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Mangga Lodge
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Reviews (47)
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18 - 23 of 47 reviews
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Ideal place for a rest near the sea - just near the beach, very beatiful bungalows, english (and not only) speaking staff, nice garden, delicious food, big red parrots in the lodge. Good value for money, big discounts in low season

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nataliia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Maybe to get there takes a bit long, but the trip from Makassar is scenic along the sea, watching the salt basins and the beautiful barns in the sea to store the salt or the special weed fishermen collect and dry alongside the road, so it is no lost time at all. I love to travel, not only to arrive.

But even if you don't - once you are there you know why you did it. The house with a lovely courtyard really has the atmosphere of a mediterranean villa, being an architect I enjoyed so many details which made me feel comfortable. There is a nice courtyard where delicious meals (breakfast and dinner, since guests are normally on diving trips during daytime. There is a restaurant next door with a connecting door between the grounds) are served, you feel as part of the family. There is a sort of tower with sort terraces on different level, so on the top you are sitting in the shadow of a light roof and overlook the sea, a beach which is just what your fantasy invents when you dream of a tropical seaside. White sand, palm trees, a distant island.
It is the perfect place to relax, dream, read, there is even a small library.

There are some rooms in the house and more in few bungalows, so it can never become crowded but it is really rather family size, everybody immediately part of it. The house is about a mile from Bira tucked away in shrubs and wood, there are very few other buildings like the restaurant with some bungalows nextdoor.

I would go there to enjoy the tropical setting and the sea even if there were no diving. But that is why people come here, it is incredible diving, corals, a marine life which is totally fascinating - and Elvis and his team show you both - the places for the big fish, the lovely tortoises "flying" elegantly through the water but as well, if you are interested, the small miracles like the sea horse, so small but for careful and patient watchers such a prize! The boat trips bring you to all the wonderful diving places - proposed responsibly by Elvis according to your diving experience. And lunchtime sees you on a beach with a tasty meal or in the two table tavern on the beach of the island opposite where the chef serves you the most delicious fish and a cocoanut to drink which he opens in front of you. Elvis is German, experienced diver, creator of this beautiful place, openminded, friendly and hospitable.

If your eyes long for something but water there are very nice walks on the small path through the shrubs and woods, eventually reaching hidden coves and small beaches, good trails for jogging in the morning.

Bira is a small seaside place with some good restaurants, if you feel like leaving Mangga Lodge which is not very likely.
But there is one reason to do so at least once, because 20 minutes to drive - Elvis will arrange that for you - there is one of the most impressive experiences you can have on Sulawesi ( for me even more fascinating than Toraja) and that is Tanu Beruh, the place where they build the famous Pinisis ( see my report on the traditional Pinisi harbour Pelubuhan Paotere in Makassar), the traditional wooden sailships ( though today mostly powered by engines), these elegant but sturdy ships which still serve most of the thousands on Indonesian islands which are not on the schedule of the shipping lines. Being a hobby sailor myself I could not believe what I saw: every other shipbuilding nation first builds the ribs and then the skin of the planks. They do it the other way round! Elegantly rounded hulls are built just by adding plank after plank to the keel, without a single nail and to get these curved shapes the angle with which the planks meet has to be very precise. They build ships of
20, 30m without any drawing, it is just in their heads and I believe on their genes, it is not possible otherwise. The shipyard is the beach, side by side you see the different ships in different state of production. I saw the launching of one huge Pinisi and it was a sight which reminded me much of the film "Fitzcarraldo" where they pull a ship uphill in the jungle just by human power. This launching lasted for two days, because the vessel just moved 10 cm each pulling time! So do not miss Tanu Beruh when you stay at Mangga Lodge!

Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
3  Thank Gottfried Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2018, traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2018
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  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2017
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  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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