Set on the western rise above the bay, Home Stay Guru Ben delivers tremendous views and warm hospitality but decidedly average value sleeping quarters.
Friendly owner Waldetrudis Keraf is a very welcoming host and she'll happily decamp with you for an afternoon spent lounging in her red plastic chairs enjoying the view overlooking the primary bay at Lamalera—this is the key selling point of staying here. Waldetrudis has plenty of rooms, some with bunk beds, others with double beds and all have shared bathroom facilities.
Wooden-framed beds are lumpy and old and we’re not sure how often all the linen gets a proper cleaning. Mosquito nets are patchy, or in the case of our bunk bed, unusable, so if you're mozzie prone, bring repellant (and/or a mosquito net) as we found there to be an awful lot of mosquitoes. Rooms are curtained off with a thin door, but walls have a gap at the base and the windows no panes, so security is limited (not that theft is considered a problem in the village). There was a low-slung small table in our room to keep our bag off the floor.
Bathroom facilities are a cold water mandi and a squat toilet—don’t expect anything flash.
For the standards, the price struck us as a little on the steep side, but Waldetrudis is a good host and the views are almost priceless. If you don’t want to see the whaling up close, the veranda here is a good spot to watch it from a distance. Rates include breakfast (coffee and pisang goreng). Lunch and dinner cost another 50,000 rupiah a pop per person, again, perhaps a little on the steep side.
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Sgl fan share bathroom|
Includes a simple breakfast
|100,000 rupiah||100,000 rupiah|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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