My husband and I stayed at the Kima Bajo for one night while in transit to a diving liveaboard boat in Raja Ampat. We arrived in Manado at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon and our flight on to Sorong was at 6 am on Saturday morning. We wanted to stay near the airport but not at one of the Manado city hotels. We were looking for a place where we could enjoy the beach, pool, and spa and so we chose Kima Bajo. We spent 13 fairly miserable hours there and were barely able to get back to the airport.
We were ‘upgraded’ from a room in the longhouse to one of the villas. It was a basic but not entirely unpleasant looking room with a large bed. It smelled distinctly of damp. The wood and glass sliding doors to the patio didn’t close completely and we knew insects would swarm in as soon as we turned on lights at dusk, so we immediately untied the mosquito netting around the bed. Then we headed out…
The resort is on a hill. Reception is at top, rooms are spread out down the hillside, and at the bottom is the spa, restaurant, bar, and pool. The spa was empty and locked. We wandered into the bar and restaurant. No staff. We walked around and called out a bit and finally found someone. He brought us sodas and we settled into a table at the bar. Soon the man from reception appeared and told us he’d get people there so that we could have massages at 5 pm.
We went back to our room for a bit. I took a shower; the showerhead wildly sprayed water everywhere from leaks at its base. The towels were small and thin. Husband discovered that there was only one channel in English on the TV and it wasn’t news or sports; it was nonstop bad dramas and sitcoms.
Back at the spa at 5 pm – no one. Back to the bar. A few minutes later the man from reception appears and tells us 5:30 pm. At 5:30 there appears one woman only – we cannot have our treatments done at the same time. We decide to skip it and go back to the room for wait for dinner at 7 pm.
Dinner was plain and boring but edible. I wouldn’t have wanted to eat more than one meal from the limited menu on offer. Beer was served warm. There were two other tables at dinner: a family for four and a lone man. The servers were the same four people who seemed to be the only ones on staff – the massage therapist was our waitress, for example.
Getting to dinner had been a bit tricky because the hill was dark and wet from the rain. Lighting was minimal and there were no flashlights in the rooms. We asked for a flashlight at the restaurant and were given someone’s personal lighter (with a small light in the base). Went back to our room to huddle under the mosquito netting and watch a DVD on our laptop.
At dinner we had confirmed with the man from reception that a car would take us to the airport at 4 am and he said he’d send a cart to pick up our luggage just before. At 3:55 we started calling reception – no answer. At 4 am we took two bags and our small “flashlight” and trudged up the wet hillside in the pitch black darkness. No one was at reception and no one answered our calls. After a few minutes we discovered an unlocked van in the driveway and honked the horn several times. Then we went back down and came back up the hill with our other two bags.
The horn had woken the man from reception and he appeared just as we returned. The driver arrived a couple of minutes after. We left the resort at nearly 4:30 am. The driver spoke no English and had no idea that there was any hurry – he slowly and carefully drove around every puddle on the road. Somehow we still made the flight, thank goodness!
I understand that this is the rainy and therefore low season in Manado, but if you can’t staff a resort and keep it fully operational, you should just close it down. To bring guests into a barely functioning and frankly dangerous facility is not right. I’d give this place zero starts if I could.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled amongst undulating coconut grooves overlooking the tranquil Wori Bay and just minutes away from North Sulawesi's Bunaken National Park, Kima Bajo is a small upscale boutique resort that offers romance, luxury and every comfort a traveler could wish for. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kima Bajo Resort And Spa
- Kima Bajo Hotel Wori
- Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado Indonesia/Wori, Sulawesi