Source: Siladen Resort and Spa
Siladen, it seems, isn’t content with just being named “Best Dive Centre or Resort” by the UK’s DIVE magazine for two years running: The resort in North Sulawesi is planning on repeating its success in the south of the province by acquiring a new property—Selayar Resort.
Set up 20 years ago on Selayar Island, the main island of an archipelago off the coast of South Sulawesi, the resort is all about diving, with walls, overhangs, reefs, sandy slopes and seagrass meadows offering a wide range of marine life, from the tiniest muck critters to big pelagic species like sharks and rays. It also boasts a protected house reef that can be accessed from the beach or jetty. The private kilometre-long beach in front of the resort is a nesting ground for turtles.
Siladen’s management aims to have completed the acquisition process by January 2020, and operations will continue until May. Over the following two years, various renovation work will then be undertaken, which will necessitate closing the resort for four or five months each year.
Read more about Selayar Resort and Siladen’s plans below.
We have fantastic news that we can’t wait to share with you all. Over the past couple of years, we have been searching for a new resort to take over and manage, with the dream of being able to offer guests more of the best diving Indonesia has to offer—perhaps even as a part of a combination with Siladen.
Well, after several trips across Indonesia to look at various properties, Siladen Resort & Spa partners, Daniele, Marco, Ana, Miguel, and Ray, have found the perfect place to achieve that dream, Selayar Resort.
Located in the Selayar Islands (an archipelago consisting of 73 islands) in South Sulawesi, Selayar Dive Resort was created by Jochen 20 years ago, and he has managed the resort ever since. Not only has he turned a remote paradise island into a barefoot luxury getaway, he has also worked tirelessly to preserve the fantastic marine ecosystems in the area going as far as creating his own marine park and patrolling it daily to prevent people from damaging the reefs.
Located 150km from the South Sulawesi city of Makassar, Selayar Resort is remote. But that remoteness is one of the things that makes this place so special.
Do you dream of experiencing some of the world’s best diving and not having to worry about twenty other divers dropping on top of you? Well, Selayar can make that dream come true. Or maybe you want to spend your day relaxing on an empty beach with no possibility of your serenity being interrupted? Selayar Resort has a 1km long white sandy beach that is inaccessible by foot—only Selayar Resort’s speedboat can bring you here.
Obviously, the most important aspect when choosing the location for our new dive resort is the diving.
As Daniele, Ray, Ana, and Miguel, discovered when visiting Selayar Dive Resort, the diving in the region is absolutely breath taking, and they all instantly fell in love with it. Information about the specific dive sites can be found on Selayar Resort’s website, but to very quickly summarise, Selayar offers divers a combination of wall diving dotted with overhangs, sloping reefs, and even a few sandy slopes for muck diving. Almost all of these dive sites are within ten minutes of Selayar Dive Resort, so you won’t be needlessly spending half your vacation on a boat.
Marine life sightings can range from larger pelagic species of ray, sharks (including the occasional hammerhead), and tuna, right down to the smallest critters that can keep even the most experienced macro photographers satisfied.
What we loved the most about the diving close to Selayar Dive Resort was not dive sites such as Shark Point, Opera Wall, or Appatanah Cave. Much like with Siladen, it is the house reef that impressed us the most, but unlike Siladen, the house reef is protected, and therefore it is safe to dive by just walking off the jetty or beach.
Selayar Dive Resort has a purpose built jetty that extends 145 metres from the beach to close to the drop off. Along the jetty are high and low ladders to make entries and exits easy, and you can choose what ever entry point you feel like. Maybe you want to spend a dive searching through the seagrass meadow to hunt for robust ghost pipefish or sting rays, or perhaps you want to head to the wall to spot some turtles or sharks. Well, with unlimited house reef diving, you can do both as many times as you want and whenever you want!
Another thing we absolutely loved about Salayar Dive Resort was the jungle surrounding the resort, and the vast amount of wildlife it contains. Look high in the trees around the resort and you may spot squirrels prancing through the branches, or a cuscus (a tree dwelling marsupial found throughout much of eastern Indonesia) clinging onto the trunk, and at night, the enormous eyed tarsier (among the world’s smallest primates) can be seen leaping through the trees as they hunt for insects. During the day the resort hums with the buzz of cicadas, and once the sun has set, the unusual and distinctive call of the Tokay Gecko can be heard piercing through the forest. Only a few minutes walk from the resort is a large, dry cave that is full of bats, and you are more than welcome to visit while staying at the property.
As Selayar island is not very developed and there are no bright lights to interfere with the wildlife, the private one kilometre beach front is an important nesting ground for turtles. At night, it is common for turtles to haul themselves out of the water and dig nests, and equally as common to see those nests hatching and the baby turtles head towards the water.
Our plan, is to have completed the purchase and takeover by January, and then continue running operations exactly as it is until May. As the resort is already twenty years old, there are several renovation projects that we need to take care of, so for the first two years, we will be closing Selayar Dive Resort for four to five months a year to focus on renovation.
Selayar dive resort will continue running similarly to how it has run for the past twenty years—with the main focus being on giving guests a fantastic experience both above and below the water. There will be managers there who will focus on the day to day running of the resort, and behind the scenes, Ana, Miguel and Daniele will be using their extensive knowledge of dive resort management to further improve guest experience. Jochen has spent the past 20 years building a relationship and providing employment opportunities to the local community, and we are committed to following in his footsteps and keeping all the staff—and hopefully taking on more when needed.
As both resorts will fall under the same management and ownership, we will be extending our loyalty offers for repeat guests between both resorts. From now on (with new bookings), Siladen Resort repeat guests will receive 10% off accommodation in both Siladen Resort and Selayar Dive Resort, and vice-versa for Selayar repeat guests, for bookings of 7 or more nights.
To learn more about our loyalty program for repeater guests please read here.
Jochen will still work with us till the end of the season in May 2020. Also, in the future he will be helping us at the dive shows in Germany (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Interdive) and guest will still have the chance to meet him once in a while in Selayar, he will always be welcome back home, perhaps for occasional special reunions with his long time repeater guests.
Manado and Makassar are well connected, with several flights between the two daily, and the journey between the cities takes less than two hours. This means that staying in both resorts during your vacation is simple, and you can experience some of the very best diving Sulawesi has to offer. More over, we will be offering 15% off accommodation for those who book at least 7 nights (total 14 nights) in each resort. Please note that this offer is not in conjunction with any other offers.
Who knows, hopefully in a few years, Siladen Resort and Selayar Resort will be competing against each-other for the DIVE Travel Awards.
We will keep you all up to date with developments.
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