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“Paradise Location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bobocha Cottages Siladen

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Bobocha Cottages Siladen
Siladen Island | Bunaken National Marine Park, Sulawesi Utara, Manado 2207, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 35 Manado B&B and Inns
Graz, Austria
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Paradise Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Absolutely amazing! We have travelled all around asia - but THIS is the place! Sarah is the best host in the world and we really never had such an authentic and tasteful food in indonesia. Sarah's Dinner directly at the cozy beach is so familiar - this atmosphere is unforgettable. We stayed at the wonderful seaside bungalow for 4 nights. We definitely thought a few days would be enough for this tiny small island - fail! I could stay there for months! Why? If you're really interested in an amazing underwater life directly in front of your bungalow, right in front of your fabulous beach - bobocha is the best place in the world. We love diving, but it's also exhausting with all the heavy equipment and the time-robbing transports. At Bobocha you just take your fins, your mask and your snorkel straight to the house riff and you can see everything a few meters in front of your beach: turtles, lionfish, clownfish.....and amazing corals everywhere. And if you're lucky: dolphins right between your eyes. We couldn't find any negative aspects around bobocha. But: if you're looking for a thrilling nightlife you will be extremely dissapointed. Up to the north there is a bigger resort to take a drink, maybe they have some music overthere. We haven't been there, we just enjoyed the tranquility, the beach, the food, the bungalow, the conversations and the inspiring underwater life at siladen. Sarah - thank you so much for your warm welcome and for all your help. We want to come back as soon as possible!

Room Tip: seaside bungalows are perfect!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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33 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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NZ
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

Bobocha is the place for a quiet, romantic island holiday with beautiful sunsets, a great house reef, snorkeling with beach access, great food, friendly service, clean rooms, and comfortable beds that have mosquito nets.
Spend your days snorkeling at the house reef (you can snorkel around the whole island if you are up for it but only if you are a strong swimmer), lazing on the sandy beach (on a lounger or bamboo daybed) , being fed amazing food, and relaxing. Then order a drink (large beer =50 000rp), and enjoy the sunset over the water (picture perfect) on your lounger before another amazing feast - dinner is served on the beach.
But only if you can cope with limited electricity (as previously mentioned power is from 6pm to 4am - remember to charge things overnight!) and cold salty low pressure showers. If you are after a full 5 star 24 hrs fully air conditioned resort with swimming pool, hair driers, and party atmosphere look elsewhere.
As well as the amazing location and great reef, Sarah is what made our stay at Bobocha so special. We loved her wonderful cooking, personalized menus, interesting company, and personal tour around the island. Not only that but some of the money you spend goes back to the community - local staff, community initiatives to pick up rubbish and keeping the beach clean, after school extra lessons and boarding scholarships for the local children to name a few.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We stayed at Bobocha for 2 nights in June 2013, had some excellent experiences and some minor irritations.

The good experiences:
- The location and setting of Bobocha on Siladen island is absolutely beautiful. It's private and tranquil but within walking distance to the local village. We really love the fact that we can choose to stay within the cottage area or walk around the village and not feeling like intruders to the local community.
- We stayed at one of the two cottages nearest to the beach. The cottage is beautiful and well laid out. Bathroom is huge.
- There are two outdoor bamboo daybeds on the beach. It's very relaxing to chill on the daybed watching sunset.
- Dinner was amazing! Absolutely delicious! It was actually a feast for two of us. Each dinner consisted of a big grilled fish, two vegetable dishes, a whole grilled chicken, tofu stuffed with cabbage, chili and tomato salad/sauce and steamed rice. We were the only guests during our stay, so that was really our private dinner on the beach under the moonlight. Breakfast was good too: we had pancake, omelette, cornflakes, fresh fruit, coffee and tea. All meals were served on the beach with stunning sea views.
- The staff is very friendly. Andreas is very helpful with all our requests. The two other lady staff cook amazing food for us every day.
- The house reef is just around the corner. Very beautiful coral reefs. Good snorkeling experience.

