My husband and I just returned from a 8D7N stay in Cocotinos Dive Resort and Spa in Manado Indonesia. If you are looking for a reasonably priced holiday where diving is your main focus then this resort is definitely worth a go. We travelled via Singapore with a connection on Silk Air to Manado. We were picked up on time by someone from the resort and transported directed to Cocotinos which is about a half hour drive from the airport and 45 minutes from the city of Manado. We were greeted with refreshments whilst we filled out the necessary paperwork to allow us to start diving the next day. We booked the suite room which whilst not luxurious, it is very spacious, clean and well appointed. The bed is a huge king size but was a bit hard, the lounge was also a bit uncomfortable but there is plenty to choose from on TV at night on the cable service. Reliable WiFi internet is also complimentary in the suite room and to everyone in the dining area. The resort is small with only about 20 rooms but the grounds are very well kept and the staff and only too happy to help with anything although sometimes their English is a bit limited.
In terms of the diving experience, we were there at the very end of the wet season so there were still a few thunderstorms around causing some reduced visibility however the temperature was beautiful and the water temp on average 29-30 degrees so 1-3mm wet suit is all that is required. The dive sites are all within a reasonably short boat ride and mainly consisted of beautiful coral wall dives mostly with gentle currents and lots of small fish and reef life. You will see very few pelagic fish although green sea turtles are everywhere. The resort has 3 dive boats which are all well set up and the crew take care of everything. The dive masters are great too, particularly our dive master Walter and the instructor James. The usual routine is to have breakfast then leave for the first dive 8-8.30am, stay out then do a second dive before returning for lunch at about 1-1.30 and off to dive again at about 3pm each day. If you need to hire dive gear, the gear is all fairly new and well maintained. Unfortunate however that so much local rubbish finds its way into the water so it is not at all uncommon to see plastic bags floating along the coral walls and piles of rubbish floating on top of the water. Something I suppose you have to accept when diving in a developing country.
We found the food at Cocotinos to be simple but very tasty and no problems with food hygiene. There is a limited selection of European and Indonesian food on offer and they try to avoid making anything too spicy. We opted for a meal package and were very happy with our options for each meal.
Probably the only negative comments I could make apart from the less than comfy lounge setting and bed in our room was that out of pocket costs like drinks and spa treatments tend to be a bit on the pricy side. I had a couple of cocktails which although fairly tasty were also fairly expensive at around $14 AUD each. I did enjoy my massages also but again felt they were a bit expensive for the service I received. Also, if you love a hairdryer like I do then I suggest you take your own as the ones supplied at the resort could barely dry your hands so eventually I gave up on the hairdryer and went un-coiffured.
Cocotinos Manado is perhaps not the ideal location for families as there are limited alternative activities to diving. The pool is great and there are opportunities to go snorkelling but apart form relaxing and reading a book it is a small quiet place.
All in all, a very friendly, well run and pretty place with excellent diving and a good standard of accommodation. Reminded me why I enjoy diving so much.
- 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