Mentawai accommodation for budget travelers and budget surfers

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The Mentawai Islands are an exotic place, still off-the-beaten, far from the popularity of Bali, Maldives, or other famous destinations. So, it is less visited and less developed for tourism. At the same time, it is a hidden gem offering a lot of things to do and explore. But to do this, you have to set your “base camp” on the islands- your Mentawai accommodation. So, let’s get into detail about where to stay on this archipelago, to help you plan your itinerary better.

Mentawai accommodation basic facts

Most of what is Mentawai Islands is wild pieces of land, covered by jungle, and small villages here and there. This is an off-the-beaten part of West Sumatra. There are almost no accommodation options in these villages (unless someone invites you to stay in his home). But, at the same time, there are places to stay out of the villages, on small adjacent islands, or beside a wild beach on the main islands. In general, there are two types of accommodation in Mentawai- homestays and hotels, and surfing resorts- surf camps.

The surfing resorts (surf camps) can be found mainly on the small islands near the main big islands of Siberut, Sipora, and North & South Pagai, close to the surfing spots. They are luxurious and much more expensive. Normally, they are used by surfers attending a surf camp. Non-surfers are welcomed too, but again, these resorts are more proper for a luxurious romantic vacation in a tropical paradise, rather than for budget travelers who come to explore the Mentawai Islands.

That’s why, this article is focused on the second type of accommodation in the Mentawai Archipelago- homestays and hotels.

In a village on Sipora Island
In a village on Sipora Island

Homestays and hotels

These types of properties are located mostly on Sipora Island, in the main town of Tuapejat and the nearby village Mapaddegat, as well as in a few other villages on Sipora and North Pagai. Homestays are cheap, with basic conditions: nice rooms with a toilet, but usually without hot water. There are some hotels, as well as bungalows, a bit more expensive, but still affordable.

If you are not a surfer, and if you are a budget traveler or a budget surfer, these properties are for you. In other words, just look at the north part of Sipora Island, and you can find your suitable “base camp” there. You can easily find a proper place on Booking or Agoda, but let’s get into detail to make your choice easier.

Sipora Island

Sipora is the most developed island in the archipelago, and here is the administrative center of Mentawai Regency. It is also the main entry point for the whole archipelago for travelers coming by ferries from Padang. Yes, there are ferries from Padang to the other big islands, but still the most popular is the ferry to Sipora. For more information take a look at How to get to the Mentawai Islands.

The two main places with homestays and hotels are Tuapejat and Mappadegat, both located in the north part of Sipora.

Tuapejat Harbor
Tuapejat Harbor

Tuapejat

Tuapejat is the main town of Sipora and the whole of the Mentawai Archipelago. It has a strategic location, because, as mentioned above, here is the main port of Sipora, the entry point from Padang, and the starting point to the other big islands. Besides, here you can find most of the “civilization”- there are some shops, small cafes, supermarkets, a bank, a photocopy center, and more, in other words, the location is very convenient.

There is also a nice beach where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling. Although it is close to the town and the harbor, it is clean, not crowded (there are no crowds on the Mentawai), and relatively safe.

These are the best places to stay in Tuapejat:

Hotel Jelita

Hotel Jelita is a classical budget hotel (1-star hotel), located on the main road from Tuapejat Harbor to the interior of Sipora Island. It offers standard and superior single rooms, and standard and superior twin rooms, with air conditioning, free WiFi, TV, and private bathrooms. The hotel is 350 m from the harbor- about 5 min walk on the main road.

In general, many users have left good reviews about this hotel, keeping in mind that it is a very cheap place, so they can’t have too high expectations. The main complaints are concerning cleanliness- although the hotel is cheap and the conditions are basic, according to some people, it still can be cleaner.

Check for availability in Hotel Jelita on Booking!

Check for availability in Hotel Jelita on Agoda!

Hotel Jelita
Hotel Jelita
Hotel El-Shaddai

This hotel is even closer to the harbor, only about 180 m, but on the other road (when you go out of the harbor, turn right, not left). It was built by a protestant church, and indeed, its name “El-Shaddai” is a Biblical name. Obviously, the owners are Christians.

The problem is that Hotel El-Shaddai can’t be found on Booking or Agoda. You can see it on Google Maps, and the only way to book a room there is by phone call (the phone number is written on Google Maps), however, it is unclear how good is the English of the people in the reception.

Concerning the conditions- it is another cheap, budget hotel, not too different than Jelita. People have left good reviews about it. They are mostly impressed by the beautiful views of the sea.

Mentawai Bagus Local Homestay

Mentawai Bagus is a very popular homestay in Tuapejat, located in a very convenient place- just a bit behind Hotel El-Shaddai, only a 5-minute walk from the harbor.
It is more expensive than the average homestay on Sipora, and the quality of the rooms and services is higher. Bagus is well-designed in a “tropical vacation” style, with various types of rooms- twin rooms, triple rooms, or double rooms, with large beds, single beds, or bunk beds.

