Testimonials -

Arrived at 0100 am but still greeted with a smile and a snack by resort owner Rod.
Food was great and Plentiful. Nothing was a problem if you wanted something different from the Kitchen - just had to ask. We were also invited to get into the kitchen and show the staff something new.
Waves out front. My excellent legs served me well for transport to the surf. Other waves were easily accessible via car which was available whenever it was required
Rod Knows his spot. Surfed every day for 10 days. The Left at Instana Ombak is not for everyone especially over 6'. Bring your biggest set of balls :)
I went with my Family. I surfed Morning and afternoon and through the middle of the day we were taken on various trips around the area. Must see - Pacitan Market. Especially the fresh meat section !!!
All staff where friendly and helpful at all times. Always smiling.
From WS point of view everything went smoothly and to plan. Well worth booking everything through WS
Garuda was Fantastic. The new VISA on the plane arrangement was great and saved a lot of confucion on arrival (our first trip to Indo)

Jonathon Scaysbrook

Luxury! Only Resort on the beach for miles. Rod Instant Lad!

Sashimi, almost every nigth for entree, I don't want to give away any more surprises. Good luck to anyone trying to finish everything on the table at dinner! Breakfast, brunch, lunch, arvo tea, whenever and whatever was freshest from the market that day. Dont forget to try a coconut.

No Air con-it's not needed, fans are there if needed. The Pool is Grand! Rooms cleaned regulary and whenever requested. Taps and showers scattered everywhere so you don't get sand everywhere. The tower is the best.

Beer, juice, coke, sprite, water all on ice before, after and during the surf. The vans are nice with a/c. Boards on the roof no problem, anytime anywhere you're the Boss!

Rod knows everything, leave your ego at home. Out the front gets very Heavy at times and there are plenty of other spots within 45min drive to try. Rod will suggest where is best and where is not, but once again you are the boss, but I'd take Rods advice 4 sure.

Insane! No crowds No Rubbish in the water Enjoy the trade winds!

Above and beyond what I expected! We watched the footy on the TV, Rod had hot chips ready for qtr time. Cocktail at half time!

Mick Sheridan

I meet my brother in ‘Jogya’ for the three hour drive to Istana Ombak or Wave Palace as it’s known in English. Karna our driver greets us in Jogya and the A/C van is well stocked with an esky full of the coldest Bintangs in Indo which makes the somewhat bumpy 3 hour drive very comfortable.

Rod Steeles is the man behind Wave Palace and even at night you can tell he runs a quality operation. We are shown to our spacious rooms before being offered an entrée of fresh Tuna Sashimi & sushi. We meet the other guests already staying at the resort which include Mikala Jones (Hawaiian Pro now living in Bali) & his family, Lennox Pro James Wood, his girlfriend Renae, friends Rhian, Simon, Robbie and his girlfriend Nat.

It’s not long before Miss Wynn and the other wave palace staff present the main course which is more like a feast. The table is decked with BBQ’d Tengirri (Indonesian Spanish Mackerel), Chicken Sates, Tempeh, KFC-style ‘popcorn-Tuna’, Javanese greens & vegie stir-fry. I thought it could be tough to beat the entrée & main from the first night but I soon learn this is a standard thing at Wave Palace. Over the course of the week we have a variety of Javanese & Indonesian dinner dishes with a Lobster night thrown in the mix. We are served entrees every night with Sashimi & sushi featuring predominantly on the menu.

Breakfast generally starts with a ‘Kopi Jawa’ (Javanese Coffee) while the girls in the kitchen whip up one or multiple Omelettes, Jaffles, Banana Pancakes (best in Indo in mine & many others’ opinion) and fruit plates, not to mention a banana smoothie or two. Lunch is similar with guests able to choose one or more items from the lunch menu including Mie Goreng, Nasi Goreng, Chicken & Rice, Noodle Soup, and or Jaffles. Whether you feel like Water, Pocari Sweat, Soft Drinks, Bintang, or Juice there is always plenty of it on hand and cold.

If you think the food is impressive then wait until you see the wave setup out the front. It’s the kind of place you would have drawn as a kid at school…a quality yet challenging barreling left on one side of the bay and a shorter hollow right on the opposite side. The best thing is with the resort’s proximity to the two waves it’s only a short paddle away so you can really time your sessions. If it’s too crowded (4 – 6 guys out) or if the tide is too low for your liking then you can just wait for the conditions to change or watch the action pool-side with a cold beer or freshly picked coconut.

Over the course of our stay the surf dished up everything from fun 2–3ft whackable walls on the left to 3-5ft flawless barrels and even a couple of days of 6ft slabs. On most days both the right & left break simultaneously which makes it like watching a tennis match for any spectators on the beach or in the pool. I generally don’t discriminate but it wasn’t until day 4 that I actually surfed the right. It’s a shorter wave than the left but still really hollow and really fun on the smaller days. It’s a challenging wave on the bigger days but rewards are there for those willing to commit. With epic waves out front most of the week we didn’t get much time to surf all the waves in the area but we did get to test the cruisey river mouth left about 45mins drive from the resort. There are other waves in the area including rights, lefts, and a few beachies that break on different tide, swell & wind combinations.

We scoped a couple of Rod’s secret spots (I dare not mention where) while trolling lures in his sturdy centre-console boat but the swell just wasn’t quite right and the tide a bit high. Rod’s boat is powered by a recently purchased 85hp outboard and it really handles well in the big swells that constantly batter the Javanese coastline. From the boat you get a really good perspective of the breathtaking coastline that surrounds Wave Palace. In my opinion, this coastline puts the twelve apostles in Victoria to shame.

Rod & the resort staff teed up a couple of cultural tours for us including the local Caves (some of the biggest in South-East Asia) and a scenic canoe trip down the local river. In amongst all the surfing, sightseeing, and kicking back in the resort pool with icy cold Bintangs and the odd cocktail, we also manage a couple of fierce Ping Pong matches. We might have beaten NSW in the state of origin but they got us back in the Ping Pong tournament.

Justin Scanlan

" Had the best time staying at Istanaombak…Wave Palace. A crazy hollow left and right , you could not draw a better set-up! Hanging in the camp which is literally on the sand was unreal. Beautiful coastline and some awesome local cuisine… so much fun.".

Keiren Perrow

Having travelled, lived & surfed extensively throughout Indonesia since the 1980s and experienced some ultra magic places throughout the Indonesian archipelago during my time- Rod's 'Istana Ombak –Wave Palace' environmentally conscious hideaway completely took me by surprise. Not easy after a quarter of a century of Indo hustle ! Istana Ombak is in a word "unique", so close to everything Java has to offer but yet so far removed, so far away in time. You want surf, scenery and serenity, a hassle free holiday then utopia can be yours when you spend some time hangin out here. Rod has created a comfortable low key haven for a limited number of surfers / family & friends who wish to experience the joys & simplicity of an earlier time to which people sort an Indo escape. No hassles no hawkers no shopping !! Just great fresh food, friendly locals, coldest beer & a whole lotta fun.While the surf was the initial attraction for me I returned with my wife to find that there were far more hidden treasures to be had in this remote green cool space of Java. I dare not deliver on these here but digress and allow you to discover the romance that Rods reveals if you ever have the pleasure in visiting this diverse and unique area of Rod's world in Java.
Oh yeah – the sunsets you'll die for !

Terima kasih banyak Pak Rod untuk Istana Ombak – looking forward to our next sojourn…

Steve Bergan

One of the best Indo trips I've done. Uncrowded great food great waves. Definitely one of the nicer places to stay in Indo. Can't wait till you put the pool in so I can have a couple of Bintangs in it. Can't wait to get back there and get pitted.

Evan McGregor

Had a month up there and offshore everyday,never got under 3'. Good fishing, fresh sashimi,lobster, mudcrab an array of fish caught in the boat. Uncrowded az. Unreal staff couldnt help more , coldest binnies in Indo. Farrkn grouse joint back there in a heart beat.

Jimmy Kennedy

Great food epic starff.. Booked for my birthday next may .. Who's coming??

James 'Taipan' Wood.

Why Should you go? Surf of course....No shopping! Amazing food especially loved by me a vegan food lover- traditional indo style, mesmerising aesthetics, lush accommodation with a cool vibe not uber fancy just great! And lovers nook in the far corner is super special..the sound of the sea to lull you to sleep. Pretty hard, not telling about the cool people that live in the village....2012.

