Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bulakan Beach House Carita

Recently, I had the chance to stay in Carita overnight with my team from work as part of a team building exercise. We travelled down from Jakarta on a Saturday afternoon and then got to the Beach houses around 5.30pm.
There were 29 of us and the ground floor of a villa had been book for all of us to sleep and wash in with the food provided outside next to the beach.

Bulakan beach is opposite the volcano of Kracatoa and we could see in the evening but not in the morning.

The actual resort if you can call it that comprised of a 2 main buildings for sleeping and staying, an outside seating and play area, its own private beach sort of and also a pier that went into the sea and you could sit and watch the sea and the waves. There was also a small swimming pool which I never ventured into as it was always full of kids and adults.

Near to the resort were very tiny shops that sold this and that and if you needed beer then it was 23,000 a can. 2km down the road heading into Carita there was an indomaret which was good. But never sold beer.

The room I was in was shared between 5 of us so I slept on a mattress on the floor, The ceiling leaked and there was one one plug socket so getting phones charged was a hassle.
The bathroom was OK but nothing special. Cold water shower and a western toilets. Bedding, towels, pillows were not included.

 The welcome sign on your way in
 The Pier from the resort
 Food was served for just us and under another tent for other people staying
 A view of the beach from the pier
 The grounds
 The room
 Seating area and assorted westerners
 Our building but we were on the ground floor
 Thats as close as I got to the pool
 The pier
The entrance to our building

For a quick weekend away for a change and a chance to be by the beach then it was perfect. However if you are not going with 28 others then perhaps try the hotels along Anyer instead. But if you want cheap and cheerful and to spend your time with a large group then it is idea. Bring some gang leads and a towel and a jacket for the evening as it does chill down.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Aston Hotel and Resort Bogor

I stayed that the Aston Hotel and Resort for work because I was attending a conference for my conference. The Aston is tucked away in a brand new complex alledgedly 5 minutes from the center of Bogor (maybe at 3am) and 45 minutes from Jakarta (thats pretty accurate if you drive at 130kph or more).
Like most newly developed places the roads in and out have not been thought about at all and so the last 30 minutes from the toll to the hotel was a very bumpy ride.

The hotel itself is huge. There are 3 towers for the rooms, several conference centers and swimming pools. 2 Bars and a couple of dining areas. Service was quick and smooth.

The room I was in was a twin share condo. It was in tower 3 and about a short walk to reception using escalators, bridges and walkways. However because it was raining so much the walk ways were wet and dangerous due to the slipping hazard and the escalators were not always switched on so they were quite simply just stairs. There were lifts but I am not that lazy. So I walked.

Back to the room. The room was small but comfortable and had 2 TV's. One in the bedroom and one in the small living area. There was a microwave and fridge and plenty of free water. The TV channels were good but the reception was not that great.
The beds were very narrow and the pillows far too big to sleep comfortably. But the room was warm compared to the coolness of the area. There was a balcony which was very nice to sit out in the evening and first thing in the morning although that did seem to attract misquitos.

The shower was powerful and had plenty of hot water to use.

One of the drawbacks of the place was the fact it was far from anywhere. There is a Lawsons, Indomart and a billards room next to it so getting snacks etc was easy and also ATMS. Pizza hut was a way from the hotel but I am sure you could negoiate with someone to take you there.
The bar in the hotel was ok if not a little pricey and the conference did manage to drink them dry.  However the room service menu and speed was great and they took either cash or credit card and the food was big and filling.

On top of which was the free wifi which was fast, simple and available throughout the whole resort which in my opinion was the best wifi I have experienced in a hotel in Indonesia so far.

As someone who attended a conference it was a great place to stay but I dont thinks I would stay there otherwise as without a car you could be stuck if you needed to get anywhere. There are no taxis in Bogor. Just motorbikes and minibuses, none of which stop at the resort or close by.

Click here for more details:

View of one of the pools from one of the restaurants

A river runs through the resort, at speed when I took this!

The living area Kitchenette


Living area and fellow Conference attendee James

Small bedroom, big pillows

Seating area outside