We started out at one of Black Marlin’s neighbors but the staff at the other hotel were abysmal, as they didn’t seem to be interested in their guests at all. Therefore, we wandered over to Black Marlin and discovered the staff were so nice and helpful, and the rooms were in much better shape with 24 hour running water. That was all we needed to move hotels....that and to experience a few smiles and nice people. WOW, what a huge difference. The staff at Black Marlin were super nice, made our children food at odd hours which is very important when visiting Togean Islands (because all of the hotels have set meal times). Lina, Siti and Unke and many of the other guys were delightful. Honestly, Togean is super laid back and you should not expect luxury or services like Bali or other high end places. If you know what you are getting yourself into, then be prepared for a slower pace and laid back staff. Don’t have high expectations and your visit should be great!
I couldn’t understand why the neighboring resort had so many guests, while Black Marlin had just a few. One of the divers told me that Lonely Planet didn’t give write a good review which made me so sad. I know that it’s not the best service, but If you need something, give it time….the staff will eventually get around to assisting you. Sometimes, you just have to be patient in these slow paced places in the world. I found the staff to be extremely capable; we were assisted with a speedboat to another island, a longtail boat for a lazy day at a nearby beach for the day. Also, upon our return to Black Marlin several days later, we did not have any airline tickets and Lina assisted us with arranging a speedboat directly to Ampana, pickup in Ampana, as well as purchasing our airline tickets for six people. We couldn’t have been happier with the service they provided.
We stayed in the VIP rooms and loved them…they have such great views! My only comment for the owner would be to tell the staff to close the generator door when it is on because otherwise the top room smells like gas.