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“Perfect Diving Holiday!”

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Manta Ray Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Colonia
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfect Diving Holiday!”
Reviewed May 19, 2009

Back in April 2009, we spent 4 days in Yap and stayed at Manta Ray Bay Hotel, and we sure enjoyed our time there! From the moment we arrived at the airport (which I swear was the size of our 2 bedroom unit) we were looked after! Someone from the hotel was there waiting for us with cold water bottles in the esky and a cool damp face clothes! We received such a wonderful welcome from Richard our driver! Upon arrival at the hotel at 11pm, the dive shop manager was there to show us around to ensure we felt ready for an 8:30am departure! We never felt rushed and we were always made to feel welcomed! The dive shop is great and every detail had diver’s needs in mind! I just like how you wake up, rub the sleep out of your eyes, get the swimmers, and venture a few metres to the dive shop and depart at 8:30 (Dive guides are always waiting on the boat ready to go with all your dive gear prepared for you! No faffing around) And I loved their rule where they only need 1 diver on the boat to do a dive! (In Palau at Sam’s Tours, it gets annoying when travelling as a couple, as they need 8 people to proceed with most of their tours....) Dive guides (Chomed and Tim) were fantastic – they even let us do a third dive at the Slow and Easy for 98 minutes – and they always made it appear to be a pleasure to be our dive guide! They were always keen to point things out as well! As for the diving, Valley of the Rays was great – 4 Mantas in one dive! (If diving Valley of the Rays, bring a reef hook, as the current can be annoying if trying to take pictures). Some people avoid Yap, because they believe it’s just Mantas. Don’t be fooled! It has so much more – Yap Caverns, Vertigo, Milnn Channel! Manta Ray Bay Hotel also organises a land tour and a culture tour which I highly recommend! And make sure to try the Betel nut – it’s a good group bonding exercise, watching everyone make a mess spitting the red goo! My only complaint is that for the culture tour, Manta Ray Bay Hotel needed 8 people for the tour. We were only 4 people and they were not going to proceed even though we travelled all that way and were unlikely to return to this island in the near future. In the end, we all agreed to pay xtra to cover the cost and they allowed the tour to proceed.

Now, as for the hotel – the beds are the BEST! After days of travelling and arriving on this itsy bitsy island in the Pacific, I was so happy to be sleeping on this cloud! And again, Bill (owner) has thought of EVERYTHING! First, I felt like a big kid when I found out our room was the Hammerhead room. Yes, every room is themed after marine creatures! Our room had the hammerhead quilt cover, hammerhead shower curtains, the hammerhead picture...some might think tacky, but I LOVED it! There’s some comments on here that the towels are tattered, and this is true, but considering this is just a small island that receives shipments of fresh veggies once every 3 to 4 weeks, having towels period was great! You cannot arrive in Yap and expect the Marriot in Hawaii! As for room set-up: it is PERFECTLY set up for photo processing. It had sufficient power points at the desk for the notebook and battery chargers for 1 SLR and 1 camcorder (We didn’t realise how good this was until we arrived at the Palasia in Palau where we had cords running all over the place....). There’s internet access in the room (but at a cost). There is also a TV (LCD) in the room with DVD player which was great for playing our diving DVD which was made by the onsite videographer Julie. There’s no cable, but it didn’t matter – TV was the last thing we wanted to do, because we were too busy hanging out at the Mnuw.

The Mnuw, the old Indonesian Schooner turned into restaurant is located on site! It has a little ‘je ne sais quoi” about it. It’s a charming little place where after a long day of diving, “where everyone knows your name”. We spent our evenings there and made some great diving friends – some of which we’ve exchanged contacts (Facebook of course is a great way to keep in touch). The food won’t get any Michelin stars, but keeping in mind they only get fresh veggies once every 3 to 4 weeks, it was pretty impressive. By the way, the water there is drinkable (Our driver Richard told us this from our ride from the airport to the hotel...I’m telling you, nothing was missed!). I highly recommend the pizzas. And the beer (microbrewery on site – the only one on the island) is A1. Bill the owner has got it made!

Overall, we LOVED it and would return in a heart beat! (This place however is not for the person wanting a nice white beach with sunset views while getting nails painted! (although they do have massage service)).

Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank UnderwaterAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Angeles
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2009

Manta Ray Bay Resort is an interesting place as it is an all service resort (resort is a stretch here). Anyway, it has an infinity pool, restaurant on a boat and its own dive operation. In many destinations it would be a benefit to have everything located in one spot like this, but in Colonia on Yap, this is absolutely not necessary, and is more restrictive than anything else. We found the food at the restaurant called Mnuw to be generally awful, and the service even worse. The only redeeming virtue of this restaurant would be the microbrewed beer. They sold three microbrews: pale, mixed and dark. It did not matter which brew you choose as they SEEMED TO BE VERY SIMILAR(look and taste), so it was a wonder why they would claim three distinct brews. On Sunday night as this restaurant is one of the only places open, and we did not know any better, we dined there. I ordered grilled pork, and was served country bacon with BBQ sauce on it! This was truly unreal for the price of $14 (almost double what standard dinners cost in other restaurants in Colonia). For lunch on Sunday we had a hamburger with fries from this restaurant for $9.50. WE DISCOVERED LATER THAT other restaurants charge $3.50-$4.50 for better burgers. Also, for some reason, my french fries were black, while my buddies' french fries were the more classic white/golden color. Maybe this was because mine were cooked? Because my buddies fries were uncooked. Further, one of our dive companions ate at Mnuw and tried a tuna dish, but sustained food poisoning as a result.
Regarding Manta Ray's infinity pool, while as a stand alone this would be nice, it hardly seemed appropriate for its location, as any view is completely obstructed by the Mnuw boat restaurant. The dive operation is the largest by far on the island with about 7 or 8 boats. If you are a new diver, or simply did not mind crowded dive boats, you probably would be happy with it. However, experienced divers MAY WANT TO consider this a dive operation of last resort. Did I mention that the workers at this resort were generally unfriendly to guests, and that is was not uncommon to see its guests at other local restaurants and lounges?

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mcleanlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2009

Just returned following a 3 week dive trip in Micronesia. We wanted to see the giant mantas, but unfortunately, Yap has no lodging that is acceptable to me. If you go, make it a short trip, 2-3 days at the most, see the mantas, and go back to Palau or get on a liveaboard in Paula or Truk. The hotel was in a bay and the view was of rusted out broken down ships and some sort of large metal buildings. The water outside your balcony in the bay is green, i attempted to feed the fish, but only three Sargent Majors The water is just not fish friendly it is so disgusting. The food was edible, that's about all. The sheets were paper thin, stained with rust, and looked one hundred years old. Towels were the same, barely thick enough to dry with, some with ragged edges where the hems had come out. On the long days of diving, we were served banana bread, hot unsweetened tea served in old plastic cups washed daily by the boat crew but not throughly as I noticed the stain of red betel nut juice which the locals chew, and water. No food! The boats were more like fishing boats with no seating. The dive gear and tanks were just laid in the floor of the boat and we sat on the edges of the boat for the long rides to the dive sites. I have to say that the staff was as helpful as they could have been with the limited resources they had. The pool is smaller than my backyard pool, but was clean and refreshing. The restaurant is a large wooden ship mored permanently at the hotel and the outside dining on the decks of the ship was very nice (with exception of the previously described view of the gross bay). Once the boat left the bay and got into the ocean, it was extremely beautiful and navigating through the mangrove chanels was very relaxing. Bottom line, hotel barely tolerable, diving good but can be done in two days, boats terrible. On a positive note, the dive staff was very nice and personable.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank abhurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
Reviewed September 9, 2008

We have just returned from a dive trip. During the trip we stayed nights at The Manta Bay Resort. Its only a short ride like 10 min to the airport but you don't have to worry about taxis as the Hotel will collect you.

The Hotel is imaculate. All the rooms are very spacious. The one we stayed was up stairs facing the front there were 2 double beds in the room very clean shower etc. The beds was so comfortable it was great. One of the rooms down stairs have there very own plung pool. I saw the room its very nice.

Breakfast was included which was fine. They had a menu, they were a tad slow with the breakfast so we found a trick that as soon as one was ready we went to the restaurant and ordered food. That way we could eat it and be ready for the boat for diving.
Lunch and evening menus were great especially the fish and Spagetti. There was a good choose.

The Restaurant is very special. Its on Board a ship that is moored out the back. The view is amazing of the sea and most beautiful sun sets. On Board the ship they have there very own brewed beer which is very refreshing after a hard days diving. The canon is egnited daily to denote Happy Hour.

There will be a spa opening soon but in the mean time you can get a massage by the pool or in the room.

