I arrived at Wisma Sibayak after a six-hour trip from Ketambe. I could not have been more impressed with the service. The reception staff were extremely friendly, showed me a large clean room with bathroom and when I said I would take it, I was told to relax, sort my stuff and come up to sign in when I was ready - no hassles. The room was 100,000 rupiah and had a small porch area with a table and two chairs. There are some other rooms for 60,000 with an outside bathroom.
When I went back to reception to sign in, I was given two maps of the area without even asking. Maureen (?), the receptionist, then helped me organise a guide for climbing Mt Sibayak the next day and for visiting places of interest over the following two days.
Perhaps the only drawback is that the bathrooms hve cold water showers and Berastagi can get very cold. Having said that, when I arrived back from a day trip cold and damp, I was immediately offered the opportunity of a hot shower in a seperate bathroom for 10,000 rupiah - well worth it!
Also, the thick blankets on the board keep you extra warm at night - I certainly didn't feel the cold overnight.
Rooms closest to the road are quite noisy during the day but I didn't notice the traffic during the night.
Very central location at the south end of the main road making it a nice walk up one side to Taman Mejuah-juah and back down the other side past the market.
Two things stand out - the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, and the sensational food. There are some cheap eats to be bought on the streets in Berastagi and I tried some for lunches, but the cooking at Wisma Sibayak is amazing. The tofu curry is one of the best I've ever had. The Berastagi pancake is almost a meal in itself and the fresh juices and lassi are awesome! I had a pineapple lassi one night and simply didn't want it to end!
I can't recommend this place more highly for budget travellers - in fact any travellers, all the more expensive accommodation is some distance from the town centre.
It was a terrible night spent at this place. Each room seemed sealed and we felt like we can do whatever we want, talk and laugh OUT LOUD and get lost with our sharing moment. BUT we were wrong. Just when we began giggling we heard a series of loud steps coming closer to our room and when we were finally laughing in chorus like there's no tomorrow with all the hilarious stories we were gossiping about, we heard a superduper slamming and knocking on the door like some sort of a warning or emergency or whatever which purpose was to probably stOP our NOISE. Right then and there, we stopped, asked who it was and checked outside when nobody responded.. that was a very LONG night. NONE of us was able to sleep at all. The next day, we asked the old ladies downstairs and none of them admitted at the beginning, but when one of my girlfriends insisted that there was someone trying to scare us, the lady at the reception finally said she did it because we were too loud. Just like that.
It was a horrible lodge. The only one maybe .. that doesn't have its own entrance. We crossed in an office at its front.
I did not overnight in Berastagi, as after our hike on the Vulcano we drove immediately to the tribal village called Serang, so I can tip only about this accomodation.
What to say? As everybody know, a longhouse is definitely not the most cleanest place in the world, also because into the longhouse the families do every activity (clean up, cooking, washing and so on), so you could immage which is the percentuage of fog inside...but neverthenless, you gotta take your shoes off!!
Do not overnight in a longhouse for the confortable aspect (there is none!) but for the experience itself...
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