Resorts of Mentawai- Luxurious Getaways in a Tropical Paradise

Resorts of Mentawai- Luxurious Getaways in a Tropical Paradise

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The Mentawai Islands, a stunning hidden gem near the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia are mostly known as a surfing destination. But in reality, these pieces of land offer much more than just surfing- they offer a tropical paradise. Travelers and surfers visit the archipelago to enjoy it, and an important part of their trips is the accommodation. Today, most of the options in the Mentawai consist of local resorts. So, in this article, we will focus on the various resorts, what are they, where are they located, and which of them are the best.

The resorts of the Mentawai

The Mentawai Islands is a sparsely populated archipelago, a part of West Sumatra. There are a few towns (Sikabaluan and Siberut on Siberut Island, Tuapejat on Sipora Island, and Sikakap on North Pagai Island), and some scattered villages along the seacoast, mainly at the eastern coast of the islands, not in front of the open ocean. Everything else is a wild jungle- tropical rainforests and coconut palms.

But most of the surfing spots in the archipelago are located on the opposite side of the islands, usually, far from the local towns and villages. The surfers wanted to be closer to the wave breaks, and they needed convenient accommodations there. As a result, locals started to establish the so-called “surf resorts” in strategic spots, to welcome the freshly arriving surf tourism.

Mentawai tropical paradise
Mentawai tropical paradise

So, there are two types of accommodation in the Mentawai. The first type is budget homestays and hotels, located mainly in the north of Sipora Island (in Tuapejat and Mapaddegat village). And the second type is the resorts of Mentawai.

Types of Mentawai resorts

Unlike the cheap homestays and hotels, the Mentawai resorts are more expensive, and usually- more luxurious. Some of them consist of 2, 3, or more wooden bungalows, others consist of just one lodge (a type of homestay), and some are a “mixture” of both.

Many resorts are located on small islands, adjacent to the main big islands of the archipelago, to provide not only proximity to the surfing spots but also more privacy and isolation. Some of them are luxurious villas (like Awera Resort, with individual private swimming pools in front of every villa) while others are wild adventurous huts hidden “far away from the world”, between the jungle and the ocean, with much more basic conditions.

Mentawai tropical paradise
Mentawai beach

Surf resorts, surf camps, surf houses, surf schools

These are several terms popular among surfers. Although there are some definitions, for many people they are not clearly distinguished. In general, surf camps are fully organized tours for surfers, from a starting point (an airport, a harbor, a hotel, or another point) to a resort with a full program for surfers, and finally back to the same starting point. It is not a trip to various destinations but to only one destination- a resort, a lodge, or another accommodation point.

In the Mentawai, almost every resort or lodge offers surfing services, and most of them are called “surf camps” (as a part of their names). However, not all of them are real surf camps offering full packages (tours) for surfers. Many of them only offer rental surfboards, transport to the island where they are located, and local boat taxis to the surfing spots, and that’s all, but according to the surf camp definition, it is not enough to be a “surf camp”.

Join a Mentawai surf camp!

There are also the so-called “surf houses”- a smaller, more private version of a surf camp. Several resorts in the Mentawai Islands are called “surf houses”, although the line between “surf camp” and “surf house” is also not clearly defined here.

Some resorts also offer “surf school”- a training program for beginners, or just an instructor, as a part of a surf camp tour, or just as a separate service.

So, as you can see, the function and the service offered by the Mentawai resorts can be different. But no matter how they are named or how you will call them, one thing is general for all of them, in one or another way- surf. At the same time, almost all of them offer accommodation (and active vacation, often with various activities) for non-surfers too.

Mentawai surf

The best Mentawai resorts

Here, we will focus on the best resorts in the Mentawai Islands. These are the resorts with the best quality, the best location, the best services and prices, for surfers and non-surfers. All of them are located in strategic locations, not far from the surf spots (that’s why, there are almost no resorts at the eastern coasts of the islands).

