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).
- 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