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“Full service in Banda Aceh”
Review of Linda's Homestay

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Linda's Homestay
Ranked #2 of 26 Banda Aceh B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 24, 2013

I stayed one night with Linda on my way to Pulau Weh. She was a great hostess and I would recommend staying with her. She's not the cheapest, but if you're not on a shoestring budget, she sure is worth it.

She picked me up from the airport and made me dinner at her house when I arrived. Fabulous home made Indonesian food, she's a great cook and might even start her own restaurant in the future. Her house is big and lovely. I got my own room with attached bathroom. The bathroom had a door to another room, but since it wasn't occupied, she locked it from the inside so only I could access the toilet. The room was also big and very nice.

The next day she took me on a city tour to see the Tsunami Museum, the "flying boat" and the generator ship that stranded several kilometres from shore. She had some contacts that even let me in although the place was officially closed. We had lunch in town and at the end she dropped me off at the harbour and helped me to get the ferry tickets.

Linda is a fabulous person and takes very good care of her guests.

For me as a backpacker it was perhaps a bit pricey as she charges extra for all transports, dinners and city tours, but I still think I got value for my money and wouldn't have had such a good experience of Banda Aceh staying at an "ordinary" hotel.

Room Tip: Apparently she also has another room in a separate building. Check to make sure you have room in the...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Fredrik B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 38 of 58 reviews

Reviewed August 16, 2013

Staying with Linda in her home was one of the highlights of our three week holiday in Northern Sumatra. Our five star rating is as much about her as a person and what we shared and I learned by spending time there. She is an interesting, brave and intelligent woman – a very warm person who is great to talk to.

I learned so much about Aceh, colonial and recent history, Sharia law, courting, marriage and divorce in Indonesia as well as so many other topics (medical care, women in the workforce, attitudes to alcohol etc).

I also would not have had anywhere near as powerful experience visiting the Tsunami affected areas, if I did not have Linda there beside me explaining things as we went and sharing with me her personal loss. She was also able to point out landmarks that I would have been unaware of, such as the finish point where the tsunami surge ended, the height of the tsunami in different areas, and fields and parks that are, in fact, sites of mass burials. Banda Aceh has been largely rebuilt and it would be impossible to know what happened where due to the extensive use of recycled building material – nothing really looks that new. But Linda was able to explain everything.

There were also some places of personal significance to her that she took us to and shared with us. It was really very powerful and very moving.

Linda took us out in the car on two days. She charges about $10 an hour, so she isn’t cheap. But it is a nice car and she is far more than a driver. We went to the tsunami museum, the boat on the house roof, the big electric boat 5 kilometres inland, and visited some traditional houses. We also drove down to Lampuuk (remember that mosque left standing and everything else wiped out?). We weren’t dressed properly, but Linda asked and we were allowed to climb up on its roof. Amazing! Afterwards we went down to the beach, which is pretty but a bit scary for swimming.
As for the accommodation itself, we thought it was good. Linda’s house is lovely and very clean. It is also strong and suffered not a crack in the massive earthquake that preceded the tsunami.

The linen at Linda’s is lovely (her sister makes linen and I bet Linda gets a good deal) and the beds are good quality and extremely comfortable, which was nice after coming from Freddie’s on Pulau Weh (which we loved, but the beds were hard!).

Linda has a great inside guest room with modern western ensuite. It’s pretty nice. We were outside in a bungalow that wasn’t quite so fancy. It had a traditional Indonesian bathroom including a bak mandi (tub with ladel) and squat toilet. If that isn’t to your liking ask for the inside room. You’ll note the one poor review Linda has is from someone who didn’t like this room. It was fine for us as it has a queen size bed, a single bed and we were able to get another bed on the floor – so all four of us fit in. Maybe it is a little expensive (if you are thinking strictly of a room to sleep in), but I wasn’t worried about that given the wonderful experience I was having.

Linda supplies breakfast as part of the deal. It is Indonesian food which we adults loved, but not great for our embarrassingly fussy kids. Linda went out and bought them some cereal, but there is a supermarket at the end of the street and you might like to go there yourself and supplement anything extra you like. For example, Linda didn’t keep UHT milk so we picked some up for the kids.

We ate dinner there twice also. Linda is a really good cook if you like curries and other traditional Indonesian food. She will make it not spicy if you don’t like spicy food, or spicy if you do (and we do!) Linda’s coffee is also fantastic! Oh... make sure to ask her about her grandmother’s recipe for goat curry. She doesn’t make it herself, but the ingredients were interesting! Something else I wouldn’t have learned about Acehnese traditional cooking if I hadn’t stayed at Linda’s.

Linda does pick ups and drop off for the airport and ferry as well.

