Boatel? What does that even mean? I know what you were thinking. So, it’s a ‘Boat’ and a ‘Hotel’ combine into one accommodation concept that was established by Le Pirate. So isn’t it the same with Liveaboard? Apparently, the floating boat anchored down in a particular bay so it goes nowhere. The boat purposely just transformed into an open-air hotel with private deck and waterfront cabin on each room. They also had its own restaurant and sun deck on the top. Me and my friend, Beauty, had a good staycation time here, even if it were only for one night. The price was okay considering the service we got, the activities that we can do, and how serene the view we had. Imagine waking up with the crystal sea water, the island’s hill, and blue sky. It was one of good escape from the hustle dusty Labuan Bajo! So, let me tell you the Boatel experience Le Pirate review and some useful information for planning the staycation here.
One thing to note, as I was excited to come back here again; you can always visit the boatel without staying there. Just go to the office and get on the free shuttle boat to get there. You can still enjoy the food, rent the snorkelling equipment and swimming around the Waecicu beach.
Where is it located? And how to get there?
It’s located in the bay of Waecicu. One of a good beach you can find in Labuan Bajo and they have tied up their boat here behind a small island. So you don’t need to worry about the current or waves as it’s blocked.
To get there just simply come down to their office on the main road, Soekarno Hatta road, and check out their shuttle boat schedule. Normally they have it every hour and then. Check here for the schedule. The officer will take you to their shuttle boat on the harbour and you’ll get to the Boatel in 15-20 minutes.
How much is the price? And what’s included?
The price is around 600.000 IDR – 700.000 IDR for one night, maximum 2 persons. It’s already included the amenities, breakfast, free snorkelling equipment, and wifi. The check-in starts at 14.00 and check-out at 12.00 midday, but can always stay and hang out on the deck.
The room was definitely basic but cute decoration all around with a splash of white and turquoise paints. They have a fan in each room (but sadly ours were not working), a drinkable water bottle, glasses, a hammock, clothes hanger, towels, a flexible lamp for reading and of course the huge waterfront cabin that goes through the sea. Good thing that we don’t need to worry about mosquitos, cos there were none in the middle of the sea. Although the air could be chill at night and in the morning. Each room provided a private deck, a hammock with its ladder to go the sea. So we can always dip ourselves to the sea anytime we want!
Of course, we immediately jump to the sea by jumping from the front deck and it was awesome! The water was cold and plenty of small fishes, although there was nothing to see if you snorkelled here. So it was just perfect for a cold swim during daylight.
What can we do on the boat?
Since it was our first time and we wanted to hang out for a bit, we went there around midday to get some lunch and just chill on the sun deck. The top deck were also nice with the bean bags, lots of board games, and sunbath chairs. Man, I could live here for days! The staff were great as they were very friendly and greeted us immediately with a welcome drink (alcohol alert!). They have a couple of selection for the lunch and limited for dinner menu. So if wanted to eat dinner here better to book with the at least before 5 pm. And I have to say, the dinner was great! They provided some salads, sides, and good meals!
Other activities that you can do besides swimming around the boat and getting sun bath here, is to rent paddle boards, go canoeing, rock fishing, beach explorations, snorkelling & island exploration day tours. Since we both love snorkelling so much (and free!), so we asked to go snorkelling that always been on schedule every 11 am and 3 pm. They got us into a small boat and go behind a small island. I have to say, the corals and fishes are beautiful! They were healthy, colourful and lots of fishes. Plus, there was no one beside us! Man, I really enjoyed this getaway trip.
When are the good dates to stay?
Labuan Bajo is an exception when it comes to the rainy season in Indonesia. Even on the rainy season, it is such a rare occasion that it can get wet. The city is drenched with sun and dry air throughout the year, so you can always come here whenever it’s suitable. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Labuan Bajo, the hottest months are October, November, and then September.
The busiest month for tourism in Labuan Bajo is July and August. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Expect a crowded, live and vibrant time here, but I personally like a quiet and fewer people. I went there in early September and there were only 3 rooms that were occupied. It was such perfect timing!
How to book them?
The easiest one to book is by their website here as you can find a suitable date to stay. You can also book them directly in their Le Pirate office on the main road. Be noted as they only have 10 rooms available, so it’s better to get the room as soon as possible.
The Good Points
- Amazing experience as you couldn’t find any kind of hotel concept like this another place. So for sea lover, this is like heaven!
- The view after you woke up is exquisite. Totally fresh air in the morning, no mosquitos, and noises from the streets.
- Worth every money you spent here for this kind of experience!
- The breakfast is top notch. They serve coffee, tea, fruit salads and fresh cook eggs that we desire.
- Great staff, services, and super friendly people on the boat. We had a good laugh with them all the time!
- So many water activities that you can do here. Great snorkelling spot, especially if you just stuck in Labuan Bajo and wanted to have a budgeted getaway.
The Bad Points
- We went back home by the shuttle boat at midday and the wind was crazy. Our boat almost got swooshed by the wave, but we do understand that natural things like these are unpredicted. Probably better to have a qualified boat driver to do so.
- The noise from the other boat can be annoying, but this is also unpredictable.
- The shared bathroom was okay but the space inside is too cramped. It was a bit hard for me to get a shower.
- There is no space between each room, so you might hear and look at the next door conversations or activities.
- A shortage choice of dinner, but they try to mix and makes good combination every day. The lunch menu has more variation though!
- Some of the people that I knew complained a lot about being seasick. Consider me as a person who used to sleep on a boat all the time, so I was super comfy and slept like a baby. For people who aren’t used to it, can be a bit of a problem to sleep.
- Not a good spot for sunset and sunrise watching, but still quite a view to enjoy!
Overall my experience of staying in a boatel was satisfying. As I had been dreaming about having this kind of house where my bed goes straight to the sea, so it feels like my biggest house fantasy just come true! And it was a good time too that I finally had a time on my own in a middle of nowhere after my big life-changing chapter in Labuan Bajo started. We all need some space to be far away from the people sometimes, and this boatel can be the escape plan 🙂
Le Pirate Boatel
Jl. Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86554
Written by: Marina Utami
Date Visited: 23.09.2018 – 24.09.2018
© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.