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12 Best Hotels in Lake Toba and Samosir Island for All Budgets

12 Best Hotels in Lake Toba and Samosir Island for All Budgets

The best hotels in Lake Toba will make sure that your getaway to the world’s largest crater lake is an unforgettable one.

Located in North Sumatra, Lake Toba is easily one of Sumatra’s most popular tourist destinations. I use that phrase loosely, as Sumatra is still a largely offbeat travel destination and receives nowhere near as many tourists as other Indonesian islands such as Bali or Java.

While accommodation options can be limited in many parts of Sumatra, I was surprised and impressed by the large variety of Lake Toba hotels on offer. The crater lake plays hosts to everything from large four-star resorts and villas to budget-friendly guesthouses and even glamping accommodation.

Many of the hotels in Lake Toba have sloping roofs which resemble the traditional Batak architecture of Samosir Island at the centre of the lake.

Samosir Island island’s main village Tuk Tuk is considered by many to be the best place to stay at Lake Toba, as most of the hotels have direct access to the lake and are surrounded by opportunities to learn about the island’s unique Batak culture.

Whether you’re visiting Lake Toba for relaxation or to get stuck into a heavy schedule of excursions to hikes, waterfalls, and museums, read on to find the best hotel in Lake Toba for your budget.

As a travel journalist and blogger, I have stayed at some of the best hotels around the world. Therefore, I keep this guide to the best hotels in Lake Toba regularly up to date with new openings.

Check out my Sumatra backpacking guide for a full Sumatra itinerary or browse more of my Sumatra guides, which include my Harau Valley travel guide, things to do in Bukittinggi, and things to do at Maninjau Lake, a small and intimate 52,000-year-old crater lake in west Sumatra.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you decide to click through and make a qualifying purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you – thanks for your support.

AT A GLANCE: Best Hotels in Lake Toba and Samosir Island

Best Luxury Hotel in Lake Toba

Hotel Niagara Parapat (Parapat): A luxury hilltop resort with unbeatable views and sunsets.

Best Luxury Hotels in Lake Toba:

  1. Hotel Niagara Parapat (Parapat)
  2. Taman Simalem Resort (Tongging)
  3. KHAS Parapat (Parapat)
Sloping Batak architecture with lake views at one of the best hotels in Lake Toba.

The Best Backpackers Hotel

Reggae Guest House (Samosir Island): A friendly backpackers’ haunt with direct access to the lake.

Best Backpacker Hotels in Lake Toba:

  1. Reggae Guest House (Samosir Island)
  2. Laster Jony’s (Samosir Island)
  3. Romlan (Samosir Island)

The Best Value For Money

Zoe’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel (Samosir Island): A sustainable lakefront hotel with a focus on cultural excursions.

Best Mid-Budget Hotels in Lake Toba:

  1. Zoe’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel (Samosir Island)
  2. Juma Cottages (Samosir Island)
  3. Toba Village Inn (Samosir Island)

The Best ‘Wow’ Factor

Bobocabin Signature Toba (Parapat): Log cabins at Lake Toba’s only glamping resort.

The Best Place to Stay in Lake Toba

1. Samosir Island

View from Reggae Guest House, one of the best hotels in Lake Toba for backpackers.

View from Reggae Guest House

Samosir Island is widely regarded as the best place to stay in Lake Toba. It’s also known locally as the ‘Tuktuk Peninsula’ due to the name name of its main tourist village Tuk Tuk.

Why? That’s easy. Samosir Island has some of the best views of Lake Toba. It’s also home to the Batak people, an indigenous group in North Sumatra. This unique culture makes the island particularly fascinating; there are museums, traditional Batak-style architecture, and cultural activities for tourists to explore.

View over Samosir Island vegetation and lake from a hilltop.

Samosir Island is also easy to explore by scooter or car. The island stretches over around 240 square miles, so a complete circuit can be done in around two or three days.

As one of the best places to stay in Lake Toba, Samosir Island is home to many of the best hotels in Lake Toba.

There are luxury hotels and resorts for those who can afford a more indulgent break, as well as affordable guesthouses and mid-budget hotels.

Most of the hotels are located on the waterfront in the main village of Tuk Tuk and have direct access to the lake for swimming, kayaking and other watersports. The village has handfuls of restaurants and shops.

Blue water in the morning at Lake Toba, a backpacking Sumatra destination.

Ambarita, next to Tuk Tuk, is a slightly more peaceful village with more hotels.

Tobasa on the eastern shore of the island is the quietest location, however. It only has a few guesthouses and hotels.

