Bali resort’s house reef flourishes in lockdown

Sunday, Jan 16, 2022 0

While the Island of the Gods battened down the hatches during the pandemic, an emerging reef off the shores of a Bali resort has thrived.

The Siddhartha Oceanfront Resort & Spa lauded the success of a reef restoration and house reef project, by launching two new diving and snorkeling packages for its April 2022 re-opening.

The creation of an artificial reef, spanning 100 metres near the shoreline of the property, and the expansion of the existing reef are passion projects of onsite Managing Directors and owners, Stefan Brand and Barbara Ebel.

Over the last several years the couple have worked to develop the area in front of the resort, known as Kubu Marine Park, as a marine sanctuary–sometimes spending several hours a day underwater.

"We never wanted to break anything to create something new so the project has taken a long time to get to the stage where it is now," Brand said.

To create the house reef the couple collected broken stone corals and soft corals that had separated naturally from other reefs – from strong current, for example – and have successfully used discarded man-made materials as a foundation for growth.

"Some corals that we didn’t think would even work on the reef have flourished during recent times," said Ebel.

The house reef was slow to grow but the increase in fish happened quickly.

With limited people frequenting the spot due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the area is teeming with even more coral growth and marine life.

Such sea life as turtles, trumpetfish, batfish, schooling snappers, sweetlips and fusiliers, along with leaf fish, lionfish, and even the occasional reef shark or eagle ray can now be found in the waters outside Siddhartha.

Also accessible from the property is the Boga Wreck, a 50-metre long ship that was purposely sunk in 2012 and has since been claimed by nature.

Remnants inside the Boga, ranging from Buddha statues to a VW Jeep, can also be discovered by more advanced divers. The famous USAT Liberty Wreck, a US cargo ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during the Second World War, is only a few minutes by car or boat from the oceanfront property.

With a fully equipped SSI (Scuba Schools International) dive centre on site, Siddhartha has rolled out two new packages catering to a range of underwater enthusiasts, from the curious to the advanced.

‘Discover East Bali’ is a ten-night stay package that includes two guided one-hour house reef dives (by scuba or snorkel) and two 60-minute Balinese style massages at the resort’s Six Elements Spa.

Rates start from USD1,130 per room. ‘Explore Diving Bali’ is a new seven-night stay package for certified divers featuring six guided dives that take in the house reef along with other nearby shore dive sites. Starting rates are from USD900 per room.

Both offers include airport transfers and daily breakfast and are available until December 1, 2022. Free yoga classes are also on offer each day in an open-air Balinese-style pavilion near the shoreline.

Siddhartha Oceanfront Resort & Spa features 30 bungalows and two oceanfront villas spread across 2.4 hectares of land in a less frequented area of Bali. Each freestanding bungalow or villa was designed with privacy in mind and ample space.

Both villas and many of the bungalows have ocean views

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TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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