Monday, June 08, 2009

Manado: Part 2

Now, I am going to say this and get it over with - it is not easy writing about other dive resorts. As much as I don't want to, I end up comparing them all to Sipadan Water Village in Mabul.

So, that's now out of my system....

For our 6D/5N in Manado, we stayed at the Bastianos Lembeh.

There are primarily two dive areas in Manado - Bunaken and Lembeh Straits. Getting from Bitung port to our resort is a mere 10-15 minutes boat ride away.

At Lembeh, don't expect white sandy beaches and blue turquoise waters. Volcanic substrate causes sand (on land and underwater) to be dark brown, almost black. It takes some getting used to, cos black sand just looks damn dirty and walking about barefoot felt icky at first.

There aren't many rooms at the Bastianos Lembeh, which makes it a small and cosy place. Majority of the rooms are along the single stretch of walkway which takes you to and from the rooms to the restaurant.

The rooms at Bastianos Lembeh were clean and comfortable.

The rooms are airconditioned (a must have unless at SWV) and there is a four-poster bed with drapes (a romanticized word for mosquito nets).

The bathrooms, I love! Plenty of natural sunlight coming through, and see that ladder? You can hang your towel there when you shower!

Here's a shot of the balcony from Lynette. I forgot to take pictures of my own balcony, but it overlooks a different view - less trees, more sea.

Because we arrived at the resort in the dark of the night, I went to sleep at 2am not knowing what the view from our balcony was like. Most of us were up by about 5:30am because the sun had already risen. I jumped out of bed and was greeted with a view like this...

The dining area (pics from Lynette) is airy and overlooks the Straits.

Food here is definitely acceptable. Buffet meals are served, and in the course of our stay, with the exception of breakfast, no dishes were repeated. Though they really need to figure out how to cook fish properly.

The end of the dining area leads to the pool.

'Twas a pity that I only got to laze by the pool on our last morning there. The pool overlooks the shore outside the Bastianos Dive Centre.

The Dive Centre at the Bastianos Lembeh is well-organized in their own ways and is of course much better than other resorts in Tioman or Perhentian. But I would like to have a 'hang out' area where we can have coffee and gather around to look at pictures after a dive. (Yes, like the SWV dive centre set-up!)

Overall, a very chilled resort to be at.

Posted by Doreen at 1:01 pm