Raja Ampat Dive Resort Review

Review of Raja Ampat Dive Resort
This Raja Ampat Dive Resort review is based on my dive trip here in September 2017. As it was my first time visiting Raja Ampat in West Papua Indonesia, I never did any research about this place as I wanted to surprise myself. 

A surprise it was indeed as the Raja Ampat Dive Resort is really impressive. Imagine, an eco style rustic lodge, made entirely out of natural wood and carefully within the natural landscape of Waisai Island. 

As a dive resort, it is also one of the best that I have visited in a very long time. They have been around for years and is also noted as one of the best dive resorts of Raja Ampat. As the resort sits just by the beach, they have a private stretch of beach that is home to two beautiful jetties.

Raja Ampat Dive Resort
Just look at the pristine foliage at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort 
Review of Raja Ampat Dive Resort

The place actually looks more like a private resort, mainly due to the modern contemporary design and architecture. But a bonus was the friendly faces of the resort, which were all locals who knew their jobs. 

My group had been travelling from Alor Island to Komodo Island, then to Labuan Bajo before finally stopping here in Raja Ampat. Just to clarify, it is not easy to get here as it involves two flights, van transfer and a boat trip to get here. In general, you will spend probably half a day travelling.

Dive Resort Raja Ampat
The main reception area of the resort
But after a long  and tiring journey, the Raja Ampat Dive Resort was a pleasant surprise, especially when seeing the beautiful and cozy room units. 

In total, they have 12 units of villas, where 10 villas are double units and two of them being family villas. They come with full amenities, air conditioning, hot showers, mosquito nets, comfortable beds and standard toiletries.

Raja Ampat Dive Resort Rooms
Inside one of the rooms at the resort
My rustic room was the Dolphin units, which is around 32 square meters large, and it is really spacious. It was located closest to the dive center, and is built on higher ground. 

The other villas were sea facing and just meters from the private beach. Spacing between the rooms are wide, providing privacy from other blocks.

Each block comprises of two units side by side. So if you are traveling in a group of four, you can get rooms next to each other. And each unit comes with space for an extra bed.

Dive Resort Raja Ampat Review
The dive center at the resort
Dive Center at Raja Ampat Dive Resort 

My main objective was to go scuba diving at Raja Ampat, therefore this was the most crucial part of the resort. The dive center at Raja Ampat Dive Resort was the first thing anyone would see when they arrived here. 

Most dive centers tend to overdo their outlet, but here, it was slightly different. They have a complete dive center, but they do not over exaggerate the center. IT is functional and provided what scuba divers need.

Dive Center Raja Ampat
Some of the diving gear being prepped up before the 1st dive in the morning
More importantly is the dive master or dive guides, which are well experienced and fluent in English. They have years of experience and are locals who know the waters around Raja Ampat. 

For each of the dives, the morning briefing was done in front of the dive center and the dive master made sure everyone was listening to the brief. It is crucial that you listen well as they go into details about descends, ascends, currents and so on.

Diving Raja Ampat
Heading out for some serious diving from the resort
The Raja Ampat Dive Resort dive center is complete with all the standard leisure diving equipment needed. This means you can just come here empty handed and rent all the necessary equipment you need. 

They also have three dive boats which can take different groups to the many dive sites around Raja Ampat. The dive boats are pretty standard fibreglass boats so do not expect the luxury type of dive boats. 

Bird Watching at Raja Ampat Dive Resort 

As I am an avid bird watcher, but not the dead serious type, I was pleased to know that the resort also offers bird watching tours. This is done via the local village bird watching guide and the price is really reasonable. 

I had some free time before diving and one of the early mornings, I woke up around 4.00 AM to go bird watching in the area. My objective was to spot the endemic Bird of Paradise, and about 40 minutes from the resort was one of the sites. 

My local village guide and me took a stroll through the village roads and then into the pristine rainforest to see this beautiful bird. To cut a long story short, on that Raja Ampat bird watching trip, I did see the Red Bird of Paradise and about 25 other bird species in that three hours.

Jetty at Raja Ampat
The main leisure jetty at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort
Raja Ampat Dive Resort Restaurant

The resort has only one main restaurant and common area where all meals are served. There is no rooms service, but you can specially order from the restaurant and they can send the meals to your room. 

I have to say that the Raja Ampat Dive Resort restaurant is pleasantly welcoming and the food served is of international standards. A choice of local and continental cuisine is available, but on a daily basis, buffet meals are served as it is part of your Raja Ampat Dive Resort package. 

For anyone planning to make a booking for Raja Ampat Dive Resort, note that the packages come in full board which includes boat transfer from Waisai Harbor. This will make your stay easy and convenient for those who do not want to worry too much.

Photos of Raja Ampat Dive Resort

Below are some random photos taken in and around the resort. Just take a look at the day and sunset photo taken from the same angle. I have to admit, the place is perfect for any kind of travel, may it be leisure, honeymoon, wedding, exploring or scuba diving.

Scuba diving Resort Raja Ampat
Photo taken in the day at the resort
Sunset at Raja Ampat
Photo taken during sunset at the resort
R4 Photo
General view of Raja Ampat
Activities at Raja Ampat Dive Resort
The activity board at the dive resort
Picture of Raja Ampat Dive Resort
The headline on the notice board is 'Spot-On'
Room Photo Raja Ampat Dive Resort
A room photo from one of the other rooms at the resort
Raja Ampat Dive Resort Picture
A sea swing for those wanting to get some epic photos
Conclusion 

Having only been here for the first time in my life, I probably have to re-visit Raja Ampat to experience other dive resorts here. But on a first timers experience to Raja Ampat, my conclusion to staying here is that it was a wonderful experience. 

I honestly could no find any mistakes or problems staying here as everything was clockwork. The staff knew what they were doing and most importantly, they knew their roll in this industry. 

Food was excellent and choices were rather interesting. The tea breaks saw local cakes and also western desserts being served,which was carefully thought of.

Photo of Raja Ampat Dive Resort
Me when I just arrived at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort
How to get to the Raja Ampat Dive Resort 

Generally, it takes a couple of flights, bus ride and a boat ride to get here. To know more, I wrote an article on how to go to Raja Ampat for anyone interested. Again, you need to allocate one day to get here and one day to get back. 

From Sorong in West Papua, you can also take Bahari Express ferry to Raja Ampat as this is the most reputable boat service here. The experience is well worth it as it only takes a few hours from Sorong city. 

I hope this Raja Ampat Dive Resort review will come in handy for anyone planning to visit here for scuba diving, bird watching or just to experience this beautiful place. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below and thank you.

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