Lucky 13 – Bill’s Update #7

Among all the – almost depressing – news from around the world there’s also some good news that reaches our shores. We’re very proud to have been voted in the top 25 of resorts for the (South) Pacific region which included Australia and New Zealand. Knowing that there are more that 20,000 resorts/hotels in this region, coming in on #13 is quite an accomplishment and being rewarded with the “2020 Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award”.

This is actually the 2nd time we are voted in the top 25. “Back” in 2017 was the first time and a good friend of mine wrote to me “Not only has Yap never won before… there’s never been dive resort win as it isn’t an official category.” Again, like in 2017 we are the only dive resort and the only resort in Micronesia/Palau in the top 25. For the full list please click here. Only a handful of Travelers’ Choice winners are now honored as Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best, representing the most exceptional, highest-rated properties around the world. These businesses are among the top 1% of all listings on TripAdvisor.  In addition to these two years of being included with the Best of the Best, we have also been awarded with TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award 8 years running.

 Although closed we’re planning to have a small get-together with our staff to celebrate this achievement. Obviously a big “Thank You” for all those that submitted an “Excellent” review on TripAdvisor the last 12 months. For those who haven’t done yet, please give us a head-start by submitting your review here.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Acker family (l to r, Numie, Bill, Patricia & OP Acker) showing off
our Trip Advisor award

 

The prospects for reopening any time soon remain not very positive and where countries around the world try to deal with the “new normal” our leaders are focusing on keeping the status-quo. From a public healthcare perspective an understandable choice, but just hoping that some willingness to start discussing the format of an exit strategy will be shown soon. We understand that our customers are trying to plan 2021 vacations and we are hoping to be able to let you know when we may be able to accept guests as well as what protocols those guests will need to adhere to in order to be allowed into the country.  Please bear with us.  We are working on it.

DEMA 2020 that was supposed to take place in New Orleans this year was already cancelled by its organizers. Although InterDive Friedrichshafen 2020, BOOT Duesseldorf and InterDive Frankfurt in 2021 are still planned to take place, I’m afraid that we won’t attend those shows. We’ll all miss meeting old friends and tell new friends about our beautiful island, but the reality is that it doesn’t make sense to go there not knowing when we’re going to be open again. This beside the fact that we probably could leave on one of the monthly flights out but getting back home will be a challenge until flights are back to normal again.

 

 

 

 


Patricia, Bill & Detlef with two of our regular repeat guests Hubert & Brigitta

 

Doesn’t mean though that we can’t take your questions and inquiries though. If you have questions about our new hotel/dive packages, best way to get to Yap or any other question about your next dive vacation to Yap please let me know and drop me an email via bill@mantaray.com.

In my last post I told you about the marine biology program we were hosting for students at Yap’s Catholic High School. The program is finished, and it was a great experience for both the kids and I.

The last day of the program was a snorkel at Vertigo. Needless to say, that all of them were thrilled and super excited, one thing I learned though is that snorkeling with a group of teenagers at a shark site is quite “challenging and intense” so to say. See the video and photos shot by Jarvis Falow, giving you an idea of this year’s program. Planning to repeat next year and actually have it part of a Family Dive Vacation package where the parents go out diving and their kids join our local teenagers in the program. Is there a better way to learn about Yap’s marine life and rich culture than joining a local program like this?

 

 

I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I will give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.

“Reason #1 Not to come to Yap”


If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.

“Reason #2 Not to come to Yap”

If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.

“Reason #3 Not to come to Yap”




If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.

“Reason #4 Not to come to Yap”


If you don’t like that your room, the dive shop, the dive boat dock, the bar/restaurant, and all other facilities are within a maximum of 2 minutes “walk”, don’t come to Yap. We are built by and for divers. Personalized service and convenience is our goal.

 

As you know, all but a few of our employees are unfortunately – temporary – laid-off. One of the first thing I told my staff was, “if you want to learn a new skill or get an extra diploma/certificate, this is the time to do it”.

Happily my words did not fall on deaf ears. Numie started to pick-up video editing, as you might have noticed via our Facebook page, and a new video from her hands is coming soon. Detlef is learning the art of fiber glassing and Jude is improving his farmer’s skills with great results. I’m very proud of all of them and happy to let you know that OP has been certified as an SSI Instructor as well.

 

 

 

 

 

           Jude                            OP                          Detlef                         Numie

We continue to go fishing, farm, and give staff access to Patricia’s taro patch to help them as much as we can.  The Government also has a much-needed unemployment benefit scheme. Life is good but we miss our daily interactions with each other, and we all miss you – our customers – whom we consider to be friends and family.  Until we are together again, please stay safe and healthy.  These are unprecedented times indeed.

