Who doesn’t love natural hot springs? Getting deep into natural hot springs is one way to relax, which was also the main reason I decided to go to Ciater for my recent staycation. Although Ciater is not too far from Bandung, I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I went there before my staycation. But I know Ciater is known to be one of the best natural hot springs in West Java, Indonesia.
I know I had been there a few times when I was a child, and I went there with my girlfriends once when we were at the university, but that was all about it. And that’s also the reason why I decided to book a one-night stay at Sari Ater Hotel and Resort in Ciater.
Sari Ater Hotel and Resort is probably one of the best and the biggest resort in the area, with a few pools with natural hot springs and some recreational activities to opt around the resort. If you stay at this resort, you’ll get a complimentary ticket to enter some touristic spots in the surrounding for free.
In this post, I’m going to write a bit about some natural hot springs near Bandung, Indonesia. Not only because it’s my hometown, but also because it’s also known as a place to unwind for people in Java, especially those who live in the western part of the island.
So, how was my stay at Sari Ater Hotel & Resort? Is it worth spending one night enjoying their famous natural hot springs? Let’s find out! 🙂
Natural Hot Springs Near Bandung in West Java, Indonesia
One of my pet peeves is when people mistake Bandung, my hometown, for Badung, a village in Bali. Well, Bandung is located in the western part of Java, and while international tourists may never have heard it, most likely, people from Asian and African nations are familiar with the name as it was where the Asian-African Conference was held in 1955. That, among many other reasons, is what makes Bandung one of the must-visit places in Java!
If you search for natural hot springs near Bandung on TripAdvisor, chances are Sari Ater will appear on the first recommendation. And rightfully so, because it’s one of the best natural hot springs not only near Bandung, but also compared to the other options in West Java!
Ciater is probably one of the best areas in West Java for natural hot springs, as it’s open all year round with so many other activities for families, including kids! I mean, there’s a reason why I feel like the last time I went there was when I was a kid…
Apart from Ciater, there are also some other options if you’re looking for a place with natural hot springs near Bandung. If Ciater is located in the northern part of Bandung, you can also go to Ciwidey in the southern part of Bandung. Some locals are biased toward Ciater when it comes to natural hot springs though, because it seems like the latter is more popular for some of their famous spots like Kawah Putih (the White Crater) and Situ Patengang.
If you have time to travel a bit further from Bandung, you can also have plenty of options for natural hot springs like the one that I’ve been in Garut when I had a staycation with cousins. Some options include the one at Puncak Darajat or even the more luxurious one at Sabda Alam.
One thing that you should be aware of is that Bandung is a popular getaway destination for people who live in Jakarta, so if you want to avoid the crowd to enjoy the most out of these natural hot springs, try to plan out a trip on the weekdays because all those destinations are quite popular that some people literally choose to sacrifice their time on the traffic jam to get there on the weekend!
Sari Ater Hotel & Resort in Subang, West Java
Sari Ater Hotel and Resort isn’t the only accommodation available in Ciater, West Java. But it’s definitely one of the best as it gives you a free ticket to various recreational spots in the area. Inside the resort, there are at least three communal hot spring pools that you can opt for: Mayangsari, Wangsadipa, and Nangka pools.
Situated in Subang, it’s actually located on the outskirt of Bandung, around 1.5 hours from the city center if you go there by car. One thing you should note is that Sari Ater also has another branch located in Bandung city center, so make sure to book one in Ciater instead of one in Sukajadi. To differentiate one and the other, the one located in Bandung should be listed as Sari Ater Kamboti Hotel, as unlike the one in Ciater, the one in Bandung is not a resort.
Sari Ater Hotel and Resort is considered to be one of the most luxurious accommodations in the area, but it’s worth the night rate as you don’t have to pay for the entrance ticket if you plan to spend your day relaxing in the hot spring pool inside the resort!
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Sari Ater Hotel & Resort in Ciater is by renting a car from Bandung. Whether you drive it on your own or hire a driver, it will typically take around 1.5 hours from the city center.
The good news is that you’ll find plenty of places to go on the way from Bandung to Ciater! Since you’ll pass Lembang between Bandung to Ciater, you can stop by some popular tourist spots like Bosscha Observatory, Farmhouse, and even the famous volcano Tangkuban Perahu on the way there!
I also stopped by Warung Kopi Gunung, a cafe slash coffee shop located in Cikole, Lembang. It was pretty much famous as one of the most instagrammable cafes in Bandung, but on top of that, I’d recommend it as not only is it a nice place for taking a snapshot or two, the food there was quite delicious and super cheap too!
