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Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

Excellent dorms and a great flashpacker option too

Jalan Kubu-Abang, Tulamben T: (0363) 430 1002 (0813) 3888 1800

Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

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A 15-minute walk from the dive sites, perched on a hill at the southern end of Tulamben, friendly Crystal Ocean View is an excellent budget to flashpacker option, with some of the best dorms we’ve seen in Bali.

Reception and the restaurant are housed in a double-storey building facing the road with views across a rocky coastline to the “crystal ocean” (the name doesn’t lie). Beyond, rooms surround a large courtyard pool. As the restaurant structure is open, sea glimpses are available from most and two front rooms (rooms 30 and 20) have unrestricted ocean views (they’re really not lying).

Pool time.

Pool time. Photo: Sally Arnold

Spacious air-con rooms are clean and bright, each with a different loud-coloured feature wall. Predominantly with simple, stylish solid-wooden furniture, some rooms throw in a cheap particleboard cupboard. In total contrast to the otherwise modern style, walls are adorned with kitsch paintings of romantic pastural scenes — must have been a job lot, as each room has several — but thankfully the bright wall colour drowns them out. Large bouncy beds sport quality spring mattresses with clean crisp white striped linen, smartened up with colourful runners. Room options vary, and up the price scale they become larger and add more furnishings.

Facilities include TV with DVD player (they advertise satellite, but we only got fuzz), a tiny safe (large enough for a phone and passport), and a fridge (not mini bar). Rooms provide two air-con units — one for “back-up” and emergency LED lanterns. The Tulamben area suffers from regular blackouts, however we didn’t experience any power failures during our visit. Airy tiled bathrooms are clean, but a little grimy in corners and the floor tiles are dangerously slippery — warning signs alert you, but be careful. Powerful hot-water showers take a long time to heat up — the second showerer will get the better deal.

Smart rooms.

Smart rooms. Photo: Sally Arnold

If you’re on a budget, Crystal Ocean View offers the best value dorm rooms in Tulamben, and perhaps the best dorms we’ve seen in Bali. There are cheaper options around, but none as good as here. For 100,000 rupiah per bed (sometimes less online), two four-bed single-sex dorms provide comfortable single beds (no bunks) with quality mattresses. Clean linen includes a top sheet and duvet. The hotel-style rooms have all the features of the regular rooms including air-con, fridge and TV and DVD player. Each dorm has its own ensuite hot-water bathroom —they’re clean and nicer than in some of their regular hotel rooms.

An upstairs bar area with views to the sea provides comfortable lounges and a congenial atmosphere to meet other travellers. The large blue swimming pool is a deep three metres — ideal for learning to dive, however at present there is no attached dive shop. Free WiFi is fast and breakfast is included. Other meals are available from their restaurant and prices are reasonable. There’s a free shuttle to the centre if you’re too lazy for the 15-minute walk.

Plenty of space to lounge around in.

Plenty of space to lounge around in. Photo: Sally Arnold

Crystal Ocean View is known by a number of names -- it seems they are trying to cover all markets: Tulamben Backpackers and sometimes Bali Spark Resort (the previous owner’s name). Discounts can be found online — check both names, as prices vary for the same rooms on the same sites. If full, Segara Tegah almost next door has cute bungalow rooms for 300,000 rupiah — and will have a pool soon too (plus you can get a good feed in their restaurant).

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 Check rates at Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers) on

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Walk-in rates at Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dorm fan cooled
100,000 rupiah
200,000 rupiah
Standard double room
240,000 rupiah
340,000 rupiah
Superior double room
300,000 rupiah
400,000 rupiah
Room: Dorm fan cooled, low season: 100,000 rupiah, high season 200,000 rupiah. Notes:
Room: Standard double room, low season: 240,000 rupiah, high season 340,000 rupiah. Notes:
Room: Superior double room, low season: 300,000 rupiah, high season 400,000 rupiah. Notes:

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 Check rates at Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers) on

Where is Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)
Jalan Kubu-Abang, Tulamben
T: (0363) 430 1002 (0813) 3888 1800
Coordinates (for GPS): 115º35'54.02" E, 8º16'56.01" S
Room rates: Under 150,000 Rp

Map for Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

Map for Crystal Ocean View (or Tulamben Backpackers)

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