The irritations:
- Sarah wasn't on the island when we arrived and she asked us to pay for the stay upon check in. We arrived at 9am and wanted to pay, but the staff who is responsible wasn't there, so we couldn't pay. We then took our time enjoying the beach and so on. By the time we changed to swim wear and were on the way to the beach, the staff approached and asked for payment. We said we'd like to pay later since we're on the way to the beach. Later, we decided to walk to the dive centre at a nearby hotel (there isn't a dive centre in Bobocha), the staff chased after us and continued asking for payment immediately. We were very very surprised and annoyed by the fact that the management was willing to go a long way to chase their guests for money from the very start of their stay. Our luggages and money were in the room and we were walking barefoot in swimwear to the dive centre!!! It was very very obvious that we were not planning to escape! The staff called Sarah and Sarah talked to me on the phone, saying that we had to pay immediately because the staff needed money for their operation on that day. Really!?!? We thought this is really ridiculous because we, as guests, don't really care how the hotel manages the cash flow. We will pay for sure, but we did not like to be chased every minute like this when we just arrived and about to enjoy the holiday. That was a huge disappointment.

- The electricity was only available from 6pm to 2am. During the 2 days that we stayed, the first day was ultra hot!!! We couldn't bear the heat during noon, had to take shower many times, there was no breeze. We really really want to use the fan or aircon but it was impossible. At night, the fan wasn't enough. I had to ask the staff to turn on the aircon and paid extra money for that, and the aircon was only until 4am. By 4am, it was really hot again and I couldn't sleep. On the second day, there was a big storm at night. The windows opened in the middle of the night because of strong wind. We for sure didn't need the fan. It was too cold and there wasn't a blanket (only a layer of thin bedsheet). I got a cold after that night. Well, could say that we were quite unlucky with the weather (too hot and too cold!), but I wish the electricity allowance time could be more flexible and reasonable. People sleep until 6-7am, why would you turn off the fan / aircon at 2am / 4am? If guests want to use the fan during day time, there should be a possibility to do so.

Overall, with the nice setting, beautiful landscape and house reefs, clean beach and very very good food, we enjoyed our stay despite some hiccups along the way. Highly recommend Bobocha, but you need to bear in mind the electricity allowance time if the weather goes wrong.

Room Tip: Request for the room with beach front
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 4 nights in May 2013, even though we booked only 3.

Cottages are spacious, with electricity between 6pm and 2am. We didn't use the fan on most nights as there was very good breeze throughout. Toilets were clean, with basic toiletries and 24 hour fresh water supply. Sheets and towels were changed every day when room was cleaned.

Beach is great but affected by rubbish coming in from Manado, especially in the morning. Sarah and her staff spend a lot of time collecting plastic waste from the beach and the water, which does mean that beach outside the rooms is cleaner than other parts of the island.

Snorkelling at the wall straight out from the hotel, and from the jetty, is fantastic. There is a lot of live coral and abundant marine life. Sarah organised a half day-snorkelling trip along with another couple and we went to 3 sites, where we saw 8 turtles.

Sarah is a great host and made us feel completely at home during our stay. She is also an excellent cook and we really enjoyed every single meal, especially dinner, which was usually fish caught a few hours ago and grilled / fried to perfection, along with a meat dish, a vegetarian dish and rice. We were initially hesitant staying on an island with no food options other than our hotel, but did not regret this decision one bit.

We enjoyed our stay so much that we ended up staying an extra night - sums it all!

