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Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge
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Reviews (49)
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29 - 34 of 49 reviews
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We stayed for three nights in the ecolodge and had a wonderful relaxed stay!

The rooms are quite basic but the gardens around it make up for a lot.
The people do not all speak English, but are very kind and the food is tasty. You can not order from a menu but you can ask for vegetarian, beef or whatever you want up front.
Besides the obvious elephant ride, we went on a night walk to look for owls and loris. Although we are not really into bird watching, we really enjoyed the walk and found it quit exciting!
On our last morning they took us to a small village market which was quit a happening (for the people at the market that is ;-))
Would def recommend staying here if you are not looking for pampering luxury, but if you are looking for a quiet place to have a relaxed time. Bring a book or board game :-)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Leosplanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your review on our lodge in Sumatra. It is great that you developed some interest in birds as this is one of the many attractions of this vital park where thee endangered tiger, rhino and elephant are present. Thank you for your other posirtiv comments.

Alan Wilson,
Founder and Chairman
ECOLODGES INDONESIA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Stayed here for a specific tiger patrol that I organized with the national park itself. This is a pleasant, laid back environment with green lawns and rooms hot water, reliable wifi, simple yet clean. Best though is the extremely friendly staff who go out of their way to help your stay. Food is also consistently good.

They can help organize most of the tours available in the park, though for special arrangement work directly with the park and you can probably save on booking fees etc.

The hotel is about a 40 min drive from the Way Khana, which is basically a lodge currently under construction in the interior of the park. The road there though is where you will see a lot of your wildlife (I spent three days in the jungle, and the road continues to be a great place to spot animals, especially at night). Make sure you also organize to see Kalimpiru, which is something like a savannah that comes alive at dusk with deer and birds, and if you’re unbelievably lucky, a tiger as well.

A great memory, enabled by a pleasant little hotel and its kind staff, highly recommended.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
Thank FS75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2013

We wish to thank you for your report especially your positive comments re our staff. Our company now manages six eco lodges throughout Indonesia using only local people as a COnservation measure. Stays and reports like yours are deeply appreciated and help us in the struggle to save Indonesia's parks.

Alan Wilson, Chairman of The Board, Ecolodgesindonesia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

My wife and I spent 3 nights here in March 2013. We were excited to see the rhino sanctuary. The hotel was ok, fairly basic but clean and the staff were friendly. I would say that it was a $30 room. They charged $65. We thought, ok, it will be worth it to go to this amazing rhino sanctuary.

Since there is really nowhere else to eat nearby we dined at the hotel. They did not offer us a choice of food, only fried chicken every night. It was good, at least, but they charged twice what the price should have been and didn't even ask what we wanted to eat. The ladies cooking in the kitchen were very nice.

So on to the rhino sanctuary for about $60 per person. The sanctuary tour consisted of a 30 minute ride down the road to the sanctuary, and a 10 minute walk down a path to a cage where there was 1 female rhino. We were allowed to stand and look at the rhino for about 20 minutes before we walked back to the car and headed back to the 'ecolodge'. There was no offer of information about the rhino (rhinos?) or what was being done to help them, or any sort of history. Very basic information only. This was a $5 tour, at best. This is Indonesia, remember.

Maybe if I set up a couple of solar panels at my house I can call it an 'ecolodge'?

Having had possibly most amazing elephant experience one could hope for last year in Borneo, we decided against the elephant tour here. They call themselves an Elephant Ecolodge, but based on the rhino experience I will make the safe assumption that it is not worth the price of admission either.

Overall a very expensive, uninteresting, disappointing experience. I don't mind spending money if there is value, and $65 per night is still less than a hotel at home, but again, remember this is Indonesia. I would skip this place altogether.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank kedaabby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

