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“Unforgettable Honeymoon - Manta Ray Bay Resort” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Manta Ray Bay Resort

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Manta Ray Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Colonia
Certificate of Excellence
Sudbury, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unforgettable Honeymoon - Manta Ray Bay Resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2011

My wife and I have just returned from a long overdue Honeymoon. After careful research and consideration, we decided to spend a week at the Manta Ray Bay Resort on the Island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia (a short flight to the southwest of Guam).

We arrived early in the morning and were greeted at the airport by a Yapese boy who presented each of us with beautiful leis to wear around our necks. A brief stop at customs and we were warmly greeted by the Manager and a few of the staff members from the Resort.

The ride to the Resort was short and included an air conditioned bus with individual cold towels and ice cold water. Upon arrival we were given a brief tour of the facilities and directed to our room; check-in paperwork could wait for later in the morning.

We stayed in the Mandarin Fish Room (300) and entered another world. The large room was beautifully appointed, made even nicer by the presence of fresh flowers, and had the largest shower we’ve ever seen which was made with river stones. After a long trip, the bed was welcome and we were not disappointed. Wonderfully comfortable with lots of pillows.

The next morning we ordered coffee and sat on the balcony taking in the view of the hills behind the hotel, the lagoon that spans in front of the hotel, and the Mnuw, a 170ft Phinisi schooner from Indonesia with 3 dining decks, 2 bars and a kitchen all on board that is moored in front of the Resort.

We spent the day getting acclimated to the island and found everyone we encountered to be friendly and helpful. Lunch and dinner were aboard the Mnuw and we were not disappointed. Fresh fish and a variety of other entries were cooked perfectly and the service was top notch.

The Resort also has its own micro-brewery and the brew was suburb. Most evenings, the Resort owner Bill Acker, joined us and the other guests to discuss the island, the day’s events and offered advice on how to make our short stay in Yap more enjoyable.
It seemed that after the first day every staff member we encountered knew our first names and we never met a staff member that did not great us with a “Hello” or “Have a nice day.”

Time to talk about the diving. We have dove along the east coast, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas but have never experienced anything like what we found in Yap. Yap Divers is situated adjacent to the Manta Ray Bay Hotel thus forming the Resort.
One of the reasons we chose Yap was to see the Manta Rays. We were not disappointed. Mantas, Mantas and more Mantas. What an experience!!! Don’t be fooled, there is a lot more to see than just Mantas and we encountered a whole cornucopia of marine life. Breathtaking. You must take in both a night dive and the Mandarin Fish dive. These colorful fish mate almost every evening and their antics are a thing to behold. The dive crews were very friendly and knowledgeable which just made the diving that much better.

Along with diving, the Resort offers snorkeling, Island & Cultural tours, kayaking, and fishing. We highly suggest a tour of the island to fully appreciate what a unique culture this truly is.

Last but not least was an appointment at the on-site Taro Leaf Spa that included a cucumber mask and facial massage for the wife and a full body massage for the both of us using their own herbal products made locally on the island. Perfect before the long flight home.

We have travelled extensively and would rate the Manta Ray Bay Resort 6 Stars. Oops…they only allow for 5.

Room Tip: Definitely stay in one of the Deluxe Ocean View Rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GutFish84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Tiburon, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2011

