22 Sep 2007
Jayakarta Hotel, Legian, Bali
Apartment
A$329/£142 week
8°41'59.44"S
115° 9'51.97"E
1 Bedoom
Full kitchen
Timeshare Rental
Week

 

The Jayakarta Residence consists of 2 blocks of apartments, a mixture of privately owned and timeshare, within the grounds of the 3-4 star Jayakarta Hotel and with its own separate reception lobby. All facilities of the hotel are available for use of guests in the apartments and can be charged back to the room except pool towels, which have to be picked up at our own reception. The Jayakarta is a 24 year old resort and is more than adequate for its age and rating. It seemed fairly full, and I'd say 90% Australian (weren't those kids supposed to be at school?). The apartments, built at the front of the resort, are about 14 years old and although basic and showing their age are kept very clean. The kitchens have recently been refitted, but furnishings are probably the originals, and apart from the fairly uncomfortable sofa bed in the living area (we were told by someone unrelated that they were re-covered a few years ago), were in good condition. We were in a top (4th) floor one bed apartment in the smaller block.

There are about 30 other one bedroom units and 10 or so 2 bedroom units. Most of the apartments have a small balcony with two chairs off the bedroom, and the living area/kitchen has the entry door and a glass brick window for privacy as it faces the walkway. Because of the layout of the block, the majority of apartments had this glass brick window facing an interior corridor rather than a walkway/balcony meaning no natural light. I don't think these very dark living rooms would have been very pleasant to spend much time in, but most people don't spend a great deal of time in their rooms when on holiday. We were in a corner unit which was slightly larger than most and had full exterior windows in both the bedroom and living area, meaning we had 2 balconies as well. Really good for us as we had managed to book 2 consecutive weeks both at $329. Fresh (not plastic) flowers in the living area and bathroom on arrival were a very nice touch. There is a small but fully equipped kitchen with all the pots, pans and utensils you could need for preparing any meal.

Living Area

The only thing you could be picky about is the lack of freezer - there is a regular sized under bench fridge which only has a cornflake box sized freezer. The apartment was serviced daily, and although advertised as twice-weekly, the linen was changed every couple of days. Disappointing that there was no in-room safe, but there were plenty of water pipes and solid fixtures to wrap the Kensington computer-lock cable (thanks Les) and my homemade safe around. Safety deposit boxes were available free of charge at reception. The usually horribly high extra charges were as expected at the hotel reception (see the water example below) but very good at the timeshare reception. A car with driver for 8-10 hours including petrol was IDR300,000 (A$37/£16) – the same price you get if you're lucky outside the hotel (after haggling for half an hour). Internet access was also cheaper than outside – wireless in the lobby was A$1.25/54p per hour or A$1.85/80p per hour if you used their computer. You could also get dial-up access in your room, but it had to go through the hotel rather than the timeshare, and was horribly expensive. I heard someone ask if they could print a single page, and the receptionist did this without charging which is really good. The hotel has 1 large and 2 small swimming pools, and was busy enough to make finding 2 beds together in the shade a bit of a chore at times. The pools themselves had very little shade, so taking a dip had to be either very quick or very late in the day when the sun had gone down.

Bedroom

In a first for us, we found the poolside waiters rather insistent – almost as if they were on commission. We didn't bother though – the prices were typically hotel-high. Take, for example, a 1.5l bottle of Aqua. The exact same brand/bottle available at shops outside the hotel for IDR2,500 was IDR26,620. That's a 31c/13p bottle of water for A$3.33/£1.45! Yeah, yeah, it's only $3. Call me mean if you like, but I'd rather be mean than pay a 1,000% mark up. The location of the Jayakarta is ideal - right on the beach. While no good for swimming, it is great for playing in the surf late in the afternoon, where you can also witness a stunning sunset if the conditions are right. The hotel is in the middle of tourist heaven or hell, depending on how you think. There are plentiful restaurants and bars within easy walking distance and enough tailors, clothes and shoe shopping to satisfy most. There are a couple of convenience stores where you can pick up the basics at an inflated price, and about 10 minutes walk to a sizable mini-mart where you can get most things.

Opposite this mini market is a grubby looking fruit and Veggie shop which isn't used to dealing with tourists and was cheap enough to make you cry. They thought it was really odd that we wanted the apples, oranges, potatoes and onions put straight into our shopping bag and not into individual plastic carriers. The only concession was the eggs – sold individually – which they insisted were put into a plastic bag and carried by hand for fear they would break. As almost every available inch in the area was dedicated to tourists, we only found 3 warungs within walking distance – one was grossly overcharging tourists but the other two, one of which seemed to have a lot of expats coming and going, were selling good value, tasty food. The large, air conditioned Bintang supermarket is about 15 minutes walk, and sells all imaginable things including fish and meat, but is very expensive. Even the Bintang beer (the brewery owns the supermarket) was 25% more expensive than in the convenience stores. Go figure.

Motorbikes were available locally for A$3.75/£1.60 per day, although a couple tried a starting price of double that amount before dropping down to it. We got ours from the one who opened at that price – we appreciate not being seen as suckers that deserve to be ripped off. Same principle when we eat – those who try to overcharge ultimately lose out on business. The resort is about 20 minutes walk to Kuta Square via the beach road, but a word of warning - there is little shade en route. The walk also involves running the gauntlet of timeshare touts, who can make any stroll truly miserable with their insistence. How many ways are there to say no? We try really hard not to be rude, but sometimes it's the only way to get rid of them. There are a few other interesting hour or two walks down alleyways and back streets, and you know when you're getting back into tourist areas when the timeshare touts descend on you.

Pool Area

All in all, we enjoyed our time here, and if it were the only cheap timeshare rental available we'd probably come back, but there are far superior apartments, villas and resorts in Bali which would be our first choice.