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“Upscale, beautiful, well worth the cost” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Luta Resort Toraja

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Luta Resort Toraja
Dr Ratulangi Street No.26 | North Toraja, Rantepao 91854, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Rantepao
Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 103 cities Reviews in 103 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Upscale, beautiful, well worth the cost”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We stayed here one night. The grounds are beautiful and the setting is stunning. Right on the river with a pool that overlooks the rushing water. Meals are also served by the river and the breakfast buffet is plentiful with Indonesian and western options. The standard and superior rooms overlook the courtyard with a small balcony. The rooms are clean and very comfortable. Hot water showers, cable TV, wi fi in the rooms and a mini bar with snacks. If you need a splurge and don’t want to blow your budget this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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97 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

Our stay here:
Crisp sheets great bed
Clean with ok towels
Food average
Swimming pool cold
Spa jacuzzi didn't work
They should turn the TV off in the breakfast area in the morning.
Wifi in lobby is good, password regime is over the top though!
600,000rp per night second floor superior

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jakarta, Indonesia
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

My first trip to Toraja.

2 things you must noted at first :
One - Toraja had 2 main cities called Rantepao and Makale. Most tourism area is near Rantepao, however it is also fine if you stay at Makale.
Makale is more like the goverment central and Rantepao is tourism area. It's about 30 minutes drive only between those 2 cities. Luta Resort located in Rantepao.

Two - During June, July and August are the festive period. The most attractive festive at Toraja is when you can see the ceremonial for funeral of death people, called RAMBU SOLO. You are lucky if you can witnesses this ceremony.

check some links :

From Makassar city, I used Metro Permai Executive Bus, which was took from 10am to 08pm, so it's about 10hours trip. It was a day trip, so will be more longer compare with the night trip (from 10pm to 6am). But worth to try as you will enjoy the nature and scenery along the way.
Tips: try the night bus type HIGH CLASS, it's really a comfort bus, with long footrest, blanket, and big chairs. it just like europe bus type "scania". Metro Permai is the bus who recommended by 2 person that I met during the trip. Safe drive and well-maintained, they said. So, why not try it ? Booking the bus via phone call only, at least 2-3 days before. Here's the number Metro Permai Makassar +62-411-582734, Metro Permai Rantepao +62-423-21785, Metro Permai Makale +62-423-22104. Ask the driver to drop you at the nearest street with Luta Resort.
Then walked about 3-5 minutes to hotel. It is very near, or you can take a "Motor Taxi" and paid about IDR 5,000 - IDR 10,000. They called it "SITOR" as a nickname of "Taksi Motor" in bahasa.

Booked Luta Resort directly to hotel months ago with good price compare with the famous hotel's engine.

Location, right in front of Roman Catolic Church at Rantepao. Easy to find. The other hotel's name near Luta' is Indra Hotel, Maria Guesthouse and Monica Guesthouse (the Monica seems clean and new building).

First impression is nice hotel with good interior greet by a friendly staff.
Unfortunately, during check-in, the reception guy said due to we're traveled in 3 person then we can not stay at the standard room as agreed before because it can not be added with extra bed. So, they offering us the superior room with higher price.

Off course we insisted that we're not being informed before. In fast we said that it is okay for us to sleep in one king bed size as long as we can have our breakfast for 3 by paying additional breakfast voucher only. At first, they refused with reason it's hotel regulation.

After some bargain and considering we're just one night stay and it's getting late and we really need to sleep after our 10hours journey, so the hotel allow us to stay for 3 person into one standard room and only charge additional breakfast for 1 person again.
So, the message is just be aware with that terms and condition. If you book standard room for 3 person, better to choose superior room.

Another minus experience, when we entered the room, seems it didn't being cleaned up completely as we founded some clothes from previous guest seems left behind in the bathroom.
This is the reason, why I only can rank the review it as 3 stars (average) instead of 4.

