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“Paradise on earth” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado

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Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Wori
Genova
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Paradise on earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2008

OK, now imagine this:

“You just wake up from a peaceful night sleep, get out of bed and step out on your very own veranda overlooking a peaceful sea and Manado Tua (a sleeping volcano set in a turquoise/blue sea).
You wash-up and walk down the graceful hillside to the restaurant veranda for your breakfast while looking at incomparable scenery.
After breakfast, you walk down to the embarcadero, step onto your private boat, and are taken to your dive site (one of many).
Your DM briefs you through your first dive and your over in a immense, tranquil blue universe filled with fish galore, corals, turtles, sharks and, yes, nudibranchs.

First dive ends too early as you would have wanted it to last forever. You get back onto the boat and whisk away to your second dive site.

On the way, you are handed your restaurant’s lunch menu for you to choose what you would like for lunch and your DM calls in your order.

Second dive coming up: even better than the first.

You end your second dive and the boat brings you back to your hotel for your lunch where you will be served what you have already ordered.

By the time you finished your dessert and had a coffee or tea it is time for your third dive of the day of a peaceful afternoon on the beach to soak up some sun.

After your third dive, its time to head back to the hotel for a beer by the pool while watching the sunset. After that why not indulge in a refreshing massage before dinner?

Paradise…………..”

Hey, get up! You were not dreaming.

Take a shower and start moving because its time to live through what you thought could only be a dream.

This is real. It’s Kima Bajo Resort and Spa and the beautiful Bunaken Marine Park.

I’ve been there twice in two months and can’t wait to go there again and again and again….

Ciao and please think of me in your next dive at Kima Bajo.

Enrico
PADI DM # 495650

P.S.:

Almost forgot, you’ll find all the regular amenities (airport pick-up. Welcome fruits in your room with a welcome note written on a banana leaf, etc….) you would expect to have in Paradise …. Sorry, in a very nice hotel.

  • Liked — The friendliness of the staff, the idealinc setting, the view, ...........
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Enrico1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2008

We have just returned home from a lovely time at Kima Bajo Resort and Spa in North Sulawesi. After spending a week on a live aboard dive boat, I was happy to spend less time under the water and to relax at the pool and spa while my husband kept diving every day. I really liked the idea of the dive boat coming back to the resort for lunch as it gave me the opportunity to get back after two morning dives and on the days I did not go out diving, I could still have lunch with my husband who did 3 dives every day.

Visiting the Spa is a must. Here I spent hours relaxing under the skillfull hands of the therapists while they pampered me from head to toe. Even PJ enjoyed a treatment on our last morning. We did the highland tour where we visited a local market and saw how they build the intricate traditional wooden houses. Our guide spoke good English and was informative and fun.

The best part of our trip was watching the sun set over the ocean. Every evening we would go down to the pool for this colourful spectacle and then join other guests in the bar for a chat. Many of the divers shared the pictures of the days diving and another couple showed us the photos of their trip to see the Tarsius, the world’s smallest primate. It is such an informal atmosphere at the bar and we quickly made friends with many of the other guests.

We both enjoyed the varied menu on offer. My husband is more adventurous than me and tried at least one local dish every day while I stayed with the western choices. Our only complaint is that service at breakfast the first day was a bit slow but then a buffet was prepared and we could just help ourselves.

We really had a wonderful time in North Sulawesi and loved the diving and the smiling people.

  • Liked — Comfortable, great views
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank divermam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2008

Fantastic Garden!
Fantastic villas & view(deluxe) !
Very poor level of restaurant: food quality /choice/service!
Dramatic breakfast !

Lot of people to serve,gentle, want to please you.....but don't know how to do it and what to handle.

Unless you're a mad diving guy spending all day's below ...............i won't recommend this disapointing hotel (for now).
You have other choice around .

BjfB/Europe

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Indonesiacintaselalu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2008

What a great place to relax away from the hussle and bussle of big cities and big hotels. Wonderful pool on the beach overlooking Menado Tua volcano and the Bunaken Marine Park. Excellent diving with walls, fish and amazing critters that you would not believe exist.
Food was varied, well prepared and presented and suited my laidback style. Wonderful spa and very reasonable prices. Will be back.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mataka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2007

In short: Phenomenal, unspoilt location for diving. Very nice resort, though there's some room for improvement in the "luxury" areas such as quality of food & spa services. Would not recommend the resort if you're looking for a big beach resort, nightlife, or a place with many options for diversions within the resort. The resort has some growing up to do, but we really appreciated the genuine effort and hospitality of the staff. I'm hoping to go back again. Would strongly recommend Kima Bajo if you're looking for a nice long weekend (from Singapore, HK, or soemwhere closeby), or a die-hard diver willing to spend a few extra bucks for a lovely environment to hang out in during the afternoons/evenings post-diving.

