Experience: Novo Turismo Resort and Spa, Timor Leste

Dili in Timor L’este isn’t known as a major tourist destination so I was curious to see what kind of hotel offerings the city had. I found Novo Turismo centrally located and had great reviews, so I contacted them and arranged my stay.

Coming from Darwin, I had a quick flight to the capital city and was met at the airport by a hotel representative. After a quick 20 minute drive, I was already at the front desk checking in. Like the other staff, the security at the entrance of the compound was friendly.

Located right on the beach of the Timor Sea in downtown Dili, Novo Turismo Resort & Spa encompasses everything you’d expect from a high end hotel. The architecture was a modern take on the traditional style with high ceilings and wooden touches.



The hotel has a history that dates back to 1969 when it was a gathering place when the land was still a Portuguese colony. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974 and during the Indonesian invasion in 1975, the doors stayed open to accompany political leaders, NGOs, military, the United Nations, businessmen and journalists. Even after independence in 2002, the hotel maintains its role as an important meeting and gathering place in the new nation. In fact, I saw many US military personnel at the hotel.


I stayed in a Deluxe Room with a large king bed, seating area and a flat screen TV. A desk was useful for getting some work done. The modern bathroom was decked out in marble tile and had a separate bath and shower. The view was of the hotel gardens. Of the 71 rooms, they also have some fantastic suites.





Walking to the room I pass by the beautiful central outdoor pool. This is a perfect lounging place during the day. There is also food and drink service from the pool bar so you can comfortably get some sun and relaxation.



Their spa is also quite impressive with facilities for foot massages, hair and scalp treatments as well as mani—pedis. After the treatment you can relax in their spa room.

They have a well equipped gym with modern exercising machines.




Surprisingly there is even a Karaoke room which you can rent out and have a singing contest with your friends!


Breakfast is served in the restaurant next to the pool. The buffet had a varied selection from local specialties to traditional international selections. They are also opened for lunch and dinner.


As most people stay at the hotel for business, they are well prepared with a large conference room with a 350 person capacity as well as smaller meeting rooms. For some additional fun, take your meeting into the karaoke room.


There is also much to see outside of the hotel even in walking distance. Agung, a staff member, took me for a tour of Dili during my stay. We visited the central market where traditional crafts are made and sold to tourists as well as the cemetery and main buildings of Dili.

One of our first visits was to the Cristo Rei, a statue of Christ on the top of the hill overlooking two bays. Then on our last day Agung drove me up to the village of Dare in the mountains which has a small Memorial Museum as well as commanding views over the city.


Dili has much to offer and Novo Turismo is the perfect place to explore from. With professional and knowledgeable staff, modern and comfortable rooms, and excellent spa, pool, restaurant facilities, this hotel is one I will certainly remember.

Highly recommended and I hope to have a chance to visit again!

NOVO TURISMO Resort and Spa
Avenue Bidau Lecidere, Dili – Timor Leste
Tel: +670 3310005
Fax: +670 3310005
Email :


About David

Founder and writer at, David is on a mission to travel to every country in the world and has less than 10 countries left! He loves new adventures, unique cultures, historic landmarks, and luxurious hotels. Follow along as David shares a journey of a lifetime!