If you took the bus then there is not much to see when you arrive in front of the lake. If you have a motorbike, then you can go around the lake and enjoy the landscapes, it takes 2-3 hours.
The surroundings of the lake where badly hit by the september 2009 Padang earthquake. Many landslides all around the lake destroyed some houses.
The only drawback is that it's a very long walk to the nearest town at Bayur.
Maninjau Indah Hotel is right in the heart of Maninjau town. Only a 3-min walk from town.One of the few upmarket hotels. Economy rooms start at 200,000 Rp (Feb 09)
Another upmarket hotel is Tan Dirih Hotel but it's further - a 15 minutes walk from the town centre.Economy rooms are 175,000 Rp (Feb 09)
Next door is the newish and stylish Water Front Restaurant. Pride of place is their sitting area which juts into the lake - lovely place for a meal or beer.Has a large playground and a small swimming pool for kids.The owner is voluble, and is proud to be known as Mr Porcupine (ask him why).
There are many budget alternatives, most with very basic facilities.
The one that impresses is Muaro Beach Bungalows about 10 mins' walk from Maninjau town through a kampung (village) path. Bungalows are 50,000 Rp (Feb 09) in a lush rustic setting near the lake. Has own restaurant by the edge of the lake. Muaro has been renovated, and renovations are still on-going. Friendly staff. There are ducklings to amuse kids. Compared to the other budget places which look run down, Muaro looks new.
Riak Danau is a bit further than Muaro. Access is via a narrow path through a paddy field. No bungalows, only rooms(50,000 Rp, Feb 09) but these are a spitting distance from the lake.
Last month, I visited Maninjau and stayed at Hotel Maninjau. Beautiful place!! The hotel staff was very welcoming and warm. The restaurant is tended to by the owner making it a home cooked meal, not the typical hotel "taste" food that you would usually get.
nuansa maninjau resort