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“Excellnt choice for exploring Merapi” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vogels Hostel

Vogels Hostel
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Vogels Hostel
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Kaliurang, Kaliurang, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellnt choice for exploring Merapi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

This hostel is owned by Christian Ayam, a well know expert on Merapi. The hostel is clean and offers both mid-range and budget options. Christian organizes tours and hikes of Merapi which generally begin at 400 am and end later in the morning. The tour/hike also includes a 20-30 minute information bref on the history of Merapi including footage of the last two eruptions. It was extremely informative. I was extremely satisfied by the tour/hike and highly recommend both the tour and hostel.

Room Tip: Select the higher quality rooms - great value
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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29 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
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English first
Poznan, Poland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

It is a great place for backpackers, especially interested in Indonesian nature, volcanic landscapes, and local culture. The owner is a very friendly and hospitable man, he organizes guided tours to Merapi volcano (for groups). There is also a dining room, owner offer very tasty self made food – I recommend everything that they offerJ It is cheap and very tasty. Rooms in hostel are rather middle range, but you can have a rest there. The best way to get there is with public transport from Yogyakarta.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

This is a wonderful place! It's old and bathrum needs renovation. But it has caracter and charm and great owner in Christian. You really feek welcome. The food is good and very cheap. So are the rooms. Best of all is the guided trek to Merapi. Really good an inexpensive. Stay here if you are planning to trek. But ask for a room away from thr street. Much noise at night from people and vehicles.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Went there for the sole purpose of doing the Merapi hike and below are my observations:

1. Room

Not tip top clean but then again, please be reminded that it's a hostel at a dirt cheap price. So you really can't expect too much for the price that you are paying for. We stayed at the white bungalow for the night and from our friends that stayed at the green bungalow, ours fare much better (i.e. bigger room, better beds, better shower etc). Do take note that there isn't any fans/aircons in the room as it can get chilly when the night falls. Also, you may find insects around the room and if this is something that you can't stand, then this is not the place for you.

2. Toilet

The hot water is erratic and it took me quite a long time to be able to figure how to get the hot water (heard that it was non-existent in the green bungalow). The hot water will either be boiling hot or you will only get icy cold water. So take your pick if you fail to find the balance like me.

3. Food

As there isn't any food stalls around, we have to rely on the in-house cook and please be assured that the food here is simply marvellous. I think we wiped out the whole kitchen in one night with our multiple reorders. The pricing here are not too bad either (IDR6,000 for Indomee with a sunny side up).

4. Hospitality

Christian and his son, Bernard (I think) are quite friendly and will be readily available to help you when there's a need.

5. Tour/hike

The tour is at IDR140,000/pax and it includes a light breakfast and a sumptuous brunch after the hike. As for the hike, I would say it isn't my cup of tea as I have expected much more due to the glowing reviews online. The hike was all in a 5 hours trip and we spent more time at the lava bed (about an hour) than to have picture stops/proper viewing platform of Mt Merapi (approximately 15 mins?) as we thought the main highlight was the volcano instead of the lava bed. But nevertheless, the story telling by Christian's brother (he took the lead for the hike that day) was marvellous. He is very illustrative on the history and folklores of the area, which is one of the plus point for the hike. I too enjoyed and amazed at how Bernard managed to stack up the stones at the edges during our rest at the lava bed.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poznan, Poland
Level Contributor
82 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

This hostel should be a legend, it is much more than a typical cheap sleeping place. Owner is a guide and great volcanoes expert, yet very humble man. The hostel is modest, needs renovation, not everything is a clean, but that adds charm. On the walls there are photos of trips to the slopes of Merapi volcano and diplomas for the owner for a social work (he was choosen a man of the year in Indonesia 2002 ! ). It is worth to go there not only because of Kaliurang area, but to do Merapi tour which offers Vogel Hostel. Tramping is simple but the all experience and conversations with the owner is priceless and unforgettable. Noteworthy is also hostel restaurant. Is good and with good prices. I wish that only 3 guests (with us) were at hostel (even off-season should be more).

Room Tip: I was at white pavilon and I recommend it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We hired a moped from Jogja (for 60,000 IDR for 24 hours) to get to Kaliurang. We had read about Vogels in Lonely Planet and so sought it out. To get into Kaliurang you have to pay 7,000 IDR each and 1,000 IDR for the moped.

Vogels hostel itself is not obvious as there is no sign facing out to the road - we asked a local and they pointed us in the right direction. The hostel needs some TLC but in all honesty nobody comes to Kaliurang for the accomodation - it is all about Mt Merapi. We paid for their best room (150,000 IDR per night - but their cheapest was 50,000 IDR) which was nice. It had its own bathroom but it was still a little shabby.

We booked onto the tour of Mt Merapi from the hostel (135,000 IDR per person). This is run by the owner; a man named Christian who has done the tour almost every morning for 16 years. He is passionate about the volcano, is the vice president on the evacuation committee in case of eruptions and won Javanese man of the year 10 years ago - all in all a total legend.

The tour commences with breakfast (toast and coffee) at 4am. After a briefing the walk starts. The climb is hard work and we stopped a few times along the way. He stopped at one point where we would have seen the sunrise but unfortunately on the day we went it was too foggy. At about 7.30am the cloud cleared and we could see Mt Merapi for the first time - absolutely beautiful. We continued from there into the "Danger Zone" where only guides which the correct acreditation (such as Christian) could enter.

There are no tours which allow you to climb to the crater of this volcano anymore as it is deemed as being too dangerous. The tour from Vogels gets you to some amazing viewpoints and takes you over solidified lava and volcanic sand from previous eruptions. Other tours (e.g. jeep tours) do no get you as close as this and there are loads of people at one viewpoint at once (we were in a group of 12).

The tour ended with a cooked breakfast (chosen by you in advance whilst on the mountain - which is ready for you when you arrive back at the hostel) at about 9.30am.

The tour was truly brilliant and would recommend it to any travellers in the area.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vogels Hostel

Address: Kaliurang, Kaliurang, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > Central Java > Kaliurang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Kaliurang
Also Known As:
Vogels Hostel Kaliurang, Java

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