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“Beautiful setting, fantastic service, amazing diving”
Review of Cocotinos Manado

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Cocotinos Manado
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Wori
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 January 2011

We stayed in Cocotinos in Manado for a week from 29th Dec to 5th Jan. To sum up, we had an excellent trip, would definitely go back and would highly recommend it. The staff are welcoming, friendly and extremely helpful and cater for your every need. The diving was exceptional. Rooms and resort were beautiful.

Location
The resort is about 1/2 hours drive from the airport in Manado, for which Cocotinos arrange a pick up.
The resort sits in a village, with a mosque nearby - the morning call to prayer can be heard but didn't disturb our sleep.
The location is on the coast, about 40 mins boat journey from the main Bunaken dive sites. However, there are some excellent muck dives about 10 mins away.

Resort
The resort comprises about 20 bungalow style rooms, overlooking the pool / coast, all of which are finished to a very high standard (although no TV in standard rooms). The rooms are very comfortable, being fitted with super king beds and a day bed. We slept really well.

Rooms are cleaned each day together with the resort grounds and pool.

The restaurant serves all meals - a buffet with lots of choice for breakfast and dinner and a three choice set menu for lunch. They also serve a selection of reasonably priced snacks all day if you cant wait for meal times! The food was good quality, tasty and included some local dishes,

The restaurant also has free wi-fi access, so take your laptop as there is not a lot of evening activity and the resort computer is slow.

The drinks were a little pricey, about 36,000IDR (£3) for a diet coke. Water is free - two bottles in your room each day and then water cooler in restaurant and on the dive boats.

Diving
The diving was breathtaking. Very comfortable, relaxed diving in small groups with one or two guides per group of 2-4. Everything was set up and labelled (so nothing goes missing) so literally all you do is turn up and dive! Usually 2 dives were done in the Bunaken park in the morning, returning to the resort for lunch and then a muck dive in the afternoon.
The Bunaken park was a short boat journey away (40 mins) and had the most colourful and pristine coral that we've seen anywhere.
In Bunaken we saw turtles, sharks, nudibranches in abundance, barracuda, jacks, and lots of other species that you just won't find elsewhere. The guides also reported seeing dolphins on our day off!

There are excellent muck dives just around the bay in which the resort is situated - lots of octopus, pigmy / other seahorses on most dives, pipefishes, cockatoo waspfish, blue spotted rays, nudibranches, frogfishes - the list was just endless.
We also did an excellent day trip to Lembeh Straits (arranged and run by Cocotinos for about £30 / person).This was incredible diving and had better visibility than I expected (a good 15 metres). Seahorses (of all types - we saw 4 in total), hairy frogfish, cockatoo waspfish, etc. etc. The best macro diving by a long way and well worth the 1.5 hour journey from the resort.

There are also some land trips available (white water rafting, volcano trekking, highlands trips, jungle tours, etc.). However, the diving was so brilliant that we simply spent all of our time doing just that!

Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jez_and_Mad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 November 2010

The rooms were very clean and you see that much thought was given to its design. The staff were very friendly and attentive too.. Very good dive service - the mugs and towels were all labeled . Will definitely dive with cocotinos again

  • Stayed: November 2010
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1  Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2010

We had a very spacious room with all the facitilities we needed. The dive crew was very helpful and friendly. The staff at the hotel was more than friendly and did everything to make us feel well. The food was excellent!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank n_r_friedel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

My teenage daughter and I had a 5D4N dive package stay at Cocotinos. Overall, I believe it is an excellent dive resort for both adult and junior divers.

The resort is small with approximately 20 chalets, an open dining area, a spa and a swimming pool. It is located within a village as mentioned by other reviewers. However, to criticise the resort for its location is unfair (the reviewer should blame themselves for lack of research if that was an issue). It is quite intimate and the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and the service is enthusiasitic.

