Java Banana Bromo

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Sep, 2014

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

Checking in to the oddly named Java Banana was simple and the warming, ginger-flavoured welcome drink was indeed welcome, as at 2000m above sea level, the climate was cooler than the Java we’d experienced to date.

Our one night stay was designed to allow us to see sunrise over Java’s Mount Bromo. The hotel’s main building, with reception and restaurant, is separated from its Alpine style rooms by a narrow village road. The rooms are scattered amongst beautiful grounds with lots of attractive statues.

Our large room (912) was reached by steps but opened onto a ground floor balcony overlooking the gardens. The room had a TV, arm chair, coffee table, writing desk and tea and coffee making facilities. Although there was a hair dryer, to use it with a mirror required a unit to be pulled out to allow the hairdryer to be plugged in. There were no bedside lights for reading or room safe and the wardrobe had only two hangers.

The bathroom was very small with the hand basin being in the bedroom. On the plus side, the shower was powerful and hot. Although there was a shaving point, the recessed mirror made it very dark. We both agreed, the bedroom and bathroom were not in proportion.

The hotel is owned by a renowned photographer whose works, and other sculptures, are on display in the Gallery Café. As soon as we entered, we were followed round by a young girl who told us about each photo – all of the volcano area before, during or after the last eruption in 2010. We would have preferred to wander around on our own, but she was either bored or didn’t feel we could be trusted. Photographing the exhibits is strictly prohibited. Disappointingly there was no sign of life behind the coffee bar.

The restaurant, also with stunning volcano photographs, was large, minimalist and modern. Our plan included a set menu. What was simply described as spring rolls turned out to be a beautifully presented, enticing selection of four types: one wrapped in cabbage leaves; a traditional roll, a soya hash brown and a sweet corn fritter. Each was accompanied by an individual dip. Next was a hearty steak in mushroom sauce with chips and vegetables followed by ice cream and a hot chocolate fondant which literally oozed chocolate like an erupting volcano. Unfortunately the service was not as good as the food.

After a 3am start to see the sunrise, we returned to the hotel in time for a much needed buffet style breakfast.

Even though our stay was short, there were no banana's on offer at any of our meals and we left wondering why it was named Java Banana. Even the website offers no clues.

Helen Jackson

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