Ubud review


I’ve just discovered this comment from the owner of the Karma House homestay (above) in Ubud where I wrote “Charming” as a review last Xmas. Another guest had written a fairly critical review and Putuh, the 19yo Balinese dancer who was so nice to me, is upset:

“I will answer all Here HOME STAY, no hotel or villa, We can’t clean your room If you don’t tell me Because we don’t bring key No.2 All room we put just 1 towel Because experiens many people bring towel. And don’t nedd towel from here, If anather people nedd towel, just ask me, and than we will give, No.3 I understand if you don’t like we breakfast, every home stay in ubud make pancake like krepes Because price for the room just 180.000 for 2 person, very cip price, here for buy fruit until 200.000 , here very expensiv. We don’t have badget for make breakfast like hotel, in restaurant pancake until 40.000 If i make pancake same like restaurant, 2people 80.000. And than fruit how much cost just for breakfast?? Coffe , tea. Cream. Sugar, every day. Where i can take money for this?? Price just Rp.180.000???? And than for kulkas, every homestay dont have kulkas if price just it, anather home stay maybe have kulkas but deferent price, I just have a litlle fortune/profit, Maybe now you stay in hotel, you ask my brakfast not good, I undestrand we are human, many people like, many people don’t like , but plis , if you want compare, plis hotel=hotel, homestay=homestay In ubud, homestay have view forest just here, anather homestay just home, not with view, i now you angry, because your husband sick about we house, Thank you Putu”

Bravo Putu. Well said. This is not a hotel, we can’t provide hotel quality at such a low price. Fair enough. As I said in my review, the atmosphere is beautiful and the people are fantastic. I recommend it and I’d stay there again.


It’s not a hotel. Karma House, Ubud


Oh dear. I can’t continue here at this two storey Condotel. I could hardly make it up the stairs at 10pm last night. My legs are just too weak. I can’t use the pool because there are no ladders. This morning I had my first shower and had trouble stepping over a 35cm wide bath surround onto the curved bottom of the bath. It was OK when it was dry, but getting out when it was wet was plain dangerous. You’re relying on your bath side foot retaining its grip on the wet bath floor while you make this wide step. I’ll have to try sitting on the edge and swinging my legs around. Tomorrow.

But, once standing in the bath with the water going, you’re right next to a big louvred window. Nice view if you open it, but when I’m soaped up, eyes closed, I have trouble holding my balance and the consequences of falling against that glass are scary. Not much to hold onto. Ugh.

However, the view when you open the louvres is of a large house garden next door with a big fish pond full of big fish. I wondered where the constant sound of running water was coming from. That’s it. As well, there were two beagles playing on the lawn and a rooster crowing. Nice.


I’m trying to decide what to do. I saw the Astana yesterday and it’s quite nice, but their policy of no refunds puts me off. It means you’re locked in, and as I’ve found with this place, that’s bad news if you need to move out.

I’m looking at another more modern hotel in Jl. Poso but it’s $59 a night vs $44 at Astana.

This trip is not working out as I’d hoped. I didn’t want to worry about moving hotels nor the hassle of trying to find a good one, but now I’m on edge. You don’t know what a hotel is going to really be like until you try it, and I don’t want to be locked into no-refund deals. Breakfast time.


More hujan, but it’s stopped now at 10.30am. Reading the Kura Kura bus brochure at breakfast, they stop at the Oasis Lagoon hotel where I stayed at New Year, and at the Taksu Sanur hotel which I’m looking at now. That’s a powerful reason to choose the Taksu.

I stopped off at the office just now and told them I can’t continue here. They’re OK with my cancellation. Crumbs, I’d booked three more stays after this one. Sorry, but if you don’t put hand rails in … it’s pretty basic. As someone said at home, it’s a legal requirement in Australia.

So I’ll move out on Monday, although Kartika has got me down to move on Tuesday – I’ll have to correct her. I just can’t handle these stairs and the ladderless pool.

I’ve noticed a lot of the units have custom fittings, like security doors, and one unit has a handrail on the stairs. Obviously they have trouble too.


 I’ve cancelled all the bookings for this hotel, and at this moment, I don’t have any other booking after Sunday night. Gah! I’ll get a taxi this afternoon to look at two candidates.

