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Dive Review of Basianos/Basianos Dive Resort - Lembeh in
Indonesia/Sulewesi/Lembeh Strait

Basianos/Basianos Dive Resort - Lembeh: "Bastianos Dive Resort - Lembeh Strait", May, 2018,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 34 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 10314 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was our second trip to Sulawesi. We were quite happy with our stay at Kungkungan Bay Resort (KBR) last trip in 2010 but since there were plenty of positive reports on that resort we thought we would try a different resort. Bastianos Dive Resort – Lembeh (https// also had good reports so we thought we would try them, and since they have a second resort at Bunaken and handle all the transfers we gave it a shot.
Of course the worst thing about traveling to Indonesia is the flight time and stops along the way. Using United Airlines miles we had stops in Tokyo, Bangkok, and Denpasar, with overnights in Bangkok and Denpasar. Miles would only take us as far as Denpasar. There are numerous ATM’s in the Denpasar airport for changing money. Some will allow up to 2.5 million Rupiahs ($176 USD) Manado’s Airport also has an ATM, but it did not work for us. Our driver did stop along the way in Bitung where we could use an ATM.
We bought tickets months ago on Garuda Indonesia Airlines with a direct flight to Manado from Denpasar, but alas two weeks before we started the trip they cancelled that flight and we were routed through Jakarta. Lion Air has direct flights, but they were all booked for our dates. Our flight was delayed in Jakarta so we arrived at Manado at 1:00 AM. I thought we would have to spend the night in a local hotel, but there was a Bastianos driver waiting for us with a sign. The drive to Bitung from the airport took one hour and 45 minutes, then it is a 15 minute boat ride to the island where the resort is located. Through all that front desk staff was waiting for us at 3:00 AM to show us to our room and deliver our bags. We were quite amazed that there is still great service in some parts of the world. We did not make the morning dives, but did make the one afternoon dive. Since we paid in advance for 12 dives and were down a dive we were reimbursed at the end of our trip. In fact the dive that my wife sat out due to an out of air situation (more on that later) we were also reimbursed for that missed dive. We were also offered additional afternoon dives to make up for the missed dives. Amazing to me is we did not even have to ask, they just did it. That kind of service is something you just don’t find in many places!
The resort sits on the west side of Lembeh Island and has 22 rooms, 7 standard and 2 budget both with ceiling fans for cooling located along the beach. There are 13 superior rooms with A/C located on the hillside on the same elevation as the restaurant and pool. We chose a superior room. Number 5 was a standalone unit and had a king size bed, two nightstands, a desk, a small table with two chairs, a closet with space for hanging clothes and four shelves and a couple of lockable drawers. Outside the back had a deck with a table and two chairs. The bathroom has a large shower with outside exposure via a screened skylight, a sink and western toilet. All rooms have a 5 gallon jug of water and aluminum water bottles for you to use throughout your stay. There are no single use plastics at the resort except straws, but you must request one if you want one. I think this is great, and they could go a step farther and use paper straws like we used before there was plastic, or plant material straws. Seating in the restaurant is assigned, but we invited singles to join us and that was acceptable. Breakfast (6:30 – 9:00) had eggs to order, pancakes, crepes, waffles, or French toast, two choices for cereal one being oatmeal, breads for toast, and fruits. Lunch (13:00 – 14:00) and dinner (19:00 – 21:00) are buffet with generous portions of either chicken, pork, beef, and always fish, along with rice, or potatoes, salad, some vegetables, and desert. Staff served water, soft drinks, and adult beverages. Coffee and tea was self-serve. The resort staff played and sang music during lunch and dinner. Coffee, tea and water were available from 6:00 AM to whenever the hot water cooled down probably around midnight. Since we are early risers we turned on the water pot before the staff arrived and since they put everything away at night you needed to obtain a couple packs of the coffee before you left the restaurant after dinner. Coffee was all instant, either Indonesian in a jar or Nescafe in a single serving packet. Bintang beers (620 ml) 21 ounces were 50,000 rupiahs or 3.58 USD. Wine by the bottle only was 600,000 rupiahs or 42 USD. Most mixed drinks are 85,000 rupiahs or 6.09 USD. Wi-Fi is available and free. There is a spa and it is inexpensive starting at an hour massage for about $15 USD. The resort is powered 24 hours per day with their own generators that are located away from the building such that we never heard them running.
