Affordable rooms with a great outlook
Just two bays to the east of Sandy Bay, Sera Beach has both bungalows looking out over the beach and running up the eastern hillside. It represents very good value for the standard.
Bungalows, especially the sightly more expensive (and newer) ones on the hillside, are solid and a good size. We were shown a hillside one that enjoyed a great view over the surrounds and down to the water and, importantly, was well removed from the restaurant (so quieter). Unfortunately access to the entirety of the ocean is blocked by a large and unsightly retaining wall—a great shame.
The room we were shown was still being cleaned, but was a modern tile floored affair with a four-poster bed and mosquito net and a modern Western bathroom, though the hand basin was in the bedroom. Out front was a large deck with a couple of pre-strung hammocks and a couple of lazy chairs (one of which had a badly torn cushion).
Down on the beach is the restaurant and the older, cheaper rooms. Wooden with slung hammocks and plastic chairs, these look straight across the retained sand and then to the bay beyond. If we were to stay here, we’d go with one of the rooms on the hill.
The bay here is far tighter than the one at Sandy Bay. While that isn’t to say the water isn’t inviting, the large retaining wall is an eyesore and takes away from the charm of the place. Do though look for the swing and rope ladder on the eastern headland for a cute little hideaway. On the charm front, we did find the staff to be very helpful and friendly—when they found out we were staying at Sandy Bay they were aghast—“Move here!” they exclaimed. We’d say if Sandy’s prices bust your budget, stay here, but swim there.
If you’re looking to spend less along this stretch, consider Malenge Indah, but prepare yourself for a significant drop in standards. If you prefer more style in your life and Sandy is full, head straight to Bahia Tomini, which is just a handful of inlets to the east of here (but apparently not walkable).
Also very close, actually abutting the eastern edge of Sara Beach, is Sifa Dive Resort. They lack a broad beach but have plenty of diving on hand—it's run by the same people who originally had the lovely Sifa Cottages on Walea Kodi (which is sadly now closed).
Address: Pulau Malenge
T: (0823) 4995 1833;
Coordinates (for GPS): 122º3'34.05" E, -0º15'6.97" N
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.
Beach room. Per person full board.
|200,000 rupiah||250,000 rupiah|
Hillside room. Per person full board.
|300,000 rupiah||350,000 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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