MisoolRaja Ampat / Indonesia
This quiet island resort and conservation centre rests in secluded southern Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Surrounded by one of the most well-preserved reef systems on the planet, Misool’s innovative conservation and sustainability initiatives have helped to maintain the region’s natural brilliance. It’s the same heightened level of care that goes into its facilities – from its dreamy beach villas to its naturally-sourced wellness treatments. Misool's story is a powerful tale of man's ability to turn the tide against environmental destruction and rebuild a strong vibrant eco-system, equally sustainable for the animals as it is to the locals who live there.
What to love
- Staying at Misool directly supports the conservation initiatives established to safeguard the reefs and empower local communities.
- Misool’s well-equipped dive centre is ideal for photographers looking to get extraordinary snaps of the vibrant coral reef.
- The resort’s restaurant offers a varied range of Asian and Western cooking, with an emphasis on locally provided and organic ingredients.
- Immense care has gone into the creation of the resort’s accommodation, with Balinese-style open-air bathrooms, handcrafted furniture and large common areas facing out on to the pristine waters.
What to know
- The island resort has a capacity limit of 40 guests at any one time, as well as a guest-to-staff ratio of four to one.
- Located in an archipelago of uninhabited islands, the nearest port to Misool is 100 miles away, while the nearest village is 20 kilometres by boat.
- Private dinners can be arranged in conjunction with the resort’s restaurant to be enjoyed in guests’ accommodation.
The Misool resort island sits just below the equator in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, in amongst a quiet archipelago of uninhabited islands. Surrounded by tropical trees, pale-sanded beaches and one of the world’s most pristine reef systems, its founders share a belief that sustainable tourism and community conservation can greatly benefit each other. Working alongside its sister organisation, the Misool Foundation, it’s already helped in protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of the world’s most diverse reefs, as well as establishing important local education and recycling projects.
The resort itself is a place that embraces its paradisiacal surroundings. All structures have been built entirely from reclaimed tropical hardwoods, while a maximum guest threshold of 40 people at any one time keeps the human impact low. The accommodation ranges from water cottages perched on stilts above the island’s north lagoon to more spacious villas that can be found around the lagoon or on the south beach. Each of these hideaways has its own sense of island style and is fitted with Balinese-style open-air bathrooms, air conditioning and handcrafted furniture and fittings.
Despite its abundant sense of calm, Misool provides guests with plenty to do. The resort’s dive centre is equipped with a large wet area and work station, along with a comfortable dry area, giving keen snorkelers and divers ample opportunity to explore an underwater area so vibrant it was featured in BBC’s ‘Life’ series. Three guided boat dives are scheduled each day, as well as a dusk dive or a night dive. There are also several other world-class dive sites within a 15-minute radius of the resort.
The island’s restaurant serves four meals a day with a focus on Asian and Western cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients (all fish is line-caught outside the region’s no-take zone). Cookery lessons can be arranged with the resort’s kitchen staff, where guests can take on tradition Indonesian dishes like pandan-scented crepes and Sumatran coconut curry. A range of wellness treatments made from locally sourced ingredients can also be experienced at the resort’s designated lookout area or in your room, with coconut oil aromatherapy to aloe plant body wraps just part of an extensive spa menu.
When to Visit
Misool closes for maintenance when the weather tends to be rough in July, August and early September. Aside from this yearly occurrence, diving in Raja Ampat is not particularly seasonal. September and October bring massive schools of bait fish, which attract bigger hunting fish and Mobula rays. The south winds in May and June bring more sharks and pelagics. Visibility tends to be at its best in November and February/March.
Misool sits on the Resort Island of Batbitim, in the Misool Archipelago of Raja Ampat. Fly to Sorong and then enjoy a scenic 4 hour transfer to resort on the resort's comfortable boat. Due to current flight schedules, a one night stay is required in Sorong prior to departure (unless you are connecting with a liveaboard).
Misool is a paradise! Kids will love to explore the beaches and snorkel to their hearts content. Child divers are considered from age 10 upwards.
Villa Kalanme is a complex of three separate en suite bedroom units, with a shared octagonal-shaped lounge area and huge outdoor living space. Kalanme is particularly recommended for families.