How to book Raja Ampat accommodation

Communication in Raja Ampat can be difficult...

If you have chosen a homestay, know the dates you want and want to make a booking 

  • Use the homestay’s booking request form. If the room you want is available, a confirmed booking will be made for you and our system will send you a booking confirmation email.

If you want to ask about availability, or need more information before requesting a booking, then you will need to –

IMPORTANT!

Submitting a booking request form is asking to make a booking. If accepted by the homestay, a booking will have been made for you, so –

  • Please DO NOT use the booking form to request bookings for the same dates at different homestays!

Using the booking request form

First things first: Stay Raja Ampat is a non-commercial, not-for-profit website. Use of the booking request system is free for both you and homestay owners. We don’t charge any commissions or fees to appear on our website or to be connected to the booking system.

The purpose of the booking system is to make it easier and quicker for guests who don’t speak Indonesian to arrange a stay with homeowners who don’t speak English. That’s all. You’re still able to contact homestay owners directly if you prefer. As a matter of fact, if you need to ask questions before requesting a booking, then you’ll have to contact the homestay directly!

The booking system uses SMS to communicate your request in Bahasa Indonesia to the homestay. Some homestays do not have a telephone signal and sometimes owners may have no credit on their phone, so the booking system gives homestays 48 hours to respond. Most responses are much quicker than that, but we can only guarantee a response within 48 hours of receiving your request.

If you don’t need to ask questions and have decided which homestay you want to book and the dates you want accommodation for, simply fill out the form and click the “Send booking request” button. The system will take care of the rest. Easy!

Here’s what will happen after you click “Send booking request”:

  • You’ll receive an email from us acknowledging your request.
  • If you have provided an Indonesian mobile number, you will also receive SMS notifications at each step of the process.
  • You’ll receive an email/SMS the moment the homestay accepts or declines your request.
  • If the homestay owner declines your request or doesn’t reply within 48 hours, we’ll let you know by email/SMS and provide you with some options for what to do next.
  • If your request is accepted and the homestay needs a deposit to confirm your booking, they will contact you about it.
  • A week before your scheduled arrival we’ll email/SMS you a reminder containing a cancellation link in case your plans have changed.
  • Two days before your scheduled arrival, your homestay will be sent an SMS reminding them of your booking.
  • A week after your scheduled departure we’ll contact you by email/SMS to give you the opportunity to provide feedback to your hosts.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Please do NOT use the booking system to check if accommodation is available! (Submitting a booking request form is asking to make a booking. If accepted by the homestay, a booking will have been made for you)
  • Don’t call or send SMS messages to the number our SMS messages come from. The system is fully automated – there’s nobody there to respond to you.
  • System Emails: Homestays do not receive copies of booking system emails. If you reply to a system email, it will come to us.
  • We are not agents and are not based in Raja Ampat. Everything we know about each homestay is on that homestay’s page. If you need further information you’ll have to contact the homestay directly.

If you want to know more about how the system works, read on…

How the system works:

  • It translates your request form to Bahasa Indonesia and sends it by SMS to the homestay.
  • It notifies you by email (and optionally by SMS message*) as soon as the homestay sends our system an SMS accepting or declining your booking request.
  • It notifies you within 48 hours if the homestay does not respond to your request and provides you with options for what to do next.
  • It sends a reminder in Bahasa Indonesia to the homestay owner 48 hours prior to your arrival.
  • It provides the ability to easily cancel your booking if your plans change.
  • It provides you with all homestay contact details for further enquiries or communication with homestay.
  • It provides the homestay owner with your contact details for further communication or to arrange deposits or pre-payment where required.

*Optional SMS notifications are only available to Indonesian (+62) numbers. All guest notifications are in English language. Please note: Don’t call or send messages to the booking system phone number. It is an automated number and cannot answer or reply.

What the system CAN’T do (yet):

  • Accept payments
  • Check availability
  • Answer questions
  • Anything not included in the “How the system works works” list above

Contacting homestays directly

  • Contact details for each homestay can be found at the bottom of each homestay page.
  • Most homestays cannot return calls or send SMS messages to international numbers.
  • Email addresses are provided for homestays who have access to it.
  • Allow around a week to hear back. Telecommunications in Raja Ampat are unreliable and some homestays are in areas without telecommunication access. It can be some time before your email is able to be received and replied to.

Telephone Contact

Very few homestays are able to call or send SMS messages to international numbers, so you’ll need to call them to get in touch.

Although mobile telephone coverage in the islands is remarkably good for such a large and remote area, there are still times when the service can fail, a connection won’t be good or the person you are trying to contact does not live in a network coverage area. Keep trying!

Language Difficulties

If you have some Bahasa Indonesia there won’t be any. If you don’t, you may find it hard going as some homestays have minimal English. There’s usually someone around who can help though. If you hear the word “toong-gu” or “sebentar” you’re probably being asked to wait until an English speaker can be brought to the phone.

The features list on each homestay page shows if English is spoken. You can also use the Show advanced search function on the accommodation page to quickly find all homestays where (at least some) English is spoken.

