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Dive Review of Villa Markisa in
Indonesia/Bali - Tulamben

February, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6142
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Belize, Little Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Kona, Key Largo, Raja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, rainy, cloudy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
75   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were the only divers at the resort, so we had no restrictions.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
The boat didn't really have a place for large cameras, but the boat rides
were always very short.  Separate rinse tanks were provided for cameras on
the shore, and mats were provided in the bungalow for cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
We added Bali on after a 10-day trip to Raja Ampat.  We traveled in
January/February since this was the best time for Raja Ampat, however we
knew this was not the best time for Bali.  This happened to be, according
to the locals, the worst rainy season they could remember.  It rained
non-stop from the moment we touched down until we left Tulamben for Ubud. 
When we first arrived, the waves were gently lapping at the beach, and by
the time we left there were huge breakers making it impossible to shore
dive.  We were only able to shore dive in front of the resort (Seraya
Secrets) on day 1.

Villa Markisa is a fairly new resort.  The owner, Christiane, is a
nudibranch lover and this is why we chose this resort over Scuba Seraya
next door.  A driver picked us up from the airport and we spoke to
Christiane via cell phone on the drive.  We arrived late and they would be
keeping dinner warm for us.  We were the only two people staying at the
resort during this time, so we were treated like royalty!

We were in a deluxe bungalow, which was the closest room to the dive
center.  We had a queen sized bed with mosquito netting and an outdoor
bathroom / shower.  The rooms were spectacular, beautiful and luxurious. 
We also had an outdoor porch in front that included a sofa bed, which
turned out to be an excellent place to relax during the heavy rains we
experienced during our trip.  Umbrellas were provided as well!  We also
enjoyed a massage on site during our stay - it was PERFECT.  The resort is
quite a distance from Tulamben, so expect to stay in the resort the whole
time or request a ride into town.

Food was not included in our stay, but we elected to eat exclusively at the
resort.  It was delicious, with a mix of both Indonesian and western food. 
The dining area was outdoor (but covered) in front of a beautiful lily pond
with resident turtles.

The grounds were amazing and well kept.  There were plenty of places to sit
or lounge outside when it wasn't raining, and the infinity pool and jacuzzi
were inviting.  Plumerias were blooming around the resort and everything
smelled like flowers.

The dive staff was very good.  Christiane joined us for many dives as well.
 Since we were the only guests at the resort, we could decide when and
where we wanted to dive.  We were only able to do two dives at Seraya
Secrets due to conditions, but the muck diving was amazing - multiple
Harlequin shrimp, nudibranchs, frog fish, etc.  On our second dive at
Seraya Secrets, we saw 30 different species of nudibranchs on a single
dive.  Christiane has an amazing eye for finding small sea slugs!

The boat was very nice and fairly new.  Entry was back roll, which the
divemasters assisted with.  The Liberty Wreck was a wonderful wreck with
tons of small macro life as well as terrific wide angle shots.  We dove it
twice and enjoyed it both times - HUGE schools of jacks were above the
wreck the entire time.

Many of the other dive sites were mucked over or not available due to
conditions, but we did do a couple of reef dives.  The reef was nice, but
having just come from Raja Ampat it was not as impressive.  I can see that
Bali would have amazing diving if the conditions were better.

My only complaint would be that the staff was not always careful with our
equipment.  Christiane had a guest staying with her, and a staff member
dropped her rig on the first stage.  We didn't hear what happened to it,
but it likely destroyed her first stage.  The day before, the staff dropped
my gear, but it landed on its BC and was unharmed.  The dive center has
divers rig up on benches that just do not hold the equipment well enough,
and it makes it very unstable.  Deeper holes for the tanks would be a good

Another warning is that the prices for everything is in Euros.  At the end
of the trip, the conversion can be done to USD and it can be shocking to
see how fast things add up.  There were a lot of surcharges - for boat
diving (as opposed to shore) and for diving at the Liberty Wreck, or going
a little bit farther away from the resort.  These extra charges are clearly
outlined in the room, but we were shocked at our bill anyway at the end of
the trip.

Other than that, the staff was there to assist us with anything we could
possibly need.  Christiane runs a tight ship and made sure we had an
excellent stay.

There are not a lot of reviews for this resort, but I can definitely
recommend it.  It is over the top luxurious and the staff is top-notch.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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