The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on ...
Hidden amongst an archipelago of uninhabited islands in the remote southern region of Raja Ampat, Misool Eco Resort is a spectacular private island hideaway dedicated to sustainability. Lying at the heart of the Misool Marine Reserve that has helped to protect the region’s outstanding biodiversity, Misool Eco Resort offers the variety and quality of liveaboard diving, combined with all the comforts of a private island resort.
Located in remote Raja Ampat, hidden amongst an archipelago of uninhabited islands, Misool Eco Resort is an idyllic private island hideaway, fringed by white-powder beaches and pristine coral reefs. Situated some 165km from the nearest port, and around a 20km boat ride from the nearest village, the resort offers a genuine sense of escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Embracing a sustainable model from the outset, Misool Eco Resort is built entirely from reclaimed tropical hardwoods milled on site and the resort can now accommodate a maximum of 40 guests with a staff-to-guest ratio of 4 to 1.
Established on the former shark finning island of Batbitim, Misool Eco Resort and its sister organisation Misool Foundation, created the 300,000 acre Misool Marine Reserve in 2005. Today, the two organisations aim to provide exceptional and enriching experiences in a sustainable environment whilst protecting their natural surroundings and the community in which they operate. Together, the resort’s dive team have explored more than 60 dive sites within Misool’s Marine Reserve and offer over 25 world-class locations within 15-minutes of the resort – including Fiabacet, Boo, Yilliet, Wobbegong City, and Magic Mountain.
Misool Eco Resort’s eight rustically-luxurious Water Cottages are built on stilts over the North Lagoon, just steps from the dive centre and restaurant. Meticulously designed for comfort, privacy, and sustainability, each cottage features air-conditioning and a Balinese-style open bathroom with fresh hot and cold showers. Additional facilities include handcrafted furniture and fittings, and a mini-bar stocked with treats from around the archipelago. The veranda is framed by a traditional grass roof, offering exceptional views, plenty of privacy and relaxing shade. There is also a hammock for lazy afternoons enjoying the view or a good book. Stairs lead down from the veranda to the north lagoon, and the House Reef is just a few fin kicks away.
The North Lagoon Villas are located in a similar area to the Water Cottages and have been meticulously designed for comfort, privacy, and sustainability. Each North Lagoon Villa features sumptuous Balinese-style open-air bathrooms with fresh hot and cold showers, air-conditioning, and a spacious veranda. Crafted in harmony with nature, each villa offers its own individual charm and bespoke living spaces. Villa Utara overlooks the house reef and offers two en-suite bathrooms and a shared living space – perfect for families or groups of up to 6 people. Villas Nasnoos and Wakachom sit on stilts above the house reef providing the ideal spot for shark-watching. Villa Tabisasu is situated on the eastern edge of the north lagoon and offers glorious views of the sunrise – perfect for couples who appreciate a bit more space.
On a white powdery beach to the south, guests will find Misool’s seven South Beach Villas overlooking a beautiful blue water swimming hole. The resort restaurant and dive centre are reached by a short but steep walk over the hill to the lagoon, or by Water Taxi which is available at all times except very low tide. Designed specifically for comfort, privacy, and sustainability, each South Beach Villa features sumptuous Balinese-style open-air bathrooms with fresh hot and cold showers, air-conditioning, and a spacious veranda. Crafted in harmony with nature, each villa offers its own individual charm and bespoke living spaces.
Located on the beach overlooking the north lagoon, and tucked under luscious coconut palms, the resort’s restaurant offers the perfect respite from the midday heat, while the terrace is the ideal place to enjoy a sunset cocktail. Four meals are provided every day and a broad range of Asian and Western cuisine is offered with a focus on fresh, local and organic produce. The team works hard to strike a balance between healthy, indulgent, and sustainable fare, boasting an organic hydroponics lab providing fresh rucola, kale, lettuce, mint, basil, and more. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style while dinner service is plated, to ensure meals are freshly prepared for guests planning a night dive or a star-gazing tour. An all-day a la carte menu is also available. Tea, Papuan coffee, fresh juice and water are always available and guests can choose from a selection of imported beer, wine, and champagne.
Misool Eco Resort’s stunning House Reef can be snorkelled at any time and is accessible from the jetty, dive centre, or from the steps of the Water Cottages. Here, snorkelers can find schooling horse-eyed jacks, hunting octopus, and huge schools of bumphead parrotfish. The resort also offers guided snorkelling trips to the local surrounding reefs which run twice daily and include night snorkelling and manta encounters. The in-house spa delivers a range of massage and beauty treatments using Misool's signature range of natural products, most of which are created fresh each morning from food-grade ingredients. Guests are free to enjoy these indulgent treatments in The Lookout or from the privacy of their own room. Other activities include turtle releases, romantic beach castaway experiences, village visits, stand-up paddleboarding, lagoon swimming on Wayil Batan islands, and traditional Indonesian cooking classes.
Misool Dive Centre is located in the north lagoon and is built on stilts overlooking the turquoise water. It is spacious, airy, and well-suited to professional photographers and videographers featuring a 50-square metre wet area equipped with a massive workstation – perfect for setting-up cameras, charging torches, etc. The adjacent dry area is furnished with comfortable lounge chairs, a small library, and a monitor for reviewing the day's images. There is also a large sunny veranda just outside, providing the perfect space for warming up between dives.
With the Misool Marine Reserve at its doorstep, this resort offers over 25 world-class dive sites within a short 15-minute boat ride from the dive centre. Three boat dives are offered daily, as well as either a dusk or night dive, and trips generally return to the dive centre during surface intervals. Misool Eco Resort is very flexible and happy to tailor their dives to suit guests’ needs and interests. A variety of different dive packages are offered, all including complimentary nitrox for qualified divers. The resort requires prior notice if guests wish to book a course, hire dive gear or use a private guide. Due to the extremely remote location and long distance from the nearest recompression chamber, Misool Eco Resort does not allow deco diving, solo dives, or dives deeper than 30 meters.
Misool Foundation is the registered charity arm of Misool Eco Resort. Their joint mission is to safeguard the most biodiverse reefs on Earth through the empowerment of local communities. Together, they created the 300,000 acre Misool Marine Reserve, eliminating shark finning and other destructive fishing practices in the heart of global marine diversity. Misool Foundation has also built a local kindergarten in the village of Fafanlap, around 75-minutes from the resort by speedboat, as well as sponsoring teachers in other local schools.
The Misool Manta Project educates guests, engages local community members, and conducts critical research on both oceanic and reef mantas. The project provides robust population data to the government, NGO’s, communities and conservationists. Misool Foundation also purchases 36 types of rubbish directly from under-served coastal communities, shipping it back to the mainland, where it is sorted, cleaned, chipped, and packed for recycling. In keeping with its sustainable ethos, Misool Eco Resort is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 20% each year, getting as close to zero as possible by 2022, through the use of solar power, reducing petrol engines in favour of electric vessels, and the use of an in-house hydroponics vegetable garden.