Great service by the sea
Newly opened in April 2017, The Panorama Guesthouse is run by the charming Dutch and Indonesian couple who operate The Happinezz, a nearby (longer running) guesthouse.
Both offer simple basic rooms and excellent attentive service, but for our money, The Panorama Guesthouse has the edge with its waterfront location. Don’t get too excited, it’s harbourfront rather than beachfront, and until they rig up some way of getting into the sea, it’s just for looking at (although you could possibly jump down with the inflatable unicorn or flamingo).
Tucked down a laneway just west of Blue Laguna Inn about 500 metres from the port, the blue and green fronted single-storey building opens to a simple tiled lounge and central hallway running to the seafront communal space. The rooms themselves are smallish and surprisingly warm considering the sea breezes blowing through the hall, but cooled with a wall-mounted fan or air-con. Open the small internal facing windows for a bit more air. High ceilings prevent the rooms feeling cramped as does the bright fresh paint job.
Comfy beds brighten the space with colourful linens and patchwork batik bedcovers and a small deck/dresser doubles as a bedside table. Ensuite bathrooms are basic, but spotless with cold-water showers and a bucket flush Western-style throne (toilets at The Happinezz are flushable and rooms are slightly larger and cooler).
We love the spacious open-air seafront chill area with large kitchen, tables and chairs, beanbags and hammocks—ample room here for disco dancing or a downward dog if you’re so inclined. There’s free flow coffee, tea and drinking water, or help yourself to a soft drink or beer from the fridge (honesty system). A simple breakfast is included and the friendly staff will meet you at the port (and drop you off) if you book ahead (ask them to supply a helmet for the motorbike pick up).
The Panorama Guesthouse can arrange all your transport to the island including booking boats and shuttle buses as well as every imaginable activity during your stay, or just offer you up-to-date information so you can arrange it all yourself. They provide a helpful map and briefing on arrival, in fact a full panorama of hospitable services.
Their sister property offers a weekly fish barbecue for 50,000 rupiah—it’s very sociable and worth signing up for. Hop over to the restaurant there to try delicious Dutch-style apple pie (we timed it well to be treated to a free slice as the power had gone in town and it just had to be eaten…). The Panorama Guesthouse plans to expand their chill options with a rooftop bar—we popped upstairs for a stickybeak, and when they sort out some shade options, it’ll be the bomb.
For more spacious, but still simple rooms with a few more amenities and friendly service, Karimunjannah House, two kilometres out of town scores excellent reviews, although it’s a bit more of a hike to the port. Alternatively, friendly Homestay RGJS (which stands for reggae jazz) to the east of Amore Cafe may not look much from the front, but an excellent seaside communal area and bright simple rooms offer a good option.
If you are keen on helping the local community in Karimunjawa, the good the folks who run The Panorama Guesthouse have set up a foundation, Hello Karimunjawa that teaches English to adults working in tourism. Ask them how you can help.
Address: Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Karimunjawa
T: (0852) 9014 4638; (0297) 319 1120;
Coordinates (for GPS): 110º26'15.19" E, 5º52'52.61" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan private bathroom||175,000 rupiah||200,000 rupiah|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||250,000 rupiah||275,000 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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