My husband and I stayed at Angel Island for 6 nights on our honeymoon. By far the most expensive place we’ve ever stayed so we had high expectations.
The resort is beautiful with a peaceful private beach. With only 10-12 lodges there the beach is never crowded and the sun beds are nicely spaced to make you feel it’s your own beach! The snorkelling off the beach is very pretty and free use of kayaks means you won’t be bored when you need a break from the sun bed.
The food in the restaurant is amazing with a beautiful setting looking out over Komodo National Park. There is lots of choice so after 6 nights we weren’t getting bored at all with the options. The staff in the bar and restaurant couldn’t have been friendlier and were always available if you wanted drinks or snacks at any time of the day.
Our only slight issue was when we tried to book some trips with them before we arrived; In the initial emails the manager was very non-committal and I had to push him to allow us to book in advance and then when we arrived there was confusion around when we could do the trips and mixed messages about start times.
The trips once we were on them though were great and we did 2 days of diving and snorkelling (I dive, my husband snorkels) with them which was absolutely incredible! Please be aware if you’re a single diver they won’t take you if there aren’t other divers BUT there are companies in Labuan Bajo who will pick you up if you get there and there are no other divers.
We were on the boat with the owner of the resort who also helps as a dive guide (which we thought was great) and we mentioned the confusion earlier in the week. She was really lovely and apologised saying she would speak to the staff to find out what happened. She gave us confidence that she wouldn’t let it happen again and hence we’ve given the place 5 stars still! Would recommend and would love to go back one day.
This is a very quiet, very private resort, with only 10 cottages total. At any given time, we saw only a few other guests, such as at breakfast - even on the beach, we might see 1 or two other couples. We really liked that aspect, because it allowed us to rest and recharge from a very busy itinerary.
The food is very nice, with a wide choice - we enjoyed everything we tried, and felt they must have an excellent kitchen staff. Everything is included except alcoholic drinks, which were not priced badly (cheaper than many places in Makassar, for example; 45,000 for a large Bintang, 70,000 for a rum and coke, etc)
The rest of the staff was also wonderful, very warm, friendly, and helpful; and even before our visit, the manager, Denny, patiently answered all of our many questions.
The house reef is really beautiful - it truly seems special as it was vibrant and flourishing, and had many fish I've rarely seen while snorkeling - I was eager to spend time each day of our stay getting in the reef and see what else would happen by, such as the dusk visits from a little stingray, often chased by an smaller black-tipped reef shark.
The resort also operates a dive center; while I don't dive, my friend and I were able to go along on a dive and I was able to snorkel some great locations such as Manta Point (and I was lucky enough to see mantas - not always easy for a snorkeler).
They have their own very well-maintained boats; while the price for taking one may seem high to some (around 2,500,000 in July 2019), we felt it was worth it in terms of safety and reliability, and we used this means to go to Rinca Island to see komodo dragons. We felt even better about this choice when we spent a little time in Labujan Bajo, where we saw many boats that didn't seem in such great condition.
Overall, this is one of the best resorts I've ever stayed at - I feel it offers better value than such places as the Conrad Maldives (where I've been among others), due to the privacy, the wonderful reef, the great staff and endless tasty food. That Conrad is nice, to be sure, but it simply couldn't provide the same sense of quiet bliss.
The only very minor improvement I would suggest is to add a few single-person deeper-seat kayaks; what they have are either large 2-person kayaks (unwieldy for one person) or very shallow-draft single-person kayaks, which require very careful attention to balance at all times, which i find disrupts serenely coasting.
16 Jul 2019
The resort is beautiful. Pick up and drop off at the airport went without a hitch, and the resort is a shortish boat ride from Labuan Bajo. We were welcomed and shown around the hotel and beach. The staff are all really friendly and accommodating. The room was huge, super clean (not even a cobweb on the very high pointed ceiling!) and well equipped. I'm no big fan of outdoor bathrooms, but it was very private. It was let down slightly by the fairly dim lighting. We had a couple of gaps in water provision while taking showers, but only for about 90 seconds at a time. The resort has a lot of eco touches such as using desalinated sea water. I thought this wouldn't be great for my hair but whatever the shampoo and conditioners supplied are (in reusable bottles), they are really fantastic! I enjoyed watching the birds flitting around the grounds - a few feeders to entice them closer tot he rooms would be a nice touch.
The menu was really varied, and for a vegetarian it was lovely to be able to sample some Indonesian dishes without meat. Alcohol is chargeable but reasonably priced. We were there in monsoon season so didn't end up swimming or snorkelling off the island as the sea was a bit choppy, and we were a little put off by the jellyfish. The public beach looked like it would have been calmer though. It was nice to see the fish darting around the reef off the main beach. It was sad to see how much rubbish washed up at low tide (no fault of the resort who did a great job of clearing it so it didn't return to the sea, as well as collecting driftwood and other bits washed up).
We took a trip to Rinca island to see the dragons which was an excellent day out. The trip prices seem high compared to what you'd likely get in Labuan Bajo but considering you get a boat with a staff of 3, and snorkelling at a spot without any other boats it was good value.
We arrived to a very warm welcome and instantly fell in love with this small paradise island. The rooms are spacious, spotlessly clean and very well equipped. The bed is huge, the outdoor bathroom luxurious and the fridge is well stocked.
