Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 13 April 2016 • Destination
We found this accommodation through Airbnb. Knowing that it wasn’t a popular touristy area, it was surprising that Villa Yukie was one of the handful options in the platform in Sekotong area. Bungalows by the beach, positive reviews, and price that fit our budget, we were sold.
It took us a while to really sink into the vibe of Villa Yukie. When we checked in, we were the only guests there. The staff looked more like dudes who were just hanging out, but they were all nice and helpful once we requested for things. We were hoping the ambience would feel livelier and more people – but not so many – would be present around the bungalows, doing more activities.
Villa Yukie has only 3 rooms for now. One is a small bungalow, two are in the 2-storey building. Our room was the one on the 2nd storey and was the biggest room. The size of the room surprised us, it was huge, especially compared to the price (only about USD27/night via Airbnb). I’m guessing it was about 4x6m2. It had a double bed with a mosquito net we never used, a TV which we failed to turn on, a wardrobe, a table and rattan sofa set, and a dresser.
At the corner, a door connected to a stairs that went to the bathroom on the ground floor. The bathroom was capacious, but I have to say it was quite a weird design and not very practical. I hated waking up in the middle of the night and having to walk downstairs with a sleepy head, and then after I did my business I had to walk back up again to return to sleep.
Electricity is provided 24/7, except for random blackouts. There is no AC, so prepare for the hot weather even at night, or make sure you sleep right underneath the ceiling fans. Towels are provided, but I don’t think they provided toiletries.
What I loved, besides the spaciousness of the room, was the balcony. A set of chairs and table, perfect for sea gazing waiting for breakfast. Diyan brought a hammock, which always makes a vacation more than perfect. And get this. They provided a telescope in the room! We moved it to the balcony and used it to see fishermen and fishing boats closely, but failed to observe the stars at night because our view was blocked by the thatched roof.
– Airport pickup.
Airport pickup is available upon request and for a fee, IDR300,000/car (up to 6 pax), IDR350,000 for a pickup after 6 p.m. It took about 1,5 hour from the airport to Villa Yukie. Taxi and hired car may cost more or less the same, but we chose the pickup from Villa Yukie because I wouldn’t need to worry about getting lost. You want to take the bus? Fuhgeddaboudit. Lombok has one of the worst public transportation systems in Indonesia.
– Breakfast and meals.
They were supposed to have a 24 hour kitchen, as stated in the Airbnb description. For some reason, the kitchen wasn’t operating except to cook instant noodles and banana pancake for breakfast. We relied on the neighbor restaurant for other meals, where you can also get some cold beer. Minus one star on my Airbnb review for the lack of information.
– Motorbike rental.
A bike rental to the villa cost IDR60,000 per 24 hours. So if you start renting at 4 p.m., you can use it until 4 p.m. the next day without extra charge. Because we’re Indonesians, they assumed we didn’t need helmets because apparently our skulls are made of steel. When we asked for helmets, they had to borrow them from the neighbors. But for foreigners, they’d hand you the bike with helmets.
Even though the helmet rules is not strict in Sekotong and most of Lombok, and it does feel good to be blown by the wind when you’re riding, I strongly suggest you do wear helmets. There are so many reckless and underage drivers in Sekotong and around, you’d want to be extra careful. Some people might tell you that Lombok is safer than Bali and that it’s safe to learn riding a motorbike there. PLEASE, DON’T. You still want to see the rest of Indonesia, right?
As expected from a life by the tropical beach, things feel a bit slow, which is great for a relaxing vacation. However, the asphalt road just behind the villa, which means great for accessibility, also means noise day in day out. Motorbikes, cars, sometimes trucks pass by and we could hear them speeding from our bed. If you’re a very light sleeper, better prepare earplugs.
– Island hopping.
We had Villa Yukie staff arranged the island hopping to nearby islands, Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis. It cost IDR250,000/boat, and this small boat can carry perhaps up to 4 pax. Snorkel gear rental would cost about IDR50,000/day, but I don’t think they provide life jackets.
The staff was nice and helpful. They didn’t speak English very well, but I think basic necessities can be sorted through. The owner of Villa Yukie is actually an Australian married to a Lomboknese, but they live in their other villa in Senggigi. So perhaps you could talk to them on the phone if the staff really didn’t get what you were saying.
All in all, I do recommend Villa Yukie if you’re not the luxury resort type. I think all the services and facilities that I got here is worth the price I paid, if not more.
So, what kind of accommodation do you normally look for?