I’ve put a little video on You Tube. Hopefully this link works (you will have to copy and paste).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdmEBtA8w34&feature=youtu.be

And Linda’s email address is nurlinda_nurdin(at)yahoo.co.id

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank AustralianLucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Linda's homestay is a great way to experience Banda Aceh. Linda has a lovely home, superclean rooms and she is a wonderful host who is extremely proud (and justly so) of Acehs heritage. The house is a bit out of the city itself, but is easily reached with becak and has some restaurants and a supermarket of its own. Linda is also a great cook, so make sure to eat with her at least once. Also a great spot to visit with (small) kids. Warmly recommended!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Anne-Marijke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

This is the first time that we stayed at a Home-stay and I am happy to report that it was a pleasant experience.

Linda is the right person for the job.Upon arrival ,she drove us to the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque for Friday prayers and she became our driver/guide for our entire stay of 3 days 2 nights.The room & air-conditioning could be better but the personal touch more than made up for the minor irritants.

Since there were 3 of us,we were put up in the annex room and not in the house.Breakfast was in the house & its Aceh fare which is fine with us.Tip: Better to stay in the house itself to get a full experience.

Through Linda we got a good glimpse of what Banda Aceh is all about,how the locals live as well as the effects of the tsunami.Linda herself lost almost 100 relatives to the tsunami and talks about it frequently.

Our stay was quite relaxed as Linda did all the thinking and we just followed.My daughter was able to get a 24-hr tailor at a good price with her help.Food was not really to die for but acceptable.Beware -the Acehnese like their food extra hot .Tip: Better to negotiate the "daily transport " price upfront.Taxis are not easy to get,so transport is a must.

My personal satisfaction was that I had the opportunity of performing prayers in a number of mosques in Banda Aceh and now understand why its called the "Verandah of Mecca".(The only other city I get to do the same is Mecca).

Overall,we gave Linda Home-stay a rating of 7 out of 10

Room Tip: Stay in the house not the annex room
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Hakim_Omar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We spent 2 nights and enjoyed the lovely cooking of Linda. She was an entertaining host and nothing was a problem.
The place is quiet but not central to Banda Aceh but as we had bicycles with us as part of tour of Sumatra it took us only 30min. to cover the 10 km. to the center.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Arnold V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We stayed just one night at Linda's, but despite that she did everything she could to make us feel at home. There were 2 options, one bedroom in the house with shared bathroom (which we had) and a little kind of bungalow with it's own bathroom. While we were there they were building an extra room with ensuite bathroom. The room was spacious and clean with airconditioning. No wifi in the house, but for us it really wasn't a problem as there was free wifi in a coffeeshop 2 minutes down the street. In the morning Linda also made a véry big real Aceh breakfast!

Linda herself provides several services like pickup at airport or harbour and tour of Banda Aceh for a reasonable price. As she knows a lot about the city and about the tsunami (with very personal stories!), it's really interesting to have her take you around town. She also works as a journalist and is very progressive for someone living in Indonesia's most conservative islamic town. She is very respected in the community so if you want to get something done (even if it's just getting bustickets), she can help and even get you a good deal!

So if you like the hotelstyle and like to be on your own, it's not for you. But if you're looking for a homey atmosphere and someone who will welcome you as if you're family, this is the place to be.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Caroline_Goris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Come to Banda Aceh. Stay at Linda's. We arrived in Banda from Weh on the anniversary of the Tsunami. Linda was at the ferry port to meet us. She had been interviewing families who had lost members back in 2004. If you meet Linda she may tell you her own family's story. It was an honour to stay in the home of an Indonesian family, a world away from hotels, hostels and back packer joints. Sipped tea and discussed sharia law and politics in Linda's splendid living room. Her bedrooms are clean, simple and have ensuites and air conditioning. She drove us to a rumah makan for the fine Acehnese food. Like tapas, but 15 or so plates are placed on the table. You only pay for the plates that you touch. That evening, Linda's son calls from boarding school wanting his mama to drop in some home cooking. We join Linda on the trip to the school. I went jogging each morning, through the backstreets, towards the hinterland and mountains that backdrop Banda. Stopped to chat to locals, take photos before the heat of the day. Linda serves breakfast in her dining room and dinner that night. Toured Tsunami sites. The museum acknowledges the contribution Australia and many other countries to post Tsunami reconstruction. Linda lent us her driver/house assistant to drive us to nearby mountain swimming pools. Go to the fantastic local market, three minutes walk from her house. Linda wanted to adopt our daughters. She loves family. Work out what you want to see around town and avoid midday break times. Best travel memories are people - Linda is one of them.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
3  Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Linda's Homestay

Address: Jl. Rahmat no. 3 | Lambhe Barat, Banda Aceh 23351, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sumatra > Aceh > Banda Aceh
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 26 B&Bs / Inns in Banda Aceh
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Your Comfartable Place and Local Kindness in The DawnTown , welcome To Banda Aceh Indoensia" ... more   less 

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