I arrived at the resort after three nights of an unforgettably bad experience in the town of Manado at the recently concluded Asean Tourism Forum.
I was picked up at my hotel by the charming Ika, the sales coordinator of Cocotino's. On the way to the resort, she helped me do some shopping at a local supermarket and even ensured that the sauce I was buying had not gone "out-of-date". That is the extent to which the staff are helpful and attentive. I cannot emphasise how wonderful,attentive and well trained they truly are. They would be the envy of most 5* international chain hotels. Within the first couple of hours everyone knew and addressed me by name. The staff, or maybe I should call them "our hosts" all spoke excellent English and each and every one of them went out of their way to make me feel at home. Coming from three nights of "no speak english" and not a clue of hospitality or housekeeping at the hotel in Manado town, this was a dream come true.
I was given a room facing the sea and therefore did not once experience the sound effects reported by other reviewers.
The room was perfect, spotlessly clean and with all the comforts you could ask for, and yet done in the most charming rustic style. All the equipment worked flawlessly, and the shower had enough pressure to blow out a fire on the 4th floor of a building. The tub was spotless as was the toilet. The linen and towels were as soft, white and inviting as could be found anywhere. The only downside for me was that all the rooms seemed to have only twin bed accommodation. Being as big as I am, it is always nice to have a Queen sized bed at least, but I guess this is a factor of being a diving oriented resort and divers tend to hunt in teams rather than couples, I guess.... much like golfers! ;-) so no minus points for this, it just IS!
The food was excellent (I never tried the western style food), but the local style food was fresh as it was delicious.The restaurant wait staff were excellent and went out of their way to ensure that everyone felt at home. They made sure that those dining alone did not feel lonely. They always had time for few words with all the single diners so that while one may have been dining alone, one was not left only staring at the trees and scenery to pass time. BTW while the rooms do not have internet, the restaurant has free wi-fi connectivity. They also play the most wonderful selection of music from the most eclectic jazz, to 60's and 70's rock, no techno-crap (a huge plus in my book). On the second night the owner, Mr TM Wong (who had specially flown in from Malaysia to welcome us) took personal charge of the dinner entertainment and started the evening out with a performance by students of the Kolintang from the local orphanage. During the dinner break for the performers, TM pulled out his guitar and got all the guests to join in. Both he and the Director of Sales n Mktg.- Iwan Sitompul posses the most wonderful musical talent and I wonder why they never pursued a career in music.
The resort GM- Tino as he is affectionately known, (half of the resort name is his) was also the dive master for our day out on the water. He is truly the most wonderful repository of information. As mentioned in one of the other reviews he is most caring and attentive of his divers and even though I did not scuba, but only snorkeled, I was truly impressed. Everyone on board had their own labelled glass/cup, soft white towel (no ugly, abrasive beach towels here) tea/coffee on tap, cookies n buns and attentive assistants who even packed up the guests cameras in a waterproof bag and carried them from/to the boat at one island stop.
Tino even negotiated the purchase of a 55kilo Yellowfin Tuna from the local fishermen, to ensure we had some great photo ops as well as a centerpiece and talking point for our evening gala dinner.
Mr Wong and your Cocotinos Family here is a big big three cheers to you. You really have something to be more than justifiably proud of.
Try to get the waterfront rooms.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
3 February 2012
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What can we say about your review but “Thank You”, “Thank You,”” Thank You”. We are so glad that you managed to experience the meaning of real hospitality at Cocotinos, especially after your rather negative experience of staying at a local city hotel.
As you found out after staying with us we always try to make our guests experience the best that it can be, and we like to treat everyone who stays with us, as we would a friend staying in our own home. This is made easier for us by the natural hospitality and friendliness that our staff have in abundance, and which seems to spill over in their contacts with our guests. This is something that no amount of training can achieve. Simple things like greeting guests by name, having a quiet conversation with a single guest sitting in the restaurant without being intrusive, or putting their names on towels and cups on the dive boat seems to make a big difference as to how our guests enjoy their stay at Cocotinos
Our owner and designer of Cocotinos Resorts, Mr TM Wong whom you met. Has always emphasised that we make sure that the small things which always seem to make a big difference to the comfort and wellbeing of our guests during their stay are taken care of and
we see from your excellent review that we have succeeded.
Again many thanks for your review and for staying with us. We look forward to having you stay with us again in future, hopefully it will not be to long before you pay us another visit.
Warmest regards from all staff Cocotinos Manado
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC