Indonesia is fast becoming my favorite destination in Southeast Asia. The main reason? There are an endless number of islands to visit each one with something unique to offer.
One of my wonderful followers recently asked me about Kura Kura Resort located just off of Karimunjawa Island in Indonesia. I’d not heard of it before and, being the ever responsible and accurate giver of information, I just HAD to visit so I could provide a truthful review.
There are several ways to reach Kura Kura Resort. From May 1st to October 31st there are regular flights every day except Monday from Semarang and Karimunjawa. (Check Kura Kura’s website for schedules). The flying time is 45 minutes and is a great alternative to the public ferry. The fast-ferry leaves Semarang every Saturday to Karimunjawa and returns on Sunday. Another ferry leaves Jepara 5 times a week and is great option when traveling during the week.
I have to admit, Kura Kura is not easy to get to but if you’re visiting Indonesia it is definitely worth the effort to travel there. Located in the Karimunjawa Archipelago the exclusive resort boats 22 hectares of pristine tropical beaches and natural flora and fauna. Since it is yet to attract a huge crowd the resort has a feel of exclusivity that offers couples and honeymooners extreme privacy.
Arriving late in the evening by speedboat I was greeted by resort manager Cristiano Riccio who promptly brought me to a seaside sitting area to start the check-in process. While cooling off with a tropical fruit drink and chilled towel I enjoyed the most breathtaking, unobstructed sunset. This two day mini vacation had started out perfectly!
Cristiano explained the resort, how it worked, and what activities I could enjoy by simply asking. After a quick check-in he showed me to my luxurious accommodations.
The island offers 15 cottages that are all only 15 meters from the beach, 9 private pool villas, and 2 family pool villas that encapsulate the spirit of tropical luxury.
Kura Kura operates from April to November and since I’d decided to stay at the resort on their last week of operation I was upgraded to the family pool villa. Its 600 sq. meters of modern comfort, open-air living room pavilion, teak sun beds, minibar, and private pool has an air of sophistication and luxury.
The Indonesian concept and décor adds to the experience, as does the eco-friendly design and landscaping. It’s important to note that Kura Kura does not offer Wi-Fi, or television and has limited cell phone service. For emergencies there is a computer with Internet access at the front desk and I received a strong cell phone signal there as well. With that said, I have to admit I didn’t miss the ‘connection’ to the outside world at all. It was nice to get a way from it all and I realized…the world kept on going without me!
After settling in it was time for dinner and I was excited to join Cristiano for a meal. He explained to me that he had trained the chefs and staff to cook authentic Italian, my favorite!
The restaurant is an elegant open-aired area with touches of Indonesian furniture and fixtures. The ‘a ‘la Carte’ menu offers fresh caught seafood choices as well as homemade pastas. The desserts were decadent and I thoroughly enjoyed everything. After stuffing myself I retired to my villa where I enjoyed an amazingly restful night.
I’d scheduled an island hopping/snorkeling trip with a picnic lunch and after a wonderful breakfast; I started out on my adventures. There are few words to describe the beauty of the waters that surround Kura Kura and Karimunjawa. The crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs make for hours of enjoyment and it was hard to get out of the water for a rest. The captain of my boat leisurely sauntered over to an island where the locals set up tables in the sand and serve local dishes and drinks.
I very much enjoyed a BBQ of fresh local Parrot Fish, squid, rice, and a deliciously red-hot chili sauce. Most drinks including beer and local coffee can be found and everything is extremely low cost.
While eating I enjoyed watching the local children laughing and chasing each other along the beach and I couldn’t help but wonder at their simple, stress free lives. I thought of my own children’s upbringing and how it was so important for them to have the latest gadget, clothes, and toys yet these children who have next to nothing where genuinely happy and at peace with themselves…having a window into their lives was humbling experience and one I’d recommend to everyone.
I spent another restful, wonderfully comfortable night in my villa but as with every vacation my time had come to an end at Kura Kura. While sitting on my boat back to reality and as the staff and Cristiano waved goodbye as we sped away, I silently wished I could stay longer. The experience was yet another wonderful one and I gave a prayer of thanks for my life, experiences, and the ability to do what I love.
SeriouslyTravel absolutely recommends staying at this uniquely luxurious resort where time stands still and beauty is never ending. Kura Kura Resort ~ Karimunjawa’s Secret Paradise
For reservations or information on Kura Kura’s other resorts and activities contact them at: