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Palau Sams Tours/West Plaza Hotel Malakal

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by dividiva, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. dividiva

    dividiva Instructor, Scuba

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    It has been a very long time since I posted on here, but would appreciate any knowledge that you all have. Has anyone stayed at the West Plaza Hotel in Malakal and used Sams Tours? My husband and I are planning a trip there for Christmas and would like ot stay somewhere that we can relax, decompress and get some diving in. We prefer diving resorts as they are so much easier, but it does not look like Palau has those. We are also teachers so funds are limited. Right now we are looking at about $1700 each including flights from Hong Kong, as we live in Shenzhen. I have also looked at the Storyboard resort, but the website is very limited. I have seen some posts on here about them, but would like to know if anyone has stayed their recently and if they are resonably priced. Thanks a bunch.:pinkdolphin:
     
  2. robint

    robint Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    6,540
    1,149
    113
    wow, with your budget, wanting to relax and wanting a resort, I don't think Palau is what you are looking for. If you are doing land-based, all diving is 1-1.5 hour boat ride each way and getting in 2 dives usually takes most of the day. Not restful in my opinion. Also diving tends be more intense/intermediate-advanced. We are doing a liveaboard for that reason - 15 minute ride at most, 4-5 dives per day, no lugging gear. It is more expensive but with double the dives, well worth it for us. As for Sam's, I have heard nothing but good.

    You might want to consider other areas closer to your Honk Kong flight point - have you thought about Philippines or Indonesia? I know the Philippines are very inexpensive and there are some good resorts there, Puerta Galera comes to mind. Also, Indonesia has great diving and is a bit more expensive but might be more what you are looking for - check out Lembeh Resort and Wakatobi.
    check this deal out: Atlantis Resort Puerto Galera - Caradonna Dive Adventures

    Just my 2 cents.

    robint
     
  3. chuck e

    chuck e Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Big Island Hawaii
    109
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    16
    We stayed at West Plaza and, while nothing fancy, found it adequate. There's a good restaurant next door for breakfast and dinner and several others within walking distance. Also a free evening shuttle to Koror. They give you a fridge and there are 2 quickie-marts close by. You will need bottled water. We dove with Neco Marine which is closer to the hotel, I think. And regarding Robin's post, I thought the boat rides through the Rock Islands were as fabulous as the diving. Some days we got in 3 dives, and although we got back late afternoon, there wasn't much else to do anyway. It was a great trip and we are going back next year.
     
  4. ka7

    ka7 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location:
    17
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    I stayed at the West Plaza and dived with Sams Tours in Feb of this year, I found the hotel to be basic, but clean and perfectly acceptable for what I wanted, its also close by to Sams so you can walk (although they will pick you up/drop you off at your request). Re the diving, again no complaints with Sams, if you are diving with them for a few days or so they will try and listen to your requests and take you out to the sites you want to go to. I did Peleliu twice with them. It does of course make for a longer day out on the boat but as there isnt a great deal to do otherwise I was quite happy doing this.
     
  5. mikefolger

    mikefolger Instructor, Scuba

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    I stayed at West Plaza, it is basic, but clean and within walking distance of the restuarants and bars. I have been diving w/ Sam's twice, and they we great both times. Let them know you are instructors and they will put you with experienced divers if possible. They will not make you work as some places in the Caribbean do.
     
  6. Travelnsj

    Travelnsj Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Temecula CA
    1,489
    23
    0
    I have been to Palau 8 times. I have stayed at the PPR, Sunrise and the 6 years at the West Plaza Malakal. If you want resort style you need to stay at the PPR...great beach and Next door to the Weat Plaza is the new Nikko Hotel....but these are pricey....West Plaza is basic....some great places to eat around there...Kramers, Bottom time bar and grill, Carp etc.....I have dove with Sams for many years now dive with Palaudive.com Keith used to head up Sams diving....best Instructor I have met anywhere....need more info let me know.....you are in for some of the best diving in the world.
     
  7. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    5,659
    1,347
    113
    Christmas/New Years and any other Japanese Holiday are the most crowded times to be diving Palau, especially land based dive ops from Koror. The scenic boat ride to the dive sites thru the Rock Islands is fabulous, but can be wet, cold and a rough ride home during afternoon rain squalls --don't forget to bring a drybag and a poncho.

    I concur with the above evaluations of West Plaza Malakal. My preference is West Plaza Desekel, in town and close to my favorite eateries (Rock Island Cafe and Furusatos), and the Bank of Hawaii ATM.
     
  8. Travelnsj

    Travelnsj Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Temecula CA
    1,489
    23
    0

    I agree with all that....but you forgot the Taj and the Dragon Tei.....they really have some great places to eat there.
     
  9. BuoyantC

    BuoyantC Instructor, Scuba

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    I've done two trips to Palau with Sam's and stayed at West Plaza Malakal. I concur with everything posted by others. The diving is awesome, there is great food to be eaten, but relaxing is not what Palau is about.

    One more recommendation is to skip the poncho and bring a rain jacket. My first day of diving on my first trip and the poncho shredded in the wind on the fast boat! It's hard to accept that you're freezing while in a tropical paradise.

    D.C.C.
     
  10. marpacifica

    marpacifica Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Once upon a time in Micronesia, but now bubbling i
    469
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    West Plaza Malakal is clean and comfortable. Basic rooms where you just sleep and store gear...the action is around you in the water, islands and "downtown." I've rarely stayed in hotels in Palau other than as crash pads, including the pricey Palau Pacific Resort. If you're there mostly for the diving and other activities, you should really take advantage of being outside and underwater rather than tooling around a hotel!

    Contact Sam's before you get there to tell them of your preference to dive with experienced divers. They're pretty good at accomodating you when you're there, but may take a day or two to shift you onto the right boat. Might as well get on the right boat from the start. Also good to book with them in advance, as I remember being turned away when I showed up without reservations during one quick trip there.

    If you send me a private message, I can send you some photos of the WPM and rooms.

    You will have a great time there.
     

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