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Where to stay/dive at Lembeh ?


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#1 davichin

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

We are planning on going to Lembeh the first week of april because we have only dived there a couple of days at the end of longer trips, and we have always wanted to dedicate it at least a week...

So I thought, being such a typical photo/video destination, I will look in WP for info and there will be a ton of helpful topics ...but I was surprised at not finding many recent (2011) reports (some resorts have changed management so you never know how they are at present day). If someone prefers to send me a PM it is of course fine too. I am also aware that some WP members work at these resorts so I welcome any information from them.
The resorts I remember existing are:

KBR
Lembeh Resort
Kasawari Resort
Nad Lembeh
Eco-Divers Lembeh
Black Sand
Bastianos

I would be very grateful for whatever information you could give us regarding diving, accomodation, food, guides, housereef, photofriendlyness, price or anything you consider important.

Thank you very much in advance!
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#2 BC-SeaDragon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:50 AM

Hello,

I just got back from 2 weeks at Nad Lembeh and had an amazing time. It was my first time to Lembeh and I will be going back no doubt.

NAD was great! The dive operation was very professional, good boats, long dive times (generally 75 minutes unless there was something special in the end it was no issue to stay longer), outstanding dive guides that have been in Lembeh for many years.

The resort was set up nice with camera rinse tanks, wet camera room and also a media room with plenty of space for chargers and 2 computers for data transfer if your not bringing a laptop.

The rooms were also great. Spacious with air conditioning and fan, hot water and comfortable beds.

The food and kitchen staff were also great. Very good service throughout the entire trip and I LOVED the food and know others did also. There was an American lady there who was a vegetarian and it was no issue to have special dishes made for her.

Transfer to and from the airport was prompt with no issues at all.

Also a very reasonable priced compared to others.

Overall it was an awesome trip and I will stay with NAD next time without hesitation.

Hope that helps.

Kelly

Edited by BC-SeaDragon, 15 February 2012 - 07:02 AM.


#3 scorpio_fish

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:15 AM

We stayed at Lembeh back when Bruce ran the dive op. He subsequently started Black Sand.

We have also stayed at Kasawari.

We like Lembeh Resort best and would choose it for a next trip over Kasawari and Black Sand. I haven't heard too much bad about any of the places on your list. I'm not sure how they vary in price.
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#4 Bent C

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

I believe Kelly more or less nailed it when she described NAD. I visited last fall and plan a return trip next January. I had a great time diving there and dove with the by far most experienced guide I have ever met. He was also one of the most enthusiastic guides I met, which really was icing on the cake. No complaints at all, everyone did their best to make my stay good. The facilities are really good for photographers, dives are well planned, rooms are adequate and the common dining area is really nice. And I also find it reasonably priced. No doubt NAD would be my first choice diving Lembeh.
However, there are more upscale places in Lembeh. I haven't personally dived with any of those, but I have visited Lembeh resort. It is a really nice place, nice staff, great cabins, great food, nice landscaping, pool and so on. Also really well set up for photographers. So if you are want the upscale part of a stay, Lembeh resort would highly likely be a good choice.

Cheers Bent

Edited by Bent C, 15 February 2012 - 08:54 AM.

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#5 sharky1961

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:02 AM

Hi David,

I can strongly recommand the Divers Lodge Lembeh altough it isn't on your list (why?).
I have been there 3 times already and every time it was the perfect location.
It is ideal for Pro photographers because when you book an unlimit diving package with 2 persons you have your own boot and 1 guide per 2 persons sometimes guides diversratio is 1 on 1. Because you have your own boot you can decide yourselve when you dive, how long you dive at what time you dive and how many dives you want to make.
The food is also excellent and for me a reason to come back for a 4th time.
There is one small disadvantage; the resort is about 30-50 Minutes drive to the farthest diving site ( Angel window). But that is no problem because you are all day on the boot ( there are toilets on board). Lunch and drinks are on board.
The resort has its own Manderin fish divingspot at the house reef.