Kellie O

July 2011

Return to the Wave Palace

The trade-winds had started to blow, clearing the rain clouds and marking the start of the dry across the Indonesian archipelago. Though early in the season, storms were already brewing far over the horizon in the Oceans lower latitudes, their distant fury tempered to ruler lines by the Indian Oceans vast expanse.

We had been watching from afar, scanning the internet models for the tell tale bands or red and orange that translated to azure swell-lines stacked to the horizon and fanned by the trades. The first such blobs of the 2011 season promised a solid six-to-eight foot southwest swell with light trades in Java. Phone calls were made, bags packed and I flew out to Bali to meet my brother Stephen and photographer, Bradley Masters.

We arrived late at night and caught the first flight to Java early the next morning. Our driver Mas Aris was there to meet us. In another life Mas Aris must have been a race car driver. He was weaving in and out of traffic like he was trying to beat his personal best time. It was a white-knuckled ride, but he turned a three hour drive into a two hour dash.

When we arrived at the ISTANAOMBAK resort a pleasant surprise awaited us‚ creature comforts. My last visit four years ago had been a different affair, and after doing time in a tent with no running water, toilets or power, the comfortable rooms, toilets, friendly staff and running hot showers were a welcome relief from the lush Javanese jungle that surrounds the resort, right down to the water's edge.

The resort owner, Rod Steele, brought me here on that first trip. Since then he's been working to build the only resort in the area, employing local labour and helping the community to grow with a percentage of his profits going to the families of this small village. This has made for a really safe resort, supportive and happy community.

Rod has named the resort "ISTANAOMBAK" which means 'wave palace'.
It's fitting. When i was a little kid I would draw bays identical to this one; a perfect right at one end and a perfect left on the other with a small channel in-between. It's a salubrious setup for any surfer.

We went for a swell, and a big one at that. It never got under four foot and on the biggest day there were the odd ten-foot bombs pushing through. There were never more then four people out at once and most of the time it was just my brother Stephen and me trading waves. Sometimes with Stephen on the right and me on the left, both of us would get spat out into the channel on the same wave. All time.

Indonesia is getting crowded these days. It's hard to find empty lineups. This was Rod's motivation for establishing Indoecosurf's small-capacity resort far from Bali's crowds. Oh, and as it picks up more swell than many more poplular spots, you are pretty much guaranteed to score waves in one of Indonesia's most scenic locations.

Anthony Walsh

April 2011

I'd just like to say a sincere thank you for my recent trip to your fantastic new eco surf resort at Istanaombak!
It was an amazing experience in Java from pick up to drop off at Jogjakarta Airport and I can honestly say there wasn't one facet of the trip I didn't enjoy! The surf set up has so much potential and what really impressed me was the variety and options no matter the wind and swell direction within a short trip by either one of your boats or courtesy of your driver (on hand at all times) with of course the jewels in the crown no doubt the quality left & right hand waves straight in front of your resort.

I know you were putting on the finishing touches to the accommodation when I was there but the bungalows were already so nice and it was a luxury to have hot showers and ensuite bathrooms. Special mention must also go to your friendly staff not only were they helpful and reliable but the food was delicious especially the lobster, mud crab & sushumi (which seemed to be on tap) in that unique indo style with everything fresh & straight from the sea.

I thought the weather was ideal with that cooling breeze (it seemed less humid than Bali) and I personally didn't see a mozzie. The water temp must have been 25 or 26c and just in front was great for swimming and snorkelling when you just want a quick cool off. Not forgetting the 'sunset tour' in your boat with a bit of fishing and sight seeing along that part of the spectacular Javanese coastline.

You must be really proud of the way you are developing your resort while doing it in a way that is sensitive to the environment, and helping the local people and their economy at the same time. You could see how the locals were always pleased to see us all and there was a genuine respect for you and what you are putting back into their community.

Rod you’re a great host mate and special mention must be made that even under great 'demand' the beer was always icy cold and never ran out. I look forward to my next stay and hopefully will be able to bring the family, as I reckon they will love it!

Wishing you every success with your venture.

Greg Spray
RNLI Divisional Lifeguard Manager - Cornwall

Mid 2012 trip

Mid 2012 trip

Mid 2011 trip

Early 2011 trip

2010 trip