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Best place to stay in Tulamben/Seraya area

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Hi everyone,

 

I am in the midst of planning a trip to Bali. I will have the opportunity to spend a few nights in the Tulamben/Seraya area. Could you please let me know your opinion on the best place to stay in the area.

 

The things that are important to me are:

- close to good dive sites

- decent accommodations, clean and comfortable

- availability of a good guide who is used to photographers' needs

- decent food

- not a necessity, but a good camera room would be nice

- also not a necessity, but wifi would be nice

 

I am not very price sensitive as long as I feel that I am getting good value for the price.

 

On a previous trip, I stayed at Paradise, which I found a little basic.

 

Thank you for your help.

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Well, "best" is most subjective. How much do you want to spend? Budget is big deciding factor for "value".
I personally stay at Scuba Seraya exclusively. Been going there since 2004 and I like it there for the boats, staff (guides), resort and proximity to the muck sites and the flexibility and experience they give to photographers. I don't like doing the shore dive on Tulamben beach itself because of the rocky shoreline makes it difficult to enter/exit with camera and gear. That's why I think diving from a boat is better for Tulamben beach, especially when there is current! Seraya area is more sandy and easier for shore diving. Numbers wise, it's not the cheapest to stay and dive there but it fits how I like to dive the area. Furthermore, with all the photographer workshops held there, the guides are the most accustomed to photographers, having worked with the "demanding" types like Mustard, Veitch et al. ;)
Likewise, my friends love the Villa Markisa next door to Scuba Seraya. It's more expensive but it's got a more homey feel to it compared to SS, especially in the bungalow. It's also slightly more expensive. I've never dived with them though so I don't know the guides' capabilities.

Liberty is a newer resort that seems nice, but I've never stayed there. They do throw in free EAN, as does Tauch Terminal, the first real all inclusive dive ops on the wreck beach itself. Emerald sits on top of the "Emerald Bay" but I've only ever eaten there.
Tulamben Wreck Divers are run by Tony and Dot, a very capable couple and friends on a budget also love staying there. Again I've never stayed there, but know pro photogs who have.
A nicer establishment is Mimpi, which was the first "luxury" accommodation in the area. They offered unlimited shore dives on air without guide as part of staying there before so you may want to check if they still do so.

There are also a couple of newish resorts towards Pong Pong and Melasti sites. Can't remember the names.
Good luck choosing! :)

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.. Just want to add a brief note to Drew's comments on Seraya: I like the food in Seraya more than in Mimpi area (although my experience from Mimpi is from several years ago; we were in Seraya this Easter -- for the third time). Excellent dive shop also, very nice guys.

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Thank you, Drew and ajay. Last time I was in Bali I took a look around Scuba Seraya and I thought it looked very nice.

 

I ended up getting in touch with Jeff Mullins at http://www.reefwreckandcritter.com/ and he's helping me arrange accommodation and guided diving out of Liberty Dive Resort.

 

I'll report back on how it goes.

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A good dive buddy of mine has been using http://www.aquamarinediving.com/ for over 15 years for Bali diving. I have used them too and have found Aquamarine to have great dive guides and will set up accommodations per your specifications.

Last fall I stayed as Ocean View Villa's, they are just in front of the Liberty Wreck. But I have also stayed at the Mimpi and Paradise. Both the Ocean View and Mimpi are more upscale then the very basic rooms at Paradise.

I hope the diving this year is better then last year, a winter storm covered over a lot of the coral heads and the mask of the Liberty broke off. There were no school of jacks at the Liberty.

 

Elmer

Edited by eyu

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I can recommend Liberty Dive Resort - it is clean and comfortable, the dive guides are excellent and the rest of the staff are just like family. It is a short down hill walk to the entry point for the Liberty Wreck and all other sites they transport you there by a small truck. The food in the restaurant is good - nothing super special but good - or it is a short walk into town for the restaurants there.

 

Karl

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