From one side of North Sulawesi to the other, we journeyed to the West Coast to the famed Bunaken Marine Park. Just one degree north of the equator and home to this stunning expanse of turquoise water, is the sparkling white sand island of Siladen on which Siladen Island Resort & Spa sits.
Stepping foot onto the Resort boat from the mainland launch, which is only about 1 hour from Manado International Airport, we knew we were in for a pretty special experience. Gliding across the azure waters, dolphins in the wake of the boat, sun shining, sun setting on the horizon, we pulled up to Siladen Island and were escorted the short distance from the jetty (which is only used at low tide) to the Resort via scooter and trailer (so many kinds of epic).
Walking through the rustic island doors welcoming us into the Resort grounds, which were literally glowing with sunlight, as if the Indonesian Gods were preparing us for the entry into an undiscovered paradise. A stunning pool presented itself to us, fringed with sun lounges and lined with white rocks making the pool colour that perfect shade of aqua. Aesthetic perfection, we have found home. A quick wander around the Resort and we notice that all the villas are perfectly dotted through the gardens and along the beachfront. All perfectly designed to get the most of the sunlight, and to maximise your surroundings, even the lead in villas are to die for!
Four poster beds, check! Timber floors, check! Outdoor bathroom so we can shower under the sparkling starlit sky, check! Fresh water replenished daily so we don’t have to consume ANY disposable plastic during our stay, (which we will come to discover is one of many comforting and impressive eco and sustainability practices reinforced by management) check! I mean, give us a Resort that makes you question even the use of a plastic straw in your nightly G&T, and be still our beating hearts. Not only have we found a Resort that oozes chicness, charm and style, but they are committed to preserving the environment they have been gifted with!
Now, before we get back to those villas, can we just mention the 4 poster daybeds dotted along the beachfront, with views of the surrounding islands and Volcano. The perfect location for an afternoon wine, post a day of diving, watching the sun set so perfectly over that island laden horizon. The rooms at the Resort are stunning. We stayed in one of the beautiful Garden Villas boasting Aegean blue outdoor bathrooms which we adored. But a quick wander through the newly renovated beachfront villas which are being fitted out with modern new outdoor bathrooms and we felt like we were shooting for Vogue. Hello Bi-fold doors which open up to your private deck on the beach front. For special romantic time, these are the villas for you!
The staff on the dive boats, during meal time, in the spa and just around the property were absolutely second to none. That cheeky sense of humour carries its way all through the Resort, and the care for the land and the environment is paramount to everyone. The Resort boasts this glow that is not only indicative of how perfectly perched this island is to watch the sun set over the water, but that is a testament to Ana and Miguel who manage the Resort. You can see the guests falling in love with the staff and management more during each meal.
Speaking of meals, the food was absolutely exceptional, not one meal disappointed in the entire week we were at the Resort. The Italian chef kept producing some of the best quality food we have had anywhere in the world, and we were literally left dragging ourselves onto the boat because we couldn’t say no to the thousands of options each meal.
We swam with turtles every day, sailed with dolphins, took the paddle boards around the island on a day adventure, explored the house reef by snorkelling just off the Resort, went diving day in day out to see some of the most incredibly diverse marine life the world has to offer, and lazed around on the boats all day. At night we drank wine and cocktails around the pool and played endless games of pool near the bar. There was not one moment where we could possibly be bored.
The real catch for this Resort, to us as travelling friends, was that you do not have to be a diver to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Siladen. We would happily come back here on a girls’ island getaway. The Resort offers everything you could want in an island destination, without the hustle and bustle of some of the overly publicised and high traffic areas we travel to!
Siladen really is an adults’ playground and offered us the perfect post exploration relaxation with the incredible spa. It is safe to say, there is nothing that the Siladen team do not deliver on. It was a true paradise, and one of the most untouched little havens on the planet.