The Resort

Bastianos is one of the most recognizable names in North Sulawesi diving and they have a resort at Bunaken and one in Lembeh.
The Bastianos Lembeh Diving Resort was opened in November 2006 and is located on the west coast of Lembeh Island – overlooking the strait.

The key feature of Bastianos Lembeh resort is that it has surprisingly good facilities yet retains a very modest price. The resort has an elevated swimming pool and large open-air common room with great sea views, free Wi-Fi internet connectivity, satellite TV and a Spa room. Facilities you might expect from a more expensive holiday accommodation and not one of such clear affordability.

Our visit was in 2012, so I don’t know what the current status is but not having warm water in the standard room was a big disappointment.

The resort prides itself on its social atmosphere. It is a popular choice for regular vacation divers just wanting to dive, have fun and meet people.

Never the less, 'hardcore' diver photographers that want to do nothing but spend their time underwater are also common seen quests here.


Accommodations at Bastianos Lembeh are traditional wooden rooms with western style bathroom and hot water. This small resort holds 7 Standard Rooms and 2 Budget Rooms (both types are with Fan only) They also have 13 Superior Cottages with air-conditioning which are free standing for more guest privacy and have an ocean view from each of them.

For those who wish to relax, there is a hill top pool and bar to soak up the sun and a spa to indulge.

Superior Room with A/C

They have 13 Superior Rooms in total. All of them are located at the hill-side and overlooking the strait.

They are all with double bed (queen size) or twin bed (2 single beds), have AC and an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower, with hot/cold water and western-style toilet

Standard Room Fan

From the 7 Standard Rooms they have, most of them are with fantastic view to the ocean.

They are all with double bed (queen size) or twin bed (2 single beds), have fan and an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower, with cold water and western-style toilet.

Budget Room Fan

They have 2 Budget Rooms that can accommodate budget travelers or for divers when the size doesn’t matter. Budget rooms are similar to Standard ones but it is smaller.

They are all with double bed (queen size) and twin bed (2 single beds), have fan and an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower, with cold water and western-style toilet.

All the cottages and rooms have:

- Air-conditioning (Superior cottages only) and fan cooled
- Twin or double bed
- Private bathroom with shower
- Towels and soap
- Hot water (Superior cottages only)
- Elevated seaviews
- Mosquito nets
- Dressing table, bedside table, desk, chair, mirror and cabinet/shelves
- Electricity (2-pin plugs (220v), power socket adapters available)


Bastianos Lembeh Resort has a good range of facilities to enjoy your holiday in-between your diving at the Lembeh Strait.

You can lounge at the elevated swimming pool with glorious views across the strait;

visit the open-air lounge to watch TV, play a game of pool or connect with friends on the internet, or book yourself in for a session at the spa room for a massage.

They also arrange trips to Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve.
This nature reserve offers a large variety of wild animals, including the Tarsius tarsier one of the smallest known primates (that can only be found here), black tailless monkeys and maleo birds.

It's located at the foot of Dua Saudara Mountain.

They will arrange the boat transfer to Bitung and the transfer by car to Tangkoko for you. Once you'll reach the nature reserve a guide will be waiting for you.

It's all perfectly arranged by Bastianos!


Resort facilities include:

- Swimming pool with sun beds and shower
- Spa facility for Shiatsu and reflexology massage
- Elevated restaurant with views over the strait
- Satellite TV, DVD player, novels and fish ID books
- Free Wi-Fi internet throughout the resort
- Pool table

The restaurant

The restaurant serves fresh meal prepared by local chef and offers mix of traditional and international dishes.

Meals are served buffet style in the resort's large, roofed, elevated but open air dining area, where the gentle breeze and the wonderful sea-views add to the dining experience.

The set menu is a mixture of Asian and international cuisine with a few Indonesian specialties added to the mix. All meals are included (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon cake)

Fixed menu and buffet meals available:

- Breakfast: eggs, cereals, rice porridge, fruit, toast, fruit juice, tea, coffee.

- Lunch and dinner: 4 dishes - meat, fish, vegetables & varied other - plus rice, soup or salad, fruit or Indonesian dessert.

The Dive Center

The Bastianos Lembeh Diving Resort dive station has rinse tanks and a camera room with rinse tank and charging stations. Here, you can prepare your camera and store it.
The crew will carry your equipment and rinse it during your stay.

There are (cold) showers, equipment storage facilities and oxygen at the dive center.
They also offer a full range of rental equipment.

The Dive center manages several boats that will take you to Lembeh Strait in few minutes. They’re fast and all security devices are on board (radio, oxygen, first aid kit, safety jackets…)
Boat journey time is 2-30 minutes. Maximum number of divers per boat is 8. The complete diving staff speaks English.

