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Pagupon Bromo

Mountain views and stylish rooms but expensive

Jalan Raya Bromo, Wonotoro T: (0822) 7202 3000 (0217) 510 338

Pagupon Bromo

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With sweeping jungle views and simple but modern and stylish rooms, Pagupon Bromo is billed as “backpacker” digs, but it falls well into our midrange price bracket with particularly the shared bathroom rooms being of very debatable value, but when compared to the slim pickings further up the hill, well, it is a hard call—guests we spoke to loved it.

Hardly visible from the road, the unusual curved double-storey building wraps the lower cliff face with a shared balcony to access the rooms on the upper level and direct ground access on the lower floor. As you enter via the street level amphitheatre with striking bamboo fish trap-like structure and grassy rooftop, notice the large wooden birdhouse (“pagupon” in Javanese) near the doorway that sets the theme for the rooms, named for pigeons and doves—Dara and Merpati.

A mirror drastically increases the impression of size.

A mirror drastically increases the impression of size. Photo: Sally Arnold

Rooms are glass fronted to enjoy the vista, with a mirrored rear wall to reflect it and provide the smallish room with a sense of space—you won’t feel cooped up in this birdhouse—while hardwood floors and natural finishes blend with the surroundings. The basic Dara room most fits the backpacker designation, with two single thinnish mattresses on the floor and shared facilities, but this is no flop house (well, certainly not priced as one), with quality linen, doonas and fluffy towels all in shades of green to match the environment. Built-in storage hides your backpack out of sight and knickknacks on display move it into hotel room territory.

The shared bathroom is clean and modern with a separate toilet and shower cubical. The one small washbasin outside doesn’t have much room for your toothbrush and although the shower is roomy enough and the water is hot, we didn’t notice any hooks or racks. With only one toilet and shower on each floor, it may be a bit of a queue when guests return from the sunrise trek.

Gaze into the green from bed.

Gaze into the green from bed. Photo: Sally Arnold

The marginally more spacious Merpati rooms are the better deal with a proper low profile double bed sporting snowy white linen and private ensuite hot-water bathroom. Only a small sideboard offers storage although there’s more floor space in this category for your bags.

Neither style of rooms provide bedside tables, but as they are close to the ground, it’s not such and issue, but lack of bedside lighting is an oversight. Sufficient power outlets mean you won’t run out of camera battery at the crucial sunrise moment (of course if you remember to charge it). The ensuite bathroom is a bit of a squeeze, but clean and does the job.

Decorated with a flourish.

Decorated with a flourish. Photo: Sally Arnold

A drinking water dispenser is provided near the shared facilities to refill your bottles (say no to plastic!) or make a hot cuppa (BYO teabag). Friendly staff mentioned that the rooftop amphitheatre hosts a yearly jazz festival, so if that’s your taste in music it may be worth coinciding your Bromo trip with the event. At other times, it makes a pleasant spot to just sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Breakfast is not included in the rate, but across the road they have a rather wonderful large cafe decorated with colourful parasols, where you can sit back and enjoy an espresso (although the machine was broken the day we dropped in—nooooo!) while taking in the terrific mountain views. The open fireplace makes this the perfect cosy place to hangout on a chilly night. Local and western cafe-style food will warm you up too, pricey by local standards but comparable to other hotel restaurants in the area. For culture lovers adjacent to the cafe is the hotel’s art gallery—check out the hand-painted jeep.

Now that is a jeep.

Now that is a jeep. Photo: Sally Arnold

Although the rooms are smallish and the rate quite pricey for what you get, Pagupon Bromo is one of the best options near Gunung Bromo but you also need to consider that it is about four kilometres downhill from the crater rim, and unless you want to add an extra hour or so steep uphill walk along the road to your sunrise trek, you’ll probably want to make use of one of the jeep services. The hotel can provide this, but their rate is, like the road, a little steep, and it may be worth asking around for a better deal.

If you’d prefer to be further up the hill, try to nab one of the two upper floor Deluxe rooms at Lava View lodge with views over Gunung Bromo or a Superior room at Cafe Lava Hostel, neither of which are as stylish, but both more spacious.

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 Check rates at Pagupon Bromo on
 Check rates at Pagupon Bromo on

Walk-in rates at Pagupon Bromo

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dbl fan share bathroom
400,000 rupiah
400,000 rupiah
Dbl fan private bathroom
850,000 rupiah
850,000 rupiah
Room: Dbl fan share bathroom, low season: 400,000 rupiah, high season 400,000 rupiah. Notes:
Room: Dbl fan private bathroom, low season: 850,000 rupiah, high season 850,000 rupiah. Notes:

 Check rates at Pagupon Bromo on
 Check rates at Pagupon Bromo on

Where is Pagupon Bromo

Pagupon Bromo
Jalan Raya Bromo, Wonotoro
T: (0822) 7202 3000 (0217) 510 338
Coordinates (for GPS): 112º59'10.4" E, 7º55'0.46" S
Room rates: 400,000 to 1,000,000 Rp

Map for Pagupon Bromo

Map for Pagupon Bromo

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