood still here.

Accommodation is mostly homestay with a couple of very average three-star hotels and only two dive resorts.
Selayar Dive Resort is extremely well run and the other is barely functioning. There is also a very remote National Park managed dive facility six hours off the mainland, with homestay attached.

For a hill tribe experience, take the long and windy road twenty minutes out of Benteng (the main town) and you will discover the Bitombang Old Village. This unique village is perched high in the hills where the houses are precariously positioned between huge boulders, on suspended tall poles. The main street is more like a village lane; hardly wide enough for one car, which is shared with goats, chickens and some very sleepy dogs.

The average age of the village inhabitants is said to be 90 years old and indeed I did meet a lot of very old people. In true Selayar fashion, the locals are extremely friendly and very happy to talk to you and tell you about their interesting village. It is said, in folklore that the houses are built up high to raise life expectancy, however a chatty fellow told me he built his house on tall poles to protect himself from thieves, which I found very amusing, because Selayar is a very safe place. A local policeman told me Selayar has one of the lowest crimes rates in Indonesia. I learnt all sorts of facts and statistics when I toured the (very friendly) local prison, but that’s another story.

If beautiful long, white sandy beaches are your calling then Selayar has three lovely beaches. It is well worth taking the trip to the seven-level waterfall and the walk to the cave is wonderful. While tripping around the island you will find yourself crossing the main river at several points. The local folklore stories tell of seven metre crocodile that lurk in the estuarine waters. The most unusual story I heard was of a girl who went missing. Her sister went looking for her along the beach and came across a crocodile. It is said in mythology that it is possible for a crocodile to actually be a human. The girl thought her sister had turned into a crocodile, so she took the small crocodile home and it became her pet. The crocodile slept with her, on a pillow in her bed, however it grew bigger and bigger. A reporter went to the location to validate the story and indeed it was true. He offered to buy the crocodile (with the intention of releasing it back into the wild) but the family would only rent the crocodile, saying they wanted it back, because of course, it was their daughter.

Such are the experiences that await you on this unspoilt, charming island in the Flores Sea. The genuine warmth and hospitality of the Selayar people is infectious, and for anyone wanting a unique travel experience to remember for a lifetime, smiling Selayar is the place.

Room Tip: All the bungalows are on the beach and your walk down the sand to restaurant. Perfect.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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?
11 Thank stephtravelwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bad Zurzach, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012

I have been staying in the Selayar Dive Resort for almost three weeks and it was such
A stunning experience from all points of view.
The Resort itself is beautifully hidden in the south of the remote Island Selayar, so there isn`t any sign of mass toursim under or above the water. It`s Bungalows are very cosy and simple, but dont`get me wrong, it has everything you need and want.
The service and the houskeeping are doing a marvellous job, you will never see them but they are still manage to clean your rooms twice a day ! And of course, if you love to eat as much as I do, you will be amazed how tasty and full of variations the meals are!
No we come to the main part, the diving, I have to say I have never experienced a more beautiful and intact underwaterworld since the 11 years that I am travelling as a diver. The dive sites are nearly all huge walls that finally will end in 400-800 metres depth with a huge variety of corals sponges and creatures.
You have the choice between deep and shallower dives ( large fishes e.g sharks jacks , tunas and of course there is a lot of mag diving aswell e.g pigmys, ghostpipes,thousand of different small crabs and nudi branches). The owner of the hotel Jochen, who was also our diveguide, did a great job and every evening we were sitting together with all the other guest (15 pax which is the maximum amount of guest) and chatting and laughing. Boy he is a very entertaing and smart guy, his knowledge about all the marine and land life is very interesting.
Well all in all I can recommend this Resort for every serious diver who really wants to see nature in it`s nearly untouched condition. The only drawbag might bet the adventures transfer to the island but believe me it is a hundred percent worth it!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dive T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2012

A perfect place to find a private paradise. Beautiful enviroment and easy access to protected reefs in pristine condition. Exellent food and service. Jochen is the perfect houst and a very good diveguide.

Magnus & Pia Bugge

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 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?
2 Thank pmbugge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Selayar Dive Resort

Property: Selayar Dive Resort
Address: Bonetapalang, Selayar Island 92812, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > South Sulawesi > Selayar Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Selayar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Selayar Dive Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We made a special effort to conserve the natural beauty of the surroundings and integrate the resort into the marvellous scenery of our one kilometre long white sandy beach.The resort can only be reached by boat. From the open sea as one arrives, the landscape and rain forest show off their natural beauty. Only when really close in to the shore, is it possible to identify the eight bungalows between the trees – all built in a respectable distant from each other. ... more   less 

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