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#6 JKrumsick

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

I have been to 2 Fish Dive Resort twice while in Lembeh. I was on a budget (and I found it more budget friendly than the others). It is located nicely in between all the dive sites so the boat rides aren't too long. I really loved the dive guides, they had fantastic eyes - hairy shrimp and Lembeh sea dragons were found a few times (incredibly tiny creatures). Also the managers are very friendly and knowledgeable.

I thought the food was good but not amazing. But because I had made friends with the dive guides (even a small bit of kindness goes a long way) they took me to some local places (in villages) to eat. The rooms were bare bones but again I was on a strict budget (I think a week cost me a little more than $1000 US).

There are a lot of dive operators in Lembeh but I would highly recommend these guys.

#7 davichin

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:18 PM

Thank you very much Kelly for your very detailed explanation about NAD (everybody speaks very nicely about NAD).

We like Lembeh Resort best and would choose it for a next trip over Kasawari and Black Sand. I haven't heard too much bad about any of the places on your list.


Thank you very much Scorpiofish, I think you are probably and it must be pretty difficult going wrong in Lembeh.

Thank you very much Bent for your help!

I can strongly recommand the Divers Lodge Lembeh altough it isn't on your list (why?).


Hello Rob, it wasnīt on my list because I didnīt know they existed :lol: but I will check them out as they seem really good from what you wrote. Thank you very much!

2 Fish Dive Resort


Hello Jkrumsick, I tried yesterday to check their web and it redirected me to viral web :) so I guess they are probably not working anymore... if anyone wants to take the risk: http://www.twofishdi...eh-straits.html but I just tried again and my antivirus blocked it now (as it memorized it from yesterday...).

Thank you vey much to all! :)
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#8 JohnSu

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

I agree with Divers Lodge Lembeh!

My husband and I stayed there last year and so far it is my benchmark for any other dive resort I stay at.

As mentioned before they are the ONLY resort that offer an unlimited dive package...that means you get your own boat, captain and DM for the entire day.

Note that all resorts promote 4 divers per guide, this is NOT special, it is a limit set by the local government.
However, Divers Lodge Lembeh is the ONLY place I know of that gives you the choice to pay extra for your own boat and guide.

Also, the DM was using Nitrox, like we were, whereas usually we are on Nitrox, but the DM is on air.

One minor problem is that there was no A/C!! This was annoying because I had issues with my camera drying out (very humid when we went in February), and I think it would be VERY uncomfortable during the hot part of the year.

However, as I wrote before, Divers Lodge Lembeh is my benchmark when I go to other resorts, and so far they are still the best I have stayed at.

Their service was the most polite and FRIENDLIEST we have ever received. The owners, Linda and and Rob, have trained their staff well, and it shows...from the service in the dining room to the guides under the water!

http://www.diverslodgelembeh.com/


------------------------

PS. As for Two Fish, I stayed at the Bunaken Two Fish resort last year, and had the most terrible experience dealing with the rudest, most arrogant and incompetent manager I have ever come across in the service industry! When I complained about him to the owner, he was standing right next to her...smirking at me like a spoiled child who knew he would get away with it. I have no idea about the management at Two Fish in Lembeh, but they have the same owners, and that is enough for me to put it on my 'avoid like the plague' list.

#9 JKrumsick

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:23 PM

Hi DaviChin -
I went to their site and no viral problems here (I have updated virus software). Funnily enough, I find their website the best out of all of the Lembeh resorts.

Also, I didn't mention this but as I was there off season I got my own guide (just me and a guide :-). I can't guarantee that they will do that for you but they were very accommodating and a lot of fun!

#10 davichin

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

Thank you very much JohnSu!

I went to their site and no viral problems here (I have updated virus software). Funnily enough, I find their website the best out of all of the Lembeh resorts.