There is also a nice size pool with loungers around to relax. Nobody is in your face trying to sell you stuff.
there is an internet place 2 min walk from the hotel but is slow.
No mobile phone coverage but there is the option to by a local sim card and use that.
Recommended by us is the do the tour of the island provided by the hotel ?$ but it is very interesting.

All the staff are very helpful and always in good humour and happy.

The Yap divers were amazing. Very knowledgeble and super help. Ask to do a 3 day dive out instead of a 2. The mantas were fantastic to see.

Overall it's a fab place to stay. Definatly go back for sure.

  • Liked — Fab room and pool area. Diving was amazing
  • Disliked — Slow in the morning for breakfast.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank erpjordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2008

We stayed at The Manta Ray Bay Hotel for 11 nights April/May 2008 and found the hotel and the staff to be first class in every possible way. Nothing was too much trouble and you really felt that they cared about you having a good time on your holiday. The hotel was very clean and comfortable, rooms light and airy and extremely spacious, facilities within excellent. The staff were very friendly and it was evident this was due to the hotel being a family run business.
Food was served on the Mnuw a boat moored to the front of the hotel an excellent point of difference for this hotel. The food was good-fab fresh fresh daily. Hotels own brewery supplied a very drinkable beer!
The dive centre was clearly set up by a diver as it was well thought out and spacious with plenty of room to hang kit outside to dry and in your own dedicated storage area inside the centre. A simple idea but it was great knowing your kit wasnt going to get picked up by someone else in error.
Dive guides excellent, good fun, eager to please and would dive what the group on the boat wanted, weather conditions permitting. Diving itself was fabulous the mantas were superb but some of the wall diving we did was just amazingly pretty, so don't get hung up on just seeing mantas else you will miss out on some great dives (Yap Caverns- don't miss this dive- spectacular)
MRBH was far away from what we had expected and deserve a big pat on the back for being so effortlessly organised and efficient and making our trip unforgettable.

  • Liked — Clean, well presented, spacious.
  • Disliked — Tea/coffee making facilities would be a nice addition.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank whitedl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
75 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed February 29, 2008

I stayed at MBRH for four days and also dove with Yap Divers, the dive shop affiliated with the hotel and located on the same premises. I would most definitely recommend staying at the hotel and booking any dive trips through their dive shop. They offer discounted rates if you book them together and since it seems like most people dive with Yap Divers anyway it makes sense to just stay at MBRH. I was fortunate that even though it was high season (the best season for manta sightings), I happened to be visiting in between tour groups when there were only 4 other guests at the hotel. Every employee of the hotel knew my name and addressed me by sight by the time I had been there an hour (which made my stay even more enjoyable as I happened to be traveling alone). The entire staff was helpful and personable. I would recommend the half-day land tour run by one of the very informative hotel staff. The dive staff was knowledgeable, safety conscious, and very exuberant about diving around the island, which made for a very pleasant diving experience. The dive shop videographer accompanied us on all of the dives and presented a video for purchase at the end for about $45, which seemed reasonable given the high quality of the video. As far as the accommodations, for a remote island in the Pacific ocean with a population of only 9,000 people, the hotel seemed like a palace (although if you are expecting the Ritz, your expectations are too high and you will be disappointed). The hotel's restaurant, the Mnuw, is set aboard a hundred year old ship docked in front of the hotel. The food is delicious and I would suggest buying the meal plan if you plan to stay at the hotel. There are very few other places to eat in town anyway, so you really won't be missing out on much. The restaurant also serves fresh catch (i.e., when the staff brings in a tuna at lunchtime, it becomes sashimi at dinner). The hotel also has its own microbrewery, serving light, dark, and 'Texas two-step' (a half and half). All of the beers are great and I would recommend trying each of them. Also, I was glad to find that the hotel water was purified and drinkable, since there aren't exactly any corner grocery stores to buy bottled water.

  • Liked — Great staff, great diving, great food
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bandito912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2008

I just got back from an eight day stay at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel. What a great trip! The Hotel was the perfect dive hotel. The service was outstanding. The room was clean and comfortable. Happy Hour and meals aboard the Mnuw were fun and tasty. The dive shop - run by Jan was very accomodating and the Manta diving was awesome. The owner's Bill and Patricia were welcoming and I can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — The great service.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Underwatertraveler
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: 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
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Also Known As:
Manta Ray Bay Colonia
Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap/Colonia

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