I just returned from a dive trip to North Sulawesi in Indonesia, where I had a chance to spend some time at one of the nicest dive resorts I’ve every seen: Kima Bajo Resort. The resort is located at one end of the small Wori Bay near the village of Kima Bajo. It is about a 30 minute drive from Manado north to the resort. There are 30 rooms in all, spread our over the hilly terrain of the property. The rooms come in two types: "Villa" and "Longhouse". The two types are almost the same size with most of the same amenities, but the villa rooms have their own outdoor balconies as well as a private outdoor sunken bathtub. There is also one "Grand Villa" with a private swimming pool.
The villas of Kima Bajo Resort
For my stay, I had one of the villa rooms overlooking the bay and village. The room was very comfortable, with a large four-post bed with mosquito netting (although the room was air conditioned). The outdoor balcony had a built-in ‘sofa’ as well as a small dinette table. The sleeping area and bathroom were separated by the closet, which had the unique ability to be accessed from either side – the bedroom or the sink area of the bathroom. It seemed to me to be quite a useful feature. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen it in a hotel before. The only minor complaint I had about the room was there was no place to plug in my laptop and work. The only usable outlet was near the bed.
Inside a Villa Room
Outside of the room, there is a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and spa, as well as the dive shop, operated by Eco Divers. The dive shop has a classroom, camera room, drying area, showers and rinse tanks. The resort has it’s own pier and operates two dive boats. As at most of the resorts in the area, the boats go out for two dives in the morning after breakfast, with an optional afternoon or night dive.
Beautiful sunny morning view of Bunaken and Manado Tua
Meals are served in the large restaurant down by the beach, where you can get views like the one above. Breakfast is generally included in all rates and is not a buffet, but an offering of about five set menus, which include options such as American, Continental, Asian, etc. For the other meals, guests staying on a full board rate get a set menu to select from, while for others there is a large menu of Indonesian and western options to choose from. A free afternoon "tea" is served in the small bar just below the restaurant. It’s really just tea or coffee and a sweet cake, or similar.
The Mayana Spa offers the full range of spa services, plus some salon services such as facials, manicures and pedicures. Expect to pay US$35 to $45 for a one hour massage.
Kima Bajo can also arrange tours to the land-side sights around Manado, such as the Tangkoko Nature Reserve. This can be a useful way of using your decompression time before a flight.
See the Kima Bajo Resort web site for more information, rates and to make your reservation.