Mamasa Cottages doesn’t operate anymore – an empty shell – and the much touted Mantana Lodge is a sad affair, cockroach infested and run down. Three options seem quite reasonable, although, as every place in Mamasa, all quite basic. (1) There is a Wisata of which I cannot remember the name in the centre, very close to the tourist office, which has some rooms with Western toilets and mandis, but no hot water, on the first floor, and has pleasant lobby areas with comfortable sofas and seats. (2) A little outside the town centre in the direction Polewali, 20 minutes walk or a short ojek ride, is the Sistra Guesthouse, no hot water, no shower, just a mandi, but Western toilets and very clean. Another advantage is the restaurant opposite, from the same owner, with good food. (3) We settled for the Pondak Indah Hotel, 200 meters closer to town than the Sistra, which is a guesthouse, really, with bamboo-matted rooms in traditional house setting, nice balconies with great view over the valley, and – get this – if you are lucky, hot water from the nearby spring on tap. No shower, just a mandi, and a little sulphurous smell. Benefits from the same restaurant, obviously, and has another good local restaurant next door, too. In between the Sistra and Pondak Indah is Nusantra, the operator of the hot spring, where you can enjoy a warm-to-hot pool, and where you can have a wash, too.

No internet, but there is an internet cafe, with poor and slow connections, just outside the town center at the start of the road to Polewali.

date: November 2013

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