Types of Accommodation
Sari Ater Hotel and Resort has a few types of accommodation that you can book for your stay in Ciater. Apart from the standard hotel room, you can also book a luxurious camping tent or even stay at the big bungalow if you plan to go there for a big family getaway.
The only difference is the convenience since if you book a hotel room like I did, it’s quite close to the restaurants and it’s not even too far to walk to some other street food place outside the resort. If you’re planning to go glamping at Sari Ater, chances are you’ll have to take a golf cart to get there since the location for the tents is a bit further away from the lobby and the restaurants in the resort.
Since I stayed at the regular hotel room this time, I’ll dig more into the review of the hotel room at Sari Ater in this article. So, how’s my stay at Sari Ater Hotel & Resort?
Review: Deluxe Balcony Room at Sari Ater Hotel & Resort in Ciater
When I booked my stay at Sari Ater Hotel & Resort, I actually didn’t know whether I’d have anyone coming with me since my mom was out of town on that date. However, instead of booking a standard room, I decided to book a Deluxe Balcony room at Sari Ater for the sake of novelty!
I paid IDR 963,699 (around $61 USD) for one night, and I found it quite pricey, even though I booked it through Agoda and I’m a platinum member, which should make me entitled to more discount. But how was it? Was it even worth it? Let’s find out!
Check-in & First Impression
Sari Ater is quite famous to local people, because it’s known as the most luxurious accommodation around Ciater. I could tell that as soon as I arrived at the hotel, when the porter approached us as soon as I arrived at the lobby. It’s definitely something that we rarely see in the hospitality industry located on the outskirt of the city!
When I checked in, I saw the hotel’s brochure with the price list of the accommodation and found out that the Deluxe Balcony room that I booked was originally priced at IDR 1,200,000 (around $76 USD) per night.
Upon check-in, the receptionist gave me 2 (two) entrance tickets to the recreational spots. She told me that the recreational area would be open until 10 PM, and we were eligible to enter all areas with those tickets. Apart from the complimentary tickets, I also got a few coupons, including the welcome drink that can be exchanged for a beverage at Mayangsari restaurant, as well as for breakfast the next day.
During check-in, the receptionist also informed me that check-out time would be at 11 AM the next day, which was a bit of a disappointment since I found it a little too early than the regular 12 PM like other hotels.
Overall, the check-in was quite easy, and the porter was especially super helpful and accommodating too! Unfortunately, it was raining when we checked in, so I ended up taking a nap while waiting for the rain to stop. 🙁
Deluxe Balcony Room
Unless I missed it, I don’t think there’s an elevator at Sari Ater Hotel. I was assigned to a Deluxe Balcony room on the second floor, and the access to get there is just through stairs. Despite that, in the resort area, they provide disabled-friendly access for wheelchairs though.
As soon as I entered the room, it was all some “old hotel vibes” that came in. The bed, the furniture, almost nothing felt modern about it. The good side is that despite that, the wifi connection at Sari Ater Hotel was actually good. I literally had a video call with my boyfriend without any obstruction!
All things considered though, if I compare the night rate with the facilities in the accommodation, I would say it’s quite pricey. But given the idea that the entrance ticket to various recreational spots is included, it’s quite worth the price!
When it comes to amenities, they provide some standard hotel amenities, including soap bars, shampoo, and even a hair dryer that functions quite well. But what surprised me the most is that the mini bar is provided as a compliment!
Sure it’s nothing much, but I think it’s pretty thoughtful, as not many hotels provide that for their guests. Apart from the complimentary bottled water, you could find a couple of drinks inside the mini fridge that you can get for free. That includes Teh Botol (our very own Indonesian signature beverage), Fruit Tea, and the canned Tebz!
Bathroom at Deluxe Balcony Room
One distinguished difference between Deluxe Balcony and the Standard Deluxe room apart from the balcony, is also the bathroom. I assume if Standard Deluxe Room has a regular shower, Deluxe Balcony has a bathtube instead.
The downside is that I actually have some bath salts at home, yet I totally forgot to pack them, so I didn’t get a chance to have a proper bath there. Although to be fair, I didn’t need a bath that much, given the idea that I could literally just leave the room and jump into the natural hot spring pool instead!
In the bathroom, standard toiletries and amenities are provided so you’ll get anything from 2-in-1 soap and shampoo, soap bar, dental kit, shower cap, and towels to use during your stay. The bathroom is also quite spacious, and what impressed me quite a bit is the toilet paper since the quality is top-notch, they provide a 3-ply toilet roll in the bathroom!
