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“Friendly family run hotel”

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Kosrae Nautilus Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kosrae
Reviewed 23 December 2014

Doug and Sally are excellent hosts, genuinely wants to ensure you have a good time. Doug was so helpful with advice, especially regarding snorkelling around the blue hole. We also really enjoyed kayaking through the mangroves, which is free for hotel guests.

All of the staff were friendly and helpful.

We requested room 1 having read the review that mentioned picking up the free wifi. Our room had two double beds, TV, small wardrobe, sink, mini fridge and kettle with free tea and coffee.

An observation from a 6' 1" person… The beds are very short and the fixed position shower very, very low. Even my 5' 5" fiancée had to duck to get under the shower head.

We were only able to pick up the free wifi very rarely in the room using iPads and iPhones.

Our only negative comment was that we seemed to have a large amounts of ants, mainly in the bathroom, but some did venture as far as the bed. We understand that bugs are a fact of life on a tropical island and we feel in no way was the room cleaning at fault as the room was clean and fresh everyday.

The restaurant has a reasonable range of good food if you were staying for a few days but pretty limited for longer stays. Being about to order from the restaurant and have the food delivered to your room free of charge is an excellent touch but having menus in the room would be beneficial.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Dwain_Pipe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Microdoug, General Manager at Kosrae Nautilus Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2015

We enjoyed taking with you about your extended trip round the world.
Thanks for pointing out these things, we have remedied where we can. The guests that do receive the free wifi in room 1 have laptops. I have an iPad too, and they don't have good built in antennas. You are very correct about the height of the shower head. Many years ago we replaced all of the shower heads with hand-held shower heads on a 5' long hose. Unfortunately the one in your room had broken before your arrival, so it was temporarily replaced with a fixed shower head.
Sorry about the ants, they are attracted to food etc, and usually we are able to keep them outside of the rooms, but on occasion as you experienced, they do decide to find their way in.
We have a few additional daily specials now to help add variety to the menu, today's is pumpkin curry!

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Reviewed 22 November 2014

My husband and I chose to visit Kosrae Nautilus Resort as part of our honeymoon and we couldn’t be happier with our choice!

We are both scuba instructors and we were blown away by the diving around Kosrae. Clear blue water and the most enormous hard corals we have ever seen, plus sharks, turtles, rays and a school of hundreds of barracuda. Diving was professional and organized yet relaxed so it still felt like we were out for a dive with a couple of buddies. Three dive boats located around the island made it easier to dive the spots offering the best conditions each day.

The time we spent at the resort was just as enjoyable as the time underwater. Staff were friendly and attentive and offered some of the best service we have ever experienced during our travels. Our room was comfortable and kept very clean and the poolside deck gave us a perfect spot to sit back with a cold drink after a day of diving. We had all our meals there and the food was incredible. A couple of favorites- freshly caught seafood and crepes with local bananas, delicious!

They also arranged a great hiking tour for us. We got to explore the Japanese caves from WWII, learn about local plants and birds, sample some interesting fruits along the way and then finish the day off with a splash in the waterfalls.

During our stay we had the pleasure of spending time with the owners Doug and Sally and the rest of their family who made us feel welcome and right at home. They have created something truly amazing. The next time we find ourselves in that part of the world, a return visit will be at the top of our list.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank tracyallen531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2014

We were picked up by a van from the resort from the airport, as we were on a one-week package that included food, non-alcoholic drinks (more about this later), room, and two boat dives per day for five days. Except for arrival and departure days, just the last full day was a non-dive day.

Make sure to bring your own toiletries, as they provide two small bars of fairly useless soap, and no shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, or body lotion. There is no sundries store to buy such items, either. If you're female, bring your "feminine" products with you, too. The shop sells only tourist items, including dive booties and T-shirts, and has a limited lending library with donated books from past visitors.

We were the only two divers there for the week, as it's low season when we went (late August), so we had the dive boat and the DM to ourselves, which was great. Being experienced divers, we just went to places that the DM thought would be interesting dive sites, depending on surf (barely any, from what we saw), wind, and current conditions (though these seemed to be fairly consistent during our stay). We made mostly "drift dives;" but by "drift," it was almost more like a "run" dive, as the current was quite swift in places and we had to hold onto the hard coral to stay in one place to watch the eagle rays and barracuda as they swam against the current.

On a couple of the days, it was raining when we got up and went to breakfast, so we just delayed the departure time for the dive boat until after we'd eaten breakfast and the rain had let up. Every day, they rinsed our gear for us and hung them up to dry, which they did before our dives the next day.

