Hostel or Hostile – Bali, Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Jakarta

Sayang Maha Mertha, Bali

We had a twin room in this hostel, which had a crazy 70’s theme to the room, with a bright green lampshade and a flowery bedspread. The room was fairly good, but basic, and the whole hostel just needed a bit of repair as it was looking a bit tired. We had air con, WiFi and a TV.

There was a swimming pool, and enough sun loungers for all of the guests. We had breakfast included which is always a bonus when you are on a budget, but it turned out to be a shot glass size of juice with toast that can’t even really be described as toast.

The hostel was about a ten minute walk from the beach and shops and restaurants which was handy. It was full of friendly Australian guests, which as we were going to find out, was the norm for Bali.

There was an incident one night, there was a large mosquito in the bathroom with me while I was having a shower, so I grabbed my shampoo bottle and murdered the sod. The problem was it must have bitten one of us first because blood poured out of it’s body and streaked all down the wall. I called Laura to come and have a look, she was aghast, and described the scene as “a massacre!”.

Cleanliness- 7/10 (although one day I spotted a huge rat near the restaurant)
Atmosphere- 8/10
Location- 8/10
Best feature- The swimming pool (after they had cleaned it)
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostel

Grand Istana Rama, Bali

After two nights at the Saying Maha Mertha we moved to our next place, which was a four star luxury hotel. We had a lovely room with air con, a TV, free water and WiFi. The bathroom had a shower that was actually enclosed in a glass cubicle, rather than being over the toilet seat, which we were used to.

The hotel was a few steps away from the beach and had a massive swimming pool, which had a swim up pool bar. We spent a lot of time at the pool making friends with the Australians that were there.

We were given a free 20 minute massage during our stay, which we had in the comfort of our own room.

The hotel was seconds away from the restaurants and shops, and was in the perfect location.

Cleanliness- 9/10
Atmosphere- 9/10
Location- 10/10
Best feature- A tie between the free massage and the swim up pool bar!
Hostel or Hostile?- Hostel

Buddha Guest Villas, Bali

After our luxurious stay we moved to cheaper accommodation, which turned out to be horrible. The Buddha Guest Villas were small  bungalow type rooms. It was dirty, full of bugs and generally depressing. We had to climb through a crypt to get to our room, and that evening we had a cockroach fly at us (yes they have wings!), as we walked through the jungle area to get to our room.

The only positive about the room was that it had a DVD player, and a selection of DVD’s to watch. We also had air con and WiFi.

This room was about ten minutes away from the beach, but the area was very poorly lit at night. There was a swimming pool, but it was tiny and we decided not to use it, we just wanted to leave as quickly as possible. We only stayed one night, and then returned back to our first hostel that we stayed in, the Sayang Maya Mertha, for the rest of our time in Bali.

Cleanliness- 0/10
Atmosphere- 0/10
Location- 4/10
Best feature- The DVD player
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostile

Permata Bungalows, Gili Trawangan

This room was probably the worst room we have stayed in so far. The room was large, but it was dirty and full of bugs. The bathroom had hundreds of flies, and there was a gap where they could get through.

We also had an incident with a cockroach in this room, where we chased it around the room (after it had crawled on some of our stuff!) and eventually trapped it under an ashtray. It spent the night with us trapped under there.

We had air con and WiFi, and it was only a short walk to the beach and restaurants, but we hated this room. We changed our booking to just one night and got out of there as soon as we could.

Cleanliness- 0/10
Atmosphere- 0/10
Location- 7/10
Best Feature- The bed sheets had musical notes on which were unusual
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostile

Coconut Dreams, Gili Trawangan

After not sleeping at all the previous night we moved a few properties along to Coconut Dreams, so we were in the same location. The room was a lot nicer, but it had a bathroom where the shower had no roof, and so it was exposed to the outside. A lot of rooms in Gili are like this, so we just had to embrace the outside showers and get on with it. It’s actually quite fun to watch the birds and the clouds go by as you are showering!

We had air con, WiFi and a tiny little gecko in our room. Just outside our room we had our own day bed and a seating area. The only thing that ruined our stay here was that we ordered breakfast (which was included) to come at 7.30 as we had an early boat to catch. They deliver it to your seating area outside your room, however for some reason they came and woke us up at 6am!! We were not impressed! But, it was an amazing pancake with lime and sugar and cold orange juice… But it was 6am!

Cleanliness- 9/10
Atmosphere- 6/10
Location- 7/10
Best Feature- The pancakes we had for breakfast, despite being too early!
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostel

Jo Je Bungalows, Lombok

We had a large room at Jo Je Bungalows, but like our last room it had an outside bathroom. We had a TV, air con, a fridge, free water and WiFi.

It had a very small swimming pool and it was right on the beach, although the beach had black sand and wasn’t very nice.

The walk to the shops and restaurants was quite a distance. The staff were really friendly here, and drove us to the cash point when we arrived rather than us walking.

We had a lovely free breakfast included as well.

Cleanliness- 8/10
Atmosphere- 6/10
Location- 2/10
Best feature- The free breakfast
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostel

Harly’s Residence, Jakarta

We had a small room at Harly’s residence, but its was nice and clean. The bathroom had an enclosed shower which is always a bonus! We had the tiniest little gecko we’ve seen staying with us.

We had a TV, free water, air con and Wifi. We were very close to a 7Eleven and also to a massive shopping centre, but as Jakarta is so big we were a bit far away from everything else, but a good distance from the airport.

We had breakfast included, but this turned out to be Nasi Goreng, Indonesia’s signature dish of fried rice and vegetables, which is sometimes not what you want so early in the morning!

Cleanliness- 7/10
Atmosphere- 4/10
Location – 6/10
Best feature- Proximity to the shopping centre
Hostel or Hostile? – Hostel



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