I spent a week at the Manta Ray Bay Resort on a solo dive trip through Micronesia. The rooms are spacious and basic, but comfortable, with fresh flowers on the first day and a little welcome note from the staff. I was on the bottom floor, so had a patio out my sliding glass door that was just steps from the water with a nice view of the sunrise. I dove every morning, rain or shine (and there was quite a bit of rain). The dive shop is well organized and the facilities are perfect for what you need...individual lockers, dry camera tables, three rinse tanks plus camera rinse tanks, lots of racks to hang your stuff to dry. The restaurant is on a ship docked at the hotel; it's a great spot for drinks at sunset (they shoot a cannon each night to announce happy hour), and after dark the hotel plays dive movies. The food wasn't great, but the pizza and fish tacos were passable. The hotel also has its own brewery and pours three of its own microbrews. I have to mention the showers...they had strong water pressure and hot hot water, which you don't often find in places like Yap, so my nightly shower was paradise. The hotel also has a little spa...I had a coconut oil massage on my arrival day; it wasn't the best massage I've ever had, but certainly wasn't the worst, and it was reasonably priced. There's not a lot to do on Yap besides dive, but I do recommend doing a full-day kayaking trip through the mangroves. Our guide, Richard, was very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna, and the culture. We visited a men's house, chewed some betelnut, saw some sleeping fruit bats, and paddled through gorgeous mangrove forests. Take the walk up the stone path to the radio tower on top of the island; the view is amazing and there are lush tropical flowers lining the path. I also did the land tour, which is a great way to get a sense of the whole island, visit a traditional village, learn about the WWII history of Yap, and learn more about the Yapese culture. All of these tours can be organized through the hotel. There's Internet, and you can buy it per day, per week, or even per hour, but it's pretty darn slow. Overall, this was a great place to stay on a remote island with very little tourist infrastructure.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DestinationDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brandon, Canada
Level Contributor
415 reviews
205 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 349 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2011

Facilities are comfortably luxurious, staff are extremely courteous and very friendly, although ambiance has a price: the internet café next door charges half the hourly access rate, restaurants down the street are 40% less for a similar meal. However, food/drink on the retired trading junk “Mnuw” is a wonderful experience, whether for buffet breakfast or on the upper deck sampling a house beer with host Bill Acker at Happy Hour, i.e. 4:30pm. Dive shop is professionally run by Jan Sledsens ( a Belgian), individual storage lockers for your gear, and the crews (captain/divemaster) are Yapese.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SuperDave47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Level Contributor
80 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2011

The resort is a dive hotel with the whole set up revolving around the diving at the nearby dive sites. The dive set up is well run with a number of small boats going out to different sites each day. The dive sites are within 15 to 30 minutes by boat depending on the tides. The hotel is clean and well run with the restaurant bar based on a Chinese junk parked out the front. The setting is great and the local beer they brew is great but the food is basic.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PJ-Scuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

I did enjoy the easy check in from the early fight in, but found the awfully hard mattress unbearable and impossible to sleep on. After two days of very little sleep, I asked if I could swap my mattress with the spare mattress in another group member's room. His was in a newer section of the hotel with apparently better accommodations. I was told we could not switch, but they offered to put me in another room for $160. I found that ridiculous given the high price I already shelled out to stay there. I resorted to sleeping on the cushions for the chairs in the room.

The room looked like it was stuck in the 70's with old linens, a weird hose hair dryer thing, and broken rollers on the bed frames. I managed to stub my foot on one of the broken rollers which cut a nice gash into it that I got to enjoy the pain of during the flight home.

Wifi was a whopping $140 for the week. Most of our group used the $5/hr internet cafe down the street.

The food was mediocre, and expensive, and we tired of it quickly. At breakfast you had to be quick and lucky as most of the buffet items ran out quickly and the staff was slow to restock them. Many days I felt lucky to get an egg and some toast.

The wait staff is inattentive and you practically have to hunt them down to take your order. Forget about getting refills.

They have a decent menu, but they were out of most of it. We quickly got sick of the same burgers, pizza and tacos each day and ventured into town for better and cheaper options, which we found at Oasis.

The dive op was just ok. We kept hitting the same sites over and over again and wondered why they weren't letting us go to other spots around the island. I did about 12 dives there and only saw 5 sites. Also, the dive guides are addicted to beetle nut and you had to put up with them spitting it all the time.

The dive ops' small boats have no gear racks and you are forced to dump all your BCs and tanks in a pile and sit on the floor. The boats sucked.

The dive sites were very devoid of healthy coral and were very barren. We did see mantas on almost all of the dives that we were supposed to see them on, but the water was usually too murky for good photos. The other sites we hit were nothing to write home about.

