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Rumah pohon treehouse nusa penida

Staying at Rumah Pohon Treehouse Nusa Penida Bali (Review)

Thanks to Instagram, Nusa Penida — an island southeast of Bali — has become the place to be for any influencer worth their salt.

Apart from the dramatic coastal cliffs, another iconic sight on this island is the wooden tree house perched on a treetop, overlooking the ocean.

Known locally as “Rumah Pohon” (Indonesian for tree house), it’s one of the most popular places to stay in Nusa Penida.

Apparently, there are several tree-house hotels scattered in Nusa Penida. But this was a fact I only learned after my trip.

The most popular of them is Rumah Pohon Molenteng — located on the east coast, somewhere near the Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) viewpoint and Atuh Beach.

It seems to be the only one that’s ever been talked about and featured on travel influencers’ Instagram pages. If you’ve seen any picture of a treehouse in Nusa Penida, it’s most likely this one — which is no surprise since it has the most stunning views.

Rumah Pohon Molenteng
Rumah Pohon Molenteng. Credit: Agoda

But it led me to think that it was the only tree house on the entire island.

This — coupled with the fact that there was only one search result for “Rumah Pohon” on Booking.com — assured me that I had booked the one and only.

It turned out I had booked the one on Jalan Petinggian, which is fine in its own respect, but is further inland and nothing like I expected.

Apart from these two, there are also:

How to Book a Tree House in Nusa Penida

Rumah Pohon Molenteng is only available on Airbnb. There are only three houses in total, and considering how popular they are, you better book early.

The other tree house hotels are available on Booking.com. Just search for Rumah Pohon or Tree House, or click on the links below:

How to Get to Rumah Pohon (Jalan Petinggian)

There are no buses in Nusa Penida, so the easiest way to get around is by renting a scooter or a car (usually comes with a driver). There are a number of scooter rental shops and drivers waiting for passengers at the harbor.

A word of caution though: the roads are steep, rocky, and potholed at some parts, so only self-drive if you’re a highly skilled and experienced driver. I wouldn’t recommend renting a scooter in Nusa Penida if you’ve only just learned to drive one.

Read: Taking Scooter Lessons in Bali (Suitable for Beginners)

Alternatively, you can ask your tree house hotel if they could arrange a transport for you.

My partner and I had met another Malaysian traveler on the ferry from Bali, and we agreed to share the cost of a car with a driver. The driver took us on a half-day tour to some of the major attractions on the island.

After lunch, he drove us to the tree house. The journey was quite long (around 30 minutes or so from out last stop) and took us through winding roads up and down the hills.

Finally, he dropped us off at the Rumah Pohon car park area by the roadside. This is not where the tree house is; you still have to hike a short distance to get there.

There is a signboard pointing the way and the trail is well-marked, so there’s no way you’d get lost. You’ll likely be greeted by two friendly dogs that will show you the way (don’t worry — they’re very well-behaved).

Black and white dogs. One sniffing someone's extended hand
Very friendly and furry greeters..

What to Expect at Rumah Pohon Jalan Petinggian

Checking In

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida reception
Our adorable greeter led us all the way to the reception.
The Rumah Pohon was only manned by one person during our stay. He was the caretaker, the receptionist, the housekeeper, and the cook. Not sure if he was also the owner.
 
Check-in was pretty straightforward. We were served with welcome drinks that felt so refreshing after a half day of baking under the hot sun. Then, the host handed us our key, showed us around, and told us what time dinner and breakfast would be served.
 

The Tree House

There were a few tree houses, some higher than the others. Ours was probably the second highest, located next to the bathrooms, but not too close.

There was a small wooden gate at the landing of the stairs to keep the dogs out and a balcony with a bench to lounge on. Inside was a double bed with pillows, a bolster, a blanket, and a pair of clean towels.

The tree house shook with every little movement we made.

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
The double bed.

There was a small table and shelf for putting your stuff on, a mirror, a single light bulb to illuminate the entire room, and a fun-sized table fan.

If you’ve got multiple devices to charge, you’re in luck because there’s more than one power socket on the wall, so you can charge your devices without having to turn off the fan or light bulb.

