home sweet home in bali: andree's homestay
Many of you have been asking about where we are living...well, here it is. Andree's Homestay. It's a quaint little compound, and so far, the best long-term deal we've seen in the towns that we were interested in staying in. It's not advertised, and most of the guests find this place by word of mouth. We knew about it, because our friends used to live here (Thanks, Ken and Niken!) The family and staff that live here have been wonderful, and now that we have adjusted to Bali living, we happily call this our home away from home... It was challenging, at first, to find a place that fit our needs and our pocket book. We've learned that the stuff you see in travel books and magazines were not as affordable as we expected it to be. If you are vacationing, you can spend as little as $20/night (sometimes less) for a room, backpacker style. Or you can stay at a posh resort for $100/night, and upwards, to $800/night or more for a room. And then, there is everything in between. A lot of the beautiful villas (that I wished we could live long-term in) are catered mostly to vacationers, and as GORGEOUS as they are, you end up paying western prices...let's say anywhere from $560/week for a small villa to $3,500/week (or more) for something spectacular. Most of the high-end villas include a staff.
Obviously, we can't afford that.
On the other spectrum, you can rent a traditional house for, let's say $3,000/year --- yep, that's approximately $250/month, with a commitment of at least one year --- (at least, that's what we've heard). Or approximately, $400/month for a two-bedroom, two-bath house. Most local houses have open-air living and traditional amenities, or a combination of both. If you go this route, you are usually responsible for setting up utilities, internet, etc. on your own.
Andree's Homestay was the perfect fit for us, because it has a mix of both western and traditional amenities. The rent fit our budget (at $400/month), and all utilities and internet are included...and there's a pool! We also have security and a full-time staff on the grounds, so if there is anything we need, it's nice to know we have help.
There are a lot of things I like about Andree's: it's nice and quiet; it's located near some very nice beaches (where touts are apparently banned) and located near low-pro surf spots; we can easily drive to the West Bukit to surf more popular spots; we have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from; we have met a lot of people from different countries who are also here long term (did I tell you, we met someone from Los Osos?); and although, we are still in a very nomadic state of mind, we have made it our own...
When you travel, what is it that makes a place 'home' for you? Are you planning on visiting Bali anytime soon or are you an expert on Bali living? Feel free to share your thoughts below...