Beach shacks with character
Jalan Raya Selang T: (0813) 3753 1133, (0363) 430 1025
Spread along the majority of Selang's bay, Good Karma offers characterful Sulawesi-style beachside bungalows made in natural bamboos and woods, ranging from small and basic through to large with great holiday-worthy verandas. Of everywhere that is still standing in Amed, Good Karma is the second oldest according to the characterful and hospitable Baba, who runs this relaxed low-key retreat, attracting a steady stream of repeat visitors looking for a slice of old Bali.
All the bungalows are fan-cooled only and face the same aspect towards the ocean, but some are larger than others and therefore command a higher price. Standards are to the west of the restaurant -- we'd skip these if you can afford a deluxe as they're a little squashed together and darker within. The deluxe rooms on the other hand comfortably sleep four with plenty of space to spare. They come in two sections -- one row immediately to the east of the restaurant and a second, more "jungly" set row, over a small bridge, towards the eastern end of the bay. The deluxe rooms that are furthest away are also the newest, but, well, let's just say anything made of wood and bamboo ages fast in this climate. Beds are bamboo-based and a little lumpy -- as is all the other furniture -- with good mosquito nets, while outdoor attached bathrooms are cold-water and entirely open to the elements.
Proximity to the ocean, coral right offshore and lovely spacious gardens great for kids to play are what make Good Karma a great deal. You can roll out of bed, put some fins on and be in the ocean within 30 seconds. We love the day beds on the balconies out front as well as the provided hammocks, so you can while away an afternoon reading a book as the gentle waves lap ashore.
The calm beach is black sand and ringed by traditional jukungs that come and go depending on the weather. It really is spectacular to watch them come ashore. We didn't snorkel this time around so can't vouch for the condition of the coral, but other guests were happy paddling and saw plenty of fish.
The attached restaurant does solid Indonesian and Western fare, though the actual ingredients on hand didn't quite match what was on the menu (no fish one night, no pumpkin, no avocado -- not unusual in smaller guesthouse). Breakfast is included and tea is left on your veranda in a thermos before you wake so you can sip before the restaurant opens at 07:30 (no coffee though). WiFi worked very well in the restaurant but not to the deluxe bungalows across the bridge. There is an extremely limited Edge connection -- don't rely on being able to access it from your room.
Owner Baba apparently has the whole bay and we'd recommend having some form of transport to get around if you plan to stay here, but you could also happily spend a few days just in the resort, snorkelling and eating and getting an occasional massage. The occasional vendor stopped by to see if we wanted to buy a boat, or have a massage, or take a boat ride, but nowhere near as many as just around the corner at Life in Amed, another of our Amed favourites.
You'll pay similar rates elsewhere and have a swimming pool thrown in, but Good Karma does have lovely, tall trees in its gardens and the bungalows, while simple, leave you feeling far more remote (in a good way) than you really are. If you're looking for a chilled-out, sleepy place to relax for a few days, we thoroughly recommend Good Karma.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 11th February, 2016.