Table fan on a table with orange background
Table fan.

Not gonna lie — the room was a little too warm for comfort, especially in the middle of the day, during the hot season, and with such a teeny weeny fan. But you can keep the door and window open to add extra ventilation.

Do note that the room doesn’t come with any mosquito netting. We didn’t have any problem with mosquitoes throughout our stay, but if you tend to attract them like a magnet, you might want to bring some insect repellent with you.

Rumah Pohon Jalan Petinggian Nusa Penida
Our tree house.
Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
The window overlooking the sea.

If the room is still a little too stuffy for you, you can sit on the balcony to enjoy the fresh air or chill out at the reception, which also doubles as a dining area.

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
The balcony, with views of tree tops and the sea.

In a clearing between the tree houses and the reception, there’s a hammock, but during our visit, it seemed to have not been used for a long time. We found a colony of ants making a nest on it.

Just before sunset, I climbed up another tree house, which was unoccupied and looked much smaller and more rickety than the rest. Probably not meant for paying guests, but the host told me it was the perfect spot to view sunset.

A rickety treehouse
The rickety tree house.
 
It was also the highest among all the tree houses. See how high up I was:

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida

It got dark very fast in the forest. After dinner, we went back to our room, and — with nothing else to do — called it a night and switched off the light.

That was when we heard the strange sound. Loud, guttural squeaks that sometimes turned into cackles.

We were quite certain it was an animal sound but had never heard anything like it before. Was it an owl? A toad? An injured boar? Not that we knew what any of those animals sounded like.

Or worse — could it be a kuntilanak?

The sound seemed to have come from above. Peeking out from under our blanket, we gingerly scanned the room with our phone flashlights.

And there on the roof beam, staring down at us with glistening, round eyes was a huge striped gecko. That was our first time seeing a Tokay gecko up close. It was at least 5 times bigger than the common house lizards we were used to back home.

Being the wimpy city people that we were, we quickly hid under the covers and consulted each other. Does that thing bite? Should we just go to sleep and pretend it’s not there? Should we scream for help?

We decided to go to sleep. And silently prayed that the creature wouldn’t lose its footing and fall on us. It was a wonder how we managed to doze off at all.

When my phone alarm woke me up for sunrise the next morning, there was no more gecko.

Sunrise on Nusa Penida
Sunrise view from the tree house balcony.

Facilities

Right next to our tree house were the shared bathrooms. They were clean enough. Be sure to bring your own toiletries.

There was WiFi — our phones connected to it, but it had no internet access. So, it was as good as none.

Bike hire is available at the property, and they can also arrange tours for you.

Meals

The room rate is inclusive of dinner and breakfast. Dinner was a packet of nasi goreng (fried rice) with chicken, eggs, and some crackers.

Dinner at Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
Dinner at Rumah Pohon.

For breakfast, we had a choice of instant noodles, biscuits, and some local pastries. Coffee and tea were available all day long at the reception area.

Breakfast at Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
 Breakfast at Rumah Pohon.

If you’re the type who needs lots of snacks to get by (like me), make sure you bring enough with you, because there are no shops nearby. Keep them in secure bags and containers. You’re practically in a forest — there will be bugs. And geckos.

Checking Out

Checking out was a pleasant surprise for us. After saying goodbye to the dogs, we discovered that we didn’t have to do the short hike back to the car park. Instead, the host took us to another side of the forest, where a zipline was waiting.

Yes, we would be ziplining back to the trailhead! How cool is that?

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida zipline
Waiting for my turn on the zipline.

Our motorbike drivers, whom we already booked the night before were already waiting for us on the other side to take us to the jetty, where we would be continuing our journey to Nusa Lembongan.

The Verdict on Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida

Is Rumah Pohon Jalan Petinggian Worth It?

It’s important to remember that this is not a glamping experience. Do not expect a luxurious air-conditioned hideaway with an ensuite bathroom, a bathtub, and a plasma TV.

Expect bugs. Bring insect repellent. And a sense of adventure.

It’s a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for those people who, like myself, grew up in the city and have never even climbed a tree. It’s for those who want to take a break from hectic city life or 5-star hotels and go back to basics.

