Its been 3 years since we first visited Banyuwangi. With a direct 3-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), we were invited to check out what is touted to be the newest and best hotel in Banyuwangi, Dialoog Banyuwangi.
Be warned the new international terminal is small. The airline baggage, customs and immigration staff isn’t quite ready for the arrivals and it is not a speedy checkout as we discovered. We were stuck in waiting lounge for 1 hour. The toilets were minute and cramped too, albeit modern and clean. A short distance away, the newish domestic terminal is at least 5 times larger which makes us wonder why the government didn’t plan for the future with a bigger international terminal. For travellers coming from Malaysia, this is a great destination as its only 3 hours flight with sufficient adventurous activities to get out to and a comfortable modern lodging to return to if choosing Dialoog. West Bali is a short ferry ride away.
Banyuwangi town is not quite ready for commercial tourism yet but it is moseying its way towards an international tourist destination. Poor sidewalks, public transport, public amenities, clean beaches. Friendly locals. Here’s our suggested things to do while in Banyuwangi if you don’t want to just laze by the pool.
The Dialoog hotel in Banyuwangi is a mere 9 months old piece of property. Under the Alila Resorts & Hotels group it will be the closest thing to a 5 star that you will get, this side of Java. With its beach front & awesome sunrise view, it’s easy to forget that the rest of the town is pretty rural.
Strategically located ie. 1 hour to Ijen Crater and around 30 minutes from the airport, it’s now even more convenient thanks to the direct flight via Citilink (Garuda’s budget airline), which flies twice a week (in Wed/out Sun) from KLIA to Banyuwangi direct. We had a full itinerary organized for us ,complete with driver and guide, to travel around Banyuwangi – it would include visiting Ijen, Baluran National Park, Tabuan Island, Alas Purwo National Park etc. Read about our trip here.
Even without excursions, this is a cool little place for staycation too.. one can just lounge around and do nothing all day if one chooses to.
Minimalist Modernist Design
Clean simple lines are found all over the beach front property with hints of Indonesian decorative flavors. Loved the island vibe – think coconut tree laden gardens, neat lawns, fresh sea breeze and modern linear lines for architecture.
There is a horizon pool by the all day dining restaurant that looks out to West Bali. A spacious gym that is sufficient to keep your cardio workout in check and your muscles toned. I was surprised to find a body bike for spinning at the gym. Should have brought my riding shoes! Still didn’t stop me from getting a workout in, I tell ya.
The staff of mainly Banyuwangi residents are always willing to serve you with a happy smile. One main all day dining restaurant is all you need to cater to your growling stomach when the time comes. The rooms were modern and super comfortable with balcony overlooking the pool and the horizon.
Black volcanic sand might not be everyone’s cuppa , but it was a nice enough stretch of sand on the property front.
Best western cuisine in Banyuwangi?
Though we didn’t have time to try every western food outlet in Banyuwangi, the offerings at Dialoog could be the best. Whilst the menu is limited, what they have they try to do well. Wine pairing is available which is a great option to have with the Western. The kitchen aims to please parents by customising dishes to meet the child’s palate so that’s a big plus for Dialoog.
Cooking consistency is currently an issue but by the time you visit, they would probably have sorted it out. If you are hankering for decent burgers, fries and a tenderloin steak, make this a go-to place for a fine meal.
Besides western, they offer a selection of Indonesian and Banyuwangi favourites which were popular with locals. Fantastic sup ekor. Fall off the bone tender with succulent wobbly bits that hit the spot!
Breakfast also changes daily with choices of buffet and ala carte, Western and Indonesian cuisine to choose from. Food can be tailored to suit children’s tastebuds – ie. no chillies and no MSG. Whilst the hotel does not have daycare nor a playroom/ playground for kids, there’s ample space to run around. If these items are added, it would be a top-notch getaway for families with young kids.
Spectacular views…. hello Bali!
The pool whose temperatures seem to hold at body temperature all day round, is good for kids.
A good way to explore the area is by bike. Complementary bikes for the guests are available at the front desk.
After a massive hike to Ijen Crater, pamper yourselves with an invigorating spa. It’s the best way to reenergise the weary muscles.
All in all, Dialoog Bangyuwangi is a top notch hotel in the East tip of Java. We would recommend it in a heartbeat, to folks wanting to take on the Ijen Crater hike. After all, recover is just as important, don’t you think, as any exhilarating adventure and perilous hike. Be sure to check it out.