 

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Michael Wüthrich
Michael Wüthrich
09:27 24 Jun 20
Awesom dive experience. we dived for a week with Yap divers and every dive was varied and very beautiful. We benefited from the pre-corona time in March which meant that there were very few tourists on Yap. (3...)read more
R. Frobhboese
R. Frobhboese
06:21 13 May 20
We have been twice at Manta Ray Bay. The staff was exzellent dive guides as well as people on the Mnuw, not to mention the Amber👌 The sharks at Vertigo and the Mantas at Stammtisch are a must for every diver. We hope to be back!read more
Fariborz Zak
Fariborz Zak
07:03 12 May 20
Wonderful lovely place worth to try it again
Keenan Woodmansee
Keenan Woodmansee
07:09 04 Jan 20
This is "The" place to stay. Friendly staff and great hotel and restaurant.
Sandie Chung
Sandie Chung
13:30 11 Dec 19
My fourth time to Manta Ray Bay Resort in Yap since 1995. Hotel still very well kept, spacious room, good services and dive centre, very well run. Enjoy my dives very much with crystal clear water, mantas, sharks and even some macros. Wish they have better flight schedules to make it easier for visitors. Love to be back again.read more
Tait Brimacombe
Tait Brimacombe
04:31 18 Oct 19
Stayed at Manta Ray Bay as part of work travel to Yap. Excellent rooms and very friendly and helpful staff who were happy to go out of their way to assist guests and ensure they had a pleasant stay. Would highly recommend and look forward to staying again in the future.read more
John Yosh
John Yosh
11:27 18 Sep 19
My experience at the Manta RayBay Resort was once in a life time. We did not dive because we were in Yap for military purposes but if I had to choose a location in which to dive it would be in Yap and I would stay at the Manta Ray Bay Resort again. Bill and his family are just wonderful and made our experience on Yap such a memorable one. I hope to come back to Yap again and if I am so privileged I would visit with my adopted family and stay at the Manta Ray Bay Resort again.read more
Yann Faure
Yann Faure
11:08 15 Jul 19
All the staff from Manta bay resort will treat you like family and make you feel at home The room was very spacious and decorated with taste The dives were very nice , especially Vertigo obviously ! Do not hesitate , just book your trip to Yap and Manta bay resort will do the rest and there will not be any bad surprise I highly recommend a stay with Bill's Acker great resort !read more
Bruce Tanner
Bruce Tanner
16:13 27 Jun 19
Completed my 7th trip to Yap this past April and it is still one of the best dive destinations and operations around. Have led groups there for those 7 years and had several repeat customers go back with me. Great staff, dive operation and beautiful hotel. And the diving is diverse and just awesome. Many of the staff have become friends and it always a treat to be greeted by name upon arrival and around the hotel. Since diving is the premier attraction the island is a paradise of relaxation and laid back attitude. If you haven't been to this area of the world you should really consider it. Bill Acker, owner and all around good guy, can help you make travel plans for visiting Yap and other great destinations in Micronesia.read more
Jendrik Schroeder
Jendrik Schroeder
15:18 15 Jun 19
It´s an excellent diving and a wonderfull cultural experience to visit Yap. The Manta Ray Bay resort provides you with friendly and skilled staff both in diving and in the hotel department. The underwater world is extremely beautifull and the island culture very interesting to explore! I enjoyed both the diving and the cultural experience to the maximum !!!!!read more
Chris Mars
Chris Mars
18:28 26 Mar 19
This is my home island.. Iam just giving it 5 star review cuz i miss home.. Feels like forever since I Last visitedread more
stacey blake
stacey blake
16:26 20 Mar 19
Beautiful resort and location, small and quaint with very attentive service from wonderful staff who were extremely friendly and helpful, and knew everyone's name (travelled with a group of 20 people) within the first day. Yap Divers staff were amazing, we were even offered hot tea during our surface intervals with some delicious snacks, and they ensured we had the best possible dive experience on each dive. I would return to this gorgeous island and absolutely stay at Manta Bay Resort again, it's well worth the trip!read more
Shaun Suliol
Shaun Suliol
11:48 12 Mar 19
The staff made sure our every needs were met! They were accommodating to my groups weird requests. We felt spoiled. They even remember our names. No where else but in Yap at the Manta Ray!read more
Doreen Korbl
Doreen Korbl
19:09 10 Mar 19
incredible service, special thanks to Ruud the resort manager
Michael Fusco
Michael Fusco
04:49 22 Jan 19
MantaRayBay Resort, is THE dive resort. It is so obvious that this place was designed for divers, BY divers. The concept that all of the guests are part of the resort family seems to be the cornerstone of MRB Resort. The dive service is top notch; the wait staff spot-on, the resort staff super friendly and attentive. The dive sites are great, especially the southern walls, and of course the cleaning stations visited so often by the Manta Rays. I have gone scuba diving all over western Asia and the Caribbean, and MRB Resort is at the top!read more
Deb Roy-Stothart
Deb Roy-Stothart
13:55 06 Dec 18
The highest level of dive service ever experienced! Fabulous dive operation from crew, boats, snacks, hot tea and water, warm towels etc. etc. and of course the Manta Rays!! Thank you for making my 100th dive so memorable. Accommodations 5 star! Food was fabulous! Can't say enough about this beautiful Island and it's people. Loved Yap! Deb & Glenn, London, Ontarioread more
Jan Toman
Jan Toman
22:14 02 Nov 18
Great! GREAT! GREAT! Lovely place, lovely staff, great location for divers!
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to meet.read more
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in Yap.read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
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