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“Once is NOT enough!”

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Gangga Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Manado
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
131 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Once is NOT enough!”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Once in a while you come across a resort that delivers on all counts and when that happens you experience the unforgettable joy of a perfect holiday.
The Gangga Island Resort is one such place. We were there primarily for scuba diving, which was very good. The dive crew are experienced and outstanding. Safety, briefing, instructions, facilities everything is top notch. From sliced pineapple to fresh towels, they think of everything. Dolphy was our group leader and Anton who took us out snorkeling was a hoot.. The resort itself is a gem, hidden on an Island among old beautiful trees. Just 15 rooms spread across the property ensures that you have privacy and yet attention from the staff.
The food is outstanding. Each meal an experience. Thanks to the chef, a combination of local specialties and international favourites. Even my vegetarian needs were taken care of.
The spa is worth a visit or two or three!. Nothing like a wonderful massage at the end of a days diving.
Sheila, Daby, Herman, the staff take you under their wing from the moment you step off the boat.
Gangga is the kind of place that calls you back.
Once is definitely not enough.

Room Tip: If you want privacy then go for #12. If you want proximity to the main unit then go for #1
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MeenMenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Edinburgh, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

The location, service, food and diving are great! The food, both Indonesian and European fare, are of very high standard and we had difficulties deciding what to eat! The rooms are spacious and well appointed. Everything was working which is a miracle considering that the resort is on a relatively small island. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The only area where there could be improvement is the spa which only offers a limited range of treatments.

The resort is located on a small island between Bunaken national park and Lembeh straights in the north of North Sulawesi. So both areas are relatively easy reached by boat, specially because their boats are relatively fast. In the area itself, there is a combination of mug diving on white sand and coral gardens. On the mainland, some black sand diving is also available.

One is under the impression that integration with the locals and some environmental issues are addressed.

I would go there again immediately, if there would not be so many other places in the world to visit!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johnston Atoll
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Wow, wow and wow, respectively the staff, the resort and the diving.

I work in the diving and hospitality business, we have our own accommodation and dive base, and Gangaa has shown me that we have so much more work to do.

The staff are plenty and always smiling, to be honest I have never had someone fill my water glass for me when it was empty but it was this kind of attention to fine detail and ultimately customer satisfaction that made it simply amazing. Nothing was too much trouble. Iwan looked after our table most evenings and offered very entertaining conversation with his excellent service, even a brief insight into indonesian soccer teams which I really enjoyed. Go Manado!

The resort is beautiful, private and on the beach. Fully facilitated with air con, tv, mini bar, marble bathroom and it just goes on and on. It is amazing that they can hold such a high standard in consideration of the logistical hurdles they must face. You can hear the odd boat pass by with a dodgy old 2 stroke on the back but thats just life by the sea so take it or leave it. Anyway, bravo all round.

The food, it just gets better with lots of fish on the menu, local cuisine and more simple fare to suit the less daring pallet if that is what you desire. We went with local meals and chefs recommendations almost every night and as to be expected it was Indo hot, hot, hot. Amazing to be able to sample local style dishes all the time, we would really like to pass our compliments to the chef! DO NOT MISS THE OUTSIDE BBQ!

The dive team were epic, I would like to commend all the guides and the boat drivers. We usually went with Jacob, Jon and Carnie and Jacob was our personal guide. I really liked the consistency of always having the same guide, it meant we got an idea about what each side expected and the result was epic diving. Jacob was able to show us every single critter that we asked to see, he knew where to go, where to look and how to find everything. This was very impressive as I work as a dive guide myself and understand how hard it can be to meet wild expectations with regard to marine life. All the guides were fun and friendly on the boat trips to and from the sites and the food served on the trips was hearty and filling with alot of flavour.

One final thing that I was very impressed about was the high level of information provided on the need for divers to excercise care in the marine environment they wish to enjoy. For example, we were educated that high power photography lights do hold the potential to distress delicate marine organisms like Pygmy Sea Horses. We were advised on the correct protocol for photographoing these special animals and were very content to obey the suggestions offered by the dive team - 5 shots max! I took 3, one to check my exposure levels on the Gorgonian alone and then another 2 of the horse, they are both rubbish :-). We were also briefed on the importance of avoiding physical contact with the living reef, bravo again.

Staying at Gangga gave us the opportunity to dive Manado, Lembeh and Bunaken, the three pearls of Indo. All sites were awesome in different ways. Bunaken for its massive turtles, Lembeh for its crazy critters and Manado for Pygmy Seahorses and Giant Frogfish, thanks again Jacob!!

If there one one thing Gangga could do better, I really don't know what it is!

Thanks for the experience of a lifetime.

Oh yeah, they have Mandarin fish too.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank fobabett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crested Butte Colorado
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

This is a true four star resort on a tiny island in the middle of some great diving. You have numerous dive sites within 10 minutes of the resort and can also get to Banaken and Lembeh with a 60 minute boat ride. The Diving is superb. The food, service, beach, accomidations and staff were all great.
Would return again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jolderco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2012

Beautiful resort, spacious, nice bungalows, excellent food, staff is knowledgable and helpful, beach is fabulous. Diving is great with helpful guides, boats are comfortable, dives are relatively shallow. Nice air-conditioned room to keep camera equipment in between dives, personal dive gear is well maintained by staff during visit. Great place to see many small marine creatures.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank bobbydive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

The resort has very high prices which reflect in the luxurious sourrounding, the big rooms and the caring staff, working in huge numbers on the property. The beach which is only for the guests is really splendid. Food is very good. You will be happy in this regard.

Since this is a very famous dive site you may also be interested in diving. There is the problem: This dive school is a lot worse than they claim to be. Some insights: On arrival we were told by the dive school boss in a very serious talk that we must use dive computers, this was a rule applying for everyone. Since we were travelling a long time we did not bring our equipment and had to rent computers. So far, so good. The next morning we were told that there are not enough computers to rent and so the rule was not so important anymore. Then we tried to dive with our mechanical depth gauges. During the dive we realized they were broken. We told this to the staff after every single of our dives (quite many). Result: Not during a single dive the gauges worked. The tried to change one time but apparently all the gear was broken. Also the overall condition of the rental equipment is bad. Considering the fact that they charge several dozen US dollars a day for the equipment this is just embarassing.

So for scuba divers: If you don't have you own gear, don't go there.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank kugelfingergecko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

We were met and transported, first class, from the airport to ferry to Gangga resort. Buy water at airport for the over one hour drive. Go exchange a few dollars for ruppies then go upstairs to buy water. Very reasonable.
At Gangga Resort we were greeted at the docks by a singing group of the staff and then we had fragrant leis place upon us. Great Diving - wonderful meals - Nice occomodations

Room Tip: Fly Singapore Air and spend time in Singapore - pay the extra for Singapore Air extra tour package
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Finless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gangga Island Resort & Spa

Property: Gangga Island Resort & Spa
Address: Desa Gangga Satu. Kec. Likupang Barat Minahasa Utara, Manado 95375, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Manado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gangga Island Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
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 Hotel Manado
Gangga Island Resort And Spa

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