Lodgings in Manado
Manado is more of a stopping off point between Jakarta and Bunaken where fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling can be done in the paradisiacal beaches there which are reached by ferry from Manados in the middle. So, a good idea is to stay perhaps in Manados which is more economical than the beach resorts in the nearby islands.
Manados has undergone lots of urban development and now there are more modern buildings and installations such as shopping malls, franchise restaurants and all of this has been done in an area known as Manado Boulevard on the main road of this city as well as in the vicinity of this area. Manado was kind of run-down before the building boom there that has changed the city making more attractive and more of an option versus the neighboring areas which are still relatively unspoilt and are what most people would consider "tropical Paradise", islands with clean white sand beaches, crystalline water, lots of coral reefs and tropical fish to see if one goes scuba diving and other similar attractions.
However, Manado does have quite a few places to stay. There is not much of an offer for backpackers but some of the hotels there have cheaper rooms such as the Bersehati Hotel or the Rex Hotel.
Other more expensive hotels which could be suitable for a "middle class" tourist and which are more centric than the ones mentioned above are Celebes Hotel which is in the harbor making it a good idea as a base to move around the different areas using the harbor as a starting point. Another hotel of this type is the Hotel Formosa which is at the South of the city. There is a hotel called the Travello Hotel that is in this category but is more economic. If what is being searched for is an Oriental experience, then the Golden Dragon is a good choice.
Nowadays there are many more options for cheaper types of accommodation in Manado. A mention is made here of the pricier hotels because one is after all, on vacation and maybe it is desirable to enjoy luxury after having stayed in spartan lodgings during the rest of the trip to Indonesia, so if a couple of days of luxury are desired then the Sintesa Peninsula Hotel is a good option and is the only 5 star hotel in this city. An excellent choice because of its great restaurant is the Swiss-Belhotel Maleosan.
Other places are being built and opening gradually making Manado a destination in its own right and not just a stop-over from Jakarta or Bunaken for example.
There are many new restaurants in Manado offering great eating experiences and serving not only Indonesian spicy food but also a large range of international cuisine prepared by good chefs. Some of these interesting restaruants serving Indonesian food are the Bumi Beringin Restaurant which is in a Colonial style building located on a hillside that offers good views of Manado Bay. This establishment is a good idea for a relaxing evening dinner after having an apperitif.
Here´s an option that could be lots of fun for the kids. Take them out to McDonalds in Manado! There is a McDonalds here in the area of Megamas close to the Mega Mall and many other franchise international restaurants and caffeterias.