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“Amazing place but poorly run and dirty” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Catimore Homestay

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Catimore Homestay
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Jl. Jend. A Yani 32 Jl., Bondowoso, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Bondowoso B&B and Inns
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
75 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Amazing place but poorly run and dirty”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2010

The guest house was built in 1894 for visitors to the coffee plantation. It is an impressive building at the centre of the coffee processing complex. Sadly it has not been maintained. What is inexcusable is that it is dirty, the decrepitude is acceptable. It was so dirty I would not recommend staying here. You have to order the set menu dinner in advance. It was by far the worst meal I had in 3 weeks in Indonesia. The menu was tailored to western taste and was both bland and cold. Unfortunately if you are visiting Ijen volcano, there is no where else to stay. In this case, you need to bring a sheet sleeping bag and your own food and then you'll be fine!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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57 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    1.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Parramatta, Australia
Top Contributor
429 reviews 429 reviews
150 hotel reviews
Reviews in 183 cities Reviews in 183 cities
1,353 helpful votes 1,353 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

Catimore Homestay is a 100 year old former Dutch homestead located in the Kebun Balawan coffee plantation somewhere in the Ijen Plateau. The homestay is surrounded by miles & miles of Arabica & Robusta coffee groves. The homestead is inevitably the centre of life as well as curiosity for the surrounding dwellings which house the coffee plantations migrant workers & their families & whose kids enjoy watching the foreigners from afar & their strange antics.

We traveled from Bondowoso via mini-van taking 5 hrs to reach the small settlement at Sempol where the homestay is located, it is not more than 30 mins to the acid lake. The mountainous road from Bondowoso to Sempol have to be some of the worst I’ve ever encountered, 80% of the tarmac had crumbled away leaving rocky surfaces that any sort of vehicle would find trouble building speed on. Having been the only 2 travelers not to reach the homestay via a chartered or pre-booked tour, every room was completely booked out when we arrived, hours before any other guests. Being in the middle of a coffee plantation with little or no public transport we thought we were doomed to sleep under a car. The local workers, after being asked by the homestay management offered us a spare room & a mattress & were courteous enough to vacate the entire house for our comfort at the same price.

The homestead is separate from the majority of rooms which are located around the building & built for local standards, be warned.

Since the homestay is so isolated there are no fulltime cooks or staff. All the meals have to be pre-ordered a few hours before hand. There certainly isnt much other choice in terms of food or lodgings, rather the tourists were more annoying. The cool air of the mountains are a relief from Surabaya’s heat & make drinking free unfiltered & powdery Arabica coffee a treat in such weather.

Since this place is mentioned by a famous guidebook, most of the guests that night were from a certain area of the world. Most rooms are basic with the all important hot water which is a luxury in these parts. It was shameful to see so many tourists forget that they were guests & took for granted the hard work of the locals who worked the fields or mined the sulphur in such an isolated place as the mountains of the Ijen Plateau, it is probably a good thing it is so hard to get to.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2009

We took the package to Kawah Ijen from Bromo. This one night stay at the Catimore is inclusive in the package.

The homestay is located within a coffee plantation. The room is very basic and small. It consists of a double bed with a mere white sheet covered over and a thin blanket. The weather there is very cooling around 18-20 degree Celsius at night, therefore the thin blanket is good enough. There is no TV, no toiletries and not even a soap in the room (luckily we brought our own soap). The bathroom is very basic and run down yet is clean though. It has a gas powered water heater which takes 10mins to warm up the water.

There is also a swimming pool, but we didn't swim in it. It has a restaurant serving nice food. We ordered our food upon arrival and they call us once the dinner is ready. The food is all served when we reach the restaurant. We took the buffet meal, which is more like a set meal but is quite delicious and cheap too.

Catimore is located quite near to Ijen, about 15-20mins drive through the uneven, rocky road. It provides very basic accommodation but still bearable.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2008

Built in 1894. The highlight is from the structure of building. The foundation of building made it higher than land surface while half of the wall material is designed from bamboo, deliver a classic touch. Examining to the construction of building, the foundation made from river stone for its stability, then goes to the upper part made from a light material. It is obvious that it was built to extend for the effect of severe quakes, like many building concept found in some architecture books.

Different from the outdoor appearance, when we come into the room, the nuance is totally difference – warm and old-fashioned style brings us to the retro colonial era. Wooden floor and bamboo fence still cover the interior space with its pastel paint and most the furniture made of wood. Decorated with old desaturated photo frames bring us to the era of 1800’s when the first owner, an expatriate sinder Degener resided for years to get occupied here, in Blawan. Series of repro photos of him and his family displayed at one of room corridor.

  • Liked — There is hot spring pool
  • Disliked — The accses road is terrible
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Catimore Homestay

Address: Jl. Jend. A Yani 32 Jl., Bondowoso, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Java > East Java > Bondowoso
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Bondowoso
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Catimore Homestay Hotel Java

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