We spent four days here, at what we now realise is the wrong time of the year - a local told us that Belitung gets a westward wind from November to April, which means rain and beaches strewn with detritus from the sea. Better to visit in June to September.
The hotel is a pretty small complex - around 20 chalets. We took a junior suite, which is a detached chalet facing the beach. Between the hotel and the beach is a road, perpetually occupied by people on motorscooters zooming up and down - although we were out most of the day, I imagine this would be quite distracting if you wanted peace and quiet, and the (cheaper) chalets further from the beach would be a better choice.
There were both good and bad things about the chalet. It was lovely to have a bathroom that was exposed to the sky - you could happily have a bath or a shower and watch the rain fall on the walled garden that you were standing in. But all the extra rainwater meant that the water coming out of our taps was a rather more brown shade than we wanted. The room is a good size and the furniture is comfortable, but you're in a tropical environment and the constant humidity means that nothing looks absolutely brand new. It wasn't dripping with moisture, but this wasn't the same kind of thing that you'd see in a high-end city hotel. The other problem with having a chalet facing the beach, apart from the noise from the road, was that when it rained, the wind blasted the water through cracks in the door and window frames, and so the room would begin to flood each day, which wasn't hard to deal with (the staff brought down more towels to catch the water and mopped up quickly) but if you weren't expected it, might be rather annoying.
There are lots of geckos. I like geckos, but if you're not fond of reptiles then having one run across the bed in the middle of the night might also be offputting. They had eaten most of the mosquitoes, which was a real blessing - this is a rural environment, blessed with a lot of insect life, which is less enjoyable if you're worried about insects chowing down on you.
Food at the hotel was ... ok. Breakfast doesn't have much range to it, although they will fry up any omelette you ask for. Vegetarians don't have much choice for evening meals, and while we were there they ran out of french fries - or the chef didn't feel like cooking, because there was an ample supply of potatoes the next day - make of that what you will. There's a limited supply of beverages, but you're here for the natural beauty of the island, I suppose, rather than because you want to chug cocktails in an NYC-type environment.
Staff were very friendly and eager to help, although I think they don't have that much experience of how a hotel works - hence they would sometimes seem to be a little absent or unclear on what you wanted them to do. The worrying stories we'd heard of burning refuse outside the chalets didn't occur while we were there - a pleasant stay for a few days, but it's certainly not a place with a lot going on - come here for tranquility, not partying. And probably it's better to visit when it's not the rainy season.
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- Also Known As:
- Lorin Hotel And Resort
- Lorin Hotel Belitung Island