Best hotels and hostels in Sumatra

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pantai Bungus & Sungai Pinang

    Rimba Ecolodge

    Rimba Ecolodge is an intimate French-Indonesian-run place reachable by boat. Monkeys (both silvered leaf and red leaf species) come to explore the beach where the breeze-cooled bungalows are situated and there’s a timeless, tranquil air to the place. The pricier rooms (350,000Rp) have hot water, while wi-fi is an additional 10,000Rp per day.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Danau Toba

    Horas Family Home

    Horas Family Home is perfect for those wanting a homely space with cooking facilities, and is a unique option for those seeking something different. Best is its gorgeous, renovated traditional Batak house, with original furnishings and self-contained modern facilities. Dutch-Indonesian hosts Berend and Mian are exceptionally helpful and knowledgable about Batak culture.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sabang

    Freddies

    This delightful cluster of breezy rooms sits above Pulau Weh's nicest stretch of white-sand beach, which has a small coral reef. It’s perfect for those content with snorkelling off the strategically placed pontoon and swinging in a hammock. Freddie, the South African owner, is responsible for both the delicious, varied buffet dinners (65,000Rp) and the genuine feeling of camaraderie among the guests.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Danau Toba

    Tabo Cottages

    The most attractive accommodation on Pulau Samosir is this sprawling German-run lakeside place that has the feel and professionalism of a laid-back resort. Rooms are inside blocks of beautiful Batak-style buildings, with huge bathrooms and hammocks, and there's a superb lakefront pool. Owner Annette is a treasure trove of information on Batak culture.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Padang

    Bat & Arrow

    With a great location in the atmospheric old quarter along the river, this unique choice is upstairs from its popular eponymous bar. It's more of an art hotel than guesthouse, with rooms featuring creative touches mixed with the creature comforts of cable TV, air-con and wi-fi. While the common areas are a bit dark it's enlivened by the contemporary installations throughout.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Harau Valley

    Abdi Homestay

    Run by young and energetic owners Ikbal and Noni, Abdi Homestay is the loveliest place to stay in the Harau Valley. Eight adorable thatched bungalows (with mosquito nets and bamboo showers) sit on the edge of verdant rice paddies and lotus ponds, with sheer cliffs forming a dramatic backrop. Ikbal leads day hikes (200,000Rp per person) to the top of the cliffs and surrounding countryside.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Trikora

    Mutiara Beach Guesthouse

    At this Swiss-run hideaway, gorgeous thatched bungalows with spacious verandahs sit amid unruly vegetation right by a pristine beach; its shallow waters are good for swimming. Its restaurant serves local and Western dishes, and by the water it has a small beach club with deck lounges, satellite TV, bar and library. There's also its rustic Aroma River Spa, perfect for relaxing close to nature.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Singkil

    Sapo Belen Lodge

    An unexpected find in the gritty port town of Singkil is this attractive traditional house featuring a polished-wood interior, antiques and plenty of books. It's by far the nicest place to stay here, with well-priced rooms that have mosquito nets, bathrooms and Acehenese coffee cakes for breakfast. It's just off the main street, and a good place to meet fellow travellers to share boat costs.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bukittinggi

    Padi Ecolodge

    Sitting among verdant rice paddies and a flowering tropical garden is this stunning lodge that incorporates a spectacular traditional Minangkabau design with soaring thatched roof, and is fitted with modern comforts and tasteful decor. Given its luxurious feel and spacious rooms featuring balconies overlooking the enchanting countryside, it's very generously priced. There's also a restaurant offering Indonesian staples.

