I staid a few days in Gangga Island resort, which was recommended by friends (who, just like me, are not divers). Our experience was very different, and it seems the explanation is that during my stay (there were very few clients) the owners were out of the country, the manager was out of the island, and the whole team was left to itself.
I may also say here that I probably have a personal sensitivity to noise (the water dropping next door that would annoy just one person: that would be me).
So first things first. The place is supposed to be worth 4 to 5 stars, I believe it is too outdated now to have such ambitions and charge 200 bucks a night. The bungalows are dark and poorly lit, the furniture is cheap, I remember I had one of those small screen TVs in 1990, my sheets smell a bit of humidity.
The food is OK by indonesian standards, nothing the least inventive but it's decent. There I may add that calling the clients at 9 in the morning on a sunday to ask them whether they'll have breakfast, which is served until 10, is way over the line. I had the same for dinner, as my nap (after a long trip) was interrupted because someone was in a hurry to shut down the kitchen an hour in advance.
I tried the spa. I first enquired whether I could have a booking at short notice. The spa is supposedly opened from about 10 am to 8pm, but I was told I should come the next day at 4pm, and at no other time. Fair enough, but then my coming the next day at 4 could have been anticipated. I had a decent massage after a long hour of swimming, a bit too energetic by my taste but that's a matter for debate. Then I showered, with the bathroom door barely closing, the tiles in the shower reminding me of a modest country house in the 1960s, and the shower gel and shampoo bottles being empty. I was finished (and slightly embarrassed because the door couldn't be shut) when the therapist came back with shower gel and shampoo.
The site is beautiful, it's not the resort's responsibility if so much debris and plastic stays in the water and lands on the beach; but the fact that only one guy is in charge of cleaning it (and obviously not managing it, whatever the reasons) has to be raised.
Then is my main issue with this stay: noise. I certainly find it nice that people are happy and singing. I certainly am a bit oversensitive here, but I do believe that too much is too much:
- people calling each other loud instead of walking to each other
- employees singing (and nothing but cheap indonesian pop) every time they move from one place to the other
- employees deciding that clients reading in the lounge would appreciate the sound of pop music plus the sound of them watching TV
- works being done (ie hammer and nails) at 8.30 am on a sunday morning just next door -I may point out that the bungalows walls are made of plain wooden planks with no isolation, you can actually see through
- someone cleaning with a broom the outside of the bungalow at 6.30 am (see above and figure the sound of a natural fiber broom on a wooden prank 1 m away from your head). I had a hard time having the employee actually understand that I was trying to sleep and that I couldn't because of the noise -not a language issue here, my indonesian is good enough, but obviously noone in the management told them that noise can be a pollution.
- I understand the need for a generator, but I'm not quite sure why it should be so close that you can usually hear it, and often smell the exhausts.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Unwind and relish on the tip of a small island located off the cost of Manado in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, called Gangga Island Resort & Spa. Where thirty elegantly furnished & air conditioned wooden bungalows with high ceilings and a spacious veranda overlooking the beach are discreetly set at the base of a jungle covered hill. An unparalleled scuba diving experience is waiting for you in North Sulawesi! Gangga offers sensational diving where you can get up close and personal with diverse and remarkable sea life from both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. The resort is an ideal starting point for the diving sites of Bangka Island, Bunaken National Marine Park and Lembeh Strait, making it a favorite destination for underwater photographers. For both divers and non-divers the picturesque white sand beach, the large salt-water pool, a traditional spa and the high quality of service at Gangga Island Resort will guarantee a peaceful and relaxing stay. Our friendly and accommodating staff will be happy to welcome you and assist you with your requirements, endeavor to make your stay in Gangga enjoyable and memorable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gangga Island Resort And Spa
- Gangga Island Hotel Manado