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“Everytime I leave I can't wait to come back again.”
Review of Bahowo Lodge

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Bahowo Lodge
Ranked #21 of 45 Hotels in Manado
Zurich
1 review
“Everytime I leave I can't wait to come back again.”
Reviewed 30 July 2009

First time I stayed there (August 2008) I had no choice: I was put in this accommodation by Thalassa's diving center. Because there was nothing else left. AND: It was the best that could have happen to me!! Since then I try to get back as often as I manage it, 3 times so far. And the next trip is already planned.
Phil and Paula, the English couple running the Lodge, are great hosts and became some sort of "holiday parents" to me. The Lodge's location is beautiful, the surroundings great, the food delicious, the conversations hearty and the dogs affectionate.
Diving in Bunaken is overwhelming and I never get bored.
What else has to be said? - It's one of the places you must have stayed in life.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ZurichSunworshipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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49 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2009

We selected the Bahowo Lodge purely based on previous reviews on trip advisor, and were so glad that we did. Our hosts Phil and Paula made us feel so welcome and nothing was too much trouble for them. Their home is beautiful and very relaxing. We stayed in the 2 room suite which was very spacious (king and 2 single beds) and had a large private balcony, ensuite and air conditioning.

Breakfast was simple but good and the dinners were wonderful. Everyone eats together and a huge spread of food is provided by their cook Sultjie, always including fish, meat and vegetables. Her bannana fritters were the best I have ever tasted (as was the satay sauce).

The lodge provides 2 lounges for guests with a TV area and endless books and DVDs to choose from. In addition there are many places to sit outside and enjoy a drink. The drinks 'honour' system works well. You truly feel at home.

Phil and Paula offer tours to all the local attractions and provide a car and driver. We went with Raymond to see monkeys in the jungle, climb to the top of a volcano, visit hot springs and eat a great lunch in a restaurant on the largest lake in Sulawesi. We also went out on a local traditional fishing boat to a neighbouring island to snorkel.

My 2 young children were made to feel very welcome, and were so happy to play with Cassie and George the resident retrievers, and to splash in the pool. They keep asking when we will go back.

My husband is an avid diver and dived every day with Thalassa Dive which is about 5 minutes drive away. He was impressed with the dive centre and through them dived around Bunaken, Banka and Lembah Straits. Apparently the diving was fantastic. Phil and Paula arrange for you to be dropped off and picked up.

For me, the experience of staying in a local village was brilliant. The villagers were very friendly - I am surprised my hand didn't fall off from all the Hi Five's I did with the local children. To be able to show my children how many Indonesians (and others) live was worth the trip. To hear Phil and Paula tell you of village life and also some of the improvements they have been able to provide for people (medical centre, village bus, oxen and cart etc) was fascinating.

We cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank ElaineEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
newforest
1 review
Reviewed 27 April 2009

We arrived at Manado airport to be greeted by Phil, English joint owner of Bahowo Lodge, waiting to take us to his home/small hotel in the small fishing village of Bahowo about 15km away. On arrival at the lodge we were met by Paula (his other half) with a very welcome coconut cocktail using nuts from their own trees. We were shown to our spacious, air conditioned suite then a little later around the whole property including the swimming pool, a very welcome site after a long journey from London. Thus goes the introduction to the best holiday we have ever had. It seemed that nothing was too much trouble for the owners, they were happy to fully arrange any trips the area could provide. During our stay we saw the smallest monkeys in the world on a trip to primary rain forest, toured the highland region including a recently active volcano and hot springs, eat a good fish lunch at a restaurant on stilts on the largest lake in Northern Sulawesi. We even went white water rafting, great fun. This was all on top of Phil dropping us for an introduction to skuba diving with a 'discover skuba' session at the nearby Thalassa 5* PADI dive center. Whilst still a novice it is hard to imagine there being much better or diverse diving anywhere. I saw lion fish, thousands of varieties of reef fish, and even a two foot long turtle and this was all on my first ever underwater experience, totally exhilarating. In addition to the reef directly in-front of the lodge there are over 20 different dive sites only a short boat trip from the dive center. If scuba diving is not your thing (like my 14 year old daughter) the dive sites are just as good for snorkelling. All the islands have beautiful deserted beaches for sunbathing, shell collecting etc. The owners were happy to arrange to get us to them, in their own boat if necessary. On top of all this the food at the lodge, especially the locally caught fish and seafood, must be some of the best in the whole of North Sulawesi, totally authentic prepared by their own chef, but being British, Phil and Paula will occasionally arrange more European cuisine if requested. As I said in my review title, it is hard to imagine a better place to stay for a holiday in Northern Sulawesi. Good accommodation, excellent food, superb hospitality, that just about covers it. Oh yes, did I mention the diving.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank friendlyflatcoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mars (the New Forest really)
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 April 2009

