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“Beautiful diving, beautiful resort!”
Review of Raja4Divers Resort

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Raja4Divers Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2012

Just ask the dive guides about our standard phrase upon surfacing: "Best dive ever!" If you can say that – and mean it – almost 40 times within two weeks, things are pretty clear: The dive sites around Pef are simply wonderful. Perfectly intact corals, exciting topography and a marine fauna that is unsurpassed. We’ve been diving all over the world for many years – yet we saw dozens of fishes and critters unknown to us on every single dive! And it doesn’t stop there: The friendliness of the staff, the rustic luxury of the bungalows and of course the delicious food made for a truly fabulous vacation. Bottom line: We’ll be back – very soon!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank swiss_nomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 84 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2012

We really enjoyed our one week vacation at Raja4Divers in January 2012!

The pictures, videos and descriptions on the dive resorts own web site speak the truth both regarding accommodation and what to see underwater…so instead of just repeating that, I’ll emphasize what I believe is relevant to know before you book and go there:

All staff was very friendly and they seemed to be enjoying their work: The English-speaking crew had breakfast, lunch and dinner with the guests at a long table so plenty of time to socialize.

The food is good and varied and cookies, fruit, tea and coffee are available throughout the day. There are soft drinks, beer and wine for sale but it’s not cheap so squeeze a six pack in your suitcase if there’s room for it: All cottages have their own fridge where you can keep it cold.

The diving is truly excellent and the biodiversity is impressive! The water is around 29 degrees Celsius which is ideal for 3 mm wetsuits. It’s very clear which is ideal for underwater photographers. The visibility apparently varies but we found it to be good: around 15-20 m.

You can dive with Nitrox 32 at Raja4Divers, unfortunately the compressor used for Nitrox did not work when we arrived so we only got to do 3 dives with Nitrox: According to the dive guides they had the compressor up and running the following week, I guess we should have stayed another week...

Raja4Divers have several English-speaking dive guides but when we visited only one of them was diving. The first day, we felt that the speedboat was pretty packed with 6 guests, 3 guides and the boat crew. However the rest of the week we went on 2 boats instead which was much more comfortable. 3 of us were teamed up with the English-speaking guide: This is very nice when you want to discuss something with the guide before or after the dive. The guide was a really great guy and he did very good briefings: I just felt that it was a shame that he brought a camera on most dives which often got him focusing on photographing instead of guiding. On the other hand he showed the best photos from the week on our last night which was a nice way to end the stay.

My boyfriend got an ear infection and was out of the water for 2 days. Take your precautions: Rinse your ears with fresh water after each dive and cover your ears from the wind with a towel or a hat when the speed boat is in motion.

If you feel like a break from diving there’s plenty of fish to be seen from your private porch or the jetty: When we were there, baby black tip reef sharks and bat fish cruised the waters frequently. You can also climb the hill behind the camera room (wear shoes, not sandals as it involves sharp rocks and a latter made of rope) or take a kayak around the island to enjoy the beautiful scenery and solitude. We have never tried to go by kayak before but managed to stay in it for 2 hours without falling in the water or getting sore muscles the next day. Just remember to wear a hat and sun block.

The boat trip from Sorong to the resort is quite long: On the way to the island the weather was fine and it took us approx. 3 hours to get there. We could enjoy the sun from the bow or seek shade and take a nap on a wooden deck with cushions. On the way back to Sorong however, the situation was very different. The waves really rocked the boat and it was raining half the time which meant that the ride took 5 hours – this is a very long time when you have no actual seats to sit on!

Of course no person or resort is responsible for the weather conditions and apparently the weather was particularly bad on January 27th 2012. But to end an excellent vacation with this experience was really not something I would like to do again. I therefore sincerely hope that Raja4Divers will upgrade to a transfer boat that is better fit for a rough sea so that other guests will feel safer and get a smoother ride than we did. I have pointed this out to the resort after we got home and apparently this boat type should be the best to deal with this situation.

All in all we had a great time at Raja Ampat and recommend Raja4Divers resort to other divers. I would like to go back there too some day! I realise that not all my remarks supports this and that it may seem as if I am dissatisfied with our stay there. However this is not the case at all: I just feel that in order to be good value for money at the high rate that is charged, a high standard is expected in all aspects.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank piaech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

My group of 5 divers took slightly less than 24 hours, starting from Singapore, to reach this place. We took a Friday evening flight on Garuda from Singapore to Makassar, stayed overnight at the airport sleepover service, then took a morning flight to Sorong; and from Sorong, we continued on a nearly 3-hr fast boat ride over 95 km to Pulau Pef, north-west of Sorong, where Raja4Divers is located, arriving in the late afternoon. When we were about 100 m from the disembarkation jetty of the resort, singing voices wafted into our ears, apparently the whole staff had turned up to bid us welcome. The singing continued for 20 minutes more, as we climbed onto the jetty and quenched our thirst with welcoming whole coconuts; we were eventually led to join in a circle dance waving our coconuts about. Things just got better after that.

When the music and song died down, we quickly unpacked our dive gear for stowage in the drying room located on the jetty. 5 plastic baskets have already been prepared for our gears, labelled individually with our names. Our things were then carried to our assigned guest bungalows. The married couple in my group went to bungalow 2 and the remaining 3 of us got bungalow 3. We saw that bungalows 4 and 5 were still under construction. We found out later that bungalow 1 was occupied by a cheerful guest from Bahamas.

All the bungalows are built along the beach, with open verandahs facing the west, giving us great photo-opportunities for spectacular sunsets; the verandahs have short ladders leading into the shallow sea, we visited each other often via these ladders. The large back area of the bungalow is equipped with hot and cold water taps (ground water, so not potable) for bathing from a mini stone cistern with wooden water scoops, seating toilet, drinking water (hot and cold), a mini-refrigerator, and a small safe. The beds are comfortable and individually equipped with mosquito nets; however the constant sounds of waves lapping on the shore required a fair bit of getting used to during the nights, I would recommend other guests to equip themselves with earplugs. The whole bungalow is constructed entirely from wood and rattan, designed and built by Indonesian craftsmen. Local sculptures and specially designed wooden fixtures add to the authentic decor of the bungalow. There are more than enough electrical outlets, for our electrical needs - charging of laptops, etc. Wi-fi access to the Internet is free; the network currently covers only the imaging room, the dive center, and the dining hall, but we were told that there are plans to extend coverage to the guest bungalows. Electricity is available only from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. I had to place a torch (not provided) for my night forays to the toilet.

The cuisine is mainly Indonesian. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style affairs. Breakfast comprises pancakes, bread (baked on-site) with the usual spreads, cheese, eggs (any style), cereals, yoghurt, and nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) every other day. Lunch is rice or noodles with a selection of curries, chicken, mutton, beef, vegetables, and usually fruits for dessert; we also had avocado based hors d'oeuvres a few times. Dinner is a sit-down affair, again with rice and the usual accompanying dishes, but based on more complex recipes, thus richer in taste; even the desserts are more complex, for example we had ice-cream flavored with local fruits a couple of times. Free-flow of a variety of coffee and tea, iced-tea and fruit juices is available for all meals; however,wine (very limited selection), beer and canned soft drinks are charged to our guests' accounts. We brought our own wines and there was no corkage charge. All in all, the food is more than enjoyable.

In terms of scuba diving, Raja4Divers, located on the western beach of Pulau Pef (on the western tip of the island Gam, south of Waigeo), is well positioned. During our stay there, that includes 5 diving days, we did not have to visit any dive site more than once, although a few sites certainly deserve repeat visits. All the dive sites we went to are within 20 to 30 minutes from the resort, using one of the 3 fast boars they have. We did 2 morning dives and an afternoon dive for the 5 days we were there; actually on the 2nd day, we did 3 dives at more distant sites, and had a great picnic lunch on the beach of an isolated lagoon on a small island, then we added a dusk dive at the house reef that stretches from the resort jetty down south for about 250 m to the southern tip of the west-facing coast of Pulau Pef, with depths down to 25 m. For that dusk dive we spotted mandarin fishes and encountered a family of 10 spiny lobsters housed under a large table coral formation, I hope this family will stay intact in the years to come.

The general staff is competent and polite, providing service always with smiling faces. English is understood. Our attempts at conversing in Bahasa seemed to be greatly appreciated.

As in all resorts located on the tropical belt, insects was a challenge. The insect repellent we brought was especially useful when we went trekking in the forest behind the resort.

The staff was again out in full force sending us on our way home, with music and singing in Papuan. The farewell was quite emotional for my group members, and the warmth accompanied us all along the long road home.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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10  Thank tants_bsac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2011

We decided to spend our 1st year wedding anniversary here on this island and at Raja4divers which is a brand new resort opened in June 2011. And my hubby and I decided that diving is the way to celebrate this special moment since this was how we met.

From Singapore, we flew Garuda to Makassar and spent a nite at the mini transit hotel (pls bring ear-plugs or else you will be kept awake by the endless announcements through the night!). On the next morning, we flew ExpressAir to Sorong and spent ~5 hours on a transfer boat to P.Pef. yes, 5hours a tad too long but the resort crew is looking to replace with more powerful engines and cut down the transfer by 2 hrs! (thumbs up!)

The bungalows at the resort come with a huge bathing area with a traditional mandi and a private terrace overlooking the sea. Breathtaking views and nice cool breeze. Meals are served at prefix time of the day and loud banging gong which serves as reminder that our meal is ready...food was good (but don't be late or else you end up waiting for next batch of food..and a hungry fish like me has little patience for that). and sometimes the kitchen staff surprises us with cookies and cakes for afternoon snacks. yum yum.

We had good time diving too. Made new friends and they were great. The resort also come with an imaging studio run by Claudia and Leon from Bittenbysharks. I took the opportunity to attend an imaging workshop during our trip and hone my skills in taking u/w photos with a strobe. yeah, attending a workshop during holiday?!?!? but it was all worth it when I see the end results of the photos taken... not forgetting the laughter we shared in the studio.

It was just such a pity that we only had a week to spare. We'd now look forward to more good trips back here.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank fatdonut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Ich denke jeder Bungalow ist wundervoll
  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled solo
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Thank AmelieTri T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: May 2017, traveled with friends
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2  Thank verenapinoesch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Alle Bungalows sind in etwa gleichwertig...also top....grosszügig und mit allem drin, was das Herz b...
  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with friends
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Thank johfurrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Raja4Divers Resort

Address: Pulau Pef | Waisai, Raja Ampat, Raja Ampat 98413, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > West Papua > Raja Ampat > Pulau Pef
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Pef
Price Range: $269 - $459 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Raja4Divers dive resort in Raja Ampat is run by an experienced, qualified and motivated team, under Swiss management. Started to build in October 2010, the beautiful resort has been opened to the guests since June 2011. The dive resort nestles along a palm fringed, west facing beach, with spectacular sunsets right on front of the bungalows. With only maximum 18 divers and the unrivalled service levels its one of the most exclusive diving resort in Raja Ampat and Indonesia. ... more   less 

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