The beach is a short walk through lovely grounds and the view out to sea at the surrounding islands is stunning. There are nice sun loungers on the beach and we only saw 1 other couple on the beach during our 3 night stay. Picture pure white sand, blue sea, beautiful sunsets, distant islands and a cold beer and you've got it!
The food was fantastic and all included and we never went hungry, we even had cakes brought round at 4pm. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful and it was great to meet Kate the owner. She made us feel so welcome and encouraged us to join a dive boat for a snorkelling trip, that was the best advice ever given to us! We went to an amazing spot that resembled an exotic fish tank, I have never seen so many fish and such a variety and of course the spectacular coral. Our guide was great, he looked after us ensuring we didn't hit any strong currents and pointed out so much that we would have otherwise missed. We then went on to Manta point and experienced our lifelong ambition to swim with these majestic creatures, what an experience that will stay with us forever.
The house reef was also something to remember, just walking out knee high to an incredible variety of coral and marine life. We even saw black tipped reef sharks in the shallows and a small pod of dolphins out past the reef.
We had absolutely no complaints and thoroughly enjoyed our stay just wishing that we had booked for longer. We didn't have enough time to fully immerse ourselves in island life and enjoy the beach, our room loungers, go kayaking or have a spa treatment and so will go back as soon as we can to enjoy paradise again. If you like peace, quiet, good service, excellent food and unforgettable dive/snorkel opportunities you will not be disappointed.
Paradise is a pretty personal concept - one size does not fit all. But you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere more idyllic than this small, charming boutique resort. Angel Island Eco Resort is on a small island about 30 minutes out from the bustling picaresque port of Labuan Bajo, Flores. As such it is well located - close enough to the best dive sites of Northern Komodo but blessed with sea breezes to give one a break from the dry heat of this, the eastern dry end of the Indonesian archipelago. The scenery is amazing - every horizon is a postcard of rugged volcanic islands perched above blue water, with small boats scurrying around. Often, fish will be seen jumping in the shallows while Sea Eagles wheel overhead. There were baby Black Tip Sharks just off the beach and some very good snorkelling down at the point off the restaurant, including a big school of small Trevally, Razor Fish and masses of reef species. The diving in Komodo is absolutely world class - not just the quantity of fish (which is off the scale) but the diversity of species is something I have not seen elsewhere. Yes, there are currents to contend with, but Angel Island's Dive crew were excellent - briefings were detailed and so informative that one had a clear idea of what to expect. We were very well looked after.
The rooms are among the best we have stayed in - huge - around 50 square metres bedroom alone. Beautifully turned out in the local hexagonal design with rap-around views of the rainforest vegetation and a massive californian king size bed. Sadly, owing to prolonged drought, the island looks a bit parched at present, but there was still enough vegetation to provide some shade from the hot sun (for which we were grateful). The bathrooms are semi-outdoor and simply superbly designed - encircled by a stone wall and very private. The rooms are well scattered across the site and there is a sense of spaciousness to the resort. The air con works well and there is the bonus of a decent coffee machine that makes great coffee. A water cooler in each room, a big flatscreen TV (with movies on a USB stick) and a slot for SD cards (so you can check out how your photos are going...there was not one complaint about the rooms. I guess to be picky, there could be a reading lamp but otherwise - perfection.
The staff are incredibly polite and hospitable - nothing is too much trouble for them. The resort is 'all inclusive' (which is new for us) and this means that you are invited (actually encouraged) to order food and beverages whenever you want! All soft drinks; shakes; juices are also included. We were quite well fed out on the dive boat for lunch, but got into the indulgent habit of a 'second lunch' back at the restaurant after we returned from the dives. The restaurant is the hub of the resort and is staffed all day - so is the kitchen. Anytime we walked past they would ask us if we wanted to order anything...so we obliged! The menu is extensive and we worked through it over the week we stayed. Pretty much all tastes are catered for and they will make food to order for any dietary requirements. As mentioned in another review, some local music or something a little more atmospheric than rock ballads of the 80s would be better to set the mood - there seemed to be variations of the one playlist each night. Still - not a big deal at all and conversation always flowed freely - so much to talk about after each day's diving.
One of our favourite places to hangout was the library - just set a few metres back from the gorgeous beach with views across to Rinca Island. This is a thatch open-air hexagonal platform with bookshelvesin various languages and comfy chairs. We would often sit for an afternoon beer and even just listen to the waves gently laping on the beach; the birds rustling through the leaves and the fountains bubbling. It was so relaxing. And around 4:00 pm every afternoon Fredo would find us with afternoon tea - some freshly baked scones our cake! We found we were either diving, eating, or about to eat!
The diving features intact hard coral reefs and some soft coral ledges and bommies. I dont think we have seen better fish life anywhere - the variety of fish of all sizes was most impressive. And the whole reef was buzzing with action - cleaner stations everywhere - schools of fusiliers being rounded up by Bluefin and Giant Trevally. Sweetlips of various species and masses of Moorish Idols; Angel Fish and Butterflyfish. We saw Mantas on three or four dives and Turltles on most - also quite a few White Tip Reef sharks and the odd Grey Reefie. Diving tends to be either as a drift dive (fun but challenging for photographers) or diving in the lee of large bommies and islands. You could see the current swirling at each end, but simply dived in the shelted lee. It is a little beyond novice skill level but nothing that someone with 40 dives or so couldn't handle. And the dive guides are very good at setting the scene and explaining the current limitations. We loved it and will return in September 2020 if not sooner!
20 Oct 2018