There are several main areas with resorts: South and North Pagai Islands, South Sipora, North Sipora, and the southernmost tip of Siberut Island with its small adjacent islands, called The Playground. So, here we will see the best of them in each of these areas.

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South and North Pagai

This is the area of Southern Mentawai- two islands, almost attached to each other, separated only by a narrow strait like a river. Pagai Islands are less visited than Sipora and The Playground, and there are just a few resorts and bungalows. Here are some of them.

Novali Mentawai Surf Retreat

This is the most easily accessible resort on the Pagai islands. The resort’s best side is its location- only about 2 km from the harbor of Sikakap, and not far from the “civilization”- you have a bank, a puskesmas (health center), some small shops and restaurants just within a short walk. Also, it is safe concerning the tsunami danger, because it is at the north bank of the Pagai Strait (on the North Pagai Island).

The resort consists of three bungalows. They are named Bungalow K, Bungalow N, and Bungalow A. Bungalow K is built literally over the water, on pillars with a small wharf. Bungalows N and A are built on the land. All of them are designed in combined local Mentawai and Western styles, with a nice interior.

Novali Resort
Novali Mentawai Surf Retreat- Bungalow K

Novali Mentawai Surf Retreat offers free accommodation and surf camp packages. It means that you can just use it as a non-surfer. You can come independently by ferry from Padang to Sikakap, arrive at the resort, stay as long as you want, and choose whatever service they offer- surfing, snorkeling, rental bike, etc.

Or, you can join a surf camp package. In this case, they will wait for you at Minangkabau Airport in Padang and will arrange transportation to the resort. They offer 7-day, 10-day, and 14-day surf camp packages.

Reaching the surfing spots? The resort is far from them but they offer daily “boat taxis” to every surfing spot you want. If you join a surf camp package, this is included in the price.

Check for availability in Novali Mentawai Surf Retreat!

South Mentawai Outpost

This is one of the southernmost surf resorts in the Mentawai Archipelago. It is located on the northern tip of the small Sibigau (Sibigeu) Island, just west of the large South Pagai Island. Right in front of the surf resort is one of the best surfing spots in Mentawai- Thunders. Other nearby surfing spots include Roxys, Rags Right and Left, and more.

Southern Mentawai Outpost is designed as a fully eco-resort. Its electricity is provided only by solar panels, its water comes from local wells, and its bungalows are built with bamboo. It has 5 bungalows and its maximum capacity is 10 people.

Southern Mentawai Outpost, South Pagai
Southern Mentawai Outpost, South Pagai

Sibigau Island is uninhabited. Besides Southern Mentawai Outpost, there is only one more surf resort- Sibigau Surf Camp (about 2 km away). Everything else is a tropical jungle, coconut palms, and empty beaches.

The resort offers 4 surf camp packages- for 8, 11, 14, and 15 days. All of them are for advanced surfers- there is no surfing school (however, there is a surf instructor). Unlike the other resorts mentioned above, this one is much more “wild and adventurous”. There are unlimited boat rides to Thunders or other surfing spots. When you don’t surf, you can roam or relax around the endless beaches of the island or in the jungle like Robinson Crusoe.

Check for Southern Mentawai Outpost availability!

Macaronis Resort

This is one of the first and most popular resorts in the whole archipelago. Of course, it is due to its name from the famous Macaronis surfing spot- one of the best in the world. It is a 4-star hotel, easily recognizable by its round conical shape.

Macaronis Resort is located on the small Pasongan Island, separated from North Pagai Island only by a 100 m wide strait, and not far from the Macaronis surfing spot.
The resort offers twin-share deluxe suites and family-sized deluxe suites. It has also a nice restaurant and bar with high-quality Western and Indonesian food. There is also a SPA (called Siniai SPA), a swimming pool, and equipment for various activities like paddling, snorkeling, kayaking, and more- all for free use.

Macaronis Resort
Macaronis Resort

There are no full surf camp packages, but the resort offers transfers from Minangkabau Airport to a hotel and Mentawai Fast Harbour in Padang. After you arrive in Sikakap, there is a boat for guests that takes you to the resort, or overland transport (if the weather conditions are not good). It also cooperates with surf charters from Padang to Pagai Islands, but all of these transport and transfer options are not included in the main package.