Quick Picks: Best Hotels in Samosir Island and Tuk Tuk

2. Parapat

Parapat is the main tourist town on the mainland of Lake Toba. To get to Samosir Island, you must take the ferry from the port in Parapat.

The ferry terminal runs regular ferries between Parapat and Samosir Island, each taking between 30 and 50 minutes one way.

Parapat has some of the best views aside from Samosir Island. It also has a huge amount of restaurants and shops, as the town is home to many locals. That’s the main difference from Tuk Tuk in Samosir Island; Tuk Tuk is populated primarily by tourists.

One of the main reasons why you might want to stay in Parapat rather than Tuk Tuk is to have easier access to attractions on the mainland, such as the Sipiso Piso Waterfall and Situmurum Waterfall.

Ferries to Samosir are so regular and short that it’s easy to visit the island too.

Quick Picks: Best Hotels in Parapat

3. Tongging

View over Tongging at Lake Toba.

I’d recommend staying in Tongging if you want to visit the Sipiso Piso Waterfall.

Sipiso Piso is one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia. The water comes from an underground river fed by Lake Toba, before it is dumped from a height of over 120 metres into a small but deep pool.

Sipiso Piso Waterfall in North Sumatra near Lake Toba.

You could stay in Tongging after visiting Samosir Island, as it’s quite far from the ferry terminal between Parapat and Tuk Tuk.

However, note that some of the best hotels in Tongging may run their own private boats to Samosir Island.

Quick Picks: Best Hotels in Tongging

4. Balige

Balige is one of the more peaceful places to stay in Lake Toba. It is located on the mainland at the south of the crater, 60 kilometres south of Parapat.

This is the place to go if you want peace and quiet. Surrounded by mountains and Tarabunga Hill, it feels tucked away from the main tourist areas.

Balige has a beautiful sandy beach and easy access to Siburuon Waterfall. If you want to try some unusual hikes, this is also a good place to stay.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few hotels to choose from. It seems that it has been identified as a great ‘offbeat’ alternative.

Quick Picks: Best Hotels in Balige

What to Expect from the Best Hotels in Lake Toba

The best hotels in Lake Toba should have access to the lake in some shape or form.

Swimming in the world’s largest crater lake is very much a bucket-list activity, so staying in a Lake Toba hotel without lake access can be a dealbreaker.

Handily, most budget, mid-budget and luxury hotels have either a beach, a pontoon, or a ladder into the lake. If not, they are not too far from the nearest beach.

What differentiates the luxury hotels from the rest are features such as swimming pools, large restaurants, gardens, beaches, and room service.

For budget travellers and backpackers, there are currently no hostels at Lake Toba.

However, there are a number of popular budget-friendly guesthouses in Tuk Tuk. Laster Jony’s and Reggae Guesthouse are the two main places where backpackers mingle (and they both have access to the lake and a restaurant).

Most of the luxury hotels and resorts are located in the area of Parapat, whereas mid-budget and budget hotels are located on Samosir Island and particularly in the village of Tuk Tuk.

The Best Hotels in Lake Toba for Luxury

1. Hotel Niaggara Parapat (4 stars)

Location: Parapat, Lake Toba

Reviews: 8.6/10

Price: £££

Hotel Niagara Parapat is Lake Toba’s best-equipped luxury resort. Resting on a hillside just above the town of Parapat on the west of the crater, the resort has an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, tennis court, greenhouse, basketball court, zipwire, playground, and – wait for it – a helicopter pad.

If you’re used to the finer things in life, this is the Lake Toba hotel for you.

Take your pick from the rooms, suites, and villas at Hotel Niagara. Some are shaped with walls and roofs resembling the traditional Batak houses, while others with direct access to the resort’s swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Facilities: Outdoor pool, jacuzzi, restaurant, tennis court, greenhouse, basketball court, Flying Fox, playground, running track, and helipad.

2. Taman Simalem Resort (4 Stars)

Location: Tongging, Lake Toba

Reviews: 8.1/10

Price: £££

Taman Simalem Resort is considered by many to be the best of the best hotels at Lake Toba, and it’s easy to see why. The hilltop resort cascades over 206 hectares, and at 1,200 metres above sea level, the views of Lake Toba are hard to beat.

The resort’s hotel rooms, lodges, and villas have access to activities and facilities such as a three-hole golf course, a maze, and trekking or day trips to Samosir Island and the Sipiso Piso Waterfall. An organic farm also helps to feed the farm-to-table restaurant.

Just as a side note, the resort hosts a campground with 2-day and 1-night packages.

Facilities: Organic farm, restaurant, golf course, maze, and campground.

3. Tabo Cottages

Location: Samosir Island

Google Reviews: 4.8/5

Price: £££

Tabo Cottages is one of the first hotels you’ll spot when you cruise towards Samosir Island on the ferry from Parapat. With a large signpost, an outdoor pool, and a huge assortment of Batak-style huts spread across the lawn, it is unmistakable.

The resort is a popular fixture on the island, largely owing to its lakefront position and the fact that it is one of the oldest and best hotels in Samosir Island.

It was founded by Antonius Silalahi, a local Batak man, and Annette Horschmann, a German woman who was adopted into a local clan during her travels in 1993. The married couple founded the hotel and have three children who also work in the family business.

Facilities: Outdoor swimming pool, restaurants (Indonesian, Western and Chinese cuisine), German bakery, coffee shop, tours, and a small wellness centre.

4. Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa

Location: Balige, Lake Toba

Reviews: 7.8/10

Price: £££

If you value the privacy of a villa, Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa is one of Lake Toba’s only hotels which offers both private villas and hotel rooms.

The hotel is located in Balige, a quiet town surrounded by forests in the south of Lake Toba, making it an excellent place to unwind and soak up daily and nightly views of the crater lake.

Set directly on the lakefront, the villas at Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa have four to eight bedrooms with or without lake views.

Guests can take a break in the infinity pool situated above the lake. As the hotel is only accessible by boat, it feels like a very private retreat.

Facilities: Infinity pool, restaurant, garden, shared lounge, and airport shuttle.

5. KHAS Parapat (3 Stars)

Location: Parapat, Lake Toba

Reviews: 7.4/10

Price: £££

When it comes to indulgent lakefront getaways, KHAS Parapat knows what it’s doing. The three-star resort in Parapat has its very own white-sand beach for swimming and watersports.

The hotel also has its very own top-of-the-range coffee shop with hipster vibes, as well as a lakefront coffee terrace and a seperate restaurant.

Take your pick from Dutch-style suites with private pools or general hotel rooms with lake views.

Facilities: Private sandy beach, watersports, restaurant, coffee shop, and coffee terrace.

The Best Hotels in Lake Toba for Budget or Backpackers

1. Reggae Guest House

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 7.6/10

Price: £££

Sloping Batak architecture with lake views at one of the best hotels in Lake Toba.
Man walks down steps to a pontoon at Reggae Guesthouse, a Lake Toba hotel.

Reggae Guest House has one of the best reputations among backpackers in Sumatra. Located on the lakefront in Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island, the rooms have lake views and a ladder, pontoon, and rope swing for guests to swim in the lake.

The best way to sum up Reggae Guesthouse is cheap and cheerful. The rooms are basic but have exceptional views, and some come with balconies.

Above the hotel rooms, there’s a shared lounge and balcony with tables where guests can tuck into Indonesian or Western dishes and coffees or milkshakes whipped up by the owners.

Facilities: Restaurant, lake access, shared lounge and balcony, and scooter hire.

2. Laster Jony’s

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 8.5/10

Price: £££

Laster Jony’s has been on the backpackers’ map for a good, long while. Many locals recommend Laster Jony’s.

Guests can sit on the deck next to the lake or dive into the water directly from the guesthouse. The friendly owners can help you to rent a motorbike. They also run a restaurant which offers food delivery to your own if you wish.

This isn’t a hotel that you’d go to for mod cons and luxuries, but rather for the friendly, sociable atmosphere and the chance to meet other solo travellers.

Facilities: Restaurant, lake access, and motorbike rental.

3. Romlan

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 8.9/10

Price: £££


Romlan is a budget Lake Toba hotel which is quickly rising in popularity among backpackers. It is located in the village of Ambarita on Samosir Island, which is just along from Tuk Tuk village. It’s considered to be Tuk Tuk’s more peaceful neighbour.

Surrounded by palm trees and greenery, Romlan sits on the lakefront, meaning that swimming is possible. The fact that Romlan is so affordable might come as a surprise, because it also has a restaurant.

Facilities: Restaurant, lake access, terrace, scooter rental, and WiFi.

4. Bagus Bay Guest House

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: /10

Price: £££

Cheap and friendly, Bagus Bay Homestay is located on Samosir Island in the main village of Tuk Tuk. There’s plenty to do at the hotel aside from the obvious job of reserving a sunlounger and soaking up the views over the crater lake.

