Spending over a month in Indonesia I was able to stay at some pretty amazing hotels. One I was most looking forward to was Le Pirate’s newest Boatel that launched in September. I had heard nothing but amazing things about the Le Pirate brand and was excited to book a stay on their new boatel (hotel that is a boat). The new boatel was in Labuan Bajo making it easy to make a visit to Pink Beach, Komodo Island, and Pador. The boatel only had ten rooms and they all have waterfront views. The week leading up to my stay I couldn’t help but look at pictures on their site and get giddy with excitement.
Unfortunately the stay did not live up to the photos or description at all. Now I try whenever I do reviews to be unbiased and as honest as possible. So with that said I do not recommend the LePirate new boatel, and this is why.
The description on the website when I booked made the boatel seem like it was in the middle of these perfect blue waters, and that is incorrect. Its a pretty crowded harbor and not ideal to snorkel in at all. The water was very murky and dirty from all the trash and other boats. I was so disappointed in this as I was must looking forward to snorkeling all day and paddle boarding. Also transportation to and from the boatel is a NIGHTMARE. Now why I say that is because they have scheduled departure times from the LePirate in Labuan Bajo and the baotel. However there is a huge time chunk of 4 hours in the middle of the day. Either leaving you stranded on the boat or in port. If you ask to go in that time they charge you an exuberant fee which does not sit well with good customer service. Now when I first arrived there was an hour and half until the next scheduled boat and I asked if we could leave early since I was just checking in. I was promptly told no and to wait the hour and half upstairs in the hotels restaurant. I was a little irritated but I mean what could you do. Come to find up there were six other people waiting to get to the boatel as well and all for check in. They had been asking to get to the boat for two hours and had just been sitting there. This is unacceptable service when you have seven people all trying to get to the boat to make them wait especially at check in. Not the best way to start off the trip.
Now with those waterfront rooms I imagined a boat of paradise and again was disappointed. The rooms are all water front however you can easily get into neighboring rooms there is not way to secure your area at all. They advertise only the locked door however it only locks on the hallway side. If you roll down the “screen” you feel like you are cooking in a hot box. No air flow and the fan does not work I couldn’t sleep at all because of the heat. The rooms also were already showing extreme signs of water damage and it had only been operation less than a month. The rooms also came with lots of ants, how the hell ants got on a boat I couldn’t tell you but they were there. Some of the girls I made friends with who stayed at the end of the boat had to deal with a chemical paint smell in their room. Overall the rooms were horrible and not thought out at all. To top it off I have a slight allergy to cigarette smoke and the people next door smoked all night! I couldn’t sleep I would get sick and dizzy and even closing the door I could smell it and I was hot. One night I just slept upstairs in the lobby/relax area.
I am a foodie as you all know and was looking forward to the advertised fresh seafood on board. Wow what a lie that was, all the food on board was frozen and there were maybe two options and no vegetarian or vegan options except one thing.
The food was also expensive especially for Indonesia which its normal to get amazing food for a very low price. Hardly any veggies or fruit and the breakfast was the same thing every day : toast, eggs, jam. Yep that’s it and if you stay more then two nights that gets very old. I was extremely let down in terms of food and the trip honestly didn’t live up to what I thought by a long shot.
To top it all of the service was really bad, and unfriendly. They crew was not helpful with the issues that would arise on board and they offered no solutions. I am still hoping to stay at another one of their locations on land and hope the service is better because it was truly disappointing and most on board felt the same way which is a shame. To their credit when I wrote my review at the end of my stay they gave me a full refund back which was appreciated.
Overall I give it a 1 out 5 stars and I went in t hiking it would be a luxurious experience and was so sad to be let down. If you find yourself in Labuan Bajo and looking for a place to stay I wouldn’t recommend the boatel.
As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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