What we're about


And what we stand for...





Business & Charity in ONE

Rote Island Huts is a Not-for-profit surf retreat that was established in 2012 by the Australian Charity Mercy Huts.


Holidays with purpose

We exist, not only to make sure you have an amazing holiday experience, but to see the local people of Rote Island benefit from the emerging tourism industry.

Responsible Tourism

Our desire is to create a sustainable community based tourism model as we operate a NFP retreat that delights guests, yet gives back to the local people of Rote Island.

Teach a man to fish...

and feed him for a lifetime... 

We believe in building capacity in our staff and the greater community through training & education, specifically in hospitality & tourism.
We believe in offering respect towards the local community.

Hire locally

We believe in using only local labour and staff rather than hiring workers from Java or Bali. Our passion is to see the people of Rote benefit from emerging tourism so we have used only local craftsman and materials in all of our buildings

Eco and human-friendly

We believe in business with low impact on the environment.We believe in minimising cultural degradation that can occur with emerging tourism in remote communities.

Our Model

Meet the team

Matt & Nat Thistlewaite

Matt and Nat and their 4 children Jayden, Molly, Grace and Noah live in Rote during peak season and in Australia during off peak.

Matt: Professional fireman with previous work as a builder and cafe owner. He is Indonesian speaking with 30+ visits to Indonesia.

Nat: Co-owned a Dive School, Professional Scuba diver and host on luxury yachts.

The Thistlewaite family spent 2012 living on Rote Island embracing the community, language and determining the true needs of the locals.

Paul & Sally McMahon

Co-founders Paul and Sally support the project through raising awareness and support via marketing and community relationship management.

Paul: National Health and Safety Manager, Project Manager and shop-fitter detailed joiner.

Sally: Health professional, educator, sales, marketing and global project administration.

Paul and Sally visit Indonesia regularly and in 2012 spent 7 months campervanning around Australia and fundraising for the Surf Retreat.

Your Hosts Litron and Aty

Our team of local labourers are responsible for the beautiful construction of Rote Island Huts with a special mention to our builder Pak Karis, and head of security Pak Sarus.

Our friendly local hospitality staff will make your stay one to remember. Special mention to Litron and Aty who prepare culinary feasts from the kitchen to sustain you between surfs.

Our Board members in Australia we rely on for advice & corporate governance: Mike Devlin, Stephen Pearce and David Lovell.

Learn more about Mercy Huts? Visit our charity site

Accommodation options and pricing


  • Couples haven
  • King size bed
  • Beach view
  • Sleep in the palm trees

$US80 / night

Credit card or PayPal payments.


  • Family hang out or surf pad
  • King bed & 2 double bunks
  • Open air bathroom
  • Room for 4-6 people

$US180 / night

Credit card or PayPal payments.


Daily breakfast
Front patio
Ceiling fans
Quality linens
Western toilet
Daily housekeeping
Custom made mosquito nets
Bath and beach towels provided
220V Aust AND Indo power outlets
Gravity fed 'Island temperature' outdoor showers

Credit card or PayPal payments.

Supported by our Partners: