Given we don't cover Indonesia on Travelfish at the moment, following a request from Travelfisher busylizzy I'm setting up a few threads in the Indonesia section of the messageboard broken out into islands -- so one (this one) for Nusa Penida, another for Nusa Lembongan and so on. The idea is to provide a clearing house for traveller recommendations for places to stay while we umm and ahh about if we really want to research 17,000 islands or not!
A few suggestions and one rule:
a) The more contact details the better
b) Be as descriptive as you can
c) Please don't ask questions in this thread -- this is just for suggestions -- if you have a questions about a specific place, please start a new thread and ask away.
d) Note my emphasis above on traveller's recommendations -- this thread is not for guesthouse owners etc to promote their business -- thanks.
If you would like new threads started off, please let me know -- for now we'll keep it on an island basis.
When you arrive on Nusa Penia, Roddie (or Ronnie?), the local tour guide will find you when you get off the boat and take you to his recommended accommodations. After my initial suspicions about him, I actually found Roddie to be OK – and about the only one on the island to give you good, helpful advice about what to do and where to go. He offered to arrange a boat trip to go snorkeling – but he also conceded that I could do it myself by swimming from the beach - and then rented out his motor scooter at a reasonable rate for a couple of days. Ask him for one of his really useful maps of the island.
SAMPALAN: Made Homestay
This place is owned by Roddie’s ‘uncle’. Bali-style rooms are reasonably clean, bathrooms are basic (Bali-style toilet – ie sit-on, but flushed with buckets of water from the mandi). Cold water only and fan. My only concern about this place (aside form the 2 dead cockroaches on the floor when I arrived) was the lack of screen mesh in the small windows above the glass windows, and I imagined being bitten alive by mozzies. Not having a mozzie net with me, I turned the fan on me full-blast all night, and I was fine. Cost 100,000rp/night – including cup of coffee only.
The homestay is up a narrow side-road/alley, opposite the school on the main road through Sampalan. Ask around – everyone seems to know it!
TOYOPAKEH: MM Dive Guesthouse (or Homestay)
This wasn’t one of Roddie’s places, but I had heard about it from a NZ couple I met. Clean rooms and bathroom, western-style toilet, fan, cold-water only. Run by a Czech couple who pretty much spent the entire time glued to the communal TV watching Czech DVD’s. The Indonesian staff, however, were very friendly and helpful. Cost negotiated to 100,000rp, incl breakfast.
This place was a bit hard to find. Assuming you get dropped off on Toyapakeh Beach, turn left (when facing land) and walk along about 50m until you find the Quick Silver Dive Centre. MM Dive is tucked away behind Quick Silver – just ask someone there where it is. I don’t think there was any signage for it (or anywhere else, for that matter).
If trying to decide on where to stay (ie Sampalan or Toyapakeh), I would probably suggest Toyapakeh as it is nearer the good snorkelling area (Penida Beach, or Crystal Bay as it's known) - and this is where the boat drops you off.
Sampalan was closer to some of the temples, and provided a good place to use as a base to explore the island by motorbike - but there really isn't much on offer in the town. Sampalan is about 10km away from Toyapakeh.