We wish to respond to four areas in this critique (a) price (b) Rhino Tour (c) our restaurant and (d) our eco credentials. We cannot identify who wrote this report but assume it is a pair called Kim and Chris who stayed at the Satwa 7th – 10th March
(a) Room price. The suggested price of US$ 30 is totally rejected. Many of our guests consider we are very reasonable and even cheap due to location alone let alone our significant investment.
(b) Rhino Tour. Firstly this tour is organized by The International Rhino Foundation and we have no input except to get their permission (often not granted according to disease or pregnancy of their Rhinos). Secondly, of the $ 65 charged, US$ 50 is their charge towards their research. Thus these persons paid only US$ 15 to see one of the most endangered species in the world. The Sumatran Rhino is on the edge of extinction. There are only four in this centre including a female with one young. To see one should have been a great privelidge. Their reception by Centre staff is none of our affair. The only area we will follow is to alert the Centre of this report and seek discussion on their validity.
(c) Our Restaurant. If you consider US$ 15 for a three course meal + coffee expensive so be it. Ibu Rose our cook at Satwa has been acclaimed globally as a wonderful cook. We apologise if you only received chicken and will suggest more variety in future.
(d) Eco credentials. Our company ECOLODGESINDONESIA is based on Green Globe principles, all of which are followed at our Satwa Eco Lodge as follows:
(i) 100% employment of local people to ensure most of the income earned enriches and empowers the people of Labuan Ratu. More importantly this is an important conservation measure highlighting the environment as a source of income, a cornerstone of our companies philosophy eg our Bird guide used to be bird smuggler in the Park.
(ii) Eco sustainability of the area in terms of fauna and flora. Thus we note key groups of fauna (birds and butterflies) and monitor their frequency annually. Our links with local NGOs assist Tiger, Elephant and forest conservation.
(iii) Food production. We produce much of our fruits, eggs and vegetables organically in a separate plot next to the lodge
(iv) Use of eco friendly management systems. Thus most of our power comes from solar energy, some of our sewage is recycled through reed beds on to the gardens, we use low energy bulbs, all biodegradables from the kitchen and garden waste are composted and we are very careful to recycle most of our rubbish
(v) Support of Local culture. As a company we support the local village through tours, the local mosqe through donations and a local NGO pioneering new tours in the park . Also all our guides are local people
(vi) Support of the local economy. We purchase over 95% of the lodge needs in the locali area . Also all our transport needs
(vii) Transparent Management We pride ourselves on our transparency. All our accounts are open for inspection monitored by a Board and audited. Many of our staff are shareholders ensuring local participation in management by election of office bearers of the company.
The very critical comments re eco credentials and our solar panels are not accepted.

We welcome critical constructive comment and accept any criticism re our services. We use people most of whom have never served international guests and have been trained from scratch as part of our Conservation approach. They learn fast and we follow up courteous suggestions for improvement from our guests with alacrity.

In summary, we have attempted to answer the critical and sometimes unnecessary comments eg re our Elephant Tour (a highlight) and have rejected much of this report.

Alan Wilson, Chairman of The Board, Ecolodges Indonesia, Bali, Indonesia
Email alanwilson@ecolodgesindonesia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed at Satwa Eco Lodge for 3 night in early January 2013 and had a very enjoyable stay. Accommodations are clean, spacious, and peaceful The manager and staff are friendly and went out of their way to make our stay memorable. The food was very good, fresh with good selections, and the location is ideal for trips into Way Kambas National Park. Our guide, provided by Satwa, was Hari, he was knowledgable and did a great job over our three day stay of showing us what Way Kambas has to offer. We trekked into the park to see siamang, took a boat trip on the river and saw long-tailed Macaque, languor monkeys, python, eagles, stork-billed kingfisher, pig-tail macaque, and Sambar deer. We visited the Rhino facility by special arrangement and also the elephant sanctuary, which was a little depressing because the elephants are used for elephant rides and elephant soccer. The rhino facility was amazing. We also took a night hike and saw slow loris and a small owl. We enjoyed morning walks through the village and found the locals to be friendly and engaging, it is a lovely place to stay and explore the area.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank FSMWNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2013

Thank you for your report on TA. We greatly appreciate your comments

Alan Wilson, Chairman of The Board, Ecolodgesindonesia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We spent three nights in Satwa and we loved it! Of course, it's not the best hotel of Indonesia, but the atmosphere is great. We liked the rooms: spacious and clean. They try to keep all insects out of the room, there was some anti-mosquito thing, but it is smart to bring a mosquito-net.
When we stayed in Satwa, it was pretty hot and humid, but the fan brought enough coolness. The children missed an swimmingpool though. That would be a great addition!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner were fresh and delicious, but after 3 days you feel like eating something different.
There's not much to do around except exploring Way Kambas. And this is worth going! We visited the Elephant Conservatory and had a great time riding the elephants. It is much better than in many other country's because you just sit on the elephants back and walk through the bush, through a river-bed, on your own family without many other tourists! It's an unique, pure experience!
Hari was our guide on the wildlife-trips and he is an excellent guide. He took us on a trek to see the Siamang Gibbons and he was looking for them as long as necessary for us to see them. We heart them, but it wasn't easy to see them, but Hari kept on going.
He also accompanied us on the River Kanan trip. Thanks to him we've spotted many animals (many monkeys, lizzard, deer, crocodiles, special birds and ... 2 tapirs).
In the evening Hary took us outside the lodge-area, on a walk through the fields. He showed us the wildlife in the village: 2 slow loris, the collared scowl, a civit cat, a very large yellow spider!

We arranged all the trips at Ecosafari and all went well. Communication with Nyoman was good, no troubles at all!
It was one of the best experiences in Indonesia for us!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Marjon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

We wish to thank you for your positive report which is greatly appreciated

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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