Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Finding a budget accommodation in Ubud is fairly easy because options are abundant. When it’s not high season, you don’t even need to reserve ahead. A quick stroll around almost any area would get you a place to stay. In my case last year when I visited Ubud for UWRF, I decided to reserve a room eventhough it wasn’t high season, for the sake of using my Airbnb voucher.
My accommodation budget was about IDR175,000 (in Oct.2014) per night. For that price on Airbnb, I didn’t get many options that were located within walking distance from some of the UWRF venues, which were actually spreaded around Ubud town. Taman Mesari Guesthouse was the only one that accommodated my requirements: close to city center (or the Ubud market), within my budget, looked decent, was on Airbnb, and the host was responsive enough to my queries.
Haley and Bu Kopang were the hosts of Taman Mesari Guesthouse. As it turned out, Bu Kopang is the owner and Haley is her friend who helps marketing her guesthouse online. When I arrived, I was welcomed by Bu Kopang and never got to meet Haley at all. if you’re not into Airbnb, don’t worry, the guesthouse is open for direct reservation as well.
Taman Mesari Guesthouse is one of so many Balinese house compounds turned into a complex of budget accommodation in Ubud. It consists of the main house almost at the back of the compound, where Bu Kopang and her family lives, a shrine, and a few bungalows. Upon my stay, Bu Kopang was having a few more bungalows built at the front part of the compound, and one was being built on the second floor. Looks like business is doing well!
My room was the one closest to the gate. Since it’s a small road and I was mostly out all day, I didn’t get any impression of a busy street. Only howling dogs, as you can expect almost anywhere in Bali. The room was totally spacious, with a double bed and an extra matress ready to be rolled out for extra people (but maybe some extra charge would have to be paid as well). A desk really came handy to me, what with all blog posts I had to write, and the wifi connection was pretty good. Bathroom was also spacious and I liked the natural touch they added with stones on the shower floor. Hot water, checked. Towels, checked. Soap and shampoo, you need to bring your own. Doesn’t actually sound like a budget accommodation in Ubud, huh? The facility is so complete.
Staying true to the typical of budget accommodations though, Taman Mesari Guesthouse does not provide breakfast. It provides, however, free coffee and tea every morning, served on the table on the terrace. A few diners are open as early as 8 a.m. around the area, so if you need to have an early breakfast, make sure you have something from the previous night. A simple diner at the far end of the street (toward the main Ubud street) became my savior for having cheap meals. The menu are all Indonesia food, I forgot the name of the place.
Though located almost at the fringe of Ubud town, it only took me 15 minutes to walk from Taman Mesari guesthouse to Ubud Market. Trendy cafes and restaurants align on the parallel streets and around the Ubud Market, mostly operate from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. A few motorbike rentals can be found nearby, make sure you reserved ahead when it’s high season. Motorbike rental fee was about IDR50,000/day excluding gas (Oct.2014). You could have Bu Kopang help you arrange the motorbike rent as she is very helpful with her guests.