Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Living place Hotel Arumbai in Biak

  Arumbai Hotel, Biak-Pulau Biak
Here under follows our experience with Hotel Arumbai. I know it´s Papua, not Bali, so the standards are different, however, this hotel is described in travel books like "best hotel", "perfect retreat", etc. May be it´s still the best in Biak, however, that only means it´s the best from all those that are bad and there are no good ones. In terms of stars, I would say 1-star.

We spent 3 nights at Arumbai Hotel in August. This hotel apparently had its better days some time ago and is in desparate need of renovation!!! (The only good-loking space was the reception.) The staff was totally disinterested and could not provide any useful information (they spoke less than 5 words of English). Finally, I managed them however to call a certain local "travel agent" who was helpful and could arrange many things.

In spite of multiple reconfirmations of our stay, we discovered on arrival that all better rooms (including ours) will be occupied by a group of Indonesians for one night (who were not there yet, however, at the time), so we had to stay the first night in "standard" and then move to "superior". I showed them emails of communication with their manager but the reception staff said he is in Jakarta (it was Sunday) and that there is nothing that could be done... (Coming all the way from Europe after 4 flights, we were pretty exhausted and we were willing to sleep ASAP).

After we moved to "superior" next day, it did not make however much difference, since all the rooms in the hotel were smelly and very humid/damp. On the floor, there was a stinking carpet (no wonder, due to the humidity - I do not understand why they did not make it of stone). The walls were also pretty humid and the plaster/coating was falling off. There was also plenty of mosquitos. There is a swimming pool, however, the water was murky and apparently seldom changed - I swam in it, but it was unappealing.

The restaurant in the hotel has plastic covers on the tables - also not very appealing, but the meals were eatable.

All in all, the experience was pretty deceiving. On the other hand, it´s difficult to recommend any other hotel, we had a glance at the one used by Garuda staff (I think it´s called Invia) and it did not look much better...

The price was cca. 30 USD/night, but in such location after so logn flight, you do not care what´s the price, you just want something nice and that does not exist on Biak...

On the positive side, the snorkelling on the islands off coast is one of the best in Indonesia...
Arumbai Hotel
Jln. Selat Makassar no 24
Tel: +62 981 21835
Fax: +62 981 22501

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