What a great little find!! Very clean and fantastic service by your English speaking host/owner Ayem. Do try the cinnamon tea and nutmeg jam biscuits. The room is simple and clean and the food drkicuous. Snorkelling right outside yr door. Check the rainy season and try and avoid May if possible - strong currents and you have less options avail to you. Very peaceful place with amazing ocean views Amd a hammock.!!!
We stayed with Atem of Green Coconut for 4 nights in September 2018. We loved it here!
The house has been refurbished in 2015 and especially the terrace adds to the Charme of the home stay. It has 2 sea view double rooms with en-suite Mandi bathrooms upstairs directly next to the terrace and three more rooms downstairs (around 200.000 IDR per Person incl 3 meals without bargaining in off-season). There is a plan to open the second terrace downstairs for guests as well - at the moment, the kitchen is located there.
The beds are comfy enough, clean and come with mosquito nets. The bathrooms all are Indonesian-style mandis with freshwater being refilled at night. Electricity is available from roughly 19-23 hrs.
There is free coffee, tea and drinking water.
Ayem, as a former cook, will cook three meals for you each day. While the breakfast is usually small with his homemade nutmeg jam(so good!), the lunch and dinner show off the differences of Bandanese cuisine and the abilities of Ayem! We are vegetarian, so he dished up many veggies, omelets, the famous eggplant with kenari sauce. If you ask, he will let you join him in the kitchen and share all his cooking secrets with you.
We also went on a small tour to Pulau Rhun with him and a chartered boat (600.000 incl. lunch and coffee for a half-day trip), on which Ayem joined us and kindly showed us around. He explained some of the spices and the smoking process. Also, we went snorkelling before Rhun and had lunch on Neilaka. However, the biggest highlight of our trip was when a huge school of dolphins and very rare pilot whales (they often join together for hunting ) came close to us. As they are shy when you snorkel, we jumped on the boat and drove right along them. They enjoyed our presence, continuously swimming along us, hopping out of the water, eyeing us and following us for around 30 minutes. They were intrigued by our presence and clearly very very interested in the people hanging from the boat! Obviously we were lucky - but some boats just ignore such a possibility altogether.
Lastly, Ayem watches his corals. He explained to a captain anchoring in front of his home stay the havoc anchors wreck on corals and helps protect the marine diversity in the Bandas! Chapeau!
Make sure you book ahead in high season (mid-sept to November), as his place and the entire Island is fully booked by then. Other then that, it is very very quiet.
I kind of ended up on Pulau Ai by accident (dengue fever epidemic on Hatta), but really appreciated this island.
During my visit there were 4 budget accommodation options on Ai, Green Coconut being my absolute favorite. Seafront rooms were 250K, middle rooms 200K, the back room 150K per person, all including 3 amazing meals. With only 5 rooms the place remains small enough never to feel crowded. Ayem, the owner, speaks good English and is a real chef, serving some of the best fresh fish with delicious spices I have eaten anywhere in Indonesia (you are on the Spice Islands, after all). The common terrace on the second floor is a true highlight, cooled by the sea breeze with stunning views over the colorful reef and Eastwards towards Gunung Api volcano, just amazing during moonrise. This area features a large dining table, hammocks and sun loungers.
The village features some Dutch colonial buildings and has a lot of charm in its own right. The snorkeling right out front was excellent, even better towards the Eastern tip of the island.
There are several walking trails leading you through nutmeg plantations shaded my majestic almond trees with their spectacular buttressed roots. One of the nicest takes you from the school to Long Beach on the Western side of the island with sizeable rock formations on both ends and views towards Pulau Run. The reef is quite a long way out and snorkeling was fine, despite very choppy conditions during my visit.
If you have made it this far it would be a shame not to take a boat trip to Pulau Nailaka and Pulau Run, quite different, and the latter is kind of a must because of its historic significance, the island exchanged for Manhattan.
In my opinion the best place to stay on Pulau Ay! With a sea view room you can open the wooden louvre windows to let the sea breeze into your room at night which is fantastic for the hot balmy nights when the electricity goes off on the island at 11pm, which means "no fan". The lovely balcony over the beach has wonderful views over the ocean and also Gunung Api Volcano. Ayam, Agil and the team are perfect hosts with the added bonus of Ayam and Agil speaking good English. Nothing is too much trouble for them. The daily fresh food prepared by Ayam is delicious and he goes out of his way to prepare the most wonderful dishes to make your stay special. I've been travelling in Indonesia for 4 years and can honestly say that the food is the best I've had anywhere on any small island. Pulau Ay is brilliant for trekking along the many trails in the jungle to see all of the spices and to visit the many beautiful beaches around the island. Green Coconut staff are very helpful in offering advice & guidance. You can snorkel straight in front of the Green Coconut and the coral gardens are lovely with many different fish. Green Coconut is perfectly situated in the quiet area of the village but with many little shops nearby if you run out of anything. I loved my time there so much I returned after visiting the other Banda islands. Ask for one of the sea view rooms and you can watch the phosphorescence in the sea without getting out of bed! I'll definitely go back again.