the property is beautiful - set between the sea and the rainforests about 90 mins drive from Manado airport, in the Minahasa highlands. the sea facing cottages are the best, but unfortunately they were not available when we booked, and we stayed in a "garden view" room which is not too bad by itself - though the sea facing cottages are definitely a better deal, even though much more expensive. The bar is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The food (included in the tariff) is excellent at the difficult-to-get-to "Jungle Restaurant" and mediocre-at-best at the "River Restaurant". The wine selection is limited to some not-even-run-of-the-mill labels, but the bar does serve some nice cocktails.
I have rated the service 4-star, and while that does injustice to some of the most friendly and helpful hotel staff I have come across, they can take comfort in the fact that if not for them, the service would probably get a zero star rating, at least in my book. What the place desperately needs is a professional attitude to management, and a loud wake up call. The books might look healthy as long as there is no real competition, but when there is, this place will only be remembered for diving - deep into the red and disaster. They seem to have forgotten some very basic things - for one, there are no telephones in the guest rooms. I do not expect international connectivity, but, hold your breath, there is not even an internal telephone! Only way to contact reception is to run down there - which one might say is an irritant at worst, but what happens if there is an emergency? And reception closes at 11 pm - so what happens if there is an emergency at night? Incidentally, the guest book inside the room comfortably assures - "dial ABCD, and at night dial XYZ for security", conveniently forgetting that there is no telephone! Incidentally, the cellphone signal is practically non-existent, except around the beach, so it is all the more important. The lack of phones is only a symptom of the bigger disease - unprofessional management. There was no communication about the phones, we had to find out for ourselves - and the manager did not bother to respond to my concern when I left a note for him with the reception regarding this. There was no communication about needing to make reservations one day ahead at the Jungle Restaurant - we climbed all the way up with a small baby ad ended up surprising them - though the staff was gracious enough to pull together something for us. There was no quality check of the rooms - the baby cot provided collapsed and my daughter fell out, landing on the floor. There was no communication that our luggage would travel separately from us when going back to the airport.
The management needs to wake up. They need to visit resorts in other parts of Indonesia and even remote parts of Thailand to see how attitude and thinking can make such a big difference in the face of limited infrastructure. They may be doing OK for now, but this will not last.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cottages & Rooms for Scuba Diving. ... more less
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