Check for availability in Macaronis Resort!

South Sipora

This is another attractive area on the Mentawai Islands, famous for surfing spots like Lance’s Left and Right, Bintangs, and more. The central settlement in this area is Bosua and there is a resort area beside it called Katiet. Several resorts have been established here, and two of them are the best.

Kingfisher Resort

This is a popular resort, located in the southernmost tip of Sipora Island, in the resort village of Katiet, part of Bosua. It is located on the western of the small Katiet Peninsula, exactly in front of two surfing spots- Lance’s Left and Bintangs.

Kingfisher Resort consists of three bungalows in the local Mentawai style. The maximum capacity of the resort is 12 people. This is to provide more privacy. It has also a restaurant and a bar, and another beach bar, as well as a swimming pool. Everything is exactly on the beach, in front of the waves, surrounded by tropical rainforest and coconut palms.

Kingfisher Resort, South Sipora
Kingfisher Resort, South Sipora

In such an exotic environment, Kingfisher Resort offers four surf camp packages. Two of them are for beginners (for 8 and 10 days), and another two- for intermediate and advanced surfers (for 7 and 8 days).

In addition, the resort offers other activities like snorkeling, paddling, biking, fishing, jungle hiking, and cultural experience. This is included in the surf camp packages but if you come here as an independent visitor, you can separately enjoy them.

Check for Kingfisher Surf Camp availability!

Katiet Beach Resort

This is a more “family with kids” and non-surfers-oriented resort. It is located on the same peninsula (the southernmost tip of Sipora Island) but on the opposite coast from Kingfisher. As its name suggests, it is located on a small, beautiful, exotic coconut beach.

But of course, like almost everywhere on the Mentawai, it is still related to surfing. Here is Lance’s Right (called also Hollow Trees or HT) surfing spot.

Katiet Beach Resort consists of several bungalows with beachfront balconies, air-conditioned, with WiFi, some with a double bed and extra single bed, and some with two wide twin beds. There is also one larger bungalow (lodge) called Katiet Beach House, proper for 3-4 people or just a family.

Katiet Beach Resort
Katiet Beach Resort

The resort doesn’t offer surf camp packages like Kingfisher, but it still provides enough services for surfers- boat transfers, motorbike rentals to the other spots in Southern Sipora, surfboards, and more. In addition, it also provides many other activities for non-surfers (and relaxing surfers)- snorkeling, paddling, biking, hiking, with the necessary equipment.

Check for availability in Katiet Beach Resort!

Those are the two best resorts in the south of Sipora Island, but there are many more- some are cheaper homestays, some are private surf houses, and there are more resorts (bungalows and lodges). Honorable mentions deserve La Belle Hollow Trees and Villa Onu Mentawai.

Join a Mentawai surf camp!

North Sipora

This is the most visited part of Mentawai Island due to its proximity to the main administrative center in the archipelago and the main ferry harbor- Tuapejat. But of course, surfing is another reason, and there are some excellent surfing spots in the area, like Telescopes, Scarecrows, Seven Palms, Suicides, and more. So, there is no lack of resorts here, all designed not only for surfers but for non-surfers with other activities too.

Togat Nusa Retreat

This one is an “adventurous” type of resort, more isolated, and more hidden from the world. As they write on their website, here you are “shipwrecked on a tropical island but with all the modern comforts and great waves on your doorstep”.

Togat Nusa Retreat is a small surfing resort, located on a small island called Pittojat (actually, there are two islands- Big and Small Pittojat, and the resort is on the small one), west of the main Sipora Island. Not far from it are the famous Seven Palms and Scarecrows surfing spots. It consists of three bungalows and a bar, all built of timber in a very “adventurous” style. There is also a nice restaurant and bar with delicious Western and Indonesian food.