It has a beautiful terrace with a beachfront view, a bar, and a restaurant with delicious Indonesian and international meals. In addition, it has a nice garden for relaxation. Everything is designed like a resort and is a bit luxurious, worth the high prices. And the staff is very friendly and professional.

They also offer rental scooters and boat taxis (boat cruises) to the best spots around Sipora Island and the surfing spots. It is still much cheaper than the luxurious surfing resorts (surf camps) on the small islands nearby, so, many surfers prefer to stay in Bagus.

Check for availability in Bagus Homestay on Booking!

Check for availability in Bagus Homestay on Agoda!

Mentawai Bagus Homestay
Mentawai Bagus Local Homestay
Subbet and Crow’s Nest Homestays

These are two neighboring homestays, located exactly at Jatti Beach. They are a bit far from the harbor and the center- about 1,5 km, 20 min walking, so better to find an ojek (motor taxi) to go there. But at the same time, their location is more pristine, at the end of the town and the road, and the beginning of the coconut rainforest.

Both homestays offer standard rooms with large beds, single beds, and private toilets. They also offer some breakfast and other meals, boat taxis, and rental scooters.

Check for availability in Subbet Homestay on Booking!

Check for availability in Subbet Homestay on Agoda!

The main difference between the two homestays is the quality. Crow’s Nest is more expensive (but a bit cheaper than Bagus) and more luxurious, with better reviews. Subbet is cheaper, and according to some visitors, not always maintained well.

Check for availability in Crow's Nest on Booking!

Check for availability in Crow's Nest on Agoda!

Crow's Nest Homestay
Crow’s Nest Homestay

Mapaddegat

Mapaddegat is the other area where you can stay. It is a nice village, much closer to the surfing spots and the wild rainforest, more tranquil than Tuapejat. For this reason, it has gradually turned into a tourist place. Several homestays have been established here. Yes, they are far from the “civilization center” with supermarkets, the harbor, the bank, and other convenient spots in Tuapejat, but the area is definitely more beautiful.

So, here are the best places to stay in Mapaddegat.

Arthur Homestay Telescope

We spent here three nights, and we can say that it is a great place for budget travelers. Budget surfers also love this place and occupied other rooms while we were there.

It is a cute homestay with three rooms, relatively basic conditions, with WiFi but no hot water. They also offer surfboards, meals, rental scooters, and boat taxis to the nearby surfing spots. There is a nice yard with open-air tables for meals or just relaxation. Arthur Homestay Telescope is among the cheapest places to stay in Mentawai.

Check for availability in Arthur Homestay on Booking!

Check for availability in Arthur Homestay on Agoda!

Arthur Homestay Telescope
Arthur Homestay Telescope
Prima Homestay

Prima Homestay is located just next to Arthur Homestay. The conditions are a bit better (still no hot water), but they don’t offer meals. However, the place is again great for relaxation. We spent one night here (because Arthur Homestay was already fully booked for that night, we moved to Prima), and we are fully satisfied again.

In fact, both Prima and Arthur homestays are just like one big place to stay- you can make friends with those who stay in the neighboring one and eat or relax together in one of the homestays.

Check for availability in Prima Homestay on Booking!

Check for availability in Prima Homestay on Agoda!

Prima Homestay
Prima Homestay
Suzi Beach House

This is one of the newest homestays on Sipora. When we were there (August 2023), it was still under construction. So, you can expect that everything is new and clean.

Suzi Beach House is a bit more luxurious than the neighboring Arthur and Prima homestays (it has hot water). It has a nice garden, several rooms, and offers meals too. It’s also going to offer rental scooters and boat taxis.

All of these three homestays are great if you don’t look for too much luxury, and a low budget is important to you. They are in a great location, in a serene area, only about 50 m from Mapaddegat Beach.

Check for availability in Suzi Beach House on Booking!

Check for availability in Suzi Beach House on Agoda!

Suzi Beach House
Suzi Beach House
Oinan Guesthouse

This is a different property, in a different area, on the other side of Mapaddegat, a bit far from the beach. The location is not so great, but still, the surroundings are serene, with tranquil rural views. Also, it is a bit more luxurious than the other homestays in the village.

Oinan Guesthouse has a unique design. Everything is wooden, and every room has a wardrobe. There is a cozy garden and wooden balconies on the second floor. They also offer rental bicycles (something that you can’t find almost anywhere on Sipora Island).

Check for availability in Oinan Guesthouse on Booking!

Check for availability in Oinan Guesthouse on Agoda!

Oinan Guesthouse
Oinan Guesthouse
Likat Mentawai

This is the best place to set up your “base camp” in Mapadeggat. It is located right at Mapaddegat Beach (not far from Suzi, Arthur, and Prima homestays, but from the other side of the main road), and it offers some experience that you can’t find in the other properties.

Likat Mentawai is not only a homestay, but also includes a small café-restaurant, and a surf shop. And the best things you can find here are the unique services and experience. They offer boat taxis, not only to the surfing spots but also to the nearby islands.

