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Reviewed 8 November 2015

I travel twice a year to Bali, and when I do, I try to get in a week or so of scuba diving.

Bali has several areas with good diving, but none has the variety and ease of Tulamben. Where else can you walk into the ocean from the beach, swim 2 minutes, and see the wreck of a World War II freighter? People travel 3 hours from the bigger tourist areas to see it, and you are a 3 minute walk from it.

I stayed at Matahari Resort Tulamben. It is not my first time staying there, and it will not be the last. Matahari has the perfect blend of ‘old Bali’ and comforts of a nice resort. Many of the staff know me by name, and they always have a smile when they greet me.

It has rooms from the basic to the luxurious, and all of them are clean and well-appointed. The staff always has a smile on their face, and they re quick and efficient. There are rooms for people traveling alone, and a room that will accommodate an entire family.

There is also a small cafe right next to the cobblestone beach, where you can have breakfast or dinner, or just sip a beer, while you watch the ocean and the divers coming and going. If you get up early enough, you will be treated to a world-class sunrise.

But my favorite reason to stay at Matahari is because of the dive staff. They are friendly, courteous, highly-trained [one of them is now an award-winning underwater photographer], and eager to see that you have a great diving experience. Their equipment is modern, well-maintained, and they even offer Nitrox gas at no extra charge [they were the first to do this, and now other resorts are struggling to keep up].

If you are a beginner, they have a kind, patient dive instructor who will make you feel at ease while you learn the skills to dive on your own. Or you can dive with a guide, and they know the best places to find the ‘secret’ things: a frogfish waiting for a meal, a cleaning station where grouper come to have shrimp remove parasites, an area with tiny, amazing nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses less than ¼ inch long. If you have more experience, they will give you suggestions for diving, but let you go out on your own.

And one of my favorite parts: there are porters to carry your heavy tank and dive gear right to your dive site [there are 4 of them within short walking distance, and 5 more by boat or car]. You only carry your mask and fins.

Tulamben is so renowned, you will see many photographers from around the world come to see what they have to offer. And the dive staff is always happy to show them things they may have never seen or photographed before.

I have been staying with Matahari Dive Resort for nearly 5 years now, and each year I see new projects and more improvements. Suci, the owner, is involved with the resort every day, and you can often find her walking around the grounds, making sure everything is running well. They have 3 wi-fi hotspots with signal to virtually all the rooms, and several times each week, they organize day trips to other dive spots around the island.

They’ve been so successful in this basic, easy approach that they’ve even taken over a small hotel across the street that was struggling. They call it the Matahari Guest house. There, if you don’t mind an extra 1-minute walk, you can have a larger room for the same price. And all the privacy you would want.

Needless to say, my only sadness is when I leave Matahari. But I know that I will be back, as soon as time and budget allow.

Room tip: I like staying in the Guesthouse across the street, for the peace and privacy.
Date of stay: October 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MichaelFlaDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2015 via mobile

Budget: backpacker

Pros: friendly staff, decent size breakfast, comfortable beds

Cons: wifi patchy (in fairness they explain the external reasoning for this on their site), air vents in rooms means noise travels easily

Overall: While Tulamben itself doesn't have much charm, this hotel was quite nice even if we never really fell in love with it. A decent choice for the price if coming to Tulamben and would stay here again

Date of stay: November 2015
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Decamoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2015 via mobile

It is the best experience I ever had.
Me and friends total 15person,and spend 3nights here.

For resort,everything is perfect ,rooms are clean and have hot water and A/c
Food is delicious and juice are always served when you need.
Swimming pool is also good,very clean and convenient!

For diving,everything is perfect too,They can arrange very soon according your need

We are 15 persons and have 4 guide to help us.we just jump to the sea and don't worry everything!

Total price is perfect too,very high value.
Thanks for all especially Suci^^We sure be come back to this beautiful place again!

Date of stay: October 2015
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Emily1129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2015 via mobile

If you are looking for a little secret paradise in Tulamben and wanting to combine it with a great diving experience, excellent food at the restaurant and exceptional balinese full body massages, Matahri is THE place to be.

I was injured (I was the girl with the injured leg and crutches due to a motorbike accident, so be very careful with those;)) and I was constantly asked by the staff members and even the owner Suci herself if I needed help.
Amazing people with such big hearts, service was excellent. We were staying actually at another place initially but when we saw this resort, we decided to move there. We had to move there ;)

We mainly ate great food and and enjoyed fantastic massages for an entire week.