I just tried again and it worked :lol:
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#11 eyu

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:39 AM

I have stayed at KBR twice when they had Eco divers and the resort was run by Cary. It was great with excellent guides, but have not been there since Cary and Eco divers moved. I would probably follow Cary since she is an excellent hostess and the Eco dive operation is also excellent. I like that they have taken the day boat from Tasik Ria, it is a comfortable dive boat. Also Eco has some of the best guides in the straits.

That said, Lembeh Resort has its own private Mandarin Fish site, which is a big plus since the regular Mandarin site in the straits gets crowded. The only down side is some of the rooms are a long walk up and down a lot of steps. But this can be circumvented by requesting a room lower down the hill.

Whatever resort you stay at, consider hiring a private guide. The usual ratio is one guide to 4 divers. With a private guide you will get more good opportunities for photos and can stay away from the rest of the group since the group usually stirs up the silt with the Lembeh sandy bottom.

Elmer

Edited by eyu, 17 February 2012 - 08:22 AM.

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#12 RickM

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:06 AM

I would give my vote to Kasawari. Excellent place! Great divemasters, accommodations, and people. Airport transfers were waiting for us at 1:00am after a long delayed flight. Very well run.

#13 dkrm

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

I stayed at Lembeh Resort once and Kasawari 3 times. Both of them have spoilt me. Now, it seems hard to find resort in the region (which is known for their hospitality) able to match them in term of photographer friendly, no_need_to_carry_your_stuffs_ever and great dive master. Ali and Nus at Kasawari are hard to match.
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#14 LembehHelen

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

Hello,

You are definitely making the right decision thinking about coming to Lembeh, the diving here is amazing.

I am Helen and I am the Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort and think it is a great idea to try and find out as much information as possible about the places that you are thinking about staying. We have a Spanish GM at Lembeh Resort and so if you let me know your email address by PM we can put some information about us.

Kind Regards

Helen

#15 operam

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:18 AM

However, Divers Lodge Lembeh is the ONLY place I know of that gives you the choice to pay extra for your own boat and guide.


Just a note, NAD allows you to book a private boat with guide for $100 per day, according to their rates sheet:

NAD Lembeh Rates 2012-2013

This might also be possible with the other resorts (check with the individual resorts for rates, etc).
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#16 Scuba_SI

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:43 AM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the recommendations :)

Unfortunately i only speak Spanish after 4 beers ;) But i am multilingual in Canon and Nikon :lol:

Wherever you stay in Lembeh it is going to be fun, Kaj from KBR is also member here and has a nice thread running in the video section. I dont want to make an overtly commercial post as i know that is frowned upon here, so if you need to ask anything... you know where to find me.




PS. Bent; Kelly is a Guy, and bigger than you :rofl:

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#17 davichin

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:24 AM

Thank you very much everybody!
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#18 Bent C

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:19 AM

PS. Bent; Kelly is a Guy, and bigger than you :lol:


That is serious big!
This thread coincided with that I found out that I had a significant lack of scheduled work a couple of weeks in September. So yesterday the flight was reserved and two weeks of September will be at NAD instead of northern Sweden!
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#19 agshep

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:49 AM

Helen!
You haven't mentioned that your resort plays host to a family of tarsiers!
(Added bonus, dive people, there's exotica on land too)
Just my two cents' worth, Graeme.

Hello,

You are definitely making the right decision thinking about coming to Lembeh, the diving here is amazing.

I am Helen and I am the Guest Relations Manager at Lembeh Resort and think it is a great idea to try and find out as much information as possible about the places that you are thinking about staying. We have a Spanish GM at Lembeh Resort and so if you let me know your email address by PM we can put some information about us.

Kind Regards

Helen



#20 Drew

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

Helen!
You haven't mentioned that your resort plays host to a family of tarsiers!
(Added bonus, dive people, there's exotica on land too)
Just my two cents' worth, Graeme.


Perhaps you should clarify that the troop of Tarsiers IS WILD and not captive (and hence teeth taken out!) or fed! The Rorimpandeys would know better than that! :lol:

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