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Dive Review of Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Strait

Lembeh Resort, Jun, 2013,

by Eric Eckes, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 7215.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
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 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Margi and I had originally visited Lembeh Strait in 2008 and had stayed at a resort on the mainland. This time, at Mike Hoppe's recommendation with Reef and Rainforest, we opted to stay at Lembeh Resort. Lembeh Resort actually consists of two separate operations. The resort itself is Lembeh Resort while the dive operation is independently owned and operated as Critters@Lembeh. Both are top notch and since diving is my passion, I'll start with Critters@Lembeh.

Critters@Lembeh has several spacious dive boats of varying sizes depending on the size of each days' diver load. On day one we were assigned Fengi as our divemaster. Fengi was very attentive but after the second day we found out we would have another divemaster. In fact, we were assigned a couple more divemasters during the next three days of diving which I'm not a fan of. Normally when we travel we are assigned a divemaster for the duration of our stay. We like this as it allows us to develop a rapport with the divemaster resulting in critter maximization for us and tip maximization for our divemaster. Fengi and another dive guide, Agus, were exceptional. However we also had a couple dive guides (to remain unnamed) that disappointed. They did little to point our critters.

Aside from the general great quality of the dive guides, there are a few other things that makes Critters@Lembeh stand out from the competition. First, we were given detailed dive briefings of every site we visited. Besides being great dive guides, these guides are talented artists as evidenced by their detailed dive site drawings. The guides are so talented that Critters@Lembeh annually publishes a calendar featuring the photographic and artistic talents of its guides. Second, on each dive our guides would carry white slates. At the end of each dive each guide would write the names of all the critters we had seen on one of these slates for our dive logs. I have never seen this before and it clearly differentiates Critters@Lembeh from its competitors. Finally, Lembeh Resort has its own dedicated marine biologist in Dimpy Jacobs. Dimpy has been with Critters@Lembeh for a number of years and is a talented finder of critters as well as a knowledgable resource. I rate Critters@Lembeh a solid five stars although it does have it's weaknesses. Lauren Siba does a good job in managing the dive operation although she sometimes loses site of who the customer is. A couple cases in point: 1) assigning divers multiple divemasters when the customer requests a given guide is unacceptable, and 2) we wanted to do a house reef dive on our last day at 1pm due to flight scheduling the nest day. As Critters@Lembeh normally conducts its afternoon dive at 2:30p Lauren initially balked at our dive request as the divemasters eat launch at this time. Eventually she acquiesced as it was our last dive of the trip and we had paid a significant amount to travel to Lembeh Strait. Besides the muck diving that makes Lembeh Strait famous, we also experienced an amazing Mandarinfish dive. The divesite is located in a small harbor filled with dilapidated and half-sunk boats that were well past their prime. The water was covered with an oil slick making us wonder how good the dive would be. Looks can be deceiving as we experienced the most amazing Mandarin fish dive of our lives. As they say in real estate, "location is everything" and Opo our dive guide found us the perfect site. Diving days were a combination of sunny mornings and rainy afternoons. Finally, Lembeh Resort has a house reef that is under development. We didn't see anything exciting on our two dives here although it was rumored that Blue-Ringed Octopi frequented the reef. With a little more customer-centric attitude this could be the perfect five-star operation.

Lembeh Resort itself is equally amazing. We had a room overlooking Lembeh Strait and it was quite spacious. Our room had a front living room and a separate bedroom with a king sized bed. The restroom/shower was equally spacious with showers both inside and outside of our room. Housekeeping was attentive and the rooms were always clean. One note about the rooms: Lembeh Resort is built on a hill and some rooms are quite a hike from the restaurant and dive operations so do your homework if want want the convenience of having a room close to these facilities. Internet is available throughout the resort, including our room, and we found speed to be above-average for dive resorts in Indonesia. Lembeh Resort has a nice restaurant and the food quality was exceptional. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet-style while dinner was served from a menu of generally three items. A lunch favorite is the Lembeh pizza which you can generally get anytime providing you provide the restaurant notice so that they have time to prepare the dough. While the food was great in quality I wish the variety were greater. The grounds are well-manicured and they have a beautiful pool that we would enjoy between dives.

Both Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh are high quality operations and both merit five stars and are high on our list of experiences we look forward to repeating.
Websites Lembeh Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Fiji, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Yap, Galapagos, Cozumel, La Paz, Yucatan Peninsula (Cave Diving) Malaysia, Philippines, Florida Keys, California Coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A 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 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Lembeh Resort has a spacious room dedicated to photographers. There are numerous defined user workstations that are supplied with both 110 and 220 power. Each workstation is supplied with a towel and extra towels are available as needed. Compressed air is supplied by scuba tank located next to one of the many rinse tanks on the property. This photo room is open early morning to late evening and is locked overnight.

My understanding is the photo capabilities were greatly upgraded during Steve Fish's 2 1/2 years tenure as resort photo pro. Steve left in late May 2013 and was left in the capable hands of Sascha Janson. Lembeh Resort has a separate photo shop where you can rent camera gear, get a piece of gear repaired, or take a photo class. During our visit my fiancee's video monitor stopped working and Sascha came to the rescue with a replacement.
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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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