Wild tropical seacoast
Wild tropical seacoast

The resort is designed only for no more than 8 people at once. Due to its remoteness, you can’t just go there and stay as long or short as you want, but your stay duration is fixed to 10 or 11 days. They arrange boat transfers to the island following a certain schedule, and they have 10/11-day packages for individuals or for 8 people (the whole island is only for you).

This is one of the few resorts and homestays on the Mentawai that offer participating in coral gardening- a restoration of coral reef activity, involving diving and snorkeling. There are 10-day coral gardening programs that you can join.

Check for availability in Togat Nusa Retreat!

Now, we go to the three small islands located north of Sipora- Pototoga (Awera), Silabok (Simakakang), and Siburu. There are many resorts established on these islands (only on Pototoga and Silabok), and we will see the best of them.

Aloita Resort

It is one of the best and most popular resorts in the whole of the Mentawai Archipelago. The resort is located on Silabok Island, on the eastern coast, facing the strait between Silabok and Siburu islands. Although it is not exactly in front of surf breaks, it is of course still involved in surfing activities too.

Aloita Resort is designed for surfers and non-surfers. It consists of three villas and seven bungalows. If you are a surfer, you can enjoy boat trips to the surfing spots two times a day. However, to do this, you have to book a surfing package, and it is better to do it in advance. They offer surfing equipment, and there is a surfing school for beginners.

Aloita Resort
Aloita Resort

For non-surfers and relaxing surfers, Aloita offers various other activities to allow you to get the best out of the tropical paradise where you are located. They include paddling, snorkeling, and hiking (trekking) in the equatorial rainforest on the nearby islands while visiting the local people and exploring their culture.

Check for availability in Aloita Resort!

Favela Mentawai

It is a small cute resort, located on the eastern coast of Pototoga (Awera) Island, very close to its three coconut palms symbol “Three Sisters” and the mangrove lagoon beside it. Again, there are no waves in front of it but crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling.

Favela Mentawai is a nice three-storey villa with three rooms. It has a total capacity of 7 people, providing good privacy. There are three rooms with exotic wooden interiors and a fantastic beachfront view. In addition, there is a modern kitchen, a comfortable dining room, a spacious living room, a gym, and a large balcony with hammocks.

Favela and the Three Sisters under the equatorial rain
Favela and the Three Sisters under the equatorial rain

For surfers (or non-surfers who want to watch waves and surfers), there are boats that can take 4 people to the breaks. And again, you can enjoy other activities like snorkeling, paddling, and hiking, and the boats can take you to various spots on the three islands (Pototoga, Silabok, and Siburu), as well as the small snorkeling spot Batu Tonga.

Favela Mentawai doesn’t offer full surf camp packages, but they can arrange your boat from Tuapejat to the resort and can assist with your trip from Padang to Mentawai with transport.

Check for availability in Favela Resort!

Nasara Resort

This is one of the newest resorts in the Mentawai Islands. It is located on the southwestern coast of Pototoga Island, and it is a luxury type of resort, great for non-budget surfers and non-surfers. Partially, it follows the style of Macaronis Resort- a round conical hotel building and another building beside it.

Nasara Resort offers three luxurious bedrooms (for 6 guests), a “Master suite” for 4 guests, and a “Junior suite” with 1 king bed and 1 coach. It has also a beachside restaurant with culinary masterpieces.

Nasara Resort
Nasara Resort

The resort has its own fleet of boats that can take you to the surfing spots 2 or 3 times a day and many other spots in the nearby area for various activities- snorkeling, mangrove lagoons exploring, paddling, or hiking. Again, this resort doesn’t offer surf camp packages, but can arrange your transportation from Minangkabau Airport in Padang to the final destination.

Check for availability in Nasara Resort!

Awera Resort

This is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Mentawai. It focuses on luxury, and it is more expensive.

Awera Resort is located on the small Pototoga (Awera) Island, one of the three small islands along the northern coast of Sipora. The island is covered by coconut rainforest, with a fairy-tale mangrove lagoon and stunning beaches. Several surfing spots are located just in front of Awera- Icelands, Suicides, Ombak Tidur, Arik, and Tikus.

