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Colourful riverside bungalows

Jalan Raya Luah, Sidemen T: (0853) 3803 2100


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Darmada is tucked away along the banks of Sungai Unda and a small tributary and offers two styles of super-cute and colourful rooms spread over a hectare of natural, mostly unlandscaped land. Brick and bamboo colonial-style bungalows (the standards) edge the small stream are are divided into two rooms, and down the path single family bungalows are oddly grouped a little too closely together, given all the space.

Rooms are themed around a single colour and feature local hand-made cement tiles. Although we love the standard rooms, the layout is a little odd. Verandas at the front and back of the bungalow are great, but the one over the river (which to our mind offers a more relaxing and private area) is entered via the bathroom. Nevertheless, the styling is lovely, with carefully chosen accoutrements.

Poolside at Darmada.

Poolside at Darmada. Photo: Sally Arnold

Spacious rooms are appointed with bamboo mosquito-netted beds. The white bed linen is enhanced with cushions and generous runners that complement the room colour. Other bamboo and whitewashed wooden furniture adds a touch of shabby chic. Airy rooms are further cooled by ceiling fans. Despite the worn-look style, the rooms are spotless.

Bathrooms are great and are accented by those splendid local tiles. Polished cement vanities and bamboo trims and accessories brings together the whole look. Both verandas are furnished with comfortable bamboo furniture, and the riverside one adds a hammock — of course in a matching colour, perfect for relaxing with a holiday thriller.

Bright colours on offer.

Bright colours on offer. Photo: Sally Arnold

The standalone family rooms follow the same theme but are slightly more compact, with a mezzanine level adding twin beds for the kids. We found the stairs to the mezzanine a little steep and narrow, but they are solidly built.

A natural-style swimming pool is pleasantly shady and cool, fed from a local spring, and looks as though it’s part of the river. Sun lounges are peppered under the trees. Stroll though the lush gardens to the restaurant, Warung Melita, following the same aesthetic as the rooms and serving local and Western dishes with a local touch. Breakfast is included, but free WiFi only reaches the office area. When we could find them, staff were friendly, if a little vague.

Simple fare.

Simple fare. Photo: Sally Arnold

The hotel runs a small foundation, and provides after-school activities for local kids so if you’ve got your own kids in tow, it may be fun for them to join in.

We love the setting and the design of Darmada, but our only quibble is the lack of space between the rooms. Check online for deals. For a lower budget, and more basic riverside option cross the river to Tepi Sungai.

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Walk-in rates at Darmada

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Standard double room
600,000 rupiah
600,000 rupiah
Family room
800,000 rupiah
800,000 rupiah
Room: Standard double room, low season: 600,000 rupiah, high season 600,000 rupiah. Notes:
Room: Family room, low season: 800,000 rupiah, high season 800,000 rupiah. Notes:

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Where is Darmada

Jalan Raya Luah, Sidemen
T: (0853) 3803 2100
Coordinates (for GPS): 115º26'21.4" E, 8º28'12.4" S
Room rates: 400,000 to 1,000,000 Rp

Map for Darmada

Map for Darmada

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