  • Lodging in Mentawai Islands

    Shadow Mentawai Surf Camp

    On tiny, lush Pulau Buasak on the outskirts of Playground, Shadow is run by friendly local surfer brothers Ade (along with his Spanish wife) and Dodi and their crew. Solo surfers lodge in cosy two-person bunk rooms with air-con, while couples are more likely to end up in the thatched cottage with a simple outdoor Indonesian bathroom.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pantai Sorake & Teluk Lagundri

    Key Hole Surf Camp

    Run by local surfer Timmy and his friendly family, the old favourite Key Hole Surf Camp is right in the thick of things. It has eight comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and its restaurant serves anything from pizza to lobster. Their 10-day packages (US$500) are also worth considering; these include meals, airport pick-ups, motorcycle rental and island excursions.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bukittinggi

    Hello Guesthouse

    This bright, modern guesthouse is run by thoughtful owner Ling, who understands the needs of budget travellers. She is happy to provide maps of town, has displays on town attractions, and has fitted the rooms with supercomfy mattresses and hot-water showers. There are also futuristic capsules, complete with flashing sci-fi gadgetry. The breakfast spread earns it another big tick

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bukit Lawang

    On the Rocks

    More on the hill than on the rocks, the 10 ‘tribal’ huts here verge on being luxurious in a rustic way. Each hut has a verandah and sunken bathroom, and all are shrouded in peace and beautiful jungle views. It’s across the river and a fair hike from Bukit Lawang's main strip, so it’s a good thing the restaurant serves decent meals.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Gapang

    Lumba Lumba

    Behind the diving centre of the same name, Lumba Lumba offers some of the best-quality accommodation in Gapang. Wood-decked cottages have tiled rooms, fans and Western toilets, while simpler budget rooms have shared bathrooms. Accommodation is mostly for divers, but Lumba Lumba will happily rent out any spare rooms.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Danau Maninjau

    Beach Guest House

    Run by a friendly, energetic local couple, Fifi and Jack, this hostel and cafe is Danau Maninjau’s backpacker central. Bunk in the four-bed dorm or go for one of the lakefront rooms with private bathroom and hot shower. The owners organise excursions, from round-the-lake bicycle or motorbike jaunts to hikes of the caldera (seven hours).

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bandar Lampung

    Flip Flop Hostel

    One of south Sumatra's best hostels, Flip Flop is an immaculate multilevel space that's lovingly decorated with vibrant furnishings, murals and pot plants. Private rooms have homely touches, while air-conditioned dorms are spotless and have their own bathrooms. The staff are lovely, and the lobby cafe does specialty coffees and Indonesian dishes. Upstairs there's terrace seating and a rooftop hang-out.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Banyak Islands

    Nina’s Bungalows

    The Banyak hot spot for backpackers at the time of research, Nina's comprises five spacious, thatched bungalows with hammocks swinging on shady porches. The beach is pristine and the water gin-clear. Helpful manager Rius takes good care of guests, and the food gets positive reviews. There's also beer available.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Tanjung Setia & Krui

    Damai Bungalows

    Leafy gardens, fan-cooled bungalows with private outdoorsy bathrooms, the best surfer-lodge food and friendly underfoot dogs are the defining features of this chilled-out place. There’s excellent service from the Aussie-Indonesian owners, and the bar – with quite possibly Sumatra’s coldest beer – provides front-row views of the iconic Karang Nyimbor left-hander. Damai is often booked by groups, but individual guests are welcome.

  • Lodging in Telo Islands

    Resort Latitude Zero

    A luxurious surfing resort sitting on its own private island, this place has excellent access to Telo’s 18 breaks, sea views from its sumptuous rooms and verandahs, an infinity pool and a family-friendly beach. There are stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks, snorkelling gear and also a gym for non-surfers. Liveaboard charters are available for exploring the surrounding surf spots. Seven-, 10- and 14-day packages available.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Mentawai Islands

    Aloita Resort & Spa

    Ten bungalows in a garden setting occupy a private beach here within easy reach of the breaks Telescopes and Iceland, and there’s a beginner’s surf break a short walk away. Italian-run Aloita offers diving and paddleboarding, and its spa and yoga terrace make it a good option for surfers planning on bringing partners or family.