Finding a decent homestay can be hard via Internet. Photos can be deceiving. And Sometimes they can be very deceiving. We found this out the hard way.
The best way to find a great homestay in Indonesia is to simply hit the streets. Sure, you waste a bit of time and end up drenched with sweat in the process. But isn’t that preferable to staying 7 nights in an ant infested, bloody sheeted, too expensive dump? I’d say so…
Plus, each and every homestay has a particular vibe about it. You can’t get that off of Agoda reviews or TripAdvisor. I found that the reasons we picked certain homestays over others had relatively little to do with price or location.
Half definitely relied on the cleanliness of the rooms. Obviously, we aren’t staying in 5 star hotels so we don’t expect fluffy white robes and complementary fruity cocktails. However, we try to avoid years up built up grime and towels grey with use. Sorry.
The other, and sometimes more important deciding aspect, is the vibes we get from the staff. A welcoming smile and a bit of their time was sometimes all it took to get us to drop our bags and call their place home (for the next two or three nights at least). Heck, at our homestay on Gili T we renounced wifi and much needed a/c for a clean, but very simple room and hosts that are gracious and available.
So, in short, reserve a night. If you like the homestay, stay. Chances are they will have continued availability. If you don’t like it, there are literally tons of other choices just steps away.