Awera Resort
Awera Resort

The resort is much larger than most of the other resorts in the Mentawai Islands. It consists of 11 villas with different capacities. The whole capacity of the resort is a maximum of 51 people. There is a swimming pool in front of each villa- 11 villas, 11 pools!

For surfing, Awera Resort offers various options, of course, including boat rides to the surfing spots. You go surfing 2 or 3 times per day. Other times, you can also go snorkeling, SUP, hiking around the island, SPA, massages, or just relaxing. The resort offers a surf camp package for 8 days, arranged for intermediate and advanced surfers.

However, this package doesn’t include airport transfer and ferry tickets to Sipora Island. So, in fact, it is not a “full surf camp”, but we mention it because it is included in Book Surf Camp.

Check for availability in Awera Resort!

South Siberut- The Playground

Now we go to the last surfing resort area- The Playground- the southernmost tip of Siberut Island and the small islands around it. The place is full of surfing spots and this is the main reason for the establishment of many resorts here- around 30. We will make a short review of a few of them.

Kandui Resort

This is probably the most popular resort in the northern Mentawai. It is located on the eastern coast of the southernmost island of The Playground- Karangmajat Island. It is quite far from the mainland of Siberut Island, and this makes Kandui Resort relatively remote and isolated.

Kandui Resort consists of 8 Uma’s- traditional Mentawai tribal houses, arranged in a luxurious style, with everything surfers and non-surfers would need. The pride of the resort is their restaurant, offering Indonesian and Western food. As the Kandui staff says, “Our restaurant is the heart and soul of Kandui Resort”. Another highlight is their floating dock, installed for relaxation between the surfing sessions.

Kandui Resort
Kandui Resort

Due to its remoteness, you can’t go to Kandui Resort whenever you want and as long as you want, but you have to follow their schedule. There are arranged trips to the resort for 10-11 days, for 16 to 19 guests. They arrange the whole transportation and transfers.

For surfers, they offer regular daily boat rides to the surfing spots around the island. If you are a non-surfer or a relaxing surfer, you can join the same standard activities as in the other resorts. But Kandui Resort also includes a boat ride to the neighboring small Pananggalat Island- just for relaxation like Robinson Crusoe. They also arrange tours to the village of the local staff to make you experience the local Mentawai culture.

Check for availability in Kandui Resort!

Kandui Villas

Kandui Resort is not the only resort on Karangmajat Island, it has another alternative- Kandui Villas, located on the northern tip of the island. It was created in 2007 by the original founders of Kandui Resort.

Kandui Villas is a large resort. It consists of 10 Uma’s- 9 single, and 1 triple-accommodation Uma, named after animals and nature names in the Mentawai, as well as the name “Sikerei” (shaman) for the triple Uma. In addition, the resort has also a swimming pool, a high-quality restaurant beside the pool, a game room, and more. It offers surfboards, boat rides to the surfing spots and other places, and a greenhouse- its own fruit garden.

Kandui Villas
Kandui Villas

Like Kandui Resorts, Kandui Villas also offers 10-11 day packages for surfers, non-surfers, couples, and families with kids, including transport with transfers (this requires additional payment), boat rides to surfing spots and other places of interest, accommodation with meals, and various other activities.

Check for availability in Kandui Villas!

Hidden Bay Resort

This resort is located on the east coast of the Masokut (Nyang Nyang) Island. So, it is not exactly in front of the surfing spots, but at a pristine exotic seacoast. Of course, it is not a problem, because their boats will quickly take you to the best breaks in the Playground.

Hidden Bay Resort consists of two Uma houses- traditional Mentawai houses. They contain 7 rooms- 3 rooms in Uma 1, and 4 rooms in Uma 2. Of them, the King room on the first floor of Uma 2 is their “jewel in the crown”- one of the best accommodation rooms in the whole of Mentawai Islands. Despite the quantity of rooms, the surf camp is still limited to 12 people, to keep better privacy.

