Best places to stay in the Kei islands

Best places to stay in the Kei islands

There are a lot of places to stay in Kei.  In this post I’ll try to summarize and provide photos of the best ones:

1.  Savana Cottages

This small group of cottages in Ohoidertawun is my favorite place to stay in Kei.  They have great food, nice rooms, and are right next to the beach.  There are four rooms and four shared detached toilets–2 Western style and 2 squat.  There isn’t hot water or AC here but there are fans and mosquito nets.  Reservations are necessary, especially in high season.  They are located next to the small village of Ohoidertawun which gives it an edge for interacting with locals and buying snacks and basic supplies.  At low tide there is no swimming and there are better beaches in Kei.  However, there aren’t better sunsets anywhere.  The phone signal here is weak but okay for basic internet things. (Trip Advisor)

 

2.  Coaster Cottages

The other popular beach choice is also a nice place to stay.   The rooms are a short downhill walk from the gorgeous beach.  Coaster is a better choice for swimming but is a bit far from the village of Ohoililir.  The area is quite busy on Sundays when people come to the beach from Langgur/Tual.  It is surrounded by forest and has more rooms than Savana Cottages.  The rooms also have attached toilets.  This is a solid choice.  As of May 2018 there wasn’t any phone signal or internet at Coaster. (Trip Advisor) (Coaster Cottage’s site)

3.  Grand Vilia Hotel

For those who want to stay in Langgur and have the means, Grand Vilia Hotel is probably the best choice.  The entire hotel was gutted and redone in 2016.  As such, the hot water and air conditioning is quite new and stellar.  They also have free transport to and from the airport if you stay with them.  Other perks include a great buffet breakfast and free room service.  The location isn’t as central as some other Langgur/Tual options but it is within a block or 2 of Langgur market.  It is also possible to rent a car and driver.  There is a small swimming pool too, but it isn’t that inviting because it is right next to the restaurant.  The rooftop bar has a nice view and could be an option for a drink, even if you aren’t staying here.

Wifi is very good and fine for YouTube, etc and the TV’s have some English channels. The entire hotel and rooms are smoke free with the exception of the partially open air restaurant.  It is often cheaper to book online than directly with the hotel–make sure to compare prices first.  The cheapest rooms here have a regular price of about 600,000 IDR/night and include 2 breakfast tickets.   If you are a solo traveler (as I am) then you can invite a friend for breakfast. (Trip Advisor)(Grand Vilia’s hompage)

4.  Lucy’s house

The other Ohoidertawun option is in the process of building more rooms.  They are on the opposite side of the village and a bit of a walk from the village itself.  There are now some rooms with air conditioning.  All rooms have en-suite toilets.  The setup and vibe here is very similar to Savana’s and they are from the same family.

5.  Ohoiew Resort

I haven’t actually stayed here yet but I’ve been to Ohoiew and the resort seems like a nice place.  It is more expensive than other places and is located on its own island about 1.5 kilometers from Kei Kecil.  It has shared bathrooms which is a bit surprising for a resort.  The sand peninsula is the island’s main attraction.  The peninsula is quite nice but isn’t on the same ‘wow’ level as Ngurtafur.  There is good snorkeling in the area. (Trip Advisor)

6.  Yohana Cottage

I haven’t stayed here yet either.  I tried to stay at Yohana Cottage a couple of times this year but they were already booked.  There is good wifi available for purchase via a wired line and router.  Their 2 cottages are on the south end of Ngurbloat Beach (Pasir Panjang), which is of course gorgeous.  The beach here is very busy on Sundays.  Unfortunately, I only have this one photo of the sign.   Make reservations well in advance.

Johana Cottage
Yohana Cottage
Pasir Panjang
Pasir Panjang

 

7. Wisma Matahari

This is a good budget option in Langgur.  I stay here when I feel like saving money or arrive in the evening.  The standard rooms are about 150,000 IDR/night and have an attached toilet and fan.  Nothing fancy but it does the job!  There is also free, fast wifi but not all of the rooms are within range.  Located near the Langgur market and about 50 meters from the tourist office.

8.  Penginapan Elat (Kei Besar)

This is the only hotel I know of in Kei Besar.  It has a bit of a bed and breakfast feel to it.  A possible option for Kei Besar is to stay here and do day trips to the various waterfalls.  There are fans in the rooms (about 150,000 IDR) but no wifi .  There is quite good 3G in Elat for internet on your phone.  Phone and internet in other locations on Kei Besar are very slow or non-existent.

9.  Homestays

There are homestays and possible homestays in almost every village.  They are best arranged through your accommodation in Kei or via tourist information.  You can also contact me via the comments if you prefer.

There are a wide range of quality and prices in Kei homestays and they don’t necessarily correlate with each other.  Expect to pay 100,000-250,000 IDR including 3 meals–always be clear beforehand about the prices and what is included.  I’ve stayed at 5 different homestays in Kei Besar and 3 in Kei Kecil but I’ve never stayed in a homestay with a fan, mosquito net or western toilet.  All have mandi showers.  Some places are very nice and some are just okay.  Almost everywhere I’ve been has been extremely friendly and helpful.  It is unlikely that there will be any English speakers.

In the daytime, most homestays don’t have electricity–A Korean guy I met in Mongolia used to jokingly refer to it as ‘Electric City’.  Instead of asking if a ger had electricity he would ask, “Is this electric city?”.

Here are some photos from a few different homestays:

10.  New place in Wab

One month ago (June 2018) there were some new bungalows being built next to Wab beach.  I have no idea when they will be finished but I imagine it is soon.  It will be strange to see a tourist in Wab, but I suppose it was inevitable.  Here are photos of a bungalow under construction and the beach in Wab.

 

Wab bungalow
Wab bungalow
Wab beach
Wab beach

Other information

If you want to see where these places are, they can be found on the map page.


2 thoughts on “Best places to stay in the Kei islands

  1. Hi,
    Thank you very much for this information and maybe you can put a phone number at each places that you mentioned above 😀
    very helpful for me to give more picture of home stay and inn in Kei islands.
    Could these place be reached with public transportation? because I will go there on a tight budget. and a rental car from Tual that I contacted yesterday by phone, asked IDR 750k for a day with driver included.

    thank you

    1. The more usual budget transport option is with scooter rental or by ojek. Almost everywhere on land can be reached by public transport with shared mobils (bemos). However, for some places there may only be 1 or 2 per day leaving at a time that isn’t fixed. If you don’t speak Indonesian it would be more difficult too.

      For ojeks it is safer to organize them with your accommodation.

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