Overall, I’m quite satisfied with the bathroom, especially even the hot water works well. Quite important given the idea that Ciater was quite cold, and it was raining outside when I stayed there. Not only they have a complete set of amenities and toiletries, they also provide a hair dryer that actually works well!
Mayangsari Hot Spring Pool & Restaurant
Since I could exchange the welcome drink coupon at Mayangsari Restaurant, I decided to jump into the hot spring pool there too, although Sari Ater technically has three different pools that guests can enter for free.
You have an option to exchange the welcome drink coupon: either a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of orange juice. I asked whether the orange juice was fresh since most hotels in Indonesia, especially budget hotels, they usually serve processed orange juice called Nutrisari (something similar to Tang). Well, they don’t serve fresh juice, so I chose a cup of tea for the welcome drink instead.
I was quite impressed by the restaurant though. It’s spacious and it looks boujee! And to be fair, it was quite expensive too, for Indonesian standard. My brother ordered a sirloin steak, and I had a tenderloin steak, I paid a little over IDR 300,000 (around $20 USD) for this.
As for the hot spring pool, there are three pools in total at Mayangsari, two smaller pools with the main pool in the center. Well, the last time I jumped into a hot spring pool, it was when I went to the Royal Spa in Banja Koviljaca, and I thought it wouldn’t be fair to compare both experiences.
It was quite relaxing, although when I went there, the pool was quite crowded as well. It was during the weekdays, so I can’t really imagine how crowded it could get during the weekend!
While there are three pools, there was a small one in the corner that looked kinda dirty compared to the other two. However, the only difference between the pools is really just the size, since the temperature of the three pools is the same, which is 40°C.
I spent around an hour in the hot spring pool, and I was a bit confused about what I needed to do afterward. There was a communal shower not so far from the pool, but there’s also two separate bathrooms in the basement, though it was a bit spooky, so I decided to just go back to my room after that.
Their breakfast was quite impressive and yummy!
Sari Ater serves various types of food for breakfast. From just a regular cereal (Cornflakes and Koko Krunch), Indonesian congee to assorted pastries that are surprisingly top-notch and delicious!
I suppose many visitors come from Malaysia, because I find it odd that they serve biryani rice instead of regular fried rice for breakfast. But honestly there’s nothing to complain about, because they all taste so good!
The only issue about breakfast is that I couldn’t find the egg station there, although I saw some guests had an omelet on their table. I’m not sure if we had to specifically request it to one of the waiters there, but my social anxiety mood kinda kicked in that day, so I didn’t bother to ask!
Final Verdict: Sari Ater Hotel & Resort
I’m definitely not a fan of their check-out policy since their check-out time is at 11 AM, an hour earlier than the regular hotels. And on top of that, they literally rang us quite constantly before 11 AM to remind us that as if they just couldn’t wait for us to leave… Definitely not a fan of that protocol if that’s implemented by Sari Hotel’s management!
While I think I had a great time at Sari Ater for the natural hot springs, I think it’d probably be wiser if you could spare at least 2 (two) nights if you want to stay there for the hot springs and other recreational activities. Especially since I had a staycation during a rainy season and I spent half of my day waiting for the rain to stop instead of taking advantage of the complimentary entrance to their recreational spots!
✅ If you stay at Sari Ater Hotel & Resort, the entrance ticket to some recreational spots is included, so you don’t have to pay extra for it!
✅ It’s a perfect spot for a family holiday since there’s something for everyone. Apart from natural hot springs, they also have some other activities like horse riding or ATV tour around the resort!
✅ The breakfast is surprisingly impressive!
✅ Inside the resort, there are three hot spring pools that you can use for a nice hot bath for free!
❎ The night rate is quite expensive by Indonesian standard.
❎ The checkout time is rather early at 11 AM, and the receptionist called us periodically to make sure that we’re aware of that. Pretty annoying!
❎ In the brochure, they had a biking tour, which I was interested in going before checking out, but when I went to the receptionist, they said that the biking tour around the resort is no longer available!
My verdict on Sari Ater Hotel and Resort is that it’s only worth it if you spare some time to enjoy the complimentary entrance ticket for the various activities that they offer. If you only have an overnight stay like I did, the stay felt a bit too short and even worse because it felt quite expensive too!
However, I have to say that when it comes to natural hot springs, they’re definitely the best! With numerous pools to go to, and some other activities around the area, it’s definitely a perfect place to unwind with your beloved ones!
So, have you been to any natural hot springs in Indonesia? Do you have any favorites so far? Share in the comment below, and cheerio! 😉
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry, but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017 and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.