The Bunaken Marine Park is not on the UNESCO list of marine reserves, and that's just fine by me. Let's keep this place as an open secret among us, please. There is no Sheraton, or Hilton here. No jet-ski rentals, no para-sailing, no golf courses, and no Japanese honeymooners shuffling their feet with every step they take.
Here Be Divers! (and all are welcome, including the Japanese)
This was our 5th trip to Bunaken and our 2nd stay at the Siladen Resort. We wanted to stay here on our last trip too, but the resort was closed for renovations. Too bad too, because we didn't enjoy the other place on the island.
Obviously, we keep coming back for the diving. There are probably 30 good wall dives within 30 minutes by boat. You can drop me on Likuan 1, 2, or 3 every single day. I won't complain. The dive team will sometimes try to take you to a Manado coast dive site, but there is no reason for that. The best dives, best visibility, and most awesome marine life is all around the islands. I admit, currents can sometimes be a problem but you have a dive guide for a reason. They know what they're doing out there, and it's not just to find critters for you. They are pretty good at that though. Ask for Maidy as a guide. He found 3 different pygmy seahorses for us.
As for the resort, I have only three minor quibbles that I know can be fixed, so I might as well post them here. The owner/manager reads these posts, so let him know what you think!
1. Guest rooms should be aired out regularly even if there are no guests in the room. The musty tropical moldy smell is a real turn-off when you arrive in a room that hasn't been occupied for a week or two. It took us two days of open windows and doors to get rid of that smell.
2. There is a safe in each guest room The safe in our room (Edelweiss) would have been just a bit more safe if was actually, physically attached to something. A wall, perhaps?
3. Certain dishes should be served hot. I love the spring rolls. I'm certain they're hand made fresh, not frozen, but sometimes they were served cold. French Fries. Sama Sama. This is not rocket science, it's kitchen science and it's not hard.
I have one more comment that I know can't be fixed. I bring it up so that all guests are aware. There is a 22% tax and service charge on everything. Management can't/won't do a thing about it, but it adds up.
If you're a couple, diving for 10 days, doing 3 dives per day each... You're going to pay 22% on top of the package price for the diving. The package prices for diving isn't bad compared to international prices, but that 22% service charge brings the overall cost close to what it would cost in many other locations. After the diving is done and you split a large Bintang at the bar... You're going to pay 22% on top of the menu price for that Bintang. Another one or two at dinner, and it all adds up.
I really don't want to make this sound like anything ruined our trip. We had a blast, and got to see most of the dive sites we wanted. The other guests were genuinely entertaining and the staff didn't just play our Tango music, they asked us for lessons!
It was a fun trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exclusively located in the heart of the world renowned Bunaken National Marine Park, on the lush tropical island of Pulau Siladen, Siladen Resort & Spa offers guests an authentic, elegant and relaxing atmosphere and an unforgettable experience. The four star boutique resort opened in Jan 2003 is an ecofriendly property which places high emphasis on the protection of the Marine Park and the environment. 16 elegantly furnished villas with a full set of amenities, extra large king size beds, outdoor open air showers, sundecks overlooking the calm seas; a PADI diving center offering a full range of courses; a gourmet restaurant serving the finest cuisine; a traditional Spa offering a wide variety of body treatments and massages; a boutique and gift shop; a lounge bar; a large salt water swimming pool; a long stretch of white coral beach await you. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available throughout the Resort. Over 40 different diving and snorkeling sites located in the Bunaken National Marine Park are within minutes of the Resort. Our house reef offers spectacular snorkeling. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Siladen Resort And Spa
- Siladen Hotel Siladen Island
- Siladen Hotel Manado
- Siladen Resort Manado