Diving is the reason you'd want to visit Kosrae. We went on an historical tour of the island with a transplanted historian, Adam, originally from the United States, who took us, in his own car, to a cave in which a flock of birds built nests in the ceiling and used echolocation for hunting (the way that insectivorous bats do). We walked through ruins left by the first inhabitants of the islands, who likely came from Polynesia via island-hopping, before Europeans came and "discovered" the island in the 19th century AD. We had our lunch, which was packed for us by the resort and consisted of fish burgers, bananas, and tangerines, at a secluded waterfall, where we were free to cool ourselves in the waterfall's shady pool and watch tiny freshwater shrimp and snails, many of which have cracked and/or almost crushed shells that they continued to use.

We also saw fruit bats around the island, particularly during our evening walks before dinner. They seem to live on a small artificial island between the mangrove and the blue hole across the street from the resort, where the water is brackish and calm.

The "blue hole" has become a misnomer. Since they built the road to Lelu (that the resort actually fronts), there is less current flowing through the blue hole and it's become what we called "the murky green hole," from what we saw while snorkeling (my partner has been diving in blue holes before, and he said that it was nothing like this, as visibility is typically long and clear, and here, it definitely was neither.

There are lots of coral and mangrove, and there are lots of planted banana trees that grow small, non-starchy bananas that are tastier than the ones one finds in American supermarkets (for the most part). There are also wonderfully vibrantly green tangerines which are native to Kosrae, which the locals joke that other islanders come to take coolers full of to take home with them to the other islands. They're mildly sweet and distinctly citrus, though not as overbearing as many of the commercially-grown citrus in the United States tend to be. The tangerines and bananas were our snacks on the dive boat during our surface interval, which we spent mostly chatting with the DM, Salek (I don't know if that's how it's spelled, but it's pronounced sal (as in Sally)- eck (as in echo), with emphasis on the first syllable.

It's useful to ask for milk at the restaurant after checking into your room, if you want it for your tea or instant coffee in the morning before going to the restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant "officially" opens at 7, though locals start to arrive and hang out, smoking under the sheltered area next to the pool, around 6:30 or 6:45. If you're an ardent nonsmoker, eating inside the restaurant is your only opportunity to avoid the smoke.

The Internet service is spotty and relatively poor, so don't plan on posting to facebook or doing much else besides checking (text) email messages. Make sure any business you might have, like paying bills online, etc, is done prior to your arrival. Tell all your friends and colleagues that you'll be unreachable during your stay on the island. There are two Island Hoppers per week in each direction, so your stay on the island will likely either begin or end on either a Saturday (on a flight going towards Guam) or a Monday (on a plane going to Honolulu).

There will be a small jug of rainwater (filtered, I assume) in your room for drinking and brushing your teeth. This pitcher will be refilled for you if you take it to the restaurant and just ask the woman at the bar to refill it. We did this at least once per day, as we were trying to maintain good hydration for diving.

Speaking of the bar, unless you order wine, don't bother. Cocktails are remarkably weak. I ordered a coffee with Kahlua, and there was barely a splash of Kahlua in it. Not what I'd expect for what they charge for alcoholic drinks ($6 each!). It's a superficially religious environment, and it appears that while the local women are fairly strict (modest, wearing dresses, quiet, etc.), the men (our DM, Salek, the Australian son who drove our dive boat) are fairly irreligious and spoke of seeing the minister at church on Sunday morning, then seeing him in the restaurant Sunday evening, though I suppose if one isn't supposed to cook on Sundays, the man's not being irreligious by cooking since he's just eating. It's illegal to drink alcohol on Sundays, so don't count on having a cocktail or wind with your dinner. Sunday is also a day, apparently, on which housekeeping is allowed to take the day off, as our room was barely made the Sunday we were there.

One of the owners' sons, Josh, told us that while the wages are low on the island ($1.50 her hour), the employees are paid 8 hours for doing 2 hours' worth of work, so it's like being paid $6 per hour, which, considering the low cost of island living, is definitely a living wage.

The food served at the resort is unpretentious and nothing worth raving about. Their portions are definitely generous, as if they expect visitors' appetites to be at least double their own (or something like that). The menu is hit-or-miss. Hits are the fish burger, which we chose for every dive day for lunch (we had a choice of fish burger or chicken, and we chose fish; they brought the sandwiches onto the dive boat in case we stayed out past lunchtime), the breadfruit chips (of which I ate plenty since I knew they weren't going to be available at home anytime soon), the iced coffee (which they serve with simple syrup, which is the correct sweetener for cold drinks!), and the sashimi, both the "appetizer" portion (no rice) and "dinner" portion (with a large scoop of white rice; no brown rice to be seen in this mostly asian-inspired tropical culture). The New York strip steak is well-cooked; I substituted breadfruit chips for the baked potato. The salad veggies are grown in their own garden, which one may walk through: definitely fresh and young, though not with great variety.

