Hotel Samudra Jepara Port

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Jepara Port

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port

The principal destination of our trip to Indonesia was the offshore island of Karimunjawa. To get there on a budget involves a roundabout trip from Jakarta to the port of Jepara, travelling via the central Javanese capital – Semarang. From Jepara, there are a number of boat options for travelling to Karimunjawa.

Before leaving the Hotel Quest in Semarang, we used one of their guest computers to book the Hotel Samudra in Jepara port for the following night.

The Hotel Samudra was a last minute booking (actually for the same day) following some unavoidable changes to our travel plan (see Jepara ATM woes).

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port – It looks OK on Booking.com

We needed a hotel close to Jepara port, since we planned to take the fast boat to Karimunjawa island early the following morning. Hotel Samudra was one of just 2 hotels on Booking.com which fit our bill.

The description of the Hotel Samudra  read well and the photographs looked fine. Also the price, at IDR 314,000 (€22) including breakfast, seemed reasonable.

TIC and Jepara Shuttle (Deja Vu!)

After breakfast, we left the Hotel Quest in Semarang and again made our way to the Tourist Information Center on Jalan Pemuda. Here, we met the manager, Mr Pram, and his associate.

With the help of Mr Pram, we were able to book a shuttle bus for the 2-hour journey back to Jepara. He also reserved our tickets to Karimunjawa on the fast’ boat, leaving from Jepara port the following morning.

TIC Office Semarang

Brother Pram in the TIC (Tourist Information Center)

We paid IDR 50,000 (€3.50) for 2 shuttle bus tickets, and IDR 400,000 (€30) for 2 one-way boat tickets. We were told that the boat tickets would be delivered to our hotel in Jepara that evening.

This was now our 3rd time taking that Jepara shuttle: Each time the price was different.

Our bus journey to Jepara was delayed a little by flooding across sections of the road leading out of the city. Semarang is a water-fronted city and there is frequent coastal and river flooding in the area.

The shuttle bus eventually reached the gated port-area of Jepara, and dropped us off directly in front of our hotel.

Minibus from Semarang to Jepara

Minibus from Semarang to Jepara – Checkout the flooded highway

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port – The Reality

The Hotel Samudra  seemed quite grandiose and attractive in the promotional pictures, decorated in an ethnic Indonesian style.

Unfortunately, the place has clearly seen better days and is now lacking in maintenance, TLC, and cleanliness.

Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
Samudra Hotel
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Our room was dusty – made worse by the fact that it was carpeted. The bed was comfortable enough, though there were small rips in the bed sheet. There was an extremely unpleasant smell coming from the bathroom, which also wasn’t clean.

The room had air conditioning but no mosquito net, so we burned coils instead.

Our ‘deluxe’ room boasted a balcony with sea view. In fact, it looked onto a shared balcony from the window. We had to walk out of our room to reach this communal balcony from the corridor.

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port

Hotel Samudra: It looks much better in the photos

The only advantage of the Samudra Hotel is its proximity to Jepara port. Though further away, we found the Hotel Elim to be a better and cheaper alternative.

Jepara Port & Facilities

After checking out our room, we wandered around the gated port area in search of someplace to eat. We found several warungs not far from the hotel. These were catering primarily to tourists travelling to and from Karimunjawa.

At IDR 700,000+ for a fish supper, they were certainly charging tourist prices.

We ate chicken and rice at one of the quieter places, away from the central area.

Jepara Port

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port: Inside the Port

The following morning, breakfast at the Samudra Hotel comprised a plate of Nasi Goreng with a cup of tea.

Our boat tickets hadn’t been delivered to the hotel as promised. We checked out of the hotel and walked to the port office, where we were relieved to find them waiting for us.

Jepara Port

Hotel Samudra Jepara Port: Entrance Gateways

Finally, after all our setbacks, we were about to take to the sea for our 2-hour boat ride north to Karimunjawa island.

All Hotel Options in Jepara


If you enjoyed Hotel Samudra Jepara Port, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like:


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