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Villa Durian Tuk Tuk Timbul

Room & Suite (6)
Dining (1)
Free Wifi
Free Parking
Non-Smoking Hotel
Airport Transportation
Room Service
3 Star accommodation
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Reviewed May 29, 2017
Villa Durian Tuk Tuk Timbul is a small cottage up on the main road going through the village of Tuk Tuk on Samosir island, and the lobby/dining area of the hotel is down a steep hill behind the villa. I recently stayed at this villa for a weekend trip to Samosir. There were several very good aspects to this experience, but unfortunately there were also a couple of significant problems which I encountered.

To start with the good: the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. I didn't have any problems checking in or out, and although this was my first time renting my own cabin the owner (Chris) efficiently walked me through everything I needed to know. When I had a special request of going on an island tour in a 4-wheel car (most of the vehicles on the island, including those immediately available to the hotel, were motorcycles), Chris was able to find a very good driver/tour guide who took me around for 8 hours and showed me everything I wanted to see at a very reasonable price of about $75 USD. Similarly, when I needed to arrange transport back to Medan airport and Chris's usual driver in Parapat was unavailable, he made some calls and found another driver who got me back to the airport quickly and more cheaply than I had anticipated. He was also very kind when I was in the lobby area, making sure I was taken care of and had everything I needed. The rest of the staff was similarly good.

Second, the room was great for the price. For about what I would pay for a regular hotel room elsewhere I was able to rent an entire cabin, with plenty of space to relax in after a day of touring. I especially liked the balcony looking out over Lake Toba; it was wonderful to be able to stand there in the morning and watch the sun glittering off the lake. The location was also good; I was able to walk for just a few minutes to see some traditional tombs as well as more views of the lake.

Finally, the outdoor lounge/dining area was also very nice. There is a large grassy expanse as well as a covered area with tables, both of which have a good view of the Lake. On my last morning on Samosir I sat with some other guests whom I hadn't met before and enjoyed talking to them amidst the natural beauty of the scene. I always like getting to meet new people on trips and I really appreciated that there was a space at the hotel where I could do that.

But as I said, there were some problems as well. The biggest was the road between the lobby area and the actual villa. The lobby is at the bottom of a hill and the villa is on top of it. The road between them is not lit at all, so at night it is extremely difficult to see the road on the way up. Furthermore, a substantial part of the road is not paved but is instead *very* rough dirt, with deep grooves and ridges. This means that at night the road is both very rough and very difficult to see, so going up it is not a fun experience--I stumbled a few times, and though I didn't fall, I very easily could have. And while I'm sure I could have gotten a staff person to take me up in a motorcycle, not everyone is comfortable with that. The road should be smoothed or better lit. At the very least, a flashlight should be offered to the guest to make the road accessible at night. (But really, the road should just be properly paved.)

Second, I ordered several dishes from the restaurant at various points but only really enjoyed one of them, a stewed chicken in a spicy sauce that I had for dinner one night. Other dishes I tried were, bluntly, bad. For instance, I tried the omelette during my first morning there and it was terribly executed: a circle of fried egg with unmelted cheese sprinkled on top of it. The dish wasn't fully cooked (since the cheese wasn't melted) and wasn't even folded over like an omelette should be. The peanut butter bread I tried had good peanut butter but the bread itself was stale. The food, at least the western dishes I tried, needs an overhaul. It also takes a very long time to get out of the kitchen.

Third, the outdoor dining area has several dogs and cats running around. I like dogs, but the dogs bothered me during my dinner, including jumping up and trying to take food from plates I wasn't eating from at the moment. (E.g., my appetizer and main course arrived together, and when I was eating the appetizer the dogs were trying to get at the main course). When I finished and got up the dogs them went for my food again, and while I wasn't eating anymore I still had to put what I was doing on hold and alert the staff (since the small bones in my entree could have hurt the dogs had they been allowed to eat it). Ideally, the pets should be segregated away from the eating area.

Fourth, there is no flush toilet in the lobby (just a squat one), so when I had to go to the bathroom during dinner I had to go all the way up to my villa to use the flush toilet. This was very annoying.

And lastly, there were intermittent power outages (which didn't seem to affect the rest of the village), including one that lasted for my entire final morning. Chris warned me when I arrived that the wifi signal on the island is weak and I accepted that, but I expected that there would at least be power. However, the morning I wanted to check out, none of the outlets worked; I couldn't charge my devices before heading off on my four hour trip to the airport. I'd charged them the night before so I wasn't too inconvenienced, but this was still a problem, and while I acknowledge that this might not be the hotel's fault, I wish they would have warned me about the possibility. (The outages happened frequently enough they had to know there was a chance they'd occur).

There was no aircon in the cabin that I could find, though I didn't mind this too much--I am used to it.

In sum: wonderful staff and a good cabin to stay in, but there's some safety and other concerns you should be aware of before renting this villa. I would probably come back again, but I'd be more prepared (such as by bringing a flashlight for the road, and knowing in advance not to bother with the hotel restaurant).
Thank ZacharyMarret
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2017
This is a nice villa (can accomodate 6+ people) full with kitchen, living / dining room and balcony to boot. Just up the hill beside the lake.
What is nice about it is that it's in a very quiet area in TukTuk village, not those commercialized multi-rooms hotel.

The owner/manager Chris is a very hospitable and friendly guy from Vienna, his hospitality really extends all the way, he even brought us around, bought some tuak (alcoholic local drink) and invited us to breakfast in his home.

Really a nice experience outside of the crowded area.
Thank Nick_1788
Response from Siallagan N, Inhaber at Villa Durian Tuk Tuk Timbul
Responded Apr. 19, 2017
Thank you. You are always welcome.
Uli A
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2016via mobile
Villa Durian was a great choice after some dusty days in the jungle. We stayed for four nights (with two kids aged 6&8), and enjoyed the space of the villa, and the peace and quiet of Lake Toba. The house was very clean, the beds comfortable and breakfast very tasty. Narim even baked bread for us, which our kids loved.
The owners are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and organized two interesting tours for us (one to see the Batak museum, a traditional dance and hot springs), and a boat tour across the lake to see a small and fairly I know and hidden stalactite cave which was a fun little adventure.
We could've easily stayed an extra few days there. Chris and Narim organised our transport back to Medan as well. Wonderful and friendly hosts, lovey manner with our kids - thanks for a great time.
Thank Uli A
Response from Siallagan N, Inhaber at Villa Durian Tuk Tuk Timbul
Responded Jul. 4, 2016
Thank you. We will not forget you. You are always welcome. Es geht immer weiter - vorne ist "Das Neue".
Villa Durian is a 3 star cottage for having a nice vacation at Samosir Island. Enjoy a big Living Room, 2 Bathrooms, fully equipped Kitchen with dining area and in first floor 2 Bed Rooms with balcony. TV with 71 More international channels - Mini Bar - BBQ facilities. The front side of the Villa is connected to the quiet local road. On the backside is the Durian orchard with a great view over Lake Toba. Villa Durian belongs to the peninsula Tuk Tuk Timbul and offers - Private road - Secure parking - Jetty along 200m - Restaurant - Fish pond - Tropical garden - Kids pool - Tour boat big and small. We also provide up to 4 Extra Beds. One Extra Bed is IDR 160.000/day. The max. occupancy of Villa Durian are 9 person. Less
Hotel class
Hotel Amenities
Room Service
Free Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Airport Transportation
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Laundry Service
Multilingual Staff
Non-Smoking Hotel
Refrigerator in room
Shuttle Bus Service
Wheelchair Access
Room types
Kitchenette, Non-Smoking Rooms, Family Rooms, Accessible rooms
Hotel class
Room types
Kitchenette, Non-Smoking Rooms, Family Rooms, Accessible rooms
Number of rooms
Price range
US$17 - US$136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Indonesia > Sumatra > North Sumatra > Samosir Island
Hotel class
Room types
Kitchenette, Non-Smoking Rooms, Family Rooms, Accessible rooms
Number of rooms
Price range
US$17 - US$136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Indonesia > Sumatra > North Sumatra > Samosir Island
Room & Suite (6)
Dining (1)
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