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“KBR is very very good”

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Kungkungan Bay Resort
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Bitung
Certificate of Excellence
uk
Level 5 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“KBR is very very good”
Reviewed August 12, 2008

We arrived at KBR having spent 7 nights in a resort on the western side of the island. It really exceeded our expectations. We stayed for 6 nights. The managers and the staff are very friendly and efficient without being 'in your face', the accommodation is lovely; we stayed in a traditional house which was detached with a lovely view and an equally lovely interior. The photos on the website don't really do it justice.
The dive centre is very well run and the dive guides are brilliant.

I disagree with the review about the food being bland. When the manager greeted us, one of the things he mentioned was that Sulawesi food is extremely spicy, so for the non Indonesian clientele the chef will tend to take the spiciness down a notch, but all you have to do when ordering is to ask for your food to be 'local style' and it will come hot,hot hot! which I love. I can also recommend the fish which is incredibly fresh and perfectly cooked.

There are thoughtful touches such as hot drinks and pastries after the 1st morning dive and hot chocolate after the night dive. Ample supplies of drinking water are supplied to your room.

I would love to go back and I'd recommend anyone who's thinking about Sulawesi to go to KBR and to dive the Lembeh Straits.

  • Liked — the lovely house on stilts, the great diving and food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank 74white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
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English first
Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 281 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2008

We stayed a week here before going to Tasik Ria in Manado. Eco divers is the dive operator at both resorts and they were able to arrange a package that included all meals and diving in both places and transfers. KBR is a small resort and almost everyone there is a serious diver. But it would be a great place or any topical vacation.

The meals were all from the menu and were excellent. The staff was the most friendly we've ever seen. We had a quiet cottage with a 4 poster bed with mosquito netting (which we didn't need) air conditioning. The resort also has a freshwater pool where they try (weather permitting) to have a BBQ once a week. Ours was rained out just as we were getting ready to eat so they quickly moved everything inside.

There were 3 single tank dives a day from small boats - up to 8 divers and 2 divemasters but I don't ever remember them being full.
There was also unlimited shore diving from 8AM to 6PM but if you did all 3 boat dives all you could do was 1 additional shore dive after the afternoon dive. Night dives were available almost ever night and are well worth the additional cost. They also do a twilight dive to see Mandarin Fish. After the 1st dive, the wonderful young girls that serve us in the restaurant bring coffee, tea, hot chocolate and snacks to the dock. After the second dive the greeted us lunch menus so after we rinsed and dried off, our lunches would be ready.

After 7 days and 26 dives we went to Tasik Ria in Manado for 7 more nights.

  • Liked — Friendliness of the staff
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank 2skidivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2008

Stayed here for 4 nights and dived for 2 days. Resort was very good - clean, small, in a lovely bay on its own private house reef on Lembeh Strait. We stayed in the timber bungalows - each one houses 2 suites. No noise from the neighboring room in spite of being built entirely from timber. Suites were large and of good quality consisting of 3 separate rooms - sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. Only the bedroom is airconditioned though. My only complaint regarding the rooms is that the bedroom needs blackout curtains. The thin pale curtains do little to keep the sun out which rises by 5am. Suite only a few metres from the water's edge with beautiful view across the bay. Food pretty good and of good variety. There are no set dining hours and food is available whenever you want to eat. Plenty of friendly staff always ready to help out. Unfortunately there is nowhere to buy snacks and the resort is not near a town or shop where you could buy snacks or drinks. You are reliant on the snacks (very limited) and drinks in your minifrig - take your own. The bar and spa are currently under renovation so should be even nicer when completed. The diving is great with lots of weird critters to see. Dive team very attentive and do absolutely everything for you - even hot chocolate if it's a bit cold and a towel on the boat for when you surface. The beauty of diving here is that all dive sites are only 5 - 15mins away and you come back to the resort between each dive - even get morning tea at the jetty after the first dive. Definitely would go back

  • Liked — tailor made for divers
  • Disliked — not near any shops
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank AussieTravelholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2008

Spent five nights at KBR before sailing on a live-aboard the following week. Great accomodations. Stayed in a large deluxe room - very spacious. Comfortable king-size bed. Had local and international television in room. The main lodge is a great place for meals, the library, and socializing. It juts out over their private reef.

Dive operator, Eco Divers, onsite. Wonderful team of dive masters. This resort is really made for divers. Always take care of the divers - lug all gear for you. All you have to do is get suited-up and walk out to the dive boats. Can't say enough about the diving. Lots of macro stuff. Even found the rare and shy mandarian fish on a dusk dive.

All inclusive. Food was average - hoped for local Indonesian dishes - and very bland. Generous portions. Definitely would go back again!