I had enough of this place after about three days and was glad to be heading home by weeks' end.

If you absolutely have to see mantas, I would suggest toughing it out at this terrible hotel for two days tops and then spend the rest of your time in Palau where the diving, and accommodations are much better.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rand26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arkansas, USA
Level Contributor
116 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2011

We arrived in the EARLY morning on a flight from Palau, where we were greeted by Manta Ray Bay Hotel personnel. They transported us to the hotel by bus, and we had the Queen Angelfish room, which had an upper level jacuzzi tub, which we enjoyed two or three times.
Dives were terrific, saw 4 mantas on our second day of diving. The crew (John and Mike) were excellent. My wife is a snorkeler (the only one on the trip) and she enjoyed the dives from a higher viewpoint.
We recommend the videographer Peter who randomly came along on a diveboat with us. We were not expecting to purchase a video of our experience, but it was so phenomenal we had no choice.
Highly recommend the Mandarin Fish dive.
Just wish we had more time on the island. Didn't have time to use the spa but it looked really nice.
Food was good overall. Did not have a bad meal.
If you are expecting good swimming beaches you will be disappointed. Also, if you are addicted to Diet Coke you need to bring your own!
Would highly recommend both this wonderful island as well as Manta Ray Bay Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Diver-Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2011

My wife and I went to Yap not really knowing what to expect. We were met at the Airport at 3 am by friendly staff who welcomed us warmly with a cold towel and bottled water. Within seconds of leaving the airport in our little bus we found ourselves in unlit country roads a long way from glitzy resorts and town or city life. We did wonder at that point if the island would be too quiet and too far removed from holidays we had experienced in the past. Staff suggested to leave checking in till next day as we were no doubt tired. Welcome to laid back Yap!.
Out room was well presented with air con,crisp linen, cut flowers, large shower area and all spotlessly clean.
Restaurant and Bar are located on an Indonesian fishing boat which has been refitted to fit purpose. This I found out was the novel idea of Bill Ackers, the hotel owner. Bill and his wife Patricia are visible hosts who are most attentive and nothing is too much trouble for guests. The hotel and Dive Shop next door ( Yap Divers ) have been created specifically for divers and they tick all the boxes. I completed the PADI Manta Awareness Course which Bill teaches. As part of this course he accompanied me on one of my 9 ( nine ) dives to the Manta cleaning station. Patricia also runs a spa which my wife enjoyed. Diving was out of this world and the Manta never failed to appear and impress. Shark diving was also great on a site called Vertigo with black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks in attendance and up close. There is also a cavern dive which I found impressive.
Do not go to yap for nightlife and glamour. Do go for wonderful manta and shark diving and even more so to meet the people whom we found were warm and friendly. The hotel and dive shop staff refer to you by first name from the moment you arrive. When our 11 days were up I felt like I was leaving friends behind. My wife who had never dived completed her DSD with the ever patient Dive Lead Jan at the manta cleaning station. Without his support and encouragement she would have missed an opportunity of a lifetime to dive with the awesome manta. This was special for both of us and made the holiday even more memorable. The hotel also brews its own beer on the premises. We found the "light " to be very drinkable. There is also a " dark " which is more bitter.
Jan and his staff in the dive shop were helpful and knowledgeable. The dive guides and pilots know exactly where to go to find the manta, shark and even micro life such as the leaf fish.I had 16 wonderful dives. Dive equipment was Scubapro all in excellent condition. Dive boats fitted out to meet all needs.
The range of food on the menu at Manta Ray Bay Hotel is limited. Fresh fish is regularly available and simply presented.
I hope one day to return to Yap and Manta Ray Bay Hotel for more great times both on land and under water.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tasdive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manta Ray Bay Resort

Property: Manta Ray Bay Resort
Address: P.O. Box MR | Fsm, Colonia, Yap 96943-0850, Federated States of Micronesia
Location: Federated States of Micronesia > Yap > Colonia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Colonia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Manta Ray Bay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Manta Ray Bay Colonia
Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap/Colonia

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