There’s a large, semi-open restaurant with rattan furniture, along with a terrace, snooker room, and a bar and restaurant. The homestay often hosts live music and other acts, making it a particularly lively hotel in Lake Toba.

Facilities: Lake access, restaurant, live performances, snooker table, and sunloungers.

The Best Hotels in Lake Toba for Mid-Budget Breaks

1. Zoe’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel (3 stars)

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 8.2/10

Price: £££

Zoe’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel is a boutique hotel with a sustainable ethos. Located on Samosir Island, the bright-red building is set behind an outdoor swimming pool and has views over the crater lake and distant slopes. Batak-style shelters sit beside the lake, providing an additional place to unwind.

Managed by Indonesian and Swiss owners, the hotel is one of Lake Toba’s pioneering sustainable hotels, having invested significant resources into limiting waste and energy usage and supporting the local communities. The hotel’s namesake, Zoe, is a traveller who was adopted into a local clan and who set up the hotel.

The restaurant serves traditional Batak cuisine prepared by local chefs. Their tours focus on authentic experiences so that guests can learn about and experience the Batak culture first-hand.

Facilities: Outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, tours, motorbike hire and other excursions.

2. Juma Cottages

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 9.2/10

Price: £££

Juma Cottages on Samosir Island provides a great balance between comfort and affordability. A spacious garden and terrace extends from the shore of the lake to a series of surprisingly spacious hotel rooms. Many of these come with a balcony and a lake view.

Guests rave about the breakfast served in the restaurant, the barbecue area, and the fact they can swim directly from the pier.

Facilities: Lake access, restaurant, lawn, terrace, barbecue area, and scooter rental.

3. Toba Village Inn

Location: Samosir Island

Reviews: 7.9/10

Price: £££

With Pusuk Buhit Mountain on the horizon and the lake directly in front, Toba Village Inn ticks many boxes for a mid-budget hotel.

Western-style breakfasts are served directly by the crater lake. Chase the breakfast down with a morning swim in the outdoor pool or by taking a tour or scooter around Samosir Island.

Facilities: Outdoor pool, restaurant, car or scooter rental, garden, launderette, and bookable tours.

4. Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa

Location: Balige, Lake Toba

Reviews: 7.8/10

Price: £££

While Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa‘s villas are more expensive, the standard hotel rooms are an excellent mid-budget hotel option in Lake Toba.

Set in the quiet area of Balige at the south of the crater lake, they provide a peaceful reprieve from the busier tourist areas while still being just a short boat ride away from Samosir Island and Parapat.

Facilities: Infinity pool, restaurant, garden, shared lounge, and airport shuttle.

Glamping at Lake Toba: Bobocabin Signature Toba

Location: Parapat, Lake Toba

Reviews: 8.9/10

Price: £££ – £££

Hotels are not the only way to experience the world’s largest crater lake. Bobocabin Signature Toba is a glamping site in the forest near Parapat.

Located on a hillside with jaw-dropping views over the lake, the unusual log cabins are kitted out with firepits for late-night stargazing and windows to take in the views down the valley. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Facilities: Lake views, terrace, and WiFi.

Summary: Best Lake Toba Hotels for Couples

Luxury: Tiara Bunga Hotel & Villa

Budget: Reggae Guest House

Middle ground: Bobocabin Signature Toba

Best Lake Toba Hotels for Families

Luxury: Taman Simalem Resort

Budget: Romlan

Middle ground: Toba Village Inn

Best Lake Toba Hotels for Solo Travellers

Luxury: Hotel Niagara Parapat

Budget: Reggae Guest House

Middle ground: Zoe’s Paradise Waterfront Hotel


Are there hostels in Lake Toba?

There are no hostels at Lake Toba or Samosir Island. However, there are budget-friendly guesthouses in the village of Tuk Tuk on Samosir Island which are popular with the backpacking community. These include Reggae Guesthouse and Laster Jony’s.

How long should you stay at Lake Toba?

The best amount of time to spend at Lake Toba is 3-5 days. This gives you time to visit sites across Samosir Island and to relax.

Suggested reading for Sumatra:

Best Resources for Sumatra:


Katie Treharne

Escape Artist Katie owner riding a yellow quad bike over former lava fields on Mount Mayon in the Philippines.

I’m Katie, the owner of Escape Artist Katie. I have been travel writing since 2018, including writing for luxury travel magazines and publications such as Wanderlust.

As well as being a digital nomad who works and lives abroad permanently, I’m a big advocate for offbeat travel and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

I hope you found my article useful – find out more about me here or keep up with my travels on Instagram.