Bastianos Lembeh has DIN/Int compatible tanks and offers enriched air nitrox (EANx) for qualified divers.

The Diving

Bastianos runs dive trips throughout the Lembeh Strait so you can see all the area's muck sites, as well as its coral reefs and wrecks.
Your 1st dive is at 8:30 hrs and 2nd at 11:00 hrs. The boat returns to the resort for lunch at 12:30 hrs. There is an afternoon dive at 14:30 hrs, a mandarin dive at 17:00 hrs and a night dive at 18:00 hrs.

The dive Guides have a high level of experience. They have been diving in Sulawesi and Lembeh for years and know the dive sides like the back of their hand.
They are expert creature finders and you'd be wise to stick close to them.
They also do a great job of taking care of your scuba gear too - packing, carrying it to and from the boat, rinsing, and locking up.

Same Faces

You will dive with the same guide and the same boat crew for your whole stay – because good mood on the boats is just as important as good diving. And diving with the same staff everyday means also, that the guide knows, what you like, what you have already seen and what you still need to see.

And the boat crew gets familiar with your dive equipment and camera.

No Dive Time Limits

Yes, we mean it. When diving from the boat or shore, you can stay as long as you want (air supply permitting).
The Guides will stay with you underwater for minimum 60 minutes (or longer) and wait on the boat for you, while you finish your dive in the shallows … as long as you want.

There is no maximum limit on bottom time on each dive so you can make the most of your Lembeh Strait scuba opportunities.

Small Groups

Muck diving is about finding small and often shy creatures. Plus the famous Black Sand of Lembeh is very fine and sinks slowly when stirred up. That’s why we limit the maximum group size to 4 divers per guide.

They also keep in mind to make ‘intelligent groups’, which means not to mix serious photographers with people that don’t want to spend 20 minutes on each creature…..


About the Lembeh Strait

Lembeh Island lies directly opposite the port city of Bitung, which is the 2nd largest city in Northern Sulawesi after Manado. Between Bitung and Lembeh Island you find the Lembeh Strait, internationally famous for its amazing muck diving conditions.

Lembeh Strait is a dive area rich with life. You can see more macro subjects here than you ever dreamed possible. The area of Lembeh is rich in dark volcanic sand, which is partially responsible for the rich marine life.

Lembeh’s low surge and mild currents make it ideal for macro and super-macro photography. Visibility is usually never great, but is always good enough for macro. While most famous for macro, Lembeh also has a decent number of wrecks, and a couple wide-angle spots to the north.

Although finding rare critters is easier in Lembeh than in most other dive destinations, the Lembeh Strait is much more than just the renowned muck-diving capital of the world.

Our evaluation

Our ratings below are based on our personal experiences. They are also adapted to our needs as divers. Meaning that we’re less focused on additional features.
Therefore you should only pay attention to our ratings if you’re planning a diving holiday.

Where we base our score on:

Accommodation: Room size, beds, cleaning, bathroom, location, environmentally friendly, etc.
Facilities: Pool, sport activities, organized trips, TV, Internet, phone, etc.
Dive center: Quality of equipment, boats, crew, dive guides, location, service, marine conservation, etc.

Scoring matrix


For Lembeh Strait diving that won't break the bank, with one of the region's best known operators, Bastianos Lembeh Resort is a very good choice.
Like its sister resort on Bunaken; this is not a 5 star luxury resort, but especially for divers like us it fits most of our needs. So, for divers without any high standard requests, this is the perfect resort!

The rooms are clean en decent, the only thing we can ‘complain’ about is the lack of hot water in the standard rooms. (However that was in 2012, and maybe that’s no longer valid)

The food is very good (Better than in Bastianos Bunaken), good variety and tasteful.

Like Bastianos Bunaken, I would not recommend this resort for a (non diving) family holiday.
This resort is not as kids-friendly as you might hope for, it has many steep stairs and no kids entertainment what so ever.
But then again, why should you go to the Lembeh Strait for a family holiday….. This is a divers paradise en not suitable for family holidays……

The dive operation is managed very well, and the crew is great.
Especially when diving in the Lembeh Strait your dive guide will make the difference!
It’s amazing what these guides find for you, and believe me without a guide you’ll probably find 10% of what they do…..

The dive center itself is a nice accommodation with everything a diver needs. From well-maintained rental equipment, good ‘air’ quality and even a camera room.
The complete diving crew is friendly and helpful.
The boats are in good condition as well.

Therefore we can highly recommend Bastianos Dive Resort lembeh!


Our verdict

Dive Center:
Total score: