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“Great diving”

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Nomad Divers Bangka
Certificate of Excellence
Cannington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great diving”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2014

This small resort on the Island of Banka is well worth a visit. It is nestled between the mangroves and the Jungle and feels like you are a million miles from anywhere. The facilities are limited there with limited electric and no hot water but Sophie and Simon are upgrading things all the time.
The diving is fantastic and all the staff work very hard to make sure your diving is as good as it can possibly be.

Room Tip: The rooms can be noisy because of insects (you are in the Jungle) there is a room on the beach that...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Damian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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Utah
Level Contributor
147 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

We very much enjoyed our stay at Nomad, a small resort tucked into the mangroves. We stayed in one of the forest bungalows, which was secluded, clean, and comfortable. We had a comfy bed (which is not always the case in SE Asia) complete with mosquito netting, enough shelves and hooks to stay organized, and a big garden bathroom. The cold shower was a bit unpleasant after the night dive, but we had expected that. Power isn't on all the time, but there was a battery-powered lantern in our room in case we had to get up in the night. Meals were flavorful and delicious, and they even roasted a pig our last evening on the island.

I can't say enough great things about the owners, Simon and Sophie. We had such a great time diving and hanging out with them. They're so much fun and sincerely care about their guests. Air China delayed my husband's bag for nine days when we first arrived in Manado, which had all his dive gear and most of his clothes. Simon and Sophie went out of their way to try to make sure he had all the essentials. Normally, being disconnected for a week would be nice, but it was a little tough not having phone or Internet so we could keep pestering the airline. Bring a Mi-Fi card if you want to stay connected.

Diving was fantastic. Nomad's boat was large and had plenty of storage space for guests. Their captain was knowledgable and the boat crew was friendly and helpful - and always quick to deliver a steaming cup of tea to you after a dive! Dive sites were healthy, and the pinnacles were especially spectacular. Simon had great eyes for spotting the macro critters and we rarely saw another dive boat.

We were going to Lembeh after Bangka, and Nomad made the transfer beyond easy. We dove on the way there and they delivered us right to our next resort's doorstep. We never even had to pack our gear.

The only thing that was a little tough for us was cleaning and managing our cameras. The rinse water seemed to have a lot of sediment in it and the rooms are not well lit. We appreciated that the owners started kicking on the generators before breakfast each morning after we mentioned that, which helped a great deal with assembling our cameras.

The resort is still a bit rustic, so if you're looking for something like Sandals this isn't for you. But if you like simple accommodation with fantastic diving, service, and company, you'll love it here. It sounded like the owners had some big plans for improvements over the next few years. We'll be excited to return and see what they do next!

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie240, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Hello!
Thanks for the review, we had a really fun time with you guys! I'm glad you liked the rooms and resort and we look forward to seeing you next year hopefully! Thank you for the notes on the rinse tanks, we will make sure that they are kept sediment-free. Part of our future development plans include a camera room with lockable booths for photographers.
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Larkspur, Colorado
Level Contributor
457 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2013

It was time to return to Nomad Divers, to sample more of the fantastic diving they have at their doorstep on the southeast edge of Bangka Island. We were taken to some new and unexplored dive sites that we had not been to before, so were were very happy. We enjoyed all of the upgrades to the resort since our trip in April, 2013. I felt like it was easy to fall back into the routine of 3-4 dives a day within 10-15 minutes of the resort, delicious food, white sand beach, and all of the benefits of a remote dive resort. We had the waves lapping at our door for 7 nights. Expect warm nights with no power, a need for strong bug repellent and a headlamp.

We liked sitting in our deck chairs on our cottage porch to chill our before afternoon and night dives. My adult son took his PADI Advanced Open Water Class with Nomad divers, and Sophie was a fun but thorough instructor.

Nomad is an awesome Dive Resort, with people that are passionate about the local critters, local people from which they hire their dive personnel. We had a blast doing a face painting party, which was an amazing cultural exchange with the locals. Sophie helped us arrange for the kids and adults to come to the resort for our party. If you love diving in the heart of the Coral Triangle this place should be on your list.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Oceandweller7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Hi! Thank you for reviewing us and thank you so much for coming back, we had a great time with you and the kids from the village are still talking about the face painting party! Hope to see you again next year!
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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

The recently set up resort is the perfect place for adventurous travellers looking to do some amazing diving whilst staying in a cosy and impeccably clean resort.

Sophie and Simon are great and so is their staff and while there is very litle to do besides diving during the day they

The bungalows are spacious and the beds comfortable.

All the diving sites we visited in the 6 days I spent there were different from one another and we saw a lot more sealife than we were expecting (no dugong unfortunately :(

Tips: ask Sophie and Simon to make a roasted piglet one night, it's delicious; go on a night dive, go for a walk on top of the island where you will get an incredible view.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emanuele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Hello! Thanks for writing a review, we really enjoyed having you guys here and hope that you get to come back so we can show you the dugong!
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Nomad Divers completely exceeded our expectations. This is a small and cozy resort run by Sophie and Simon from the UK. It is almost a year old, with 4 lovely cottages set by a small stretch of beach. My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 nights in the beach cottage which was a bonus - the space is ample, with a double bed, shelves, an outdoor shower / toilet and even an extra single bed right by the entrance! We had a little terrace with space to dry our towels and swimsuits.. also 2 chairs to sit on. There was also drinking water available in the room. A lot of thought was definitely put into the design of the cottage and we were very comfortable throughout our stay. There were hammocks on the beach in front of our cottage for relaxing in between dives. Sophie and Simon are also currently building some comfy lounge chairs to add to the little luxuries on the beach.

