If you are considering a trip to the Komodo National Park you will without doubt need to look into accommodation options on Flores Island. Flores is the Indonesian island which is best suited for pre-visit preparations for the national park. I was lucky enough to stay at one of the best properties on the island, a four-star luxury resort called Jayakarta Suites.
Now, you may be familiar with the Jayakarta brand if you have been to Bali before. The Jayakarta chain can be found all around Indonesia, and I think it’s pretty clear that they have proven that they can provide comfort and luxury on all levels of the hotel stay experience.
The property on Flores island is ideally located for any trips into the Komodo National Park, be it for seeing the Komodo dragons or for diving excursions, which can be conveniently booked at the front desk. The little port town of Labuan Bajo, which is the starting point to excursions to the national park, is just 25 minutes away, and it’s just 10 minutes to the brand-new Komodo Airport.
After having spent a night on board a chartered boat with limited yet clean facilities I was so relieved to check-in at this hotel. The rooms are all located in a rather uncreative block of suites which is rising high above the tropical gardens, yet my room was overlooking the blue sea which was just about to be kissed by the setting sun. While no balconies are to be found at the Jayakarta, the window was big and offered marvellous panoramic views.
The room I stayed in was big and bright with a generously sized bathroom. The only downturn was that the bathroom came without a door, which might unsettle some guests, but in my case it was fine since I was staying on my own. I also struggled to find a power socket and ended up moving around the furniture so that I could recharge my mobile’s and camera’s batteries.
Some basic necessities were missing in the rooms as well, which is a bit of a shame and doesn’t reflect the star rating of the Jayakarta. For example, there were no hairdryers or safes to be found. The two big bottles of drinking water that were left by housekeeping did come with a price tag as well, and the two-for-one offer of the water really doesn’t quite cut it when it forces you to pay the bill of about $2 on check-out instead of just conveniently dropping the key in the extra check-out box (if that exists at the Jayakarta at all, not sure if it does!).
But back to the views: The Jayakarta is enjoying a waterfront position, with the stretch of land between the building and the beach occupied by a beautiful tropical garden with pool. And so you can not only spend hours behind your room’s window watching the fishing boats glide past, but you can also fantasize about a dip in the inviting hotel pool below your feet. What a little piece of paradise after our strenuous trip to see the dragons!
In fact, an evening walk in the garden is a wonderful way to take in the tropical beauty of Flores, and since you can combine it with a dip in the refreshing pool there is not much more you could wish for. Sadly, the beach is nothing to write home about: narrow and rather natural, it is almost dirty looking with hints of litter which also spoils so many other Southeast Asian beaches these days.
When I arrived for breakfast the next day I found the breakfast area strangely deserted by staff. Instead, there were little birds feasting off the pan-frying station and flies trying to get a morsel of the jam tray. Even though I was a bit affected by an upset tummy, feeling overall rather unwell, I still tried to get together a couple of simple breakfast items which appeared to be a much more difficult task than it had to be. I remember looking for ages to just get a plate with one idle looking member of staff not offering any help at all. But then I was not in the mood for food anyway, so maybe this could be read into my body language.
Overall, the Jayakarta turns out to be a decent choice for trips to Komodo National Park, however due to the lack of a good beach area and the shortages in the food and beverage department as well as the missing balconies I wouldn’t want to stay here for a longer period with the family.
Please scroll down for more pictures of the Jayakarta Suites Komodo Flores.
Jayakarta Suites Komodo Flores. Labuan Bajo, Flores (gateway to Komodo National Park), Indonesia. http://flores.jayakartahotelsresorts.com
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