The private beach off to the side of our bungalow
After two hours of white-knuckling everything around me in the car — the seat in front of me, the door, the hubby — we arrived at a small port, from where we boarded a boat for a quick 15-minute ride to the island. Not long after we arrived, lunch was served to everyone on the resort, including the management, and I promptly devoured almost an entire plate of crispy potato croquettes filled with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. I needed to keep up my strength, you see, for all the relaxing and napping.
The hubby, snorkeling off our pier
And really, besides the food, the calming nature of Cubadak was the best part about the place. Faced with nothing to do except to roll off of our own private pier into a coral reef, we did exactly what we’d planned on for four days: absolutely nothing. Whenever we were hungry, the resort provided feasts of fried whole garoupa (a local Indonesian fish), pasta and decadent chocolate cake. The whole place harkened back to what I imagine a simpler time in vacationing to be — without a TV or a Blackberry to keep us connected and without a plethora of activities intended to make us feel like we were maximizing every minute of our hard-earned holiday. The only thing missing was a muscular, slightly greasy dance instructor and some teenage romantic melodrama. (No, the hubby’s version of “Walk Like An Egyptian” off the end of our dock does not count.)
Eggplant and tomato pasta the first course at one of our family dinners
That being said, one caution about Cubadak is that it is what it is — basically, it’s a glorified summer camp. It’s well-publicized that the resort is rustic, but, being that I’ve become citified and sissified over the years, I wasn’t prepared for what “rustic” really means. For example, the bungalows don’t have air conditioning, and the hubby and I routinely slathered on mosquito repellent at night to get into bed. The resort is also relatively pricey considering these conditions, even though the cost per person includes all meals and transport to and from the island. These inconveniences were fairly minor, and for interested vacationers living in this part of the world, the hubby and I would recommend a stop by Cubadak for a full-force reality detox. For our friends and family still Stateside, however, we think the time might be better spent in a location with more to see and do. It’s such a trek from the U.S. to make it to this side of the world, so we’d want you to make the most of it and actually see more than sun and sand.
Although … nothing beats a good nap.
Cubadak Island – Paradiso Village is located in West Sumatra, Indonesia. To get there, flights regularly arrive from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur into Padang Airport. From there, it’s a 2-hour drive + 15-minute ferry ride. The cost for the bungalow over water is $165 per person, per night, inclusive of meals and transit. Charges are added for beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.