A great small hotel experience in a magnificent part of the world, marred by poor dining quality.
As a couple of non-divers we had some apprehensions. But Cocotinos worked out well for us because we were able to rent a small boat all to ourselves and visit snorkeling sites of our own choosing and at the pace we desired. And one day we took a car and driver and guide and did an inland excursion whereby we visited some inland sites such as Mt. Mahawu, Tomohon and Tondano lake. There is a pool and some nice wooden sun loungers. A wander around the surrounding village is eye-opening. We felt we had adequate activity levels available to us even if we did not dive and at no time did we feel we were treated less well because we were not ponying up for expensive diving packages (which is where a lot of the places in the region make their money). This aspect was great.
For us, the problem was that we were deeply disappointed by some of the food (variety, quality and quantity). I'm a food lover, and know Indonesia has great cuisine, so this is important to me. But most everyone else was on a package and seemed content with the limited and bland buffet spread included in their rate and we had subtle pressure to follow suit and succumb to the buffet formula. The pressure became more effective as it became clear the kitchen simply was not prepared for much a la carte ordering because they didn’t have the ingredients. One day there was no chicken AND no prawns. For several days there was no beef. Some supply variation I can understand - it is a small hotel - but such repeated and consistent scarcity was hard to accept when there is no place else to go; we were a captive audience.
So (sigh) we ended up giving up and joining the buffet line almost every day. Nothing “boutique” about the dining! There were limited choices (e.g. one fish dish, one meat) and if we did not hit it very early (as some of the dive crowd did) some items would be finished and not ever replenished. One evening all that remained of the fish main course by the time I got there were fried fish heads with dull eyes staring at each other and at me. Furthermore, a significant number of items were deep fried (fried chicken, fried fish, fried pork in sauce, etc.) and I feel they could do a lot better than that. Perhaps the problem is that when everyone at a hotel is on a full board package there is little incentive to impress with the food and there may be incentives to cut corners and skimp. A few dishes were good, to be fair, but it just was not up to the standard I expected or have experienced at other similar places.
Otherwise, staff are very warm, the place is well landscaped and the rooms were very clean and fresh. We recommend taking a “water’s edge” category room for the added privacy and open views to the sea and the sunset. Note there is not any beach to speak of. The wifi in the restaurant worked well and was a really welcome free amenity.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cocotinos Manado is a boutique dive resort located within Wori Bay in the heart of Kima Bajo, a fishing village overlooking the Bunaken National Marine Park, world famous for its astounding wall and macro scuba diving. A mere 25-minute drive from Manado's Sam Ratulangi International Airport brings you to the resort, on the water's edge, in full view of Siladen Island and Manado Tua, a majestic dormant volcano across the Sulawesi Sea. Through the use of selected hardwoods, stone, and other ecologically friendly building materials sourced from the region, the resort blends seamlessly with the surrounding village and coconut grove. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cocotinos Manado Hotel Wori
- Cocotinos Manado Indonesia/Wori, Sulawesi