Explore Indonesia: Lombok

where to stay:

Rinjani Beach Eco Resort: Charming and unique, the bungalows at the Rinjani will give travelers a different experience from staying in a 5-star all-inclusive resort in Lombok.  For travelers looking for a truly authentic experience during their travels, we recommend staying here for a few nights at minimum.  Serene and calm, the Rinjani Resort offers everything to guests- from swimming and scuba diving, to sunbathing and trekking around the island.  The bungalow accommodations are charming and affordable at $32 USD/night, with oceanfront views for enjoying your morning coffee.  Very kid friendly, a perfect place to bring your whole family! http://www.lombok-adventures.com/

Sudamala Suites & Villas Senggigi: The world sudamala refers to the cleansing and purification of the body and soul, so what a fitting name for a resort on the island of Lombok.  Stay at this luxurious resort with all the amenities from home (tv, Wifi, hair dryer, etc.) and you can enjoy your holidays without a single care in the world.  Consistently delicious meals served in the hotel restaurant and an unbelieveable pool, you’ll have a hard time leaving the Sudamala to go tour the island.  Even if you are poolside during your entire stay, you’ll have an unforgettable time on the island of Lombok.  Room pricing begins at $125 USD/night.  http://www.sudamalaresorts.com/senggigi/sudamala-lombok/

where to eat:

Nugget’s Corner: You’ll find some of the best rendang (Indonesian spicy meat dish) on the island here at Nugget’s Corner, that’s probably why they’re always busy.  The food is definitely worth the wait.  Inexpensive plates packed with flavor.  You may find yourself going for lunch more than just once during your stay on Lombok.  The friendly owners and colorful environment are enough to put a smile on any tired travelers face.  


Pasar Malam: Meaning “night market” in the Indonesian language, Pasar Malam is the place in Gili Trawangan to indulge in local street food.  Every night the street market is running, so it’s most likely that you’ll come across the hustle and bustle if you’re on this part of the island during the evening.  Opening from 6pm to midnight, wander the streets up and down until you find exactly what you’re looking for.  Ayam goreng (fried chicken) and fresh fish, there’s a wide variety of the local food on Lombok here.  Located near the Villa Ombak Hotel, all the food at the night market is under $3 USD.  A must to check out at night!


Posted on June 21, 2015 .

Explore Indonesia: Ubud

where to stay:

Puri Gangga Resort: Experience Bali in true style and form while staying at the Puri Gangga, surround yourself with lush terraces and free yoga classes.  While the resort is located a bit away from central Ubud, they offer free transportation to and from the city center so that guests can also explore the ancient holy sites.  Pick from an array of charming rooms that overlook the green rainforest with large canopy beds.  The perfect place for city dwellers to relax and unwind while experiencing the unique biodiversity of Bali.  Room rates start at $81 USD/night.  http://www.puriganggaresort.com/

Alam Jiwa: A hidden gem in the rice paddies of Bali, this retreat is located a 15-minute walk from the center of Ubud and treats their guests like royalty.  Stay in a bungalow on this quiet retreat and enjoy the sounds of nature, all with the amenities of home.  While the WiFi may only work well in the reception area, this is the perfect place to turn off your electronics and enjoy the sounds of nature with your loved ones.  The retreat also offers delicious home-cooked food, most people specifically enjoy the Balinese-style.  Check it out here: http://www.alamindahbali.com/alam_jiwa.htm

where to eat:

Fair Warung Bale: This restaurant is a must when wanting to experience traditional Balinese dishes, such as prawn curry or vegetarian cashew stir-fry.  Fair Warung serves fresh, healthy food that you can enjoy from a rooftop terrace.  A fun, busy environment with friendly staff at the Fair Warung will fill up your bellies and prepare you for a night out partying.  But really the best part of it all is that a portion of the profits from this restaurant go to support health in the local community.  Check out one of the nonprofits they support at http://www.fairfuturefoundation.org/

Puteri Minang: One of the best places you’ll find in Ubud serving Padang-style food: spicy and self-serving (similar to a buffet).  Padang is becoming increasingly popular with tourists throughout Indonesia and we recommend you try it from here!  When you walk by Puteri Minang you’ll notice all the food is in the window, traditionally Balinese food is cooked in the morning and served at room temperature throughout the day.  So don’t be alarmed! This place has some seriously delicious dishes.  We recommend trying sambal prawns, deep-fried baby eels, spicy rendeng (coconut beef), or the jackfruit.  And quite cheap too!

