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“Great base to explore the Bunaken Marine Park”

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The Village Bunaken
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great base to explore the Bunaken Marine Park”
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Excellent resort, decorated in Balinese style. The staff is attentive and quite helpful. There is a spa & massage centre on the hotel grounds. The landscaping is done very well as well, which further enhances the atmosphere of this tropical resort. Dive centre is very good, our guide was very helpful by looking for all sorts of small critters.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Denys S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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249 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
60 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013 via mobile

Great divers' resort, with excellent spots nearby. Our guide Salim spotted even tiniest Pygmy seahorse and was attentive. The friendly atmosphere means that guests mix. Accomodation is nicely situated and reasonably priced, bearing in mind they ship EVERYTHING from mainland. Guests who can't cope with the occasional ant might prefer the Dubai aquarium. Loved the small spa! Only sore spot was the number of plastic bags in the water when currents change, being an absolute turtle lover I grabbed those I could, wish some of local population would be more aware...

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sassy_Traveller_82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2013

As this hotel wins the bargain category, you have to be in that mindset when you go there. No frills, nothing fancy. I stayed there with my partner back in July. The room that we got was okay, but the strange thing was that we had to keep the same towel for a couple of days - they wouldn't give us a fresh one. The only problem with that is that it get mildew smells. I understand them being eco-friendly, but it's not the best idea. The meals were all okay. No frills, nothing fancy. You have to buy beer, which isn't that terribly overpriced, but not cheap either. My partner got mask squeeze on the first day of diving, but the instructors who spoke no English couldn't explain to him what happened. They just nodded and smiled. At least they were happy people. The kicker was that airport transfer to the resort is free, but to go back to the mainland, we had to pay 30 euros each. Meanwhile, this wasn't a private charter... they were bringing back a bunch of empty bottles that were rolling around the boat. I know the owner is Dutch... so I guess he was just being cheap. Oh well, if you set your expectations at average/low, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank felicia w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bunakenvillage, Owner at The Village Bunaken, responded to this review, 27 September 2013
These guests were probably having to high expectations. We are not pretending to be a five star place and our prices are also fare according to standards in Bunaken. We offer a lot more facilities than similar places which charge double what we charge. If you want five star service you should stay in a five star resort and be prepared to pay accordingly.

Our towel policy is clearly stated in all the rooms and towels are changed every 2 to 3 days. Bunaken has no fresh water supply and all laundry needs to be done in the mainland. This is a big logistics problem and that is why it is not possible to change them daily. This is also normal practice in all resorts on Bunaken.

There are no places that gives out beer for free, so yes you need to pay for beer. The price is also standard for Bunaken and much cheaper than in the high end resorts.

I heard about the mask squeeze problem and our instructor who speaks fluent english(you have to be to instruct padi courses) tried to explain, but these guests were pretending to know better and would not take any advice from our experienced dive staff.

It is clearly stated on our website that when staying 7 nights or longer the one way transfer airport to Bunaken is included and the transfer back to the mainland is 30 euro for 2 person(not per person). Because we use big boats 30 euro is not enough to cover the fuel costs and therefore we always bring some goods like drinkingwater and kitchen supplies on the same boat to keep the transfer prices low. This to avoid running empty boats and wasting fuel. We never stated that the transfers are private transfers. You are also the first guest who makes a problem of this. Again if you want VIP treatment prepare to pay accordingly.

As a last note it is a little unfriendly to generalise the people of an entire country(yes I am Dutch) and your uneducated, below the belt comment shows what kind of person you are.
I respect constructive comments and pointing out possible improvements to make our place better, but there is no need to result to an angry rant with insults.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

this resort really exceeded my expectations. not only was the resort itself in very good condition and furnished lovely with lots of balinese style, the staff were also extremely friendly and helpful, which is something not to be taken for granted in indonesia. the rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed, especially the bathrooms. the common area has a small but refreshing freshwater pool which is well maintained. food was good and plenty, except for the breakfast which maybe could have been a bit richer in choice.
the diving operation is second to none, absolutely immaculate equipment, most of it is new, the diveboats are fast powerboats with twin engines, so you will save hours in travelling from divesite to divesite. the diveguides are extremely nice, they are fun and friendly and professional at the same time. great diving here.
i enjoyed every day of my stay and definitely recommend this resort!

Room Tip: aircon is not really necessary here and there are, surprise, very few mosquitos around.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DandemanSYD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
93 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

We stayed at The Village, Bunaken for 5 days in August. It is fun and perfect for diving, probably not a lot to do otherwise. It's a laid back island, don't expect luxury but do expect the wonderful friendliness of the islanders and some fantastic diving. The hotel is charming - spacious individual villa's set in a lush garden, and nice bathrooms with an outdoor feel (but enclosed to avoid the insects! - although we didn't really get bothered by insects at all while we were there). All villa's also have a large balcony and hammock which we made good use of, and they have thought through the little touches such as providing drying racks on the balcony for your swim stuff. The fans in the rooms are pretty effective, we found we didn't need air con at all. It's nothing to do with the hotel but the water from the taps tastes gross - it is brackish as there's no fresh water on the island. So just close your mouth when you shower and be grateful for the unlimited drinking water the hotel kindly provides :-) The water pressure in the shower is also pretty lame, took me about 20mins to wash the salt out of my hair each day, but there is plenty of warm water.

The staff are super friendly, they made us feel so at home. We found the owner a bit abrupt and not so welcoming during the booking process, but the local staff are just superb and will do everything they can to help you. The breakfast is simple but good, and there's free drinking water, tea and coffee all day. The lunch/dinner food is ok - I have had better food elsewhere in Indonesia and it can get a bit samey after a while, but it is good and you can have as much as you want which is great as I am always starving after diving! They also seemed really good at catering to special requests.

We did our Advanced course and found the diving to be excellent. Yes the safety standards are a bit relaxed (esp if you're new to diving or nervous), but the diving instructors were very friendly and we always felt well looked after. It's a shame the sea is so dirty - lots of rubbish and debris floating on the surface even though underwater had amazing visibility - and I'd like to see the hotel do more to try and tackle this difficult problem. It's also worth noting that at low tide you have to walk quite far out to the dive boats over mud and sea urchins etc so it's worth bringing a pair of shoes that you can get wet and that don't slip off. This means it's also a reasonably long swim out to the reef, but very sheltered and you can snorkel direct without needing a boat trip. There's not much of a beach at all.

We didn't use the spa as it was fully booked but apparently it is amazing so book in advance! And the pool is nice but tiny. I would stay here again if I came to Bunaken.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ilovetravel16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Village Bunaken

Property: The Village Bunaken
Address: Pangalisang, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bunaken Island
Price range (per night): RM172 - RM194
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small scale Resort, Diving center and Spa on Bunaken with attention to detail and a touch of authentic indonesian styling. A place to relax and enjoy the underwater wonders of Bunaken right at your doorstep. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Village Bunaken Hotel Bunaken Island

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