Once you have been to Bunaken Cha Cha, there are few places that come close. On the occasion of our 30th anniversary, we decided to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. Surely a resort is a resort.....
Raf and Reiko have carved out a place of rest and relaxation that is world class. On an island that is a long way from Cape Town. An island that will stay with us forever.
On arrival, we were welcomed not just by strong young porters, splashing out to assist the captain, but a family of hounds waiting patiently on the shore, to see who their favourite guest would be. An immediate cocktail and welcome by Raf, then up some stairs and to our room. It was delightfully decorated with flowers and leaves welcoming us, I had a very teary eyed companion, as it was just so beautiful. Our rooms were always kept spotless. The staff unobtrusive, meticulous and honest.
As our visit was during the quiet season, we were often alone at the resort and spent many hours relaxing in our own piece of paradise. "Brexit" the youngest dog keeping us company. The communal dinners are a great institution, as Raf and Reiko are amazing hosts. We met and shared stories with interesting people from around the world. The food was wow! Reiko's team has the ability to combine flavours that left us asking for more (always leave space for desert and always pop down to the communal area by 3-30 in the afternoon, for something baked)......
Our snorkeling was the best ever. On the house reef,which is quite incredible - our own aquarium, we were privileged to be visited by a pair of spotted eagle rays, coming up from the deep. On an excursion with Mul (what a delight to be shown things that we would have missed), we saw the biggest lobster I've ever seen and banded sea snakes. Sometimes, I believe, the locals have had enough of the tourists... beware of the Titan Triggerfish if it's protecting its young. It was ferocious and did not give up until we had gone far away.
I am still amazed by the steep drop-offs, beautiful corals, fish, fish and more fish, of so many species and varieties. The treat of hot sweet tea, bananas and biscuits after 2 hours in the water, will be remembered for a long time.
Eventually holidays draw to a close and as we took our bags down to the lounge "Brexit" gave the 1st howl of our visit. I knew exactly how he felt, I was not ready to leave.
If you think you can leave unaffected by the staff at Cha Cha who look after you for a week, think again. When we left, the staff lined up on the veranda to waive goodbye. They were still waiving when we were almost out of sight. Yes we were crying half the way back to Manado.
Thank you Raf and Reiko for looking after that small piece of paradise. Your attention to detail is quite incredible, thanks for coming to find us in the storm and sitting with us until it was over. It's defitely an "au revoir", see you soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel/Resort situated on the clean and tranquil side of Bunaken Island comprising 3 Villas, 2 Superior Cottages and 3 Standard Cottages tastefully decorated, all with hot fresh water showers & A/C, exceptional views over the surrounding islands and mountains of the mainland. Cha Cha boasts its own quaint private beach, house reef and in-house Padi Diving Center. The Sea Top restaurant offers a variety of Indonesian, Japanese and fusion dishes with emphasis on healthy eating. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Hotel Bunaken Island