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Hotel Kerobokan

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,407 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan, the ironic name given to Bali's most notorious jail by its inmates. It's a bizarre nether world where murderers sleep alongside petty thieves, drug and alcohol addiction is rife, guards are corrupt and money talks. Into this hellhole have passed a procession of the infamous and the tragic: the Bali bombers, Gold Coast beautician Schapelle Corby, ...more
ebook, 337 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Macmillan Australia (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Kathryn Bonella
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

The Indonesians understand how bad their jails are as the Jakarta Globe (one of the country's biggest selling daily english newspapers) states in an article today:

"But those who spend time in Kerobokan prison on the holiday island of Bali say the jail is still a cesspool of bribery, drugs and clandestine sex, despite a management overhaul aimed at cleaning up its image.

“You can still get anything you want if you have the money,” an Australian prisoner tol
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally share what I've read with others, but this is an exception. One of the more compelling/disturbing reads I've come across in a while; it's an insight into life at the notorious Kerobokan Prison (otherwise dubbed as Hotel K in this book, for its seemingly cheap hotel exterior). It will shock you, and one hell of a mindf***er this really is.

In a way, it's tainted my perception somewhat of picture-perfect Bali. You cannot fathom all the atrocities (rampant sex, gang rape, murder; j
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had great expectations for this book as i enjoy this genre but i found it read more like a series of articles rather than an actual "story". There were plenty of shocking accounts of life inside this squalid and corrupt Bali prison but towards the end these tales of drugs and corruption grew repetitive and tiresome.

I think if the author had focused more on explaining the individual prisoners personal stories it would have made for a more structured read, rather than jumping back and forth to v
Simon Davies
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came on a holiday to bali,and read this book on the first day. I kept readng until I finished - couldnt put it down - Later we drove by Kerobokan prison.
A fantastic book. I like the way it uses quotes from local newspapers to back up the stories. Well written. My girlfirend is now reading it. I highly recommend it. Sure does make you think why anyone would take drugs there.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Supposedly and honest account of what actually goes on behind the walls of the infamous Kerobokan Jail in Bali. I spend a lot of time in Indonesia and based on what I've leaned over the years, I think this book is right on the money! It is however not unlike any other Indonesian jail, tales of corruption, dishonest guards, bribery, drug abuse and prostitution, outings to the beach, clubs and pool halls are apparently all happening as we speak! Money can buy you just about anything in Indonesia i ...more
Ron Heis
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I have been on the inside of Hotel Kerobokan for the 2 weeks I took to read this book. I could feel the Bali humidity, the tension, the anxiety and the total frustration in each of the personal accounts. I could feel and understand the seeking for any relief, or dulling of the senses that could help an inmate through the day ... Kathryn , you have done a Great Job of telling these harrowing stories with all the sordid details . I had only driven past Hotel K. before , but now strange ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would like to recommend to read this book before you go to Bali!!! What is possible to happen whilst you're on the paradise island!

It's sad, violent, harsh, bizarre, super crazy & bizarrely funny.

Once the jail broke, I was living behind the prison, coming back from work, all my friends said to lock myself in as there was a riot & prisoners tried to hide in people's houses.

One particular face of a Frenchman was someone who lived next door from work when the cops busted him & he ran ac
Brian Cleary
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in amazing stories
Recommended to Brian by: my mate at work
this is a page turner. I couldn't put it down. it gives great insight into what happens in this bali jail and it is truly compelling. sometimes i felt sick, other times angry but it is a book that moved me continually. i recommend it highly. Hotel Kerobokan by Kathryn Bonella

Als ich letzten Sommer mit meiner Freundin Nachts auf dem Flughafen in Denpasar gelandet bin, hat uns eine ziemlich böse Überraschung erwartet. Neben der Gepäckabgabe standen vier Balinesische Zollbeamte vor meinem offenen Rucksack. Die haben uns dann lautstark redend und wild gestikulierend kreuz und quer durch den Flughafen geführt, uns schließlich in eine Ecke gedrängt und uns unser Geld abgenommen.

Obwohl wir zum Glück nicht so viel Geld dabei hatten, war der Schock groß. Dieser Schock wäre a
Paul Kinsella
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hotel Kerobokan –The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Most Notorious Jail
This book is a real eye opener to what lies behind the almost perfect perception of Bali as the Epitome of Tropical Island Paradises. Hotel Kerobokan is a powerful and somewhat disturbing insight into the Hell-On-Earth that is the Kerobokan Maximum-Security Prison – one of the world’s worst penitentiaries, where Murderers are allowed out for Saturday Night Entertainment on the Town, whilst less fortunate inmates are kept in
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, biography
"You cannot describe what feeling you have when you walk into Kerobokan. It's not like a normal place. Walking down into a dirty room, it's not your language, not your people, another planet. All the time you think you're dreaming; it's not really happening; you're not really there. You don't know what to do or think. You go up and down. It's like you've been kidnapped." - Mick, Australian Inmate.

