Monday, June 09, 2008

Indonesia Trip '08 – Accommodation Write-Up: Delta Homestay, Jogjakarta

Delta Homestay in Jogja was the first place of accommodation that I was able to secure in the planning stage of this trip. It was quite easy for me as my family had stayed here before during their trip to Jogja earlier in the year. It was my mother who found this place from the Net and my family came back with good reviews of the place after their trip there. Looking at what they had to offer, it was definitely a place that would fulfill our accommodation requirements and within our budgetary constraints. On top of the accommodation, we also found that the budget tour packages that they offered was quite reasonably priced. Unlike the other cities that we had been to before on the trip, we had more days to spend in Jogja so we felt it would be interesting to go for a packaged tour instead of trying to get to the attractions ourselves.

I used the online contact form that they had on their website to inquire about room rates and availability. Their sales team contacted me back with the information fairly promptly and we exchanged several emails over the next few days to confirm the reservation. Details of our budget tour was also finalized through email even though at the time we were not yet sure of when or how we would be arriving in Jogja from Bandung. I really appreciated how they were willing to keep our tour itinerary flexible to cater to our uncertain arrival time in Jogja. We did however need to inform them of our exactly arrival time once we made them in Bandung the day before so they know when to send the car to pick us up from the train station. Other than a few extra emails that was required to follow up on the changes in the tour itinerary, booking our rooms and tour package at Delta Homestay was fairly painless.

Our train to Jogja arrived an hour late from Bandung and I was worried about how that delay would affect our tour plans. One thing that I didn’t have to worry about was the driver that the homestay sent to pick us up at the train station. He was already waiting for us there when we arrived and I found out later that he had been waiting there for an hour. We proceeded directly from the train station through the afternoon Jogja traffic to Delta Homestay which was located a few minutes from Central Jogja at Jln. Prawirotaman III. Since we arrived late, most of the attractions that we were suppose to visit according to the tour itinerary that afternoon were already closed and we had to rescheduled them for the day after. We were able to easily do that at the homestay check-in counter and plan for a free and easy becak tour of Jogja later that afternoon instead.

(Delta Homestay signage and garden at the check-in area)

(View of the check - in area)

I’ve seen pictures of the place from the website and my family’s vacation photos so I more or less knew what to expect. Once visitors walk pass the reception lobby, they would definitely be impressed by the resort like ambience of Delta Homestay. The centrally located swimming pool that immediately captures the visitor’s attention definitely lived up to the establishment’s tagline of “an oasis in town”. The tranquil setting surrounded by verdant greenery framed by the browns of Javanese inspired lodgings certainly made for favorable impression. Most of the rooms at the homestay faced the swimming pool with the exception of a row of single bed rooms that was closer to the reception area. Since we made reservations for 2 double bed rooms, we were lead through the area to the row of 6 units at the end of pool area to get to our rooms.
Each room had 2 single beds, ensuite bathroom, fans and AC units. We didn’t know at the time that if you reserve the room with fan only, you were not suppose to turn on the AC placed in each room during your stay. We found this out the hard way when they told us that we had to pay extra for using their AC. Since the difference between just using the fans and the AC is fairly small, I would recommend that you specify clearly in your reservation that you want to have AC in the room. Jogja can be fairly warm at night so having the AC would definitely be a good thing and worth the extra rupiahs. Other than the making sure that you ask for the AC room rate, everything else in the room should meet with visitors expectations on a similarly rated establishment. I would actually rate Delta Homestay higher on the facilities scale compared to other homestays in our trip just by virtue of the relaxing ambience that we could enjoy right outside of our doors.

(Scenes from the surrounding area near our room)

Breakfast was included in the accommodation package and they have a fixed menu of mostly bread, eggs cooked to your specification, local fruits selection and either coffee or tea. I thought that this was a bit on the light side since I was more used to something heavier for breakfast but I guess was reasonable for the price that we were paying for. We also got afternoon tea with cakes provided by the homestay for us on the afternoons that we spent at the pool. The homestay staff also provided hot water on request for us to mix our nightly teas for supper before going to bed. They also had a mineral water dispenser at the lobby area for guest to fill up their water bottles for a small fee to bring on their trips outside. I thought that this was a nice detail to have as you definitely need to have water with you and it saves you the need to find a place to buy your drinking water.

(L: Swimming pool at Delta Homestay, R: Breakfast area)

(Our room at Delta Homestay)

Delta Homestay is located at what was called the “international kampong” section of Jogja which I believed was the term they used to describe the backpackers section of town. We got a chance to explore the two street blocks that Delta Homestay was located and found that it was indeed a place for travelers with limited budget to be. There were numerous cheap places to eat around the homestay that we could actually go to a different place for every meal and still had a few that we did not get a chance to try out. There were also a number of cafés that one could chill out and soak in the vibe of being with other travelers. We only got a chance to try one of them during out trip but enjoyed ourselves immensely and I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone staying in the area. Other than places to eat and drinking establishments, the area also had a number of money changers and tour operators to service the tourist that stayed here. I would recommend that you shop around for special deals/prices when you go to them as they definitely would be competing with each other to get your business. A point to note if you need to do your laundry, send it to the laundry shop just next to the homestay. They charge about a third of what the homestay charged!

As far as transportation is concern, the best and cheapest way to travel around Jogja city area would definitely be by becak who conveniently stationed themselves outside of the homestays in the area. One would be advised to know where you want to go before haggling with the becak people for the price. Since our trip was already planned, we did not have to use the becak that often as we could have had to had we decided to self plan our itinerary. Of course that didn’t stop them from offering us becak trips every time they saw us leave the homestay. Similarly, we did not check whether is was easy to travel by angkut or taxi from the homestay to Jogja city. I would guess that one had to walk a few meters to the main street to flag one down once they figure out which one to take. Still considering the price of a becak trip, I would recommend them for shorter excursions out of the area.

The tour package that the homestay arranged for us was quite convenient and flexible. We paid the entrance fees for the attractions that we visited at the homestay itself so we didn’t have to queue for to pay them when we reached there. The downside to that was that we could not try to get in by paying domestic tourist rates which you could get away with if you looked physically like the locals. Domestic tourists actually pay about 10% of what they charge foreign tourists for entrance fees to Borobudur and Prambanan. Nevertheless, the cost of the full fee was not that high and didn’t break our bank so we paid the full fee instead. The excursions themselves were well planned and provided us with sufficient time to explore and appreciate the attractions that we were at. Most of the time we were just driven to the location as our driver would normally not be accompanying us into the attraction. I have to say that after the experiences of having to plan what attractions to visit and how we would get to them in both Jakarta and Bandung, it was a welcomed respite having someone else plan our sightseeing itinerary.

We paid a total of 414,000 Rph per person for the 4 days and 3 nights stay which was inclusive of accommodation and the budget tour package. Accommodation only rates are available on their website but I think interested visitors should check with them directly is there is any changes to the published rates. The clean facilities, relaxing ambience, proximity to places to eat or chill out as well as easy access to becak almost all times of the day are the least that I could mention about this location. Just remember to specify clearly the type of room that you want when you make your reservation and you should be fine at this establishment. If ever I come back to Jogja, this would definitely be the first place that I would check for room availability and I would highly recommend it to other visitors too.

Full Contact Details:

Delta Homestay
Jln. Prawirotaman MG.III/597-A
Yogyakarta 55153 Indonesia
Phone: +62 81 727 1047, +62 274 7477537
Fax: +62 274 372064

Email :

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