SOUTH-EAST ASIA TRIP 2K18: ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE WAY (PART THREE)

The last part of my Sout-East Asian accommodations review is about the places that I stayed when I was traveling around Indonesia. During my 17 days trip there I stayed in quite a lot of great hostels, B&B and a hotel. I decided to book all of the accommodations beforehand because I didn’t want to lose my time looking for them during my trip, being nervous because of that, or even end up in not that good of a place. When you book soon enough you get the privilege to choose from the best-rated ones and. I was traveling during the peak season even in the time of booking some accommodations were already almost fully booked. So, in the end, I stayed in places that had great locations, dorms, other facilities, breakfast, and staff.

JAKARTA – THE PACKER LODGE

I stayed here at the start and at the end of my travel around Indonesia. It’s clean, huge hostel but it kinda lacked atmosphere. They have a common room but during my stay there I have not seen anyone using it. I also did not like breakfast that much because it was just a basic one. I did like the dorms though. The beds are divided into two rows of sleeping pods with everything that you need inside. That includes a smaller locker beside the larger one provided in the dorm as well.

Location: The hostel is located in Jakarta’s Chinatown which is known as Glodok. It’s located on a side street so it is not exposed to the loud traffic that much at all. It is also in the walking distance to Kota Tua where the majority of historical buildings are located. There are plenty of grocery stores and eating options around the hostel

How I got there: I have arrived on Soekarno-Hatta Airport both of the times when I stayed at this hostel. There are a few options to get to central Jakarta from there. I decided to book a grab because it was the least complicated. The only problem I had the first time was finding the pickup location. There’s only one at that terminal that is on the 3rd level of the parking garage.

Price: IDR 106.375,00 (6,4 €) per night for an 8 bed mixed dorm -> I stayed there for 3 nights on two different occasions so the total cost was IDR 319.125,00 (19,2 €).

YOGYAKARTA – THE OSTIC HOUSE

One of the longest time that I stayed in one place was this hostel in Yogyakarta. This was one of my favorite places because of the amazing staff that helped me with every single detail. Breakfast was among the best ones during my whole trip. It was very diverse and the most important thing it was local. With the help of the staff, I was able to book a sunrise tour of the Borobudur temple. We started from the hostel very early they even packed me breakfast for the road. I also did one of my laundries and it was cheap and efficient.

Location: The location of the hostel is great. There are plenty of grocery stores and eating options around the area and it is also in walking distance to the most important sights in the city, like Tamansari (Water Palace).

How I got there: I arrived in Yogyakarta by a night train from Jakarta. Due to some construction works on the tracks I arrived at the train station more than 90 minutes late. The great thing about the hostel is that they provide free transportation to the hostel from the train station. That is if you stay for more than 4 nights which I did. I only felt sorry for the driver. He had to wait for me for quite a while even though that it was not my fault.

Price: IDR 128.000,00 (7,8 €) per night for a deluxe 4 bed mixed dorm -> I stayed there for 7 nights so the total cost was IDR 896.000,00 (54,5 €).

SURABAYA – HOTEL SANTIKA PANDEGILING

I only stayed in this hotel for one night because it was on the way from Yogyakarta to Bromo National Park. I also met with a friend here with whom I traveled within the last leg of my Indonesian part of my trip. The hotel has three stars but I would have given it four stars because it was really great. The room that we stayed in was big and the next morning we also had a breakfast which was a buffet-style and definitely the most luxurious.

Location: This hotel is located in the more rich and developed area of Surabaya where you can find all kind of luxury hotels and huge shopping malls. There are a few grocery stores around this area but for cheap street food, this is not that good area and if you want to get that you have to go a little bit out of this area.

How I got there: I arrived there by train from Yogyakarta. I reached the hotel by a second grab taxi after a bit of confusion and cancellation from the first grab driver. From the train station, this would be the easiest option since going around by buses can be quite complicated.

Price: IDR 616.000,00 (37,5 €) per night for a deluxe executive twin room -> We stayed there for 1 night so the total cost was the same as the price of the room for both of us.

CEMARA LAWANG – BROMO OTIX GUEST HOUSE

Cemara Lawang is the highest place that I have ever slept at with the altitude of 2217 meters above sea level. This guesthouse had by far the best reviews among all the rest of the hotels, hostels and places like that. The room was quite big and clean and we did not use the guesthouse for anything else than sleeping and resting after hikes.

Location: This guesthouse is located in a small hamlet of Cemora Lawang which is the closest that you can stay to Mount Bromo. There’s one grocery store there and we also saw a fruit stand once but the quality of the fruits was quite bad so we did not purchase any. There are a few eating options here as well but do not get too high expectations. From Cemora Lawang you can hike up to sunrise viewpoints as well as down to the valley so no need to book any of those expensive tours.

How we got there: Getting here was the most challenging of all the transportations that I had during this trip. From the train station, it involved changing a couple of types of transportation and avoiding scams. Due to the complexity, this question requires an additional post which will soon be made.

Price: IDR 245.000,00 (14,9 €) per night for a large twin room -> We stayed there for 2 nights so the total cost was IDR 490.000,00 (29,8 €) for both of us.

BANYUWANGI – DIDU’S HOMESTAY BED & BREAKFAST

Our main reason why we traveled here was to see the famous Blue flames at Ijen Volcano. Unfortunately, we did not go there due to the fact that the volcano just got reopened after a few weeks of closure because of high activity and now it was only possible to go there for sunrise without the Blue flames since it was still too dangerous to go there. So instead we just stayed in the homestay which actually had more of a resort in a jungle type of a feeling which was great.

The bungalows were spacious with ensuite bathrooms. The breakfast was great as well with a choice of different style of eggs or different style of pancakes. They did not prepare lunch or dinner but they had an option to order them which we did and it was great as well. The owners were very friendly and helpful and did help my friend with shuttle transportation to Bali.

Location: The homestay is located in a smaller village close to Banyuwangi, surrounded by rice fields and forest. It’s basically in the middle of nowhere so there are not any interesting things to do here. You can rent a bike and scooter and explore the area but we opted to stay there. There are not any grocery stores in a walking distance so make sure to buy some snacks beforehand, they sell some drinks at the homestay.

How we got there: We arrived at Karangasem train station which is one station before the main train station in Banyuwangi. This station is located much closer to the homestay than the other one. From the train station, we got a free pick service from the owner which I prearranged a few days ago.

Price: IDR 265.000,00 (16,1 €) per night for a twin bed bungalow -> We stayed there for 2 nights so the total cost was IDR 530.000,00 (32,3 €).

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