Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Dive into Lembeh in
Indonesia/Lenbeh Straits, Indonesia

Dive into Lembeh: "A New Lembeh Straits Resort", Mar, 2018,

by allan l jones, CA, US ( 1 report with 2 Helpful votes). Report 10201 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments A New Lembeh Straits Resort
March, 2018
Many reports have been issued on diving Lembeh.
This report describes a new land-based resort
For our most recent foreign trip, my wife and I decided to return to the Lembeh Straits for the eighth time. And it was by far the best. Opened for guests just 18 months ago, Dive into Lembeh @ Hairball Resort (DIL) has significantly raised the bar in both resort accommodations and dive service.
The resort was conceptualized, built and is being operated by Steve and Miranda Coverdale. Some of you who have dived Lembeh in the past may recognize the names. From 2004-2009 they managed both the guest services and diving at the widely known KBR Lembeh resort. Prior to that, they opened the first land-based diving operation in the Sudan on the Red Sea.
Located in the northern area of the Straits on Kasawari Bay, the resort was built out on native jungle and grass land. The area is generally flat and has just enough slope to provide water views from all guests’ cabins without the steep, challenging steps common to many resorts in the area.
Beginning with the initial land grading through the current operations, preserving the ecological resources has been a controlling factor. During the building phase, only carefully selected native trees were removed and utilized in the construction of the service buildings and guests’ lodges. This has resulted in the resort blending seamlessly with the surrounding area. This care for the environment has also carried into the day to day operations. For example; no plastic food containers or drinking glasses are used. Upon arrival guests are given a biodegradable container for drinking water (think of a 10” toothpaste tube). Another example not easily noticed is on the back of the guest’s lodges. Latent heat from the air conditioner is transferred to boost the hot water heater’s efficiency.
The resort’s architecture is a blend of Indonesian and Balinese design. The main dinning area is open on three sides and overlooks the 30-meter fresh water swimming pool and the Straits. A small bar is located on a front corner. While most resorts in Lembeh have a camera room, here there is a separate purpose-built camera building! The building is about 15 meters long with the entire front side built with floor to ceiling swing out windows. There are 14 individual work stations, each having independent lighting, 220v power strips shelving both over and under the desk area and a large rubber matt to set your camera equipment on. This room is more than adequate for seminars.
There are currently nine guests’ bungalows. Seven of them contain king beds and a further two feature single beds. Each bungalow has a day bed which can accommodate an extra person if needed, refrigerator, flat screen TV with satellite feed, a standalone water cooler/heater dispenser, a dresser/desk combo, a large clothes closet and a separate bath room. Both independent A/C and a ceiling fan fully control the temperature. But the best is located on the front porch. A Japanese hot water soaking tub! What! you say – in the tropics? After a 3-4 dive day you climb into the 104* water with cold drink in hand and gaze out over the Straits! The world is now at peace! A 10th cabin is currently under construction and others are future planned. In addition, hidden away from sight, there are two spa/massage units, laundry, dive office, customer dive dressing area, equipment rental, security buildings and several maintenance sheds. A separate compressor building is isolated far enough away and it is never heard. With out a personal tour, you would never imagine the amount of the support required to run this operation. Employment is provided for about 50 local people.
A separate building is provided for diver dressing and equipment storage. Each diver is assigned an individual stall with hangers and wall pegs for equipment storage. Outside is a second hanger area for wet suits. After dressing, a diver just walks to the boat and their gear is already on board and set up for use. Dive boats are backed to the shore and you just step up onto the extended rear platform of the boat to board. For those with cameras, when ready to dive, you place your camera in a large plastic basket, check it out in one of the large camera only rinse tanks and from there the crew carries it to the boat. On board, your camera is stored in its separate plastic basket. The resort currently has three of their own dive boats. Unlike most of the other area resort dive boats, these are large fiberglass cruiser designs. Two of the boats are about 12 meters and the third about 16 meters. Each boat is powered by two large and quiet 4 cycle out board motors. They are with out question the fastest boats in the Straits. A trip to the far southern dive sites is less than a ten-minute ride. Each ship is stocked with fresh drinking water, fruit and emergency oxygen. After diving separate rinse tanks with disinfectant are available for your wet suit. Dive gear is rinsed daily for you and hung in your stall
There are six dive master/guides. All have Dive Master/Rescue ratings including two with instructor qualifications. In addition, there is normally a captain/driver and one or two deck hands on board. Underwater, a maximum of 4 guests are assigned a guide. A standard dive day is a light breakfast beginning at 7:00am, first dive at 8:00 am, return for full breakfast, second dive, lunch at 1:00 pm and a third dive in the afternoon. Night dives are scheduled upon request and there is a weekly Mandarin fish dive. Another dive not to be missed is the house reef. Experienced Lembeh dives have long heard of Hair Ball Reef named by departed friend Larry Smith. Since DIL has been built, Hair Ball has been cleaned of all trash and debris. It is as Lembeh was before the invention of plastic bags and water bottles! And, in contrast to most other resorts, rebreather divers are welcomed. Diving with this equipment is configured to the number in the group and high-pressure oxygen is readily available at the resort. Bring your own chemicals.
By now the reader should be aware that this is an exceptional resort. This report would not be complete with out commenting on the food. And it is exceptional also. Depending upon the number of guests, food is served individually from the menu or buffet style. Both Indonesian and Euro/American dishes are served. Fresh fruit, home baked bread is always available and both lunch and dinner are started with a soup course. When buffet style is used, 6 entrees are available. Deserts are fresh baked pastries, fruit, ice cream deserts and a Pavlova once a week. A two-week rolling menu is used so very few guests ever experience the same dinner twice.
From the US, travelling logistics are easy. We fly Singapore Airlines to Singapore and then Silk Air to Manado. Silk Air is the local carrier of SingAir so there is no need to check/recheck baggage. We check in at Los Angeles and next see our baggage in Manado. We consider Sing Air to be a premier carrier and even go out of our way to fly it to other points in Asia. Upon landing in Manado, the entry process is effortless with no entry fee, a swift passport check and a luggage inspection process that is familiar with divers and U/W camera gear. Exiting the arrival building you will be met by DIL personnel and that is the last time you will have to lift your baggage for the remainder of the trip. Upon departure, DIL will escort you through security inspection and to the departure counter.
Lastly, does all of this service come at a cost?
It does and at price level below other competitors!
For example: 8 nights, 7 days, 14 dives is only US$1465!
Most desirable cabins are #1, 2; semi-pool side, closest to the dining & dive areas.
For complete information see: [ link]
In the United States during 2018, DIL will be exhibiting at Long Beach Dive Show in June and DEMA in November.
Authors background: 2400 dives across 94 foreign trips to the Caribbean and south Pacific.
Questions contact:

Websites Dive into Lembeh   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Caribbean, south Pacific
Closest Airport Manado Getting There see report

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Must use resort guide, no decomp diving[Unspecified]
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 4 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Best designed camera room, two extra large camera-only rinse tanks, cameras always moved in plastic baskets
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 2 Helpful votes
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 1260 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for Biodiversity, critters, Komodo, Raja Ampat, temples? We specialize in adventures to Indonesia.

Want to assemble your own collection of Indonesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2022 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.12 seconds