A number of dive resorts can be found on the mainland around Manado. There are a few advantages to staying around Manado rather than out on Bunaken: If you're with non-diving friends, they will have access to the sights of the countryside and other distractions that they won't have on the islands. The mainland also has a more plentiful and stable power supply (relatively speaking) so air conditioning and other modern conveniences are more common in the mainland resorts. Staying on the mainland doesn't necessarily put you that far away from the dive sites around Bunaken and Siladen. In short, you can find a bit more comfort and convenience on the mainland.
Here's a list of most of the resorts around Manado. Many of these may be booked through Safari Tours, a full service travel agency based in Manado. In addition to many of the resorts below, they also handle resorts on Bunaken, around Lembeh, and beyond. They can also arrange a variety of land-side tours to the countryside and national park.
- Kima Bajo Resort
- The Kima Bajo Resort and Spa is one of the more posh options for dive resorts around Manado. It's probably the mainland property that's closest to the dive sites around Bunaken.
- Located in the village of Kima Bajo (near the Kima Bajo Resort). There are over 20 rooms, along with a pool, spa and restaurant. The dive center is operated by Odyssea Divers. See the Cocotinos hotel information page for more details and links to discount booking sites.
- Thalassa Dive Center
- Housed in the Santika Resort just a bit north of town, Thalassa is a PADI five-star Gold Palm resort. You don't have to be a guest of the hotel to use the dive center, and their web site offers a couple other, cheaper options.
- Celebes Divers
- This dive shop operates two resorts: Mapia on the mainland about 20 kilometers southwest of Manado, and Onong Resort out on Siladen Island, near Bunaken. Both of the resorts are small, with less than a dozen cottages each.
- Lumbalumba Divers
- This small resort is a short distance down the coast southeast of town. There are just five cottages (one a family cottage) along with a full complement of diving and touring services.
- Minahasa Lagoon
- Minahasa is a full service resort located on a secluded lagoon about 30 kilometers southwest of Manado. In addition to their own dive center, there's a full service spa, restaurant and tours to the various land-side sights.
- Tasik Ria Resort
- Located on the coast about 30 minutes west of Manado, Tasik Ria bills itself as a family friendly resort, complete with a children's pool. There are 34 rooms, a spa and of course a full service dive center.