However, even we had a little problem upon check-in, still I believe this is the best hotel option at Rantepao. It offers comfy ambience where you can take your breakfast with the riverview.

We also arranged for rent car from hotel. Please be aware if you are being offered with a car that actually having a yellow plat police number. Mostly the car type called "Toyota Kijang KRISTA" (sorry,it really doesn't mean to blame on a certain brand name, i just didn't know who is the rent car vendor's name .... ). It is actually a public car that usually used as public transport but it was rented for a day. Perhaps due to lack of maintenance by owner, we got problem with the aircon plus with the driver that mostly can not speak English.

But, in front of hotel, in the morning, ussualy there's a man who will offering you a tour guide service. Suggest to hire them and bargain with the price from beginning, so he can explain everything to you. During our trip, we didn't use the service because we're count on driver's skills. But, we were wrong. The driver really didn't know how to be a guide and only know how where's the major tourism places. That's all.

So, another lesson, make sure, the car rented that give to you is not a public transport ones (indicated with yellow plat car number). Usually you are safe to rent kind of Toyota Avansa or Daihatsu Xenia or Suzuki APV or Toyota Kijang Inova. That's the most common rent car type in Indonesia.

Overall, despite of those unique experiences, still Toraja is a place that worth to visit.
I still amazed with the funeral things, the cemetery, the culture and magic ambience.
Even, the place is not really suit as children gateway, but looking at the tradition, you can't find it in another place on earth.
Yes, it took a long journey by land transport, but worth to try.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Bali, Indonesia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

This is a nice hotel in a very good location, in the center of Rantepao town, but off the busy main street. The hotel reception people are very sweet, always with a big smile. We booked into a room which was ok, very standard, but in a strange location down a dark hallway, and no view, so we upgraded for a fee to a river view room. I would highly recommend you splurge and go for the view..which is the river running and the fields, buffalo and mountains in the distance. The Junior Suite has air-con, which the other lower standard rooms do not, evidently.

The upgraded bathroom is very strange, a giant bathtub dominates the bath, and the shower stall is pitiful, with no place to put your soaps or shampoo except for a rusted chrome holder just barely the size of a bar of soap. Oh, well, maybe they will do some renovation in the near future. The two sinks are a very nice touch, though.

Breakfast is sometimes a small simple serve-yourself, sometimes they serve you directly; perhaps depending on how many guests there are in this mid-size hotel. Do not expect a hearty or wonderful breakfast so you will not be disappointed. There is also a swimming pool next to the breakfast area but it's mostly under a cement roof so did not look inviting.

There is free wifi but only in the lobby, and there are some nice tables and chairs where you can browse comfortably. Also, the hotel is 2 doors down from one of the better restaurants in Rantepao, Mambo. The cafe is not fancy but it's very popular, clean and new, and service is very fast.

The overriding reason to stay in this hotel is that it's a perfect, very comfortable base for day excursions to the sights of the Tanah Toraja area. I highly recommend travellers who want some really interesting, unique experiences to visit this area of South Sulawesi. A 3 or 4 day stay would give you enough time to hit the "highlights," more time if you want to see wider ranging areas or treks. Also alllow one 9 hour day to drive up from Makassar, and one 9-hour day to drive back down(unless the airport re-opens) It's a scenic drive both ways, and much to see along the way.

Room Tip: Splurge for the Junior Suite with the river view!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Our guide had picked us up 8 hours earlier in Makassar and so we arrived tired and concerned that our hotel would be like the rest of the area/town, despite our previous research on TripAdvisor.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a refurbished hotel and room that provided all the mod-cons with a modern ambiance set right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a working Indonesian town.

We were upgraded to a corner room (on the left overlooking the river) which was modern and very comfortable with some English TV but was regretably over the hotel laundry that started work at about 06.30 - but we needed to be up early anyway! The rooms overlooking the courtyard looked to be the same size with a quiet view fo the internal garden.

We never regretted our choice of hotel, as we could walk to a selection of 'restaurants' (all rather ethnic where little English was spoken), our own hotel restaurant or (after a long day sight-seeing) hotel room service watching (oldish) English speaking film channels with the odd beer.

If you are interested, I note below and in the pictures (sorry but the 'system' has put them out of sequence) of our experiences whilst we were there.


We always check with Trip Advisor before we book anything but realise that we haven't given anything back - hence the reason for posting this report (copied from our e mails to our family) one year later as we feel that Tana Toraja is a very special place in the world.

After a very rewarding 6 days on Flores (Komodo Dragons etc) we flew via Bali to Makassar (i.e the next Indonesian island heading East) where we stayed in the Aryaduta Makassar (very early noisy Sunday market under the sea-facing rooms) and followed Lonely Planet back-packers guide to Lae Lae's to eat some great fish where the locals eat (we had to have the local side dishes that came with the fish as they didn't speak English) and all for £2.50 each.

Then off to Tana Toraja (8 hours and 300km North East) on Sulawesi Island in our pre-booked car through guide Daud Rapa, who had come down with the driver to pick us up. He was an extremely knowledgeable guide and one of the few who was very good at communicating by e mail (when he was not out of contact - guiding) but do check that the car will have seat belts. We had 2 days travelling to & from the area and then 4 days sight-seeing, which was just about enough time.

We stayed for 5 nights at the recently refurbished hotel, Luta Resort Toraja, an oasis right in the centre of Rantepao - a town that reflects the relative simplicity & poverty of area that is trying to get into the 21st century. Eating out was interesting and very ethnic but the hotel room service with a beer (also available from the local supermarket) was very relaxing after a long day out.

Their traditional houses (Tongkonan) resemble the upturned ships as mythology or fact says they arrived in boats (probably from the Phillipines) and are the family home that cannot be sold. They had no written language and so people are still expected to remember 7 generations back as they all have links to a particular family Tongkonan.

The number of buffalo horns at the front of the Tongkonan indicate how wealthy that person/family is, as does the buffalo jaws that represent the most favoured gift (i.e. the head) from the buffalo funeral sacrifices.

People still live in what is a 3-part very small house, bedroom, living area and guest reception area. In what I call 'ancestor worship' they keep their dead in the house (yes, in full view in these small houses and talking to them + preparing meals for them as if still alive) by injecting formalin into the veins, letting the organs dry up and planning the funeral that could be months or even 2+ years away (sometimes because it takes that long to save the money!).

The people in this area are generally Christians but still retain some elements of their previous faith (Aluk Todolo) "which revolves around death and their days are spent earning the money to send away their dead properly. Funeral ceremonies bring families back from abroad as well as locally. Pigs and buffalo are sacrificed, or the deceased will not be able to make it to eternity on the other side.

Because previously outsiders stole from the graves, which included their possessions (bracelets etc) for their journey in the after-life, bodies were placed in wooden coffins and placed high up on the cliffs. There is a 4 - caste system and the higher status meant that you were placed higher up the cliff, which also cost more to do.

Other people were placed into open caves, still on display and visitors are welcome as a real celebration of life. In modern time, higher castes have a mausoleum built for current and future members of their family. Effigies are common, again to celebrate their lives.

We hope you are not disturbed by any of the photos - they all (including the young children) just take it all for granted as they have all been brought up with it.

Their culture really shows through at their funerals, and we were fortunate to attend one for 2 brothers - one (unmarried) aged 60 and the other aged 70. They had died 2 years and 1 year ago respectively, with the family planning a joint funeral. They were from the 2nd highest caste, hence the posh coffins and covers, + many sacrifices. The coffins were brought out for display and everyone joined in a circle and chanted for about half an hour with the daughters of the elder brother lamenting his passing.

Over the 4 days of the funeral, there would be many sacrifices: some to be eaten by the funeral guests, some to be handed out to their villagers and other villages in the area + some to be given back to the people who had given it e.g. the buffalo head & horns which they can then display at the front of their Tongkonan. We saw a buffalo sacrificed in front of us (by cutting the neck with a sharp knife) - not a pretty sight! (Picture omitted for sensitivity).