My husband and I recently spent 5 nights at the Kima Bajo for a diving holiday. We took the advice on another review on tripadvisor and booked a package through the diving center (Odyssea Divers). Because of the slow season, we were able to negotiate a further discount, which made the holiday an excellent deal for the experience. However, if we had paid the full published price for the room & all services, we would have considered the resort overpriced for the quality of services it provides today.

The location may not be for everyone, but we loved it. From the airport, it takes a 1/2 hr drive through the lush countryside to reach the resort. You do get a glimpse of the rural towns, coconut groves, and vast stretches of tropical scenery on the way. There are still very few resorts in the area, so this means you're rally in the middle of an unspoilt natural environment. Even if you're not a diver, I'd recommend taking a boat trip for snorkeling and seeing the beautiful, natural coastline.

The grounds are impeccably kept, and the landscaping is quite beautiful. Staff walk around all day to pick up dead leaves off the green grass. It's too bad that the same level of attention isn't paid to the beach - a few more beach loungers might make it more inviting. The pool is a lovely design, but quite small. Because there were very few people at the resort, we were very comfortable. In fact it was like having a private resort all to ourselves. However, if all the rooms were occupied, the public space of the resort may feel a bit crowded.

We stayed in a Bunga Villa, which was quite spacious and well-kept. Villas #10-14 seem to have the best (waterfront/Volcano/sunset) view. It would be worthwhile requesting one of these rooms, if you are staying in a Bunga Villa. The villa design is somewhat similar to that of the Banyan Tree in Bintan - however the rooms are smaller overall. The outdoor bath isn't quite sparkling, but makes for a lovely outdoor shower. The resort provides basic bathroom amenities, but make sure to bring your own toothpaste, suntan lotion & products. The bed and linens were quite comfortable. The villa also has a nice balcony with a table & bench area. From the balcony, we had a spectacular view of the bay and sunset. All rooms are situated on top of a hill, so there's a healthy climb up to the rooms back from the beach, restaurant, and dive center. Note that access up to the room may be a bit difficult if you have limited mobility. It's not impossible, but I think it would be extremely difficult/scary if you're in a wheelchair.

The diving was simply phenomenal. The dive shop is well equipped. I recommend reading their web site, which has a lot of detailed information. On all dives, we were either the only pair on the boat, or with one other party. There are English and Japanese speaking instructors, all of whom are very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. The sites are about 30 minutes to 1 hr away by boat. A "crowded" site would have at most 3-4 boats and 15 divers at any time. On most of the dives we were the only group there. The area is still quite unspoilt and I can't say enough about the quality of the diving experience. According to the divemaster, the best season is from April to August.

The restaurant serves reasonably-priced, decent food. There is only one restaurant at the resort, and it didn't seem to us that there were any other food options. A large bottle of Bintang beer, probably double the size of a can, costs US$4 + tax&service charge. Dishes like salads, fried rice, noodles, and burgers cost about $4 ~ $9, and the fabulous (and huge) seafood barbecue on the beach cost about $35 per person. This was an extravagant five-course meal, with a table laid out on the beach, flower arrangements, and the chef staffed just for the barbecue. Regular dinners will cost less. The restaurant will also prepare lunch boxes for diving and snorkeling excursions.

Overall I think the resort is perfectly lovely as is. However, if Kima Bajo improves some of the services up a notch, it could become a very special place comparable to a Banyan Tree or a Six Senses resort. The restaurant serves good food, but it's a bit disappointing considering you're staying in a resort that charges almost US$200 a night for a standard room (in a fairly rural area of Indonesia!) The bartender wasn't familiar with some common cocktails, and the pina colada we ordered was made with vodka. In my opinion, the spa can also use some improvements in the staff's training & products used. The treatment rooms & garden are very nice. However, the skill level of the masseuses are still pretty rudimentary & don't compare to other resort spas that charge similar prices.

We did appreciate the fact that everyone at the resort was extremely helpful and friendly. If there were small gaps, they staff made up for it with a smile and an effort to be helpful. It's a nice change from some other hotels and resorts which may be posh but more commerical/impersonal.

