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)).
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- Also Known As:
- Manta Ray Bay Colonia
- Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap/Colonia