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“Paradise with fantastic diving and great company”
Review of Misool

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Misool
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Paradise with fantastic diving and great company”
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Stayed at Misool for 16 days over Christmas and New Year. Wish it could be every year. The photos on the website, amazing as they are, don't capture the full beauty of the place. The rooms are beautifully done and every comfort is catered for. The food is great and the diving is out of this world. Numerous mantas, white and black tip sharks, turtles, baracudas and all manner of small things we couldn't even begin to hope to identify. All set against an amazing backdrop of bright and varied coral. What made the trip particularly special, however, was the company. The Misool group are great and make the holiday about as perfect as it could be. Including the baby sharks which swim under your balcony every morning and evening!

The best holiday we have ever had and we can't wait to go back. If you are lucky enough to be thinking about going, book it now!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank DilipandBryony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2011

On arrival in Sorong we were greeted by Torben who assisted us with our bags and put us in taxis to the harbor.
The boat trip from Sorong to Misool Eco Resort was long and in parts a bumpy journey. The boat smelt strongly of fuel but there was seating on the upper deck. A meal was served on the boat and drinks were also offered. After such a long journey for many the distinct silhouette of Misool Eco Resort when it came into view was wonderful. By the time we reached the island it was dark and the resort was lit up magically with the staff all waiting to greet us on the jetty.
Our bags were taken direct to our rooms and we were invited immediately to the restaurant for dinner and a brief welcome and briefing. The majority of us retired to bed early and slept very well.
The stay
Misool Eco Resort is simply the best dive resort I have ever stayed in. Location is obviously a major factor. Apart from the occasional passing dive liveaboard there is nothing to disturb the peace and tranquility found at Misool. The resort is surrounded by some truly amazing dive sites all within a twenty minute boat ride. Even when full the resort has been so carefully planned and laid out that there is never a feeling of overcrowding.
The restaurant is a beautiful building by itself and is where everyone meets for light breakfast, full breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner. All meals are buffet style and the food is plentiful, varied and amazingly good. Alcohol is charged extra but both wine and beer is available. Guests eat on long dining tables and so this adds to a very sociable experience and talk is mostly about the amazing diving.
The water bungalows are very comfortable all having ample storage space, choice of double or twin beds and en-suite bathroom. They also have a large decking over the water with a built in hammock, day beds and steps leading down into the water. A number of larger bungalows will also soon be available that are perfect for visiting families as they have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There are plenty of power points and a nice touch was that adapters where found everywhere. There are no televisions, no i- pod docking stations and long may that stay the same. Misool is not only a destination to come and experience some amazing diving but to also re charge your batteries.
The dive centre is almost the heart of the resort. Large, well designed with designated wet areas and dry areas, camera work stations and charging points. Dive groups are kept small and each group dives different sites to other groups. Most days three boat dives are offered and on every third night a night dive is offered. Unlimited diving on the house reef is permitted up to 8pm. The dive boats were perfect for the short distances to the dive sites and the jetty was only a short distance from the dive centre. Dive equipment was cared for by the staff and all guests had to worry about was donning their wetsuits and being at the briefing on time. Those with cameras or videos were most certainly well looked after and as expected the boat crew and dive staff always knew how to handle such expensive equipment and could advise on what lens to bring to a particular dive site. Diving is limited to 60 minutes bottom time and a maximum depth of 30 meters. No deco diving is allowed due to the remoteness of the location. Rental equipment is available as is nitrox. Marine Park Fees are mandatory and payable upfront.
My groups dive guide was Lauren a Canadian from Toronto. Lauren was a very experienced guide who had worked at Misool for a number of years and previously worked at Wakatobi. We also had a local guide named Ongka. Our group was made up of six divers of varying experience. The other groups also of six divers were put together as they all had the same interest, photography and they all had expensive looking cameras and housings.
I can honestly say I never had a bad dive, not even an average dive. Every dive was truly amazing. The coral is very healthy, both hard and soft corals. I have never seen so many large sea fans and in so many numbers on so many dive sites. I was able to tick off many subjects divers would hope to observe when diving in Raja Ampat. Pygmy Seahorses were seen frequently and a number of different species. Wobbegong sharks, orangutan crabs, blue ringed octopus, mandarin fish, bearded ghost pipe fish, bumphead parrot fish, napoleon wrasse, barracuda and many more.
The majority of the dive sites were within a ten minute boat ride and there was very little current and on most dives visibility was about 20 meters. Temperatures were a balmy 28 degrees so a 3mm full length suit would be perfect. Sites such as Nudi Rock, Boo Window, Whale Rock, Selat Dua, Yilliet, Fiabacet, Fiabacet Pinnacle, Boo West and Tank Rock were all visited. Nudi Rock Boo Window and Whale Rock were my favorites but above all my personal favorite was Magic Mountain, a twenty minute boat ride past some beautiful scenery. A seamount peaking some 10 meters under the surface is the site of a manta ray cleaning station. This site is covered in some wonderful soft and hard corals and goes down to some twenty meters. The mantas are found either close to the top of the mount or down at twenty meters. Apart from the manta rays we found a wobbegong shark and five juvenile white tip sharks hiding under a table coral. I was very fortunate to observe manta rays on every visit to this site and on the first visit we had three stay with us most of the dive. The second visit we had six and on both occasions I was able to get some great video footage. The manta rays were not shy and as long as divers followed the guide’s instructions of staying low and not chasing the mantas, they would stay for the whole dive and would come very close. On a number of occasions I had a manta hover just what seemed like a couple of inches above my head. The visibility was superb with easily thirty meters near the surface and a fellow diver reported even better visibility at depth.
On the last dive day I dived again at Magic Mountain before opting to skip the remaining dives to instead visit the rock paintings which are thought to date some 5,000 years. The boat trip which lasted the remainder of the day also included a visit to mangroves to look for flying foxes and snorkeling amongst the mangroves to look for life in the form of juvenile fish. A picnic lunch and refreshments were laid on. The paintings themselves were something very special and I was pleased to have missed a few dives to join this trip. The paintings were not work of the current villagers or their ancestors and so it is a mystery who painted them. Many of the paintings are of hands and should a hand be missing a digit or two this signified a loss of a member of the family. Fingers were either cut of or bitten off. Other drawings were of fish which may have signified to other fisherman areas of good fishing. Another painting shows a person falling from a cliff, a warning to others to take care when climbing the sharp and steep rocks.
Misool Eco Resort welcomes you as an extended member of their family. The staff are all exceptionally friendly and very helpful. Torben, Marit, Andrew and the rest of the team have done some amazing work at getting the no take fishing zone extended and other environmental work to contribute to the safe keeping of the marine environment. They actively support the local villages and community and again give back making a positive contribution from the money that visiting divers contribute.
Misool Eco Resort is not recommended for those that enjoy having entertainment laid on for them in the evenings. There is none, you make your own. The resort is not for those that expect to have the latest hi tech gadgets in your room. There is none, bring your own. The resort is closed during July, August and the early part of September.
In summary Misool Eco Resort is definitely amongst my most recommended and rated dive resorts. Yes the journey is long but the reward is far greater. The diving is truly amongst the best I have been privileged to experience and combined with the resort it makes for the perfect dive vacation.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank facesofthesea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2011

