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“Lovely resort, excellent management & dive guides” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lembeh Resort

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Lembeh Resort
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Bitung
Certificate of Excellence
Paris
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Lovely resort, excellent management & dive guides”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

Back from a 5 days stay at Lembeh resort where we had a wonderful stay thanks to Helen and Gizmo, the most wonderful hosts you would dream of.

Firstly we were impressed with how we were swiftly replied to all our mails and how the booking step was smoothly processed (just keep in mind that bank transfers from Europe to Indonesian banks may be unreliable). We already felt we were treated like VIPs although with the hindsight I believe it’s the feeling of all guests…
Reading tripadvisor on the day prior to our arrival, we asked for a bungalow located nearby as we preferred to avoid steps and trade magnificent views over Lembeh for a bit of lazyness. Helen immediately handled our request and gave us the closest villa to the restaurant, which was really perfect.
The surroundings are really pretty, all the staff very friendly doing their utmost to satisfy the guests and the management organizes every ten days an open air barbecue with the local kids choir singing and dancing for more than an hour.
If we had to point a thing that could be improved, it would be on the menu/buffet aspects, that could be slightly more varied, although I suspect the management and theirs to be actively working on that side.

Divewise, it would be really hard to fail a dive in Lembeh, most of the dive guides are impressive of marine/bio knowledge, some of them the unusual habit of taking a white slate underwater in order to describe what you may misunderstand or simply miss on animal behaviour, or to write down the unusual suspects in order to help a debrief on the boat. I would like to thank especially Abner, Opo, Fandy and Andi for being such knowledgeable dive guides and for trying to help me tick off all the critters on my wish list (80% of the list fulfilled after 2 dives, good score Opo! I know everything now about the pinkeyed goby, thanks Andi!).
A little complaint about the dive management of critters@Lembeh, I am not sure though the dive planning and the dive management are on the same level as the resort management. I had to raise voice a little for keeping the same guide I was paying for as the management seemed more occupied grooming a certain group or randomly changing boat schedules especially in for the 3rd afternoon dive, than caring for other regular divers. All in all, it gave the impression the dive center is running better without the management.
Again, this shouldn’t decrease the dive guides’ friendliness or the general quality of diving, but comparing to the high level of customer care that is provided at Lembeh Resort, (and the prices of the private guided dives too) I would have expected that all dives were carefully planned and selected. It sometimes gave me the impression that, as there were not enough divers for the 3rd dive, the management would prefer to pack everybody on the same boat and ride to the closest spots (which are not some of the most interesting around).

There are now many option to chose from in Lembeh with the newly open resorts, but we believe GR Helen’s warm spontaneity and GM Gizmo’s professionalism have made this place really so special, at least this is how we felt it was.
I was worried my non diver wife would be bored by the first day, but with the help of a swimming pool, a nice environment and once again, Helen and Gizmo, this never happened (or maybe when it rained the whole day).

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LukoGecko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HelenGomez, Owner at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
Hello,
Thank you for your review and positive comments about Lembeh Resort and our Management Team. These guys work their heart out and I'm happy you experienced their efforts.

Thank you also for your review of Critters@Lembeh and for providing us with a "teachable moment". The lack of consistency regarding Private Guide, which was rectified the second full day of diving by your choice of guide, was a result of an internal communication glitch. Your private guide request, made during time of reservation, was not properly transmitted within the dive center. We have learned and corrected this situation.

Regarding switching boats - the first full day you dived with 3 other guests on same boat for all dives; day two with 4 other divers on morning dives however, other guests in your boat did not do afternoon dive, so we move you to our largest boat with 6 other divers; day three also, no other divers from your morning boat did the afternoon dive.

We have three categories for dive sites in the Strait - short distance, medium and long distance from the resort. Yes, two of your afternoon dives were short distance - two were medium. Depending on what guests want to see, conditions of dive sites etc, yes, we normally stay closer to the resort on the afternoon dive.

I am actually very pleased to read you feel the dive center operates better without management. My managers try and take a back seat promoting our supervisors and dive guides to handle more responsibility and become more interactive with our guests. When your legitimate concern surfaced in the office, I was on hand that day to hear management and supervisors discuss the solution and appropriate steps to make you happy. Guides do choose dive sites and boat configuration according to discussions with guests and intelligent grouping of like minded divers. Your review reflects the obvious- you were extremely happy with the diving and guides.

We hope you and your wife visit us again - we will certainly take good care of you. Also, our Dive Center Office Supervisor, would like to practice speaking French with you both again!

Thank you,
Danny Charlton
Owner - Critters@Lembeh
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587 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (172)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Indonesia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

How much do I love this resort? I have returned numerous times already. I am very lucky that I happen to live in Indonesia. I have tons of diving spots at my fingertips, and yet, I keep coming back. Not only is the diving phenomenal, but everything outside the water is terrific too. Let's get started, shall we?