  • Liked — Great diving location - right on Lembeh Strait
  • Disliked — Food was rather bland
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank bearina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2007

My husband and I spent 8 days at Kunkungan Bay Resort (KBR) after stays at two other diving-oriented resorts (Siladen Island & Gangga Island) in other parts of North Sulawesi. Our experience at KBR was very good, but the other two were a tier above (See other two resorts for reviews).

The resort is well managed. The resident managers are omnipresent (they meet the dive boats after every dive and stop by and chat with each guest at dinner to make sure all is well) and are very responsive to issues and special requests. The staff is friendly and helpful. The food is fine (we didn't go hungry) and there is a large selection. The accommodations are in need of updating. From what I understand, new towels, bedding, and furniture were on order but the rooms and bathrooms also in need of an overhaul.

The dive operation was very professionally run and well organized. The guides were generally very good, but there is variance. Some guides were outstanding; others were just okay. Guests are likely to have many different guides throughout their stay. My one beef about the dive operation was that it was not possible to substitute one of the day dives in the prepaid diving package for an evening mandarin dive or night dive. (This is clearly indicated on their website.) The other two resorts we stayed at during our trip to North Sulawesi were much more flexible and allowed us to make substitutions.

This is a resort for divers, and there is little to do at the resort besides dive and hang by the pool. However, KBR offers a number of very good excursions in the North Sulawesi. We took the highlands tour and the wildlife tour to see the Taurseus monkeys, and really enjoyed both tours.

A couple of additional things about the diving in the Lembeh Straits. The visibility in Lembeh is not very good so there isn't good snorkling. My husband and I are experienced divers, and went to KBR specifically for the muck diving. The diving was excellent, but I would not recommend it for beginning divers. Divers must have perfect buoyancy control to get upclose and personal with the very small creatures.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank FreqFlyer23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, WA
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2007

Kungkungan Bay Resort sits on the Sulawesi Island side of the Lembeh Staits, Indonesia, near the town of Manado. (Also the nearest international airport) It is an "all inclusive" resort.

This area is known for its "muck" diving. The diving is done on sand slopes and flats. The muck is populated by myriad wierd creatures. I saw something I'd never seen underwater before on each of my 23 dives here. Think bizarre stuff like Hairy Frogfish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Pygmy Seahorse, and 6 varieties of Lionfish. That is just a start. Throw in Mimic Octopus, Flambouyant Cuttlefish, and more Nudibranchs than you can count. Now you're getting the idea.

The resort itself is worth visiting. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The setting is beautiful. The menu is diverse and the food delicious. There is internet access. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. The management really cares how your stay is. I can't say enough.

This is worth going out of the way to do. (And it is really out of the way)

  • Liked — Clean and comfortable
  • Disliked — Some mosquitos
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank RaboDeToro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oulton Broad, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2006

If you love your muck diving and want to stay somewhere in keeping with the environment but don't want to rough it!

I would without a shadow of doubt reccommend KBR as the place to go.
Accommodation is simple yet tastefully decorated, the setting could not be more peaceful or exclusive.

The food is plentiful and varied with a consistent high quality of presentation and taste, plus you can eat of the many different dishes as you can handle.

As for the staff they are always smiling and friendly and can never do enough for there guests. The management, Miranda and Steve (they like a drink or two with their guests) will be pleased to help you in a down to earth and amiable manner, this is how good resorts should be run! Big conglomerates take note!!

Finally the diving, which is what most people who visit KBR go there for. I have dived all over the world and nowhere in the world is there such a proliferation of weird and wonderful creatures in such a small area of sea. The black volcanic sand and rubbish take a bit of adjusting to, but after a couple of dives you dont even notice this fact.

Will I be going back? You can bet on it.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank dazzking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kungkungan Bay Resort

Property: Kungkungan Bay Resort
Address: Tandurusa, Bitung, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bitung
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bitung
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bitung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kungkungan Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR to its friends and soon to be friends) is proud to be the resort that introduced Lembeh Strait to the world. Being the first resort in Lembeh means we got first choice on locations. Our resort is located in its own private bay which the resort is named after. KBR is the only Sea Level Luxury resort in Lembeh. KBR is a full service resort which includes The only 24hrs full menu service Restaurant in Lembeh, Capt. Billy's Bar serving American Bar Food and Great Drinks, our full service Tepi Laut Spa (Seaside Spa) does Massages, Beauty Treatments, Manicures and Pedicures, and of course our PADI Dive Center with Equipment and Camera Rentals and 32% NITROX. Come join us and we will put the Dream into you next Dive Vacation ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kungkungan Bay Hotel Bitung
Kungkungan Bay Resort Bitung, Indonesia - Sulawesi

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