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“Escape the busy life”

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Abdi Homestay, Ikbal & Noni
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 March 2013

The 5 of us were (too) used to gadgets, even when traveling. I already warned my friends that we were going to a secluded place where there are no electricity, and they were all up for the challenge. Finding the place was difficult since Ikbal purposely didn't put any sign on the main road. We drove all the way to the Lembah Harau Nature Reserve before realizing we were lost, plus the cellphone reception there was very bad. Fortunately, we were able to make a call then one of Ikbal relatives came and pick us up.

Our first reaction when arriving was: WOW. All of us are lost for words. The peaceful serenity of the place, the gigantic valley behind us, soft sounds of waterfall from the distance, crickets and toads singing, and endless sky with thousands of stars above our heads. Ricky prepared a bonfire and we ended the night eating barbecued corn while chit-chatting around the bonfire. Before coming here, our first plan was only to stay the night and leave after breakfast. But all of us were sold, and we decided to stay longer.

In the morning, we explored the area while waiting for breakfast to be served. We took a short walk to the small waterfall and the rice paddies. After breakfast, we asked Ricky to accompany us to the big waterfalls. It was a fun 2 hours walk, and the secluded waterfall is truly amazing. Finally, we had to leave Abdi Homestay around 2pm with much regret for not being able to stay longer.

Our only complain is that they don't put price on anything. When asked, Ricky only advise us to pay with what we think was worth, even for the additional room *facepalm*. I'm sure Ikbal and the family are far from materialistic, but it got us to think whether we paid too little or too much.

Also, you can ask Ikbal's family to charge your gadget on the main house (not very near). Most of the houses there do have electricity, but the homestay don't, to maintain its "back to nature" concept. But we ended up not touching our gadgets the whole time (except when we look at the stars, we use astronomy apps to see which constellation is which).

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cyanides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (191)
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Reviewed 23 February 2013

Its a plan 8 days trip in west sumatra, Harau Valley is my second stay in Sumatra. Well,very warm welcome from Ewal,Ikbal cousin,a tourguide,with a cup of hot tea,after 7 hours journey from Bungus. Introduction from all the family Ikbal and Noni,Ricky. Family run business. Charming People is good for a start.Its true they are. First night in the top level of the bungalow, very cooling atmosphere. Great view of the sawah Padi Field and high waterfall. I was serve a dinner by Noni's cooking. Tempeh Coconut gravy with rice. Had a chit chat with Ricky and Ikbal. Very Friendly welcome from everyone,likes a family.Walk to Four Waterfall treks with Ewal the next morning. Very Beautiful Waterfall to swim and theres some shops around.Its best in the weekend though,more shops will open. Second night, I went to Ricky Place for Quran reading with his father and a ride to a small warung house for gado-gado.Gravy is delicious eventhough it replace with maggi instead of lontong.Its a great Place to start your Travel in Sumatra. Meet the charming people in Sumatra. Its a worthwhile trip to Harau.

Room Tip: Family bungalow with the top floor is the best. Weekend trip is much better.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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Thank hartyny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2013

If you like rock climbing and/or walking and living in a basic wooden hut with no electricity (oil lamps provided) and cold water, with one side backing on to a rock cliff and the other looking over padi fields, then this place could be for you. All meals can be prepared by your very amicable host and his wife. These are basic Indonesian fare. Hot water,tea and coffee are provided gratis.

Trips in the surrounding area can be organised by Ikbal for you.

I think that we like our nature a little more Senior friendly as in Tankahan and Bukit Lawang but this should not deter you if you like the sound of the above, after all nowhere is everybody's cup of tea.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jacko070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2012

I stayed on this lodge only for one night on December 2012. Like many other lodge and located in deep of Indonesia village, they had single bed and clean bathroom, one good point for this lodge. Also, Riki and his friends, The waiters who served us during that moment were very friendly and nice. You can ask for any kind of reasonable meal and drink and they will feed your wish. I like that part. In night time, kerosene lamp will be the only source of light (besides moon and stars), and served kinda romantic atmosphere, but beware as there is very limited electricity, you should watch your battery for cellphone and camera carefully!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank AnziG11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

Totally an AWESOME place! owned and managed by a local family. Uda Ikbal dan Uni Noni. Very friendly people! Helpful and informative.

They have 5 rooms now. the new 4 bungalows are all facing the rice paddies and the valleys in the background. all bungalows have no electricity which is very nice!!! They will soon have a common room somewhere near the bungalows, where you can charge your gadget.

The indonesian style bathroom is big and clean. no hot water. the water is cold but nice cold. it goes with sitting (western) toilet.the bathrooms is sort of half open air bathrooms.

Unlimited access to tea and coffee. B'fast is not included, but you can order the meals (b'fast to dinner time) without even worry that you will pay an overpriced meals. totally a good deal.

This place is totally paradise. Great location, you can see and hear the waterfall which located near the homestay. Best budget homestay in Harau Valley, West Sumatra or even in Indonesia! Totally designed for travelers who love nature. and best of all, backpackers friendly.

Stayed here for two nights. Will definitely stay some time in the future for 1 week or more.

Room Tip: the first bungalow from the entrance is not facing the rice paddies. All other bungalow are. some ha...
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank iammariza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012

We came to ABDI Homestay basing on the good reviews and advices, and it lived up to our expectations!

The bungalow:

Our single-storey bungalow was the third from the waterfall, the simpler one, with a squat toilet. The room was very clean, light and spacious, with high ceilings. It had a carpet on the floor, a bed with mosquito net, a mirror, some hooks on the walls and a small bureau. The veranda also was clean and comfortable with two chairs, a table and a hammock. Even one towel was provided (that is in a 80 000 IDR accommodation!). The bathroom is very spacious and has a squat toilet and mandi. There are hooks on the wall, but plenty of space is left empty. A small table would fit well in there and could be convenient. There is no electricity, but for us it only added to the charm of the place! So romantic to sit on the veranda with kerosene lamps! And do not worry, it is not hot, we found the temperature very comfortable, so no need in fan or aircon.

This is all very good, but the best thing is going to sleep there! We never had such a good sleep during all of our Sumatra trip. It is so quiet and with the lulling sounds of nature you really feel far away from all the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world and sleep like a baby.

Hiking trips:

We did two hikes with Ricky, Ikbal (the owner)'s brother - to the four waterfalls (the fourth one in the jungle is secluded and good for swimming) and to the cliff tops (great views and also there is a natural four meter-deep pool in the river to jump and swim!). Through our hikes Ricky was friendly and took our pictures for us and showed us pitcher plants and other things. And we were happy to see that he cared about the environment, not only he took away all our garbage but also what other people left up there!

But there was also a negative moment. He would not say us the cost of the waterfall hike because, as he claimed, he wanted us to relax and do not think about money. But the trick is, by doing so, he did got us thinking about money! We thought about how much we would give him. Nobody wants to pay a lot, by also we did not want to offend him by giving too little... That really made us feel uncomfortable. We still do not know if the 80 000 IDR we gave him were OK, too little or too much... It would be better to have a set price. For the cliff top hike we agreed with Ikbal in advance on 400 000 IDR for the two of us with lunch.

The food:

We had a jug of hot water at all times, great idea of Ikbal and Noni's! So we could drink the provided tea or the one we brought with us. Meals are served right at your veranda which is just great! But there is no choice, and what we got two evenings was plain rice, vegetable curry and deep-fried battered eggplants with potato chips. The curry was delicious, but the fried stuff was very greasy, and the rice is just rice... So we found the portions quite small, or maybe it was because I could not it this greasy food. Anyway, I would suggest to introduce something healthier into menu.

Here are three points for improvement: 1) would be better to set prices for hikes; 2) would be good to have a menu (and pay for food accordingly); 3) please ask the guests if they do not mind you sitting down and smoking! we are non-smoking and do not want to smell tobacco.

Overall, we had a great time and recommend Abdi Homestay unless you absolutely need such comforts as electricity, western toilet, hot water, Internet etc.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Katja_nsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2012

My girlfriend and I made a trip out to Harau Valley and planned on staying 3 nights at Abdi Homestay and we ended up staying for 6. That right there shows you what a wonderful place this is. Even after 6 nights we still wanted to stay more. "Satu lagi" we kept saying. Harau Valley is incredibly beautiful and Ikbal the owner made us feel right at home. The rooms were clean, comfortable and quite big, and don't worry, there are now many hooks to hang your things on. Obviously if you're not cool with no electricity, vegetarian Indonesian food, squat toilets and bucket showers then maybe this isn't your place. But if you don't think these absent amenities will bother you then you won't be disappointed. The kerosene lamps work fine and add a nice touch to the evening, along with all the frogs calling. Bringing a head torch helps, too. We also highly recommend trekking to the top of Harau (gorgeous, but quite challenging) and around the countryside (you can't beat the waterfall you end up at!). Ikbal, Noni, Ricky and the rest of the crew are super friendly and helpful. What's refreshing too is they just have hot water waiting for you all the time and you can make your own coffee and tea whenever you want. They also can arrange to get you lunches from various local cooks or whip you something up. The dinners are delectable! We just spent 2 whole weeks in West Sumatra and Abdi Homestay, along with Harau Valley in general, was by far the highlight of our trip!

Room Tip: The three rooms facing away from the waterfall all have hammocks on the porch, an excellent way to t...
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bparkbpark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Abdi Homestay, Ikbal & Noni

Address: Kab. 50 Kota | Harau Valley, Harau 26271, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Sumatra > West Sumatra > Harau
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Harau
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With the earnings of my homestay I also help the people of my village, I buy uniforms and books for the kids going to school. I also support the older people in my village. Me and my people clean the surroundings of the village. If you stay at my homestay you will also support the local community! ... more   less 

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