Rumah Pohon Jalan Petinggian vs Molenteng

Unlike the more popular tree house, Rumah Pohon Jalan Petinggian provides peace and solitude.

Kristin from Be My Travel Muse shared her experience staying at Rumah Pohon Molenteng, which — due to its popularity — offered little privacy, as tourists kept climbing up to her tree house to take photos.

Last I checked, it was also four times as expensive.

~ ~ ~

While I was adequately satisfied with my tree house experience, the highlight of this place — to me — was the host.

Rumah Pohon Nusa Penida
With the gracious host.

Very kind and accommodating, he clearly took great pride in keeping his guests happy. If you read the reviews on Booking.com, you’ll see that the majority of them mentioned his hospitality.

Meet this kind man and his two equally hospitable canine assistants by making your hotel reservation here.

“Rumah Pohon” Tree House (Jalan Petinggian)

Address: Jalan Petinggian, Nusapenida, Kutampi Kaler, Nusapenida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80771, Indonesia 

Phone: +62 857-3764-8050

Have you stayed in a treehouse before? Where was it? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Rumah pohon nusa penida

Rumah pohon Nusa Penida

Posted in Indonesia

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52 Comments

  1. adianiez AIDA

    alamak. yg scary part tu yg paling aida takotkan if stay sini ha ha ah ha 🙂
    tapi tu la, view dari balcony tu, ya Allah, indah! saujana mata memandang. then, memang x pernah stay kat rumah atas pokok kan, so kalau la dpt kes ini umpama create memori baru.
    mak aii! tinggi! ha ha ha ha aida ni satu hal = gayat! da naik, ntah ntah tak boleh turun dah, ummi 🙂

    • ummi

      Hahaha, yang tinggi tu cuma rumah yang tak berpenghuni tu je, Aida. Tu saya saja2 je panjat, nak tengok sunset. Rumah pohon kitorang tak tinggi macam tu. Tapi kena bersedia la nak share rumah tu dengan serangga atau cicak. 😀

  2. Sis Lin

    Memang ada ekk rumah atas pokok.. Siap ada letrik plak tu.. time malam mesti sejukk kan Ummi, boleh bayangkan sunyi sepinya dengan kicauan burung dan cengkerikk.. dan pagi kabus tebal lihat dr atas, nyamannyaaaa

  3. SalJohari

    Tetiba rasa gayat ! Tapikan…serius kalau dok atas tu tengok pemandangan sure ralit kan ?? Cam rasa takmo turun. Dan bila baca entry ni kan .. dah terasa hembusan bayu tu kat hidung..fresh !!

    • ummi

      Ya, kak Sal. Pemandangan kat situ memang meralitkan, terutama sewaktu sunrise dan sunset. Tak tinggi sangat pun sebenarnya rumah pohon yang kami duduk tu. 🙂

  4. warda

    Teringin nak ke sana juga. Tengok pemandangan pun cantik belaka. Mesti tenang kalau dapat bercuti kat sana kan. Bila lah dapat pergi merantau. Tak sabar!

    • ummi

      Tenang sebab Nusa Penida ni belum lagi sepopular Bali, jadi tak ramai orang sangat. Cuma transport susah sikit la. Kena sewa & drive sendiri atau upah driver.

  5. Nur Decamellia

    Ada berangan juga nak menginap di rumah pohon (tapi bukan di bali, dalam malaysia je). Tapi tak cukup yakin selamat tak bawak anak kecil sekali? Thanks umi share pasal rumah pohon. Seronok duduk atas pokok walaupun tak dapat view yg paling cantik, tapi pengalaman tu tetap berharga 🙂

    • ummi

      Hmm.. kalau bawak anak kecik tu, saya tak berapa pasti, Nur. Tengok jenis rumah pohon la. Ada yang lebih mewah dan selesa, ala2 glamping. Kalau yg mcm ni, susah sikit kot. Nak kena hike lg, pastu kena perhati la budak2 tu, takut jatuh ke apa.

  6. Josy A

    Oooh awesome Ummi! This may not have been the treehouse you expected from the pictures, but I really love the one you ended up in – plus you didn’t have to put up with crowds of influencers taking photos! 😀

    I loooove that your stay finished with a zip line!

