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.

Hotel Review: Puri Rinjani Bungalows

If I wanted to be (badly) poetic, I would say that the two giant, concrete structures looked like a pair of wings, rising from the shoreline and ascending into the Heavens.

In reality, they looked like two very lost highway ramps to nowhere that had been dropped along the water with no real purpose except to block the view of the ocean. Also, there appeared to be a spiral staircase to the highest part of the ramp, and it looked, from the posters pinned around the construction site, that eventually there would be grass on the top.

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