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Dive Review of Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Straits

Lembeh Resort, Nov, 2013,

by Steven Levin, VA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 7433.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments First the reasonably good part.

The resort operation is well managed by a very nice couple from Portugal - Anna and Miguel. Any request I posed to them was immediately addressed. The resort staff was pleasant and efficient.

Many reviews have discussed the rooms which I found to be adequate and superior by local standards. They are more or less on par with the other top end resorts in Lembeh. As noted the rooms on the cliff side are more modern but involve navigating some number of steps. At night these steps could be a problem as they are uneven in both surface, size, and lighting. If you have problems going up a few flights of stairs - these are not the rooms for you.

The rooms themselves have air conditioning, a cold-hot water machine, and Wi-Fi. The lighting is adequate and most of them on the cliff have good views. Personally I would have preferred a television - resorts such as KBR, Kaswari, and Lembeh Hills all have televisions. On the plus side of the cliff rooms - they are quiet.

Food is reasonably good. As noted in some reviews - items on buffets - especially breakfast were warm vice hot. There was never a problem requesting eggs for breakfast and any other request for lunch or dinner was met promptly and without any hesitation.

Now the bad. The dive operation. All of these comments were conveyed both to the dive center manager - Lauren and the resort managers - during and not at the end of my stay.

I had paid for a private boat and guide for myself and my friend. Here is the statement on the resort-dive center website and in correspondence.

A private boat is also available from 7:30AM to 5PM for an additional $175 per day. The private boat includes your own guide and gives you the option to dive when you like, and for as long as you like. You can essentially create your own schedule with a private boat. Your guide will discuss your personal preferences with you, what critters and dive sites you specifically would like to see, and will give you the option to return to the same dive sites as many times as you prefer. Your personal dive crew will take care of all of your gear and camera equipment, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time in Lembeh hassle-free.

Unfortunately - none of these statements are true.

1. We were not asked where we wanted to dive.
2. We really could not dive when we wanted.
3. We were actively encouraged NOT to dive as long as we wanted.

Our first guide, replaced with two dives remaining, never asked where we wanted to dive despite attempts to discuss and select dive sites. The following is the interaction on the last day of diving that led to our request that he be replaced.

1. Where should we go diving?

Response - a muck dive.

2. Where would you recommend?

Response - dive guide goes to front of boat and never answers.

If that were not enough then there was my attempt to borrow tools to replace a battery. The guide's initial response - "I don't have tools". No attempt or interest to assist. With persistence he says - go to the camera shop. I then find it is closed on that day - known to everyone.

OK, I want to see the dive manager. No manager is found - she is having a day off - I learn later but no second in command is provided. Finding any appropriate tools fails. By the way, after discussing this with the resort manager - he finds tools the next morning.

You might think a private guide with a "dive as long as you want" would stay with you through the dive. Not so. He consistently left after 60 minutes.

As far as dive when you want. There was no way to start at 7:30 AM as that is when the dive staff arrives. My attempts to start before 8 AM were simply ignored. The majority of the dive staff leaves at 4:30 PM. This became very apparent with our second guide who insisted on banging his tank incessantly starting at 4:30 PM because he wanted to return to the resort.

As I told the resort managers - the resort is the sum of the parts. A major part is the dive operation which I found unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, the dive operation is a concessionaire that is beyond the control of the resort managers.
Websites Lembeh Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Worldwide
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive operator wanted to return to resort by 4:30 PM or earlier.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments They have a camera room but I did not use.
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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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