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Dive Review of Papua Paradise Eco Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Papua Paradise Eco Resort: "Service with a smile...", Feb, 2017,

by Eileen J Dietrich, China, China (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 9473 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Papua Paradise is all about service with a smile. When we departed after 11 days it was as if we were saying goodbye to family. They have perfected the art of observation and anticipation of needs or desires. For example, I asked two days in a row for hard boiled eggs. Naturally, they had to make them which takes about 15 minutes. I did not have to ask for hard boiled eggs again for the rest of the trip. I mentioned once to another client that it’s a good thing all the donuts were gone (they were homemade and delicious) and he mentioned that his wife had taken the last one. About two minutes later, a hot donut was delivered on a plate to my table. We mentioned that I was celebrating my 800th dive and that night, a beautifully decorated cake was delivered to our table – the cake was big enough to feed all of the guests. They served us well and learned our habits very quickly.

The over water bungalows were comfortable and lovely; the staff cleaned them very well each day and serviced them according to our desires. For turn down service, we opted for all of the windows and doors to remain open and the mosquito nets up. They immediately accommodated our requests and checked in with us to make sure it was to our liking. The only disappointment about the bungalow was the showerhead positioned for a person about 5’7” and I am 5’10” and he is 6’3”.

The resort manager, Johan, is superb. He never said no to any reasonable request. He was calm, even-keeled, helpful, a great communicator, a problem solver, and someone who truly wanted our vacation to be stress-free. He was always around, always available, and never in a rush to stop for a conversation. He solved a number of minor issues for us and we did not have to ask twice. When Xpress Air (do not fly them!!!) canceled our flight, he immediately offered assistance from the company travel agent and assured us he would help sort out the issue first thing in the morning, which he did.

The whole purpose of being at the resort was to dive and we took advantage of 3-4 dives per day. Our dive guide, Deni was an amazing guide and communicator. He was calm, cool and collected at all times. He served with a smile and even after 4 dives he was still upbeat, passionate about diving, and smiling. We never heard him complain. There were many times when we had been under water 68-70 minutes and on the safety stop we would see something interesting; Deni ALWAYS let us explore and was as relaxed as could be. Additionally, I think there was only one critter he did not know the exact name of in 32 dives we completed. It was a rare nudi. Otherwise, he knew it all and he carried a slate which he used all the time to provide animal ID. He would also tell us about animal behavior above water and was always teaching when given the opportunity. He was a delight to be around at all times. Our surface intervals were fantastic – always on beautiful white, isolated beaches (or a pier if the beach was not near) and we were offered coffee, tea, hot chocolate as well as home-made donuts or pastries. The rest times were chill and enjoyable; we were given the freedom to swim, explore, sleep, etc. Because Deni was so relaxed, we were relaxed and enjoyed our time even more. Deni was also great about going to sites that accommodated our interests whether critters/macro or beautiful corals, fish life.

Mantas abounded. We saw them many times on dives (up to 5 but others reported up to 18) and also on the boat to/from a site. On a sunset dive, there were 3 mantas in front of our resort feeding at the surface. The boat would always allow us to see them and two kayakers had 10 minutes of mantas around them. It was amazing. After one dive we ran into a pod of pilot whales. We had the freedom to swim out to them and the boat, who had picked up other divers dropped them back in the water with the pilot whales. The captain and crew were always fantastic. We never had more than 4 guests on a local dive. For the more distant sites, we took a much larger speed boat which comfortably held 10 divers but there were only 6 that were scheduled. Much of the time, it was just two of us or three maximum diving with Deni. The personalized attention was fantastic.

There were day trip, local and paid trip options. Local trips left at 8 am and were as close as 5 minutes and as far as 30 minutes. These were two tank dives with a surface interval of one hour and snacks. The day trips left at 7:30 am and were between 30 and 45 minutes away. After the first dive, we would have a 1 hour surface interval with snacks then a second dive. After the second dive, we would have a lovely packed lunch and a 2 hour break before the 3rd dive. The surface intervals were always on interesting and beautiful beaches or piers/towns. The paid trips were to Fam and the Passage. There was a surcharge of $75 as they took the big boat and the dive schedule was the same as the day trips. The boat trips were a wonderful way to see the islands and explore the area.

The best service the resort offered was daily pick-up and drop-off in Sorong. It was a 1 hour 15 minute boat ride to Sorong and we selected Papua Paradise because we could arrive and depart on the days our vacation allowed. The other resorts only had select days which would have meant wasting several in Sorong on the way there or back.

The BEST location for the night dive was House Reef II. This reef provided excitement and non-stop action every single night dive. It was amazing. The House Reef I was great for snorkeling and had healthy reefs and great fish life. There is a black tip reef shark nursery so black tips abounded. We saw anemone fish, blue spotted stingrays, sharks, pufferfish, etc.

The resort does have a camera room but I never used it. I rinsed my camera in the rinse tank and then took it back to my room to change the battery and download the photographs. They did have padded camera bins for the boat.

Overall, Papua Paradise was a very relaxing and enjoyable host! You will not be disappointed.

Websites Papua Paradise Eco Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Galapagos, Bali, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mozambique, South Africa, Hawaii, Pacific, Palau, Guam, Yap, Maldives, Lembeh Strait, Kenya
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Don't fly Xpress Airline. You can fly from Jakarta or Manado.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Just the normal ones - no deco diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments They had a camera room but I never used it. There was a designated rinse tank and camera box for the boat.
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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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