Posted on June 14, 2015 .

Explore Indonesia: Yogyakarta

where to stay:

Greenhost Boutique Hotel: An avant garde, new boutique hotel that will be kind to your pocket.  Greenhost is designed like no other place you’ll stay at in Yogyakarta with complex hydroponic systems and plenty of light in the central courtyard. Plenty of cement, concrete, and wood make Greenhost one of the most modern, polished establishments in the city.  The central location within walking distance of many restaurants, shopping, and sites for the busy tourist within us all.  Eco-friendly indeed, this hotel plants a variety of vegetable on the rooftop as well. Room pricing starts at $27USD/night.  http://greenhosthotel.com/

Dusun Jogja VIllage Inn: An oasis found on the island of Java, this resort-style hotel is the perfect place for you and your mates to relax while traveling throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia.  The  swim-up bar and laundry service brings all the luxuries of home to you while being surrounded by lush, green rainforest.  Enjoy the healthy, fresh meals offered at the hotel or venture out on a  hike to one of the restaurants in the city for a hike.  The outstanding staff will go out of their way to assist you with any need- from booking travel arrangements to bringing an extra bed to your room.  Room pricing begins at $53 USD/night.  http://www.jvidusun.co.id/

where to eat:

Kesuma Restaurant: If you’re looking for authentic Javanese food and are willing to pay some extra money for it, look no further than Kesuma.  Though, seriously.  The restaurant is located in a restored traditional home with less than 10 tables allows for privacy and quiet during your dining experience.  Fresh, home cooked meals.  We recommend ordering the bakwan jagung (corn fritters) and the ayam kesuma (spicy chicken).  Get there a bit earlier for dinner, the staff may get a bit overwhelmed when the restaurant is full.  http://www.kesumarestaurant.com/


Indochine Bistro: Enjoy a quiet dinner of amok (Cambodian fish), pad thai, coconut shakes, and beef pho during your time in Yogyakarta.  This little place will surely bring a small to your face and belly.  The bistro’s staff are utterly friendly- something you’ll find all around your travels in Indonesia.  Cheap eats, but well-cooked and brilliantly presented dishes.   


Posted on June 8, 2015 .

Explore Indonesia: Jakarta

where to stay:

The Dharmawangsa: Take a step back in time to the 1920s in Jakarta when you stay at the luxury hotel. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered the colonial era when great by the butlers in black coattails at The Dharmawangsa.  Located a ways away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Jakarta, this luxury hotel will allow you to have the needed peace and quiet after a day of exploring the city.  Spacious rooms and impeccable staff attention are just two ways the Dharmawangsa ensures you have an unforgettable experience in Indonesia. World-class restaurants on site (sushi from Japan and French cuisine) are perfect for those looking to stay close by for dinner.  Room fares begin at $299USD per night.  http://www.the-dharmawangsa.com/

Teduh Hostel: Located smack-dab in the center of the city, this is THE choice of backpackers traveling through Indonesia.  Modern, clean, and equipt with air conditioning- the Teduh Hostel has all the necessities for backpackers and a friendly, unbeatable environment.  They even have some traditional Indonesian musical instruments in the lobby for guests to play with and interact with other travelers from across the globe.  The cool, laidback vibe of the hostel helps travelers easily make friends with one another.  Dorm-style rooms with single and double “pods” available starting at $17 USD/night.  http://www.teduh-hostel.com/

where to eat:

Food Stalls at Menteng FTS: While much of the street food in Jakarta can be rough on the traveler’s stomach, the food stalls in the Menteng neighborhood are known for their cleanliness.  The perfect place for those adventurous eaters on vacation, looking for a taste of traditional Indo street food.  You’ll be able to eat an entire feast for the cost of hardly anything.  We recommend trying traditional dishes such as Martabak Manis (an Indonesian pancake), Padang Nasi Inka (fried chicken and curry), or the Sate Babi Manis (skewered sweet pork).   

Akira Back: This modern Japanese restaurant may seem a bit pricer than most places you’ll find in Jakarta, however the quality of food is that of what you’d find at an eatery in NYC or London.  Sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs at work or relax on a comfy couch while taking in the scenery of Akira Back.  The perfect place for those who are willing to pay more for consistently delicious fine dining.  We recommend trying the tuna pizza, black cod, or one of the many sushi dishes.  http://www.akiraback.com/home

Posted on June 1, 2015 .