Most backpackers to Indonesia will always try to include a trip to Mount Bromo in their itinerary and rather than searching for the cheapest accommodation possible, I think this is one of the rare times when making a splurge is in order to enjoy the scenery in style.
Located in Sukapura, Probolinggo (which is about as close to Mount Bromo as you can reliably get), I would say that Java Banana Bromo Hotel is certainly the best option. Since the autumn of 2015, I think this hotel is under new management and is now called Java Jiwa Hotel, but essentially it remains the same as before in spirit.
Java Banana Bromo is quite famous in the area, as apart from the rooms and lodges, it is known for a large meeting room (perfect for large tours), a popular café, an open-air stage which features live cultural performances, and even an art gallery! However, the main reason people come here is to spend an early night before the pre-sunrise awakening to scale the epic Mount Bromo. The hotel even offers mountain bikes for hire during your stay so you can explore the local area.
The standard rooms at Java Banana Bromo are much more impressive than I first thought. They contain a shower with hot water and a TV with a fairly good range of international channels (though no BBC World!). At around 1.9m Rupiah (£85 per night), this is in no way “cheap”, but the plan is to stay one night anyway, so it’s an expense that a lot of people choose to pay so you can have all the amenities conveniently located close to the start and end point of your Bromo tour. By the way, you must pay the room booking fee in Rupiah currency only. The rooms got very cold at night, but that’s in part due to the chilly location here north Java (well, chilly for Indonesia, anyway!) and the natural wood furnishing, which doesn’t really keep out the cold as well as concrete or plaster. Remember to go to bed with your socks on!
All in all, I enjoyed my stay at Java Banana Bromo, and I will be returning here one day to see if the new management/branding have made any positive changes. However, I am sure that in the mean time, everybody else will be continuing to use this hotel as a convenient place to rest their heads for a night before their epic visit to the Mighty Mount Bromo!