The chalets are simply appointed with high ceilings. The furniture is of good quality and the bathroom layout is aesthetically pleasing. There is a pleasant bay window couch which is perfect for naps or reading. The beds are comfortable with good quality mattresses and pillows. Both my daughter and I had excellent sleep. The nearby mosque has daily prayers at approximately 5.30am which woke us up. However, we were able to quickly get back to sleep. The rooms look and feel very clean. I would recommend burning the mosquito coils during the evening. The only issue here is that it would be good to have brighter reading lamps in the room as it can be a little dim at night.

The food is the resort's weak point. It lacked variety and was not of a high quality. I have been to other dive resorts which had lower accommodation standards but had excellent local cuisine as well as being plentiful. At Cocotinos, the impression given was that unless one was early to dinner, then the food would run out. As well, the variety of dishes, particularly local, was lacking. Breakfast was fine and lunch was simple (Asian or western). Given that there is nothing outside of the resort, there should be greater emphasis on quality and availability of food and beverages.

Of course, the primary reason for coming to Manado is the diving. We had a fantastic time diving at Bunaken and the mainland. Absolutely world class dive sites ! The dive centre gave complete service from setting up all your gear to washing everything at the end of the day. The instructors are very friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. The boats are standard dive boats which seem adequately equipped. Dive briefings were also fairly standard. Above all, they are quite safety conscious and did a great job monitoring my daughter who is very inexperienced. They ensured that she was able to properly descend, equalize, gain neutral buoyancy and do the proper safety stops. The instructor stuck very close to her during the dive, pointed out any sea creatures of interest and made sure she didnt get too close to dangerous animals (such as the sea snake !).

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Catatac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

We selected Cocotinos Manado for our annual diving trip based on the positive reviews on Tripadvisor. We selected the 8 day 7 night dive package which included full board. I regret to say the experience was very disappointing.

Resort location and service: Cocotinos describes itself as a "small beach resort". This is rather misleading. The closest thing to a "beach" is a span of grey mud flat that starts from the base of the resort's beach front wall. The water's edge was filled with scum and rubbish that wash up to the shore. The guests were definitely not encourage to walk down to the "beach" - instead, we were offered lounges on a small constructed lawn in the centre of the resort. The resort's "beach" is the village's communal waterfront - during my body massage in the water-front pavilion (when I wasn't exactly fully-dressed), a group of locals casually walked by and had to be shoo'ed away by the masseur.

The resort is situated squarely on the main street of the local rural village. The garden villas' bathrooms literally backs onto the wall that seperates the resort from the main street. As such, you can hear every bark, crow, cough, motor bike acceleration that go by the street. Previous reviews mentioned the muezzin calls - they are not an issue for us. Instead it was the "modern" noises that were particularly annoying - some of the resort's local neighbours favour playing techno/pop music at maximum volume from dinner until midnight. One morning, for a change, we were woken up at 6am to the delightful repeats of the Indonesian version of "Eternal Flame", played at a hair-pulling volume by the house next to the resort. I lost count of the number of repeats at 15.

The manager Andrew was absent from the resort during our entire stay. The reception/reservation manager Bonny was around for 3 out of 8 days of our stay. For other times, as far as we can tell, there was no central management at the resort.

Surroundings - The local village comprises around 30-40 houses, a mosque, local flora and fauna and not much else. There is very little to do within walking distance of the resort. The resort offers day trips at extra cost, but there is no refund of any dives paid for but not taken.

Rooms - The garden villas are built close to each other and the garden path. In order to enjoy any sense of privacy from your neighbours or the random passers-by, all curtains must be drawn, leaving you with the dim glow of several very weak wall lights and lamps. It is definitely worth the upgrade to 1 of the 2 suites (which we did after spending 1 night in a garden villa). The rooms are cleaned everyday, but the bed linen was not changed once during our entire stay. I can confirm this because there is a very obvious blood stain on on our bed linen (not ours) which remained in place from our check-in to our departure.