Hidden Bay Resort, Siberut Playground
Hidden Bay Resort, Siberut Playground

The special highlight of Hidden Bay Resort is its High Training Center. It is arranged to improve further the physical conditions of the surfers by various gym methods, including Pilates, biomechanics, and more. For this purpose, they have hired excellent professional instructors.

In addition, the resort offers a nice bar-restaurant with delicious local and western meals.

Hidden Bay Resort offers 4 surf camp packages- for 8, 10, 11, and 14 days. No matter if you are a surfer or not, you can always join all the other activities that other resorts offer.

Check for Hidden Bay Surf Camp availability!

Playground Surf Resort

This resort is located on the northernmost tip of Masokut (Nyang Nyang) Island. It is a small resort, consisting of only one Uma with four spacious suites, and a restaurant. Like most of the other small resorts, this one is designed to provide more privacy.

Playground Surf Resort
Playground Surf Resort

Playground Surf Resort offers 11 and 12-day schedules for surfers and non-surfers. For surfers, these schedules are surf camp packages, including daily boat riders to the best surfing spots in The Playgrounds. For non-surfers, it is a trip mostly for relaxation but also includes the same standard activities- snorkeling, hiking, fishing, SUP, and more. Transportation from Minangkabau Airport in Padang to the resort is included in the packages.

Check for availability in Playground Surf Resort!

The Shadow Mentawai

The Shadow Mentawai Resort is located on a small private island, called Pauasak Island, very close to the mainland of Siberut. There is nobody else on Pauasak, only this resort. So, this provides complete privacy- only you, your companions, and the staff of the resort. Everything else is the small rainforest on the island and the beach.

This resort consists of 2 triple lodges, 2 bungalows (one couple, and one twin), and “New Beach Bungalow”- a two-floors Uma-style bungalow. The maximum capacity of the resort is 14 people. There is also a restaurant and a bar.

The Shadow Mentawai, Siberut Playground
The Shadow Mentawai, Siberut Playground

In addition, The Shadow Mentawai offers 8 surf camp packages- 4 for beginners and 4 for intermediate and advanced surfers- for 8, 10, 11, and 14 days.

Check for The Shadow Surf Camp availability!

Many other resorts in The Playgrounds deserve at least mention like Driftwood Mentawai, Sabbit Mentawai, Beng Bengs Surf Camp, Mentawai Balcony, Nyang Ebay Surf Camp, and Masokut Surf Camp.

Join a Mentawai surf camp!

Useful tips

So, the Mentawai Islands welcome surfers from all over the world. Here are some facts surfers have to consider:

  • The Mentawai Islands are located very close to the Earth’s equator, and the climate is equatorial. It is an endless rainy season with more (between October and April) or less (between April and October) rainy parts.
  • The swell is constant during the whole year, but due to the winter in Antarctica, it is a bit stronger between April and October- it is considered the high season.
  • Every surfer has to pay the Mentawai Surf Tax before going surfing there. It is 1,000,000 IDR (around 75 USD). It is valid for 15 days, and if you stay for a longer time, you have to pay another 1,000,000 IDR.
  • There are additional ferry charges for surfboards: 1-15 kg: 230,000 IDR; 15-25 kg: 460,000 IDR; more than 25 kg: 690,000 IDR. This is for the Fast Ferry.

These are the best resorts on the Mentawai Islands- only a small number of all the resorts on the archipelago. Not that the other resorts are not good, but just these are somehow above the others. Yes, they are not for budget travelers and surfers- they are expensive. But if you anyway decide to spend more money on this experience, you will see that what you get is 100% worth the price.

Check some travel books about Mentawai:

    

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The resorts of Mentawai are the most popular way of staying on the islands- expensive but providing a great experience in a paradise. The resorts of Mentawai are the most popular way of staying on the islands- expensive but providing a great experience in a paradise. The resorts of Mentawai are the most popular way of staying on the islands- expensive but providing a great experience in a paradise.

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