Traditional bungalows with perfect sea views
Sea breezes, waving palms and a view across the Bali Strait, Villa So Long offers postcard perfect ambience in a handful of traditional style “Rumah Osing” wood and bamboo cottages peppering the grassy seafront at Solong Beach around five and a half kilometres from the port, or six to the city centre.
The well-appointed spacious air-con bungalows are glass fronted and make the most of the location, all facing the ocean, so it’s possible to lay in bed and watch the waves. On offer are single and duplex style bungalows housing Standard and Deluxe doubles and twins. These can sleep up to four with extra beds, along with one larger Family Villa with two kingsize beds, plus a single, able to accommodate a family of up to eight (or seven adults). Unless you’re travelling with family or friends, request a single-style bungalow for greater privacy.
Interiors are bright and modern with teak Danish-style furnishings that includes four-poster mosquito-netted beds with quality linens, a desk, wardrobes and sofa style seating. Amenities include tea and coffee making facilities, a minibar and a flatscreen TV, although oddly positioned above the desk and difficult to see from either the bed or the couch, but hey, the view is better anyway.
Deluxe rooms are slightly larger than Standard and add extra seating, but otherwise are very similar while the Family Villa is equipped with a kitchenette and an additional bathroom. Ensuite bathrooms are sleek and modern open-air style with hot-water rainfall showers and a sizeable private garden that invites you to run around under the sun or stars in the nuddy (or is that just us?).
Wide terraces furnished with day beds and lounges are just the ticket for relaxing with a book as the salty breeze flutters the pages, if the sun is too glary, wind down the bamboo blinds for a little shade and privacy. Alliteratively you can swing in one of the hammocks or swings stung up between the palm trees.
The beach itself is a thin strip of black sand, and although pretty to look at is not very enticing for a swim. Villa So Long’s sparking blue swimming pool is inviting enough, but misses the opportunity of a beachfront location and is instead positioned behind the restaurant, perhaps as they open it to the general public too. Rectangular in shape, with mosaic tiles surrounded by wooden decking, it’s long enough for a short lap, although not very deep. Palm trees offer a bit of shade and though there is a bench or two, if you want to stretch out in the sun, you’ll have to put your towel on the deck as there’s a lack of sun lounges.
The pleasant open-air restaurant overlooks the grassy lawn and the sea and serves your a-la-carte included breakfast. The lunch and dinner menu is limited to unimaginative local standards and seafood, but reasonably priced, with cold beer available too, worth a visit for the location alone even if you’re not staying.
The staff we spoke to were friendly and accommodating, but some had limited English. We like the intimate size and relaxing vibe at Villa So Long and the view is the best in town, but if your budget is tight, you may consider the popular (and much larger) resort Ketapang Indah which offers a range of good value midrange rooms, but although near the sea, the only rooms that offer sea views are the priciest and not the best value, for which you’ll do better here.
Address: Jalan Yos Sudarso, Klatak, Kalipuro, Banyuwangi
T: (0333) 338 2814; (0877) 5789 8660 ;
Coordinates (for GPS): 114º23'7.6" E, 8º11'5.98" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||1,000,000 rupiah||1,000,000 rupiah|
|Deluxe double room||1,200,000 rupiah||1,200,000 rupiah|
|2,500,000 rupiah||2,500,000 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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