Food - Since Cocotinos only offers full board and there are no local restaurants, the food was a real disappointment. The resort was about 80% empty at the time of our stay in September (which is telling in itself). As such, we were given buffet dinner and breakfast for only 2 days. The rest of the days we were told to select our meals from a list of a la carte menu one day ahead. There are about 6-8 selections for breakfast and dinner, half Western (toast//cereal, burgers, hotdogs) and half Asian (porridge, curry, friend rice/noodles). There are only 2 choices for lunch - 1 Western and 1 Asian. Half the time, the waiter had to check with the kitchen as to whether our selection was available. (Even beer were out of stock on some days.) We were looking forward to some traditional Indonesian cuisine - sadly the meal were not even up to the standard of some airline economy meals. The portions are not much better (a chicken curry comprised mainly necks and gristly meat.) By the third day, we resigned ourselves to treating the meals as fuel rather than something to be enjoyed. During our 8 day stay, we were not offered any fresh seafood, let alone the famed Cocotino BBQ. Unfortunately, we also lost a day of diving due to an ill-cooked dinner, which kept both of us up in the toilet half of the night. And when we told the resort staff about it the next day, no one offered an apology.

Diving - The diving was good - Bunaken lived up to its name for marine bio-diversity, and Cocotinos was well-positioned to provide short boat trips to these dive sites. The dive staff are very friendly. The dive centre itself was less than impressive - at one point, we were told that all of the centre's dive computers were out of battery (!?). The digital centre's only computer had a faulty screen which showed blurry double images - not exactly useful for editing photos.

Local "pork"? - The most disappointing aspect of our holiday is realising that we "Western paying guests" are funding a local "discount" playground for the powers-that-be. During our stay, the resort was opened to 1) a local top police with his extended family, including 8 children, all of whom decided to occupy the resort's only pool for a whole afternoon; 2) another top policeman and his 5 best comrades who chain-smoked through the meals; and 3) to top it all off, one night we arrived at the dining room to be greeted by a party of locals enjoying a full buffet. The resort was apparently throwing a party for a Manado mayor candidate and his closest 40-50 "advisors". Two tables were hastily set up for us paying guests on the outdoor deck, where our pre-selected a la carte meals were brought to us as an after-thought - the buffet was clearly out of our bounds. At one point, the waiter felt so sorry for us that he brought over some leftover fruit desserts from the buffet. At no time did the staff point out to these local "guests" the non-smoking rules that were clearly stated in our guest books. If these local guests were paying anything, they were most definitely not paying the packages offered to us Westerners.

Overall, the resort provided a basic base camping for great diving but not much more. This, in itself, is not objectionable if Cocotinos prices itself accordingly. Instead, Cocotinos markets and prices itself as a boutique beach RESORT with a world-class dive centre, but delivers way below the target. For the same price, most other mid-level dive resorts around the world offer a LOT more.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank WilburDeWhaleShark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2010

Loved the service from the staff at this small hotel. They were constantly friendly and helpful without being overbearing.

The location of the hotel is remote with nice views of the marine national park and black volcanic sand of the bay. Although we were hassled by children from the surrounding village who would appear on the wall outside our waterfont villa and try to sell us shells.

The remoteness means that you are kind of trapped in the resort as there is nothing to do in the immediate vacinity on land. So it wouldn't be advisable to stay here unless you were diving. The weather was rainy and unpleasant during our stay so our time at the resort was confined to our room or bar area which can get a bit boring after 4 days.

The only unappealing part of our stay was the loud, obnoxious group of other guests staying at the hotel. Although this is not the fault of the hotel it may be useful to check whether there are large groups booked into the hotel before reserving your room. The resort is so small it's hard to escape them!

Also be aware that to receive a spa treatment you need to book sometime in advance. In four days of staying there the spa was constantly fully booked (although passing by the spa staff were usually seen sitting around doing nothing - so we were not convinced about the definition of "fully booked").

The meals served on the full-board package were acceptable but not fantastic with the exception of the seafood BBQ which was excellent. The homemade pandan cake for afternoon tea is also delicious.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank talltaff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2010

The service quality at the resort is impeccable.
The service team will go all out to make your stay comfortable.
The dive masters are helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
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Thank powurr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cocotinos Manado

Address: Desa Kima Bajo, Jaga 3 | Jaga 3, Kec., Wori 95000, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Wori
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Wori
Price Range: £62 - £125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cocotinos Manado 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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

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