Sleeping

Tourist and business centres usually have a good range of accommodation for all budgets. Bali, for example, has some of the finest hotels in the world - at a corresponding price - along with excellent mid- and lower-range accommodation. However, visitors venturing off the beaten track may find hotels restricted to dingy and over-priced establishments catering for local businessmen and officials. The best run and most competitively priced budget accommodation is found in popular tourist spots - like Bali and Yogya. It is almost always worth bargaining. This is particularly true for hotels in tourist destinations that attract a fair amount of local weekend business: the weekday room rate may be 50% less than the weekend rate. All hotels are required to display their room rates (for every category of room) on a
daftar harga
, or price list. This is invariably either in public view in the reception area or will be produced when you ask about room rates. Indonesians prefer to be on the ground floor, so rooms on higher floors are usually cheaper. In cheaper accommodation, the bed may consist only of a bottom sheet and pillow with no top sheet.

Terminology can be confusing: a
losmen
is a lower price range hotel (in parts of Sumatra and in some other areas,
losmen
are known as
penginapan
); a
wisma
is a guesthouse, but these can range in price from cheap to moderately expensive; finally, a
hotel
is a hotel, but can range from the cheap and squalid up to a Hilton.

There is a 'star' system in Indonesia that gives a rough guide to the price of the establishment (although it is a rating of facilities not of quality). The '
melati
' (flower)
system is for cheaper hotels; while the '
bintang
' (star) system is for higher rated, and therefore more expensive, hotels. As in most countries, five star (luxury) is top of the range.

Bathing and toilets

Baths and showers are not a feature of many cheaper
losmen
. Instead a
mandi
- a water tank and ladle - is used to wash. The tub is not climbed into; water is ladled from the tub and splashed over the head. The traditional Asian toilet is of the squat variety. (Toilets are called
kamar kecil
- the universal 'small room' - or
way say
, as in the initials 'WC'.) Toilet paper is not traditionally used; the faithful left hand and water suffice. In cheaper accommodation you are expected to bring your own towels, soap and toilet paper.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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