LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

LA CASA HOMESTAY SENGGIGI LOMBOK : AN UNPLEASANT PLACE WITH A VINDICTIVE OWNER

La Casa Homestay photo from Booking.com


La Casa Homestay photo from Booking.com
I arrived late in Lombok, late as in late at about 7ish in the evening. After going through the customs and sorting out transportation, it would be probably around 9-10ish when I check into the accommodation. That was why I picked a cheap homestay and that was La Casa Homestay. It is about SGD 12 per night, or 120,000IDR (Indonesian Rupiah). It is pretty cheap for a big room which is basic with a shower/toilet, a queen sized bed, a small writing table and a balcony. Wifi is not available in the rooms but you can access the wifi in the public areas.

I took the Damri bus from the airport which cost about 30,000IDR to Senggigi. If you tell the bus driver you want to go to La Casa Homestay, he will know where to stop you. I stopped at the side of the road where there is a sign that led me to the homestay which is about 100m from the main road. It was very dark at night but nothing a flash from the iPhone cannot help.

La Casa Homestay is opened by Michel, a Frenchman who is mostly seen walking around the vicinity in his sarong, and his Indonesian wife whom I called Manis (Indonesian for Sweetie). This is a very simple homestay with a french touch. You can see in the photos in this post that it is very chateau-like. It is a mix of French and Indonesian in a homey style. This homestay was opened 2 years ago in 2013 thereabouts and it is still in the midst of making.

Michel and Manis and their little daughter Selena love company, so do involve yourself in conversations with them. Manis speaks Indonesian and little English, Michel is fluent in French and Indonesian and conversational English. It is still interesting to know their story and how La Casa was conceived.

I didn't opt for breakfast with the room but breakfast and other meals are served upon request.

La Casa Homestay is a mix of French and Indonesian style with a lust garden.
La Casa Homestay photo from Booking.com
The simple but efficient wood furniture makes the homestay very chateau-like.
The pavilion amidst the lush garden. Only that you have to go early before the Casa dogs do. They love to hang out in the shade.

These are the other rooms that faces the lush garden.
The lust garden at La Casa Homestay.
There are a few dogs at La Casa and they are harmless. They don't bite and they enjoy the lust garden and pavilions as much as the owners and guests do. Just grab your space before the dogs do.
I was put in one of the houses at the back which I didn't mind. I was out most of the time and I like a quiet room. The room faces the car park which is mostly empty and a small banana plantation with a 2nd part of La Casa Homestay in the midst of construction.
This is my humble room/house with a balcony.
Bedroom photo from booking.com
AN AFFORDABLE TRANSIT IN SENGGIGI IN INDONESIAN CHATEAU STYLE

WHAT DID YOU LIKE?
I like the friendliness of the owner Michel and his Indonesian wife. The homestay is comfortable and homey to emphasise on the idea of homestay. Their garden is lush and beautiful. If you like gardens, ask for a garden-facing room. I had my room facing the carpark which I did not mind as I was mostly out and about. The rooms are big and you have a lot of room.

WHAT DIDN'T YOU LIKE?
The rooms, though big, is dusty although the floors are clean. The shower room is very basic so do not expect too much. It is cold shower but I didn't mind it but it would be sometimes nice to have a hot shower at the end of the day. But with the price, I am perhaps complaining with no cause. I am just saying like it is so people know.

The wifi in the public area is weak so if you are looking to do some serious booking or correspondence, you might need to go somewhere else.

The location is still very far from the Senggigi centre. It is not walkable and I am a walker. You will still need to go to the main road to grab a taxi which will be about 25,000IDR (one way) to somewhere near the Senggigi Art Market where you can find most of the shops and eateries. So the location might be a let down for some as you can find accommodation for about 30,000IDR more than La Casa within walking distance from the Art market.


LATEST UPDATE
I received a rather unfriendly email this morning from the owner Michel. I have always written my reviews in an objective manner and I say it as it is. So, I am surprise that the owner had a problem with facts. Will I recommend this accommodation to anyone? I would have said yes before this morning but my answer is a big NO after receiving the email. As a traveler, I appreciate honest reviews and I do not think my review is mean or masking the truth. So to have an owner compromise the privacy of my personal contact and email me with such a rebuke, it is surprisingly shocking. It also sets the good homestays apart from the bad ones I guess. Instead of taking the comment with grace and improving his homestay from there, he is too proud to admit to flaws. My review gave him an above average score so if he is expecting a high score, he should perhaps be open-minded enough to improve his flaws.


ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE
On 10 January 2015 at 10:49, La Casa.lombok wrote:
Thank you for your comment ;it's nice to inform future customers but with our prices everyone knows it there's no hot water, no AC and the bathroom is not luxurious.We use the WiFI all days for booking and other big correspondance as a hotel for us and for our guests and we never need to go somewhere else ! So we do not understand so much negativity. ?? Our guests come to visit Lombok and not be in Senggigi or he just nothing there's just a few bars and restaurants.  Senggigi is not a center just a long street .The time required to go Senggigi is 5 minutes .Is this far ? Over anyone who stay in Senggigi must rent a vehicle to visit the island,so be a near Senggigi without having the nuisance [noise, mosques, etc ...] is rather an advantage.The art market is not a destination just a place to sale the bad handicraft many places in other village sale the good quality .
If one day you come back you will see that there's no center in Lombok but at least a dozen places to visit in the island,and can be you try our restaurant which has good reputation.If you are a walker just in front of our etablishment we have a beautiful hill to make a trek a few hours or a cute Balinese village with some Temple in back. .We are a little disappointed to read that you consider our home stay by writing it in a public way ,but we believe that people will understand that this text comes from a person who does not know still Lombok , we also hope to see you to show you that you have not yet seen , have a nice day .
Best regards Michel, Nia and Celine

Hi Michel,

I am sorry you think of those as negative comments. They are by no means negative to begin with. It is just saying as it is, just so that people know what to expect when they book. This is not to tell people not to book the accommodation but to iterate that it is basic and comfortable, so they should not expect it to be something else as you mentioned many have mistaken. No, the art centre is not the centre, but there are many shops and F&B outlets concentrated there which seems like a one stop for the more discerning travellers if they are not keen on street food.

I would have love to learn about the beautiful hill to trek to the Balinese village but I didn't have time nor did I have the luxury of knowing there is such a hidden treasure nearby.

Booking.com as well as many other crowding source sites help traveller to know the establishments and accommodations. These are unbiase comments. It is rather disappointing to receive a email of an accusation tone when actually the score I gave was above average. If you were to read the review again, it is not subjective and written in a very objective manner. So I am curious why you think it is against you and your family.

Regards,


La Casa.lombok
18:19 (14 hours ago)

hallo. No we don't think that this comment is against us; besides I debuted my email thanking you for all the positive parts .We are convinced that you did not expres and your intention is just to give some information to other travelers.But we find that you do not have the elements to provide good information and some are false or do not make sense.

If I am a traveler after reading your comment I certainly would not want to come to La Casa : the room are dusty ,the comfort right in relation to the low price ;is better go to other place if i need wi fi ; the place is very far from the center [1hour !] and is better to pay rp 30 000 more for find a hotel in the center .Sorry but this is a prejudice to say this about us.
In fact you have spent three nights starting early in the morning and returning late at night.
you never order a meal or breakfast ,you do not visit around our place ...how can you make a comment ?
Everyone is free to think what he wants but only after testing ,tried, tasted which is not the case.
If you allow as 80% of hotels in the region known Senggigi are located outside of what you call a  center; this is the case of Holiday in ,Windy resort , Oberoi , Living Asia ,Quinci villas ,Tugu hotel ,Verve villas ,and twenty more again , ....all is far of the center of nothing ,and 1 hour for a walker ! More you believe that the only restaurants are in Senggigi but do you know that two of the most reputed restaurant : Menaga and Steak House are just ten minutes walking from our place and other many and many not to bad including our restaurant . Sorry but we think is not a good advice to say :  :pay rp 30 000 more and stay in Senggigi ! Our place is cheap but that's not what makes its interest ,we are located like all other hotel less than five minutes ,we are close many famous places :restaurants ,bars ,karaokes ,close the city of Mataram ,and all places of interest in Lombok ,in the quiet place close the beach and the hill,in a Balinese village  what do you want more ? pay more for stay in a noisy room close expensive restaurants and some bars ??? You know,every day we work to improve our site, we have done everything in our hands ,all days we want give the best for our guests ,and we think that in this price category we already offer many than the other ,just trying !
You will understand that to be tried by a person who does not see us is a bit surprising;we know that you have not had any bad intentions but we hope you understand that our work at can not be spoiled like this ;with the hope to see you again one day with us  Best regards The family of LaCasa



THE TRUTH
I reported the breach of privacy to Booking.com and I hope I will not receive anymore emails from the owner. The homestay is cheap and affordable but reviews are reviews and they are there to speak the truth, not to lace it with the 'reality' that the owner sees. He is afterall not a traveler. His room is 12000RP per night and it comes with cold shower which is common in accommodations of that range, no wifi only weak connection in the public area, fan and no tv and breakfast. Not to mention it is also far from all the options of F&B and any walking streets with shops and entertainment.

After La Casa, I stayed at Hotel Bumi Aditya for 15000RP per night. It comes with hot shower, wifi, telly with cable channels, fan, a simple breakfast, refillable water from the water cooler, and it is 10 minutes walk to the Senggigi art centre with many shops and F&B outlets. This part of town has many high end hotels which means that the beach is generally cleaner. Bumi Aditya is located in Dusun Loco which is about 3 minutes walk from the main street so it is quiet. It is near a mosque though but minus the rude and vindictive owner from La Casa and all the other extras. It is definitely worth the money. Oh, I forgot to mention that they have a new swimming pool too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A beautiful place if you believe the pictures, but bipolar boss knowing being kind can be as completely useless.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...