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Reviewed November 2, 2009

We spent 2 nights here on our honeymoon to visit the volcanoes. The buildings are in a beautiful setting and the hotel is aiming to be a kind of eco-lodge. The room we had was comfortable with flat screen TV, good bathroom and a nice view. The problem was the staff and the food. On check-in (or in the afternoon) they ask you to choose your meal and what time you would like it. While we were there dinner was served in the reception/photo gallery/bar area although there was a separate restaurant. When we arrived at our chosen time for dinner the food we had chosen (several dishes on the already fairly limited menu were not available) arrived within 2 minutes of sitting down - it was nicely presented and pretty tasty but also cold! We had ordered a desert and that arrived the second we finished our main course so we had finished eating after 20 minutes! The staff stand over you while you eat and there was no music playing in there so the atmosphere was more like a funeral! After dinner they tried to get you out of there as quickly as possible. This wouldn't be too bad but the hotel is in the middle of nowhere so there is nothing to do except go back to the room. It is such a shame as they could make so much more out of it. If the restaurant worked properly and they encouraged people to hang around for a drink it would really make it. Disappointing.

Date of stay: September 2009
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank battirider
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2009

You could not ask for a more idyllic mountain village setting than Java Banana's. It is located high on a hill, surrounded by terraced farm fields and the homes of the farmers. There is also a village downhill from the resort. It is very easy to walk through the village and into the fields, and we wandered around for an afternoon. Java Banana has trail maps featuring a handful of walks/mountain bike rides through the villages and fields, so you always have a general idea of where things are.

The hotel itself consists of a group of buildings. The one we stayed in overlooked a steep hill that rose up again on the other side in terraced fields. At night, it was pitch black and clear and we saw a beautiful sky full of stars. Our room was small but had everything we needed, including a ridiculously comfortable large bed. Java Banana's website says the mattresses are made of natural latex, which is an environmentally friendly material and also exceedingly comfy. There was no heat in our room (and it gets cold at night!), but the blankets and covers on the bed were more than sufficient. I thought I would get cold, but I ended up kicking the covers half off.

I appreciated the hotel's other eco-conscious features, including having big wall-mounted dispensers for shampoo and body wash, as opposed to offering tiny individual bottles. They also do towel reuse and have used sustainable building materials in many areas. The grounds are thoughtfully maintained and it's very peaceful to sit outside during the day.

The main building holds an art gallery, small shop, and the restaurant. The art gallery showcases photographs of Mt. Bromo and local people and animals. There are also sculptures and wood carvings and other free standing pieces. Decor in general was simple but not boring. You could tell that someone has put a great deal of thought into it. We had two large photos taken nearby hanging on the walls in our room and liked them very much.

The restaurant does great coffee, banana fritters, nasi goreng, and the Volcano Drink (I think that was the name but cannot remember exactly). The Volcano Drink is like a hot version of the welcome drink (some kind of ginger tea), and very welcome on a chilly night. The other foods I tried were ok, but the above items were delicious. At night, they light the fire in the restaurant and it's cozy and wonderful. The shop was stocked with mostly t-shirts, but I found some beautiful cotton batiks in there for very reasonable prices.

The best part of Java Banana, though, was the staff! They could not have been more friendly and helpful! They made arranging our sunrise journey to Mt. Bromo a snap and provided us with a snack box in the morning so we'd have something to eat. I learned on this trip that the people of Indonesia will not let you go hungry even for five minutes! They were happy to feed us in the restaurant no matter what time of day we wandered in. Our driver to and from the airport was excellent and friendly. We had a miscommunication about our payment and the staff worked tirelessly to figure out what had happened. They were wonderful in every way! I was initially worried about the payment problem, but came away believing that the staff were 100% honest and trustworthy. I highly recommend Java Banana both because it's a great hotel and because the people do an incredible job.

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Bindicated
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2009

