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“No cars, no TV just accommodation with a veranda overlooking a tropical sea, heaven”

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Panorama Diving Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 June 2016

To avoid any confusion there are two “Panorama” establishments on Bunaken Island. One is the Panorama Cottages and the other the Panorama Diving Resort. Located between them is the Bunaken Island Resort. Bunaken is a car free island, there are tracks and a little 'official' road which is concrete covered and about 1.5 meters wide. The only transport methods available are your feet, motorbikes, cow drawn carts and boats.

The journey starts at Manado airport. A driver greets you and takes you to the ferry terminal - you would not want to drive yourself! Either a chartered boat or one of the Panorama dive boats, laden with shopping, conveys you to your tropical island. Welcome, this is Indonesia.

Panorama Diving Resort is a hidden gem. This was our third trip to Bunaken. We stayed for 10 nights in the middle of May. We dived every day and enjoyed every minute of it. Our room was one of the Deluxe Minahassa bungalows which had a superb view of the sea and the extinct volcano Manado Tua. The balcony was equipped with a hammock, chairs and tables. Sitting watching the sun go down after a days diving was great. The room had a very comfortable king size+ four poster bed enclosed with mosquito nets. There was no air con, but a rotating fan on a stand kept the air circulating, especially when the windows to the balcony were open. Complete with a spacious Balinese style bathroom and western toilet what more can you want. Electricity was available overnight but there is usually no electrical power during the day. As short power cuts do occur a torch is recommended. We use wind up torches, that way you do not run out of batteries.

The resort spreads up the hill from the beach and there is a level garden area at the top. The steps are steep and irregular and there are no handrails. This is more or less standard for the resorts on Bunaken. WIFI is free, the signal is good, subject to the occasional power cut, but it is best accessed from the top of the resort.

As is common in most places on Bunaken, meals are taken on large tables on the dining deck. This only became an issue for us when a group decided that it would be great to smoke! The food was good and plentiful. Beer and other drinks are provided via an honesty sheet. Beer is very reasonably priced at 50,000 IDR, about £2.50 Sterling for a 620ml bottle of the local beer Bintang.

The diving on Bunaken is superb. There is no other word for it. The dive guides at this resort are excellent and able to find the 'invisible' pygmy sea horses, ghost pipe fish, boxer crabs that we all dream of seeing. Big thank you to our guide Victor. The dive briefings were good, the air was high quality and the dive team set up, dismantle and wash your equipment ready for the next dive. They are a great crew. Sven, the boss, is an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable diver. If you want to learn to dive then I would strongly recommend Sven and his team.

Will we go to Bunaken again? – yes. Will we stay at Panorama II Diving Resort again – most definitely yes.

Room Tip: The sea view bungelows are superb.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
2  Thank DarWend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 32 of 157 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2016

The positive aspects of Panorama:
-The food (especially the vegetarian food) is excellent
-Easy access to great snorkeling and dive sites
-The staff are friendly and helpful. They were flexible about helping me practice diving and organized fun activities.

The negative aspects of Panorama:
-Poor communication, especially regarding pick-up from Manado...many of my texts to Ester went unanswered, and while they said they'd pick me up, at the last minute they changed it to the public boat. That was fine, but there was a lot of confusion leading up to it.
-The owner keeps a pet Sulawesi black macaque and cockatoo. It is shameful that a dive resort, which should care about conservation, illegally keeps endangered wildlife. Sulawesi black macaques are protected, it is completely illegal to own them, and this one is psychotic from being kept on a chain all the time. I can't support a place that makes its living off of the environment but doesn't respect it.

Note: keep in mind that if you want to pay by credit card, you'll need to do that several days before your stay ends. Otherwise you need to pay in cash, and there's no ATM on the island.

Stayed: May 2016, travelled solo
4  Thank TravelerL5234ZA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SvenPanorama, Owner at Panorama Diving Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2016

Dear L5234ZA!
Panorama Dive Resort does not keep any endangered wild life!!!
It's not fair if you lie about our place!!!
Panorama 1 has different owners and we in Panorama 2 have not always influence on what they are doing.
The owner from Panorama 1 rescued this animal from the market were local people wanted to sell it to some crazy people who eat monkeys. Also just recently he confirmed that they will bring the poor monkey in a place from were he can come back into the wild.
I also spoke with Simon from Tasikoki Rescue Center, who said he wanna pick him up but it was'nt happen yet. We are not in the position here to start a big fight because of this, I'm German and not in the position here to handle things always the way i want. Even i often go over my limits when it comes down to protecting this area, but you don't know that.
Instead of being just such a coward and not talking to the owner yourself and put a bit more pressure on him yourself, you just trying to make our place down as well and not even telling your name here.
This is not fair, we always try to do our best here and we got family here and make a living out of this.

For credit card payment it's not always that easy here. We are here on Bunaken Island,
North Sulawesi and sometimes we do not have connection here. That's why we give people also the possibility to pay in Manado on the Atm on the day they leave.

Concerning the transport, we do not pay the transport, this is not including your stay
and a charter boat is more expensive as one night staying in our standard room incl. 3 meals. It's 300.000.Rp per boat by up to two person and by more people the charge a bit more. We offer all people to pick them up from the public boat in Bunaken Village or bring them there the day the leave for free. If they do not have the money for a charter
boat.

Sven,

Panorama 2 Dive Resort Bunaken

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2016

My friends and I stayed here for 1 week to complete our Open Water Diver, and we had the BEST time!!
The bungalows we had were basic, but absolutely sufficient and clean. The food, omg, we all loved it - especially me, since they prepared extra food for me (being a vegetarian). The whole crew is just so lovely and really cares about everyone.
The underwater world is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The reef is intact, and we saw so many huge turtles, fish, seahorses, crabs, nudibranches and even sharks! Sven was the best dive master one can imagine, we felt safe and well taken care of at all times.
On our last night they even made a bonfire for us on the beach... Perfect. We'd definitely go back!

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank JulezOfMew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2016

We were a group of friends who had a five days Open Water Course at Panorama Diving Resort. The course, led by Sven, was simply perfect. Our safety was very important to him and we took as much time as necessary to learn one skill after the other without rushing though. Gear was checked constantly and we received constant advice.
Sven was also very felxible as one of us fell sick for one day and this changed the schedule of the course. Besides practical dive course, he and the other dive masters who shared a lot of past experiences and stories. This made the theory lessons of the course very intersting.
The Open water dives in the second part of the course were amazing. With help from Sven and his guides we saw so many different types of sealife (really small animals as well as "big" stuff like sharks, Napoleons and turtles).
All of us can fully recommend the Open Water Course at Panorama Diving Resort!

Besides the course, the resort itself was awesome too. Food was extraordinary (heaps of local and fresh food for lunch & dinner). The staff was extremely freindly as well. The dive guides always joked around, staff in the restaurant was very welcoming and open to every demand.

As we were on a budget the basic bungalows were not an issue for us as you do not spend a lot of time in them anyways. Keep in mind that the price includes the extraorinary meals which turns makes the prices very reasonable in my opinion.

A big THANK YOU to Sven and the staff who made this an unforgettable week for all of us,

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank DavidM255106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2016 via mobile

I spend a couple of days at Panorama to do the Padi open water course and i enjoyd every minute of my stay! Our vieuw was absolutely beautifull, the food was great and the staff are all very kind and always willing to help you!
I would absolutely recommend Panorama!

Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
1  Thank FlipFlapFlop86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Panorama Diving Resort

Address: Pantai Liang, Liang Beach | Bunaken Island, Bunaken Island 95000, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bunaken Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Bunaken Island
Number of rooms: 11

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