But that’s not all- they also offer jungle treks to the interior of Sipora Island, to some beautiful jungle waterfalls. Here you can join coral gardening activity to protect the local coral reefs. Finally, the owner James who is a local Mentawai can tell you a lot of information about the islands, about the Mentawai people, their culture and lifestyle, and a lot more.

You can’t find Likat Mentawai on Booking or Agoda, but you can contact them on their Instagram page and Likat Mentawai website.

Contact Likat Mentawai on Instagram!

Snorkeling around the three north islands
Snorkeling with Likat Mentawai

These are the best budget places to stay on Mentawai- in the northern part of Sipora, in Tuapejat, and in Mapaddegat. Besides them, there are a few more properties, some quite poor in quality, some located in an inconvenient location. But how about the rest of Sipora and the Mentawai Archipelago?

The rest of the Mentawai

The rest of the Mentawai includes the rest of Sipora, the big islands of Siberut, North and South Pagai, and the small adjacent islands. Besides luxurious surfing resorts, located in certain locations, there is almost nothing else you can find, but let’s take a look, anyway.

The rest of Sipora and the adjacent small islands

The areas in the rest of Sipora where you can find some accommodations are located along the seacoast or on the main road between Tuapejat and Rokot Airport.
You can find some hotels and homestays along this main road, like Hotel Grand Viona, Hotel Turonia, Bundo Guesthouse, and several more. They are of acceptable quality, not too different than the properties in Tuapejat and Mapaddegat.

However, due to their inconvenient location (far from the beach, far from the town), they are mainly used by local Indonesians going on business trips. Yes, of course, they will welcome you, but in general, they are oriented toward local business tourism.

The seacoast of Sipora Island, apart from Tuapejat and Mapaddegat is wild and empty. There are only a few villages, and you can’t find any place to stay there. The exception is Bosua, the southernmost village of Sipora. There are several luxurious surfing resorts, and three homestays- Bosua, Pondok Bamboo, and Noreen Losmen. Besides all of these, there are some lodges (huts) in the forest, like Tugis Ecolodge, located in the jungle between Tuapejat and Mapaddegat.

On the road from Tuapejat to Rokot
On the road from Tuapejat to Rokot

All of these can’t be found on Booking or Agoda. They can be seen on Google Maps, some of them have left their phone numbers, but others do not, and it is very difficult to find any contact with them. If they are open at all (they are too local, not for tourists).

Siberut

Siberut is even wilder. Although this is the largest of the Mentawai Islands, besides several surfing resorts on the southernmost coast and the adjacent islands, there are almost no properties to stay.

Here the main town is Muara Siberut, connected by ferry with Padang. But except for several lodges with basic conditions, only for locals, there is nothing else.

There are two homestays in Sikabaluan, the second largest town on Siberut, called Wisma Wisata, and Hotel Okaniel. You can stay here, but they are too far from anything (yes, there are beaches, and there is rainforest, but almost no tourism, and almost nobody to guide you anywhere). There are one-two more lodges in some of the coastal villages, very difficult to access. And that’s all. Nothing of it you can find on Booking or Agoda.

So, if you are not a luxurious surfer or vacation tourist, staying in the surfing resorts, Siberut is not a place for your “base camp”. It is a great place for adventures, and you can sleep in the Uma houses of the indigenous Mentawai people, deep in the interior of the island. But it is possible only by a guide who will organize a jungle trekking with river boat riding, and spending some time with the local tribes.

Mentawai Uma House
Mentawai Uma House

North and South Pagai

These two islands are separated by a narrow strait. They are off-the-beaten and remote, but a bit better than Siberut for accommodation. Here you can find several homestays in Sikakap, such as Roland Guesthouse, Lainge Homestay, and Wisma Lestari.

The other area with homestays and bungalows is the small adjacent island of Silabu. Here you can find DeJi Homestay, and North Pagai Bungalows (these are a bit luxurious and more expensive). And on South Pagai’s west coast is Roxies Homestay. Everything else is surfing resorts, mostly on the west coast of Pagai.
Again, you can’t find these properties on Booking or Agoda.

North Pagai Bungalows
North Pagai Bungalows

To make a recap: the best area for setting your budget Mentawai “base camp” is Tuapejat or Mapaddegat on Sipora Island. There are some other budget accommodations, in the rest of Sipora, on Siberut and North & South Pagai, but they are not in good location, difficult to access, difficult to contact, and not so proper as starting points for exploring the archipelago. Everything else you can find is luxurious and expensive surfing resorts (surf camps).

Having this information, as well as the transportation info, you can wisely build your Mentawai itinerary, and have a great time in this amazing tropical paradise.

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This is a guide for budget travelers and surfers who want to find cheap accommodation on the Mentawai Islands- homestays, hotels, and more. This is a guide for budget travelers and surfers who want to find cheap accommodation on the Mentawai Islands- homestays, hotels, and more. This is a guide for budget travelers and surfers who want to find cheap accommodation on the Mentawai Islands- homestays, hotels, and more.

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