Critters at Lembeh, the dive operator affiliated with Lembeh Resort, is both professional yet laid back. I have never felt rushed nor criticized in any way. The staff is supportive of both new and experienced divers. The dive guides all seem to love their jobs, and more often than not, dive center staff will be out on the boats, doing what we all love to do. Equipment is good, and facilities such as cleaning tanks and the camera room are always clean. The strait itself can at times be dirty, but honestly, that is a problem everywhere (and one that I have seen improve even since 2010) in the area.

As for the resort itself, I have not a bad word to say. I travel by myself a lot, and the staff is so welcoming. As of only my second visit, people were calling me by name, and it felt totally sincere. Smiles abound, and as a rule, I have found that other guests are the same way. I can't tell you how many new friends I have made staying here. The management is very hands on, and always has time for a quick word, even if it's just to say hello. True, this is key for all service industry professionals, but you never feel like the staff doesn't genuinely care about how your trip is going.

The rooms are incredible. The beds and linens are the best I've had in Indonesia. Plus, the little touches, like turn down service with little sachets of Indonesian spices just make it that much better.

The food is also incredible. After months of access to only traditional Indonesian food, European and American options are a welcome treat, and the restaurant never fails me. For new visitors, the Asian choices are spot on. Honestly, access to a bar after months is also a real treat. Nothing quite like relaxing on a hot day after diving with a gin and tonic.

All in all, I love this place. I have stayed at a couple of other places in Lembeh, and there really is no comparison. I will be sad when I return home, and can no longer pop over when I have a little break in my schedule. The resort is awesome, and the people make it even better.

Room Tip: Some rooms have open air showers. Personal preference.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MeganL273
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HelenGomez, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Hello from Lembeh Resort,

We would like to thank you for writing this review about Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh, your comments are greatly appreciated.

The Critters@Lembeh dive centre has been operating at Lembeh Resort for many years and the owners of dive centre have been in the Indonesia dive industry for even longer (and the managers have also been in Indonesia for 5 years) so it comes as no surprise that the operation comes across as both professional and laid back/fun! The dive centre staff do take great pride in their work and also their workplace. We will make sure that we pass on your kind comments to them all.

Both the Management and the Staff want to make sure that the guests feel totally at home and genuinely do want to make sure that everyone has the best dive holiday possible and we are also very happy to hear that you made so many friends during your stays.

We are glad that you found the room to be to your satisfaction - we get many compliments about the beds being very comfortable! We would like to thank you for the comments with regards to the food - the menu has more of Indonesian flavour to it (which many of our guests love to experience) but we also realise some people do like a little taste of home as well so we can try to ensure that we provide something that will keep everyone happy. We really like it that people are enjoying spending time at our Bar, it is a great place to sit back to discuss the day of diving.

Again thank you for this review and we look forward to welcoming you to Lembeh Resort again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
68 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

I booked last minute and was quite impressed at how everyone at this resort rallied to help to get my last minute booking self to this special place.

I had never been (muck) diving before, it was fantastic and of particular note was the ease of diving with lots of cool stuff to see, knowledgable guides, excellent and brand new equipment including their superb 5mm wetsuts, and oh such very very short but pleasant boat trips from the resort.

In my opinion, the huge plusses for this place are 1) Helen the (co)owner who just lights up the place with her presence and enthusiasm. Her energy exudes from her and she's nice to have around if you are low on air (hee hee) :) 2)The front desk staff were excellent and 3) the accommodations very nice clean and comfortable however missing a little better reading light for those of us solos who are reading and not necking after hours, the food was wonderful and overall a really positive experience and I will be back with my husband.

Other cool things to note that I often don't see on dive trips in the middle of nowhere but available here ; en suite hot water and hot drinks (heaven for those of us who wake up early), good internet connection and in my room (when you see where this place is you will understand why i was so impressed with this feature), I don't know how the lovely man at the front desk smiles all the time but seriously i would do anything to take him away to work here (gold star) and they even have a massage facility onsite.

One thing a little bizarre was this is clearly a couples place (i was the only single at the time) and often felt out of place dining as the gorgeous dining area is set up for mostly twos. Even couples I met during my stay there agreed that it may be more fun to pull tables together for a little bit more ambiance?! I dive all over the world (land & sea accomodations) and often go solo but this was the first place i have ever felt out of place on a dive trip...hence the four vs five rating. I would not recommend this to solo travelers if they like me love to mingle.

If you go, remember folks here are PRETTY DARN SERIOUS DIVERS (or so they think so) you will see lots of h u g e cameras. During my stay I do believe I was the only person without a h u g e camera and owning one of these babies does not necessarily mean they know how to operate them! Finally, it was kinda weird (and perhaps dangerous) that groups were not sorted by ntrox vs. air divers and personally I was a little put off as to how pepole with these cameras totally ruled and the guides, well, just kind-of-forgot about those of us who didn't have one... Suggestions: Check out the possibility, logistics & opinion of other guests re group tables and, please make an effort to separate the big camera nitrox divers from the rest of us.