One is the Praschita Apartments, also in Sanur but further south and in a bit, not far from here, actually. There’s an ‘apartment’ room of 50m2 for $31 a night, and it looks good. The bedroom, with a balcony, is upstairs, but the stairs have normal railings and don’t look steep. From the photos, it looks as if I could cope, so I’ll check it out. They also have 60m2 apartments on one level, but they are $67 a night. BIG! They have a kitchen and lounge like here and a separate bedroom with, they say, three double beds. I’ll believe that when I see it.

Uh oh, from the pictures, there’s no pool ladder to get in and out. They assume you can lift yourself out. I’ll have to check that. It’s a deal breaker.

The other is the Taksu Sanur, very new, very modern, and the rooms look great in the photos. Huge arm chair, which is what I like to sit, watch TV and read. Normal balcony, level with the room floor. I simply can’t use the balcony here, the step down is too great, and conversely, the step back up would be impossible for me. Crazy design.

The Taksu is $72 per night, or $90 per night for a fancier room. More than I wanted to pay. Does look good, though.


I’ve just done an internet speed test here. Download speed is 5.46Mb/s, upload is 1.45Mb/s.

Holy smoke, my download speed at home is 1.3Mb/s, irregular, and upload is 0.2Mb/s. We are poorly served in Australia. Bali is 5x faster, even over wi-fi in a hotel, and it’s a smooth delivery.

ABC News report again: “Remember that the only merit of Turnbull’s ‘multi-technology mix’ (MTM) was that it would be cheaper to build, and arrive sooner. There was no question that it was technically inferior to the former Labor government’s mostly fibre-to-the-premises network, which then shadow communications minister Turnbull derided as a ‘Rolls-Royce’ option.

“The MTM network has blown out twice in projected cost – first, from $29.5 billion to $41 billion, and then last year to “up to” $56 billion. And instead of delivering 25 Mbps by 2016, now the MTM network isn’t expected to be finished until 2020 – only a year earlier than Labor expected to finish its rollout. NBN’s own chairman has admitted meeting this 2020 target will require a ‘heroic’ effort.”

Bloody Turnbull. He will go down in history as the man who crippled the NBN. I am angry. As this report says, Labor’s plan for fibre to the home was a nation building plan, and would have meant 100Mb/s for everyone. But we might get 25Mb/s, much later and at much greater cost.

Turnbull is a vain fool. He was convinced he deserved to be prime minister, but once he got there, he’s floundering. Meanwhile, he’s wrecked the NBN plan. I spit.


I’ve just read the ABC News report about dogs being able to read humans’ facial expressions, even the most subtle that even other humans might not see.

About five years ago I was under great stress, and at the same time in severe pain. I was lying on my bed one afternoon, in huge distress but silent, I thought, silently groaning.

Minnie would normally not come into my bedroom for some reason, but this time she came into the room and lay down on the floor beside me. Obviously I was giving off some sign of my distress and she was there to support me. I was amazed. I loved that dog.

The taxi driver yesterday said he loves dogs and has one – he calls it Doggee. Good name.


OK, all done. I went to look at the two contenders and the first one, the Praschita, looked nothing like the photos on the web. So much different that I’m not even sure I was at the right hotel. But they saw my notes and didn’t correct me. It was not good enough. Very traditional, but dark and not all that nice.

On to the other one, the Taksu. This is more like it. It’s a big multi storey modern hotel and very nice. I looked at three rooms and chose the last, a Superior Suite. It’s big, light toned, on the ground floor and has a terrace with table and chairs overlooking greenery and part views of the pool. Initial price was $90 per night, but when I told them 24 nights it came down to $75 a night. (For comparison, I’m paying $54, $57, $61 a night here, depending on dates, irrelevant now.) And I checked – if I need to, I can move again with no penalty. It’s a full service hotel, big restaurant, big public areas and bar, etc.

So I move over next Monday. Nyepi is Wednesday. I’ve read about it, and it seems there are big street celebrations the day before and the day after. Parades, puppet figures, water fights. Sounds good. Ogoh-ogoh, it’s called. Good stuff, I hope.


I got the taxi driver to drop me at Hardy’s (dang, I just realised I forgot to get more DVDs.). I bought the latest Economist at Rp77,000 or A$7.70. It costs me $11 at home. It seems cheaper than I’ve seen it here before.

Then I was making the slow trudge home along Jl. Tamblingan, using my stick, when I became aware of someone talking to me. Blow me down, it was Wiwin on her motorbike. She’d seen me and stopped, but I didn’t recognise her at first with her helmet on.

We chatted briefly but she soon zoomed off, busy, busy. Even so, she said “Let’s catch up” so there’s hope for this old bloke yet 😉