  • Liked — The natural setting, diving, genuine friendliness of staff
  • Disliked — The quality of services (F&B, Spa, basic phone/fax) given the price of the resort
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank bluehippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2006

Stayed at Kima Bajo for a long weekend, two adults and an eight-month baby, in a villa, in Nov06. I did two dives at Bunaken with the onsite dive operator, Odyssee divers, and my wife enjoyed the Spa. We and another couple were the only guests.

Kima Bajo is a small, boutique-style resort built by a Singapore-HongKong-Japanese investment group and planned by a Balinese architect. It is located on hilly grounds in a small bay about 40 min by car north of Manado city, next to the Kima Bajo fishing village.

The Villa we stayed in was impeccable, nice design, attention to detail, view over the bay, the fishing village and the volcano island of Manado Tua. We especially enjoyed the shielded outdoor bathtub and shower.

There is a single restaurant with - pricey - food. Quality seems a hit and miss - I had good barbecued fish, but for the mie goreng I'd better gone to the local warung in the village. Pan o' chocolate in the morning was superb, but do not try the iced coffee - you will get half a liter of diluted Nescafe, without ice cubes obviously.

Staff are extremely friendly and welcoming, but would profit from training and additional English classes. Service in the restaurant is slow-motion.

Odyssee divers are professional and very well equipped, and charge a premium for their services. Expect to pay USD 40 per dive (!) and USD 30 per day for equipment rental. Dive sites are excellent and only a short boat ride away.

So a pleasant weekend overall, but for Kima Bajo it is still a long way to go to become a true 5 star resort.

  • Liked — remoteness
  • Disliked — remoteness
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Olivoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2006

We cannot labelled it has THE best vacation we ever had but it was one of the best in a line of vacations we had to date in Indonesia.

We just returned from an exhaustive but well earned short vacation and a most wonderful time at this resort.

Exhaustive because of the 3 dives a day we did to maximise our little time we had - great marine life and great weather!!!!

Our arrival into Manado was a bit messy - the long wait to get a tourist visa was a nightmare but beyond that it is fast at Customs.

We were met by the resort staff who was pleasant but speak little English. The journey to the resort could have been shorter if not for the unpaved roads in certain areas (watch the whip lashes!!!)- the driver told us 20 mins but it took approx 30 mins.

The reception lobby was the smallest we have ever came across in a resort but it gave a sense of zen and the landscape view from the lobby was awesome. The welcome cold towels and yes, the refreshing coconut drinks was so delicious. We were told that it was pluck fresh from the gardens of the resort - and yes, the resort is full of coconut trees!!

It was nice of the key staff to have met us especially the GM, who personally gave a brief orientation. We were booked at the Kimez Cottage and it was a dismayed upon entering the room - the room furnitures and bed was great but the size was so small and tight and the rooms were too close to the other rooms - like a cluster! We do not recommend anyone to book the Kimez Cottages.

After a night stay at the Cottage, we could not take it and decided to do an upgrade for a nominal fee - we opt for the Bunga Villa - and it was heaven!!! Just perfect with an outdoor sunken bath!!!

Food was great and the romantic dinner I had with my wife as a surprised was fabulous - it was set on the beach with tiki torches and candles.

The beach was a surprised - we were expecting a beach like white sand and long - but it was volcanic black sand and short, real short - I would not call it a beach but a mini cove - what is good is that it is clean and private and takes getting used too - eventually we loved it cos of its uniqueness of the color of the sand and very private!!!

Besides diving, we love the spa - great therapies and beautifully design spa. But what make our vacation a memorable one is because of the staff - though they speak little English, their wanting to provide the service can be seen in their gesture-like attitude and if all else fail in communicating, there is also the GM - he is practically everywhere and always ready to chat you up and ensuring that you have a wonderful time!

Overall, we had a lovely time at Kima Bajo and we would be back again!

Helpful?
9 Thank Kiwisin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado

Property: Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado
Address: Desa Kima Bajo dusun 1, Kecamatan Wori, Kabupaten Minahasa Utara | near Manado, Wori 95000, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > North Sulawesi > Wori
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Wori
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado 4*
Number of rooms: 31
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 
Also Known As:
Kima Bajo Hotel Wori
Kima Bajo Resort And Spa
Kima Bajo Resort & Spa, Manado Indonesia/Wori, Sulawesi

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