Hotel Review: JC Surfer’s House

After that first day of surfing, C and I had a chance to look around JC Surfer’s House while we arranged to use the lot for parking again the next day, and we very quickly decided that after we left Puri Rinjani, it was where we should be. We promptly booked in for two nights (~$20/night).

JC’s consists of five bungalows all in a row, all with a front porch, and all looking straight out at the stunning turquoise water. In the morning it’s possible to see Mount Rinjani in the distance, which is pretty incredible since most days we were there it wasn’t visible in the afternoons due to clouds.

The rooms are basic but comfortable with beds, some storage space, a private bathroom, and an air conditioner. There is a ton of extra space for bags and there was even a mini fridge, which we kept meaning to take advantage of, but none of our snacks ever lasted long enough to make it back to the room. Internet was available, although of all the places we stayed, I think it was the most inconsistent here.

There was the option to include breakfast but we didn’t take advantage of that, choosing instead to do our own thing – the two mornings we were there were also the two mornings with the biggest morning surf predicted so we opted to focus on that without having to work things around when breakfast was served, although I’m sure JC would have been accommodating. We did make it back around breakfast time the second morning and ate at the warung attached to JC’s (our usual coffee spot), which I believe is where the included breakfast was also served. They had the classic options of omelet or banana pancakes, and possibly some others but omelets and banana pancakes were the staples in my group! Coffee was either white or Lombok style (STRONG) and there was also a selection of juices.

I think the only downside to JC’s is that there just isn’t that much around, but that’s actually a downside of Gerupuk itself and not specific to JC’s. Gerupuk mainly consists of that one main street and it seems like a lot of the surf homestays are connected to restaurants and have nightly activities so once you are in, there isn’t really a need to go back out. As a result, there aren’t a lot of independent places to eat and the places that are easiest to access are all very surf-centric. Kuta is busier and more crowded, but I think it also has a lot more variety, so on a nightly basis there were options between surf spots (which, from what I saw, tended to have a larger variety of Western options) and local warungs…and a good mix of things in between. We considered giving up the car while we stayed at JC’s since we’d originally rented it for easy surfboard transport, but we ended up deciding to keep it which gave us more options in between surf sessions in terms of island exploring and finding new places to eat.

That aside, JC’s Surfer House is truly a surfer’s paradise and so if the primary purpose of your trip is to surf, this is where you want to be. While we opted to go out with Juma, JC also has a boat that is available to rent (separate from the price of the room) and JC was always around and happy to answer questions or just chat for a bit about the day’s surf forecast, Lombok in general, and/or anything else. The convenience of the beach, with stairs directly down to it, is unmatched, and those morning views certainly aren’t bad either.

72 Hours in Scotland: The Challenge

Scotland is like home to me. I fell in love with the country during a road trip with my family when I was 13 and I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along on business trips back to Edinburgh throughout high school. I went to the University of Edinburgh for a semester abroad in college and when I realized that four months was not nearly enough time (…and I didn’t want to grow up…) I went back for my postgraduate degree. In the years since graduation I have taken advantage of every chance/offer/barely legitimate reason to go back. Christmas market? Done. New flat with a spare room? Count me in. Fun race? Just let me grab my sneakers. Free afternoon and a story that’s better in person? Wait right there, I’m on my way. The trips have always been a mix of old and new – revisiting my favorite people and places and finding new areas to explore – and I’ve loved every second.

Continue reading “72 Hours in Scotland: The Challenge”