Where to stay on Pari Island
Normally we don’t do much with hotels on this site, as there are plenty of sites to find info about hotels. We do make an exception in this case about Pari Solata Seaview on Pulau Pari (Pari Island) which is located on a 60 – 75 min speedboat tour from Jakarta and part of the thousand islands (Peta Kepulauan Seribu).
Where do you stay on such an island? When you go to Google, one of the few names that’s visible and eyecatching will be Pari Solata Homestay. Online it looks further from where the boats arrive then that it really is. Just half a minute on the right hand side when you come off the boat is Pari Solata. It’s a homestay, so don’t expect luxury. There are no resorts on the island as per Nov ’18.
Pari solata is a kind of famous, but you can wonder for what reason after you’ve stayed there. There are rooms with aircon and they do work. There are two rooms with direct sea view, which is wonderful. That’s about the only positive there is to mention about Pari Solata. Although when you book, it’s mentioned that they have wifi, in reality it works hardly 25% of the time and then very limited. You can’t upload a file. You certainly can’t make videocalls on their wifi and chats arrive minutes or even hours later. So the wifi availability can be called a lie.
Water in the bathroom is at times not available. Cockroaches will be visiting you through the drain of the shower. Close it with the bucket if they’re not welcome. A towel is normally not one of the things provided, but you can ask one and you’ll get some kind of old dirty looking piece of cloth that was once a towel.
Power sockets are a two pin type, so if you have a Thai or Chinese cable for charging your devices, like the three pin cable, it won’t fit. They might not have something to make it work, or at the best will get it for you the next day. Be prepared.
Literally everything is loose or dropping off. The door handles, the window handles, you name it. Windows can’t be opened. The TV is more like the wifi. It hardly works. Your room won’t be cleaned in even a four days stay. Check in time is 10 am, which is early compared with normal times at hotels, the reason for that is that the boat arrives around 10 am. Check out time is 9 am, which is unusual too and you can guess the reason; the boat with new people arrives at 10 am, so you must be out, no matter what. It’s going to be a long wait outside in the heat till 3 pm when your boat departs.
You might read good reviews about the lovely and friendly family of Pari Solata. Let’s make a few things clear here. The family speaks hardly any English, except for pay now or you go snorkeling. They will charge you a few coffees that you had, halfway your stay. They won’t wait for your check out, as is usual in most other hotels.
They are quite pushy with offering snorkeling and see some more islands. When you decide to do it, be in for a surprise. The complete family or related people are joining you. Five more people in total. Okay, the boat captain can be counted as needed. Maybe one more guy to explain and support you. Further there are the 62 year old woman who seems to own the place and two boys of around 20 years old who hang around whole days being bored to death. You start wondering if you’re paying for their outing, but you want to have a great day so you just let it for what it is.
The times mentioned for the whole trip are leaving at 10 am and be back around 2 pm but suddenly the departure time is 9 am, which is of course not a problem. After about 75 to 90 minutes on boat you reach a point to snorkel. Funny that from five people, you’re the only one snorkeling. It’s beautiful with colored types of fish and wonderful corals. Too bad that they call you back in the boat within 30 minutes. A bit of short snorkeling experience but well, there are some more islands to visit.
They stop at a next island called Tidung Island. There is a long bridge to a small island where you’re not allowed to go according to them. There is a small thing where you can jump from. A high dive or jump and some banana boat amusement. Take a meal or a coconut on the island and get into the boat. Shortly after you arrive at yet another island called Tidung. Huh, Tidung? Yes, one small Tidung and one big Tidung. I haven’t discovered two Tidung islands on the map though.
There it all becomes clear. There is another Solata homestay at Tidung island. Tidung Solata instead of Pari Solata. When you see the hearty welcoming and treatments, it’s obviously a family business trip where they got you to pay for. They send you with the three younger guys to some viewpoint at the end of the island. When you decide to return before reaching that point because of sunburn and/or injuries, they are quite surprised with the unexpected disturbance. You take a seat, sure, everyone is doing friendly. When after two hours you’re fed up and tell them to go, as it still is your paid trip so you decide, they first are busy with family matters.
When you walk to the boat, four of the people from the boat are having a late lunch with family, they don’t offer you a max $2 lunch for their paid trip. You just wait and wonder why you just got only 30 minutes snorkeling time. The reason was because they needed 2 hours family time. Finally you all get into the boat again to get back to Pari island and what you will see is that the boat doesn’t only have five extra people from the start, but now also got boxes, baskets and a lot of stuff from family handovers to ship from here to there. Instead of 2 pm back, you reach Pari again at 5 pm, but unfortunately you got only a 30 minute snorkeling time. The price for their family trip, 500k rupiah ($35). Call it Monkey business.
After all mentioned you might understand why we made an exception of this accommodation. Sure you can enjoy your stay as long as you manage to switch off all your expectations about the place, the family and trips booked with them like the snorkeling trip. The price for their rooms is around $25 a night, which is just as everything at Pari Solata extremely overrated.