Email Contact

The only internet service available in the islands is supplied via satellite or the mobile telephone network. These technologies are as yet unaffordable to the majority of guesthouse operators and guides on the website. Consequently, most of those who use email can only check it when visiting Sorong or Waisai, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back immediately. You should probably allow a week before a follow up email, so don’t leave your planning to the last minute!

Having trouble making a booking?

If you are unable to make a booking in advance via telephone or email you shouldn’t worry too much. Go anyway! The chance of every available place being fully booked is essentially zero.

If you can’t confirm an accommodation booking prior to arrival, Amy at the Raja Ampat Tourism Management Team office in Sorong will be able to help. You should also be able to find a homestay owner at the ferry wharf in Waisai when the ferries arrive and depart.

By the way – if you discover a place that’s not listed here and you’d like to do your hosts a favour, please contact us with as much information about the guesthouse and its owners as you can and we’ll add them. Everyone wants to see photos, so it’d be great if you could include some to share – thanks!

14 thoughts on “How to book Raja Ampat accommodation

  1. Rosario Vodanovic says:

    Hello,

    We are a honeymooners couple, and we are very excited to go there. We are going there from January 10th to January 18th. Do you recommend to stay in one place or two? We are looking a private room and private bathroom. I already contact diferents resorts, but most of them are very expensive. Which place do you recommend? and which accommodation?

    Thanks in advance
    Regards

    • Hello Rosario

      After coming so far, we think it’s a good idea to see as much of Raja Ampat as you can, so staying at at least two different islands is a good idea. Use the website advanced search to quickly find accommodation matching the criteria you want. (Selecting “Has ensuite bathroom/toilet” will show you all the homestays with private rooms and private bathrooms.)

      You should be able to find the answers to any other questions you have in the information linked from our step by step guide.

    • Hello Rosario , how’re u?
      We’re two also traveling to Raja ampat those days. Did u choose where to stay? Maybe we can be in touch for sharing the boat ride From the main island Waisai to one of the island. I trying to book with Yenkoranu Homestay (Kri North Coast).

      Maby

  2. I visit Raja Ampat next week. I was planning to dive and snorkel in Kri Island. By the way, I read that I can see the dugong in Batanta area. Is it true? It is my dream to see a dugong. If I can see the dugong, I want to stay Batanta. But if it’s just a big fortune, I’ll just stay at Kri.

    • Yes, it’s true, sun. Most people who spend time at Batanta see dugongs. They are wild animals though, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll see one, but you would be unlucky not to as long as you spent at least a few days looking for them.

  3. Hi, I am Pablo, i am arriving to Raja Ampat next march 2018.
    I have no idea where I can stay yet, I am looking for some genuine help ,
    I am interested in doing some scuba diving and relaxing at paradisian beaches .
    Do you know where I culd stay taking into account that I am travelling on my own and in a backpacker style? Do you know if homesatys organize groupal excursions to get around other islands and so, it would be chaeaper?
    I know it is expensive but anyway, i am desperate for some information about this.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    • Hi Pablo

      Our step by step guide provides links to answers to the questions most visitors ask. All homestays can organise trips to any place you want to go, but it is up to you to find others to join and share the costs with. Kri might be your best choice as it has great beaches, dive centers and it’s easy to meet other guests there.

  4. eyheramendy xabi says:

    hello i wan t to go Yenkarom homestay in Birie island but i don t know i can go …i will be there in middle of september and i saw it was very windy and rainy on this period ! and i prefer take a big boat it s more safe !! you know if there is a ferry from Sorong to Waiwo …and after there is a boat to go Birie island ! if you know the price and how long time to go there ?? thank you for information :))

    • Hi eyheramendy

      The only large boat that goes anywhere near Yenkarom is a public boat from Sorong that departs once a week on Fridays at 1600, and arrives at Arefi around 2200. It returns to Sorong on Saturdays.

      You will be fine booking a Waisai pickup with Yenkarom. The windy season usually starts to abate in mid-September, and Yenkarom would not make the crossing if the conditions were unsafe.

      • eyheramendy xabi says:

        ok thanks a lot for the info :) so i changed my plan i will stay at Batu lima homestay …it s easer and sheaper …only 30 mn by boat from Waisai …perfect for the first week we ll see after to go to Kry …i got a indo phone and my friend speak indo …so i just need to send a texte for the booking ??

  5. Hello there!
    Do you know a place called Cove Eco Resort in Raja Ampat? Apparently stays in an island called Yeben. Counting on your support.
    Thanks

  6. I´ve seen there are some Homestays you can book and pay with agoda. You know if it works well? I´m wondering if there is trouble with the payment or overbooking!?

    • Hi Julia –

      With only a couple of exceptions, all those Agoda listings have been created by scammers with no connection to the homestays they have listed. Note the vastly inflated prices! We have no idea what the result of booking one of those would be, but it’s an absolute certainty that if the the homestay concerned received anything at all, it would only be a fraction of the price paid by the guest.

      Much safer to use the booking forms provided on this site. Doing so is communicating directly with the homestay concerned and is much cheaper.