I have dived in many places around the world and almost everywhere in Indonesia but this is by far the best resort I have ever stayed at (I have not been to Wakatobi though which looks nice as well but the diving in Raja Ampat is obviously on a different level from what I was told by others) and by far the best diving I have experienced (although Derawan, Sangalaki and Cendrawasi Bay come close).
The whole idea behind Misool makes it so extraordinary; the way the resort was built only with driftwood, the no-take zone they managed to create twice the size of Singapore, involving from the beginning 80% of the staff from the nearby villages and further supporting several schools there as well. This is truly a role model for eco-tourism other places should take as an example. Oh and one last thing about staff and management: Their true dedication to making our stay so amazingly wonderful was really first rate! Serving the best food outside Jakarta and Bali in one of the most remote areas in Indonesia I also need to mention! In March I hope to return for my 4th visit.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DiveChrisDive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2010

I have been there already twice. The place is so magic. For me it is beside of the location most impressive how the crew from misool eco resort managed to build such a cosy, stylish place with all European standards without using artificial materials. On the island you feel a very comfortable and family atmosphere and even if the service has been not always perfect it never bothered me. I just remembered myself that all the service stuff on the island comes from neighbouring villages where people have hardly any education and where the standard of living is low as we can't imagine.
Beside the resort diving and snorkelling is of course the main reason why to visit. I have seen already many places in the world which are well known for very good diving, but South Raja Ampat is far the best I have ever seen.
If you want to full fill yourself the dream of staying for a couple of days in an absolute unspoiled paradise and dive water reach as the Maldives 30 years ago, I can warmly recommend the Misool Eco Resort.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank tobyz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amsterdam
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2010

