Friendly basic backpacker
Heading to Karimunjawa, and wish to be walking distance to the port? Homestay Kota Baru offers a range of very basic rooms, a pleasant rooftop terrace and terrific friendly and helpful service.
Small no-frills rooms come in fan or air-con with share bathrooms or air-con with ensuite flavours. Better value rooms can be found elsewhere, but the friendly helpful service here along with the opportunity to mingle with other travellers is unmatched in Jepara. The double-storey L-shaped red-brick building resides opposite the unmissable giant cement turtle on Kartini Beach about 500 metres from the port, and possibly would have offered sea views before that monster reptile was constructed, but now it offers “giant turtle views”.
Clean tiled rooms are tiny with not much more space than to fit the bed although some add a small desk and do note that a couple of the rooms are windowless. All provide a mini-sized TV, old box style in most rooms with local channels only. VIP rooms are superior (indicated by the name), but Syailendra Hotel in town offers better value for about the same rate. Share bathrooms are plentiful and cleanish with squat or Western throne toilets and showers or mandis, cold water only. Ensuites in the pricier rooms offer Western toilets and cold showers. Rooms have seating areas outside, and the VIP rooms enjoy balconies overlooking the turtle.
Help yourself to free flow drinking water, coffee and tea, but breakfast isn’t included. The rooftop terrace with covered and open seating is the biggest asset here, it catches the sea breeze and offers a view over the local area (and the turtle!). The owner speaks good English, is a font of local knowledge and is happy to drop you around town, help organise onward travel or point out the (seemingly only) place to buy a cheap beer. Other staff have lesser language skills, but are still helpful.
Homestay Kota Baru is well placed if you’re after some fresh seafood—a bunch of warungs at the end of the beach fry and grill up the day’s catch. If you’re heading here over the weekend, be warned this area turns into a local fairground with noisy kiddie trains and rides from the early hours (toot toot!). For better value rooms close to the port, Samudra Hotel a few doors up offers more space and includes breakfast with air-con rooms from 190,000 rupiah (250,000 rupiah if you’d like a window). Alternatively, Sriya Cafe & Homestay in town is only a short taxi ride to the port.
Address: Pantai Kartini, Jepara
T: (0291) 595 212; (0852) 2662 2704;
Coordinates (for GPS): 110º38'44.8" E, 6º35'18.1" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 150,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan share bathroom|
Up to 150,000 rupiah
|120,000 rupiah||120,000 rupiah|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||200,000 rupiah||200,000 rupiah|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||225,000 rupiah||225,000 rupiah|
|Quad air-con private bathroom|
|325,000 rupiah||325,000 rupiah|
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