The diving in Bangka was amazing. Dolfi, our dive guide spoke very good English and made us feel comfortable underwater given we had only obtained our Open Water just a few days ago. He had a good eye for spotting the tiniest of creatures and was always in a good mood. The staff at the resort from the captain of the boat to the cook were all very friendly and pleasant. Food here was EXCELLENT! We did not have any expectations as we had moved from a resort on Pulau Bunaken that served us tuna and rice for lunch and dinner every single day we were there - but Nomad really makes an effort. We even had a roast pig on our first night which was a treat! We had fruits after each meal and were lucky to get some chocolate donuts with rainbow sprinkles (yum!).

Finally what set this place apart was the company. Sophie and Simon were wonderful hosts. They were always available when we needed them and their passion for diving shines through in everything they do. They put their guests first and their positive energy was what made our stay so enjoyable.

This is the perfect getaway if you love diving and really just want to chill with great company. We can't wait to be back here. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Get the beach cottage if you can - it's the only one by the beach at the moment and it's jus...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gazpi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Hi guys, we had a really good time with you, lots of fun! It's also such a pleasure to dive with brand new divers discovering the reefs and marine species for the first time, we hope to see you back here for your Advanced course! And we may come for a few drinks in Hong Kong soon!
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Katikati
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

My husband and I came to Bangka with the express of idea of him doing as many dives as he could and me doing absolutely nothing. That's exactly what we got. Pete had a fantastic time, managing to get 29 dives in in the 10 days we were there. I saw photos and videos and at the end of our holiday thought it might be a good idea to try diving myself, the diving looked so good. Watch this space. Simon and Sophie were wonderful hosts, it felt like we were staying with good friends not at a resort. The accommodation was perfect, the food wonderful, and the staff very gracious. It was very difficult to leave such a place. Well done Sophie and Simon, hope to see you again.

Room Tip: Beach front is neat!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeteSan2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Hello! We're glad you had a good time with us, you were great company and we had a lot of fun with you! We really look forward to seeing you next summer with the rest of the family!
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Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
84 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013

Knowing that Simon and Sophie were just starting up their resort, we decided to gamble on staying here and were glad that we did. We loved the location; the diving at Bangka was incredible and some of the dive sites there were only 15 minutes away, including the dugong which we were lucky enough to see. It was also a reasonable day's trip to go to Lembeh and the Bunaken and the variety when diving all three sites was really great. We felt safe with divemaster Dolphi who pointed out all kinds of things which we never would have seen on my own. There are hammocks to relax in at the end of the day. The resort is set in a mangrove area, which means wading to the dive boat and no beach at mid-high tide. However, a coarsely sandy beach is located a 5 minute walk away. The water here is relatively free of trash which is a nice bonus for Indonesia.

The food here was also a highlight: it was fantastic and varied and we loved that, on days that we were away in Lembeh or Bunaken, we were able to get off the dive boat and have lunch at another partner resort.

The cottages are all newly built and beautiful and kept quite clean. As another reviewer said, they are a bit sparse which is not a problem, but I feel like the flow of the cottage we stayed in might be improved with a furniture rearrangement (one of my pet peeves is the lack of two bedside tables; I ended up keeping my book and headlamp in bed next to me so as not to have to reach over my sleeping husband after I was done reading at night). Some additional hooks might come in handy as well. We had trouble finding places to hang our towels and wet items given that it was often raining outside.

A few small things did strike us that we felt could be improved which I'm sure will be addressed as the resort grows: we found the lack of hot showers quite bothersome. When we were at Nomad in July, there was an unusually rainy, cloudy, and chilly spell in progress (to the point where I asked for an extra blanket after the first night). After diving, especially after our evening mandarin dive (success, by the way!), we were chilly and really wanted a warm shower and found it hard to shower in cold water.

We're relatively new divers, so don't have our own equipment. It was great that all the equipment at Nomad was new, but it was the only place where we've been diving where a dive computer wasn't included in the equipment rental. It would have been nice to have the option of long wetsuits, especially in the colder months.

Sophie and Simon were gracious hosts--Sophie even let me borrow her booties and fins after I got a blister from the rental finds--and very pleasant to talk with over meals. They actively sought our feedback to improve the resort. I think this place will only get better as it grows!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
Helpful?
Thank AlisaAAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sophie F, Owner at Nomad Divers Bangka, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Hello, thanks for taking the time to review us, we had a lovely time with you guys! We always ask for feedback as, being a new resort we just want to improve. We had a carpenter here last month making new furniture out of local Bangka wood and have printed and framed some fabulous guest photos for the rooms so hopefully they are now brighter and better! We also have future plans for solar power which will allow each cottage to have its own power supply and also hot water! I agree that after a night dive it would be lovely to have hot water but at the moment it's in the future planning stage only. I hope you enjoyed your travels afterwards, best wishes, Sophie
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Additional Information about Nomad Divers Bangka

Property: Nomad Divers Bangka
Address: Bangka Island, Bangka Island 95000, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bangka Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Bangka Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small friendly scuba diving resort on Bangka Island, North Sulawesi. With daily trips to Lembeh and Bunaken you can enjoy a huge variety of diving with us. We have four bungalows with en-suite bathrooms and balcony and a beachside restaurant, bar and dive centre. ... more   less 

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