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Pondok Pitaya

Surf, yoga, beachfront digs

Jalan Pantai Balian, Lalanglinggah T: (0361) 831 1118 (0819) 9984 9054 (0823) 3955 2391

Pondok Pitaya

Our rating:

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Scoring absolute beachfront digs at Balian Beach at the mouth of the Balian River, Pondok Pitaya does a solid job of delivering family-friendly resort-style comfort with laid-back surfer-beach-hut vibes.

With two restaurants, a well-placed pool, yoga sala and a range of comfortable rooms there is a lot to like here. Accommodation is scattered across a lawn garden that fronts right onto the sand and is made up of a collection of freestanding Javanese traditional houses and other longhouse style rooms of refurbished teak, all which enjoy views of the waves, and two rows of double-storey longhouses with a more rustic recycled wood style at the rear which though comfortable, score no views at all, bar the pretty garden.

Arguably the best-placed pool in Balian.

Arguably the best-placed pool in Balian. Photo: Sally Arnold

Rooms range from good-sized to humongous with the larger bungalow styles aimed at groups and families being mostly fan-cooled (excluding the air-con Joglo House) and the smaller double and twin rooms, mostly air-con cooled. Interiors are eclectic, with stylish rustic fittings and simple bamboo and wooden furnishings. Exposed brick, bamboo walls and polished cement finishes add to the mix.

Wooden or bamboo beds feature drapey mosquito nets and colourful quilts over snowy white sheets. Facilities include a small safe, and most add a kettle but only two of the larger rooms provide a fridge. Ensuite bathrooms continue the mishmash of rustic elements, but amenities are clean and modern with hot-water rainfall showers and ample room for your lotions and potions. Outside living areas span compact furnished terraces to the larger rooms whose lounge furniture spills out onto the grounds.

Family room interiors are huge, but can be spare on decor.

Family room interiors are huge, but can be spare on decor. Photo: Sally Arnold

Pondok Pitaya’s sprawling lawn that runs to the beach is excellent for kids to run wild (with enough tropical garden to allow hide and seek), while parents relax. Although it can be stroller gridlock here at times too—we spoke to a couple who had moved to Gajah Mina Beach Resort as Pondok Pitaya was too “kid friendly”. The oceanside swimming pool, a freeform, mid-size, kid-friendly pool with plenty of deckchairs is an ideal position to watch the surf, and presents a safer option for weak swimmers and children. Balian has strong currents and can be quite rough, it is not really a safe swimming beach.

The beachfront yoga sala is ideally placed for a sun salutation with regular classes available for 125,000 rupiah and occasional teacher training groups. The resort can get quite busy with yogis and sometimes the regular classes are moved to the lawn or inside one of the larger bungalows. Surfers though have not been forgotten—rooms come with board racks and tuition can be arranged should you need it.

A compact but comfortable double room.

A compact but comfortable double room. Photo: Sally Arnold

The main restaurant rolls back from the pool area and doubles as reception. Food is good with offerings ranging from Indonesian staples through to surfer food and, for the location, fare is reasonably priced. Across the road, overlooking the beach, their Japanese restaurant, Sushi Surf nabs and even better position. An onsite gift-shop offers beachy themed thingys as well as sun block and natural insect spray and a spa will help you destress and unwind.

Breakfast is included in the rate, and though there is free WiFi, some reports say it doesn’t reach the rooms, but is available in the restaurant. Staff are friendly and obliging though we thought it a bit odd when showing us around they abruptly left half way to check someone out, even with other staff around.

The non-ocean view rooms.

The non-ocean view rooms. Photo: Stuart McDonald

For the mid- to top-range price point with absolute beachfront, Pondok Pitaya is a solid choice particularly for couples who one surfs and the other yogas (or both do both) as well as families and groups—there’s something here for all. Pondok Pitaya can get very busy during high season and weekends, so is wise to book at these times.

If you prefer a more intimate, and quieter stay, quirky Pondok Pisces is a charmer, Istana Balian will appeal to many too and Gajah Mina Beach Resort nabs a very romantic location. If you desire the beach location, but you pockets are not so deep, budget travellers will be happy at the simple digs Balian Surf Camp offers, absolute beachfront on the other side of the river.

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 Check rates at Pondok Pitaya on
 Check rates at Pondok Pitaya on

Walk-in rates at Pondok Pitaya

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Standard double room
880,000 rupiah
880,000 rupiah
Superior double room
1,620,000 rupiah
1,620,000 rupiah
Fan-cooled, sleeps four
Family room
1,800,000 rupiah
1,800,000 rupiah
Sleeps 3
Deluxe double room
2,100,000 rupiah
2,100,000 rupiah
Joglo house, air-con sleeps four
Room: Standard double room, low season: 880,000 rupiah, high season 880,000 rupiah. Notes: Air-con
Room: Superior double room, low season: 1,620,000 rupiah, high season 1,620,000 rupiah. Notes: Fan-cooled, sleeps four
Room: Family room, low season: 1,800,000 rupiah, high season 1,800,000 rupiah. Notes: Sleeps 3
Room: Deluxe double room, low season: 2,100,000 rupiah, high season 2,100,000 rupiah. Notes: Joglo house, air-con sleeps four

 Check rates at Pondok Pitaya on
 Check rates at Pondok Pitaya on

Where is Pondok Pitaya

Pondok Pitaya
Jalan Pantai Balian, Lalanglinggah
T: (0361) 831 1118 (0819) 9984 9054 (0823) 3955 2391
Coordinates (for GPS): 114º57'56.83" E, 8º30'10.51" S
Room rates: 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 Rp

Map for Pondok Pitaya

Map for Pondok Pitaya

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