For your background information, for us, a getaway means a relaxing time with a change of scenery and away from home. So, we emphasize more on the comfortable accommodation rather than exciting local attraction.
Last week when we felt so fatigue from work, we wanted to get away from everything just for a little while. Usually, Bess Resort was our to-go place for that purpose. But for several months now, the place has always been fully booked. So we scrambled around the internet to look for similar quality destination and we came across this: Ara Inn. The rating on Agoda was 8.8 and the picture looked promising. So, we packed our bag and off we went our merry way.
The room comes with balcony overlooking hills with several monkeys in sight.
We came in rainy season, so it was a constant downpour the moment we came but when it stopped, you could literally see the looming fog, mist, cloud crawling from atop the hill to the villas downhill. The temperature was quite cold, though, so make sure to bring your jacket along.
We booked the room via phone (WA: 0812-4933-4441) and transfer the down payment before hand. For the executive room, the rate was comparably cheap. 600k/night for weekdays and 700k/night for weekend.
Ara Inn is kind of like Bed and Breakfast with no restaurant. You will get breakfast in the morning, the menu ranges from cereal, toast, to fried rice with selection of beverages. It is no buffet, though, which was fine with us. The taste is not that bad, but not too tasty either. It was okay.
No need to worry for lunch or dinner for the area is surrounded by many food stalls selling satay, bakso, ronde, and jagung bakar. There are way many of them. And considering it was a tourist destination, compared to other touristy place, the prices are just standard and good: Lamb Satay 20k, rabbit satay 18k, and chicken satay 15k.
I don’t know whether it was that good or because it was not during peak season, but Ara Inn’s internet was fast and reliable. If it were the latter, don’t worry for I got a strong 4G connection. You could always tether from your mobile.
How to get there:
THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT. For it was our first time going to Tretes, we relied on Google Map and it picked us the shortest route. DO NOT repeat our mistake. If you are from Malang, DO NOT take a left turn at Jalan Taman Safari II for several reasons:
1. the road was fine at first, but it went narrower by the kilometer.
2. It consists of at least 45 degrees CONSTANT inclines with sharps bends and overly steep declines.
3. When prompted with even seemingly impossible routes, we stopped and asked some locals and they said, “it is a dead-end UP THERE.” So you can imagine, in that terrain, in a downpour with limited visibility (and the slippery wet road as well) with forest surrounding us; if that wasn’t an adventure on its own, i don’t know what is. and Dear god, Google, please work on this.
Instead, go on and take a left turn at Jln. Dr. Sutomo Pandaan (just before Cheng Hoo Mosque — ask any local if you are unsure). Theoretically it will be several kilometers longer but the road is safer, way safer than if you go to Pujon via Songgoriti.
The inn location:
ALSO, the coordinate of the inn is correct but the route is not. Here’s how you get there: to make it easy, find Hotel Surya location, go straight ahead till you see Tanjung Plaza Hotel. Across this hotel, find a hidden pathway that is shadowed by many food stalls. Take the right lane. Go follow the road, you are going to reach the back parking lot of Hotel Surya, go ahead. The inn is at the end of that road.
All in all, it was an adventure in a sense that we really struggled to get there. But everything turned out to be worthy.