The first we heard about Bahia Tomini was when we saw a drone photograph of the bay from above and we thought, “Damn, we gotta take a look” at that joint—always a good sign.
Unfortunately though, when we dropped by in April 2018, Bahia Tomini was closed till the 18th, so we were not able to give it a good look. The news isn’t all bad though, as an elderly lady who (we think) was minding the place, gave us a walk through the two beach rooms, and we left thinking this is a place we want to return to... next time when it is open.
Bahia Tomini offers just two wood-faced cottages, one pink and one blue (his and hers perhaps?!) at the centre of a very pretty and serene beach. A third room is a Bajo-style stilt house over the water at the western end of the bay (which we were not able to see inside). The beach rooms are near totally glass-fronted and we could imagine laying in bed with the light flooding in seeing little but the ocean as the rooms are well elevated to... evade the prying eyes of travel writers trying to get a glimpse within till an old lady in the restaurant hammock yells out, “Would you like to look inside?” Sheepishly, we did.
While the rooms were partly disassembled when we visited (the mattress was against the wall and the hammocks were unstrung, for example) both cottages ooze charm and attention to detail. Throughout the rooms, bright colours are intentional rather than accidental, as are the decorative hooks (not just nails!) on the walls to hang a wet towel, the art, a Balinese mask here, a photograph there and shelving. Well considered tie-die curtains and drapes provide privacy when you need it. There is also a small rattan table setting in the room, so you need not sit on the bed.
Bathrooms are open to the elements, with Western flush loos and bamboo free-flow, surfer-style showers (along with cute signage asking you to watch your water usage). The pot plant-decorated balconies are well kitted out with hammocks, a rattan blind can be used when the sun gets too much, and pillows are scattered all over the joint—in almost every aspect Bahia Tomini demonstrates just how much thought has been put into maximising your relaxation time.
The restaurant is a cataclysm of colours and imagery—pirate flag, decorative turtle, an altar to Barbie (yes really—our boat pilot was well confused by that one!) along with plenty of hammock space. We imagine the vibe here is very laidback. While we didn’t meet the owners, their website gives some background to their history and what they are trying to achieve with the resort—they’ve appeared to have got off to a very strong start.
The beach is solid and we liked the “Take only pictures, collect only plastics” piece of driftwood by the restaurant. On the topic of the restaurant, while we were unable to try out the food, the website details a fusion of European and Indonesian fare—it looks extraordinarily good, especially for the Togeans.
With just three rooms, reservations here are essential in season and, while we can’t speak for the food nor the vibe as the place was closed when we visited, next time we’d be sure to give it a try. Malenge harbour is the closest access point, with Katupat being a distant second. If you’re looking for something similarly small and chilled out, but even more remote, consider Lia Beach. Want to spend less? Nearby Malenge Indah or Sera Beach are both considerably more affordable, though nowhere near as lovely. Recommended if it fits with your budget.
Address: Pulau Malenge
T: (0852) 4032 9259;
Coordinates (for GPS): 122º3'58.15" E, -0º15'6.16" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 400,000 to 1,000,000 Rp
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
Per person full board. Minimum stay 3 days
|450,000 rupiah||450,000 rupiah|
For the stilt house. Per person full board. Minimum stay 3 days
|550,000 rupiah||550,000 rupiah|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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