They also believe that the deceased needs at least one buffalo or they will not be able to journey 'on the other side'. Other useful artefacts are placed in the coffin for the journey, such as cigarettes!!

Our guide heard of another funeral taking place and so off we went in time to catch some of the gifts arriving: we couldn't make out whether these pigs were all from one rich family or from several families. Needless to say, we knew what was going to happen to them in full view of the funeral party!

There were local children (some from the deceased's family) who ushered guests into their respective viewing areas. To us they looked more like bridesmaids - but they were celebrating the death!

Close by to the village was a cave which had been used for burials for years. In the olden days, effigies were just symbolic, but nowadays artist/sculptors are commissioned so that the effigy looks like the person who has died. As we were leaving, a couple of teenage school girls had popped in - maybe it was to pay their respects but we got the impression that this was just a cooler place to stop for a chat on their way home.

They may have arranged these for the tourists but we saw absolutely no other evidence of the people altering their rituals etc just for a tourist show - so guess these had been arranged from the older resting places in the cave to make room for new coffins.

We passed a few tourist mementoes on the way back to our car but didn't have the room in our cases to buy one!

After an afternoon's rest, evening meal and sleep we were ready for the next day - a journey up the nearby mountain of Batutumonga, where we saw how naturally rich the area was for rice-growing. Every square metre seemed to be cultivated but we heard that it's long days and a subsistence economy for the farmers. All the rice is consumed in the area but they sometimes have to barter the rice for other things and many find it very difficult to find the $10 per month that is needed to keep their child in secondary education. Many children try to escape to the big cities for a better life.

We came down the mountain to a local market and ate where the locals eat - very tasty for just under a £1 each, and we were not ill afterwards. We didn't elect to eat what our guide Daud ate i.e eels cooked with vegetables in a bamboo cane, served on a banana leaf for the wrapping.

The following day we called in at a cave which had acted as a burial sight for thousands of years. A special guide took you in the deeper caves (my wife didn't go) which are still used today.

We had an 8 hour journey to get back to Makassar, stopping for coffee and lunch on the way.

We are still in awe of our time in Rantapao, Tana Toraja and feel privileged to have seen such a different culture and to have shared their funeral celebrations with them (we were welcomed as guests with food and tea) but brought a gift of cigarettes as well. All well worth the long journey there and back.

We then flew from Makassar to Kuala Lumpur, overnighted and then off to Japan - but that's another story.

Room Tip: Avoid the hotel laundry on the left hand side of the hotel
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

When we got off the night bus from Makassar and walked past all the other dingy places, I nearly wept tears of joy when I saw this was our hotel. I think this place is a real bargain. It's rooms are set around a beautiful courtyard garden with a (FREEZING COLD) pool. It is well placed for touring the Toraja and the guide they hooked us up with was absolutely brilliant. The room was huge and slept a family of 4 in the one big bed. The bathroom was very fancy. The breakfast was fine. You overlook the river at the back. You won't regret choosing this place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

We arrived in Rantepao at 5AM by bus. We did not expect to arrive so early, but decided to try our luck at the hotel anyway (it was still dark outside). Amazingly, the staff received us very politely and after checking some paperworks, he gave us key to our room! I know on the website it mentions "early checkin possible" but 5AM is very early (we were prepared to be told to wait/nap in the lobby).

The room was clean, there was problem with the hot water in the bathroom but this was fixed immediately after I reported the fault. Location was right in central of Rantepao, which is useful to walk around in the evening for dinner etc. Breakfast was just average though.

Overall, excellent service and nice friendly hotel :)

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luta Resort Toraja

Address: Dr Ratulangi Street No.26 | North Toraja, Rantepao 91854, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sulawesi > South Sulawesi > Rantepao
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Rantepao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 36
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