Become part of the family
Set at the far southern end of the road to Waihura Beach, the basic beach shack of your dreams can be found at Joni Homestay, where you’ll find one spartan bamboo and thatch hut, divided into two rooms, sitting directly on the beach.
It’s bare bones, with nothing more than a bed and small table in one room and mattress on the floor in the other, both with a mosquito net. Woven bamboo walls filter in light and cool sea air to the windowless rooms. If you don’t know your neighbour, you soon will. A large and shady shared balcony has built-in seating, great for lounging back and watching the passing parade of fishermen and beach horsemanship.
There’s only electricity for a couple of hours in the evening, from one lonely lightbulb outside the room — you’ll need a torch or lantern for inside the room. There are no power outlets either, but Joni can run your phone two kilometres up the road to a shop that provides a charging service.
The hut has its own small private sandy garden with additional seating. A rudimentary but spotless bucket and scoop bathroom with a squat toilet is shared with the family. The friendly family dog guards guests, and sleeps outside the hut.
Joni Homestay is wonderfully relaxing and with the sound of the waves would be lovely enough, but Joni and his family are some of the nicest people we met in Sumba. They’ll do anything to make your stay comfortable. Ibu cooks simple but delicious meals which are included, and will do your laundry too. A small attached shop sells basic necessities and warm beer (ice can be fetched with a bit of warning). Joni can organise transport to La Popu Waterfall, nearby beaches and villages, and you’ll be welcome to join any local ceremonies.
Only very basic English is spoken, but the language of true hospitality is universal. Simple as it is (think camping), Joni’s Homestay is the best value beach stay in southern Sumba. There’s no WiFI and only phone signal on the beach when the wind is blowing in the right direction.
It’s best to contact Joni via SMS, as calls don’t always connect (use Google translate for your message to ensure it’s understood). Joni Homestay has no signage, but it’s the very last building at the southern end of the beach. Just ask, everyone knows him.
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan share bathroom|
Single. 300,000 rupiah for two people.
|150,000 rupiah||150,000 rupiah|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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