When travelling in Indonesia away from the tourist mecca of Bali, accommodation options can sometimes feel antiquated and sub-standard. But surely when travelling to one of the country’s best tourist attractions, things get better and cater for all tastes? Let’s just say that the Gunung Bromo area is best known for its stunning vistas and less so for its trendy digs.
This is all the more reason to get an idea of what’s on offer before you arrive, lest you be stuck in a hovel when what you really want is a palace. Many of these places are included as options in the tours which are booked in Yogyakarta. Here is a selection of the best value places to stay when you’re visiting Gunung Bromo.
Yoschi’s Hotel (from 103,500 rupiah) is the best value for money option in town. It’s a good four kilometres away from the Tengger Caldera, meaning you really need to rely on jeep services to get to and from Bromo, but because this is what people usually do anyway, it’s not a big problem. A variety of rooms are on offer, including those with no bathroom and those with cold water bathroom, but all have access to communal hot water bathrooms which is a good thing because the cold water is icy. Rooms are strangely very cosy with warm lamps, thick blankets on the beds and solid wood floors.
One of a raft of more upmarket places in town, Cafe Lava Hostel (from 144,000 rupiah) is probably the only one worth the amount charged. The cheapest rooms are tiny and share bathrooms while the most expensive rooms have private bathrooms and TVs. The entire property is clean, its location is right in the centre of Cemoro Lawang next to the crater and there is an attached restaurant.
Meanwhile Bromo Permai (from 420,000 rupiah) wants to be the Hilton, but is far too dated to offer anything close to the luxury that one would expect from the prices charged. Sure, the hotel is situated right across from the stunning Tengger Caldera and each of the rooms has a modern TV and hot water bathroom, but the rooms have not aged well at all. Still, if you’ve got money to burn you might find this place fits the bill.
Right at the other extreme is Budi Homestay (80,000 rupiah), a real backpacker haunt and a good place for those on a tight budget — though it’s the sort of place where you’ll say, “Ah, it’s only a night!” when checking in. Only a night can turn into a nightmare for those used to Western comforts; a shared toilet welcomes guests as does a hot shower of questionable cleanliness. Still, you at least get a bed. But that’s about it at Budi Homestay.
Directly across from Budi Homestay in a good location, Losmen Setia Kawan (100,000 rupiah) promises so much and delivers so little. Rooms are grim as are the shared bathrooms, but it’s cheap. So for those on a budget wanting to walk to Gunung Penanjakan and not able to get into Budi Homestay, this is a good option as viewpoint #2 is only an hour’s walk away. Just don’t complain that we didn’t warn you how bad the bathrooms really are.
A few other places are on offer in town, but not much; it’s quite surprising that someone hasn’t built something like Yoschi’s closer to the crater — they’d make an absolute killing. Apart from these options closer to the caldera, there are a bunch of places on the road between Probolinggo and Cemoro Lawang that are more popular with local crowds rather than foreign tourists, mainly due to their isolation. If you’re getting around in your own car or motorbike, these might be worth a look, but for everyone else it’s not worth bothering.
By Adam Poskitt
Last updated on 28th February, 2015.