This book is a fascinating but shocking expose of life inside Bali's 'Hotel K'; where rapists, murde
Aisyah Yusof
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an avid traveller to the blissful island of Bali, reading Hotel Kerobokan was a terrifyingly eye opening yet highly memorable experience. It gave me great insight to the shocking laws and regulations the islanders lived by. From recreational druggies to big time drug smugglers and serial killers to rapists. You would not be able to tell if the infamous Balinese jail was a criminal's idea of heaven or hell. Alike to a Devil's Den, the book is narrated through several telling interviews with al ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well Im not a great reader. At the age of 27. I have only finished 1 book in the past as i lose interest quick.
Any author has a huge challenge to get me to enjoy their book.


The most incredible, scary, on edge and interesting book I have ever picked up. Many of my friends think the same thing too.

This book is one you will not be able to put down.

Kathryn is an incredible writer and writing is easy to read and flows so well.

Massive fan. If your thinking about buying this book. Stop now..
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, it was great. Hotel K seems to be unbelievably terrible place, full of all kind of criminals with all kind of back grounds. Kathryn has ability to write about harsh subject unforgettable. The was she write about prison inmates is very humane, no matter what they have done past you hope better future for them. No one does deserve life in Kerombokan. I was delight to read this story.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the UK edition called HOTEL K. Tthis book is phenomonal. I sat down to read a chapter last night and could not put it down. Terrifyingly real and graphic - it takes you right into the private crazy hell world of this jail in paradise Bali.It gives a very intimate peek at what life is like for the westerners, from all over the world.A great read. But don't plan anything else the night you pick it up to read!
Hannah Frances
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and interesting account into the life of Western prisoners in the most corrupt jail on earth. Parts of these prisoners stories seem unbelievable. Much respect for the author for delving into dangerous situations to achieve great journalism. Read if interested in the justice system under a corrupt government.
Dennis Abbey
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this a while ago but have just read Snowing in Bali from the same author. Am going back to read Hotel kerobokan again. I loved it the first time and Bonella's new book has inspired me to read it again. Fascinating stuff.
Ann-marie Braun
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Put on your skid lid and strap yourself in for this read!!! Kerobokan prison, no place for the faint of heart or spirit. From the rife corruption to the readily availabe sex and drugs........This book left me with my mouth agape!! Yet another great read from Kathryn Bonella! Thankyou
Jarrod Rutley
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
awesome book about life inside one of the worlds hardest prsion's. highly recommened to anyone and everyone.
I don't read much but I couldn't put either of them(hotel kerobokan &snowing in bali) down they a unbelievable insight into the drug underworld and prison life in bali.
Kamalia Kamalia
Kadang-kadang aku rasa nak muntah baca cerita-cerita banduan dalam Hotel K ni. Memang disturbing. Mereka memang kuat sebab masih mampu teruskan hidup dalam penjara Hotel K
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, I couldn't put it down. It give a really good insight as to how corrupt the Indonesian government really is. A must read for anyone who wants to travel to these areas!!
Michelle Martin
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty, real, well-researched. Loved it.
Remi Röthlisberger
One of my best books I've read.
Peter Ellison
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Would highly recommend it.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A shocking eye opener. not for the faint hearted. but a ripping read.
Stuart Hill
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED IT. a real page turner. one minute you laugh, the next you throw up, the next you are shivering.
Sophie Buck
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very intresting!
My husband and I had an amazing honeymoon at Bali and to be honest, I wanted to remain there and didn't want to come home. So when I returned home I missed Bali terribly, I bought four books about it. Surprisingly, they aren't about the heaven and paradise of Bali and all that beautiful stuffs - they are about Bali's some ugly truths. Your first question I believe is why did I buy them when here I am giving an impression of how amazing Bali is. Despite the bliss covered my thoughts, I had a feel ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Kathryn!!

Hotel K is a first hand insight into one of the worlds most violent and corrupt prisons. The bizzare world within the walls of Hotel K are unimaginable. Corruption is everywhere, and everyone and everything has a price. If money can't solve a problem, violence will, and it usually ends in blood shed or worse.

There are many foreigner prisoners in Kerokoban prison from all parts of the world, many of them drawn to Bali for a slice of the lucrative drug trade and the
Rachael Seow
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was shocked but not surprised. That's what really happens in Indonesian prisons. But, hey, corruptions happen everywhere.

I must admit, this is one of the most disturbing and vivid reads besides "Thanks For The Memories". I was disgusted imagining dirty and shitty cells in Hotel K.

One thing for sure: stay away from drugs.
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The Indonesians know how bad Hotel Kerobokan is. 1 15 Dec 06, 2012 07:42PM  
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