Each time I entered the spa, we were greeted with a nice cup of tea and then guided to the room. Even though I am absolutely picky about massages and I insist that people know what they are doing, I could absolutely let go of any control and enjoy an absolutely fantastic full body massage. "Santi" was my masseuse for the entire week. She is very professional and knew exactly what she was doing. All the girls are certified and excellent masseuses. Would definitely return just to enjoy this little paradise and its warm and welcoming people again.

It was very hard for us to leave this resort and move to the next city. We had great relaxing time there.

Date of stay: September 2015
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Companion153614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2015 via mobile

We initially booked another diving center and its guesthouse as it was cheap.. however, we noticed that everyday from our 1st day in Tulamben, we were going to Matahari Resort, just walking distance, to do our daily massage, or just relax in their pool area and eat in their great restaurant overlooking the sea. We were lead to Matahari even by our other guesthouse when we asked for Spa and great food. Everything was there!!! I was so relaxed there... we can really spend the whole day just lazing around (we haven't even booked the resort initially), so imagine how good it was... we hang out there from morning until before going to our hotel to sleep..... just enjoying the sound of the sea and fully relaxing. Imagine how good Matahari is to us as we were not initially official guests. We were allowed to stay there until wee hours. I love the place and the ambience and the nice people! Eventually, we moved and checked-in to Matahari Resort.. thats one of my memorable experiences in Bali.

ON DIVING:
On initial day in Tulamben, I had initially booked my diving in a cheap dive site per my research before getting to Bali. They had mixed reviews... and unfortunately I had bad experience in that other place, and I did not pass their Discovery Diving... my ear was hurting badly under the sea and I had lost my confidence and bearing while diving. I realized after, it was due to lack of educational training before they brought me underwater. I couldn't accept it as I have done initial diving back in Dubai and had passed with flying colours. And I had been advised by that dive site not to do diving in Bali and to try again when am back in Dubai (and find a school with a swimming pool). Not getting a license in Bali was not in my plan... i went to Bali to get my open water license! I was so disappointed. I couldn't accept it so had decided either to find a better diving school in Tulamben and in Amed. Luckily, when we were lazing the pool of Matahari again, and we met this helpful and lovely lady, luckily she is a dive master, and she suggested Matahari. Matahari has a swimming pool to do initial classes (so it was great as that was missing in the other school).They asked me to read theories first (which is critical before even going underwater! I didn't do this in the other school). I learned how to equalize in water (otherwise it will be dangerous!). My diving instructor, Didi, was the best. My other instructors there working for Didi were also great. After my trauma i my previous school, with them, I felt safe underwater! :) The cost for diving? The diving cost was cheaper than I had expected from a great resort (so good deal for me). They had a promotion then and the price for diving alone was good!!! Overall diving package was great (accomodation, free meals, free 1 massage, free pickup and drop-off). I was jumping with joy when Didi gave me my license. I did it! He has reminded me with so many things.. i promised I will be great when I do my dives and will follow all his lessons. Also, Tulamben is one of the best places to dive in Bali! Win-win! I saw Suci place, the USAT Liverty wreck, Coral Garden and Drop-off. Great diving experience for me!

ON THE HOTEL:
They have different ranges in terms of hotel rooms. To ensure I get to fully relax, I got one of the bigger bungalow for sharing with my friend. Price was reasonable. Room was clean, simple, nicely decorated. There was an ample area for an extra mattress. The shower is sooooo
good (had experienced several in Bali before Matahari, so I can appreciate it!). It was clear, Suci, the hardworking and kind owner, has thought about all of the little details needed to make guests comfortable. My friend was injured when we were in Uluwatu (motorbike accident so be warned!), and they took extra care of us. It was pure bliss and am grateful. There are cheaper accomodation, but Matahari's place is reasonably priced and just beside the beach, everything is there including the best spa we had tried in Bali and best food. Its our little paradise.

Great experience! We were treated like family and went beyond what we expected. Am thankful! Thanks to Suci, Alison, Didi, Wayan Ardika, Suwena, Wayan Eda, and all the people in Matahari who made our stay in Tulamben simply amazing!

Date of stay: September 2015
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank avillanu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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