We arrived after a not too long a drive from Malang at about 5.30pm, by which time it was dark. I booked from the UK for 2 nights - this was the most expensive boutique hotel we booked in Java (others were in Jogya, Malang and Ijen) hence I was looking forward to it. The hotel was empty apart from my daughter (26, seasoned bacpacker), and myself (seasoned traveller). The two of us met in Java, for a few days travelling together , after not seeing each other for 9 months.
We were taken to room Deluxe 2 - $120 per night. Deluxe is a true misdiscription. It was pokey, had a tiny shower room and toilet, did not have a view and had no window which was capable of being open. On the galss pane were wooden squares, which made anything capable of beeing seen virtually invisible. One small towel for each with one container of liquid soap were the "perks".
We asked the duty manager to change our room. After many calls to the top manager and apparently the owner(!), we were offered the next Deluxe room at $180 (also no window capable of being open) or an executive suite for $200. Neither of us had any desire to spend that sort of money having regard to that sort of attitude. We left after one night, not before speaking to the manager who offered to show us all the other rooms (what for??) and offered us a fried banana as leaving present.
The attitude was disappointing, to say the least, because the whole hotel was empty and the room was truly just about "standard". There was no atmosphere at the hotel (since there were no other guests) and it would have made no difference to the mangment to compensate us for the inferior room which they described as deluxe.
The staff were charming, if very apologetic, and helped us to bring forward our reservation at the Ijen Resort at Ijen, where Deluxe meant Deluxe at $104 (including ++) per night. At dinner. the soto ayam was good, we ate in next to a little fireplace next to the reception since it was not worth while opening the restaurant for 2 guests. A disappointing experience. Had the room been described a s "standard" and been priced accordingly I would not have had a problem with the place. I forgot to say - they offered a discount of 12.5% if we stayed for 2 nights....I was not after saving money, I was after better value.

Date of stay: May 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank hhjmayerova
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bagaz86, Jakarta Representative at Jiwa Jawa Bromo, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2009

Dear Madam,
Thank you for your input on Java Banana Bromo's page in TripAdvisor.
We apologize for not cater your needs better. Since we are quite new in this business, we are improving ourselves by sincere comments from guests like you. Your comments are valuable for us, considering we are aiming to become the most recommended hotel in Bromo.

However, I might need to explain some of your comments:
- We build the hotel based on the demand of the Bromo 's visitors who need better accommodation, clean, cozy, and functional room. We build warm and compact, but functional rooms, not too big because the weather is quite cold there. Yes, we realise that most of our guests would fly from all over the world, who might be familiar with the cold weather, but we also need to cater our other guests who would feel little bit uncomfortable with the colder weather there. We have a compact, clean and functional toilet with hygienic ecowasher closet. If you ever go to Kawaguchi and compare the toilet in a resort hotel in Kawaguchi area close Mt. Fujiyama, our toilet is much more comfortable. You have to pay more than US$ 300 for the similar type of room.

- We invest much more dollar per room to build the hotel compare to those of other hotels around Bromo. We spend more dollar to construct our landscape and keep the ecogreen ratio (ratio between building and landscape) 1:5, which means that only 20% of the land could be developed for rooms. This is the main reason why our hotel is relatively more expensive compare to the other hotels around Bromo. Remember another facts: In any country a resort hotel always more expensive than a city hotel, because of bigger investment and operational cost. But we think if our guest pay US$ 125 for a superior or deluxe type of a resort hotel room,
located at the best location in Bromo, with a beautiful landscape, 2000 meters above sea level, 14 degree centigrade fresh air, is quite reasonable.

- The place that you had dinner on was actually the restaurant, since we put the restaurant/cafe and gallery at the same place. All of our guests will be having dinner on the same place like you had when staying at our hotel.

We do apologize for the absent of our duty manager. He was hospitalized at that time, that was the reason why our staff need to call upon the management to find solutions.

We have renovated the room you stayed last time according to your recommendation, we added a balcony and a door to access the balcony. We invite you to stay at this renovated room for free for one night on your next visit to Bromo.

Once again, thank you for your frank and useful input. It shows that you support us to become the most recommended hotel in Bromo. Please let us know your next visit to Bromo.

Sincerely yours,


Bagas Indyatmono
Java Banana Bromo
Jakarta Representative
bagas@java-banana.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2008

The Java Banana is a relatively new mountain resort, close to Bromo Volcano. It has only 9 rooms. It is in a modern style, simple, but good taste, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

The rooms are small and simple, but very nicely decorated, I wish there were more such mountain hotels! I recommend to book the deluxe rooms as they are bigger and have better views.

Food is good, staff very friendly and try to accomodate you as good as they can.

You can do some excursion to Bromo Volcano (first by Jeep, then by horse, then a short walk to the active volcano) - very exciting!

Strongly recommended hotel if you want to visit Bromo - much better than the other resorts around here.

PS: be aware that on Bormo there are many tourists, you will not be the only one to see the volcano....but back to the hotel you can enjoy the quiet live of Java mountains!

Date of stay: August 2008
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank TandTSwitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2021
Google Translation

Date of stay: March 2021
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHANDRA HADI, General Manager at Jiwa Jawa Bromo, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2021
Google Translation

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