Without doubt the best view of the iconic mountain and lake. The staff were all welcoming, youthful, enthusiastic, friendly and spoke great English (which is rare in these parts). They tried their best to make my stay comfortable, and I felt very well looked after. I had an immediate sense of warmth and ease at Lakeview, it literally felt like staying over at a good friend's home! (well, mansion, more like.)
If you are unsure of what Kintamani has to offer, the staff had great suggestions. I would really recommend taking up the hotel's tracking packages. I thought they were very well organised, safe and affordable. No quick-buck-off-you tricksters here (I've been told to be wary of being lead to a different Lakeview, try to contact Lakeview staff directly).
Also, ask the staff for reliable massages and also directions to the hot springs if you're into that. (for the more adventurous, ask about the Laura Croft-ish village with skulls and all!)
Have always enjoyed Indonesian food, so I'm biased when I say the food is good. Do try the Ayam Panggang! Do ask for non-spicy options if you have issues. Also, they have coffee made with itallian Bialetti espresso kettles! Do ask for that, unless you prefer the French press. Even if you are not staying at Lakeview, a meal at their restaurant or Danu Lounge will still get you a wonderful view, especially at sunset. You won't regret it.
For me, the rooms are just lovely. Sure, the curtains and furniture bear signs of use, but these are really negligible (and any complains are really just nick picking, I feel). They are clean and well-maintained. However, you do need to know there are two types of rooms: Standard and Deluxe. Have spent nights at both, and while both are spacious and have great views, the Deluxe is a more modern setup, well the Standard has an old-world Asia charm with exquisite carved doors to the balcony. The major difference are the toilets. You get a more up-to-date setup with the Deluxe rooms, but be prepared for less fancy ones at the Standard. (they could have changed). They are still modern, functional and comfortable with ample paper though, definitely not village squat holes. Also, no issues with hot water nor smells during my stays. It is cooler up the mountain so be prepared with shawls, if not there are pedlars right outside.
I also greatly appreciated the cash machine ATM right at the Hotel's entrance, made getting things in the town much easier without anxieties of carrying too much (or too little) cash. It's a village so cards are not really applicable at most places.
If you're able to catch their general manager, you'll get great suggestions on further ventures, and interesting cultural events in Bali, both traditional and contemporary. He's really knowledgable about the local arts scene, and would also impress you with the ecological endeavours of business owners in Bali.
I am especially impressed with how the hotel is actively engaged in giving back to the Kintamani community, hosting village children who had never seen the inside of any hotel, exposing them to art and literature, as well as creating avenues for local villagers to benefit by using local produce instead of competing with them by importing items. The hotel is also making efforts in eco-friendly practices, such as installing a grey water processing unit for watering plants. Few establishments here even bother.
What a fantastic stay, and to know I've in some way helped contribute to the village is an additional bonus the hotel does not advertise. I'll certainly be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lakeview Hotel is at the edge of a massive volcanic caldera overlooking Mt. Batur and its tranquil lake. The cool climate offers respite from the heat of the tropics, while the mountain setting invites nature lovers to explore. Just 56km north of Denpasar, it is a two-hour scenic drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Each and every room, as well as the two restaurants at this hotel command magnificent views of volcano, lake and the forest below. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lakeview Hotel Bangli
- Lakeview Ecolodge Bali/Kintamani