Overall a really good but could- be-excellent-excellent experience and sure it will be when I come back as a couple next year

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WTravelGirl50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HelenGomez, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 2 March 2012
Hello,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review about your stay at Lembeh Resort, your comments are greatly appreciated.

We are very happy that you found our Reservation process to be efficient, we do not get many very last minute bookings like yours but we understand the importance of a quick answer and good organisation.

We would like to thank you for the comments about all of our staff and will make sure that it is passed on. (Just for your information Helen is the Guest Relations Manager and manages the resort along with Guillermo but does not co-own it). Thank you for your comments about the room, we are looking at improving the lighting in our Garden View Rooms. We are also very happy that you enjoyed the food - we like to give people a good taste of the local cuisine and also make sure that they keep their strength up for diving! We take your comments on board about making group tables for lunch and dinner - we are going to trial group tables and we also feel with the new bar area this helps facilitate guests socialise together away from the dive boat. We are also very happy to make table arrangements however our guests would like.

We are pleased that you found your first experience of 'Muck Diving' to be a good one. We are lucky to have such a great team knowledgeable guides at Critters@Lembeh who are great at finding the small critters and they also make sure that their equipment is very well maintained and serviced. Lembeh Strait is known as the 'Muck Diving Capital of the World' and does tend to attract many serious divers and in particular photographers. Usually Critters@Lembeh do tend to group Nitrox Divers with Nitrox Divers and Air Divers with Air Divers and we apologise that this was not always the case during your stay. We will ensure that this would not happen when you come to visit us again. Our guides are normally very considerate towards our non-photographer guests as well and we are sorry that you felt sometimes you felt you were not the same.

We look forward to having you come to stay with us again and to provide you with a truly excellent, excellent diving holiday.
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

For me it's simple... I've been going to Lembeh Strait for 5 yrs in a row now and have stayed at Lembeh Resort for the last 3 of them... I love everything about Lembeh... the Resort, the Diving, the DM's, the Critters, the Muck. I can't get enough... I come for 2-4 weeks every year. It's my favorite spot!

Room Tip: All are nice... the lower closest bungalows are Minihasa style and more traditional and closer to t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BGoddard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HelenGomez, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2012
Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to write this review about your stay at Lembeh Resort.
We are very happy to hear that we are on of your favourite spots on Earth! We take that as a huge compliment!
Thank you for the room tips as well, all the rooms are a little different or have different pros. Definitely watching the sunsets from your verandah is definite plus!
We look forward to welcoming you back to Lembeh Resort.
Kind Regards
Helen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

My sister and I stayed with these fine folks for a few days before we took off for Raja Amphat.

From making sure our accommodations were superb to the dive guides who knew the best spots and took care of us start to finish.

I was impressed by the way the Resort had been "built" into the jungle and an excellent record of keeping it green. Most impressed with the views.

We plan to come back to Lembeh Resort in the next year or two.

Joe Baughman

Room Tip: You may want to pick a bungalow closer to the main facility. The climb to the eagles nest was a bi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JRB650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HelenGomez, Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort, responded to this review, 23 February 2012
Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to write this review about Lembeh Resort.
We are very happy to hear that you had a good time with us and felt everything from the diving to the acommodation was to your satisfaction. We are very lucky with our location and the design of the resort was well thought out and seems to seemlessly fit into the surrounding environment.
We promise when you come again we will ensure that you one of the lower cottages.
We look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Kind Regards
Helen
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lembeh Resort

Property: Lembeh Resort
Address: North Lembeh, Bitung 95500, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Bitung
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Bitung
Price range (per night): $343 - $940
Hotel Class:3 star — Lembeh Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a boutique style resort tucked into a quiet cove on Lembeh Island and the resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Our location means that we are only 5-20 minutes away from the majority of the amazing dive sites in the Lembeh Strait - often known as the Muck Diving Capital of the world! All our guest cottages include 24 hour electricity, en-suite bathroom with hot water, air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds, wardrobe, table and chair, dispenser for cold as well as hot drinking water, complimentary tea & coffee, mini-bar and electronic safe. Sitting on your verandah, you can enjoy beautiful sunsets nearly every day over the stunning North Sulawesi scenery. At any time of the day you can relax around our fresh water swimming pool and from the afternoon onwards you can visit out Spa where you can relax after a hard day of diving with a nice massage and also run a variety of land based excursions as well.We have 12 full time dive guides on staff, with more than 65,000 combined dives in Lembeh alone. We have very small group ratios, with a maximum of 4 divers to 1 guide. We have a full time Marine Biologist on staff, who assists our guests in identifying all the weird and wonderful critters of Lembeh Strait. We also have the only full time photo/video pro in the Lembeh Strait who teaches a variety of photo and video courses if you are interested in photography. He also has a large collection of rental gear, including point and shoot systems, DSLR systems, and HD video cameras. ... more   less 

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