Best hotels and hostels in Kalimantan

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Balikpapan

    Hotel Gran Senyiur

    Unique in Kalimantan, this old-world Asian luxury hotel proves to the younger generic business hotels that experience and wisdom count. Fine woodwork warms spaces throughout, and rooms are priced well for their five-star status. The world-class rooftop Sky Bar is worth a visit even if you're not staying.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Palangka Raya

    Bukit Raya Guesthouse

    A gorgeous palm- and tree-filled garden, spotless timber cabins with lofts and a rough-hewn treehouse make this one of Kalimantan's most inviting and relaxing guesthouses. A labour of love for Swiss owners and long-time Borneo residents Thomas and Beatrice, Bukit Raya has lovely touches such as a natural swimming pool, rooftop garden, kitchen and library-lounge, all in a natural environment.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Tanjung Puting National Park

    Rimba Lodge

    The only upmarket jungle resort near the park, Rimba is still pretty rustic for the price but manages to hit most of the ecoresort notes, with comfortable air-con rooms in three categories (Amethyst, Emerald and Diamond), solar power and an immersive jungle experience of forest walks and resident wildlife. It's just north of Sekonyer village, accessed by private jetty.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Maratua Atoll

    Nabucco Island Resort

    At the edge of the Maratua lagoon, this compact island dive resort packs plenty into a tiny manicured space. Surrounding a central common area, the varnished duplex bungalows each share an ocean-view porch with access to mangroves, a white-sand beach, or a slice of house reef. Dive packages start at €420 for 10 dives.

  • Lodging in Maratua Atoll

    Virgin Cocoa

    Linked to Nunukan Island by a 1km-long boardwalk, Virgin Cocoa is Maratua's latest luxury offering. More a luxurious retreat than a dive resort, it has 18 cosy bungalows scattered among the palms, a pool, yoga centre, spa treatments and a sense of isolation. There's a house reef just off the beach for snorkelling.

  • Lodging in Palangka Raya

    Swiss-Belhotel Danum

    This luxury property with resort intentions is the best in Palangka Raya, though it's 5km northwest of the centre (almost opposite the local nine-hole golf course). The vast marble lobby drops to the restaurant before opening into the courtyard with its winding pool and palm trees. Walk-in promo rates are often lower than even the internet discounts.

  • Lodging in Sukadana

    Mahkota Kayong Hotel

    Built on piles over the water, this grand anomaly dwarfs everything in town except the adjacent mosque. It's often empty outside of weekends and occasional government conventions, which seems to make some staff forget why they are there. The more expensive sea-facing rooms have balconies with sunset views (only the suites have hot water). There's a restaurant, but no bar.

  • Lodging in Pulau Kakaban & Pulau Sangalaki

    Sangalaki Resort

    Reopened in 2017, this resort is a surprising find on an otherwise pristine marine-park island. It's still fairly low key with 14 standalone cottages (raised on stilts so as not to hinder turtle movement). The bar and restaurant provides a focal point and there's an on-site dive shop and private boat, but nothing else on the island.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kumai

    Majid Hotel

    Across from the boat dock in Kumai, Majid Hotel has six small but very clean air-con rooms; the more expensive ones have hot water. Helpful English-speaking owners Majid and Liesa have several klotok, so can arrange good-value trips to Tanjung Puting National Park – if you book a trip you stay at the hotel for free.

  • Lodging in Pontianak

    Aston Pontianak

    This central oasis of old-school luxury and sophisticated decor is a good deal at regularly discounted and weekend rates. Superiors are spacious, while the executive rooms add a bath and sofa. The 2nd-floor RiverX entertainment complex offers live music and DJs, and the substantial breakfast buffet will fuel you throughout the day.

  • Lodging in Loksado

    Wisma Alya

    This two-storey guesthouse has just five bare wooden rooms and a fine balcony hanging over the rushing Sungai Amandit. Expect little more than a bed, a fan and a shared bathroom, but it's a great village hang-out run by a friendly family.

  • Lodging in Maratua Atoll

    Maratua Paradise Resort

    Just south of the main village and jetty, Maratua Paradise is a popular choice for its beachfront and overwater villas – the only ones on the main island. The bungalows are looking a little tired for this price, but overall the resort ticks most boxes with its overwater restaurant, dive shop and opportunities for snorkelling off the beach.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Samarinda

    Kost Samarinda

    You can't beat the price at this excessively accommodating family guesthouse: a clean, cheap, friendly, no-frills place strategically located close to the central action. Rooms share three clean common bathrooms with cold-water shower. The icing on the cake, if you're comfortable in Samarinda traffic: motorbikes for rent (50,000Rp per day). It's down a small lane signposted off Jl Pangeran Hidayatullah.

  • Lodging in Loksado

    Mountain Meratus Resort

    Located 800m downriver from town, Mountain Meratus is Loksado's best accommodation, with a collection of well-crafted timber rooms with open-air stone bathrooms and hot water (in theory), comfy beds and verandas. The location on the river is fabulous and, although there's no restaurant, the large deck is a great place to relax.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pontianak

    Canopy Center Hostel

    Pontianak's only traveller hostel, Canopy is a great place to hang out and meet other travellers. Downstairs is an architecturally designed coffee shop, while upstairs are two spotless 14-bed dorms (male and female) and two en-suite rooms. It's in a quiet neighbourhood 6km south of the centre, which is both a blessing and a hindrance, though there's a motorbike for rent (50,000Rp).

  • Lodging in Pulau Derawan

    La Pauta

    Beside the main jetty and with a relatively clean private beach, this is one of Derawan's best-value resorts, with well-designed timber rooms and cottages. The cheapest rooms share a bathroom but all have air-con. There's a dive shop but it doesn't feel like an exclusive dive resort. The overwater restaurant is one of the best on the island.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Samarinda

    Aston Samarinda

    Samarinda's best city-centre hotel is where you come for pampered luxury. The colonnaded pool with its two-storey waterfall may be ostentatious, but the rooms have just the right amount of style and comfort. Some superiors have grand river views, while others have no windows but extra space. Fine dining, superb buffet breakfast and an in-house spa round out the scene nicely.

  • Lodging in Maratua Atoll

    Nunukan Island Resort

    From the long jetty welcoming you across the 4km house reef, to the common areas hovering over razor-sharp limestone, there is nothing typical – and everything exotic – about this island resort. The 22 luxurious beachfront bungalows have spacious porches with sofa beds begging you to soak in the serenity. House-reef dive packages start at €360 for 10 dives.

  • Lodging in Sukadana

    Kecubang Homestay

    Warm, English-speaking hosts Yayat and Wenny make this the go-to homestay in Sedahan village. You'll get a thick mattress on the floor of a spare room, and breakfast and dinner provided – an authentic family experience. Yayat can organise local guides for Gunung Palung National Park and, if his room is full, he can arrange another homestay in the village.

  • Lodging in Pangkalan Bun

    Arut Riverside Guesthouse

    Pangkalan Bun's most atmospheric backpacker stay consists of nine basic riverside rooms in converted shophouses, some on stilts over the water. Owner Ryan can arrange budget klotok tours to Tanjung Puting National Park as well as fishing and jungle trekking trips. A free boat shuttles guests across the river from the laneway opposite Hotel Abadi.