Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maria Guest House & Trekking Organizer Sembalun

Spending one afternoon with him, I know why Mauline instantly felt welcome to stay at his house years ago. His warm figure, endless flow of stories interspersed with laughter from the funny jokes he made, make us forget our empty belly while the day has gone in the afternoon.

Like a tale story telling, he told us how he started his guesthouse and trekking organizing business in 1986. Maria guest house its name, a modest guesthouse in the village of Sembalun Lawang, with its beautiful blue background of Rinjani Mountain.

That day, one cold day in early 1986 - Mauline, an American tourist came to Sembalun with one intention to climb Rinjani on his own. It was late afternoon when he finally got there, he postponed his plan as he realized how poor his preparation was. His confusion brought him to Mr. Diralam, a Sembalun native who invited him with open arms to stay over night at his house even provide him dinner. "At that time, Sembalun was still very quiet, here (at the location where the guesthouse is now located) was a thick forest" he said. No lodging facilities at all. That afternoon, as he saw Mauline who started to feel cold, his heart touched.

After dinner, they engaged in a conversation about Mauline`s preparation to do the trekking. He found him to be very poor of preparation and information, he did not even know how cold it was up there. Acting as a good host – Pak Alam so he used to be called – equipped him with a few pieces of Jute sacks and some food to add four cucumber fruits which he planned to eat during the trekking. Their conversation also briefly touched on local believes on Gene and certain rituals necessarily taken before the trekking started, none of the story made sense to Mauline until he finally returned with a pile of stories he'll never forget for all his life.

The days after his meeting with Mauline were the busiest day pak Alam ever experienced. He recalled how he often had very less sleep. "I do everything myself, from cooking until guiding" he recalls. The house that was once lone and quite, had turn into summer inn-like which is always flooded by visitors. Sometimes guests had to sleep on the front porch because there wasn`t enough space in the house, and he himself had to sleep next to the fence to ensure the shoes, slippers, and all his guests belongings were safe from the wild pig who liked to wander around the village at that time.

"I used to have no price standard, I always say up to you to the guests, once I was paid by two raw mango fruits because he had no money left" a story that made us laugh in to tears. It always has been his only intention to keep a high quality services and to put his costumers satisfaction above all, this alone has become a powerful promotion tools, friends to friend`s friends recommendations makes pak Alam and Sembalun increasingly recognized. To help the guests who come to look for him, he put on a small banner in front of the house. This action almost led him to legal trouble when two policeman came to interrogated him about his activities and the foreign visitors who come to his house.

His lodging business is growing as the time pass by. Early 1987, he set up a cooperation with a travel agency from the Netherlands, unfortunately it didn`t last long because of the economic crisis hit at that time. His business was not running very well until the early year 2000 when he drew attention from NZAid. Under their supervision, he gained valuable knowledge on tourism management, the chance that he couldn`t miss, there he learned that there are unlimited opportunities for those who will to open their eyes. Well armed with his knowledge on tourism, he gain trust from the local government to manage a small hotel there, bunch of ideas and marketing strategies that he planed to implement did not get support from the government, then he eventually decided to resign and start his own business.

So it was, there we were that day. He managed to build 3 beautiful rooms in ivory that look very fresh and a restaurant with the same concept of color where we spent that afternoon chatting until we forget the time. Yes, we give you a very warm welcome to Maria Guesthouse.


We have 2 rooms with double bed and 1 room with twin bed. In each room we provide you hot water, coffee, tea and sugar so you can make your self hot tea or coffee anytime you want. All rooms are nicely painted in ivory, very fresh and clean. The bathroom is inside with cold water from the spring.


We provide you delicious choices of western breakfast, for lunch and dinner we have various kind of rich- tasted local food to serve your appetites.

For Reservation please contact :

Mr. Alam

  • Email:
  • Mobile: +62 85 239 561 340

Vietnam Beaches Holidays
Have a great holidays at vietnam beaches or customize your vietnam holidays with vietnam bamboo travel. A professional tours operator and vacations expert.

4 komentar:

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