Thursday, May 15, 2008

Indonesia Trip '08 – Accommodation Write-Up: Rumah Tubagus Homestay, Bandung

Finding a hostel or homestay in Bandung on the Net was a much more difficult task as I quickly found out when I was planning this trip. Most of the international hostel connection websites had listings for Jakarta hostels/homestay and very few listings for other big cities in Indonesia. The ones that they had listed did not have complete contact information and/or did not get very good reviews from visitors who had stayed in them. An easier choice was to choose to stay in once of the better rated hotels that were available in Bandung but that would not be in line with out traveling charter of finding frugal accommodations. Another alternative was to go to the street where the guidebooks said where most of the budget accommodations were located and check out their availability ourselves before deciding the one to take.

Since we rather have a confirmed place once we reach Bandung, hunting for a place on the day that we arrive was not a very appealing idea. It was by chance later that I found out about Rumah Tubagus Homestay from one of the Bandung tourist forums. There was not much information on that initial forum posting as it was a query about the place and how clean it was but nevertheless it was enough for me to start searching for more info on Net for it. A few linked websites later I finally found the proprietress’s blog that advertised her homestay and more importantly the email address to contact her for reservations. I wrote to her to inquire about the availability and pricing and received a fairly prompt reply from her on my queries. A few emails later, I was sourcing for guided tours and trip highlights information from her, we confirmed our reservation for the homestay for the during of our trip in Bandung. The email transactions between myself and Kanti, the proprietress, were very prompt and informative.

We headed straight to Rumah Tubagus Homestay from the mall where the minivan we took from Jakarta dropped us. Since it was not listed in any guidebooks, I was worried that we might have a difficult time finding the place but Kanti was thoughtful enough to provide us directions and landmarks to use when telling local taxi drivers how to get to her place. We soon arrived in a very quiet and secluded residential area where Rumah Tubagus Homestay was located and was met by the proprietress herself who let us into the property. Her homestay was actually part of the garden pavilion connected to the main house that she was staying in. A very green, verdant and cozy garden greeted visitors first before coming to the main entrance of the homestay.


(The garden at Rumah Tubagus Homestay where we had our breakfast)

The homestay unit consisted of 2 rooms, 1 kitchenette area and 1 bathroom. One of the rooms had a queen size bed which could easily fit 3 people if they were willing to pile into the same bed and had cable TV in it. The other room had 3 twin size bed, one of them was actually a rollaway bed which can be stowed underneath one of the beds when not in use which was helpful as the room was a bit on the small side if all 3 beds were used. Fans were also provided in the rooms but we hardly needed it since Bandung nights were cool enough without needing fans or AC. The kitchenette area had a sink for washing up as well as coffee making facilities for us to use. The owners also thoughtfully included a selection of free mineral water, coffee and tea for our consumption which was replenished daily as well as full complement of mugs, bowls and dishes to use. The bathroom had fresh clean towels and hot water which was definitely needed since mornings in Bandung were quite cold.


(Master bedroom with queen bed at Rumah Tubagus Homestay)

(View outside of the Master Bedroom)

(2nd room with the 3 twin size beds)

(Kitchenette area with sink, pantry, table and chair. A kettle and a hot plate warmer was also included)

Rumah Tubagus Homestay was located quite near to the Dago Street market and there was a wealth of warongs to eat in just a few meters away. Had we stayed longer in Bandung, we would definitely had taken the opportuinity to sample the warong food there as well as take in a morning stroll to the market which was just around the corner. Transportation-wise, it was easy to flag down a taxi or an angkut once we walked out to the main street which was only a few meters where the homestay was located. From there, we could reach the major shopping outlets in Dago area within minutes and other areas were also conveniently reachable. Even with all this transportation options near it, Rumah Tubagus was still very quiet as it was locate a bit in from the main road. Sitting in the gardens outside our rooms, you could hardly notice the sounds of the traffic that was just meters away.

Breakfast was also included in our stay package and we were even given an menu to select what we wanted for breakfast which we passed to her the night before. On our first day there, our nasi goreng breakfast was served in the garden where we got to sit and enjoy the morning air. There was quite a lot for the 3 of us so as far as food is concerned it was not disappointing. We already had our coffee and tea from the kitchenette and Kanti also provided us with a large bottle of mineral water for us to bring along for our trip. The other very nice personal touch that morning was the hand written note that Kanti left for us detailing the list of places to go to for our shopping trip as well as places for us to eat and hang out. It was very thoughtful of her and we definitely appreciated her tips. She also helped us by packing some sandwiches for our breakfast on the second morning as we had to leave the homestay very early in the morning to catch our train to Jogja and could not have a sit down breakfast like we did the morning before.

The only minus point that I can think of to say about Rumah Tubagus Homestay would be the lack of adult size towels in the house. While the towels provided were sufficient to dry off with after a shower, it was too small to wrap around the waist while walking from the room to the bathroom. Unless you’re traveling with people who know you well enough to not be fazed by your exhibitionist streak, having your own larger towel or bringing something to wear before coming out of the bathroom would be recommended. I did mean to tell Kanti about it but I think I forgot to in the end so probably I should send her an email to recommend bigger towels for guests.
(Note: I have received an email reply back from Kanti stating that this oversight will be rectified as soon as possible)

A night’s stay at Rumah Tubagus Homestay cost us 350,000 Rph for the whole homestay unit. Since it was a full package deal, you would be charged the same price regardless if you had less than five people in the group. Given the convenience, comfort and personal touch from the owners, I felt that the price was definitely worth it and I look forward to stay with them the next time I am in town. Since they have not had a lot of exposure in the guidebooks and hostel connection websites, I hope this write up would help tell people about this cozy homestay that I would recommend highly to budget visitors visiting Bandung.

Full Contact Details:

Address:
Rumah Tubagus Homestay,
Attn: Kanti Widiastuti.
Jalan Tubagus Ismail 3 No. 12
Bandung, Indonesia

PH: +62 815 7389 0426
Email : rumahtubagus@yahoo.com
Website: http://bandung-free-n-easy.blogspot.com/

8 comments:

Awesome Blossome said...

Very useful info, bro. Thanks. Now keeping my fingers crossed for availability...

mamaFA said...

hi, thanks for the info. did u have to pay any deposit for booking? going there this february and now frantically searching for accommodation...

Nickxandar said...

@mamaFA ... I did not have to pay any deposit before but I'm not sure if the policy has been changed since then. Best to contact Kanti through email and confirm.

It was definitely a good place to stay from my experience and I would recommend it to people.

mamaFA said...

thanx for the prompt reply.... already emailed her and she only requested for our particulars and did not request any deposit... but didn't want to ask her about deposit (who knows she might like the idea of getting a deposit) so that's why i asked u 1st. couldn't believe she didn't request for any deposit though coz all the other places that i contacted did ask for it.... nway, have confirmed the booking with her and looking forward for the experience....thanks!

Nickxandar said...

@mamaFA ... sounds like you're all set. Don't forget to tell Kanti that you found her homestay from this blog.

Have a great trip!

mamaFA said...

sure...will let her know... thanx again!

Anonymous said...

hi nick...I wonder if we can pull one of the small bed and sleep at the living room. (there's two married couple + 1yr old baby travelling with me)

And, how many units of the "house" did they have. thks

ETA Bandung March 2010.

Nickxandar said...

Anon ...

The living room area is actually part of the main room with the double bed. Not much space there if you're planning to pull the roll away bed.

When I stayed there, they only have the one pavillion that they rent out as the homestay. You might want to ask the owner if they have renovated recently and added more.