Another table had ordered the seafood "feast" for dinner one night. It has to be ordered a day ahead (did they need the time to defrost everything?), and included a large lobster and large-bodied crab, with accompanying butter for dipping. I don't like eating with my hands, so we didn't order that. The curry is neither here nor there, and can be easily skipped. I tried it on our departure day for lunch, and while it was plenty hot in temperature (I ended up having to eat quickly as we were late for our shuttle to the airport), it was very, very mild in curry flavor (I expected a coconut curry, and was disappointed that it seemed to have come out of a box). The "crepes" are really flour tortillas, and can easily be skipped, too: I'd tried the banana-and-Nutella "crepes" and ate a little bit of the tortilla, but all of the banana, which was as yummy cooked as raw (when we had them on the dive boat). The fruit plate is definitely worth sharing with your breakfast (we shared one large fruit plate between us, and took the tangerines and bananas with us for our long return flight on the "Island Hopper" to Honolulu). The papaya is delicious, and I ordered it with my breakfast, in lieu of the full fruit plate, a couple of mornings. The omelets are beaten and fried eggs folded over whatever filling you choose, and the fillings are generously portioned. My partner had the bacon omelet a couple of days, and I had the mushroom-less beef and mushroom omelet once, then stayed with the vegetable omelet after that. They also have french toast and pancakes on the menu, but we're not heavy into starches, so we didn't order them.

There are resident ants who crawl over the entire countertop surface at the bathroom area of the room. Make sure to put all food-related trash into the receptacle right away, and then put it outside the room if possible (we ate all our meals in the restaurant, so we never had this problem, though the ants were still extant).

On our last morning, a small lizard/gecko climbed in through our bathroom window and ran around the bathtub, eventually getting out into the room, where we lost track of it (don't know if it ever made it out, as we'd stopped worrying about it and continued our packing after our amusement).

It was, in total, a wonderful week spent in (near) paradise.

Room Tip: We were in Room #1, which is nearest the services building and therefore had occasional Internet ser...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Nancyuen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Microdoug, General Manager at Kosrae Nautilus Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2015

Hi Nancy, unfortunately we didn't get to meet you when you were here, as we were away on vacation too. We'd have liked to have personally thanked you for helping out with our solar panel crowdfunding project, by purchasing your room and diving package. It's all installed now, and providing 18% of our electricity each month.
Thanks for pointing out the areas that you were less happy with during your stay, as it's the only way we can try to keep on top of making the place comfortable for our guests. I'll touch on a couple of them here.
Diving - you seemed to have had the strong currents that we searched for all of last week, but couldn't find. Mostly the currents here are rather gentle.
Alcohol - sorry about the lack of Kahlua in your coffee. None of our restaurant staff drink alcohol, so they don't appreciate the taste or strength. They should have used a measuring cup, but mistakes happen, sorry about that.
Seafood - yes we do need the platter ordered the day ahead so we can get it in fresh, as frozen lobster and crab are watery, and we refuse the serve it like that.
Toiletries - we normally have a combined shampoo/conditioner in the rooms too, but we have to order them in from California, and we were temporarily out of it when you were here.

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Reviewed 27 August 2014

We took a week's diving vacation here: I wish I had made it two (and not only because of the lengthy flights to get there from San Diego).

Kosrae itself is the easternmost island and state in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM - I just love that acronym, I was looking out for pirates the whole time!) and is reached by an island hopper operated by United Airlines between Honolulu and Guam. Flights westwards (out of Honolulu) operate each Saturday and Thursday, while eastward flights out of Guam are Monday and Friday. With only four flights a week, this is a very quiet island indeed! Airfares can be very pricey but there is a way to get a good(ish) deal; a 'Visit Micronesia' fare exists which is discounted but it has strings attached which mean that total cost is no less. Basically you have to stay overnight on at least two islands to get the rate but we took advantage of that to get in some extra diving on Pohnpei. To get the rate, you have to call United's 'Travel the World' desk; no other agents know about it.

Nautilus Resort is set up with a lobby/restaurant area and three blocks of single storey rooms, each with aircon and a private bathroom. The place has a pool and free wifi in the lobby, which is supposedly DSL but felt like dial-up. That is not the fault of Nautilus however: Kosrae is very remote so connectedness should not be an objective if you plan to stay here. The rooms are very clean and comfortable, and the restaurant, managed by Salik, has very good island style food in large portions. It isn't a gourmet restaurant but then you're not in Paris, are you? Unlike Paris, the vegetables are fresh and mostly organic, being grown in the garden behind the hotel.

We were there for the diving. Both Nancy and I are avid year round divers, mostly in the cold waters of San Diego, so with our world class local diving and the rare chance for a warm water diving break expectations are very high.
The first and best thing about this trip was that we were the only divers at the resort; I can't tell you what a difference that makes. the worst thing about busy resorts is the way dives can be a tedious splash-swim-surface sequence pursuing a divemaster intent on following a set routine no matter what. We made it clear to Josh - filling in for his parents - that we had no need of a nursemaid DM, or to be driven round a dive. We would be happiest just bumbling around a patch of reef finding out our own way (but always happy to be shown something cool). He was totally down with that and so our DM (Salik from the restaurant) was basically just another dive buddy, which was perfect.

The major determinant of our diving was, in fact, the current which was pretty extreme on one or two sites and present on every dive. The coral in this area is spectacular; all hard coral, very few fans or sponges (and small ones at that) with many crinoids and clouds of small fish in each coral head. This is not a big critter destination; you won't be confronted by huge mantas or big sharks but we saw eagle rays on four out of ten dives, turtles and sharks were there, along with the occasional shoal of larger reef and pelagic fish. The dive boats (they have three, located in different marinas ready to take advantage of optimum conditions anywhere on the island) are spacious and all have shade canopies. They're fast, too, although all the dive sites are very close by, usually not more than five minutes. Nitrox is available but I didn't see the point with most dives being above 60ft and only two dives per day. We did ten dives, with the sighting of a flight of ten eagle rays being probably the most memorable occurrence, although tearing along the reef in a 3 knot current was also pretty memorable!

What about the rest of Kosrae? fruit bats, fresh water shrimp nipping my toes, small bananas, the ruins at Lelu, the unreasonable number of churches, the 'Sunday laws', seka, there's lots to discover.

Room Tip: Get room one and you will be able to access the free wifi
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank pyjamaslug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2014

In my opinion, this is the best, most centrally located place to stay in Kosrae. I ended up staying 3 weeks (instead of 2) because I was having so much fun.
DIVING: I can't imagine a more spectacular place to dive. I went 8 times and each dive was like a National Geographic documentary. The nice thing about the Nautilus is they have dive boats docked in the 3 different marinas, so if conditions aren't perfect on one side of the island the other side is available. Their boats and equipment are well maintained and I trust them (which is very important when using rented equipment). I saw hundreds of different kinds of fish, turtles, eagle and sting rays, and on the day I didn't go they saw a hammerhead shark. The dive masters were very helpful, knowledgeable and kind.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Very clean, quiet and comfortable. There is a pool (the only one on island) which was great to swim in and relax by plus you can also snorkel and swim from the beach in front of the hotel. They arranged 3 different tours for me that were outstanding. The tours included an outrigger canoe trip through the Utwa mangroves, a hike to the Menke Ruins in Utwa, and the Lelu Ruins/Museum. Each guide was knowledgeable and accommodating. I went on 2 different sunset cruises in both Lelu and Okat harbors. In the Lelu harbor, there were dozens of turtles popping up and fish skipping over the water. Pretty amazing and beautiful. Paddle boards and kayaks are also available for rent and should not be missed! Internet is free in the lobby but be aware ALL internet on the island is slow. Phone/internet cards from Telecom are available for purchase but end up being unreliable and expensive ($5 for 32MB). Kosrae is a good place to unplug and unwind.
RESTAURANT: Hands down the best Fish and Chips I've ever had. I think I ate it almost every day. They also have a big garden in the back so salads were fresh and organic. Staff was great! Doug and Sally (the owners) are just wonderful people.
KOSRAE: The island is very small and relaxed. This is not Hawaii. There are no shopping centers. It's really a remote, third-world location where the people are friendly, diving is amazing, you'll feel safe and life is very slow and relaxed.

Room Tip: I think all rooms are about the same. If you want to be close to the pool pick room 1.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Donna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I recently went to Kosrae for work and spent 2 weeks at Kosrae Nautilus Resort. Doug and Sally, the owners, couldn't have been more friendly, helpful and accommodating. They were able to arrange trips and activities at the last minute, which allowed us to fit in some fun around our ever changing work schedule. They also kindly surprised one of my colleagues with a birthday cake.
The hotel staff were always cheerful and friendly, and made it a pleasure to stay there. If you're visiting Kosrae, I couldn't recommend this hotel more. Even the locals came here for coffee and dinner!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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3  Thank Lucy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

KNR was a great spot to stay in Kosrae. There's not a lot of excitement on the island which is why you travel here to dive so the hotel was a nice place to sit by the pool, enjoy some good food and rest between dives. You can walk to a few places not too far away but there's really nothing too close.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Scott K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Kosrae Nautilus Resort

Address: Kosrae 96944, Federated States of Micronesia
Phone Number:
Region: Federated States of Micronesia > Kosrae
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kosrae
Price Range: $172 - $225 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kosrae Nautilus Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Eighteen air-conditioned guest rooms and a restaurant, plus outside dining by the swimming pool. Full service NAUI dive shop, purpose built dive boats. Island tours arranged. The ideal location for business and pleasure travelers. Free airport transfers, and rental cars arranged. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kosrae Nautilus Hotel Kosrae
Kosrae Nautilus Resort South Pacific

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