Black Marlin Dive Resort

Black Marlin Dive Resort

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The highest profile dive resort on the Togeans, Black Marlin runs a tight ship which while very diver focussed in high season represents solid value in the off and shoulder season.

Travelfish says:

It is a sizeable operation, wrapping around the headland (and a massive banyan tree) between Lestari and Kadidiri Paradise, encompassing a beach bar, restaurant, massage centre and plenty of lounging around options. Likewise with the rooms there are a few options to choose from, with budget-focussed economy rooms with shared bathroom facilities through to quite smart, almost Mediterranean-styled rooms built into the cliff face.

Smart interiors. : Stuart McDonald.
Smart interiors. Photo: Stuart McDonald

This is a dive resort and non-divers attract a 10% surcharge to their room rate—on a past visit in peak season a few years earlier, we heard from guests who had their reservation cancelled when the resort discovered they were non-divers—so if you are not a diver (or don’t plan to dive) do make it clear when you make your booking to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In shoulder and off season this should be less of an issue as the resort will be half empty—as it was when visited in April 2018. At 50% of the room rate, the single supplements here substantial.

On our most recent visit we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, happily volunteering to show us all the room options and walk us through each. The massage centre was closed (the masseuse on vacation in Gorontalo we were told) but set among the mass of roots that form a ginormous banyan tree, the aptly named Banyan Spa looked to be ideal for a pamper.

Most rooms enjoy a seaside outlook. : Stuart McDonald.
Most rooms enjoy a seaside outlook. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Rooms are smart and well finished; all are whitewashed with blue or purple detailing. Glass-fronted, they are bright and airy and must be wonderful in the late afternoon light. Rooms are spacious and well kitted out with thoughtful touches like hooks on the wall, plenty of shelving and clothes hangers. Bed frames are all that faux-distressed wood with mosquito nets draped from above. Other facilities include a desk, bedside lighting and decorative masks on the walls. The primary difference between the standard and deluxe rooms is that the latter are larger and have better bathrooms—but either are a solid option. Balconies are quite exposed to passing pedestrian traffic and so the rooms are not overly private. Note the warning sign asking guests not to invite any beach dogs into your room: If a dog poops in your room, you’ll be cleaning it up—not housekeeping!

The economy rooms are in a two-storey wooden building set right above the boat landing. While these have shared facilities, they struck us as being good value (especially when compared to nearby Pondok Lestari), of a good size with a raised bed, mosquito net, cupboard and plenty of space for cat-swinging. The deal sealer though is the hammock strung veranda overlooking the harbour, which is ideal for surveying the surrounds. Expect some racket come the evening.

Economy room interior. : Stuart McDonald.
Economy room interior. Photo: Stuart McDonald

If you’re diving, the accommodation at Black Marlin is considerably better value than that on offer at Kadidiri Paradise in just about every way. As we mentioned, if you’re not diving, be sure to let them know beforehand.

Contact details for Black Marlin Dive Resort

Address: Pulau Kadidiri
T: (0812) 3830 7077;  
Coordinates (for GPS): 121º50'42.02" E, -0º21'20.43" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Dbl fan share bathroom
Economy room. Per person full board. Single supplement 50%. Non-diver supplement 10%
250,000 rupiah 275,000 rupiah
Standard double room
Per person full board. Single supplement 50%. Non-diver supplement 10%
300,000 rupiah 330,000 rupiah
Superior double room
Per person full board. Single supplement 50%. Non-diver supplement 10%
360,000 rupiah 396,000 rupiah

Reviewed by

Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

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