    This looks like an amazing place to stay in the end.

    p.s. did you think of a name for the gecko!?

    • ummi

      True, Josy. It was an amazing experience in the end — the treehouse, the meals, the host, the zipline, even the gecko. Haha. No I haven’t thought of a name yet. Maybe ‘kuntilanak’ — after the Indonesian mythical creature that I initially thought it was. 😀

    • ummi

      Ah yes, the lack of A/C can be a bit of a problem, especially if you plan to stay in during the day. Perhaps you could check out the other treehouses — some of them look pretty modern.
      The one I stayed at is not near the sea, but Rumah Pohon Molenteng (the popular one) does have a direct access to the beach.

  7. Melissa

    This looks like such a cool experience! I have always wanted to stay in a tree house like accommodation and this one looks perfect! The ziplining at the end would be the perfect way to end a stay here.

    • ummi

      Yup, it was a cool experience, Melissa. The ziplining was the perfect ending. I hope you’ll check it out when you go to Nusa Penida. 🙂

    • ummi

      Exactly, Kelly. I don’t think I’d vibe with the poshy poshy ones, unless they don’t come with a poshy poshy price tag. 😉

  8. Yanie

    Such a beautiful view! I’ve always wanted to experience living high up on a treehouse like this, probably can put in my bucket list. Just for that experience, siap dengar bunyi gecko lagi hehe nasib baik binatang bukan makhluk lagi satu errkkk!

    • ummi

      Haha, tu la kan, nasib baik binatang, walaupun agak menakutkan juga la gecko tu, sebab kitorang tak pernah tengok gecko sebelum ni. Apa pun, memang pengalaman yang menarik. Harap Yanie pun dapat rasa satu hari nanti. 🙂

  9. Lynda

    I was all ready to go until you mentioned that you felt the house shake with every little movement. And then the gecko. Nope. It looks lovely, but I am too much of a city person and like to feel like I am on firm ground.

    • ummi

      Hahaha, totally understandable, Lynda. I’m a city person too, but I don’t mind a change of scenery every now and then. 😀

    • ummi

      True, Venaugh. It’s indeed a great place to stay at if you wish to unplug and disconnect for a bit. I hope you’ll get to visit Bali and the surrounding islands soon. 🙂

  10. Jan

    Quite an adventurous staycation! Tree house and then the gecko. I would have been scared to death. The food looks yummy. Well, great experience in Nusa Penida. 🙂

    • ummi

      Thanks, Jan. I think I would have been really scared too had I been alone. I don’t like reptiles. 🙁 Other than that, it was great!

  11. Sharyn

    What a cool experience. Lots of positives despite the influencers. Bali and its islands are on my list to visit when I can finally leave Australia.

    • ummi

      The one that I stayed at wasn’t too touristy and didn’t have any so-called influencer trying to take selfies there. I hope things will get better soon so you can visit Bali and the surrounding islands. 🙂

  12. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions

    What an interesting place. I hadn’t heard of Nusa Penida before, but I definitely want to explore beyond Bali when I go to Indonesia. It’s too bad that the treehouse you booked wasn’t the one you were expecting, but it sounds like an interesting experience regardless. I would like the solitude as well, and I would be really annoyed to book the most famous one only to have people constantly nearby trying to take pictures.

    • ummi

      Yup, this one is pretty secluded, Kevin. So if you want some solitude, this would be the perfect place to go. Everything turned out well in the end and we really enjoyed our stay. 🙂

  13. Saidila Abdul Rahman

    Ni antara tempat dalam senarai akak nak pergi tahun 2020. Tak sangka dah masuk tahun 2021 ni jangan kata nak ke luar negara nak ke luar daerah pun payah. Tapi syok sangat tengok Ummi stay kat sini. Lagilah kat rumah pokok tu. Memang lagi tinggi lagi best sebab boleh nampak pemandangan yang sangat cantik.

    • ummi

      Hmm, sedih kan, kak Saidila, bila semua travel plan kena cancel dalam masa dua tahun ni. Takpe la, ada rezeki nanti boleh pergi sini. 🙂

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