I stayed one night on Seraya Island, at the only accommodation available, Seraya Island Bungalows, operated by the owner of Gardena Hotel in Labuan Bajo. The cost of boat transport from the mainland to Seraya is included in the price of the bungalow, at Rp. 160,000 per night. The journey took about an hour, though our boat departed very late from Labuan Bajo. The amazing ride took us past many islands of all shapes and sizes, and in places the sea was crystal clear.
Arriving at Seraya with jumping fish leading the way through the water, I could see the bungalows lined up along the beach. There is a small fishing village on the other side of the island but no other visitor accommodation in this peaceful, undisturbed idyll.
My wooden bungalow had a double bed with a sponge mattress and a mosquito net, a private bathroom, with a sit-down toilet and a tap to fill the water buckets, and a veranda right on the beach.
When I say this is basic accommodation, the water only runs from 6pm to 8pm every day. Guests are encouraged to use sea water to flush the toilet and to use fresh water sparingly. Staying on Seraya certainly teaches you about water conservation! Electricity is also rationed; it is run from a generator and available for only a few hours every evening. Mobile phone signal is only available in certain areas of the island, and not in the bungalows.
Beside the bungalows was a restaurant where all meals were served; this is the only place to eat on the island and it is dependent on ingredients brought from the mainland. Fresh water is also brought from Labuan Bajo because there is no fresh water on the island. The menu was varied enough, but if you were staying for more than a couple of nights you’d quickly get bored. Breakfast was a banana pancake and tea or coffee.
The boat back to Labuan Bajo was running on a very relaxed schedule, so if you stay on Seraya and have other transport to catch you should get back to the mainland the day before.
You can find out more about Seraya Island Bungalows here.