Boasting a clutch of well-considered, oversized wooden bungalows spread across a lush garden, Wood Garden delivers the goods for laidback travellers looking for some down time — we liked it here a lot.
The teak-framed raised wooden bungalows are scattered across a lush and well-loved tropical garden. There’s a comfortable restaurant out front, with three large sociable tables, decorated with drift wood. The whole shebang is just a minute’s stroll from the water.
South African-owned (the owner, apparently a keen surfer, was out of town when we stayed here), there is an attention to detail to the bungalows that only comes from one who has spent a considerable amount of time staying in bungalows themselves. The bungalows are overly spacious — there is heaps of room for an extra mattress — with plenty of glass windows see the light flooding in through the afternoon (that can be locked open when the breeze is up). There’s ample cupboard space and the bed is great, with brown-hued linen and a heavy throw should you need it.
All bungalows are fan-cooled. Bathrooms are open to the elements, with gas-heated hot water showers (surfer pipe rather than shower head). They were so hot we struggled to get it cold enough to actually jump under. The toilet is Western and should you feel nature calling in the early hours, aside from watching your step down to the loo, be sure to look up to see about half the Milky Way stretched out right above you — a true 03:00 OMG moment. Bungalows also have a large veranda with a hammock ready to string and a bean bag contraption. Watch your step on the stairs down from the deck after rain.
The staff are a young, fun crew who try hard and are happy to sort stuff out. When we asked after a guide to the waterfall (recommended) a crew of four guys joined us — they wanted to jump in the pool! While the comfortable restaurant has a detailed menu up on the wall, in low season many listed items may not be available — but staff are happy to have you take things into your hands. We combined a waterfall trip with a ride out to the market to buy seafood for dinner.
They can also organise boat trips to the north and south of Jelenga, or you can just hire the boat to go snorkelling behind the break (also recommended).
The combination of a free-wheeling friendly staff combined with excellent wooden bungalows in a garden setting come together at Wood Garden to make this one of our favourite low-key traveller friendly spots in all of Sumbawa. Check it out. In high season, reservations are recommended.
Address: Just off the beach
T: (0828) 3733 041;
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º45'57.91" E, 8º51'34.14" 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.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||250,000 rupiah||250,000 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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