In January we spent a few weeks at Misool Eco Resort, on the island Batbitim, just south east of Misool in Raja Ampat. The quality of the dive sites is unbelievable. Many of the dive sites have very interesting topography, like walls, sea mounts, pinnacles and narrow straits between islands and everywhere the corals are in very good condition. Beautiful nudibranches, flatworms and pygmy seahorses can be seen on every dive. For me the enormous numbers of fish make this a really special location. Raja Ampat is a good place for fish but the 450 sq. km. No Take Zone around the resort is absolutely the best. Since 2007 all fishing has been banned here. We saw manta’s and mobula’s several times, different types of sharks on almost every dive, large groupers (even on the house reef here are 4 big potato groupers), and schooling fish everywhere in large numbers. We did some exploration diving in the last week and found a few sites with schools of millions of anchovies with lots of bigger fish, like jacks, trevallies, Spanish mackerel and tuna hunting them. In one of these spots we saw two schools of oceanic triggerfish.
This is an excellent place to go both for people who love macro stuff as for those who are interested in underwater landscapes and fish life.
The quality of the resort is very good as well. Beautiful cottages, excellent food and the diving is very well organized. The atmosphere on Batbitim is very relaxed.
This place is highly recommended. I will go back as soon as possible!!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank markokruidenier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2010

Definitely a place to stay in this area! Run by a group of passionate sea lover and conservationist, the resort is a perfect hide-away and place to enjoy the area. The room we stayed was beautiful, clear view to the bay, direct access to blue sandy water. The resort maintains the house reefs well, various fishes and nice corals... I am a snorkeler and am very thankful I got the chance to join the diver boats and snorkeled to various beautiful places!!! In addition we also went to two land trips, an excellent additions arranged by the Resort. All and all, I will go back to this awesome place!!! A must stay!!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank d124a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wavepark
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 26, 2010

Owning and operating my own resort, it was great to get away and see what the visionaries of Misool EcoResort had done with their location.
Why do I say visionaries? The resort it built in such a way that it appears that the island was built for the resort, not the other way around. After touring around the islands during my week there, I didn't find a better location than what they have, and we're talking about LOTS of islands.
What they have accomplished in their remote location took blood, sweat and tears. I've done it, and I can see what was involved to make that happen. They have taken the time to involve the villages and tribes around them, and I counted their staff to guest ratio is somewhere around 3:1. They're supporting many families, and creating a better life for many people. That is admirable as well. To find hardwoods harvested from ocean, rather than from the forests too extra time, money and thinking outside the box that may not be appreciated by most guests, but I can see the honest effort. There is lots of wood used at Misool that would otherwise be lost to wood worms if it was never harvested.

It was my first scuba experience in 13 years, and aside from first dive jitters, I quickly became comfortable with their dive locations. Being a guide myself, I could appreciate the effort that was taken by Misool's guides to include everyone in the underwater treasures that they found. The dive meetings before each dive were accurate and knowledgeable, although we had to laugh at Lauren who kept saying that "this is my favourite dive spot..." It is wonderful to be around people who love their jobs.

The place is relatively new and the little operational mistakes were endearing, not inconvenient. This is part of being a pioneer in any area. Their relative distance from Sorong and the fact that they have to ship everything in requires expert logistics, and I didn't see a single thing lacking during my entire stay. Impressive. 3 years ago, their "no take" zone was visited by 4 live-aboards and 1 resort. Now there are 33 live-aboards and still just Misool. The writing is on the wall for the area, and I would recommend that if you have intent to get an uncrowded dive in, make sure you go sooner rather than later.

Misool resort makes you feel like part of their family, which is their stated intent. I hope that with the area developing, and Misool planning on doubling in size shortly, they can maintain the family feeling that provided me with great memories and lots of new friends.

[--]

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank wavepark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Misool

Property: Misool
Address: Batbitim Private Island, Raja Ampat 98483, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Raja Ampat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Misool 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Misool Eco Resort is an exclusive dive resort and conservation center located in the southern part of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Our private resort island is nestled deep in a vast archipelago of uninhabited islands, in the heart of marine biodiversity. Our island and our scuba dive sites are surrounded by our very own 1220 sq km No-Take Zone. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Misool Eco Hotel Raja Ampat

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