Bucket list #183: Sleep on a boat hotel in Labuan Bajo. Tick! Le Pirate Boatel has been on my wanderlist since I saw Le Pirate Explorer’s Komodo video a few years ago. When I was planning my Flores and Komodo trip unfortunately Le Pirate Explorer boat tours were all booked up, but I managed to snag a night at the permanently moored Le Pirate Boatel. Spoiler alert: It was everything I dreamed of and more.
What is Le Pirate Boatel?
This traditional wooden boat has been renovated into an epic hotel in Labuan Bajo’s harbour. With 10 rooms plus two male and two female bathrooms downstairs, and a kitchen, bar and chill out space upstairs, it’s one of the most unique places to stay in Indonesia. It books up quickly over peak periods, so get in quick if you’re planning a Flores or Labuan Bajo holiday. The rate you pay includes daily breakfast, snorkelling gear and the transfer, plus there are more optional activities like water sports, day trips and island visits if you want to explore. The dream!
How do I get to Le Pirate Boatel?
The boatel is moored just off Labuan Bajo, which is the main town on the island of Flores, about a 50 minute flight from Bali. The boatel provides pick up and drop off to Labuan Bajo’s port for free, which takes about 10 minutes, but there are set times so organise these before you arrive or be prepared to pay for a private transfer. I did a boat tour the day before and the tour company was happy to drop me straight off at the boatel, too easy!
What’s the boat like?
It’s like a floating boutique hostel with private bedrooms. The rooms are small but sufficient, and they’ve got a comfy double bed, under-bed storage, plugs and a fan. There’s mosquito curtains as well as a proper privacy screen but it’s nice to sleep with just the nets closed. Waking up to the ocean, dreamy! Outside each room there’s a over-water hammock, and then there’s four very small bathrooms. I mean very small. I’m not a big person but I struggled to shower without hitting my elbow on the sink.
Upstairs is the restaurant, bar and a deck with bean bags and beach chairs. The restaurant has daily dinner specials but you need to order by 5pm, and the bar is open until late. It’s a great spot to chill out, soak up the fresh air and meet other travellers. Breakfast was simple but yum, with cooked options plus fruit salad, yoghurt and cereal.
Le Pirate Boatel’s facilities may be basic, but the decor and general atmosphere is super unique and makes for an epic place to stay. It was reasonably cheap at only 600,000 IDR for a night ($60NZD/£33) and I think it’s a fab addition to any Flores/Komodo adventure. See more details and book your room at Le Pirate Boatel here.
Where’s the most unique place you’ve ever stayed? Tell me in the comments below!
Huge thanks to Le Pirate Boatel for providing me with a discounted rate for my stay. As always, all opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience.
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