There is a white board that shows which boat and dive crew you will be diving with as well as all diver listed on all the boats so you are always well informed. The first dive leaves at 7:30 and the afternoon dive leaves around 15:00. Night dives are offered as is a mandarin fish dive. The dive shop has rental gear available and looks to be in good shape. I used one of their regulator sets when I could not get my air integrated system computer to read the air in my tank. I thought it was a bad battery in the sending unit on the first stage, but it turned out to be user error. Since they did not have that type battery at the resort, Severn the resort manager, ordered a battery for me from Manado and a day later it arrived. Now I have a spare. There is a camera room, but since we use a small point and shoot we did not use the room. Your dive gear if you brought your own is set out on your front deck on the morning of your first day of diving and they take care of it from there. A basket is assigned to everyone and the next day it is put on the boat and all your gear is set up and ready to go. If you are using nitrox it is tested on the dock with you then they load the tanks. There is a 4 euro per tank charge for nitrox and for some reason it is charged in euros, not rupiah. The boats are about 40 feet long and have a nice shaded area. There are life preservers, first aid kit, oxygen, and radio on the boat. The head is on the main deck, not below deck which is nice. Water is in a five gallon container and is pumped into cups with your name on it. The same cup is used for coffee or tea during surface interval or the trip back to the resort. They are rinsed in the ocean after use and then rinsed with fresh water from the jug. No one got sick so I guess it works. Towels are labeled with your name and are always available for the surface interval and on the ride back to the resort. Fruit and cookies are served up at surface interval along with coffee or tea and water. The boats are powered by two or three 40 HP outboard motors and are very smooth in the water, but of course there is not much in the way of ocean waves in Lembeh strait. A back roll is used for entrance and a nice ladder with flat steps is used for exit. One day after back rolling in apparently some rust in the tank plugged the tube in the tank and when my wife started to descend had no air. It was fortunate that her buddy and dive master were paying attention and brought her back to the boat. She sat out that dive but like the excellent trooper she is made the next dive with of course a new tank. We never got a response as to whether they found anything in the tank. There did not appear to be inspection stickers on the tanks, but in daily use they may not last. Stickers were noted to be attached to the tanks at their sister resort in Bunaken and were current. We had friends have this same issue with a tank in Belize several years ago. This appears to be more common than one would hope.
Most of our dives consisted of myself, my wife and the dive master (Hendo). We sometimes had a third person and one day had two Japanese women but that was the most. Most of the divers at the resort were from Germany or Switzerland. We were the only Americans as is usually the case in this part of the world.
During out trip to Lembeh in 2010 we both experienced ear infections so since that time we have carried a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. We use it after most dives in all parts of the world now. It also helped a fellow diver who’s hand was stung by a hydroid.
All of the normal critters that you come to see and expect to see were there, long arm octopus, wunderpus, coconut octopus, several types of eels including ribbon eels, blue-spotted ribbon tail rays, seahorses, but not pigmy, several pipefish including robust and ornate, wasp fish, devil fish, scorpion fish of various types, including Ambon, helmut gurnard, several types of frogfish, (including hairy), all kinds of nudibranch, flat worms, porcelain crabs, dark mantis shrimps, orangutan crabs, flamboyant cuttlefish, etc. Currents were very slight if there were any at all. This is some of the most relaxed diving you will find and longest dives, most lasting 80 minutes and my wife still comes up with nearly 1000 psi.
The one negative we had on this trip was when on our way to Bunaken from Lembeh the boatman dropped our basket with all our dive gear into the water at the dock in Bitung. The water is clear and we could see it all sitting on the bottom except for the few thing that were floating. We had to wait for the boat with our dive master and Severn to come over by boat with dive gear to retrieve our gear. We appreciated the attentiveness to retrieving our dive gear. Nothing was lost except time. We would visit this resort again.
Websites Basianos   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean and Central America, Micronesia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Tanzania, Australia, and Fiji.
Closest Airport Manado Getting There See the report. There are numerous airlines that can get you to Manado it just depends where you want to stop along the way. We chose to go through Bali because we wanted to spend 5 extra day relaxing after two weeks of diving.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Basically stay with the divemaster and let them know when you are at half tank and 50 bar (750 psi) There was no restriction on time except one hour was mentioned. We averaged 80 minutes per dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments No setup on the boat, but there is a 5 gallon bucket on the boat for cameras. All but the really big setups fit. We did not use the camera room at the resort but it is available.
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Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By peter bernstein in FL, US at Jun 21, 2018 10:01 EST  
Was the costs similar to KBR ?
By report author: Henry O Ziller in CO, US at Jun 21, 2018 11:01 EST  
Bastianos was $700USD/per person less than KBR, but KBR is a step above, larger room better food with meals served. We enjoyed both very much
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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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