S$11 to S$100, rooming in Java

For the Indonesia trip, we did a daring thing and booked only one hotel for the whole trip. This worked well for Indonesia but I don’t recommend you do this for expensive cities where cheap rooms run out really quick.

We stayed in different types of accomodation–five different places to be exact. The ones which we booked on the spot was done after much consultation with the Internet and Lonely Planet (most of it was LP’s help, take that guidebook scorners).

Among the room, two of them had resident cockroaches which I killed with a shoe and a water scoop respectively. One was extra posh, another reasonably comfortable. Only three had hot water while the other two were cold showers.

Pondok 71 (Hut/Lodge/Cabin/Maisonette 71)

Mar. 31-Apr. 1
Price: 80,000 rupiah/night
Website: http://www.yogyes.com/en/yogyakarta-hotel/cheap/pondok-71/

Pondok 71

Our first accomodation in Jogja. I discovered Pondok 71 on yogyes.com. What attracted me to it was the price [At 80,000 rupiah (~S$11), it was ridiculously cheap.] and the distance to the kraton.

The map said it’s less than 1km to the kraton. Well, technically it is right. Unfortunately, we couldn’t walk on rooftops so the distance was wrong. The detour to Kraton would add probably an extra 3km, I suspect.

We reached the place by bus from the airport. There’s an Olive Oil fried chicken chain just outside but we didn’t have the chance to eat it.

When we paid for the rooms, the landlady forgot to give back our change as well as my passport until we asked her for them. Well, I try not to be too suspicious but, really, change and passport?

The bathroom has a shower and a pail. I used the bucket to shower because it’s too cold from the shower.

Pondok 71

It would be a nice place to stay to save money but the place was too far from the city center and the buses stop quite early.

Pro: Near bus stop; damn cheap; bed bug-free.
Con: Far from city center; no hot water.

Manohara hotel, Borobudur

Apr 2
Price: S$100 (Agoda booked)
Website: http://manoharaborobudur.com/
Manohara Hotel is within walking distance from the bus terminally. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs that day we arrived and we had to take the becak to the hotel.

Like posh hotels, they had a cold drink and a cold towel for us right after we checked in.

Manohara Hotel

The room was most comfortable. The shower fantastically hot while the airconditioning is toe-ticklingly cool. There was a plastic kettle and some basic tea service stuff available.

Manohara Hotel

The best thing about this place is its distance to the Borobudur temple. And it is cheaper for guests who sign up for the Borobudur Sunrise Tour. If you plan to see Borobudur in detail, I suggest you stay a night here and visit the temple right before it closes and right after it opens. The weather is better that way.

Manohara Hotel

We also had a small veranda that faces the fields. I wrote one entry of diary there while sipping hot tea but it was a bit too warm for both activities. In a perfect universe, the weather would be cool and I would be able to guzzle pots of jasmine tea and write the next great travel non-fiction.

Pro: Near Borobudur temple; hot hot shower
Con: Pricey (but worth it); not too near food places (hotel restaurant has ok food)

Hotel Dana, Solo

Apr 3-4
Price: 490,000 rupiah/night (?)
Website: http://www.hoteldanasolo.com/

Hotel Dana

It was also raining hard when we arrived in Solo after our train from Jogja. Hiding from the rain in A&W, we pored through the photocopied Lonely Planet and decided upon Hotel Dana.

The lady at the counter gave us a discount off the rack price. We requested to stay one night but extended because we didn’t want to move our stuff. We did have to move our stuff because they needed to clean the room, or that they don’t want people living in room 404.

The room was functional, the TV worked alright. Shower was hot but not as syok as Manohara. Breakfast is included in the price but the selection is just normal. I did have an interesting telur pong (egg shaped like a ping pong ball–cute).

Unfortunately, they played the Bengawan Solo in different versions throughout breakfast. I almost went mad from the song.

Pro: Near Taman Sriwedari; Not an international chain–support local business; Right next to a HUMUNGOUS bookstore <3 (but mostly Indonesian titles); Walking distance to the two palaces
Con: No sanitary napkin in their store; the Bengawan Solo song they had on repeat at breakfast

Prambanan Indah, Prambanan

Apr 5
Price: 210,000 rupiah/night (?)
Jl. Candi Sewu No. 8 , Prambanan , Yogyakarta

Prambanan Indah Hotel

I killed my second cockroach here. This time with my slipper, instead of the water pail.

Again, it was raining when we were looking for a place in Prambanan. We passed a few shophouse hotels which were in very sad condition. One had shower but no toilet while another smelled like hair wax. Yuck.

Prambanan Indah is hidden deep in the road which has a police box at the junction. Head inside, pass noodle shops, and paddy fields then turn in.

It was a bit late when we reached. They didn’t have many guests so we successfully got one of the large rooms. Turned out, the room is targeted at people with cars because there was a garage.

The bedsheet was the Chinese marriage type. They had to send over the TV, remote controls because they might be stolen. The shower was hot.

Walking from Ramayana Ballet is possible (we did it!).

Group exercise

On the day we were to visit the temple, there was a group doing exercise in the garden compound. I think they were there for company training or something.

When we were going to check out, we asked if they could call us a cab. When we told them we only wanted to go to the bus terminal, they overreacted: WHAT? SO NEAR!

In the end we walked.

Pro: Near Prambanan temple complex; Yummy Mie stall nearby; probably second-most liveable hotel in whole of Prambana
Con: Possible bed bugs, in middle of almost nowhere

Hotel Bladok, Yogyakarta

Apr 6
Price: 198,000 rupiah/night
Website: http://bladok.web.id/

Located in the travellers’ street in Jogja city center. The place was the most beautiful among the places we stayed. There was even a small veranda to watch life pass by your eyes.

No hot water in shower but bathroom too pretty for me to complain. Hot thermos of tea and jar of sugar available in common corridor.

Unfortunately, bed bugs.

Bladok

Pro: Near Malioboro, pretty room
Con: BED BUGS!; cold shower (but in a pretty shower)

Do you have a favorite hotel in Jogja or Solo?

Other Indonesia travel reads

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

3 Comments

    1. My favorite hoteL in Jogjakarta is nDalem Gamelan — it’s more of a homestay, actually, in a historicaL Javanese house fiLLed with many antiques. Y
      in Jogjakarta is Rumah Mertua (or.. In-laws’ House. I guess that may not sound good for some peopLe) UnfortunateLy, it is Located FAR from the city center.
      I don’t know about hoteLs/inns in SoLo because I usuaLLy stayed in my grandparents’ house, but Ibis is okay. And of course, you can’t escape Bengawan SoLo when you’re in SoLo.

    1. My favorite stay in Jogjakarta was nDalem Gamelan — it’s more Like a homestay than a hoteL, actuaLLy. You can rent the main house or the paviLLion. Breakfast (superb home-cooked meaLs – you can choose!) and afternoon snacks are provided. It’s Located a residentiaL neighborhood near the Keraton. I don’t think I wiLL say any bad things about the pLace because I had such a LoveLy stay there ^^

      1. That place sounds amazing. If I ever go back to Jogja (very likely) I’ll check them out. Thanks!

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