Room Tip: Ask for rooms at the front as they are directly on the beach and get a very good breeze.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Munich, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

Bobocha Cottages is simply a wonderful place! Sarah is an amazing host, who loves to cook and entertain her guests with interesting conversations. Come here if you like things simple (there is only electricity at night, there is no hot water, there are insects...etc.), come here if you are interested in fellow travellers (with only four cottages you get close to your neighbors), come here if you like to watch fish and corals (the house reef is just amazing) and last but not least stay here if you like some really good home cooked food. (Sarah just can't keep her fingers out of the kitchen and she really knows how to do magic in her simple kitchen!! ). We really enojoyed our time at Bobocha and just could not leave... we had booked 4 nights and ended up staying 9. Note to Sarah: Keep Bobocha just as it is. It attracts the most interesting group of travellers.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Bobocha is located at Siladen, it's a very small island right next to the more famous Bunaken island, off the coast of North Sulawesi. First about getting there - it seems quite far away from everything but actually is very easy to get there from Singapore - Silk Air have 4 flights weekly to Manado, it's takes 3 hours by air, then 40 min by car and another 40 min by boat. Considering the custom clearance - you could start in the morning from Singapore and snorkel at 3 p.m. at Siladen. Transfer was organized by Bobocha and was very prompt, efficient and hassle free.

All in all there are only 4 cottages, just few meters from the beach. You can opt for AC or fan, but even without AC the temperature in the night was comfortable. The cottages by no means luxury but are quite nice, I enjoyed the hard wood floors (hate tiles) and the mosquito nets. Few things to consider - the electricity comes from a generator and is on from 5:30 pm till 2 a.m and there is no hot water as we are used to. But I didn't miss neither of it.

What made this trip very special to us was the extremely warm and personal attitude of Sarah - all the good things that have been written here about Sarah are all true, so I will not repeat them. I will just add that I felt more like being a guest at the home of a dear friend than being at a hotel. One more thing - Sarah also happens to be a fantastic cook, as a foodie guy I looked forward to every meal and it was always very delicious.

About the island - the reef is amazing, we are only snorkelers and this definitely was the best snorkeling we had so far. And the highlight for me was the live and mostly healthy corals. The reef is easily accessible from the beach, visibility is great and at low tide you are so close to the fish and corals, it's amazing.

Unlike Bunaken, there are no mangroves at Siladen and you have quite a long beach to walk and explore. There is one strech of beach at the south tip of the island, fringed with coconut palms, turquoise water, your picture perfect tropical island.

Last thing that I need to address is the garbage that floats from Sulawesi. There is no way around it, if you go there you have to be prepared and accept it. The beach and sea around Bobocha is free of any garbage due to the relentless efforts of Sarah and her people. Due to the strong current, the sea is generally very clean and the garbage problem is not as bad as some posts suggest.

All in all thanks to Sarah and all the amazing people at Siladen, it was a very special and unique experience. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anacortes
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We could not have asked for a better time in Siladen. We ended up spending an extra night here because we loved it so much. Sarah, the fantastic host who makes you feel like you are a part of her family, helped us plan the rest of our trip around northern Sulawesi. She was filled with advice and recommendations, all of which turned out to be excellent. In terms of our time at Bobocha....where to begin!? Staying here is a dream.... from the friendly staff, the sweet dog (Bobo), the unreal food, and the coral reef right off the beach! We are vegetarians and Sarah had no problem catering to our diet with food that we would dream of eating every day of our lives. Sarah also hooked us up with a professional dive company on Bunaken which allowed us to dive in small groups rather than on crowed boats with tons of divers. And if you don't dive, the snorkeling is some of the best we have experienced (and we have seen a fair amount of reefs in our lives). Sarah is also very involved in the local community and spends a lot of time giving back to the people of Indonesia - which is fantastic to see and know you are supporting.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bobocha Cottages Siladen

Address: Siladen Island | Bunaken National Marine Park, Sulawesi Utara, Manado 2207, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Manado
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 35 B&Bs / Inns in Manado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bobocha Siladen is located on the small pristine island of Siladen, situated within the Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia with a population of only 300 people.We offer a unique experience living amongst the villagers where you can enjoy the hospitality and simplicity of nature. Tasty and healthy food is our motto!.....we prepare and cook with fresh local produce and ingredients to give exquisite dishes for you to experience and these meals are included in our accommodation prices 3 times per day. ... more   less 
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