In march 2009 I set off on a dauntingly long journey with my dad to see our good friends who live in Bahowo, Sulawesi. Now, at first, the thought of a teenager on a 16 hour long flight journey with just her father and a load of complete strangers for company may seem like a match made in hell. But when you think that at the end of this journey there would be a 3 week long holiday that would completely change her outlook on life, it may not seem quite so daunting. I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this holiday, lets just put it this way, I've already started saving to go back there. My friends have told me to be quiet, I've got sent out of lessons and even threatened with detention on numerous occasions because I've been going on about it. A place like this, so unchanged and unaffected by the modern world, deserves to stay how it is, you can imagine going there fifty years ago and it looking pretty much the same, minus a few cars and shopping malls, yet you can also imagine going there in fifty years and it being the same. The same smiling children shouting "hello" at you from the sides of the road, the same doting parents waving as you pass by and the same skillful men racing up those coconut trees or catching those fish, smiling in the same way, not knowing that the world was any different. This is definitely somewhere to go while you can. Whether you go there for the snorkeling, scuba-diving, sightseeing or just somewhere different, this is definitely a holiday you will never forget. Not to mention the amazing food, the genuine hospitality and welcoming nature of the staff and of course the swimming pool. This is by far an out of this world holiday, and I would recommend it to anybody, even people I pass in the street. Please go here, I can almost guarantee it will make your top 10 holiday destinations, as soon as you step off the plane.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beanie_Baby_Fanatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Croydon
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2009

I have just returned from my 3rd visit to Bahowo and it just gets better and better. Your hosts, Paula and Phil, couldn't be better and are on hand to give you ideas about what to do and where to go to make sure you get the best from your stay. The staff who are all from the village are brilliant and make you feel welcome.

The food cooked by Sultje, the local cook, is some of the best food I have tasted in the world. All the produce used is fresh, we had Tuna that was caught that morning! You can't really get fresher than that. All the food tastes as it should do not like our tasteless tomatoes in England.

A holiday in Bahowo is what you want it to be. If you want nightlife it can be found in Manado if you just want to relax you can. I don't dive but am never bored here with Highland trips, Island Trips and shopping in Manado trips!

All in all a great place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AliWan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2009

I won't repeat what all the others have said - Bahowo lodge is simply a fantastic way to enjoy Bunaken area. Paula and Phil are amazing and gracious hosts who look after their guests like they were family. I highly recommend staying in Bahowo Village, as you will also experience a little of the local culture. The lodge is 10 minutes from one of the best dive centres in the area and about 1 hour from Manado airport.

The food that their cook comes up with was absolutely first rate. Part of the overall experience is getting to know Paula and Phil since everyone dines together.

I would return to the Lodge again without any hesitation - already looking forward to my next trip back.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank alexs_ch1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ariel_ak
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2008

I have been out to Bahowo Lodge for the last few summers. I am sorely regretting not going out this summer. The place has come on a long way to where it is now, a haven for divers and travelers. I would say It's perfect for divers on a smaller budget, although they can cater for most anyone; incredible hosts, lovely staff and so much to do you'll want to change your flights. The village where the hotel is situated is beautiful and the villagers are friendly and welcoming. I'm planning to head back after Christmas - Once bitten forever smitten.

  • Liked — the atmosphere in the hotel
  • Disliked — some strange guests staying at the same time, but warmed to them after the initial friction
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank ariel_ak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bahowo Lodge

Property: Bahowo Lodge
Address: Bahowo Village | Bunaken Park, Manado, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 45 Hotels in Manado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Bahowo Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Bahowo Hotel Bunaken

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